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In This Life

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EPISODE 27

SCENE 1

INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON (SAME DAY AS EPISODE 26)

JACK and JENNIFER have come home from the hospital, still in shock, but overjoyed, over the news that JACK'S leukemia has gone into remission. JACK in particular still finds everything hard to believe, as if he can't possibly be so lucky as to receive this miracle.

They collapse onto the couch. JACK puts his arm around JENNIFER and kisses the top of her head. They are both quiet for a while, just trying to let the last few hours sink in.

JACK: So you heard it too, right?

JENNIFER: (confused) Heard what?

JACK: Him. Dr. Patrick saying that I am in remission--you heard that too, right?

JENNIFER: Yes, Jack, I heard it. (raises her head and smiles at him) I heard it, and I have never been so happy to hear anything in my entire life.

JACK: There is no better sounding word in the English language than remission, is there?

JENNIFER: (giggling) No, there isn't.

JACK: (sighs, kisses the top of her head again) I just... wanted to make certain that I didn't just make this all up... I didn't just conjure this all up, did I? I mean I do have quite an elaborate imagination...

JENNIFER: That you do. But no, this is real. (emotional) This is all real. You're all better, and we're getting married, and we're here in Salem where we belong, and we're about to celebrate Christmas with the ones we love-

JACK: Quite a change of fortune, I'd say. I mean, whoever would have thought that all of this would be happening to us right now?

JENNIFER: (matter-of-factly) I did.

JACK: (arches his eyebrow) You did?

JENNIFER: Mmm hmm. (smiles) Don't look at me like that, I did! You always said I was a hopeless dreamer, didn't you?

JACK: I said a hopeless romantic. But yes, you do have quite a number of often amusing delusions of grandeur-

JENNIFER: Oh and I suppose I'm the only one in this family who has those?

JACK: Well, the child has the occasional one too.

JENNIFER: Uh huh... And her father?

JACK: (triumphant grin) Her father has his feet firmly planted on the ground at all times.

JENNIFER rolls her eyes and grins.

JACK: I saw that.

JENNIFER: (laughs, playfully grabs his chin so they are face to face) Well, I don't care if you don't believe me, Jack, but I did envision all of this. I really did. (beat) I just knew in my heart things would work out for us somehow.

JACK looks at her lovingly and brushes the hair away from her forehead.

JACK: (softly) Yeah, you always do, don't you?

JENNIFER: It comes with the territory of being stubborn.

JACK: And pig-headed.

JENNIFER: And persistent. (touches his face) I think you have to be when you love someone.

JACK: Quite right...

He caresses her cheek and they kiss tenderly. JACK suddenly comes up with an idea and when they pull apart, he gives her a mysterious grin.

JENNIFER: (wiping her lipstick away from his lips, notices his smile) Hmm, I know that look.

JACK: (playing innocent) Look? What look?

JENNIFER: That "I've got something up my sleeve" look. Care to share?

JACK: Well, now if I did, then my sleeves would be empty, wouldn't they? (kisses her nose, then gets up) You'll just have to wait to find out what this brilliant mind has come up with.

He gently pulls her off the couch.

JENNIFER: Wait a minute, that's not fair--you can't leave me hanging like that!

JACK: And we can't leave our daughter hanging, either. (taps his watch) It's time to pick her up from school.

JENNIFER: Oh my gosh, you're right! We better get going- (notices he's not following) Aren't you coming with me to pick her up?

JACK: (grinning) Uh... no. I've got something up my sleeve, remember?

JENNIFER: (amused) Oh right, I forgot.

JACK: So, you go and get the child, and come back here, and you both will have a surprise waiting for you.

JENNIFER: Jack, you just recovered from pneumonia--promise me you're not going to overdo it with this surprise?

JACK: (kisses her forehead) Not to worry. I've got Vern to do all the manual labor-

JENNIFER: Jack! What do you mean manual labor-

JACK: (opening the door for her and guiding her out) Say good-bye, Mrs. D.

JENNIFER: Good-bye, Mrs. D.

JACK: (smiling) Try not to miss me too much. (closes the door)

OUT on JENNIFER'S curious smile.


