KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
SCENE 1: IT IS THE NEXT MORNING. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE WAKING UP IN THEIR HOTEL ROOM AND PREPARING FOR THEIR FIRST FULL DAY OF ADVENTURE.
JENNIFER: (SITTING UP AND LOOKING AT JACK, WHO APPEARS TO BE ASLEEP STILL) Good morning, Mr. D. (GOING AND OPENING THE SHADES SO THAT THE SUN POURS IN ON THEM) Rise and shine.
JACK: (OPENING HIS EYES AND THEN SQUEEZING THEM SHUT AT THE SUN) Morning, Mrs. D, um, Miss H.
JENNIFER: (TURNING TOWARDS HIM AND SMILING AT HIS SLIP-UP) Did you sleep well?
JACK: (SMILING WITH HIS EYES STILL CLOSED) I was sleeping well.
JENNIFER: I just wanted to say thank you for the story last night.
JACK: (OPENING ONE EYE) For my story? Oh, the story. How much of it did you actually hear? You seemed to be pretty much gone by the time I got to the (WEAKLY) climax.
JENNIFER: (SMILING AT HIS DOUBLE ENTENDRE) Jack, I could never sleep through your climaxes. I heard enough. (SHE GETS UP AND GOES OVER TO THE DRESSER AND PULLS OUT HER TOOTHBRUSH AND OTHER NECESSITIES)
JACK: (SITTING UP IN BED AND LOOKING AT HER CURIOUSLY) Hehehehe. Enough?
JENNIFER: Enough, Jack. (SHE CARRIES HER ITEMS INTO THE BATHROOM SMILING)
JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Enough? (HE GETS UP AND GOES TO THE BATHROOM DOOR) What do you mean by (HE HEARS THE SHOWER TURN ON AND HE TURNS AWAY) enough? (THE SCENE ENDS WITH JACK WONDERING WHAT EXACTLY JENNIFER HEARD AND IF IT MEANT ANYTHING TO HER AT ALL)
SCENE 2: JACK IS MAKING HIS BED WHEN JENNIFER WALKS OUT OF THE BATHROOM IN A TOWEL.
JENNIFER: (WALKING OUT OF THE BATHROOM, WET) I was thinking that maybe today we'd go (NOTICING JACK'S LOOK) What?
JACK: (NERVOUS, BUSYING HIMSELF BY FLUFFING THE PILLOWS AND LOOKING DOWN) Um, nothing. It's just that you...you seemed to have forgotten to put on your clothes.
JENNIFER: (SMILING AT HIS REACTION) I came out to get some, Jack. (NOTICING SOME FOOD ON A SMALL TABLE) What's this?
JACK: (LOOKING AT THE FOOD) Oh, well, your cousins decided it would be apropos to feed us this glorious morning. More potatoes, you will see.
JENNIFER: (PICKING UP A CROISSANT AND PINCHING OFF A LITTLE TO EAT) Jack, have you tried this? It's fantastic. (SHE PINCHES OFF A LITTLE MORE AND MOVES TOWARDS HIM)
JACK: (STEPPING BACK) No, thank you. Just my morning coffee. (HE RUBS HIS BELLY) I do have to watch my girlish figure.
JENNIFER: (STEPPING TOWARDS HIM MORE) Come on, Jack. Just a bite.
JACK: (STEPPING BACKWARDS AWAY FROM HER. HE IS NERVOUS) I really am not hungry. (HE REALIZES THAT HE IS AGAINST THE WALL) You, however, are probably famished. (HE RUNS AROUND HIS BED AND IS NOW STANDING BETWEEN THE BEDS) You should probably hold onto that in case Ho and Bope-Bo and Hope-forget to feed us later.
JENNIFER: (CRAWLING ONTO THE BED TOWARDS HIM) I don't think they'd do that.
JACK: (STEPPING ON THE BED AND RUNNING ACROSS IT TO THE OTHER SIDE) Forgive me for doubting you, but you've been wrong on more than one occasion. Why don't you finish your breakfast like a nice little girl and
JENNIFER: (CRAWLING BACK TOWARDS HIM) And what, Jack?
