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In This Life

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JACK, JENNIFER, and ABBY are moving into their new house. They are dressed in casual clothing: JACK is wearing jeans and a light blue button-down shirt, JENNIFER is wearing a white t-shirt and overalls, and ABBY is wearing a pink t-shirt and jeans. BO, HOPE, and SHAWN-D are helping them move into the house, but have not yet arrived.

JACK, JENNIFER, and ABBY are walking up the pathway. ABBY excitedly breaks away from both her parents and runs up to the door.

ABBY: Oh Mommy, it's so beautiful! It looks just like my dollhouse!

JENNIFER: (happy that ABBY is so excited) I'd love to take all the credit, baby, but actually... (looks at JACK) Daddy was the one who found this house.

JACK: (slightly embarrassed, trying to pass it off as no big deal) Well, I made sure to give the broker my list of requirements. It had to be in a good neighborhood, near a good school, have plenty of room for a child to run around in, and of course, before she could even think of showing us a house, it had to pass the ultimate test: (with mock seriousness) it had to look like your dollhouse.

ABBY: (laughing) You're so funny, Daddy...

JENNIFER smiles as she watches him with ABBY, confident she made the right decision to suggest this arrangement.

ABBY: (noticing the garden) Can I go exploring over there?

JACK: Of course... But, just make sure you can stay where Mommy and I can see you, all right?

ABBY runs off, leaving JACK and JENNIFER alone on the porch. Neither of them know what to say to each other, although it is clear both of them are happy that the other is here.

JENNIFER: (after some silence) She looks really happy, doesn't she?

JACK: (smiles to himself as he sees ABBY pick flowers in the garden) Yes... she does...

JACK is still torn. He is glad that ABBY is so happy, but he is also worried that she may get the wrong idea and assume he and JENNIFER are getting back together, and he does not want to get her hopes up when he does not know if that will happen.

JENNIFER: Penny for your thoughts...

JACK turns back to her in surprise.



JENNIFER has just asked JACK what he is thinking about at that moment. JACK is taken by surprise and a bit flustered.

JACK: (trying to cover up his nervousness) A penny? Jennifer, I should hope my thoughts are worth more than that.

JENNIFER: (knowing full-well he is using humor to hide his discomfort) All right. Name your price then, Mr. Deveraux...

JACK: Jennifer, I-

ABBY runs back to where they are, interrupting them, much to JACK'S relief.

JACK: (to himself) Saved by the child...

ABBY: (carrying flowers) Look Mommy, I picked these just for you!

JENNIFER: (bending down to take them from ABBY) Oh, that is so sweet of you, baby... (kisses her) I have the most thoughtful little girl in the world, do you know that?

ABBY: (proudly) It's my thank you to you and Daddy.

JENNIFER: (looks up at JACK, then at ABBY) A thank you for what, baby?

ABBY: For making my wish come true.

CLOSE-UP on JACK and JENNIFER looking at each other.



ABBY has just thanked JACK and JENNIFER for making her wish come true.

ABBY: I made a wish that we could be a family again, Mommy. And now we are, just like I dreamed we would be...

JENNIFER is looking to JACK for help in what to say to ABBY. She does not want to say the wrong thing and give ABBY false hope about them, although she herself would like to believe she and JACK still have a chance to work things out between them.

JENNIFER: (softly) I'm glad your wish came true, baby.

JACK: (bending down to ABBY now too) Mommy and I will always try our best to make sure all your wishes come true, Abigail. I hope you know that.

JENNIFER: That's right--Daddy's right. We want you to always be happy, no matter what.

ABBY: I am, now that you and Daddy have made up.

JACK and JENNIFER look nervously at each other.

JACK: (clears throat) Well, princess, what do you say we go exploring inside?

ABBY: (excitedly) Okay! Can I go pick out my room?

JACK: Absolutely! Come on, let's go...

JENNIFER watches JACK and ABBY enter the house. Before he goes in, JACK turns around to give JENNIFER a look of relief at having been able to distract ABBY.

