KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D’Anna
It is later on that afternoon. JENNIFER is still sitting in front of the fireplace, lost in thought, when there is a knock on the door. She doesn’t move upon hearing the first raps. However, a voice on the other side of the door calls out to her.
JO: (voice only) Jennifer? Jennifer, I know you’re in there.
JENNIFER stands up and composes herself. Taking a quick look in the mirror by the door and brushing her hair out of her eyes, she slides open the loft door. JO, is standing on the other side, holding a small suitcase with pink flowers on it.
JENNIFER: Hi Jo.
JO: (sternly) Don’t “hi Jo” me. (walking in uninvited) Jennifer Horton, you have a lot of explaining to do.
OUT on JENNIFER, nervously sliding the door closed. It’s now or never, she supposes.
SCENE TWO: JACK’S ROOM-AFRICA
IN on JACK, still tied to the bed. A large man with a black beard and longish black hair enters carrying a tray of food.
MAN WITH FOOD: Dinner time.
JACK: (flashing a nervous grin) Very funny. And how do you suppose I eat the meal, with my head in a bowl like a common cur?
MAN WITH FOOD: (lost) Cur?
MAN WITH FOOD: Well, I guess I can untie you. I mean, you can’t really go anywhere, can you?
JACK: Thanks for reminding me.
The MAN walks over, untying a relieved JACK, who immediately begins rubbing his sore wrists. When the MAN moves to hand him the tray, JACK gives him a look, nodding down to his shackled, not tied, ankles.
MAN: Oh no, that’s not gonna happen. I may be a fool, but I’m not that much of a fool.
JACK: (shrugging) Fine. What, pray tell, did you bring me to feast on? Lobster bisque, filet mignon…
MAN: Turkey pot pie.
MAN: You know, turkey baked into piecrust. My mother used to make ‘em all the time for us when we were kids.
JACK: (picking up a fork to dig in) Lucky you.
MAN: (leaning in close to JACK’S face) You making fun of my mother?
JACK: (swallowing nervously) No…never. (beat, putting down his fork) Wait a minute, how do I know this isn’t poisoned? It would be an ideal way to do the job. Feed me a drug laced-what was it-turkey pot pie and then it’s “night, night Deveraux”.
MAN: Deveraux? What kind of a sissy name is that?
JACK: (throwing him a look) If you must know, it’s French. That’s France, far from the isle of Sissy.
MAN: I know where France is.
JACK: That’s very nice. (pushing the plate towards him) Now, if you’d take this with you as you go.
MAN: You’re not going to eat it?
JACK: Can’t say that I am.
MAN: This is my lucky day. The guy down the hall didn’t want his either. (sitting at a table across the room and beginning to eat away, much to JACK’S chagrin)
JACK: Down the hall? There’s someone else down the hall?
MAN: (between bites) Yeah. Someone else. That surprise ya? It’s not like you’re special or anything.
JACK: (kicking up slightly with his shackled feet) And I do feel special, trust me.
MAN: (between bites) I like you much better, though. The other guy just sits there, barely a word. He’s fairly new too.
JACK: Really? How new?
MAN: He just came in before you. (beat) Why does it matter so much to you, anyway?
JACK: No reason. No reason at all. (under his breath) Bill.
SCENE THREE: INT. HOTEL ROOM-AFRICA
A shot of BILL, asleep soundly in his bed, no knowledge of what has transpired.
SCENE FOUR: INT. GIDEON’S ROOM-AFRICA
IN on GIDEON, still sitting in front of the window, watching the dark sky. The door opens and a tall gentleman enters.
GENTLEMAN: (in a thick English accent) Well, hello Gideon. (when he doesn’t take notice of his presence) What, no love for your old friend?
GIDEON: (without turning from the window) Go to hell, Oliver.
OLIVER: (laughing it off) If I’m going anywhere, I’m taking you with me, chap. (looking around the room) So, do you like your accommodations? I know there not like anything the boss had given you, but you must understand, Gideon, that your safety is of the utmost priority now.
OLIVER: What’s so funny?
GIDEON: You. My safety means nothing to you. You’re just afraid I’ll start to remember.
OLIVER: (worried, wanting to know more) Are you remembering, Gideon?
GIDEON doesn’t answer.
OLIVER: It’s very important that you tell us if you are, Gideon. It’s for your own good.
GIDEON: (laughing even more) That’s even funnier. For my own good? Ripping me away from my family and taking away my memories is for my own good?
OLIVER: (shocked) You are remembering!
GIDEON: (turning towards him) Yes, I am. And when I’m through, Oliver, you’ll have a lot of explaining to do.
OUT on OLIVER, shaking in his safari boots.
SCENE FIVE: INT. LOFT-SALEM
JENNIFER: Jo, I-Where’s Abby?
JO: Around the corner, having a slice of pizza with Vern.
JO: Jennifer, forgive my crassness, but what the hell is going on?
JENNIFER: I…(leaning on the counter and looking at her feet) I told you.
JO: No, you didn’t. You checked out of the hospital, told us to pack up Abby, and told us you were moving out. As Jack’s mother and Abby’s grandmother, I demand to know what’s going on.
