By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
INT. J & J'S LIVING ROOM
It is a few days later. ABBY is lying on the couch, tucked under some blankets with a thermometer in her mouth and is watching television. You can hear the vague sounds of a cartoon playing. JENNIFER enters from the kitchen, carrying a tray of chicken soup and orange juice.
JENNIFER: (setting the tray down on the coffee table and reaching over to take the thermometer from Abby's mouth) Okay, missy, let's see what we have here (squinting to read her temperature).
ABBY: (weakly) Not good, huh?
JENNIFER: (shaking her head and flashing a sympathetic smile) 'Fraid not.
ABBY: Does this mean we won't be able to make it to Thanksgiving?
JENNIFER: (sitting down beside her and stroking her hair) Well, I wouldn't say that yet. I mean, it is tomorrow. You never know...Hey, wait a minute, are you saying you wouldn't be happy if Mommy cooked a big 'ole turkey?
ABBY: (wrinkling her nose) Not really.
JENNIFER: (opening her mouth in mock shock) Not really?
ABBY: (giggling) You always told me to tell the truth.
JENNIFER: I did, didn't I? (a brief pause and then a sigh as she looks at the front door)
ABBY: You miss him, don't you?
JENNIFER: (coming to) Miss who?
ABBY: Daddy. He hasn't been around much.
JENNIFER: (pained but keeping a brave front) Yeah, he hasn't, has he? He must be busy.
ABBY: He's been hanging out with the princess a lot.
JENNIFER: (surprised that Abby would know so much about Jack's whereabouts) And how do you know that? You haven't been eavesdropping, have you?
ABBY: No, he told me.
ABBY: He said that the princess and he are friends, just like you and Colin are.
OUT on JENNIFER wondering what he meant by that.
JACK is paying for his coffee and is skimming the titles of the newspapers. He is dressed in a suit and trench coat and is extremely impatient.
JACK: (shaking his head in disapproval) Junk, junk, junk. (noticing VERN, who just returned from the men's room and is staring at him with annoyance. After a moment, Jack speaks.) Look, I'm not saying you should cancel your trip...
VERN: Like I was going to. You know, Jack, I have better things to do than be at your beck and call.
JACK: You do? I mean, I know you do. I just...I just could use you and Jo around.
VERN: And for the umpteenth time, I ask you...why.
JACK: Because...because (taking his coffee from the counter and heading out the door. VERN follows) the child, the child needs you.
VERN: If the child is a nearly forty year old man, that is.
JACK: (pulling a face) Might I add that you are no spring chicken yourself, Chief.
VERN: And the insults come flying. Jack, maybe if you tell us why you need us, we'd be willing to help.
JACK: Well, you see...
VERN: (narrowing his eyes) Without lying, Jack....(JACK goes to speak but can't come up with a good excuse) Just as I thought...(walking off disgusted)
JACK: (shocked that VERN would leave him) But you didn't let me finish...(runs after him)
INT. J & J'S LIVING ROOM
JENNIFER: (curiosity piqued) And what else has Daddy told you about the princess?
ABBY: He said that she was funny, and pretty, and kind, all the things princesses are supposed to be. (noticing JENNIFER'S pain over hearing these things) I'm sorry Mommy, did I hurt your feelings?
JENNIFER: (covering) Hurt? No, no. It's just Mommy doesn't know the princess very well.
ABBY: Are you jealous?
JENNIFER: (laughing) Jealous? Where did you learn a word like that?
ABBY: From Daddy. He said that being jealous means wanting something someone else has. You want to spend time with him, but he's spending it with Princess Greta.
JENNIFER: Yeah, I guess I am a little jealous. But just a little. You are one smart little girl.
ABBY: I know.
JENNIFER: (pinching her cheeks) Ooh and modest like your father. (getting up and setting the tray on ABBY'S lap) Here you go. Enough talk about princesses and Daddy. Finish this up and I'll bet we'll start getting better enough to go to Thanksgiving at Gram's tomorrow, okay?
