SCENE ONE: THE NEXT DAY JENNIFER ARRIVES AT WORK AND JACK IS STANDING AT HER DESK.
JENNIFER: Jack, Jack!
JACK: I'm busy.
JENNIFER: No, not for this.
JACK: Jennifer, I said that I'm....
JENNIFER: Don't you want to know what happened at the award ceremony last night?
JACK: You won!
JENNIFER: You heard.
JACK: Good news travels fast. Congratulations.
JENNIFER: Oh, I thought you'd be more excited than that.
JACK: It's an award for a job well done. Just keep doing it. Is that all?
JENNIFER: No, it's not all.
JACK: Well why don't you skip the little pieces and get right onto the big picture.
JENNIFER: Okay, I had a really good time last night.
JENNIFER: And a lot of people were giving me a lot of attention.
JACK: Oh that's very nice.
JENNIFER: And they were telling me how talented I was.
JACK: Well a little flattery can be a very good thing sometimes.
JENNIFER: And two other newspapers offered me a job!
JACK: Excuse me!
JENNIFER: You heard me. Two other newspapers offered me a job!
JENNIFER: Uh, huh!
JACK: Well that is news.
JENNIFER: Oh you're not excited about me winning an award but you are excited about two competing newspapers offering me a job, right Jack.
JACK: An award is a four dollar piece of wood with a cheap piece of bronze stapled to it. What you got is two opportunities. Two chances for growth and not to mention money. Give me the details. I want details here.
JENNIFER: Well after I accepted my award, two representatives from these other papers came to talk to me.
JACK: What two papers?
JENNIFER: The Sentinel and The Chronicle.
JACK: Hmmm. Sleaze balls! I bet they offered you a lot of money.
JENNIFER: Yeah, they did. A lot of money and my own office.
JACK: Oh! Fax machine?
JENNIFER: Yeah, fax machine.
JENNIFER: Eighty words per minute.
JACK: And dictation?
JENNIFER: Uh, huh.
JACK: Oh....nothing too good, huh?
JENNIFER: Well they asked me to put a hold on my degree indefinitely though.
JACK: Oh! Of course, of course. They want you out there in the street, beating out and getting those headlines.
JENNIFER: It's almost too good to be true, isn't it?
JACK: It certainly is.
JENNIFER: I mean an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
JACK: You certainly can't do that.JENNIFER: Unless of course....
JACK: Of course what?
JENNIFER: You're going to make a counter offer, right?
JACK: I'm sorry. No.
JENNIFER: What do you mean?
JACK: What part didn't you understand?
JENNIFER: The part after sorry.
JACK: Jennifer, I am sorry but my hands are tied. I have an understanding with your department head at college. He said you work here all the time, full time and you get full college credit. Now if you stay working here, you stay in school but you keep the same low salary. I don't make the rules. I can't change things.
JENNIFER: But those other offers....
JACK: Are excellent offers. And being the astute business woman that you've been trained to be, I'm sure you'll make the best choice. I know I would.
JENNIFER: You would.
JACK: Yes, so without much further ado, goodbye and good luck.
JACK EXTENDS HIS HAND TO SHAKE HERS.JENNIFER: Right.
JACK: I'll make sure you get your last pay check.
JENNIFER: Jack maybe we should just....
JACK: And don't even think about getting a farewell party. You know our policy here. It's not in the budget. You understand. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to work.
JENNIFER IS LEFT STUNNED, HURT AND MYSTIFIED BY JACK.
SCENE TWO: A SHORT TIME LATER, JACK IS CHECKING GALLEYS WHEN JO WALKS IN HIS OFFICE.
JO: I just came back from seeing Kayla and the baby.
JACK: Oh really, how are they doing?
JO: Oh perfect!
JACK: Thank you for the update.
JO: I heard about you and Jennifer winning the award.
JACK: Don't look at me. That was none of my doing.
JO: Oh Jack! You nominated her.
JACK: Look, she got that award on her own merit.
JO: You are one of the reasons that she has become such a fine reporter. I think you two make a great team.
JACK: No! We are not, nor will we ever be, a team.
JO: You don't mean that.
JACK: You can't have a team without players.
JO: What are you talking about?
JACK: As of this afternoon, Jennifer doesn't work here anymore.
JO: You fired Jennifer!
JACK: Let's just say she got an offer she couldn't refuse.
JO: How could you let her go?
JACK: It was easy. She's just moving on.
JO: This doesn't have anything to do with work, does it?
JACK: You know what you were talking about yesterday. I went to the awards.
