matthew ashford homepage general hospital synopsis

chapter ix: tom has a breakdown and has
a horrifying flashback to africa.


Scene One: Everyone is attending Stone's memorial at Sonny Corinthos' place; Tom attends with Felicia, they listen on during the eulogies.

After the services Justus and Simone need to ask Tom a favor, Simone is anxious about how Tom will react. Simone calls Tom over.

Simone: Tom?

Tom walks over.

Simone: Do you have plans for tonight

Tom: (Snarky) You and Justus inviting me to dinner?

Justus: (Not amused) Can we play this straight, just once?! We've all been through enough for one day.

Simone: Tommy has been asking when he could have another sleep-over at your place.... and I thought that you might like company tonight.... after all this.

Tom: (Continues being snide) And your company wants to stay over.
Both are not amused, but say nothing.
Tom: (Cont.) Sure, the little guy is always welcome.

Simone: Pick him up in half hour.

Tom: Sounds like a plan.

Justus guides her away, but she looks at Tom, sensing something is wrong. After they walk off Tom looks as if something *is* wrong.


 A little later Simone and Justus walk over to give their condolences to Sonny. Tom is behind them. They thank Sonnyfor inviting them.

Sonny: Stone would have wanted it that way. He knew good people.

Tom: He was.... good people.
The three leave.

Scene Two: Later that evening, in Tom's bedroom, Tom and Tommy are watching TV, they are both in their pajamas.

Tommy: (Sighing) Mr. Science is awesome!

Tom: "Awesome?" I thought you were into Power Strangers [seems to be a reference to Power Rangers which/who was/were popular during this time]?

Tommy: Science rules, Dad!

Tom: Yeah? (Turning off the TV and getting up) Well, I certainly know more about volcanoes than I did half-an-hour ago.


Tommy:  So, you and Mommy and Justus went to the party for Stone?

Tom: (Frowning) It wasn't a party!

Tommy: What was it?

Tom: It was a remembering time.

Tommy: Did everybody cry?

Tom:  (Sitting next to Tommy) Well, ah, (thinking how to answer the question) Some people cried, yes.  But we also laughed.  Because when your sa-ad.... it's important to keep happy thoughts in your head. Mostly we were.... just wanting  to be together.... and ah.... remember.

Tommy: What if somebody died and nobody remembered.
This seems to really affect Tom. He seems upset by it and something else. He takes a couple of moments to answer.
Tom: We have to remember! (Choking a little) It's our duty to remember. And then it's not just ah.... (having trouble continuing) it's not just.... important.... (becoming more and more upset) to keep.... the sad thoughts in your head.... you also have to hang on to the happy thoughts.  Like what's the happiest thing that happened to you this week?

Tommy: (Trying to think) Well.... (Remembering) Oh! You-Can-Call-Me-Mort shed his skin. (Smiling) All in one piece, too!

Tom: (Smiling, though obviously still troubled by something) That's mighty fine.

Tommy: What about you, Daddy? What's your happiest thing?

Tom: (Sighing, and giving his son a big hug; more for himself than for Tommy) You are! (Very troubled, he appears to be almost on the verge of tears; speaking softly) You!

Scene Three: Tom is in bed, sleeping.  He is sweating and tossing in his sleep, grimacing, obviously having a nightmare.

He awakes Tommy who is sleeping next to him.

Tom Hardy has a has a flashback to Africa;
1:20 Min; 2.5 Meg

Tommy: (Concerned) Daddy?

Tom: (Startled, he awakens) What! What?

Tommy: You were dreaming.

Tom: (Gasping) I wasn't asleep. I was a...

Tommy: Thinking about Stone?

Tom: Yes. Stone. Ha.... And Africa.
Tommy pats his father on the shoulder, not noticing how bad Tom is. Tom has the cold sweats and having some form of panic attack. Tom looks over towards Tom and pats him.
Tom: (Cont.) Me too.
Tom flashes back to a face, and someone screaming. He sits up startled. He seems to be having a hard time catching his breath.

Tommy: (Becoming concerned, sits up too) Daddy?

Tom: I'm alright. Tommy, I'm alright. I'm okay. I'm okay.

There are the sounds of drums, as Tom continues to have his flash back. There is a flash of an African man, then a blurred vision and the cry of a woman screaming. 

Tommy: Daddy?!
Tom gets up and motions to Tommy to stay where he is. Tom walks into the bathroom.

Tom: I'm alright. I'm alright. Stay in bed. Please!

Tommy: Daddy! DADDY!


Tom locks the door. And slides down against it. Shaking. He hears scream and shudders. He wraps his arms around himself. It flashes back to more  people talking in some African language. There is a dog barking and sounds of some automatic weapons -- the images are obscured.

Then there is a young African boy, holding out his hand; more sounds of a barking dog; incoherent voices; gun fire; barking. The scenes flashes to Tom, shaking, sweating and his eyes wide open in horror. A flash of a sweating face.  Some one shouting, "NOOOO!"

In the present Tommy runs to the bathroom door and knocks, frantically.

Tom: (Gasping) Tommy! Tommy! Tommy! Sta.... Please.... in bed!
Tommy runs to the front door.

Meanwhile Tom is still cowering next to the bathroom door.

Scene Four: Tom is still having a break down, cowering in the bathroom. He crawls across the floor, as he hears more people screaming, gun fire and the barking dog.

Tommy returns with Bobbie, dragging Felicia to the bathroom door.
Tommy: (Frantic) He's in there!