ABBY: Okay. (picking up the spoon as JENNIFER watches to make sure she eats it) I'll eat it, Mommy. You don't have to watch me.
JENNIFER: I...I'm sorry. It's just...you know, I think I'll leave you and (flashing her gaze to the t.v.) the "Powderpuff Girls" alone for now.
JENNIFER starts to walk into the kitchen.
ABBY: Tell him.
JENNIFER: (confused) Tell him?
ABBY: Tell him you're jealous. He'll make it right.
JENNIFER: He...he will? Baby, I don't want you to worry about Daddy and me...
ABBY: (smiling reassuringly at her) I'm not. You love each other too much to not be together.
JENNIFER: (smiling) I would tell you how smart you were again but...
ABBY: But you don't want me getting a big head like Daddy. I know. I love you, mommy.
JENNIFER: (eyes brimming with tears) I love you, too, baby.
JENNIFER exits into the kitchen. Once inside, she leans against the door and ponders what ABBY just said. She wishes that love was enough for her and JACK but knows it's not true. If it were that simple, they would never have gotten where they were today.
JENNIFER: (TO HERSELF) Oh, baby, I think we might love each other too much, if such a thing is even possible.
EXT. SALEM PLACE
JACK has finally caught up with VERN, who is shaking his head with disappointment.
JACK: (out of breath) You know, you're quite spry for an older gentleman.
VERN: (stopping and throwing him an odd look) Am I supposed to say thank you to that?
JACK: Yes...no...yes...take it as you will. You know, you never let me finish back there.
VERN: (beginning to walk again) I know.
JACK: (catching up with him again) Might I ask why?
VERN: Might you ask why? Why, Jack? Because whatever was about to come out of your mouth was going to be rubbish, pure rubbish.
JACK: Are you saying...?
VERN: (stopping and giving him an exasperating look) Are you honestly going to say that you weren't going to feed me a line back there? Wait a minute, I just used the word honest in reference to you. We all know that Jack Deveraux and honest don't exactly fit together.
JACK: (dropping his mouth open in shock) I beg your pardon.
VERN: No, I beg your pardon. (sighing and then softening his tone) Jack, when are you ever going to learn?
JACK: You know, if people don't stop using that sentence...
VERN: It's true, Jack. For as long as I've known you, you've hidden every last bit of yourself away, behind plans and lies, and it hasn't worked. Sooner or later you get burned.
JACK: Hey, it worked with Jennifer.
VERN: That's the one exception to the rule. Jack, this whole unfeeling, guarding thing is not healthy for you.
JACK: Who says I'm unfeeling and guarding?
VERN: Everyone who knows you. And everyone who knows you knows that you act this way when you are up to something, so don't try and tell me that you are not.
JACK: (angered that VERN called him on himself) Fine, you want to know what this is about?
VERN: It would be nice.
JACK: (gritting his teeth) This is about Jennifer and me and the constant way I, for lack of better word, screw up her life.
VERN: (raising his voice) You don't screw up her life, Jack. You confuse it, yes, but you don't ruin it.
JACK: I hurt her.
VERN: You hurt each other.
JACK: You don't understand, I keep hurting her in ways unimaginable.
VERN: You do not.
JACK: I do, too.
VERN: Jack, I wish you'd quit saying that. For as long as I've known you and Jennifer, this has been the "norm", you thinking you are not good enough...
JACK: I'm not. Are you even listening to me?
VERN: I'm hearing you, I'm just not believing you.
JACK: Believe me. I, Jack Deveraux, son of Senator Harper Deveraux, not only have broken Jennifer Horton's heart on countless occasions and continues to do so, but I've broken her spirit as well.
VERN: What in the world are you talking about?
JACK: (upset. Blurting things out) I'm talking about the fact that I...that I killed our child...
OUT on VERN, completely aghast over what JACK just blurted out.
INT. J & J'S KITCHEN
JENNIFER is taking out the turkey from the refrigerator and putting it on the counter. As she begins to run water, JO enters from the back door.