JO: You did? What happened?
JACK: She won and I left.
JO: Did she see you?
JACK: Aaaaaah..... no! Not that it could have made a difference.
JO: Oh it could have made all the difference.
JACK: Look, the important thing is, this is all water under the bridge. She's gotten two great offers and I'm not about to stand in the way. This is her chance to make a whole new start.
JO: What about you?
JACK: Well I guess I'll have to start looking for a new reporter.
JO: When are you going to give yourself a new start?
JACK IGNORES HER COMMENTS.
JO: Listen to me. You've got to stop living in the past. You've got to move forward. You've got to let this go. People will see the goodness in your heart if you'll just let them son. I know that you're capable of love and so does Jennifer. Find a way to let her in.
SCENE THREE: LATER THAT EVENING, JACK SEES JENNIFER IN THE OFFICE.
JACK: Have you cleaned out your workspace?
JENNIFER: Why should I?
JACK: Well I assuming that the person I hire to take your place would like a clean desk.
JENNIFER: I'm not going anywhere until I make a decision about what offer I'm going to accept.
JACK: It must be pretty hard. They're both good.
JENNIFER: Well actually I have three choices. I mean I have the two new offers and I also have my job here.
JENNIFER: Yes, working at The Spectator does have some merit, don't you think Jack?
JACK: Sure, if you want no promotion and no pay. Jennifer, the point is you've got two great offers here. Don't blow it.
JENNIFER: Why is it that everybody thinks they know what I need Jack?
JACK: When you start thinking rationally, then I'll stop giving you direction.
JENNIFER: I am very capable of making my own decisions.
JACK: If that was true you would have been out of here, already.
JENNIFER: Well maybe that day isn't too far off Jack.
JENNIFER WALKS OUT OF HIS OFFICE AND SLAMS THE DOOR. AS SHE COMES OUT, MELISSA ARRIVES TO ASK JENNIFER WHAT DECISION SHE HAS MADE. JENNIFER GETS MAD WITH MELISSA BECAUSE SHE IS ALWAYS PUTTING JACK DOWN SO SHE WALKS OUT.
SCENE FOUR: MELISSA STORMS INTO JACK'S OFFICE.
MELISSA: STAY AWAY FROM JENNIFER, JACK. I mean it. Stay away!
JACK: Melissa, come in.
MELISSA: Stay away from Jennifer, Jack.
JACK: The way that I mistreat my employees is my business Melissa.
MELISSA: I don't want you using here the same way you used me.
JACK: Using her? I think that would imply some emotional entanglement, of which there is none.
MELISSA: You are such a liar! Why couldn't I have seen that a couple of years ago?
JACK: I think it's time for you to leave.
MELISSA: My pleasure. It may take them a while Jack but eventually everyone will see you for the despicable creep you are. I did and so will Jennifer. Count on it.
MELISSA STORMS BACK OUT.
SCENE FIVE: MEANWHILE JENNIFER HAS GONE TO MEET EMILIO AT THE DANCE STUDIO. HE IS NOT THERE SO SHE PUTS ON A TAPE AND DAYDREAMS OF DANCING WITH JACK....
SHE IS DRESSED IN SEQUINED GOWN, KENNY G IS PLAYING; JACK WALKS UP WEARING A TUX.
JENNIFER: Hi Jack.
HE TAKES HER IN HIS ARMS AND THEY DANCE SLOWLY TO THE MUSIC.
JENNIFER: Why are you here?
JACK: Why do you think? I missed you.
JENNIFER: You missed me? I thought you wanted me to go?
JACK: No....you're the best thing in my life. I'm not about to let you go.
HE BENDS DOWN TO KISS HER AND JUST AS HE DOES A HAND TOUCHES HER ON THE SHOULDER..
SUDDENLY JENNIFER REALIZES IT IS NOT A DAYDREAM ANYMORE AND THAT EMILIO HAS ARRIVED. HE ASKS HER TO DANCE TO THE MUSIC AND SHE WISHES HE WAS JACK.
SCENE ONE: JENNIFER IS ON THE PHONE AT HER DESK WHEN JACK WALKS IN. HE PAUSES FOR A MOMENT AND THEN WALKS PAST. AS SHE HANGS UP, EMILIO, SCOTT, MELISSA AND FAITH ALL WALK IN AND YELL SURPRISE. THEY THEN SING A SONG OF PRAISE TO HER. AS THEY ARE SINGING JACK COMES BACK OUT OF HIS OFFICE.
JACK: Maybe somebody could tell me what the hell's going on here?
