SCENE ONE: IT IS STILL CHRISTMAS EVE. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE AT THE LOFT, JACK HAS ARRANGED A ROMANTIC DINNER FOR THEM AND THEY HAVE EXHANGED GIFTS. THEY ARE KISSING ON THE COUCH, ABOUT TO MAKE LOVE. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALONG TIME SHE SEEMS RESPONSIVE.
JACK: It's been a while hasn't it?
JENNIFER: I know.
HE KISSES HER AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Jack, I just want you to know that whatever happens, I love you.JACK: I love you too.
THEY KISS AGAIN FOR A FEW MINUTES THEN JACK BEGINS TO KISS HER NECK.
JACK: Do you really want me?
IMMEDIATELY JENNIFER FLASHES BACK TO LAWRENCE AND THE RAPE. SHE HEARS HIS VOICE SOUNDS NOT JACK'S.
JACK: I want you so much.
JACK: .... so much.JENNIFER: Jack.... Jack.
JENNIFER IS GETTING FRIGHTENED WHEN SUDDENLY FRANKIE COMES IN THE DOOR. JACK AND JENNIFER BOTH JUMP UP OFF THE SOFA.
SCENE TWO: THEY ALL ARE EMBARRASSED. JENNIFER SEEMS RELEAVED TO SEE FRANKIE. JACK IS NOT AT ALL PLEASED.JACK IS HURT BY THE WAY JENNIFER SEEMS TO BE TURNED OFF BY HIS TOUCH, AND SEEM TO PREFER FRANKIE.
FRANKIE: Oh I'm sorry.
JENNIFER: No.... it's my fault. I misunderstood you. I thought you were going to be at the Brady's all night and I....
FRANKIE: I am, I am. I forgot some presents. It'll just take a second.
FRANKIE GOES UPSTAIRS.
JACK: Well, what do you think of that?
JENNIFER: You know this isn't really going to work. This is....
JACK: What do you mean, it's not going to work?
JENNIFER: Just you and me here like this. It's not going to work.
JACK IS ANGRY. HE TRIES TO SUPRESS IT.
JACK: You're right, you're absolutely right!
JENNIFER: I mean it's just.... Frankie coming in like that. It just kind of spoiled the mood for me you know.JACK: He has really has come between us, hasn't he Jennifer?
JENNIFER: Jack I don't understand how you think that Frankie's coming between us. I mean I made it clear to Frankie and to you that you're the one I love. I mean what more do you want me to do. I don't....
JACK: We have a problem here Jennifer. I believe we definitely have a problem.
SHE JUST LOOKS AT HIM.
JACK: No comment or rebuttal? That's fair enough. I tell you what, perhaps you could talk to Francoise about this? He could give you a shoulder to lean on for old time's sake.
JACK BEGINS TO LEAVE.
JENNIFER: Jack wait a minute. You don't understand, Jack!
JACK: It's quite alright.
JENNIFER: Jack, no, you don't understand.
JACK: I have things to do.
JACK: I tell you what, it's been a lovely evening and thank you very much.... for those cufflinks. They were very nice, very nice indeed.JENNIFER: Please Jack....
HE SHUTS THE DOOR AND GIVES A HEAVY SIGH. INSIDE JENNIFER WALKS OVER AND PICKS UP THE BRIDE DOLL JUST AS FRANKIE COMES BACK DOWNSTAIRS.
FRANKIE: Jen, I want to apologize for interrupting.
JENNIFER: No, you don't have to apologize. Nothing was happening at all, really.
FRANKIE CAN SEE SOMETHING IS BOTHERING HER. SHE REFUSES TO TELL HIM WHAT IS WRONG. HE ASKS HER TO COME OVER TO THE BRADY'S AND SHE SAYS MAYBE LATER BUT FIRST SHE HAS SOMETHING SHE HAS TO DO. HE LEAVES.
SCENE THREE: SHE PICKS UP THE PHONE AND CALLS WHITNEY BAKER.
JENNIFER: Hi, I'm in a little bit of trouble and I need to talk to someone.
