SCENE ONE: IT IS FRIDAY, JACK HAS BIG PLANS FOR THAT NIGHT. HE ARRIVES AT JENNIFER'S. JENNIFER IS A LITTLE APPREHENSIVE, SHE HAS TO TELL JACK THAT FRANKIE IS GOING TO STAY WITH HER AT THE LOFT.
JENNIFER: Who is it?
JACK: Who do you think, it's Jack.
JACK: Yes, don't you recognize my voice.
HE IS WEARING A GRAY OVERCOAT AND BLUE SCARF OVER A DARK BUSINESS SUIT. HE HANDS HER A SPRIG OF DELPHINIUMS.
JACK: Here hold this. I need to check on the roof to make sure everything's all set for eight o'clock tonight.
JENNIFER: I'm glad you're here because.... ah.... there's something I really need to talk to you about Jack.
JACK: You know you need to be dressed appropriately. This is black tie, not optional.
JENNIFER: No but I really need to talk to you.
SHE TRIES TO TELL HIM ABOUT FRANKIE. SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO BREAK THE NEWS TO HIM; AND HE HAS NOT GIVEN HER A CHANCE TO SPEAK
JACK: We will talk later. I just need to make sure everything is covered here. Give me this and I'll put it in some water.
JENNIFER: No Jack you don't understand. There is something I've got to tell you.
JACK WALKS AROUND BEHIND THE KITCHEN BENCH JUST AS FRANKIE WALKS IN CARRYING A COUPLE OF HEAVY BAGS.
FRANKIE: Jen I just dropped by to drop off....
JACK IS STUNNED. JENNIFER DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO, OR HOW JACK WILL TAKE THE NEWS.
SCENE TWO: JACK TURNS AND LOOKS AT FRANKIE. BOTH MEN ARE SILENT.
JENNIFER: Hi Frankie.
JACK SLOWLY RUNS HIS EYES OVER FRANKIE'S BAGS. HE IS UNSURE AND BEGINNING TO GET ANGRY.
JACK: Francoise.... leaving town so soon?
FRANKIE: Not exactly.
JACK: Not exactly!
JENNIFER: Ah, Jen, I could come back later if this is a bad time.
JENNIFER LOOKS INTO JACK'S EYES AND KNOWS THAT SHE IS HURTING HIM. JACK STARES AT HER WITH ANGER AND PAIN IN HIS EYES.
JENNIFER: Frankie's moving in with me.
JACK'S ANGER IS BARELY CONTAINED. HE SPEAKS SLOWLY AND DELIBERATELY TO AVOID SHOUTING.
JACK: I suppose that's what you wanted to talk to me about.
JENNIFER: I just want to explain. I really do.
JACK: That would be comforting.
JENNIFER: The reason Frankie is moving in here is because Carly's apartment is too small and he really doesn't have any place else to go.
FRANKIE: Yeah that's right. I mean it's really small Jack.
JACK KNOWS THEY ARE LYING.
JACK: The Brady's couldn't move a couple of haddock out of the way?
FRANKIE: Well.... I.... um.... look Jack I just didn't feel comfortable after everything that's happened just turning up on their doorstep like that, right?
JENNIFER: Right.... right and that's why he's here. He's going to stay here.
JACK LOOKS VERY DISAPPOINTED AT JENNIFER.
FRANKIE: Yeah.... um.... I tell you what. Let me set these things over here. Give you guys a chance to talk. See you later.
FRANKIE LEAVES. THE WHOLE TIME JACK HAS NOT TAKEN HIS EYES OFF JENNIFER.
JENNIFER: Jack I can explain. I really can explain this whole thing.
JACK THUMPS HIS HAND ON THE BENCH.
JACK: There's no need to explain anything. Everything is completely understood.
JENNIFER: It is?
JACK: Yes absolutely. Everything is completely understood. I trust you. I trust you completely. If you want him to move in with you that is fine. Just being the open, kind, understanding and generous person that you always are, I admire you for that. There's no reason to be concerned, right?
JACK: And if there was any reason to be concerned I'm all ears. You could tell me right now.
JENNIFER: I do owe you an explanation.
JACK'S LIPS ARE TIGHTLY SHUT AND HIS HANDS ARE JAMMED HARD INTO HIS POCKETS.
JENNIFER: There is a reason why Frankie is moving in here, a very big reason.
