KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
SCENE 1: INT. HOTEL ROOM
JENNIFER sits down on the bed and sighs. She buries her head in her hands. COLIN walks over and sits down and rubs her back.
COLIN: (WANTING HER TO FORGET ABOUT JACK, BUT COVERING) There, there. He can't be very far.
JENNIFER: (NOT LOOKING UP) You don't know Jack.
COLIN: I know enough that he wouldn't leave not knowing what went on.
JENNIFER: (LOOKING UP WITH TEARS STREAMING DOWN HER FACE) Do you even know Jack? This is the same man who left me on countless occasions-anytime he thought that I'd be better off without him. (SHE GETS UP) I've got to find him. I've got to find him.
COLIN: (WATCHING HER) Jennifer Rose, maybe that's not such a good idea.
OUT on JENNIFER'S curiosity at COLIN'S suggestion.
SCENE 2: EXT. HOTEL GARDEN
JACK, HARPER, and DUKE are all leaning over the stream. HARPER and DUKE are wearing 3D glasses. JACK glances nervously at them and DUKE hands him some popcorn.
JACK: (LOOKING ODDLY AT THE POPCORN AND THEN NARROWING HIS EYES TO LOOK INTO THE STREAM) So what exactly am I supposed to be looking for anyway? (NERVOUS LAUGHTER) Is this supposed to be wide-screen format or what?
HARPER: (CONTINUING TO LOOK INTO THE STREAM) Give it a moment, son. Give it a moment.
JACK looks into the stream and after a moment is in shock of what he's seeing.
SCENE 3: INT. HOTEL ROOM
COLIN has just told JENNIFER that it might not be a good idea to look for JACK.
JENNIFER: What do you mean, Colin? I shouldn't go looking for Jack?
COLIN: I didn't say that.
JENNIFER: You just said that it might not be a good idea.
COLIN: (GETTING UP) Exactly. It might not be a good idea.
JENNIFER: I don't like lying, Colin.
COLIN: (PLAYING HER GUILT) Then why did you do it, Jennifer Rose? Why didn't you tell him about us from the start?
JENNIFER: (AT A LOSS FOR WORDS) Because...because-
COLIN: Because you knew he wouldn't understand, Jennifer. What makes you think he'll understand now?
OUT on JENNIFER'S confusion.
SCENE 4: EXT. HOTEL GARDEN
IN on JACK who is amazed at what he's seeing in the stream.
JACK: (SHOCKED) I don't believe it. It's-It's Jennifer and
DUKE: Don't be so surprised, Billy-boy. It's Jennifer and you, ain't it? Working side by side at that rag you ran-what was it, Harp, The Chronicle? The Sentinel?
JACK: (PULLING A FACE AT THE MENTION OF THESE RIVAL NEWSPAPERS. WISTFULLY.) The Spectator.
HARPER: Ah, the Spectator. It meant a lot to you, didn't it? After all, it is the place you and the fair damsel began your relationship, where you fell in love. Only it wasn't like that, was it, son? It was a lot more complicated than that. You do remember it, don't you, Jack?
JACK: (WISTFULLY) Like it was yesterday.
In the background, JACK and JENNIFER'S signature sweet leifmotif begins to play.
CUT to a series of flashbacks that fade into one another.
FLASHBACK #1: INT. SPECTATOR
JACK is sitting at JENNIFER'S desk reading what is on her computer screen.
JACK: Wait a minute. What have we here? (BEAT) This is interesting. "Frankie gone, Emilio gone, love stinks."
JENNIFER: Jack what are you doing?
JACK: Oh ah....just looking for a blue pencil....somewhere.
JENNIFER: There's a blue pencil here.
JACK: Oh thank you.
JENNIFER deletes the words from her screen.
JENNIFER: Is there anything else that you wanted?
JACK: Yes. What do you want?
JENNIFER: What do I want?
JACK: Out of life. The big "L." What do you want to be when you grow up?
JENNIFER: And what do you want to be when you grow up?
JACK: Touché. I always knew you had it. The barbed wit and the poisoned pen of a budding journalist. Now all you need is something to do with it. That's where I come in. Have I got an assignment for you.
FLASHBACK #2: INT. SPECTATOR, JACK'S OFFICE
JACK: There's nothing stupid about wanting to have the right person in your life.
JENNIFER: Where do you find them?
JACK: Well I....I don't think you really find them. I think the important thing is to find yourself and then....er....once you've become the right person, the right person will find you.
JENNIFER: (SMILING AT JACK. SHE DEFINITELY REALIZES THAT THERE IS MORE TO HIM THAN HE LETS PEOPLE THINK) Jack Deveraux, if you keep this up, you're going to spoil your image.
JACK: (SMILING BACK AT HER) Oh, we wouldn't want that to happen
JENNIFER: (SMILING IN RETURN) No we wouldn't, would we?
FLASHBACK #3: INT. SPECTATOR. JACK'S OFFICE
JENNIFER: Why did you do this in the first place, uh? Why did you go to so much trouble to keep me on this paper?
JACK: Well maybe I didn't do it for you.
JENNIFER: Oh really Jack. Okay who did you do it for?
JACK: (DODGING THE TRUTH AS USUAL.) Who do you think? I did it for me. I put a lot of work into training you and I want to see a return on all that training.
JENNIFER: Oh come on Jack. I think you can come up with something a little better than that, don't you?
JACK: (MAKING UP ANOTHER PHONEY EXCUSE.) You're right, I can. I just made a whole lot of money and I saved a lot too. You see that donation to the school was nothing. It was a write-off and it was a whole helluva lot cheaper than having to pay an experienced reporter to do what you're already doing. So I think that this little business venture turned out to be pretty profitable, don't you?
JENNIFER: (MOMENTARILY BELIEVING HIS EXCUSE AND DISAPPOINTED) Really?
JACK: Really. (BEAT) I'm very sorry Jennifer that it had to turn out this way....
JENNIFER: (SHE IS ON TO JACK.) NO, NO! No, you're doing this again Jack. You see that. You know you're really impressing me on what a liar you are because I don't believe a word that you're saying. I don't believe one word.
JACK: Fine. Believe whatever you want to believe.
FLASHBACK #4: INT. SPECTATOR. JACK'S OFFICE
JENNIFER: No Jack. Look I know all about Emilio's past but that's exactly what it is. It's his past.
JACK: Oh no.
JENNIFER: The same way you want your past left behind.
JACK: Look, my past has nothing to do with it.
JENNIFER: Look at least I can depend on Emilio. At least he's consistent from day to day and he doesn't pass instant judgment on anybody either.
JACK: As opposed to whom?
JENNIFER: Oh, take a guess Jack. Don't strain yourself.
JACK: I'm not finished with you.
JENNIFER: Well I'm finished with you Jack. (SHE SLAMS THE DOOR ON HER WAY OUT)
CUT to PRESENT DAY: DUKE'S VOICE
DUKE: (V.O.) Of course, she was wrong...Try as she may, she couldn't finish things with you. Nope, she was a trooper. She was determined to find something good about you. In fact, she likened it to somethin' once, what was it-wasn't it a...a--
JACK: (V.O. WISTFUL) A nugget...a nugget of gold--
FLASHBACK #5-THE LOFT-JENNIFER HAS JUST ACCUSED JACK OF CARING FOR STEVE AND WANTING TO HELP HIM
JACK: (GETTING EMBARRASSED BY THE TRUTH OF HIS FEELINGS) Okay, wait a minute, wait a minute, Miss Let's-Get-The Story- Clear. I hate him and he hates me. End of story.
JENNIFER: But inside Jack! Inside Jack, you both (SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT WORD)....you both hurt. Yes! There is a little bit of good in you Jack.
JACK: (GROANING) Oh....oh....
JENNIFER: Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh. It may be hidden, a lot of the time. But deep down inside under that black rock you've got for a heart, there's a little nugget. Yes! A nugget! A nugget of gold Jack. And someday you are going to mine it!
JACK: (GROANING) Death by metaphor!
CUT to PRESENT DAY
SCENE 5: INT. HOTEL ROOM
COLIN has just asked JENNIFER why she thinks JACK would understand the truth now.