FRANKIE HEARS THAT PART AND STAYS OUTSIDE THE DOOR TO EAVESDROP.
WHITNEY: You were saying you were in some kind of trouble.
JENNIFER: Ah.... yes but maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
WHITNEY: You won't know unless you give it try. What is it you want to talk about? What kind of trouble are you in?
JENNIFER: Ah.... I'm not really sure I can explain it.
WHITNEY: Well just take your time, I'm not going anywhere.
JENNIFER: Okay.... um, well there was this man and I guess I did something pretty stupid which led him to believe that I wanted to sleep with him. It just seems that one thing led to another and I resisted and when I tried to stop him, he forced himself on me.
WHITNEY: I'm sorry but I have to ask this question. When he forced himself on you, did you want to have sex with him?
JENNIFER: No! Absolutely not.
WHITNEY: Did you at anytime in anyway give your consent?
WHITNEY: Then legally and morally, you're not responsible for what happened.
JENNIFER: Well I guess I just hope that my boyfriend would feel that way.
WHITNEY: He doesn't know?
JENNIFER: No, I didn't tell him. I don't think he would understand and I don't think that he would be able to forgive me and I don't think he would be able to love me ever again.
WHITNEY: Listen those are valid fears and they are normal.
JENNIFER: Yeah but I don't know what to do.
WHITNEY: Listen I know this situation sounds hopeless but believe me it's not. I'm going to be in my office for a while. We could sit down and talk together and I'm sure that we....
JENNIFER: Oh no, I couldn't do that.
WHITNEY: Why not?
JENNIFER: Because it's Christmas Eve and I don't want to bother you on your holiday.
WHITNEY: Well it's perfectly alright. I've made no plans.
JENNIFER: No that's okay. I've changed my mind. Thanks anyway.
JENNIFER WALKS OVER TO THE KITCHEN BENCH AND BEGINS TO CRY. HUGE TEARS ROLL DOWN HER FACE AND OUTSIDE FRANKIE IS SAD FOR HER TOO.
SCENE FOUR: OVER AT NEIL'S HOUSE, JO IS ALMOST FINISHED THE DECORATIONS.
JO: Okay, now, where did I put that box?
JO LOOKS THROUGH THE BOX AND FINDS THE PICTURE NEIL TOOK LAST YEAR OF HER WHOLE FAMILY IN FRONT OF THE TREE.
JO: Oh my!
JACK: What are you doing, taking a look at the ghosts of Christmas past?
JACK: I figured you be finished decking Dr. Curtis's halls by now and perhaps be ready to do a little fa-La-laing laing.
JO: With you?
JACK: It's better than doing it alone.
JO: Yes, you bet it is...for me. But what about you? I thought you were going to spend a lovely evening alone with Jennifer.
JACK: Yeah well you know what they say.... the best laid plans.
JO: Did something go wrong?
JACK: No! We had dinner, exchanged gifts and suddenly the party was over.
JO: That doesn't sound like the kind of evening you had planned. What happened?
JACK: I believe (His voice cannot hide the disgust he feels for him.) Francoise happened.
JACK: Let's just say he didn't show up at the best of times.
JO: Oh I see. You want my advice?
JACK: I'm sure I'm going to hear it whether I want it or not.
JO: Do you love Jennifer?
JACK: What kind of a question is that?
JO: A mother's kind. Do you love Jennifer?
JO: Well there's only one thing you can do. Fight for her.
JACK THINKS OVER WHAT JO SAID BUT IS SILENT.
SCENE FIVE: JENNIFER GOES TO THE BRADYS. FRANKIE IS THERE WITH EVE. FRANKIE IS GLAD TO SEE HER; HOWEVER, EVE IS NOT TOO HAPPY TO SEE HER. FRANKIE AND JENNIFER ARE ABOUT TO LEAVE WHEN CARLY ARRIVES. JENNFIER GOES TO TALK TO HER, SHE HAS BEEN WORRIED ABOUT HER, BECAUSE OF HER MEETING WITH LAWRENCE. JENNIFER AND FRANKIE LEAVE.