JO: (shivering) Finally! You wouldn't believe the traffic out there. I hope Vern and I don't hit a lot of it on our way to Brian and Ging-(noticing JENNIFER'S lack of interest and the turkey). Oh dear, does this mean you won't be making it to Alice's for the big day?
JENNIFER: (turning and smiling weakly at her) I'm afraid not. Abby's still running a fever.
JO: (taking off her coat and hanging it and walking over to help with the turkey) And the antibiotics aren't helping?
JENNIFER: Not really, she's still a little congested...(trailing off)
JO: (scooting JENNIFER out of the way and taking over) And what about you?
JENNIFER: What about me?
JO: (putting her arms on JENNIFER'S shoulders lovingly) How are you holding up?
JENNIFER: (lost) How am I holding up? (realizing why she asked about her) Oh no, Jo, did Jack say anything to you about the way I get when Abby's sick?
JO: (smiling through gritted teeth) A little.
JENNIFER: (breaking away from JO's arms softly and walking over to the table and laying her head down) I'm crazy, aren't I?
JO: (walking over and sitting beside her and placing JENNIFER'S head in her lap) No, honey, you're just a mother.
JENNIFER: A mother who's going to drive her daughter crazy someday.
JO: You don't think I did that with Adrienne? Please, I'm sure she wanted to strangle me sometimes.
JENNIFER: (weakly) But that's different.
JO: (stroking JENNIFER'S hair) And how do you figure?
JENNIFER: (raising her head to look at JO) Adrienne was healthy. I mean, Abby is now, but when she was younger...
JO: I know. (softly) I know.
JENNIFER: I get a little crazy over every little sniffle, you know.
JO: Jack mentioned a little something about it.
JENNIFER: He thinks I'm out of my mind, doesn't he?
JO: No, he doesn't. Jennifer, Abby was sick. It's only normal for you to worry that she may relapse. I used to worry about it all the time...
JENNIFER: With Jack, huh?
JO: (tearing up and looking down) Yes, with Jack. As much as I hate the Deverauxes for what they did to Jack, I'm glad, well, I'm glad they were there for him when Billy needed treatment. Duke and I, we couldn't afford...oh, look at me, getting all teary-eyed over something that never happened.
JENNIFER: It's okay, Jo. I can't imagine what it must've been like for you, giving up your babies like that. I mean, I foster cared for Hannah, but with Abby...
JO: (smiling through her tears) You'll never have to worry about that, Jennifer. That little girl has too much life in her to go anywhere. And I bet before long, you'll have a whole houseful of little Abbys.
JENNIFER grows quiet, thinking about the child she and JACK lost. JO notices the pain in JENNIFER'S eyes.
JO: Jennifer, did I say something wrong?
JENNIFER: No...no..Jack didn't tell you, did he?
JO: Tell me what?
JENNIFER: (nervously getting up and walking to the sink to get a glass of water. Talking to herself more than JO) I thought for sure...
JO: (watching as JENNIFER downs a whole glass of water) Jennifer, are you and Jack pregnant?
JENNIFER: (finishing the water but almost choking on it) Pregnant? No...We haven't even...(embarrassed) why am I telling you this? (back to the subject) I just figured that Jack would've told you.
JO: Jennifer, you're starting to sound like Jack.
JENNIFER: Right. (sighing) Jo, while in Africa, I found out that...that I was having another baby...
JO: (smiling instinctively) That's gr (face dropping). Oh.
JENNIFER: (about to cry) It's okay. We...we lost the baby. I...lost the baby.
JO: (getting up to hug her) Oh, Jennifer, why didn't you or Jack say anything?
JENNIFER: (melting into JO'S embrace) He didn't know.
JO: He didn't know?
JENNIFER: (between sobs) I didn't tell him...Jo, I was so mad and I went to see him and...I lost our baby, Jo.
JO: Oh, Jennifer, it will be allright.
JENNIFER: No, it won't.
JO: Why do you say that?
JENNIFER: (breaking away) He won't talk about it, Jo. I'm sure he's out somewhere blaming himself for it.