SCENE 2

EXT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S DRIVEWAY - LATER

JENNIFER has picked up ABBY, who has a million questions about what JACK'S surprise is.

ABBY: (as she and JENNIFER are walking up to the door) It's a puppy, isn't it?? I'm getting a puppy!

JENNIFER: (panicking) Uh... I-I don't think so, baby... (to herself) That better not be it, Jack.

ABBY: Are we going on a trip somewhere? (excitedly) To Disneyland?

JENNIFER: (laughs) Well, somehow I don't think it's that either. But with Daddy, one never knows.

ABBY thinks for a minute, then lights up, thinking she's guessed it.

ABBY: I know! Am I going to get a baby brother? Is that it, Mommy?

JENNIFER is caught off-guard by the comment, and bends down to ABBY'S eye level and gives her a smile.

JENNIFER: Sweetie, I know for sure that's not it.

ABBY is disappointed. JENNIFER tucks ABBY'S hair behind her ear, then tilts her chin up so she's looking at JENNIFER again.

JENNIFER: You know what, though? It may not be that this time around, but who knows in the future?

ABBY: Really, Mommy? You mean I could still get a baby brother?

JENNIFER: (smiles) Maybe. If you wish for it, it might come true.

ABBY: I wished that Daddy could get all better--I'd rather have that one come true first.

JENNIFER is touched by ABBY'S words and is tempted to give her the good news, but wants ABBY to find out from both her and JACK.

JENNIFER: (taking ABBY'S hand and opening the front door) Come on, let's go find out what Daddy's surprise is, huh?

ABBY: Yeah! (runs inside and throws her coat off) Daddy? Daddy?

JENNIFER: Jack, are you here? (to ABBY) I wonder where he is? He said to meet him here-

She looks around and sees a note on the coffee table.

INSERT - THE NOTE

BACK TO SCENE

JENNIFER: The lake?

ABBY: What's it say, Mommy?

JENNIFER: (turning to ABBY) Well, short stuff, let's go get your coat on because we're going outside again. (looks at the note again) Daddy's going to surprise us, all right.

She touches the note to her lips and smiles.


SCENE 3

EXT. THE LAKE - LATER

JENNIFER and ABBY have arrived at the lake, but do not see JACK anywhere. Now JENNIFER is more curious than ever to find out what he is up to.

JENNIFER: Hmm... No sign of Daddy anywhere, huh?

ABBY: Nope.

JENNIFER: (to herself) All right, Jack, what's our next clue?

ABBY: (tugs on JENNIFER'S hand) Look, Mommy! (points to the bench) Over there, there's something stuck to the bench!

JENNIFER: (walking over with ABBY) There sure is...

She sees another note taped to the bench. She takes it and opens it up.

JENNIFER: Let's see what we've got here...

INSERT - THE NOTE

BACK TO SCENE

JENNIFER: (smiles, then turns to her left and sees the bridge) Well, what do you know? That wasn't there seven years ago...

ABBY: What do we do now, Mommy?

JENNIFER: We do just what Daddy said, baby. We go meet him across the bridge...

OUT on JENNIFER and ABBY walking towards the bridge.


SCENE 4

JENNIFER and ABBY have followed JACK'S clues and crossed the bridge, and JENNIFER is surprised to see that the bridge leads them to the island where she and JACK have decided to have their wedding.

JENNIFER: (to herself) I can't believe it...

ABBY: Where are we, Mommy? This is really pretty.

JACK: (coming up behind them) You, my precious little miss, are in a very special place...

JENNIFER and ABBY turn around.

ABBY: Daddy!! (runs into his open arms) Is this our surprise?

JACK: It sure is. (looks up at JENNIFER and smiles, then looks back at ABBY) You're not disappointed, are you?

ABBY: (teasing) Well, I was hoping for a puppy...

JACK: (playing along) Ooh, my psychic powers must be on the fritz--I thought you wanted an island, not a puppy...

ABBY giggles.

JACK smiles at JENNIFER, who is watching him and ABBY. JACK takes ABBY'S hand and leads her and JENNIFER up a pathway.

