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In This Life

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EPISODE 21

SCENE 1

INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM - DAY (THE DAY AFTER EPISODE 20)

It is the morning after ABBY spent the night at ALICE'S. ALICE and ABBY are waiting for JACK and JENNIFER to come over to pick ABBY up. They are sitting on the couch as ALICE braids ABBY'S hair.

ALICE: You know, this reminds me of when your mother was your age. I used to braid her hair like this all the time.

ABBY: (fascinated by stories of JENNIFER as a child) Really?

ALICE: Yes. Your grandfather would come by to visit and she would sit here and beg me to give her a new hairstyle.

ABBY: (giggling) I can't picture Mommy as a little girl. What was she like, Great-gram?

ALICE: Oh, she was a lot like you, Abigail. She was very precocious, smart, sweet. And very full of energy. I remember she could never sit still for too long. It would take me forever to fix her hair because she could never just sit there and wait for me to finish! (laughs) But you, my darling, you have been very patient.

ABBY: Daddy says patience is a virt... virt...

ALICE: A virtue?

ABBY: Uh huh, a virtue...

ALICE: (smiling) Your father is very wise, Abigail.

ABBY: He's the smartest man in the world! And Mommy's the smartest woman in the world too!

ALICE: You're a very lucky little girl, then. To have such wonderful parents. (puts an elastic band on the end of ABBY'S braid) There you go, dear, all done.

ABBY: Thank you! (turning around to face ALICE) Great-gram?

ALICE: Yes, darling?

ABBY: I was wondering something.

ALICE: (curious) What is it?

ABBY: Do you think... Mommy said yes to Daddy's proposal?

OUT on ALICE'S smile.


SCENE 2

IN PROGRESS

ABBY has just asked ALICE what she thinks JENNIFER'S answer to JACK'S proposal was.

ABBY: Do you think she said yes, Great-gram?

ALICE: I don't know, dear. Your parents are... very unpredictable.

ABBY: (softly) I hope she said yes. I wish they could get married again, like they were before I got sick.

ALICE can not believe how perceptive ABBY is, and feels badly that she is all too aware of the tumult between JACK and JENNIFER over the years.

ABBY: Daddy said they'd always love each other no matter what. But if they still love each other, how come they broke up? Is it because Daddy is sick?

ALICE: (not quite sure how to answer) My, such big questions for an eight year old!

ALICE pats the spot next to her on the couch, and ABBY gets up from the floor and sits next to her. ALICE puts her arms around her.

ABBY: Great-gram... Do you think Daddy's scared?

ALICE does not know what to say. Her heart is breaking that ABBY is asking this.

ABBY: He didn't tell me he was, but maybe he doesn't want me to know he is. Mommies and daddies aren't supposed to get scared, right? But maybe he pretends not to be scared so I won't get scared.

ALICE: (looks at ABBY) Are you scared, darling?

ABBY: (after a beat, nods) What happens if Daddy doesn't get better? (looks up at ALICE) I don't want him to die, Great-gram... Mommy and I would be all alone...

ALICE: (holds her tight) Oh Abigail-

ABBY: Mommy has to say yes, Great-gram! If she says yes, they'll get married and then she can help him get better, right?

ALICE wishes she knew the right thing to say.

ABBY: I know she can help him. I know she can make him all better again, and then we can be a real family again-

The doorbell rings.

ABBY: (excited) That's them!

ALICE and ABBY go to the door. ABBY opens the door and JACK pulls her into a hug.

JACK: Hey, there's my big beautiful girl! (he can't scoop her up and twirl her around like he usually does; instead he affectionately pats her on the back)

JENNIFER is standing behind JACK, beaming as she watches them. ABBY looks up and notices her and grins.

ABBY: Well?

JACK: (looks at JENNIFER and smiles, then looks back at ABBY and pretends not to know what she means) Well what, Abigail?

ABBY: (crosses her arms and gives them a knowing look) You know what, Daddy. (looks at JENNIFER) Did you say yes, Mommy? Did you?

JENNIFER smiles.

OUT on JENNIFER, JACK, and ALICE exchanging amused glances as ABBY waits for her answer.


SCENE 3

IN PROGRESS

ABBY has just asked JENNIFER if she has accepted JACK'S proposal.

JACK: (enjoying teasing his daughter) My, what a greeting... I don't think you even gave us a proper hello-

ABBY: Daddy, you're stalling!

ALICE: (laughs, comes to ABBY'S side and touches her shoulder) Now, now, Abigail... I'm sure they will tell us when they're ready to tell us.

It's clear ALICE is also dying to know the answer, but she does not want to appear too anxious. JACK and JENNIFER exchange conspiratorial looks.

JENNIFER: (grinning) You two are really subtle, you know that?

ABBY: (bursting) Well? Are you going to tell us, or do we have to tickle you?

JACK: (mock horror) All right, all right, we give! Anything but that!