JENNIFER throws her a look.
JO: Okay, maybe he is, but Jennifer, Jack is a logical man...
JENNIFER throws her another look.
JO: (realizing that's why he's been acting so weird) Oh dear.
JENNIFER: (nodding) Oh dear is right.
EXT. SALEM PLACE
JACK and VERN have moved over to the benches and JACK has just finished telling him what happened to the baby in Africa.
VERN: (at a loss for words) Jack, I'm so sorry. I didn't know...
JACK: None of us did. Apparently, Jennifer...well, I told you about it.
VERN: You must be going through hell.
JACK: Who, me? More like Jennifer's going through hell, don't you think?
VERN: Her, too, but Jack, Jack, I'm worried about you. Don't you think you should be there for Jennifer instead of pushing her off to this Colin guy?
JACK: (moved by VERN'S concern) We all know that wacky Jack doesn't do that whole "being here for you" bit very well, don't we?
VERN: You know that's not true.
JACK: Please...don't try to make me feel better. Point is, I've been there and done that. I can't...I can't hurt her anymore. It's not a game anymore.
VERN: And you don't think pushing her away is going to hurt her? Jack, I've seen what that does to her.
JACK: As have I. She seems to genuinely like this guy, Vern.
VERN: And she seems to genuinely love you, Jack.
JACK: (shaking his head) She thinks she loves me.
VERN: She knows she does. Besides, this Colin character, didn't you think he was a little shady?
JACK: We did the background check, remember?
VERN: Yeah, and it came back clean. But what about the ice princess, Elizabeth?
JACK: Other than being one accustomed to the finer things in life and having shared a romp or to with the good doctor, Bill Horton, it looks as if she's just a good witch.
VERN pulls a face and then sighs.
JACK: Oh, come on. Dr. Murphy could be good for her. He's stable, he's ruggedly handsome if you like that sort...
VERN: He's not you, Jack. Have you even thought about what this is going to do to you?
JACK: (painfully smiling) I don't think I am of the utmost importance here.
VERN begins to speak of occurrences bound to happen that will break JACK'S heart. As he lists them, JACK looks as if the wind is being knocked out of him.
VERN: What about the first time he tells Jennifer he loves her? What about if she, and this is a long shot, tells him she loves him too? How are you going to feel when he's there tucking in Abby at night, when he is the one proofreading her term papers? Jack, how is it going to feel when she looks to him for advice?
JACK: Miss Horton or Abigail?
VERN: Both. Jack, I don't think this will come as a surprise to you, but I think you're making a big mistake.
JACK: You're right. About it not being a surprise, that is. Be that as it may, I still need your assistance..
JACK: My intentions are good, Vernon.
VERN: But everything else is bad. Jack, you are going to get hurt. Jennifer is going to get hurt. Abby-
JACK: Is not going to get hurt. I won't let that happen.
VERN: You've got this all figured out, don't you?
JACK: I wouldn't say that. About ninety-eight percent of it, yes.
VERN: (sighing) What do you want me to do?
JACK: Not tell Jo, for one (noticing VERN about to rebut). I'm serious. She'll never let me do this, no matter how good my intentions are.
VERN: You never know about your mother, Jack. She could be very understanding.
JACK: Trust me, I know about this one. She barely helped me the first time. Fancy that, now that I think about it, had all worked out well, you would be Abby's grandfather. Funny how things work out, huh? Now you and Jo are together and...
VERN: Speaking of Jo and I, Jack, as much as I'd love to help with your plan, I'm afraid I'll have to do it after Thanksgiving. Brian and Ginger have new puppies and I promised that I'd go see the new litter.
JACK: (overdramatizing) Fine, leave me for your natural son. No, I'm sure that Jennifer and I will be able to get through this one holiday without any assistance. We'll be at the Horton family gathering, so they'll be lots of folks around to keep us from getting too close. Now, don't be getting any ideas about Christmas...(getting up, VERN follows suit)
VERN: Jack, I still can't help think that Colin is up to no good.