JENNIFER smiles in delight when she sees what JACK has done: he has laid out boxes of Chinese food by three large rocks, and nearby are the two snow people, Herman and Hermione.

JENNIFER: Jack! You-

JACK: All right, before you give me full credit for all of this, I should fess up and say I did have a little help in putting this together. Vern helped me with bringing our old friends to life, and well, the food is courtesy of Grand Fortune Take-Out. (smiles) I did make sure to put in a double order of pot stickers, of course--one each for you and the child.

JENNIFER: (walks up to him) I... I can't believe you did all of this...

JACK: Well, I wanted the setting to be appropriate. (looks at ABBY) This is a day I always want you to remember.

ABBY: Why, Daddy?

JACK: (goes over to her, then crouches down to her level) This is my way of thanking you, sweetheart.

ABBY: For what?

JACK: For all those wishes that you made. (looks at JENNIFER, then back at ABBY) They came true, kiddo.

ABBY: (excited) You mean you're all better? You don't have leuk... leuk...

JACK: (smiles) I don't have leukemia anymore.

ABBY: Oh, Daddy, this is the best Christmas present ever!! (throws her arms around him)

JACK holds her tightly and closes his eyes for a second, savoring this moment.

OUT on the happy family.


SCENE 5

JACK, JENNIFER, and ABBY are just about done eating. ABBY is eating the last pot sticker, then licks her fingers. JACK and JENNIFER laugh as they watch her.

ABBY: I love eating outside. We should do this more often!

JENNIFER: You know what? That's not such a bad idea. We can make this a tradition, the three of us.

ABBY: Or the four of us?

JACK gives JENNIFER a look of bewilderment and mouths, the four of us?

JENNIFER: (whispering) I'll fill you in later...

ABBY: (looking around) It's going to be so pretty here when you get married. I don't even care if it's cold, it's still going to be the best wedding in the world!

JACK: Right you are, Abigail. (gently pulls her up) Come here, I want to show you something.

JENNIFER smiles, knowing what JACK is about to show ABBY, and follows them.

JACK: (pointing to the tree where he carved their initials a long time ago) See this?

ABBY: Uh huh...

JACK: This is a lover's tree. See, it's got names of all these couples that came over here and wanted the world to know just how much they loved each other. (pointing to the initials) There's your Uncle Steve and Aunt Kayla, and your Uncle Mike and his girlfriend, and Aunt Adrienne and Uncle Justin...

ABBY: (seeing their initials) And you and Mommy!!

JACK: (smiles) That's right, me and Mommy.

JENNIFER: And you know what, baby? Someday you're going to have your initials on that tree too. When you're old enough, and you find your prince, just like I found Daddy.

JACK: (looks at JENNIFER and grimaces) This of course won't be for another fifty or sixty years.

JENNIFER swats JACK on the arm.

JACK looks back at ABBY, who is fascinated and exploring all the other initials that have been carved. He reaches into his pocket and fishes out his Swiss Army Knife.

JACK: I tell you what--I'm going to make an amendment to our initials, what do you say?

ABBY: Sure!!

MUSICAL MONTAGE - BRYAN ADAMS' "I'LL ALWAYS BE RIGHT HERE" IS PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND

JACK carves ABBY'S initials beside his and JENNIFER'S, then pulls ABBY towards him and gives her a kiss. JENNIFER joins them and they hold each other as the song plays.

I swear to you
I will always be there for you
There's nothin' I won't do
I promise you
All my life I will live for you
We will make it through

Forever we will be
Together
You and me
Ooh when I hold you
Nothing can compare
With all of my heart
You know I'll always be
Right there

I believe in us
Nothin' else could ever mean so much
You're the one I trust
Our time has come
We're not two people now
We are one
Yeah, you're second to none

Forever we will be
Together
A family
The more I get to know you
Nothin' can compare
With all of my heart
You know I'll always be
Right there

Forever we will be
Together
Just you and me
The more I get to know you
The more I really care
With all of my heart
You know I'll always be
You know I really love you
Nothin' can compare
With all of my heart
You know I'll always be
Right there

FADE TO BLACK.

END EPISODE 27

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