JACK: And...and...(LOOKING AROUND FOR A WAY OUT. FINALLY HE JUMPS ON THE BED AND BEGINS TO RUN TO THE OTHER SIDE)
JENNIFER: Oh no you don't, Jack Deveraux (SHE GRABS HIS LEG AND PULLS HIM DOWN) You are going to try this.
JACK: (TRYING TO GET UP ONLY TO BE PULLED DOWN AGAIN BY JENNIFER) Jennifer...Jennifer...
(JENNIFER FINALLY PINS HIM AND CRAWLS ON TOP OF HIM)
JENNIFER: What, Jack?
JACK: (LOOKING AT THE ROLL) Do you have any butter for that?
(JENNIFER STUFFS THE ROLL INTO JACK'S MOUTH AND SMILES)
JENNIFER AND JACK ARE SITTING ON THE BED AGAINST THE HEADBOARD AND ARE ENJOYING THEMSELVES. JENNIFER IS FEEDING JACK THE CROISSANT.
JENNIFER: You know what this reminds me of, Jack?
JACK: (PINCHING OFF SOME OF THE CROISSANT HIMSELF) It kind of reminds me of a crepe...light and buttery, but not...
JENNIFER: Not the croissant, Jack. The way we're eating it. It reminds me of when we lived across from Jo.
JACK: (SMILING. KNOWING WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT BUT NOT LETTING ON) The rat trap, you mean?
JENNIFER: It wasn't that bad, Jack.
JACK: Yes, the roaches did enjoy our company (HE POPS A BITE INTO HIS MOUTH)
JENNIFER: No, Jack, when we'd eat stale muffins that we pinched.
JACK: (SMILING SLIGHTLY) How could I forget? My favorite dessert. It ranked right up there with your meatloaf.
JENNIFER: (PULLING A FACE) You didn't like my meatloaf?
JACK: Well, Jennifer, cooking was never your strong suit.
JENNIFER: (MOVING IN CLOSER TO HIM) Than what was, Jack?
JACK: (SMILING NERVOUSLY) What was?
JENNIFER: (MOVING IN CLOSER AND SMILING) What was I good at, Jack?
JACK: Well, I could think of one thing...(HE BRUSHES HER FACE WITH HIS HAND AND THEN MOVES IN TO KISS HER)
(SUDDENLY THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR)
JACK AND JENNIFER HAVE JUST MOVED IN FOR THEIR FIRST KISS IN MONTHS WHEN THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: (TURNING AROUND AND LOOKING AT THE DOOR) Did you call the front desk?
JACK: (ANNOYED THAT HE WAS THAT CLOSE TO KISSING HER) No. (HE CUPS HER FACE AND TURNS IT TOWARDS HIS) Ignore it.
JENNIFER: (WHISPERING) Jack, what if it's Bo and Hope?
JACK: (MATCHING HER WHISPER AND LOOKING AT HER WITH DEEP LOVE IN HIS EYES) It's probably just the maid and although we desperately need her services, she can come back. It's not Bo and Hope. (THEY MOVE IN AND ARE ABOUT TO KISS)
(FROM OUTSIDE THE DOOR THERE IS ANOTHER LOUD KNOCK)
BO: Jack. Jennifer. Are you in there? It's Bo!
HOPE: And Hope!
(JENNIFER JUMPS UP AND JACK LOOKS AT THE DOOR VEHEMENTLY)
JACK: (STANDING UP AND HANDING JENNIFER HIS ROBE) You get the door. I'll get the shower. (HE WALKS TO THE BATHROOM AND THEN TURNS AROUND AND LOOKS AT HER LOVINGLY FOR A MOMENT) Jennifer, I...
JENNIFER: (TOUCHING HER LIPS THINKING ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED) Jack...
(THEY BOTH GIGGLE AND BO AND HOPE KNOCK LOUDER)
JACK: (GLANCING AT THE DOOR) You better get the door.