JENNIFER: (AVOIDING COLIN'S GAZE AND WALKING OVER TO THE WINDOW TO LOOK OUT. QUIETLY) I'm not.
COLIN: (COCKING AN EYEBROW UP AT THIS REVELATION) You're not?
JENNIFER: (FOLDING HER ARMS OVER HER CHEST AND TURNING TO HIM) I'm not. I'm not sure he can handle it.
COLIN: Then why, Jennifer Rose? Why tell him?
JENNIFER: (SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT WORDS) Because...because I'll make him. I'll make him understand.
COLIN: And how do you plan on doing that? How do you plan on convincing him that it wasn't his fault? You know that's what he's going to think. You know it. I know it. You didn't just meet him yesterday, you know.
JENNIFER: (TURNING BACK TOWARDS THE WINDOW. QUIET AND PENSIVE.) I know.
COLIN walks over behind her and touches her shoulders tentatively and bends down to speak in her ear.
COLIN: Fine, tell him. (OMINOUSLY) The question is, Jennifer Rose, are you up for the challenge? Do you think you can make him understand? Without hurting yourself anymore than you already have?
CLOSE-UP of JENNIFER thinking about what COLIN just said. She shivers slightly and then thinks back to her and JACK'S relationship and how she tried to convince him that they were right for each other, despite his past.
JACK and JENNIFER'S leifmotif begins to play.
CUT to FLASHBACK-BOTH JACK AND JENNIFER ARE SEEING THESE NOW SIMULTANEOUSLY
FLASHBACK #6: STEVE AND KAYLA'S HOUSE
JACK: Just don't argue with me, alright?
JENNIFER: No, forget about it. I want to have this conversation right now and I'm not going away until....
JACK: It's very hard to have a conversation on your own.
JENNIFER: Yeah! Well it's hard to have a relationship that way too Jack.
JACK: We do have a relationship. I'm a boss and you're an employee.
JENNIFER: STOP IT!
JACK: (GRABBING HER BY BOTH ARMS.) JENNIFER! Jennifer, don't you know where we are? WE'RE AT STEVE'S AND HE'S GOING TO KILL ME IF HE CATCHES US HERE AGAIN. JUST ZIP IT!
FLASHBACK #7: STEVE AND KAYLA'S SECRET ROOM
JACK AND JENNIFER ARE ALMOST NOSE TO NOSE AND JENNIFER IS LOOKING AT JACK'S LIPS. JACK IS SCARED BUT ENJOYING IT. THEY CONTINUE TO STARE INTO ONE ANOTHER'S EYES FOR A FEW MINUTES AND THEN JACK GETS TOO SCARED AND TRIES TO MOVE AWAY. HE CANNOT REALLY GO ANYWHERE AND ENDS UP BACK IN FRONT OF HER AGAIN.
JACK: I....I really don't think that we should....
JENNIFER: I think we should.
JENNIFER: (PUTTING HER FINGER ON HIS LIPS) Shut up Jack!
JACK: Jennifer, I....
JENNIFER: I said, shut up!
SHE LEANS CLOSER AND LOOKS IN HIS EYES. JACK CLOSES HIS EYES AS THEIR LIPS MEET. THEY KISS LONG AND TENDERLY AND ARE COMPLETELY LOST IN THE MOMENT.
FLASHBACK #8: STEVE AND KAYLA'S HOUSE AFTER THE KISS
JENNIFER: Wait, Jack. We have to talk.
JACK: I'm busy.
JENNIFER: Jack, we kissed!
JACK: So? So what?
JENNIFER: So that means we have to talk about it.
JACK: (JACK AGAIN BEGINS TO PUSH JENNIFER AWAY.) There's nothing to talk about. All I was trying to do was keep you from making any noise. Obviously I didn't have much luck, did I?
JENNIFER: You're afraid to talk about it.
JACK: I am busy trying looking for something, if you don't mind.
JENNIFER: You know Jack, if Steve hadn't have come here, we would still be kissing right now. You know that?
JACK: You broke the vase!
JENNIFER: It was a minor technicality. What really matters right now, is how you feel about me!
JACK: (HE DOES NOT WHAT TO DO, SO HE PURPOSEFULLY HURTS HER; BUT HE IS OBVIOUSLY BREAKS HIS HEART DOING SO.) Honestly. Honestly, the earth didn't move!
JENNIFER: Maybe it was because you were so busy, you didn't feel it move.
JACK: Look what do you want me to say? That kissing you was the next best thing after the calculator?
JENNIFER: It would be a good start!
JACK: Start of what? Nothing happened!
JENNIFER: Yes it has. Why can't you just admit it?
JACK: Look, I'm not the kind of guy you take to the sorority dance.
JENNIFER: Jack, I quit my sorority.
JACK: I'm not the kind of guy that you take to your grandparent's house.
JENNIFER: What's wrong with my grandparents?
JACK: NOTHING'S WRONG WITH YOUR GRANDPARENTS! IT'S JUST A FANTASY, THAT'S ALL!
JENNIFER: Don't you ever fantasize Jack?
JACK: Look if you want to fantasize, go to....go to....Emilio. I mean, he's exactly what you need.
JENNIFER: How do you know what I need?
JACK: Because I'm older and I'm wiser and I've more experience. You're better off with him!
JENNIFER: But it's you that I want!
JACK: (HE TRIES TO HIDE HOW PAINFUL IT IS FOR HIM TO SAY THIS, HOW FAR FROM THE TRUTH IT IS.) I don't want you.
JACK WALKS AWAY TO A CORNER OF THE ROOM AND CANNOT FACE HER. HER EYES ARE FILLED WITH TEARS. JACK WATCHES HER FROM BEHIND AND IS JUST AS SAD. A FEW MINUTES LATER SHE IS ABLE TO TALK BUT JACK CANNOT LOOK HER IN THE EYE. IT IS KILLING JACK TO SAY WHAT IS SAYING TO HER, SEEING HER IN PAIN. HOWEVER, HE FEELS THAT HE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER SO HE CONTINUES TO PUSH HER AWAY.
FLASHBACK #9: JACK'S HOUSE-BEDROOM
JACK: What is it Sheldon?
IT IS NOT SHELDON, BUT JENNIFER. SHE HAS A DETERMINED LOOK ON HER FACE, AND SHE STORMS INTO HIS BEDROOM, TO JACK'S SURPRISE.
JENNIFER: Jack, we have to talk.
JACK: Jennifer, what are you doing....
JENNIFER: Sheldon let me in.
JACK: Yeah, well Sheldon can let you back out again.
JENNIFER: Not until we get something straight.
SHE THUMPS HIM ON THE CHEST.
SHE THUMPS HIM AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Forget it Jack!
JACK: Jennifer this is my house and my bedroom and.....
JENNIFER: Exactly. So we won't be bothered.
JACK: I'm beginning to get a little bothered myself.
JENNIFER: Look Jack, you can't joke about this alright? We're going to talk about how we feel about each other right now.
JACK: I thought you said you didn't want to joke.
JENNIFER: Stop it! You know how I feel.
JACK: (ROLLING HIS EYES) Please Jennifer, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Look Emilio wants me to make a commitment to him but the only person I want to commit to is you. You're the one I want!
JACK: Well that's my cue to leave.
JENNIFER: OH NO! NO!
JENNIFER: NO! You are not going anywhere.
JENNIFER RUSHES TO THE DOOR AND STANDS IN FRONT OF IT SO HE CANNOT OPEN IT.
JACK: Oh really!
JENNIFER TAKES THE KEY OUT OF THE DOOR AND DROPS IT DOWN HER FRONT.
JACK: Ah.... Jennifer..... ah.... Je.....
SHE WALKS PAST JACK WHO HAS AN AMAZED AND FRIGHTENED LOOK ON HIS FACE. JENNIFER HAS A FUNNY EXPRESSION ON HER FACE, AND STOPS AND WIGGLES HER BODY AS THE KEY FALLS FURTHER DOWN INTO HER BRA.
JACK: Alright, I want that key!
JENNIFER: You want the key Jack? Come and get it!