THEY ALL STARE AT HIM.
JACK: I repeat the question. What the hell's going on here?
JENNIFER: My friends came to congratulate me on winning The Ferraro Award.
EMILIO: That's right, so let's go and party. We are going to party!
SCOTT: That's right. We've got champagne on ice.
FAITH: And your grandparents are waiting for us at Wings, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Oh, you know what, I really have a lot of work to do.
JACK: Oh, no, no, no. Don't worry about that. Do it tomorrow.
JENNIFER: Okay, well I'll straighten up everything here and I'll meet you guys downstairs.
EMILIO: Okay, okie dokie. Let's go.
SCOTT: Don't take too long Jen.
JENNIFER: I'll see you. Okay.
THEY ALL LEAVE HER AND JACK ALONE IN THE OFFICE. JACK SITS DOWN AT HER COMPUTER AND BRINGS UP A FILE TO READ.
JACK: You couldn't get Merwin on record I see.
JENNIFER No, he wouldn't even talk on background.
JACK: Well I'll just put it together as best I can.
JENNIFER: You know I can do it. I can stay here and do it if you want me to.
JACK: No, no, no, no, no. Go, exit, amscray!
JENNIFER: Well I'm going to come back. I'm going to finish it.
JACK: Don't come back on my account. Don't worry.
JENNIFER: Well I'm not going to come back on your account. I'm going to go and I'm going to have fun. I'm going to have a wonderful time, okay Jack.
JACK: Good for you!
JENNIFER: No, good for you.
JACK: Excuse me?
JENNIFER: Look around you Jack. The newsroom is empty. You're all alone and that's the way you like it.
JENNIFER WALKS OUT AND THE CLEANER COMES IN AND STARTS THE VACUUM. JACK IS ABOUT TO TELL THE CLEANER TO STOP BUT INSTEAD CHANGES HIS MIND AND GOES INTO HIS OFFICE.
SCENE TWO: JENNIFER IS AT WINGS WITH HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND THEY ASK HER IF SHE IS GOING TO STAY WITH THE SPECTATOR. SHE TELLS THEM SHE IS STILL UNDECIDED AND SHE SAYS THAT SHE HAS TO GET BACK TO FINISH SOME WORK. SHE STOPS AT THE DOOR AND LISTENS INTO THEIR CONVERSATION ABOUT JACK. EMILIO CANNOT SEE *HOW* SHE COULD CARE FOR A JERK LIKE HIM. BUT TOM REPLIES THAT MAYBE SHE SEES SOMETHING IN HIM THAT THEY MISS. JENNIFER SMILES IN AGREEMENT AND LEAVES.
SCENE THERE: WHEN SHE ARRIVES BACK AT THE SPECTATOR, ISABELLA IS THERE WITH JACK DOING SOME RESEARCH.
JACK: That's everything from the last quarter. I hope that will hold you for a while.
ISABELLA: Yeah, I hope so too. Thanks Jack, I appreciate it. Jennifer, what are you doing here?
JENNIFER: I came to finish my story.
JACK: That's right! Neither rain, nor sleet, nor family party will keep Miss Horton from her appointed rounds. How was it?
JENNIFER: How was what?
JACK: The shindig, the hoot-nanny!
JENNIFER: It was terrific. I had a wonderful time.
JACK: It shows.
JENNIFER: Excuse me, I have work to do.
JACK: So do I.
JACK BEGINS TO WALK AWAY AND THEN COMES BACK AND TRIES TO LIFT UP SOME PAPERS ON HER DESK. SHE SLAPS HIS HAND AND HE DOES IT AGAIN.
JACK: I'm sorry. I'm just looking for a pencil.
JENNIFER: A pen! I'm sure you have a pen of your own in your desk.
JACK: It's a very special pen and I don't want to lose it. (Beat) So have you made a decision?
JENNIFER: What, whether I'm going to stay or go?
JACK: Heh, what are you going to do?
JENNIFER: Is that your way of asking me to stay Jack?
JACK: Don't answer a question with a question. Yes or no.
JENNIFER: Here it is!
JENNIFER PICKS UP THE MISSING PEN AND READS THE INSCRIPTION.
JENNIFER: "Binky's Pedicures!"
JACK: Heh, I told you it was special. Look you still haven't answered my question.
JENNIFER: It's not that simple Jack.
JACK: The Chronicle or The Sentinel. They both pay well. So?
JENNIFER: I want to graduate college and The Spectator is the best paper in town.