JACK: Should I sit?
JENNIFER: What?.... No, it's.... Jack it has nothing to do with us. It's not what you're thinking at all.
JACK: So why is Francoise moving in with you?
JENNIFER: You know Jack, it's stupid. Actually it's really silly why he's moving in here.
JACK: Huh, uh.
JENNIFER: I just.... I don't want to live here by myself.
JACK: So why didn't we move in when I asked?
JENNIFER: Because Jack.... because Jack I just thought it was too important for us to just move in together off hand.
JACK: It was not intended off hand.
JENNIFER: I didn't say no in that way Jack. It's just that when we got back from the cruise everything went so fast. I didn't know what was going on. I though I was ready for us to move in together but I wasn't.
JACK KNOWS THAT SHE IS MAKING UP STORIES AND TELLING HIM LIES BUT HE HAS NO OPTION BUT TO ACCEPT THEM.
JENNIFER: We've been over it. I still.... I mean we are going to move in together Jack and it's going to be great. You'll see it's going to be really great. But in the meantime I don't feel the same way about Frankie that I do about you. So I just thought I needed another room mate here, that I needed someone here.
JACK: Fine, fine! Why worry about.... why worry about Francoise moving in here!
JACK IS REALLY REALLY ANGRY NOW AND HE IS TRYING TO STAY CALM.
JACK: Besides it won't make any difference after tonight when you see what's been planned!
JACK WALKS SWIFTLY TO THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: What do you mean planned, Jack?JACK: It's a big surprise!
HE SLAMS THE SLIDDING DOOR SHUT. SHE OPENS IT AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Wait a minute, you didn't say anything about a surprise.
JACK: So it's a surprise. Now I have to get out of here and get myself changed and back. I don't have time to check on the roof anymore.
JACK: Tonight, eight o'clock, on the roof. Don't be late!
JACK MARCHES OFF.
JENNIFER: (In pain) You don't understand.
SCENE THREE: IT IS LATER THAT EVENING, AROUND 8 O'CLOCK, JENNIFER GOES UP TO THE ROOF. SHE IS DRESSED IN A LONG RED DRESS THAT IS DRAPED OFF HER SHOULDERS. HER HAIR IS CAUGHT BACK IN A SILVER CLIP. JACK IS NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. SHE LOOKS AROUND AND SEES A BEAUTIFUL SET TABLE WITH CANDLES.
JENNIFER: Oh this is really beautiful Jack. (Beat) JACK.... JACK! Jack where are you?
JACK: SURPRISE!ACROSS ON THE NEXT BUILDING JACK CLIMBS DOWN THE FIRE ESCAPE. HE IS DRESSED IN A TUX WITH HIS JACKET UNDONE AND HIS TIE HANGING AROUND HIS NECK. HE HIS CARRYING AN EMPTY CHAMPAGNE GLASS. HE HANGS FROM THE STEPS WITH ONE ARM. HE IS A MIX OF EMOTIONS.
JENNIFER LOOKS UP AT HIM WITH LOVE AND SURPRISE IN HER EYES.
JACK: SURPRISE! (Beat) (He is uncertain, his voice shows the fear and love he feels) Are we surprised?
HE CLIMBS DOWN ONTO THE NEXT LANDING.
JENNIFER: Surprised isn't the word Jack.
JACK: Well that was the intention. Get ready Miss Horton for the most exciting passionate night of your life. A NIGHT OF CLASSIC ROMANCE.
JENNIFER TURNS AWAY FROM HIM. HE IS DISAPPOINTED: HE IS PUTTING HIS WHOLE LIFE ON THE LINE HERE.
SCENE FOUR: DOWNSTAIRS FRANKIE IS DAYDREAMING OF BEING WITH JENNIFER. HE STILL LOVES HER AND HE THINKS BACK OVER THEIR TIME TOGETHER AND IMAGINES HER COMING DOWN FROM THE ROOF TO BE WITH HIM.
SCENE FIVE: ON THE ROOF, JACK IS STILL SWINGING FROM THE FIRE ESCAPE.
JENNIFER: Jack what are you doing over there?
JACK: What am I doing, (Not sure himself) I'm.... I don't know (Beat).JACK (CONT.): Well don't you find this romantic? Your basic balcony from the tradition of Cyrano, Romeo and Juliet.