JACK: I want that key....in my hand immediately. Do you understand?
JENNIFER: You are not going to bully your way out of this, this time Jack.
JACK: No, I'm going to call a locksmith.
JACK PICKS UP THE PHONE AND BEGINS TO DIAL.
JACK: 555 1....
JENNIFER REACHES OVER AND HANGS UP.
JACK: 555 1....
SHE HANGS UP AGAIN.
THIS TIME SHE GRABS THE PHONE FROM JACK AND HANGS IT UP HERSELF.
JACK: (NODDING TO HER SHIRT) What are you going to do? Put it down there too?
JENNIFER: I am not going to let you avoid this. Now you know how I feel about you! I want to know how you feel about me. The truth!
JACK: The truth is I want you to unlock that door.
JENNIFER: Why do you keep fighting me Jack? Why can't you just give in to what you want?
SHE WALKS TOWARDS HIM AND HE BACKS UP AWAY FROM HER.
JACK: I want you to go.
JENNIFER: No you don't.
JACK: I want to be alone.
JENNIFER: You want me to be with you. You don't want to be alone. You want me to be with you. You're just too afraid to say it Jack.
JACK: You're putting words in my mouth.
JENNIFER: Oh really! Then let's see if your body can do the talking Jack, okay.
SHE WALKS UP BEHIND AND PUTS HER ARMS AROUND HIS CHEST RUNNING HER HANDS UP AND DOWN. JACK IS NERVOUS, AND TRIES TO STRUGGLE, BUT HE DOES NOT DO *THAT* GOOD OF A JOB. JACK DOES NOT MIND DESPITE OF WHAT HE DOES OR SAYS.
JACK: Oooooh! While your fingers do the walking.
SHE SPINS HIS ROUND TO FACE HER.
JENNIFER: What do you want?
JACK: I don't want this.
JENNIFER: You don't want this, really?
JACK: Yes, really! I mean no.
JENNIFER BEGINS TO KISS HIM AND HE RESPONDS INSTANTLY. THEY CONTINUE TO KISS FOR A FEW MINUTES UNTIL JACK PULLS AWAY.
JACK: Ah....no.....no. I meant no.
JACK IS CONFUSED. JENNIFER IS DOING A GOOD JOB OF BREAKING DOWN HIS DEFENSES.
JENNIFER: Jack, you want me. I know you do. I want you too.
JACK: No, you don't know what you're saying.
JENNIFER: Yes I do. For once I know exactly what I'm saying and I know exactly what I'm doing Jack.
JENNIFER BEGINS TO UNDO THE BUTTONS ON HIS SHIRT WHILE HE PRETENDS TO RESIST.
JENNIFER: We're meant to be together. We make a perfect couple Jack. You want what I want and I want what you want. And if you just try a little bit harder Jack....
HE TRIES TO BUTTON ONE OF THE BUTTONS.
JENNIFER: ....no, no. Don't try that hard. We can be very happy Jack. We can be very happy Jack!
SHE PEELS HIS SHIRT BACK OVER HIS SHOULDER.
JACK: Ooooh! This isn't working.
JENNIFER: Jack, don't fight me.
SHE PULLS HIM BACKWARDS TOWARDS HER BY PULLING THE TIE WHICH IS STILL AROUND HIS NECK.
JACK: I'm trapped is what I am.
JENNIFER: You're scared Jack. I'm scared too. That's the point. We feel something when we're together. We have a passion, it's chemistry.
JACK: It's cold! It's very cold out here. As a matter of fact, I'm freezing. Look at these goose bu....
JENNIFER BEGINS TO KISS HIM AGAIN AND HE INSTANTLY GIVES IN.
FLASHBACK #9: JACK'S BEDROOM. A LITTLE WHILE LATER.
JENNIFER IS ON THE FLOOR ON THE PHONE. SHE AND JACK HAD BEEN MAKING OUT AND BOTH LOOK DISHEVELED.
JENNIFER: .Broadcast? Oh right, the broadcast. No I'm not going to be late. Don't worry. I'll be there. Bye.
WHILE SHE IS TALKING JACK GETS UP AND STARTS TO PUT HIS SHIRT BACK ON. JENNIFER FINISHES THE CALL AND THROWS THE PHONE ON THE BED.
JENNIFER: Alright Jack, where were we? Where were we Jack? What's wrong?
JACK SEEMS TO HAVE COLLECTED HIMSELF, AND TO HAVE RETURNED TO HIS JACK MODE OF PULLING BACK AND KEEPING HIS FEELINGS UNDER CONTROL.
JACK: Ah....nothing. We've got a show to get to.
JENNIFER: Forget the show. This is more important Jack.
JACK: Look, you've got a lot of people waiting for you down there. You've got Emilio, you've got Melissa. You've got a whole heap of them.
JENNIFER: What about us?
JACK: You know Melissa usually has really bad timing but today it's impeccable. It's time for you to go to your show.
JENNIFER IS SLIGHTLY DEJECTED THAT JACK *YET AGAIN* IS DENYING HIS FEELINGS AND IS PUSHING HER AWAY.
JENNIFER: Doesn't what happened mean anything Jack?
JACK: Sure, it meant we were just saved from making a terrible mistake.
JENNIFER: How can you say that? It was right. We both felt it. We almost made love Jack.
JACK: Oh, all it means was that we were saved from making a terrible mistake and having a lot of regrets.
JENNIFER: I wouldn't have regretted it Jack.
JACK GIVES HER A PAT.
JACK: Hey, that's okay. I know you would have gotten hurt.
JENNIFER: The only thing that's hurting me right now is what you're doing.
JACK: Look Jennifer, please. Just forget all about this. Just go, okay.
JENNIFER: You want me to go?
HE IS NOT TOO CONVINCING, AND IT APPEARS SO EVEN TO HIMSELF.
JENNIFER: You want me to go, I'll go Jack.
JENNIFER: I know that you want this relationship as much I do, Jack.
JENNIFER: I'm going to give you one more chance, alright. If I mean anything to you, you will meet me at Wings for the broadcast and then we'll talk afterwards, okay?
JACK: Sounds like an ultimatum.
JENNIFER: If you're not there, it's over! I will never come to you again and we will never be together Jack.
SHE WALKS OVER TO THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: I EXPECT YOU TO BE THERE JACK! AND ANOTHER THING, THE DOOR WAS NEVER LOCKED!
SHE OPENS IT AND WALKS OUT, SLAMMING IT AS SHE GOES OUT. JACK LOOKS SURPRISED
FLASHBACK #10: WINGS
JENNIFER HAS JUST READ JACK'S NOTE.
JENNIFER: (READING) "I'm not coming. Forget the whole thing." (DEVASTATED) How could you do this to us Jack?
SHE SCREWS UP THE NOTE WITH TEARS IN HER EYES. SHE IS DEVASTATED. EMILIO AND MELISSA FINISH THEIR SONG AND JENNIFER GOES UP ON STAGE TO INTERVIEW THEM. EMILIO SUDDENLY TELLS HER THAT HE ONLY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT HER AND THAT HE WANTS TO SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE WITH HER. THE BROADCAST GOES LIVE ALL OVER SALEM. BECAUSE OF JACK'S REJECTION SHE ALREADY WAS BARELY CAPABLE OF GOING THROUGH WITH THE INTERVIEW, WITH EMILIO'S QUESTION HER FACE IS ONE OF COMPLETE SHOCK, AND SHE IS ON THE VERGE OF TEARS.
JACK IS DEVASTATED HIMSELF AFTER HIS VISITATION. HE IS WATCHING THE TV IN HIS BEDROOM. HIS FACE IS NOW COMPLETELY ONE OF PAIN. HE WATCHES AS EMILIO KNEELS DOWN IN FRONT OF JENNIFER AND PROPOSES. HIS MOUTH FALLS OPEN IN SHOCK. HE SLOWLY LOOKS UP IN SURPRISE UPON HEARING EMILIO'S QUESTION.
JACK: What! (PLEADING) Just say no Jennifer.....
ON JACK'S T.V.:
JENNIFER: (IN TEARS) I want you to put this on my finger.
