SCENE ONE: IT IS THE NEXT MORNING AND JENNIFER IS JUST WAKING UP. SHE PUTS HER HAND ACROSS TO JACK'S PILLOW AND HE'S NOT THERE.
JENNIFER: Jack? Jack, wh....
SHE OPENS HER EYES AND SEES HIM SITTING ON THE END OF THE BED WITH HEADPHONES ON.
JENNIFER: What are you doing?
HE CANNOT HEAR HER SO SHE PULLS THE HEADPHONES OFF.
JENNIFER: WHAT ARE YOU DOING JACK?
JACK: OH, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
JENNIFER: I asked you first. What are you listening to?
JACK: Oh.... oh it's nothing. It's nothing, it's.... it's....
JENNIFER PULLS OUT THE HEADPHONE CORD SO SHE CAN HEAR IT ON THE SPEAKER. DESIRÉE'S VOICE STARTS TO PLAY WITH THE TAPE SHE MADE ON HER PREDICTIONS. JENNIFER LOOKS ANNOYED WITH JACK AND HE LOOKS EMBARRASSED. SHE TURNS OFF THE TAPE.
JENNIFER: You are obsessed with this Jack. Completely obsessed.
JACK: I'm not obsessed alright. I'm not obsessed. I just.... I just happen to like a little.... a little audio stimulation first thing in the morning.
JENNIFER: Come on Jack, I could see Mozart, I could see Bach, but our session with Desire?
JACK: Well my tastes tend to run a little mundane from time to time. So what?
JENNIFER: Come on, when are you going to get over this jealousy?
JACK: It's not jealousy. I don't have a jealous bone in my body, not.... nor lump, nor ligament.
JENNIFER: Alright, then what is all of this paranoia about my meeting some stranger?
JACK: It is not paranoia. I'll tell you what it is. It's.... it's.... it's.... it's.... a healthy.... fear of the unknown. Yes, that's exactly what it is. I think it's a good thing when people are cautious especially in the wake of an ominous prediction.
JENNIFER: So you're saying that you don't want to temp fate?
JACK: Ah.... well something like that, yes.
JENNIFER: Well I take back what I said before Jack. You're not jealous. You know what you are? You're superstitious.
JACK: Oh superstitious?
JACK: Thank you, thank you for being so amused by it.
JENNIFER: Actually I think it's cute.
JENNIFER: Yes, I think it's very cute that my husband spends all of his moments thinking about me and worrying about me. But you don't have to do that.
SHE WRAPS HER ARMS AROUND HIM FROM BEHIND.
JACK: Sorry but it's a habit I seem to have acquired.
JENNIFER: You need something to keep you occupied Jack, to take your mind off that stupid tape.
JACK: I suppose you've got a suggestion now, huh?
JENNIFER: Yes, just one.
SHE REACHES AROUND AND STARTS TO UNDO THE BUTTONS ON HIS PAJAMAS.
JENNIFER: It's an old traditional honeymoon ritual that requires total concentration.
JACK: Excuse me but it was my understanding that the honeymoon was officially over.
JENNIFER: No, not even close.
SHE PULLS HIS PAJAMA TOP OFF HIS SHOULDERS.JACK: OUCH! Wait a minute.
SHE PULLS HIM BACKWARDS ONTO THE BED.
JENNIFER: Come here Jack.
JACK: Ouch! Wait a.... wait....
SHE STARTS TO KISS HIM AS HE WAVES HIS LEGS IN THE AIR.
SCENE TWO: IN THE ALLEY NEAR THE STUDIO, THE COWBOY COMES ALONG AND LEAVES A SMALL CASE IN THE TRASH. WHEN HE LEAVES, HOWARD THE BUM, TAKES THE CASE.
SCENE THREE: IT IS A WHILE LATER AND SHE IS JUST FINISHED GETTING DRESSED FOR WORK. JACK COMES OUT 0F THE BATHROOM PUTTING ON HIS JACKET.
JENNIFER: Jack have you seen my earrings. I can't find them anywhere.
JACK: Don't ask me. I didn't wear them last.
JENNIFER: Oh that's funny. You're making jokes and I'm very late for work.
JACK: Well I'm sorry if you're worried about being late, you shouldn't have got everything started there.
JENNIFER: Alright, alright, I'll admit I started it but you're the one who finished the job. It's nice work.
JACK: Yes, it's nice work if you can get it. (Beat) Wait a minute, whoa, whoa, whoa. What is this?
JACK FINDS THAT SHE HAS PRESSED ROSE IN A BOOK.
JACK: What the hell is this?
JENNIFER: Come on, don't you recognize it?
JACK: I don't think it's own mother would recognize it.
JENNIFER: Jack that is the rose that Howard gave me.
JACK: Oh, Howard, that's right. Old ancient Howard.