JENNIFER: (NOT WANTING THIS MOMENT TO END) Yeah, I better. (SHE WALKS TO THE DOOR AND OPENS IT TO FIND BO AND HOPE ABOUT TO WALK AWAY)
BO: (TURNING AROUND TO LOOK AT JENNIFER) We were about to start looking for you two. (HE WALKS IN THE ROOM)
HOPE: (FOLLOWING BO AND TURNING TO JENNIFER) Yeah, what took you so long getting the door?
JENNIFER: (SHUTTING THE DOOR AND LOOKING FORLORNLY AT THE BATHROOM DOOR WHICH IS CLOSED) Nothing. I guess I didn't hear you, that's all.
(THE SCENE ENDS WITH BO AND HOPE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER WONDERING WHY SHE IS ACTING SO STRANGELY)
SCENE 5: LET THE GAMES BEGIN.
JACK IS NOW OUT OF THE BATHROOM AND DRESSED VERY CASUALLY. HIS HAIR IS STILL WET AND SLICKED BACK. BO AND HOPE ARE WAITING FOR JACK AND JENNIFER IN THE LOBBY. JENNIFER IS GETTING DRESSED IN THE BATHROOM.
JACK: (PACKING UP THE LAST OF HIS LUGGAGE WHEN JENNIFER COMES OUT OF THE BATHROOM) Your cousins decided to wait for us downstairs.
JENNIFER: (NERVOUS BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON BETWEEN HER AND JACK) Oh, okay (SHE GOES TO HER SUITCASE AND BEGINS PACKING).
JACK: (LOOKING UP AT HER STRANGELY. TRYING TO MAKE SMALLTALK) You know those two are quite the PDA supporters.
JENNIFER: (STOPPING WHAT SHE IS DOING TO LOOK AT HIM) What, Jack?
JACK: PDA's...Public Displays of Affection...all that lovey-dovey stuff.
JENNIFER: (PACKING AGAIN) I think it's sweet, Jack.
JACK: (WONDERING WHY SHE IS ACTING SO WEIRDLY) Sweet, eh?
JENNIFER: Yeah, Jack, sweet. They enjoy telling the whole world how much they love each other.
JACK: By petting each other like hormonally challenged teenagers?
JENNIFER: (TURNING AROUND AND LOOKING AT HIM) You don't get it, do you?
JACK: Get what? I just am not fond of putting on a show for others. Some stuff should be saved for the privacy of one's home.
JENNIFER: (SHAKING HER HEAD) Jack, why do I try?
JACK: Try what? Jennifer, you've got to give me something to go by here. One minute, you're fine, wanting to move to the next level... feeding me pastry and the next moment you're biting my head off for a comment I made...
JENNIFER: Welcome to my world, Jack. You try living with you. (SHE GOES BACK TO PACKING)
JACK: (CONFUSED) Living with me? Jennifer, I am not the bad guy here.
(JENNIFER IGNORES HIM AND CONTINUES PACKING HER CLOTHES)
Jennifer? Jennifer, will you listen to me?
(JENNIFER HUMS LOUDLY)
Dammit! (HE WALKS OVER TO HER AND GRABS HER ARM)
JENNIFER: (DROPPING HER CLOTHES AND LOOKING AT HIM WIDE-EYED) Jack, what are you doing?
JACK: I'm doing something I should have done a long time ago. Telling...no, asking...no, demanding to know what exactly I did to make you so angry at me. What's with your attitude? You're hot, you're cold...
JENNIFER: (TAKING JACK'S HAND OFF HER ARM) I'm done, Jack.
JACK: (TAKING A SECOND TO ABSORB IT ALL) Done?
JENNIFER: (ON THE BRINK OF TEARS) Done, Jack. Done trying to make this work. I can't live with you making me feel this way. You drive me crazy...
JACK: (SADLY) I thought you liked when I drove you crazy, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Liked, Jack. (SHE GOES BACK TO PACKING) I can't Jack.