EMILIO: You mean you're going to?
JENNIFER: Yes, yes. I'll marry you.
JACK'S MOUTH IS WIDE OPEN IN SHOCK AS HE HEARS EMILIO TELL JENNIFER THAT HE LOVES HER. JACK TURNS THE TV OFF AND RUNS OUT THE DOOR.
FLASHBACK #11: WINGS. A LITTLE WHILE LATER. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE DANCING.
JENNIFER: You shouldn't have come here Jack.
JACK: (WITH DEEP LOVE) I had to.
JACK: (A FAINT LAUGH) I.... ah.... guess hearing you say I do to Emilio did something to me. It made me realize that I had to come down here and stop you from going through with it.
JENNIFER: (PLEADING, HOPING THAT JACK WILL FINALLY OPEN UP.) Why? Why don't you want me to marry him?
JACK: You ask too many questions.
JENNIFER: That's because you keep evading me. Tell me Jack.
JACK: Oooh Emilio is just not the right guy for you.
JENNIFER STEPS BACK. SHE CAN NO LONGER BEAR THE CLOSENESS, AND IS STILL HOPING THAT JACK WILL TELL HER HOW HE FEELS. HER EYES ARE FILLED WITH TEARS. THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER.
JENNIFER: (PLEADING) Then who is? Come on Jack. I've asked you this question before and you've still haven't given me an answer.
JACK: (WITH DEEP LOVE IN HIS VOICE) Jennifer, the point is that you are a very special person. Very talented and you're very beautiful. And you deserve....you deserve somebody that's going to appreciate that. (BEAT) You don't deserve Emilio. You deserve a whole lot more.
JACK GOES TO WALK OUT.
JENNIFER: (CRYING) Jack why can't you just say it?
JACK: (TURNING TO LOOK AT HER, NOT DOING A GOOD JOB PRETENDING HE KNOWS WHAT SHE MEANS.) Say what?
JENNIFER: You know what! That you think you're the man who can appreciate me. That you think you're the right man for me. I know you do.
JACK: No I don't.
JENNIFER: Damn it Jack! I'm giving you another chance. I swore that I wouldn't but I am. (CRYING) I don't know why. I should have some pride but I don't. All I have is what I feel.
JACK: Look Jennifer you....
JENNIFER: (PRACTICALLY SOBBING) Alright, just let me talk! If you can't or won't admit what you feel for me then it's over. I don't want to fight with you anymore. It hurts too much. It's like losing something that you never get back. And I've lost enough already. If I lose anymore I won't have anything else to give to you or anybody else. So you just have to tell me, do you want me or not Jack?
JACK LOOKS AT HER WITH TEARS IN HIS EYES BUT SAYS NOTHING. HE WANTS TO TELL HER, AND HE HATES HURTING HER, BUT HE CANNOT BECAUSE HE BELIEVES HE WILL HURT HER. SHE BEGINS TO CRY.
JENNIFER: Just leave okay. Just get out of here. Just leave me alone and get out of my life Jack.
FLASHBACK #13: INT. WINGS-JENNIFER AND EMILIO POSTPONE THEIR ENGAGEMENT
JACK: Alright. Emilio finally realized that two of you don't have a chance. You realize that you never had a chance. He finally said that to you and you both understood it. My bill's in the mail.
JENNIFER: You're wrong Jack!
JACK: Oh, no, no. Jack is right.
JENNIFER: Look you are wrong Jack.
JACK: No, Jack is right.
JENNIFER: Jack you're wrong. I don't care how much you think you're right and I don't know why I'm standing here trying to convince you that you're wrong. JACK: I don't understand why either.
JENNIFER: Jack you could grab me and put your arms around me right now and tell me that you'll love me forever and that you always did and you'll never love someone else, but it won't make a difference. Do you understand me? It will not make one bit of difference because you had your chance over and over and over again and it's too late!
JACK: For what! (Beat) For what! Come on. It's your life. Always has and always will be. All I'm saying, all I've ever said, is that Emilio is a deadbeat. He's a deadbeat and marrying him is going to be the biggest mistake of your life. That's all I've ever said. Now if you want to ignore me and go ahead with your life, go ahead. I don't care! Go for it. Join the circus. Marry Emilio and run away with him. I don't care. Just don't come crying to me, alright. Stay out of my life, now and forever.
CUT to PRESENT DAY
IN on JACK, who has just been shown the same flashbacks. He turns questioningly to HARPER and DUKE.
JACK: Hey, wait a minute! Just wait a minute here!
OUT on HARPER and DUKE, who are taken back by JACK'S sudden outburst.
SCENE 6: EXT. HOTEL GARDEN
IN on HARPER and DUKE, who are wondering what JACK'S outburst was about.
DUKE: Hey, hey, hold your horses there, Billy Boy. You not liking the peep show?(HE SMILES SLYLY TO HARPER)
JACK: (PULLING A FACE) Peep sho--? Hehehe. No, I mean...I mean the show is just fine, pretty great actually...good casting...excellent leading man.
HARPER: Then what, dare we ask, is the problem?
JACK: The problem? Oh yes, the problem. The problem is, well, the problem is...(TAKING A DEEP BREATH) I stopped that wedding. Rode right in there with the firetruck and the deaf dog and stopped all that. I mean, you do, (POINTING UPWARDS TO INDICATE GOD) he does remember that, doesn't he?
HARPER: (POINTING UP AND LOOKING AT DUKE) He? (TO JACK) Oh, well, son, I can't exactly tell you what he remembers, but if it happened, it's there.
JACK: Then...then what about the happier moments? What about the jade plant and my...my tons of proposals? What about the snowpeople? The hope chest?
DUKE: Geez, Harp, he really did go soft on us, didn't he? (HE JOINS HARPER IN SOME LAUGHTER)
JACK pulls a face at this accusation and puffs his chest out to indicate his masculinity.
HARPER: I think you're missing the point here, son. This is about what went wrong, not what went right. Although I must admit, I would've preferred the latter-it was much shorter. (TO DUKE) We'll never make the party at this rate, Duke.
DUKE: And poor Adolph...he loves to entertain so much.
JACK looks on curiously. He is disturbed by the turn of the conversation and the way his and JENNIFER'S relationship is being portrayed. HARPER and DUKE look over at him.
HARPER: Why the long face, son? You look as though you're best friend has died.
DUKE: Well, you did all those years ago, Harp. And poor Jackie here had no other friends really, except for Jennifer, of course. And even then he was walking on thin ice...Take a look, Jackie, take a look if you can...(HE WAVES TO THE STREAM)
JACK laughs nervously and reluctantly settles in to look into the stream. HARPER and DUKE move in closer to watch as well.
SCENE 7: INT. HOTEL ROOM
IN on JENNIFER, who is still standing by the window and thinking about her and JACK'S relationship. COLIN is still standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders and seems to be enunciating JENNIFER'S worst fears-that she will have to be put through the emotional wringer to get JACK to see that the deserve each other once she tells him the truth.
COLIN: (OMINOUSLY) So you can take it? You can take Jack's rejection? The way he will look at you? The way he will make you feel? The way you will make him feel?
CLOSE-UP on JENNIFER thinking about these facts. Each question cuts her like a knife. She once again shivers and thinks back to the times in her relationship with JACK when they both hurt, when he pushed her away.
FLASHBACK #14-INT. JACK'S BATHROOM-JENNIFER IS FED UP WITH BEING REJECTED BY JACK.
JENNIFER: (INSIDE THE BATHROOM)Yeah everything is a joke to you Jack. But you know what's not funny, is the way that you use people. It's mean and manipulative and it's rotten. And I'm sick of it.
JACK: (LEANING AGAINST THE DOOR OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM) Okay, okay I admit it. You got me. I'm guilty. What do you want me to say? I'm sorry?
JACK: Okay, I'm sorry. How about that?
JENNIFER: You're just saying that because you want me to shut up Jack.
JACK: As if that were a remote possibility.
JENNIFER: DON'T YOU DARE MAKE FUN OF ME, JACK!