JENNIFER: (to herself, as JACK and ABBY enter the house) Now that you wishes have come true, Abby, maybe there's still a little bit of magic left for mine too...



BO, HOPE, SHAWN-D, and J.T. have joined JACK, JENNIFER, and ABBY and are helping them move things in. BO sees JACK carrying a large box and worries that JACK may wear himself out since he is probably still weak from his treatments.

BO: (taking the box from JACK) Here, Jack, let help you out with that...

JACK: (immediately defensive) It's all right, I've got it...

BO: No, really, I don't mind, I-

JACK: (firmly) I've got it. (a little less harshly) I've got it, Bo. Thanks.

BO does not want to push, so he just nods and lets JACK handle it. JENNIFER sees the exchange and when JACK is out of earshot, she goes to talk to BO.

JENNIFER: I'm sorry about that, Bo. He just... He doesn't want anyone feeling sorry for him right now...

BO: It's all right, Jen, don't worry about it. I understand. (calls out to SHAWN-D) Son, would you come here for a second?

SHAWN-D: What's up, Pop?

BO: (watching JACK to make sure he doesn't hear) Do me a favor... Go and grab some of the bigger boxes from the car, all right? Jack really shouldn't be pushing himself right now, but I don't want to put him on the spot about it, so just make sure to get them before he does...

SHAWN-D: Will do...

JENNIFER: Thanks, Bo. I really appreciate that.

BO: (winks) No problem.

HOPE comes in with ALICE and JULIE.

HOPE: Hey, look who I found wandering around outside?

JENNIFER: Grandma! Julie! You guys didn't have to come and help...

JULIE: Help? Darling, we're not here to do the manual labor--are we, Grandma? We come bearing gifts...

JULIE shows JENNIFER the bags they are carrying. Inside are pots and pans and other kitchen utensils and food for the cupboards and refrigerator.

JACK: (sees what they have brought and is touched by their generosity) This was very nice of you... Thank you...

JULIE smiles at him. She feels bad about what he is going through and gives him a hug.

JULIE: You're welcome, darling. (whispers to him) We're here to help. In any way. (she squeezes his hand)

ALICE: And for a certain little girl, I brought a special treat...

ABBY is playing with J.T. and suddenly hears her name. She runs into the foyer excitedly.

ALICE: (showing off a plate covered with aluminum foil) Here you go, Abigail, fresh donuts. I just made them this morning.

ABBY: Oh Great-gram, my favorite! (to JENNIFER) Mommy, is it okay have one right now?

JENNIFER: Sure, baby. But just one for now, all right? We'll save the rest for later.

HOPE taps JENNIFER on the shoulder and pulls her aside.

HOPE: So... how are you right now?

JENNIFER looks at JACK, who is having donuts with ABBY then turns to HOPE. CLOSE-UP on JENNIFER as she faces HOPE.



HOPE is concerned about JENNIFER has just asked her how she is.

HOPE: I know you were really nervous about whether this would work our or not... How are you? Everything going well so far?

JENNIFER: Yeah... Yeah, so far everything's good. (she looks over at JACK and ABBY) Look at her, Hope, she's so happy to have us all under one roof. And Jack is so happy to be spending time with her... I did the right thing here. I know I did.

HOPE: (perceptively) Are you trying to convince me or yourself?

JENNIFER: I don't know what you mean...

HOPE: Look, I know you're the one who came up with this idea, Jen. But I get the feeling that you're starting to have doubts now too, about this arrangement.

JENNIFER: (looking at JACK again) I guess I just feel a little guilty, Hope.

HOPE: Guilty? Why?

JENNIFER: (sighing) Because... Maybe I'm not doing this for the right reasons. I tell myself I'm doing this for Abby. Because she misses her daddy and wants to be with him again. And I tell myself I'm doing this for Jack, because he needs to be with her right now with all he's going through...

HOPE: But... you're not sure those are the only reasons you're doing this?

JENNIFER does not answer her right away.