(THE SCENE ENDS WITH JACK LOOKING AT JENNIFER WITH A LOOK OF COMPLETE DEVESTATION. HE NEVER AVERTS HIS GAZE FROM HER)
SCENE 6: CAN'T = WON'T
JACK: (STILL STARING AT HER AS SHE PACKS) You can't? No, I think you mean you won't.
JENNIFER: (STILL NOT FACING HIM) Just go, Jack.
JENNIFER: (TURNING AROUND AND FACING HIM) No?
JACK: (STANDING HIS GROUND) You heard me...no. I am not going anywhere till you tell me that you won't.
JENNIFER: I won't what, Jack? I won't make myself want to wait around for you, I won't make myself want to cry when you are gone for months at a time or when you miss a birthday or anniversary? No, Jack, it's not a matter of won't. It's a matter of can't. I cannot do this...this "Last Tango in Salem" or Africa, or Ireland with you anymore...I can't.
JACK: I was gone for the family. For you and Abigail. How many times do I have-
JENNIFER: Business before pleasure, Jack.
JACK: (STARTING TO LOSE IT) The business was important to us...it was necessary for our pleasure.
JENNIFER: (ANGRY. RAISING HER VOICE) I don't consider being ripped from my husband for months at a time pleasure, Jack. Neither did our daughter.
JACK: Jennifer, it was for the ISA. I didn't want to do it.
JENNIFER: But you did, Jack. Just like you had your reasons in the past. When you left me during that whole Hawk situation, when you ran away to Italy when we were getting close, when you left because of Abby being sick, when you sent me to New York.
JACK: Wait a minute, you went to New York.
JENNIFER: On your insistence, Jack. You didn't have to take this job for the ISA. You could've said no.
JACK: I had my reasons. Can't you just trust me on this, Jennifer? I did this for you and Abigail.
JENNIFER: Did you really, Jack? Was there money involved?
(JACK LOOKS DEJECTED)
Nevermind. Don't answer that. I already know the answer. Jack, can't you see? I can't do this anymore.
JACK: You knew this when you married me, Jennifer. I don't come with any warranty. I deal from the bottom of the-
JENNIFER: --Deck, Jack. I know. For that I'm wrong...for believing that I could be enough for you...that our daughter and our house and our modest little livings would be enough...Jack, it's not the physicality of you being gone, although it has a lot to do with it. You are not there for me emotionally...
JACK: Then I'll change, I'll talk to you, I'll listen. Jennifer, just tell me what I can do...
JENNIFER: (SITTING DOWN ON THE BED AND BEGINNING TO CRY) Nothing, Jack. You can't do anything.
JACK: (STUNNED THAT IT MIGHT REALLY BE OVER) There's got to be something. We always find a way...
JENNIFER: Found a way, Jack...found a way. My heart can't take it Jack.
(JACK JUST LOOKS AT HER)
SCENE 7: YOUR HEART AND YOUR MIND
(SEEING HOW UPSET JENNIFER IS JACK MOVES IN TO HOLD HER)
JENNIFER: (UNABLE TO LOOK AT HIM) Don't, Jack.
JACK: (PULLING BACK AND STANDING UP) I'm...I'm sorry (NERVOUSLY BRUSHING HIS HAIR WITH HIS HANDS).
JENNIFER: Go down to the lobby, Jack. Tell Bo and Hope I'll be down in a minute.
JENNIFER: (NOT LOOKING AT HIM) Go, Jack...just go.
JACK: Fine. (HE SLOWLY GETS HIS BAGS TOGETHER ALL SNEAKS LOOKS OF CONCERN AT JENNIFER WHILE DOING SO. HE WALKS TO THE DOOR AND THEN STOPS AND TURNS BACK SPEAKING QUIETLY AND FULL OF EMOTION) For what it's worth, Jennifer, I think you're a liar.
JENNIFER: (LOOKING UP AT HIM WITH TEARS IN HER EYES) What?