SHE POUNDS ON THE INSIDE OF THE DOOR AND OUTSIDE HE MOVES BACK.
JACK: I'm not making fun of you, okay?
JENNIFER: (ON VERGE OF TEARS, WHICH CAN BE HEARD IN HER VOICE) Yes you are, yes you are. You are not happy unless you make a complete fool out of me or unless you make me miserable. I tried so hard to get you to admit that you cared about me but you wouldn't. No matter how many times I threw myself at you, you just walked away Jack, just like I was nothing. How do you think that made me feel, huh? How would you like the idea of feeling so unwanted and worthless?
OUTSIDE THE DOOR JACK IS FEELING SORRY THAT HE HURT HER SO MUCH.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Then you fire me from the best job I ever had because you couldn't deal with the fact that we had feelings for each other. Then you push me at Emilio like you have the right to decide what's right in my life. Then he proposes to me and you had to come running back and ruin it Jack. I hated you for breaking up my wedding and I hated you for all those tricks you played on me in the woods because I believed everyone single of them....including the kiss you gave me. Because when you did that I thought you were finally going to tell me that you cared about me. And you didn't Jack, you just pushed me away, like I was some idiot whose feelings don't matter. Is that what I am to you Jack? Just a fool that you can jerk around? Because I'm not you know. If you kick me, it hurts. And if you laugh at me and use me, it hurts, Jack. And you've hurt me so many times I can't even count them all. What do you have to say for you....
SHE HAS BEGUN TO CRY AND JACK CAN HEAR IT IN HER VOICE. HE FEELS SO SORRY FOR WHAT HE DID, BUT HE CANNOT EXPRESS THAT TO HER, SO HE LEAVES. THROUGHOUT IT ALL HE IS SOAKING WET AND IS DRIPPING ON THE CARPET. SHE OPENS THE DOOR AND FINDS HIM GONE, WHICH ONLY MAKES HER MORE HURT.
FLASHBACK #15: EXT. CHURCH BELLTOWER. JENNIFER HAS JUST GONE THERE TO FIND JACK, WHO FEELS GUILTY ABOUT KILLING HARPER THERE A FEW DAYS BEFORE
JENNIFER: I'm not going to drop it. I'm not going to stand here and let you put yourself down.
JACK: I said forget it. I said forget it.
JENNIFER: Because I know you. You are kind and caring and you are generous and....
JACK: I said forget it. I SAID STOP IT. YOU JUST KEEP TALKING. YOU NEVER STOP TALKING. WHEN I TELL YOU TO STOP IT. YOU NEVER....
HE GRABS JENNIFER BY THE ARMS AND SHAKES HER AGAIN AND AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Jack you're hurting me.
JACK IMMEDIATELY STOPS AND LETS GO OF HER. HE GIVES HER A LOOK THAT MEANS HE KNOWS THAT HE JUST PROVED WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO SAY. HE STARTS BABBLING AND WANDERING AROUND.
JACK: Don't know my own strength. (IMITATING BULLWINKLE, HE IS BABBLING, TERRIFIED OVER WHAT HE JUST DID.) Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
JENNIFER: If that's supposed to be funny, you're losing your touch.
JACK: Oh no, it's not funny. I think we just proved something here and I think we both know what we're talking about.
JENNIFER: Oh no I don't think so Jack. I'm not going to let you do this, alright. Getting angry doesn't mean you're crazy, that you're going to go out and beat people up. Normal people get angry and that's what's this is all about. You're angry because I won't give in to you. And don't waste your time thinking that I'm going to because I'm not because I know I'm right.
JACK: Oh you're right about one thing. I am angry.
JENNIFER: With me.
THIS HAS COMPLETELY TERRIFIED JACK, HE BELIEVES THIS PROVES WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT HIM AND WHAT HE ALWAYS FELT ABOUT HIMSELF THAT HE WAS VIOLENT, AND A BAD PERSON, AND THAT HE WOULD HURT JENNIFER. TO PREVENT THIS HE REVERTS BACK TO HIS OLD SELF, AND TRIES TO ANGER JENNIFER INTO LEAVING HIM. THOUGH IT IS CAUSING HIM GREAT PAIN TO SAY THIS TO HER, AND PART OF HIM DOES NOT BELIEVE AND WANTS TO BELIEVE THAT HE IS A GOOD PERSON AND THEY WILL HAVE A LIFE TOGETHER.
JACK: No, no, not with you. With both of us. You and me. Because I knew that this day was coming. I knew it. And I just let us just go along with this romantic little dream, the good girl and the bad little boy. And fortified by her love, he knew that somehow he would become a great individual and the flowers and trees and all things great and small. It does go on something like that, doesn't it?
JENNIFER: Why are doing this? Why are you trying to make a joke out of what we have?
JENNIFER'S ARGUMENTS ARE AFFECTING HIM, HE WANTS TO BELIEVE THEM; BUT HIS FEARS AND SELF DOUBTS ARE TOO STRONG.
JACK: BECAUSE IT'S A JOKE! IT'S A BIG JOKE, THE WHOLE THING. I don't think about the future, maybe you do but I don't. And I don't believe in little shell rings either. I mean that was just something I thought of just for a minute on island. It was temporary because I thought we were never going to get back. But we did get back. We got back home to reality and it's never going to be the same again.
JENNIFER: (JENNIFER IS HURT AND NEAR TEARS) What happened on that island has nothing to do with not being home and being in danger. It was real. The bad, the good and this.... (POINTING TO THE RING, WHICH SHE IS WEARING) this shell ring that you gave me. You went through so much trouble because you care and don't tell me that you don't because I know you.
JACK: OH, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW. YOU KNOW THIS! YOU KNOW THIS AND HERE'S THE TRUTH THAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. THE FACT IS.... I'M A RAPIST! I'm a rapist.
JACK: I just said it. You know I've never said that before and I just said it. I have trouble dealing with it and so do you. And no little shell ring and no.... no wonderful promises and no island is ever going to change that. Not even the love of a pure chaste virgin. It's never going to change that.
JENNIFER: Well if you really believe that then you're not the person I thought you were. If you believe it Jack. And I don't think so. In your heart I really don't think you do.
JENNIFER IS NOW CRYING. SHE TURNS AND CLIMBS DOWN THE STAIRS. JACK SITS BACK ON THE WINDOW LEDGE AND LOOKS DOWN.
FLASHBACK #16: INT. JACK'S BEDROOM. AFTER THE BELLTOWER AND JACK'S ENDING OF THE RELATIONSHIP, JENNIFER GOES THERE TO WORK IT OUT.
JENNIFER: It hurts too much to be shut out of your life all over again. It was bad enough the first time but now that I know for sure how you feel about me it's even worse. And I don't want to do it anymore. I'm not going to let it happen again. When we made love, you told me that you loved me and I believed that you meant it. Are you denying that now?
JACK: No I'm not denying that. I said that.
JENNIFER: And? Do you mean it? Do you still feel the same way about me? Are you saying that you still love me?
JACK: Yes, Jennifer I love you! I've said it before and I'm saying it again now. I'm not going to just turn it on and turn it off.
JENNIFER: Alright, but Jack then why.... JACK: Yes Jennifer, we made love. And I have felt closer to you than I've ever felt to any other person. I'm not going to be stupid enough to pretend it didn't happen.
JENNIFER: But you are the king of emotional stupidity. You just said that Jack.
JACK: No, no, no. I said the king of emotional.... inconsistency, not stupidity. I didn't say that.
JENNIFER: Jack I would say denying what you feel and pushing the person you supposedly love as far away as you possibly can, stupid. What do you call that?
JACK: I think that's smart. I think that's selfless. I mean when you really care about somebody, you....
JENNIFER: No, when you love somebody.
JACK: That's what I was.... that's what I meant. When you really love somebody, when you love them, you will do anything you can to help them, to keep them out of trouble, to protect them. That's what I'm doing.
JACK SITS ON THE END OF THE BED AND JENNIFER SITS DOWN BESIDE HIM.
JENNIFER: Jack I don't need protection, if that's what you're trying to do, don't. I don't need you to protect me from you.