Inside Tom is terrified, he apparently is reliving something which happened in Africa.

Meanwhile, Felicia signals Bobbie, who gets the hint.

Bobbie: Why don't you come downstairs with me.

Tommy:  (Worried) What's wrong with him?

Bobbie: Well, he'll be fine. Um,  (looking at Felicia) Felicia will find if he needs anything and you and I could make some coco, okay. That always makes me feel better.

Bobbie leads Tommy away, and Felicia knocks on the bathroom door.

Inside Tom is still having his attack.


Felicia: Are you alright, Tom?

Tom: Tom-my (gasping)?

Felicia: He's with Bobbie. (Trying to open the door) Would you unlock the door, please.

Felicia continues to knock.Tom is gasping, and sobbing, he unlocks the door, and opens it, he is crying and looks up to Felicia with a pleading look.

She takes his face in her hands. Just then Tommy runs back, with Bobbie following.
Tommy: Daddy?!
Tom looks in horror.
Tommy: Daddy?.... Daddy?

Tom sinks to the floor, cowering, raising his hand up as if to protect himself.

Tom: No, no, no!

Bobbie: (Leading him away from the door, knelling down, talking to Tommy) Ah, honey, your dad's  feeling a little sad right now. But I'm sure he's going to be okay. So, um.... I'm sure he'll come downstairs in a little while. (Getting up and leading him away) Why don't we make some coco.

She looks over at Felicia who waits until they are gone. Felicia goes into the bathroom. Tom can be heard sobbing, and breathing heavily. She knells down next to him.

Felicia helps Tom, he breaks down revealing what happened in Africa;
2:30 Min; 5.7 Meg

Felicia: Tom.... we're alone now. What's happened? What's going on?.... Concentrate! Breathe deep!

Tom: (Still sobbing) I.... I.... I.... (Having a hard time saying what he has to say) I couldn't stop.... them! I didn't want to!

Felicia: "Stop" what? Stop what?
It seems like Tom is talking to someone else, not Felicia, and is having his attack.
Tom: (Still sobbing) I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!

Felicia: What's sorry about, Tom?

Tom: They didn't have to die!

Felicia: (Finally understanding) In Africa? At the refugee camp?
Tom gives a slight nod, and bites his lip, still sobbing.
Felicia: (Cont.) You did the best you could!

Tom: Yeesss! (In anguish) I.... I was trying to help, for god's sake.

Felicia: Well, you couldn't save everybody!

Tom: You.... You understand, I had to make choices!

Felicia: 'Course I do!

Tom: I had responsibility!

Felicia: It must have been really hard--

Tom: There had to be order!

Felicia: (Comfortingly) Oh, I see.

Tom: That's all you're supposed to do.... Keep order! They fought back. Why did they do that?
Felicia frowns, obviously feeling for Tom.
Tom: (Cont.) They didn't have to die! So many.... women and children. (Putting out his hand) A little boy.... a child.... barely Tom's age.... was blown to bits right in front of me. (Shaking his head) My fault.
Felicia moves closer to him, and lovingly wraps her arms around him, resting her chin on his arm.
Tom: (Cont.) *I* set Manulu [sp.?] on them. I (gasping sob).... I was trying to help, god.... god.... oh, God! (Moving his hand over his face, sobbing harder) I was just trying to help. I needed to come home.
Felicia touches his hair.

Tom: (Cont.) I needed Simone. I needed Tommy. I was lost. I need[ed] to come home, I need[ed] them (Sobbing).

Felicia: (Taking him in her arms and holding him tightly) It's alright! It's alright! You're safe. Don't! You're here and you're safe! Tommy's here! And Tommy loovees you! He's here!

Scene Five: A little later, Tom has calmed down; he is resting against  Felicia.

Tom is better, he talks more about his attacks;
2:30 Min; 5.6 Meg

Tom: I'm soo sorry! I'm sorry I put you (resting his head against the wall) through this!

Felicia: You didn't put me through it, you went through it. Have you been seeing somebody for this?

Tom shakes his head.
Felicia: (Cont.) I really think you should. (Placing her arms on his shoulder) What if I put a call into Gail [Gail is a psychiatrist, she is married to Lee Baldwin, who is Tom's uncle through Tom's biological father Thomas Hardy]? Or Kevin? I'm sure one of them would meet us at the hospital.

Tom: No! No, no, no, no! No hospital, that's the last thing I need! (A half-hearted smile, and nodding his head) I'm getting a grip. I'll be alright.

Felicia: How often does this happen?

Tom: (Exhaling) Not so much any more. After the (getting up) worst part of it.... the.... ah.... (wiping his face with a towel) the attacks subside quickly. (Exhaling, and slight chuckle) Ohhh.... You should have seen me when I first got home.

Felicia: I still think you should call a doctor.

Tom: I am a doctor. I am getting better. What's a matter? You never saw a grown man pitch a fit on a bathroom floor? Stick around!

Felicia: I think I'm beginning to understand this. It sounds ominous. Simone and Tommy, why it's so important for you to keep them together as a family -- even though it's not what Simone wanted.

Tom: (Sitting back down, breathing, biting his lip) About Simone? And Tommy? I don't know who I am.... no, no, no.... correction, I don't like who I am.... I'm drowning.... and I have (voice slightly catching) to hang on to them.... even if they end up drowning with me.

Tom:(Cont.) And when I realize that, it scares me!

Felicia: Don't have to struggle with this alone!

Tom: I'm not alone, you're right there, sharing my bathroom floor.


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