JENNIFER: But Jack that's a fire escape. That's not a balcony.JACK: One does what one can in modern times. (Beat) And so I quote, the bard, Act II, Scene II,
JACK (CONT.): regarding the gulf that between us lies. (Beat) "With Love's light wings did I o'er perch these walls, (Beat)
JACK (CONT.): For stoney limits cannot hold love out, (Beat) And what love can do.... (Long Beat) and what love (Under his breath) can.... do...."
JENNIFER: "...can do. Let dare's love attempt."
JACK: "....Let... dare's love attempt. (Beat) Love can do that dare's love attempt." (Beat) Meaning you're there and I'm here....(Beat) but I'm trying.
JENNIFER: No Jack that was beautiful.
JACK: It was nothing. I think we've had enough of.... of my Shakespeare.
JENNIFER: No Jack, I mean it. This is the most beautiful exciting romantic night anyone's ever given me.JACK: This is nothing. (Very emotional) THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. IF I KEEP FEELING WHAT I'M FEELING.... I....
JACK (CONT.): (Very heartfelt; Jack is sacred that Jennifer does not feel the same way.) I love you! (Beat) I love you!
JENNIFER: I love you too Jack. (Beat) I love you.
HE STARTS TO CLIMB DOWN FURTHER.
JENNIFER: Jack I want to know what you're doing over there.
JACK: I still don't know.
JENNIFER: Alright, well however you planned to get from where you are to where I am, I want you to do it right now, okay.
JACK: Your wish is my command.
JACK PUTS DOWN THE CHAMPAGNE GLASS AND CLIMBS OVER OUTSIDE THE RAILING.
JENNIFER: Jack.... Jack what are you doing?
JACK: Just a small step from ledge to yonder wall. Walls did not limit Romeo so why should they sway me. JENNIFER: Forget about Romeo.
SUDDENLY JACK LETS GO AND SLIPS DOWN OUT OF SIGHT.
JENNIFER: JACK! JACK.... JACK!
SCENE SIX: JACK'S HAND APPEARS ON THE LEDGE ON HER SIDE FOLLOWED BY HIS FACE.
JENNIFER: That's not funny Jack. That's not funny at all.
SHE HELPS HIM CLIMB UP ONTO THE ROOF.
JACK: It was only meant to be a little trick, a little joke. No more for tonight.
JENNIFER: That's right, no more jokes for tonight, alright. And I don't believe you. That's my little joke for the night, how's that.
JACK: You don't mean that.
JENNIFER: Yes I do. I absolutely do mean that. That's not funny.JACK: Don't believe it. (Beat) Jennifer.... don't believe it.
HE STROKES HER FACE WITH HIS HAND BUT SHE PULLS IT AWAY. JACK IS MORE FRIGHTENED THAT HE HAS LOST HER.
JACK: This is me. I don't care if people like me. I don't care if I'm acceptable in mixed company. What you see is what you get. I was just hoping.... that you could understand what you could.... what you could be getting yourself in for.
JACK: Because I MEANT WHAT I SAID BEFORE. (Beat) I do love you.
JENNIFER: I love you too Jack. But you almost gave me a heart attack when you did that.
JACK: Well you can't say I never gave you anything. (Beat) But I was hoping to give you one more thing tonight.
JACK SLOWLY TAKES THE RING BOX OUT OF HIS POCKET. JENNIFER REACHES FOR IT BUT JACK HOLDS IT OUT OF HER REACH.
JACK: No, before you do something you'll regret, there's something I would hope you could.... you could take off my hands.
JACK THROWS THE RING BOX OVER THE SIDE OF THE ROOF. JENNIFER STARES AFTER IT.
JENNIFER: What.... Jack. (Beat) Jack.
HE HOLDS UP HIS LEFT HAND AND THE ENGAGEMENT RING IS SITTING ON THE END OF HIS RING FINGER.
JACK: It's an engagement ring. (Beat) And it's obviously too small for my hand.
HE TAKES THE RING IN HIS FINGERS AND HOLDS IT TOWARDS HER. SHE TURNS WITH HER BACK TO HIM AS HE STANDS BEHIND HER.
JACK: Would you.... Jennifer Horton, in your stubborn feisty ways, continue to go.... out on ledges for and with me? Will you continue to surprise.... and delight and make me feel.... will you be my wife? (Beat)
JACK (CONT.): Will you marry me?