JACK NODS AS IF HE AGREES WITH SOME OF WHAT SHE HAS JUST SAID.
JENNIFER: You're much too good at already protecting yourself. Now if we work together, if we have problems, we can work them out Jack, we can, together.
JACK: It sounds like somebody's had a trip to Grandma H's. Had a little tea, sympathy and donuts.
JENNIFER: I just had some advice which I already knew. I just needed to hear it from somebody else.
JACK STANDS UP AND STARTS PACING AS HE TALKS.
JACK: Jennifer.... listen. This is 1990 alright. Read the papers, they're right here. Love is not enough. Things are just too big, too complicated and too fast for love just to fix it. You know one little kiss will not fix what ails you. It won't fix what ails me. It won't fix my life.
JENNIFER: Alright, so you're telling me that you would be better off dealing with this alone than with me? Come on Jack, just say it. I mean like Steve said when he was here, just say it, if that's what you feel. Just tell me right now. Look me in the eye and tell me right now that you never want to be this close to me ever again.
JENNIFER STANDS UP AND MOVES IN CLOSE TO JACK.
JENNIFER: That you never want to kiss me again. And you never want to hold me close and feel your arms wrapped around me and listen to me breathe in the middle of the night and wake up to me the next morning.
NOW JENNIFER IS PRESSED UP AGAINST HIM AND HE IS TRYING TO RESIST HER.
JENNIFER: Just say it. It's as easy as that Jack, just say it.
SHE TAKES HIS FACE IN HER HANDS AND PULLS IT TOWARDS HER. SHE KISSES HIM.
JENNIFER: Just tell me that's what you want. Tell me that's what you believe.
JACK: Ah.... this is not about what I want or what I believe. This is about what's....
SHE KISSES HIM AGAIN.
JENNIFER: You know what Jack, why don't you let me worry about what's best for me, okay?
JACK: You know Jennifer, if....
SHE KISSES HIM AGAIN WITH EACH KISS JACK LOSES HIS RESOLVE; HE CANNOT FIGHT HIS FEELINGS FOR HER.
JENNIFER: You know Jack, I'm a really big girl now. (KISS) And I know what I want. (KISS) And I know what I need. (Kiss) And I can take care of myself. (KISS) Do you know what you want Jack? (KISS)
JACK: (SIGHS AND KISSES BACK) Jennifer.... (KISS)
JENNIFER: What? (KISS)
JACK: I know (KISS) I know....
JACK BENDS DOWN AND PICKS HER UP.
JACK: I know my back's going to kill me in the morning but I know what I want. (KISS)
CUT to a short while later. JACK and JENNIFER have just made love and are now in bed basking in the afterglow.
JENNIFER: We just have to stop fighting each other Jack. We're too smart for that.
JACK: Yeah, too smart.
JENNIFER: You know I almost walked away from it you know today. When I went to talk to my grandma, I got a call from New York....
JACK IS SUDDENLY VERY INTERESTED BUT JENNIFER CANNOT SEE HIS FACE.
JENNIFER: ....about a job that I applied for and I was seriously thinking about taking it. I mean for half a second I was trying to convince myself that this was never going to work out and I'd be better off in New York.... away from you. But I was wrong. I'm going to call them in the morning and I'm going to tell them I'm not interested, Jack. We can't work away from this. Neither of us can. I'm never going to leave you Jack, never. I'm going to be right here.... always.
JACK IS FROWNING AND THINKING DEEPLY ABOUT WHAT SHE IS SAYING. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT JACK IS THINKING THAT BECAUSE OF HIM SHE IS LOSING AN OPPURTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, THAT WITHOUT HIM SHE COULD DO BETTER.
CUT to a short while later.
JENNIFER STIRS IN JACK'S BED. SHE REACHES OUT TO TOUCH HIM BUT HE IS GONE. SHE SLOWLY SITS UP AND NOTICES A NOTE BESIDE THE BED. SHE REACHES ACROSS AND PICKS IT UP. THE NOTE SAYS: "HAVE FUN IN NEW YORK!"
FLASHBACK #17: INT. SPECTATOR. JACK ASKS FOR THE ENGAGEMENT RING BACK.
JENNIFER: No you're wrong. There is a lot that needs to be talked about. Because I don't.... I don't like the way things are between us right now and I want to try.... I want us.... to try to work this out because I know we can. We can go back to the way everything was before all this started.
HE HALF TURNS TOWARDS HER WITH A PUZZLED LOOK ON HIS FACE.
JACK THINKS FOR A FEW SECONDS.
JACK: I don't know if that can really be.
JENNIFER: Yes it can. All we have to do is forget about what I said. We can do that.
JACK LOOKS AT HER KNOWING THAT HE CAN NEVER FORGET WHAT SHE SAID, AND NEITHER CAN SHE.
JACK: Can you forget what you said?
JACK LISTENS TO HER BUT KNOWS IT IS NOT TRUE JUST LIKE HE CANNOT FORGET.
JACK: No you can't! You can't forget what you said and you can't go back. Neither can I. We both know that, right? We both....
JENNIFER: No, you're right. We can't go back so let's go forward. Let's try and put what happened behind us. I know we can do it if we try hard enough, okay.
JACK: No, you don't understand. I don't want to deny who I am anymore. I'm tired of that, alright. Do you understand?
JENNIFER: Yes, I'm not asking....
JACK: I am trying.... I am trying to make a point here, okay. You cannot run away from who you are. You can try. You can try all day long but the truth will out. Who you are, what you are, what you like to do, what you like to be, who do you want to be.
JENNIFER: You're a wonderful caring man who I love and I want to spend the rest of my life with.
JACK: THAT IS A FANTASY.
JENNIFER: No it's not!
JACK: That is a fantasy Jennifer. Your life with me is a fantasy. I'm just glad you woke up long enough and come to your senses before there were children and weddings or anything like that.
JENNIFER: Why are you talking like this? Why are you....
JACK: BECAUSE THIS IS WHO I AM! You're talking to who I am now, alright. I was waiting for you to say the word rapist to me at some point. I was waiting for that. One of these days you were going to say it. And you know something, I am glad that you said it because now I can relax and be who I am.
JENNIFER: Just stop it.
JACK: I can be the real me.
JENNIFER: Would you just stop?
JACK: YOU STOP IT! (BEAT) THIS IS MY OFFICE. I'M TRYING TO MAKE A POINT HERE! (BEAT) Now you stated a fact, you called me a rapist. And I am proud of you. I really am. Because for once, you were able TO BACK UP AND LOOK AT THE SITUATION REALISTICALLY AND OBJECTIVELY, like a real reporter. The way I trained you. It's something to be proud of. You'll go far....
HE PATS HER ARM AND TURNS AWAY FROM HER.
JACK (CONT.): .... from me.
JENNIFER: Don't say that, alright. Please don't say that.
JACK: You don't want to get hurt the way Kayla got hurt.
SHE PULLS HIM ROUND TO FACE HER.
JENNIFER: Why are you talking about that, alright? That was in the past. The problem that we're facing right now has nothing to do with that okay. I told you, it's me. I'm having trouble right now, dealing with something.
JACK: I'M SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR EXCUSES, ALRIGHT. I'M.... YES....
JENNIFER: It's not an excuse. I'm trying to tell you....
JACK: ....JENNIFER, I AM SICK OF YOUR EXCUSES. STOP GROVELING. STOP DOING THIS TO YOURSELF.
JENNIFER: Listen to me....
JACK: YOU DIDN'T.... YOU....
JENNIFER: JUST LISTEN TO ME!
JACK STOPS TALKING.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Now you have worked so hard. You have come so far. We both have. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO LET SOME STUPID MISUNDERSTANDING COME BETWEEN US?
JACK RECOILS AT HER SUGGESTION THAT IT WAS ONLY A MISUNDERSTANDING TO CALL HIM A RAPIST.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Alright.... I love you Jack. And you love me and no matter what you say you know that we belong together. (Beat) So don't do this. Don't put us through this pain.
JACK: You're right. I'm sorry. No one should have to go through this kind of pain. I'm sorry.
JENNIFER: Okay, let's do something. Let's fix it. Let's work it out.