JENNIFER: Nothing…nothing’s going on. I just realized that I was making a mistake trying to make it work with Jack.
JO: You “just realized”? Did you happen to tell Jack about this little realization you “just” had?
JENNIFER: Well, I-
JO: No, you didn’t. I did. When he called this morning, I-
JENNIFER: (relieved) He called?
JO: Of course he called. Why wouldn’t he?
JENNIFER: He’s okay then?
JO: (noticing that for someone in love with another, she sure is concerned about JACK) He’s fine. A little shell-shocked, like the rest of us, but fine…
JENNIFER breathes a sigh of relief.
JO: I just don’t understand. You and Jack seemed so…you seemed so happy. Jennifer, I hadn’t seen you that happy since you were first married.
JENNIFER: We’d been fighting a lot, Jo.
JO: What else is new? You always fight. But to move out and in with another man? Jennifer, that’s not like you.
JENNIFER: Why does everyone keep saying that? It is like me. I…(stumbling over the words, as if trying to believe them herself) I love Colin.
JO: No, you don’t. You love Billy. You always have. You always will.
JENNIFER: Sometimes that’s not enough, Jo. Sometimes other things get in the way.
JO: Like what, Jennifer? Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been the one fighting for you and Jack. You’ve been the one believing in true love and happily-ever-afters. What happened?
JENNIFER: Things happen, Jo. (turning away sadly) Things you can’t explain.
JO: Jennifer, you can work this out. I know it. There’s nothing tying you to him. Nothing.
JENNIFER turns around and immediately JO knows there is something tying her to him. A baby. She can read the sadness in JENNIFER’S eyes. JO doesn’t know what to think, but her initial reaction is anger.
JO: (watching as JENNIFER squirms and touches her belly slightly) Oh. I…I see.
JENNIFER: Jo, it’s not like…it’s not like-
JO: (letting out some air) I need some…I need some water…no, I need some air.
There is a knock on the door. A grateful JO goes and opens it as JENNIFER tries to compose herself at the counter.
VERN: Everything okay in here?
JO: (looking towards JENNIFER and not meeting her eyes and then back to VERN) Everything’s fine. (beat) Just fine.
JENNIFER: Hi Vern.
VERN: (knowing something just happened) Hi Jenny-Girl. Um, she’s all packed up. We’re going to…we’re going to stay at the house until Jack gets back and then…well, all your stuff is still there. Abby’s too. Gosh, Jenny-Girl, I wish you’d change your mind.
JO: Don’t bother, Vern. Her mind’s made up. (to ABBY, who’s watching the action, confused) Alright, peanut, Gramma Jo’s gotta go, but we’ll see you soon. Tomorrow. (hugging her close) I love you.
JO dabs at her eyes and exits quickly, angry and sad at JENNIFER for letting this happen.
VERN: (mussing ABBY’S hair lovingly, but can’t take his eyes off a shaky JENNIFER) Goodbye, Abigail. (nodding towards JENNIFER) Goodbye, Jennifer.
VERN turns and leaves. JENNIFER walks over to the door and closes it behind ABBY.
JENNIFER: So, how was day camp?
ABBY: Fine. (looking around) Mommy, what’s going on? Why are we here?
OUT on JENNIFER, unsure of how to answer that question.
SCENE SIX: INT. JACK’S ROOM-AFRICA
JACK: (watching the MAN finish up his pot pie hungrily) Looks good.
MAN: (letting out a belch) Was good.
JACK: (flashing a nervous smile and extending a hand) Name’s Jack.
MAN: (wary at first, then walking over and taking his hand) Pleased. You can call me Guard.
JACK: Guard? (nervous laughter) How original.
MAN: Look, I…I know you’re still hungry. How ‘bout if I see if I can rustle you up a sandwich or two from the kitchen for later.
JACK: Sandwiches, eh? That would be good. How ‘bout the leg shackles?
MAN: No can do. Wish I could, buddy. You seem like a pretty nice guy…for a sissy.
JACK: Yes, (laughing) for a sissy.
MAN: Alright then. (picking up the tray and walking towards the door, but pausing) Hey, I was thinking…do you know that guy down the hall?
JACK: I might.
MAN: If you do, I can…I can give him a message if you like. I don’t see what harm that would do.
JACK: That would be nice. Thank you, Guard.
MAN: No problem. I’ll see you in a bit. (he exits)
OUT on JACK, smiling at the unexpected kindness of the guard.
SCENE SEVEN: INT. VERN’S CAR
JO is sitting on the passengers’ side, looking out the window. She cannot believe what just happened.
VERN: (pulling off the road and turning off the car) So?
VERN: So, are you going to tell me what happened back there or not? Jo, I’ve never seen you so riled up.
JO: You want to know what just happened? The apocalypse just happened!
VERN: What are you talking about?
JO: Jennifer’s…Jennifer’s pregnant.
VERN: Why, that’s great…(face falling) oh no.
JO: Oh, yes.
VERN: So, that’s why she moved out? What’s Jack going to think?
JO: Jack?! What’s Jack going to think? He’s going to be devastated. What’s going on?