JACK: Hmmm...could it be the DiMera family link? To tell the truth, I never thought I'd see the day Jennifer was involved with a member of that nefarious family.
VERN: Neither did I.
JACK: I don't think we have to worry about him, though. (walking) He's proven he's more Brady than anything. Jennifer wouldn't get involved with him if he was that shady, anyway. (noticing VERN'S look) I was not that shady. Okay, I was.
VERN: Jack, need I remind you about Lawrence Alamain?
JACK: (deadpan) Keep walking, Vern.
OUT on the two of them exiting the park.
INT. J & J'S LIVING ROOM
It is awhile later and dark outside. Jennifer is sitting alone in the living room, watching t.v. and clutching a pillow to her chest. Nothing seems to be holding her interest.
JACK and VERN hover outside of the front door. JACK peeks in the window and sees a pensive JENNIFER. His heart goes out to her. He looks to VERN, who pleads with his eyes not to do this, not to hurt her. Jack smiles weakly and takes a deep breath, opening the door. Seeing him, Jennifer stands, looking him straight in the eye.
JENNIFER: (nervous) Hi.
JACK: (putting his keys on the table in the foyer and hanging his jacket) Where's-
JENNIFER: She's in bed. Not feeling well, still.
JACK: Fever's high?
VERN watches the encounter sadly. When they pause nervously, he steps forward.
VERN: I think I better go see how Jo's coming along with packing. (nodding to Jennifer) Jenny-girl.
VERN exits, leaving the two of them to stare at one another, feeling the tension between them.
JENNIFER: I didn't think you'd be home...I mean, you haven't been lately.
JACK: Yeah, I've been busy. How about you? Did you want to go somewhere? You could've called me. I would've came home.
JENNIFER: No, I'm fine. I was...I was kinda hoping you'd come home.
JACK: (STEPPING INTO THE LIVING ROOM) You were?
JENNIFER: Yeah...I...well, they're showing "His Girl Friday" on t.v. and I thought maybe we'd pop some popcorn and...
JACK: (lying. It is killing him) I have some work I have to do.
JENNIFER: (hurt) Oh.
JACK: Maybe you could tape it. I could watch it later.
The phone rings.
JACK: Jennifer, the phone is ringing.
JENNIFER: (not taking her gaze off him) I know, Jack. We have a machine.
JACK: I know, but---we should, I'll get it (picking up the phone) Hello? Horton-Deveraux residence. (beat. His face falls) Yes, yes she is. One moment. (to Jennifer, who is curious at once going on) It's for you. (handing her the phone)
JENNIFER: (not breaking her gaze with him still but taking the phone from him) Hello? (unhappily) Oh, hi Colin. (beat) No, you didn't interrupt anything...(beat) Yeah. (she watches as JACK makes his way out of the room and up the stairs).
Knowing it's for the best but reeling from the pain, Jack starts slowly up the stairs, watching her on the phone. When she looks his way, he smiles painfully at her.
Smile though your heart is aching
At the top of the stairs, Jack turns the corner and bites his lower lip. He knows he has to be strong, but isn't sure if he can be.
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
He goes to punch the wall but notices Abby's door open and stops. Jo and Vern exit Jo's room and see him. They both know why he looks so worn. Before they can say anything, he goes into his room.
Smile and maybe tomorrow
Cut to Jennifer, who has just hung up the phone. Settling in to watch the movie, she sadly rests her head on a throw pillow. She wishes she could just get through to Jack.
Light up your face with gladness
Jo and Vern enter from the staircase and look sadly at Jennifer. Jo wants to say something, but Vern stops her and they take their bags out into the foyer. They both really want to help, but can't. They exit.
Smile, what's the use of crying?
Cut to Jack, alone in his room, trying to concentrate on reading the paper, but can't. He thinks of Jennifer down in the living room alone and walks out. We find him walking down the stairs and looking at Jennifer, who feels his eyes on her. She turns and flashes him a sad smile and without a word, he sits beside her on the couch and she puts her head on his shoulder.
That's the time you must keep on trying
End of Episode 58