JACK: (THICK WITH EMOTION) A liar. (BEAT) You see, the Jennifer Deveraux, the Jennifer Horton, I knew doesn't know the meaning of the word "can't". She was "can't's" antithesis. She walked into my office some twelve years ago and taught me everything that she knew. I taught her journalism. She taught me life. I thank her for that. I wonder where she is sometimes. I see flashes of her now and then...when she's reading to Abigail, or laughing with her cousin. Hell, I even see it sometimes when she's with me. Not very often, though. You can lie to your family, Jennifer. You can lie to your friends. But you cannot lie to yourself or to me, for that matter. You can't try? You won't. Your heart says that you can't take it anymore? No, it's your head.
(JENNIFER LOOKS AT HIM SADLY)
The Jennifer Horton I knew and loved never listened to her head. If she did, there would have never been a Jack and Jennifer Deveraux. No, she took everything that was in her head and disregarded it. Her heart was her compass. She threw caution to the wind and gave into her feelings, no matter how loudly the voice in her head was yelling. You lost yourself somewhere, Jennifer. I may have aided and abetted the loss by being gone but I did not cause it. I just hope that you find yourself before it's too late. Not for me, but for yourself. Use your heart, not your head. Don't won't or can't. Will and can. That's what you would do.
(HE OPENS THE DOOR AND THEN STEPS BACK INTO THE ROOM AND LOOKS HER DEAD IN THE EYE) Oh, and Jennifer? I said it once and I'll say it again...search the world over and you'll never find anyone who compares to us. No one will ever, ever love you the way I love you. No one.
(HE CLOSES THE DOOR AND LOOKS BACK AT IT SADLY. HE DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE HER. HE GOES TO KNOCK, BUT THEN DECIDES TO LEAVE. INSIDE, JENNIFER BREAKS DOWN ON THE BED AND CRIES INTO HER PILLOW. SHE KNOWS THAT JACK WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND ABOUT COLIN AND DOESN'T WANT TO HURT HIM OR HERSELF ANY LONGER. SHE KNOWS THAT EVERYTHING HE SAID WAS TRUE AND DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT IT CAN BE FIXED)
(A MUSICAL MONTAGE TAKES PLACE WITH ALL THE RESIDENTS OF SALEM AND THEIR LOVED ONES. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE FEATURED)
(JENNIFER IS SEEN TRYING TO PACK BETWEEN TEARS AND THEN DROPPING JACK'S LETTER OUT OF HER LUGGAGE. SHE LOOKS AT IT AND CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IT IS STILL THERE FROM MONTHS AGO. SHE WONDERS IF SHE SHOULD READ IT)
Painting picture perfect maps of how my life and love would be
Not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection
My compass, faith in love's perfection
I missed ten million miles of road I should have seen
Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together
Left each other one by one in search of fairer weather
And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast
To the slim chance of love's recovery.
Rain soaked and voice choked like silent screaming in a dream
(JACK IS SEEN IN THE ELEVATOR AT THE HOTEL BY HIMSELF WANTING TO CRY. HE FINALLY STOPS THE ELEVATOR AND BEGINS TO WEEP. JENNIFER'S REJECTION IS JUST TOO MUCH FOR HIM AND HE CANNOT BELIEVE THAT HE JUST LAYED HIS HEART ON THE LINE TO NO AVAIL)
I search for our absolute distinction
Not content to bow and bend
To the whims of culture that swoop like vultures
Eating us away, eating us away
Eating us away to our extinction
Oh how I wish I were a trinity, so if I lost a part of me
I'd still have two of the same to live
But nobody gets a lifetime rehearsal, as specks of dust we're
To let this love survive would be the greatest gift we could give
Tell all the friends who think they're so together
That these are ghosts and mirages, these thoughts of fairer weather
Though it's storming out I feel safe within the arms of love's
(THE LAST SHOT IS OF JACK IN THE LOBBY WITH BO AND HOPE AND JENNIFER COMING OFF THE ELEVATOR. THEY LOOK IN EACH OTHER'S EYES BRIEFLY AND THEN LOOK AT BO AND HOPE WHO ARE KISSING. THEY DO NOT SPEAK.)
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