JACK is unpacking boxes as JULIE comes up to him.

JULIE: Jack, would you mind giving me a tour of this place?

JACK: Well, I really should get some of these things in place- (realizing this is her way of trying to get him to speak with her alone) Oh... well... I suppose I can do this a little later and show you around first.

JULIE: (smiling) I'd like that, darling.

They link arms and walk about the house, then they walk outside into the garden.

JULIE: (trying carefully to broach the subject) Jack, we've known each other for a long time.

JACK: Yes, we have.

JULIE: And I hope you know that I'm more than just an in-law. I'm also your friend.

JACK: (touched by what she is saying, but not really eager to open up to her) Thank you. That really means a lot to me, Julie.

JULIE: How are you? I mean, how are you dealing with all of this?

JACK: Oh you mean moving? It's a piece of cake, really, I mean, all it takes is calling people who are willing to help-

JULIE: Jack, you know what I meant.

CLOSE-UP on Jack's discomfort.



JENNIFER has admitted to HOPE that she feels guilty about this new arrangement and might not be doing this for the right reasons.

HOPE: Jen, you said you felt guilty about this. Why?

JENNIFER: I know how happy this makes Abby. And I see how happy it makes Jack to be around her, but... Hope, part of me is doing this because I want some excuse to be around Jack. (beat) God, that's so selfish, isn't it?

HOPE: No. No, it's not selfish at all. You love him. It's only natural that you want to work things out between you two.

JENNIFER: You know, it's funny. Four weeks ago I was ready to move on with my life without him--for good. And now here we are, and the thought of losing him forever... (tears well up in her eyes)

HOPE: (reaches out to hug her) It's all right, honey... You are not going to lose him. Don't even let yourself think that, okay?

JENNIFER nods weakly.

HOPE: Hey, you see that little girl in there? (points to ABBY who is in the living room, playing with JT) You and I both know how much Jack loves her, right?

JENNIFER: (smiling) Yeah, he does...

HOPE: So you know that Jack would fight this with everything he's got, for her. (beat) And for you.

JENNIFER: (sadly) I don't know about that, Hope...

HOPE: What do you mean you don't know?

JENNIFER: I mean I don't know if I'm... if I'm enough of a reason for him to...

HOPE: I'm sorry, I thought I was talking to Jennifer Horton Deveraux here.


HOPE: But I guess I was wrong, because the Jennifer Deveraux I know would never ever doubt what she means to Jack Deveraux...

JENNIFER: (smiling) All right, I get the hint...

HOPE: (puts her hands on JENNIFER'S arms) When he beats this--and you know he will--then you two going to have nothing standing in your way. I believe that with my whole heart.

JENNIFER: I know you're right, Hope. (beat) I just hope Jack will see that too.

JENNIFER thinks about what HOPE has just said.



JULIE is trying to get JACK to open up to her about how he is dealing with things, but JACK is uncomfortable talking to someone about it.

JULIE: It's all right, darling, Abby's inside. She won't hear whatever we talk about out here.

JACK is uncomfortable talking about this, even though he knows JULIE only wants to help. JULIE senses his discomfort, but knows he needs to talk about this.

JULIE: Have you told your family?

JACK: (quietly) Yes, I uh... I talked to Jo the other day. And Adrienne and Kayla as well. (clears throat) But I told them they didn't need to come here for moral support. Jo especially--she's needed there. Adrienne needs her there...

JULIE: Jack, what do you think you're doing?

JACK: I don't know what you mean-

JULIE: You know exactly what I mean, and don't pretend you don't. (beat) We are here for you because we care, Jack. We love you and we don't want to see you going through this alone. When are you going to see that you don't have to do this all by yourself?

JACK: Look, Julie, I appreciate your concern, but-

JULIE: But what? What, you'd rather be the strong, silent type and keep this all to yourself? You'd rather hold it in? (softly) Jack, I know how difficult it's always been for you to reach out to people. But don't do this. Don't shut us out. (beat) Especially Jennifer.