JENNIFER: Yes that's right, old ancient Howard.
JACK: Huh, huh. Well correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this dead?
JENNIFER: Yes that's right. It is dead Jack.
JACK: So why don't you give it a quick eulogy and toss it in the trash?
JENNIFER: I can't do that Jack.
SHE RIPS IT OUT OF HIS HAND AND HE GETS PRICKED.
JENNIFER: I mean this was very sweet of Howard to give it to me. You should have seen the look on his face when he handed it to me.
JACK: Is that.... that's your way of saying you're going to hold onto it forever, isn't it?
JENNIFER: That's what people usually do when they press flowers. It has sentimental value.
JACK: How can could that thing be sentimental? I mean it came from an old geyser who's a virtual stranger.
JENNIFER: Jack, Howard is not the stranger that you have been so neurotic about.
JACK: How do you know that?
JENNIFER: I just know. It's intuition, it's instinct. If you bet him you would see that he is.... that's a great idea.
JACK: What's a great idea?
JENNIFER: For you to meet Howard and see that he is harmless.
JACK: I'm not saying that he is or he is not harmless but one thing that I know that he is. He is itinerant. That means he has no mailing address, he has no phone, he has no fax number. That means this whole.... this conversation is fruitless because we don't know how to get a hold of him.
JENNIFER: Well, he'll probably stop by the station again.
JACK: You gave him that warm a welcome, huh.
JENNIFER: Jack I was being friendly and he seemed to like me so maybe that will be enough to make him come back.
JACK: That's it. I'm going with you to work. That's....
JENNIFER: That is not necessary. You don't have to take me to work.
JACK: I am taking you to work. You are not taking me to work.
THE PHONE STARTS RINGING IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR ARGUMENT.
JACK: Hold that thought and it is not.... it is up for discussion and argument, alright.(Beat) Hello.
VERN: Jack, it's me. Why are you still at home?
JACK: I'm having a conversation with my wife Vern, not that that's any of your business.
VERN: Well that's very connubial but did you forget that you also have a conversation scheduled for this morning with the loan officer from the bank?
VERN: Well you can mumble that again. Now listen he's coming here any minute now. I can't tell him you forgot the appointment.
JACK: Well.... well Vern come on. Cover for me. You can do that.
VERN: Oh yeah I have plenty of practice doing that.
JACK: Yes that's the spirit. You can do it. Listen. I tell you what, dip into that petty cash, get the man a prune Danish and listen, really splurge, get yourself one too and by the time you're both licking off your fingers I'll be there. (Beat) Vern? (Beat) He hung up on me.
JENNIFER: What, what is it, what's wrong?
JACK: He, ah, he's.... well, you know, Vern's a little upset. He needs some of my expert guidance.
JENNIFER: Good, good. Because I don't. I can manage at the office without you and I don't want to argue anymore.
JACK: No, no, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Just, just because we're putting this on hold doesn't mean I agree or it's over.
JENNIFER: I don't know what you want me to do.
JACK: I tell you what I want you to do. I want you to be on the lookout for mysterious men. I want you to be careful and cautious if any of them come around. No, no, better than that, I want you to steer clear entirely.
JENNIFER: Alright, if it will make you happy, I'll try.
SCENE FOUR: JACK IS AT THE OFFICE TO MEET THE LOAN OFFICER FROM THE BANK.
LOAN OFFICER: So just confirming you've got a 2% payment cap every six months which could allow for some negative amortization.
JACK: Well, what's a little negative amortization between friends, right? I mean that's exactly what I consider us Mr. Kelly.... ah, Oswald. We're not loaner and loanee, we're buddies, pals, friends, compadres. Hey, what do you say, golf on Tuesday?
LOAN OFFICER: Make it tennis next Wednesday.
JACK: You're on.
VERN: Jack I didn't think you believed in working up a sweat.
JACK: Heheheh, what a kidder, what a kidder that Vern is. Well anyway, Os, I'll see you on Wednesday.
LOAN OFFICER: Thank you very much Mr. Deveraux.
JACK: Let's keep swinging. Goodbye.
JACK SHOWS THE GUY OUT THEN TURNS TO VERN WITH HIS FIST IN THE AIR.
JACK: Oooooh! How did I do?
VERN: You were terrific.
VERN: You know I think you've got the first battle won Jack. I haven't heard schmooze like that since I bought my last used car.
JACK: Thank you.... I think.
VERN: You know Jack, I feel this tremendous sense of relief like we've just pushed the big bad wolf away from the door.
JACK: Well Vern, you make it sound like we were in dire straights.
VERN: Well aren't we?
JACK: Of course not.
VERN: Well I thought this loan was crucial to you.
JACK: Convenient, Vern, convenient. I have plenty of money. It's all over the place. It's just.... ah.... I just.... I just can't quite get to it, that's all.
