SCENE ONE: JACK IS SITTING IN HIS OFFICE WITH A WRITING PAD AND A PEN WITH THE TELEVISION ON. THE NEWS IS REPORTING THE PLANE CRASH AND JACK THINKS THAT ANJELICA AND ALEXANDER ARE DEAD. JACK TURNS OFF THE TV AND BENDS OVER HIS DESK TO REACH SOME PAPERS. HE KNOCKS A HEAP OF THINGS ONTO THE FLOOR AND SITS BACK VISIBLY UPSET. JENNIFER, HER HEART BREAKING FOR JACK, IS WATCHING HIM FROM THE DOOR. SHE WALKS IN QUIETLY AND PUTS HER HAND ON HIS SHOULDER AS HE SITS SLUMPED IN HIS CHAIR.
HE LOOKS UP AT HER, DISTRAUGHT.JACK: What are you doing here?
JENNIFER: I heard about Anjelica. I'm so sorry Jack.
JACK: I think you heard me. I asked you what you're doing here.
JENNIFER: Well I came to pick up my last pay check. It really looks like you could use some help here Jack. I mean everything's are all over the place.
JACK: What I could use is some peace and quiet. So please....
JENNIFER: What's this?
SHE PICKS UP THE PAD HE WAS WRITING ON. JACK TRIES TO MASK HIS PAIN BY BEING SHORT TEMPORED WITH HER.
JACK: It's none of your business.
JENNIFER: Jack, are you writing the plane crash story?
JACK: It's the publisher's prerogative.
JENNIFER: You know what, I'm sure that you can find someone else who can do that for you Jack.
JACK: Isn't it worthy of my attention? I've got to make sure that it's done right.
JENNIFER: I understand. Why don't you take a break? Why don't you get away for a while, you know.
JACK: I can't. I have to make sure this gets done.
JENNIFER: Yes you can Jack. You've been working all morning and the only thing you have written is the lead. You have to get out.
JACK COVERS HIS FACE WITH HIS HAND.
JENNIFER: You know maybe we can go for a walk and when you come back you can finish the story.
JACK IS IN TOO MUCH PAIN TO ARGUE WITH HER. AND IT IS ALSO OBVIOUS THAT HE IS GLAD THAT SHE IS THERE.
JACK: I don't know. Maybe I could use some air.
JENNIFER: Yeah. To revive your brain cells.
JACK: (Beat) Alright, a quick walk.JENNIFER: Yeah, you'll see Jack. It'll be exactly what you need.
SCENE TWO: JENNIFER AND JACK ARE WALKING ALONG LAKE SHORE.
JACK: Oh this is great idea. I'll be emptying my loafers for the rest of the day.
JENNIFER: I didn't bring you here to complain Jack.
JACK: Why did you bring me here?
JENNIFER: Well I usually come here when I need to think.
JACK: Think about what?
SHE SEEMS TO BE REFERRING ABOUT HER FEELINGS FOR JACK.
JENNIFER: Usually about how to solve problems or resolve feelings. Kind of like the things you're holding inside.
JACK: Sounds like therapy with sand.
JENNIFER: You don't have to pretend Jack. I know you're hurting. I know how much you loved Anjelica.
JACK OPENS UP TO HER. FOR A CHANGE HE IS ALLOWING HIMSELF TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH HER.
JACK: She raised me Jennifer. I mean she really raised me. In her own way, while she was trying to grow up herself. She'd listen to me, take care of me. When everybody else thought I was a pariah, she...she treated me like a person.
SHE IS AGAIN REFERRING ABOUT HER FEELINGS FOR HIM, TRYING TO LET HIM KNOW THAT SHE CARES ABOUT HIM DEEPLY.
JENNIFER: People care about you now.
JACK: Unconditionally....she cared about me! Cause we grew up with Harper and we were always....always there for each other. Almost always.
JENNIFER: What do you mean, almost?