He looks at JENNIFER. She smiles and kneels down in front of ABBY so they are at eye level with each other.

JENNIFER: So I hear you were a big part of my surprise last night.

ABBY: (nods enthusiastically) Uh huh! Daddy said I could build two snow people! And I got to set the table and everything... Did you like it, Mommy?

JENNIFER: I loved it, baby. (hugs her and gives her a kiss)

ABBY: Daddy said he wanted it to be really special. I hope it was...

JENNIFER: It was perfect. (looks at JACK) You and Daddy were wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

She shows ABBY her left hand. ABBY looks down and sees the ring, and her eyes widen in excitement.

JENNIFER: (softly) I said yes, baby. (looks up at ALICE, who looks just beside herself with joy and pride, then back down at ABBY)

ABBY: You and Daddy are going to get married again? For real?

JENNIFER: (smiling) Yes, baby. For real.


SCENE 4

JENNIFER has just told ABBY that she has accepted JACK'S proposal.

ALICE: Oh Jennifer Rose... Jack... I... (she can not contain her happiness) I'm so happy for you, this is wonderful news!

JACK: (slightly embarrassed) I'm so glad you think so, Mrs. Horton. (looks at JENNIFER) It's certainly been a long time coming.

ALICE: Well, you know what they say. The best things in life are worth the wait. (puts her hands together) Oh, this calls for a celebration, why don't you come in, both of you--I'll go make us a late breakfast and we can all talk-

JACK: Oh no, Mrs. Horton, we don't want to trouble you... Besides, you've had your hands full taking care of the child since last night. Tell you what--why don't we all go to the Brady Pub and have some brunch? Our treat, what do you say?

ALICE: Why Jack, that's very thoughtful.

JACK: (smiling) I've had some... some good things happen to me in the last twenty-four hours... I figured I'd spread some good cheer in gratitude.

He looks down at ABBY.

JACK: And you, young lady... (holds her close) How do you feel about me asking for your mother's hand in marriage?

ABBY: (giggling) I thought you'd never ask, Daddy!

JACK: Oh, so I take it you approve then, Miss Deveraux?

ABBY: Oh yes, I approve whole-heartedly, Daddy- (corrects herself) Mr. Deveraux... (pats him on the shoulder) Job well done.

JACK grins, then looks up at JENNIFER.

JACK: All right, I've just had another brilliant idea. Jennifer, why don't you call up Bo and Hope too, and see if they and their brood would like to come join us for brunch at the pub? And perhaps Doug and Julie, and Mickey and Maggie-

JENNIFER: (laughs) My, what has gotten into you? The thought of having to be in a room full of Hortons usually has you breaking out in hives, Jack.

JACK: (offended) Now that is not true, Jennifer-

JENNIFER gives him a "yeah, right" look.

JACK: All right, that may have been true. But this is the new and improved Jack Deveraux-

JENNIFER: (interrupts him with a kiss) Do me a favor, Jack. Don't change too much, okay? I happened to love the old Jack Deveraux just the way he was.

JACK: (grins) Oh is that a fact?

JENNIFER: Mm hmm... (gives him another quick kiss, then begins to call HOPE)

JACK watches her as she talks to HOPE and ALICE comes up to him, putting a hand on his shoulder to get his attention.

ALICE: Thank you, Jack.

JACK: (not sure what she means) For what, Mrs. Horton?

ALICE: You know exactly for what. (beat) For making my granddaughter so happy.

JACK: (looks back at JENNIFER) All reciprocation... It just so happens your granddaughter makes me very happy as well. (pulls ABBY towards him and looks at her lovingly) As does your great-granddaughter, for that matter. (beat) Who'd have ever thought it, huh? Jack Deveraux? Happy? There's one for Ripley's Believe It Or Not...

ALICE: (giving him a knowing smile) Oh, I don't know Jack. Some of us aren't all that surprised, to tell you the truth.

They smile and are quiet for a while, knowing exactly what the other is thinking.

JENNIFER: (coming over to join them) It's all set, they're going to meet as at the pub. Hope thought it was a great idea--in fact, she said I was psychic, because she was just about to call and ask me over at the house to ask me something.

JACK: Well, shall we, then?

ALICE: (as everyone starts to leave) I just want to say one last thing...

They all turn to look at her.

ALICE: I am just so happy to see the three of you together like this. As a family. I know it didn't seem very possible just a few short months ago, but I knew in my heart it would work out.

ABBY: I was just thinking the same thing, Great-gram! I knew if I just wished hard enough, they would get back together... Now I just have to wish for Daddy to get better, and he will!

JACK and JENNIFER look at ABBY, then at each other, and smile, trying not to let their sadness show.

JENNIFER: (looking at JACK) Yeah, baby... I think there's a lot of magic left in those wishes...

OUT on JACK kissing ABBY'S forehead.

END EPISODE 21

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