JACK: Well, no argument there. Still it's up to you. You just let me know and....er....just hurry up on this, alright.
JACK WALKS TO HIS OFFICE DOOR THEN TURNS BACK AND SIGNALS HER TO START TYPING. THEN HE GOES IN AND SHUTS THE DOOR. SHE SCREWS UP A PIECE OF PAPER AND THROWS IT AT THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: I will never ever understand men!ISABELLA: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
SCENE FOUR: IT IS NOW MUCH LATER; ISABELLA HAS LEFT.
JACK: Have you finished that fourth draft?
JENNIFER: Twenty minutes ago.
JACK: That's too bad, I've got some more changes.
JENNIFER: More changes Jack! This is the third time that you have rewritten this.
JACK: Is there a problem?
JENNIFER: No, there isn't problem because I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore Jack!
SHE SNATCHES THE ARTICLE FROM HIS HAND AND RIPS IT UP AND THROWS IT AT HIM.
JACK: Can I get that in writing?
JENNIFER: Oh you would like that wouldn't you Jack? Well I won't give you the satisfaction! I am staying!
EMILIO WALKS IN.
JACK: You're going to stay. That's your final decision?
JENNIFER: Yes, that's my final decision. The only way that you're going to get rid of me is if you fire me!
JACK: And let you collect unemployment. I wouldn't give you the satisfaction!
JENNIFER: Hello Emilio.
JACK: Emilio. Ah, well I've got some tape work to do.
JACK GOES INTO HIS OFFICE.
SCENE FIVE: JENNIFER AND EMILIO'S CONVERSATION CONTINUE.
EMILIO: So, you're going to stay, huh?
EMILIO: You know I don't know why. He treats you like dirt Jennifer, come on.
JENNIFER: Look I just want to finish college and it's not so bad working here even though Jack's here.
EMILIO: Well okay, I just hope he realizes how lucky he is. Because you're the best and don't let anybody tell you any different, alright.
JENNIFER: You're really good for my ego, you know that.
EMILIO: Oh come on. Everybody's crazy about you. You work hard, you're always on time, you're professional and you really care, you know. That's the thing I really love about you.
EMILIO: Yeah! I guess I never said that before but, hell, I'm into it now. I love you Jennifer. I love you.
JACK WAS OBVIOUSLY LISTENING THROUGH THE DOOR BECAUSE AT THAT POINT HE PEERS AROUND TO LISTEN MORE CLOSELY. HE HAS A VERY WORRIED EXPRESSION ON HIS FACE.
JENNIFER: Ah, I don't know what to say, Emilio.
EMILIO: Look you don't have to say anything. I just want you to know how I feel. You are definitely the most important person in my life.
EMILIO: And listen if it wasn't for you I know I'd probably be in jail, you know. Now I got a life, I got a career and I possibly got a new partner.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about?
EMILIO: Melissa. We're just talking back and forth. We might get a little act together.
JACK IS STILL LISTENING.
JENNIFER: Well that's great. You'll be a big success.
EMILIO: I know I'll be a success because you're going to be in my corner and I can't fail, right. I just want you to know something else I've never told you. When I'm singing, you know, I'm thinkin' a lot about you. You're kind of like my inspiration.
JENNIFER: That's really sweet Emilio. Well....
JACK BANGS HIS DOOR DELIBERATELY SO THAT IT APPEARS HE IS JUST COME OUT. HE IS HOLDING THE TORN PAGE ALL STUCK BACK TOGETHER.
JACK: I've got everything put back together here in the middle. Do you have the end?
JENNIFER HANDS IT TO HIM.
JACK: Don't go away. I've got to read this.
JENNIFER: (To Emilio) Do you need me for anything?
EMILIO: No, I was just thinkin' you might need a ride home or something.
JENNIFER: (Trying to get at Jack) Yeah, I wish everyone was as thoughtful as you, Emilio. I'll meet you downstairs.
EMILIO: Okay, I'll warm the car up, alright.
JACK: Goodbye Emilio.
JENNIFER: Let's get this over with Jack!
JACK: So, Emilio and Melissa are going to make beautiful music together, huh?
JENNIFER: You heard that?
JACK: I certainly did. And we approve.
JENNIFER: Really? And what else did you hear?
JACK: Well you don't want to hear the voice of sarcasm commentating on Emilio's love sonnets, do you? Just for the record, I'm happy for you.
JENNIFER: No you're not.
JACK: Are you calling me a liar?
JENNIFER: No, I'm calling you a coward. And you can smirk about Emilio all you want. At least he's not afraid to say what he feels.