JACK IS REFERRING TO HIS AND ANJELICA'S LAST CONVERSATION A FEW DAYS EARLIER WHEN SHE CAME TO HIM UPSET.
JACK: She came to me the other day in my office. And I was a little busy. I didn't really give her the time of day.
JENNIFER: Well Jack, I'm sure that she understood.
JACK: She was trying to say something to me. She started to show me these old family pictures. And all I thought was that she was trying to talk to me about Harper. Trying to get me to support his parole. I don't know what she was trying to talk to me about.
JENNIFER: Do you have any idea what it might have been?
JACK: No I don't! That's the whole point. I have no idea because I wasn't listening. Cause I didn't give her a chance. I just didn't....I didn't give her a chance.
JENNIFER: Don't do this to yourself Jack.
JACK: Well I mean she needed me. The point is, she wanted to talk to me about something and I was there in the room but I wasn't there for her in the room.
JENNIFER: But you don't know that.
JACK: All I know is that if she could....that I want her to come walking through that door...through my door and I want her to ask me for something, ask me for anything and I want to be able to give it to her. I want to be< >able to give her anything but I can't. I can't because I had my chance. Had my chance and I blew it. (Beat)
JACK STEPS TOWARDS JENNIFER AND PUTS HER HANDS ON HER ARMS AND LOOKS DEEPLY INTO HER EYES.
JACK: I want you to promise me something. If you ever, ever have the chance or an opportunity, promise me you're never going to give up on it! Just promise me that, okay.
JACK STEPS AWAY AND BEGINS TO CRY. JENNIFER PUTS HER HAND ON HIS ARM AND HE TURNS TOWARDS HER.
HE PUTS HIS ARMS AROUND HER AND SHUTS HIS EYES AND BURIES HIS HEAD IN HER SHOULDER.JENNIFER: It's okay.
SCENE THREE: THEY ARE STILL HOLDING EACH OTHER TIGHTLY. THEY BOTH ARE COMFORTABLE, AND ARE GAINING COMFORT BY THE ARMS OF THE OTHER. JENNIFER IS RESTING HER HEAD AGAINST JACK'S CHEST. JACK'S HEAD IS BURIED IN HER HAIR. HE REALIZES HOW CLOSE THEY ARE SO HE STEPS BACK.
JACK: Alright, I'm okay, I'm okay.
JENNIFER: No you're not.
JACK: Well if I'm not, I will be.
JENNIFER: Yeah you will be in time but that doesn't mean you have to deny what you're feeling today.
JACK: I'm not denying anything Jennifer. I think it's pretty obvious that I let Anjelica down.
JENNIFER: Jack what's obvious, is that she had enough faith and trust to come to you in the first place. She knew how you felt about her. She knew that you cared.
JACK: Yeah I cared so much that I just pushed her away.
AGAIN JENNIFER IS NOT ONLY SPEAKING ABOUT ANJELICA, BUT ABOUT HERSELF AND ABOUT JACK. SHE IS TRYING TO LET JACK KNOW THAT SHE KNOWS HOW HE FEELS ABOUT HER, AND THAT IT IS NOT TO LATE FOR THEM.
JENNIFER: You may have believed that you did that and maybe you even tried to do that but underneath she would have seen the truth. And the truth is that you loved her very much.
JACK: How benevolent of me to let her assume how I feel. She deserved a hell of a lot more.
STILL REFERRING ABOUT HERSELF, AND STILL TRYING TO GET JACK TO ADMIT HIS FEELINGS WITHOUT PUSHING HIM TOO HARD.
JENNIFER: So does everybody else. You said it yourself, never give up on something when you have the chance.
JACK: You're right.
JENNIFER: Never give up that chance.JACK: You're right. Life's too short and we only get one chance. I'm going to make sure I don't make the same mistake again. Follow me.