JACK: Alright, let's fix it. I want you to do something for me.
JACK: I want you to take the engagement ring off.
JENNIFER: Alright, wait. I realize that things are difficult between us right now Jack, alright. But this ring, it's a sign of hope. It's a sign that we can work it out.
JACK: Jennifer, there is nothing that you can do or say that's going to change anything.
JENNIFER JUST STANDS THERE WITH TEARS IN HER EYES.
JACK: Now.... you can drop it, lose it, pawn it. I don't care. I just don't want you wearing it around this town giving people like your grandmother the false idea that there's going to be a wedding when there will not be one.
JENNIFER: If you want the ring, you take it. I won't take it off.
JACK SIGHS KNOWING THAT THIS IS THE HARDEST THING THAT HE HAS EVER DONE BECAUSE IT IS TEARING THEM BOTH APART INSIDE.
JACK: Very well.
HE TAKES HER HAND IN HIS AND LOOKS IN HER EYES. SHE ALMOST WILLS HIM NOT TO DO THIS BUT HE STICKS TO HIS RESOLVE AND SLOWLY PULLS THE RING OFF HER FINGER
HE IMMEDIATELY TURNS AWAY FROM HER, GLANCES AT THE RING THEN STARES STRAIGHT AHEAD.
JACK: Goodbye Miss Horton.
SHE SLOWLY LEAVES HIS OFFICE AND WHEN THE DOOR IS SHUT, SHE BEGINS TO SOB. INSIDE, JACK CAN HEAR HER AND HIS HEART SINKS.
FLASHBACK #18-INT. HORTON LIVING ROOM-CHRISTMAS
JACK HAS JUST CRASHED THROUGH THE WINDOW INTO THE HORTON LIVINGROOM, THEY THINK HE IS THE CHRISTMAS BANDIT AND SHOUT FOR THE POLICE. JACK HEARS THEM SCREAMING AND PULLS OFF THE SKI MASK
JACK: DON'T.... don't. It's.... it's me!
JACK: It's Jack!
JENNIFER: Jack! MICKEY: Jack.
JENNIFER: Oh my gosh, Jack.
EVERYONE IS SHOCKED TO SEE HIM. JENNIFER IS OVERJOYED, AND SHE RUNS OVER TO HIM AND PULLS HIM TO HIS FEET.
JENNIFER: Jack is that really you? You're really here.
JACK: It's me.
JENNIFER: I can't believe you're here. Oh I can't believe you're back.
SHE JUMPS UP AND GIVES HIM A HUGE HUG AND THEN THEY KISS LONG AND PASSIONATELY.
THEY BREAK APART AND STAND BACK HOLDING HANDS AND LOOKING IN EACH OTHER'S EYES. THEN SUDDENLY SHE YELLS OUT.
JENNIFER: YOU JERK!
SHE LETS FLY WITH A HARD RIGHT PUNCH TO THE JAW. HE SWINGS AROUND AND SINKS TO THE FLOOR.
JACK: What the hell was that for?
JENNIFER: You know what the hell that was for! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN JACK? Where have you been?
CUT TO SOME TIME LATER. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE BACK IN THERE DINING ROOM AT THE PENTHOUSE.
JACK: Jennifer.... you're setting the table. (BEAT) Well that's very nice. Ah, I didn't tell you before but I'm actually starving. It's kind of difficult to argue on a full stomach.
SHE COMPLETELY IGNORES HIM AND KEEPS STACKING PLATES.
JACK: Look, Jennifer, the truth is you're being very good about this.
SHE PICKS UP A PLATE AND THROWS IT STRAIGHT AT HIM. HE DUCKS BUT IT BREAKS ON HIS HIP.
JACK: OUCH! What are you doing?
JENNIFER: You lied to me. You took our money and you left me. You make me sick!
SHE HURLS ANOTHER PLATE AT HIM BUT THIS TIME IT MISSES.
JACK: Argh.... ah.... that.... your grandmother gave you those plates.
JENNIFER: I know exactly what these plates are.
JACK: Yeah but do you know what those would be worth on today's market?
JENNIFER: I DON'T GIVE A DAMN HOW MUCH. I DON'T CARE ABOUT MONEY. I never did Jack. I'm not like you. You mercenary, you low down deserter.
SHE THROWS ANOTHER PLATE.
JACK: NOOOO! Listen I did not desert you. You wouldn't believe the things that Howie told me.
JENNIFER: You're the one who didn't call. You're the one who didn't write. You're the one who left. Don't try to blame this on anybody else, alright. Don't try to tell me this is about the FBI or the SEC because I know what this was about.
JACK: What was this about?
JENNIFER: You married me Jack. Nobody twisted your arm, nobody forced you into it, alright. If you wanted out of this marriage so badly, all you had to do was say so.
SHE PICKS UP THE LAST FEW PLATES AND DROPS THEM ON THE FLOOR.
JACK: Ah, DON'T.
SHE WALKS STRAIGHT TO THE LIVING ROOM. JACK GETS A BROOM AND DUSTPAN AND TRIES TO CLEAN UP THE MESS.
FLASHBACK #19: NEVER BEFORE AIRED EPILOGUE
IN on JENNIFER coming down the stairs in her robe. She is wondering where JACK is.
JENNIFER: Jack? (WORRYING, SHE OPENS THE KITCHEN DOOR TO LOOK IN) Jack? (TO HERSELF) Jack, where are you? I had the strangest dream last night. You came in and told me and Abby good-
SHE STOPS, SPOTTING A TAPE ON THE COFFEE TABLE NEXT TO THEIR JADE PLANT. ON IT, THERE IS A SMALL NOTE SIMPLY READING "MISS HORTON". SHE PAUSES AND HER KNEES FEEL WEAK. SHE KNOWS WHAT IT IS. SLOWLY SHE PICKS UP THE TAPE AND FINGERS IT FOR A MOMENT AND THEN PUTS IT IN THE VCR AND SITS BACK ON THE COUCH. SHE IS AFRAID OF WHAT IT IS AND AS SOON AS SHE SEES JACK ONSCREEN, SHE KNOWS WHAT IT IS. HER EYES FILL UP WITH TEARS.
ON THE T.V.:
Jennifer.... 'Miss Horton' - you know I remember the first time I saw you in The Spectator office - filing - I don't know, something to get you college credit.... an aspiring 'cub' reporter and me, an aspiring 'cub' publisher. You stole my heart. From the moment I say your face, you stole my heart. It's been quite an adventure hasn't it?
CUT TO JENNIFER'S WEAK SMILE AT THIS MENTION
I set out to teach you, and yet you taught me - you taught me so much more that I could ever hope to learn; about being human, caring, feelings - and yet with those feelings there comes a price - feeling the fear of losing you - of losing our child.... our Abigail. You know I could never say her name out loud for fear of getting too close and losing her . . .like.... and now I'm losing her anyway, I am - and you too. "The sins of the Father are visited upon the son or daughter" - I don't know, that keeps running through my head. Four years ago, before I met you, I owned many companies. In one of them I knowingly allowed toxic waste to be dumped into an area that affected a school full of children, I remember shrugging it off saying, "Kids get hot flashes and break out with red dots on their face, it's called adolescence."