JACK: Jennifer should not have to go through this. She's been through enough pain because of me, and I am not going to put her through any more.

JULIE: But don't you see, Jack, she is in pain from being shut out by you... She loves you. She wants to help you through this. You two stood before us nine years ago and you made a vow to be there in sickness and in health, do you remember that?

JACK: (with great pain) We're not married anymore.

JULIE: You and I both know that is just a legal technicality, Jack. You've been married in your hearts all along, and I know Jennifer is more than willing to keep that vow even today.

JACK can not say anything.

JULIE: Think about what I said. You don't have to go through this alone.

JACK watches her go in and wonders whether she is right.



It is now night-time. BO, HOPE, SHAWN-D, J.T., ALICE, and JULIE have all left. JACK is sitting in the living room, surrounded by boxes. There is no furniture yet and he is busy arranging something on the floor as JENNIFER comes down the stairs and comes into the living room.

JENNIFER: She's out like a light.

JACK: Already? She didn't even have dinner yet...

JENNIFER: Oh she had her fill of Grandma's donuts- (suddenly notices what JACK has done) Oh Jack... I can't believe you did this...

JACK has set up a "picnic" for them: he has spread a blanket on the floor and has candles lit, and plates, food, and a chilled bottle of sparkling cider arranged.

JACK: Well, it's not exactly champagne and caviar, but we've got... we've got fried chicken, and potato salad, and biscuits, courtesy of Ms. Williams... (points to the bottle) And we've even got bubbly, although it's... not the real thing, unfortunately. (he is embarrassed that it is not real champagne, because he can not drink during his treatments)

JENNIFER: (reassuring him) It's perfect, Jack.

JACK: (clears throat nervously) I, uh... I thought since our furniture won't make it here until tomorrow, we could make due with an impromptu picnic...

JENNIFER is touched by what he has done and can't believe he went to all this trouble to make their first night at their house so special.

JACK: (noting her silence) So... would you care to join me? Or would you rather call it a night-

JENNIFER: No, no, no... I would love to join you, Jack. (smiles as he takes her hand and leads her down)

JACK takes the bottle of sparkling cider out of the bucket full of ice and pops the cork, then pours some for each of them in the champagne glass.

JENNIFER does not want to break the mood in any way. She knows how what a big deal this must have been for him to do, and she does not want to ruin this moment.

JACK: (softly) You know, this reminds me of another picnic we had a long time ago.

JENNIFER: (knowing exactly which one he's talking about) Yeah, our first night in that apartment-

JACK: (shuddering) That was no apartment, Jennifer. It was a cubicle.

JENNIFER: (smiling) All right, it was a little cramped, but you have to admit that picnic was pretty fun.

JACK: If you call dining on cheese and cracker snack packs and dime-store champagne fun.

JENNIFER: I'm talking about what happened that night, Jack. That was when I told you I was pregnant...

JACK: Yes... (smiling at the memory) And as I recall I gave you quite a scare with my reaction.

JENNIFER: (laughing) Well I admit you didn't exactly take the news as well as I had hoped, but it's a moment I'll never forget...

JACK: (softly) Nor will I...

JACK suddenly gets uncomfortable again at their growing closeness as they reminisce about old times. He tries to change the subject and hands JENNIFER her glass as he holds up his.

JACK: All right, do you want to make the toast, or should I?

JENNIFER: (sensing what he is doing, but going along with it) Well... knowing how long-winded your speeches can get, maybe I should-

JACK: Excuse me? Long-winded? I'll have you know that during my all-too brief political career I was quite the orator.

JENNIFER: (grinning) I'm the one with the broadcast experience, remember?

JACK: Well if you're going to compare credentials...

JENNIFER: I promise I'll make it short and sweet, how about that?

JACK: (rolling his eyes) All right. Go ahead.

They both hold up their glasses and lock eyes as JENNIFER speaks.

JENNIFER: To making wishes, and dreaming big dreams. May they all come true.

JACK and JENNIFER do not take their eyes off one another as they clink glasses.


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