SCENE FOUR: THEY HAVE RETURNED TO THE SPECTATOR, WHERE JACK IS BUSY SIGNING CHECKS.
JENNIFER: Jack, I'm glad we talked.
JACK: Yeah me too.
SHE IS STILL TRYING TO GET JACK TO OPEN UP TO HER, AND STILL HOPEFUL THAT HE WILL, ESPECIALLY AFTER THEY CAME SO CLOSE EARLIER BY THE LAKE.
JENNIFER: Yeah, I think we really got a lot of things cleared up.
JACK: Yes, I think so.
JACK HANDS JENNIFER HER CHECK. HE TRIES TO BE UNEMOTIONAL, SO NOT TO REVEAL HIS FEELINGS FOR HER.
JACK: Thank you very much, good luck.
JENNIFER: (Shocked and hurt) What?
JACK: That's your final paycheck, your desk is clear, you're free to go.
JENNIFER: I thought you said you didn't want to make anymore mistakes.
JACK: That's right. You're fired, let's make no mistake about it. You have no reason to come back here again.
JENNIFER: Jack wait a minute, I....
JENNIFER: People are supposed to get two weeks notice when they get fired.
JACK: Look, you're about to get married. I think you need the time to make some preparations before you go looking for another job.
JENNIFER: I was just asking what is due to me.
JACK: Forget it!
JENNIFER: Jack, one day. One more day. Just today.
JENNIFER: I want to write one more article.
JACK: What for? The stories have been all assigned. There's nothing more to....
JENNIFER: No but there's one that's not finished. The plane crash story. Let me do it.
JACK: Look, you don't have to do....
JENNIFER: Jack I want to do it.
JENNIFER: You know I'm just doing it because....
JACK: I know, I know. I know why you're doing it. (Beat) Thank you.
THEY BOTH ARE IN PAIN. JACK DOES REALIZE HOW MUCH SHE CARES FOR HIM, BUT HE CANNOT LET HIMSELF GET INVOLVED WITH HER BECAUSE HE CARES TOO MUCH ABOUT HER, AND BELIEVES HE IS WRONG FOR HER. SADLY, JACK WALKS INTO HIS OFFICE; SADLY, JENNIFER LOOKS ON.
SCENE FIVE: JENNIFER RETURNS TO HER DESK AND IS WORKING WHEN EMILIO COMES IN. SHE TELLS HIM THAT JACK IS HAVING A HARD TIME, AND THAT SHE CAME TO SEE HIM. EMILIO SAYS SHE IS JUST A NICE PERSON AND THAT HE LOVES HER. HE ASKS HER AGAIN TO MARRY HIM. SHE SAYS SHE CANNOT TALK ABOUT IT AT WORK.
SCENE SIX: SHE GOES INTO JACK'S OFFICE TO GIVE HIM THE ARTICLE.
JENNIFER: Um....I have the article and I printed up some copies and I've done some edits. Rough edits.
TRYING REMAIN UNEMOTIONAL.
JACK: Well from what I can see, you've done a very good job. Thank you.
JENNIFER: You're welcome. I can stay here and I can finish the edits with....
JACK: No, no. (Looking at Emilio) I don't think that's necessary. You've got some more important things to do.
JENNIFER: I can stay. I can do this.
JACK: Listen, remember what you told me. Don't turn away the people that need you.
HE SPINS HER AROUND, HOLDING HER BY THE SHOULDERS, TO FACE EMILIO. HE IS HOLDING BACK IS PAIN.
JACK: I think Emilio needs you right now.
HE QUICKLY SHUTS THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: But Jack, I....
JACK IS ALONE IN HIS OFFICE. HE WIPES HIS EYES AND SIGHS. JENNIFER TAKES A DEEP BREATH AND LEAVES WITH EMILIO JUST AS JACK COMES OUT OF HIS OFFICE AND LOOKS FOR HER. HE FINDS HER GONE AND JUST SIGHS ONCE AGAIN.