VERN: That doesn’t sound like Jennifer at all.
JO: Don’t even go there.
VERN: But she and Jack, gosh, I always thought they’d get back together and have lots more babies. They are meant for one another.
JO: Tell me about it.
VERN: Something’s wrong.
JO: Everything’s wrong.
VERN: No, something is definitely wrong. The Jennifer Horton I knew would never fall prey to the lines of Colin Murphy, much less sleep with him.
JO: Things change.
JO: That’s what she said back there. Things change. And then I found out about the baby. (crying into her hands) Oh, Vern, what are we going to do?
VERN: (putting his arm around her) I don’t know, Jo…I just don’t know.
SCENE EIGHT: INT. LOFT-SALEM
JENNIFER: Well…well, we’re here because this is our new home.
ABBY: Who’s new home? Mine, yours, and Daddy’s?
JENNIFER: No…mine, yours, and…and Colin’s.
ABBY: (near tears) Colin’s? I don’t want Colin to be my new daddy.
JENNIFER: Baby, (kneeling down to be eye-to-eye with her) Colin, could never be your new daddy.
ABBY: But I want Daddy.
JENNIFER: (hugging her close) I know you do. I know you do.
ABBY: (near tears) But I thought you loved him. I thought you loved Daddy.
JENNIFER: I…I do, but-
ABBY: But you love Colin more. I hate you! I hate you! (running to the door and trying to open it, when it doesn’t happen, she bangs on it, crying and screaming) I hate you! I want to go home! I want Daddy! I want Daddy!
JENNIFER rushes over and tries to calm her down.
JENNIFER: Baby, baby, no.
She gently pulls her away from the door and they both sink to the floor, crying and holding onto one another for dear life. OUT on JENNIFER, not knowing what to do and wishing JACK were there.
SCENE NINE: INT. LOFT-SALEM
It is now around 8 o’clock. JENNIFER is sitting on the sofa and rubbing ABBY’S head, which is resting peacefully on her lap. She is sleeping.
COLIN enters and JENNIFER turns her head towards him and then back towards the fireplace.
COLIN: (walking over and touching JENNIFER’S shoulder. She flinches) I see the wee one’s home.
COLIN: How’d she take the news?
JENNIFER: Not well, if you haven’t guessed.
COLIN: Poor child.
JENNIFER laughs lightly at this comment.
JENNIFER: Poor child? You’re the one who put her in this position.
COLIN: No, Jennifer, you’re the one who put her in this position. (beat) I’m going to bed. Should I expect it you up soon?
JENNIFER doesn’t answer.
COLIN: Fine then.
He stomps up the stairs and wakes ABBY.
ABBY: (lifting her head slightly, groggily) Daddy?
JENNIFER: No, baby. Just go to sleep. (she gently begins to rub her head again)
OUT on JENNIFER, staring blankly into the fire for a moment or two before closing her own eyes.
SCENE TEN: INT. JACK’S ROOM-AFRICA
There is a knock on the door.
JACK: (goes to get up, but then remembers the shackles on his legs) Come…come in.
GUARD: (peeking his head in) You sleepin’?
JACK: Do I look like I’m-nevermind, come in.
GUARD: Sorry for being so late, but I really shouldn’t even be here.
JACK: Thank you for coming.
GUARD: (picking up two wrapped sandwiches out of his pockets and tossing them to him) Here, I made them myself. Both tuna. And (pulling a bottle of water out of his pocket) here’s something to wash them down with.
JACK: (voraciously biting into one of the sandwiches) Thank you.
GUARD: Well, if that will be all…(turns to leave)
JACK: (mouth full) No. (swallowing) What about the message you said you’d leave? With the other prisoner?
GUARD: Oh yeah, right.
JACK: I really appreciate this. It’s just…he and I we have something in common.
GUARD: You do?
JACK: We sort of share someone in common.
GUARD: Oliver said something like that once.
JACK: Can you give him a note? From me?
GUARD: I can do that.
OUT on JACK, writing something on the pad of paper he keeps in his pocket and handing it to the GUARD.
SCENE TEN: INT. GIDEON’S ROOM
A few minutes later.
GIDEON is still sitting, looking out the window. There is a knock on the door. When no one answers, GUARD lets himself in.
GUARD: You still up?
GUARD: You like that window, don’t you? (laughing nervously) I…listen, I, I noticed you didn’t eat anything earlier and I…I thought you might be hungry. Here. (tossing the sandwiches and bottle of water on the bed). You don’t have to eat them, I just thought. Nevermind.
He goes to leave, but then stops.
GUARD: Oh, and there’s a note with them. From the guy down the hall. Says he knows you.
GIDEON’S eyebrow goes up at this. Does he know someone?
GUARD: Well…good night.
The GUARD leaves and immediately, GIDEON walks over to the bed and picks up the note.
GIDEON: (reading aloud) “Never got to Jennifer. Must get out and get to Salem immediately. Write back.” (confused) Jennifer? Salem? What’s this all about?
OUT on GIDEON, realizing that something sounds familiar about those words, that place. END OF EPISODE 89
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