CUT TO JENNIFER, CLOSING HER EYES BRIEFLY AND LETTING THE INFORMATION SINK IN
Still, I was caught. I cleaned it up and did my "mea culpa,", the children recovered and I went on with my life - as if it were that simple. In meeting you I began to believe that it was that simple - I could put this Harper/Duke madness behind me - "my two dad" - they were the sick ones who did horrible things, not me . I really came to think that I was above it - above them. I was blinded by my ego and pride - and by you.... by seeing only you. (Pauses, regains his train of thought). Actually I have Victor to thank for showing me the light today. I'm sure he'll be glad to fill you in later on the details - but suffice it to say that Tract 5 was my responsibility. It belonged to me through one of Harper's companies which he let me head up while I was in college. I didn't know what I was signing, and more importantly I didn't really care to know - but I am the one who authorized the dumping. I am the one who's ultimately responsible for my own child's illness. I think now that subconsciously I was afraid to go out and help you look - I could research from home or the office, but looking out for sites.... I think that deep down I might have known I was connected - still I was blind and I didn't connect, till it all came tumbling down. I want you to be happy Jennifer, (somehow, after all of this - hah!) I suppose if this was three, four years ago I could push you away to and Emilio or a Francoise - but that was before I came to truly know you.... hold you.... love you. I can't find it in myself to push you to anyone now - still I cannot have you myself. I feel that if Duke would have left earlier - Steve Adrienne and myself.... we might have been a family. If Harper had left early on, I might have been totally different - maybe I could've really taught you something. That's why I'm leaving.... to see - to give you and Abigail that chance - we'll see together. - Perhaps someday I'll come back.... someday. - This is the most painful thing I've ever had to do. Just know that I'll be watching you.... feeling you. I'll see you and Abigail in everything - everything. I love you.... love.... no one will ever love you the way I love you.... "
THE VIDEO ENDS AND THE TV GOES SNOWY, BUT JENNIFER MAKES NO EFFORT TO GET UP. SHE SITS THERE STARING AT THE SNOW FOR A FEW MOMENTS IN COMPLETE SILENCE. SHE THEN TAKES HER HAND AND KNOCKS THE JADE PLANT OFF THE TABLE AND SCREAMS IN ANGER, IN FRUSTRATION, AND IN PAIN. SHE DOESN'T MAKE AN EFFORT TO PICK IT UP OR EVEN LOOK AT IT. SHE JUST BALLS UP IN THE FETAL POSITION AND CRIES. UPSTAIRS, ABBY BEGINS TO CRY AND JENNIFER CLOSES HER EYES AND CRIES EVEN HARDER.
CUT TO PRESENT DAY
JENNIFER IS STILL STANDING BY THE WINDOW WITH TEARS IN HER EYES. COLIN LEANS DOWN AND UTTERS HIS QUESTION AGAIN.
COLIN: Can you, Jennifer Rose? Can you take that again? Can you take all of that rejection again?
JENNIFER turns and looks at him with tears welled in her eyes. OUT on JENNIFER'S confusion about how to answer.
SCENE 8: EXT. HOTEL GARDEN
HARPER and DUKE have just shown JACK where he went wrong with JENNIFER. IN on JACK who is looking down at the stream, where a picture of JENNIFER on the couch crying after he left her and Abby remains. The picture breaks up and JACK is visibly shaken by what he saw.
JACK: That's it? (EMPHATICALLY) I came back! I came back and we left and we...we were happy.
HARPER: Were you really?
JACK: What do you mean "were you really?" Of course we were. Jennifer and Abigail and I...we were on cloud nine in Africa.
DUKE: When you were home.
JACK: (REPEATING WHAT HE SAID) When I was home. When I was home? Look, I couldn't help that...Bill, Jennifer's father was...
HARPER: Son, son, son, when are you ever going to learn?
JACK: Learn what? Jennifer would've been crushed if she found out that her father...
DUKE: Father Schmather. What about you, Billy boy? What about how crushed she was about you being gone?
JACK: (GETTING HEATED. LOUDLY) It was business. (REALIZING HOW LOUDLY HE WAS SPEAKING, LOWERING HIS VOICE) It was business and then Bill...(SULLEN) I thought she'd be there when I got back and then...then we'd fix it. We'd come home. (DEJECTEDLY) We'd fix it.
HARPER: Son, do you see the point of this? What we're trying to say? Do you see what all this says? (HE MOTIONS TO THE STREAM)
JACK: That I'm a horrible, horrible person? That Jennifer and I don't deserve each other? That she deserves some good heroic doctor? That when she looks back over our relationship, all she'll se is the pain I caused her?
HARPER: (WAVING HIM OFF) No, no...I mean, I still don't think that you and Jennifer deserve each other...
DUKE stands next to HARPER and nods in agreement.
HARPER (CONT.): And no one else really does either.
JACK: (SARCASTICALLY) Don't make me feel any better there, will ya?
HARPER: Jack, the point is, it-
DUKE: It doesn't matter what everybody else thinks or what we, your dear old dads think, it matters what you think...
JACK: I think...(PAINFULLY) I think that...that Miss, Hor-Jennifer-is better off without me in her life.
DUKE: Do you really now?
HARPER: Do you think that she wants some mundane Rhett Butler hero, son? She wants you-her-
JACK: (DRYLY) Her Jerry Lewis. (BEAT) How? How can she want to be with me? Look what I did-look what I did to her! (HE WAVES ANGRILY TO THE STREAM)
HARPER: And she took you back each and every time...even now. Jack, what do you plan on doing about this, the here and now?
JACK: Does setting up shop in the farthest town from Salem sound like an option?
DUKE: No. No. (TO HARPER) He doesn't get it. (TO JACK) We're not going to say it's going to be easy, because it's not...You've got a chance to make it right. Use that little gold nugget you have there-you musta got IT from your mother. Be truthful, be honest, face your problems.
JACK: (NERVOUS SMILE) Then what? Watch as Jennifer realizes herself that Jack Deveraux, ex-editor-in-chief is no good for her? That he'll only cause her great pain and heartache. He'll have her crumpled up on the couch in the fetal position all the time. No sir. I'd much rather save me-and her-that grief, thank you very much.
HARPER: You know it took a lot out of Jennifer to forgive you when you left, Jack. You know that. And instead of sticking around you were off gallivanting on business or with her father. When you look at your track record...
JACK: (HEATED) I know, I know...track record...I don't come with a warranty. I've told her this. I told her this.
DUKE: So what are you going to do now, boy?
HARPER: Run away from the woman you love, run away from your little girl who adores you?
DUKE: (PUTTING UP HIS FISTS IN BOXING STANCE) Or are you going to fight?
HARPER: Are you going to do something you can be accused of not doing 9 out of 10 times-are you going to stay and fight for your and Jennifer's relationship?
DUKE: Are you going to work for the two of you?
HARPER: Are you going to regain that trust that you never fully regained all those years ago? Tell us son...tell us.
OUT on JACK, whose head is spinning from all of the questions. He is mulling it over.
SCENE 9: INT. HOTEL ROOM
IN on JENNIFER who is about to tell COLIN whether or not she thinks she can handle the rejection from JACK if she tells him what happened.
COLIN: Are you going to tell him the truth, Jennifer Rose? Are you willing to risk it all just to clear your conscience?
A few moments of silence ensues.
COLIN: (SHOCKED AT HER ANSWER) Yes?
JENNIFER: (SMILING THROUGH HER TEARS) You heard me, Colin. Yes.
COLIN: Yes? You know how he's going to react, Jennifer Rose. You think you can handle it?
JENNIFER: I know I can. Can and will. Somebody told me that once (THINKING OF JACK, THE "SOMEBODY"). And you know what? I told someone something once, too. Something I still owe them, something I still feel (SHE TURNS BACK TO THE WINDOW AND NARROWS HER EYES, SEEING JACK IN THE GARDEN TALKING ALOUD TO NO ONE. SMILING TO HERSELF, BECAUSE SHE KNOWS IT'S HARPER AND DUKE, SHE GOES TO LEAVE).
COLIN: Jennifer-where are you going?
JENNIFER: (SMILING) To find Jack. (SHE GRABS HER KEY AND GOES TO OPEN THE DOOR).
COLIN: (NOT KNOWING WHAT TO SAY) But what-what was that something you owe someone? The something you feel? (THINKING SHE MEANT HIM)
JENNIFER: (SMILING WIDELY) Belief, Colin. Belief. (BEAT) I told someone I believed in them once and I forgot about it or at least thought I had. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go find Jack and tell him that I still...that I still believe in him...and us. (SHE EXITS).
COLIN: (SHAKING HIS HEAD IN SHOCK. TO HIMSELF). Believe what you want, Jennifer Rose, but there is no way-no way-you're getting away from me...not until I get what I need. (HE TAKES OUT HIS CELL PHONE AND DIALS SOMEONE) Hello Uncle? (BEAT) It's me. We have a problem.
END OF EPISODE 29
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