SCENE SIX: JACK HAS BEEN WANDERING AROUND THE ROOM; HE FINDS A PLATE OF COOKIES, AND PICKS ONE UP TO EXAMINE.
JACK: What is it you called these again?
JO: Tassies. They're called Tassies. They're an old family recipe.
JACK: Hmmm. Yes well I guess there's a lot of things I don't know about the Johnson family.
JO: Oh that's okay Jack. We've got plenty of time to catch up on things like that.
JACK: Yes well I really need to be going.
JO: No, no wait a minute. Wait, I haven't even given you your Christmas present. Merry Christmas Son.
SHE HANDS HIM A BOX.
JACK: You really didn't need to buy me anything. I mean I....
JO: I didn't.JACK: Alright.
JACK OPENS THE BOX AND TAKES OUT A HAND KNITTED SCARF. JACK IS MOVED BY THE GIFT.JACK: That's very nice.
JO: You like it? I made it myself.
JACK IS SURPRISED, AND MOVED BY THE GIFT; HOWEVER, HE FEELS BAD BECAUSE HE HAS NOTHING FOR HER.
JACK: Well that must have.... that must have taken you quite some time.
JO: Yes I started last summer. I made one for you and....
SHE TURNS AWAY UPSET. THEY BOTH MISS STEVE DESPERATELY
JACK: You made one for Steve.
JO: I knew this was going to be a hard Christmas without him. I just didn't know how hard.
JACK: I don't think anyone did.
JO: You know I still can't believe he's gone. I would have done anything to save him. It just breaks my heart to think that I couldn't help one of my own kids.
JACK: He knew that you were trying to be a good mother. I mean he told me that himself.
JO: He did? Oh thank you for telling me.
JACK: Don't mention it. Really I need to be going now.
JO: Alright. Well there's things I've still got to do in the kitchen anyway.
JACK: You probably got a green tuna casserole in there with my name on it.
JO: (Laughing) You don't have to pretend anymore Jack. I have known for some time that my green noodle casserole was not one of your favorites.
JACK: I couldn't quite put that past you, huh.JO: (Laughing) I'm your mother. (Beat) Merry Christmas Jack.
JO HUGS JACK. JACK FEELS ACKWARD, AND DOES NOT RESPOND.JO LETS GO AND LOOKS AT HIM. JACK WANTS TO SAY SOMETHING, BUT IT IS DIFFICULT FOR HIM.
JACK: Uh, (Trying to say what he wants to say). I just wanted to say that uh, I respect and I appreciate all the support and friends ship you have given me.
JO IS VERY MOVED BY THIS.
JACK (CONT.): ....And I don't have anything to give you.
JO: Oh... It's alright.JACK: But I know what it would mean for me to say merry (He voice cracking) merry Christmas Mother.
JO IS SURPRISED AND THRILLED BY HIS WORDS. JACK SILENTLY LEAVES.
JO: (Holding back her tears) Thank you Billy.
AT THE DOOR JACK PUTS ON HIS COAT AND SCARF. HE LOOKS AT IT AND TAKES IT OFF, AND PUTS ON THE ONE JO MADE HIM.
HE SIGHS AND LEAVES.
SCENE SEVEN: JENNIFER AND FRANKIE ARE WALKING ALONG THE DOCK. SHE TELLS HIM THAT HIS WORDS EARLY THAT DAY HELPED HER TO GET THE COURAGE TO DEAL WITH HER PROBLEM. TAKING HER HAND, HE TELLS HER HE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR HER. SHE TELLS HIM SHE KNOWS HE WILL. THEY LEAVE.JACK HAS BEEN LISTENING IN, HIS FACE SHOWS HIS PAIN, AND THE FEAR THAT HE IS LOSING HER. HE SLUMPS NEXT TO A WOODEN PILING, AND SITS DOWN ON THE SNOWY GROUND. IT IS CHRISTMAS EVE, HE IS ALL ALONE, AND HIS HEART IS BREAKING .