VERN: Well is it tied up in something?
JACK: Er.... yes, in.... ah.... CDs.
JACK [MATTHEW LAUGHS] AND SO DOES VERN.
VERN: I didn't know you were that much of a music lover.
[MATTHEW AND WAYNE ARE OBVIOUSLY HAVING FUN HERE]
JACK: Vern, you.... come on Vern get with the program. Get a handle on things. You know.... you know the reason that I got that loan is that it was the most expedient way to get full control of the paper, you know that.
VERN: Well listen, the way you impressed that loan officer, he's going to be lenient with you about everything, payments, anything you want. You know I think your troubles are over Jack.
JACK: Well maybe those troubles. I'll probably pick up some more along the way.
THE PHONE RINGS.
VERN: You want me to get that.
JACK: No, no. I'll get it, I'll get it. Hello Jack Deveraux.
JENNIFER: Hi, it's me.
JACK: Ah, me who?
JENNIFER: How quickly they forget.
JACK: Oh, oh, that me.
JENNIFER: Yes, that me. Listen I just wanted to tell that I'm going to be away from the station for a while because I'm going to gather some new research for my story, okay.
JACK: And.... ?
JENNIFER: And I didn't want you to go into cardiac arrest if you call and I'm not here.
JACK: Oh well, I appreciate your conscientiousness in letting me know where you're going but, ah, you really didn't have to. I know what a hassle that can be.
JENNIFER: No it's not a hassle. I figure if I'm lucky enough to have a husband who cares about me so much the least I can do is call him. I'll see you later, okay.
JENNIFER: Oh and Jack, if you were wondering, you can relax. I haven't run into one mysterious stranger all day.
JACK: Oh.... how very reassuring. Goodbye.
JACK HANGS UP BUT HE LOOKS WORRIED OR EVEN SCARED.
VERN: Jack, you don't look so good. Is something wrong?
JACK: I.... I certainly hope not.
SCENE FIVE: JACK IS SITTING AT HIS DESK TRYING TO WORK BUT OBVIOUSLY DISTRACTED. NEXT THING THE DOOR OPENS AND IN COMES A HUGE GUY WEARING A TANK TOP AND CARRYING A TENNIS RACKET.
GUY: Hi, I'm looking for Jennifer. Is she around?
JACK: Who's asking?
JACK TURNS AROUND AND CANNOT BELIEVE THIS MUSCLE BOUND GUY STANDING THERE PRACTICING TENNIS STROKES.
GUY: I'm Howard.
JACK: Heheheh, you're.... er.... you're Howard?
JACK IS STUNNED.
GUY: Didn't Jen tell you about me?
JACK: Ah.... hahahahah, you know, Howard.... it's the funniest thing. She told me all about you but she said....
JACK GIVES THE GUY A GENTLY PUNCH ON THE ARM AND HURTS HIS HAND.
JACK: .... ouch.... she said that you were old.
GUY: Oh yeah that's kind of a running joke with us. She likes to tease me. Says thirty is over the hill. Isn't she a scream?
JACK: Thirty? Oh she's a regular riot.
GUY: But cute, definitely cute, don't you think?
JACK: Yes, sometimes a little too cute for her own good.
GUY: Listen I just came by to see if she wanted to go for a ride in my new Liar jet?
JACK: Ah.... Liar jet? Wait a minute, ah, she said that you.... that you were homeless.
GUY: Oh, I think what she meant is that I've got so many houses I don't which one to call home. There's the condo in Maui, the villa in Monte Carlo, the penthouse overlooking Central Park. I just can't decide where my heart is. Maybe I should just hang out on my yacht for a while. What do you think Jack?
JACK: A yacht.... you have yacht.
GUY: Maybe Jen would like a leisurely sail around the world. Help me out here Jack, what do you think, what do you think, what do you think....
AS THESE WORDS RING IN JACK'S EARS HE COMES BACK TO REALITY AND IS FROZEN IN FEAR.
JACK: Howard!.... oh I mean Vern.
VERN: Jack you have been acting weird all day. Are you sure you're alright?JACK: I.... yes I'm fine and I'll be much better when I've settled some pressing business with my wife. Thank you.
SCENE SIX: MEANWHILE JENNIFER IS LEAVING THE STUDIO WHEN SHE RUNS INTO HOWARD WHO IS SITTING NEXT TO A TRASH CAN. HE MAKES A POINT OF TALKING TO HER AND FLATTERING HER. JENNIFER IS CONVINCED HE IS A VERY SWEET MAN. SHE TELLS HIM SHE HAS PRESSED THE ROSE BUT HE SAYS THAT HE WOULD RATHER GIVE HER SOMETHING MORE TANGIBLE. HE LOOKS THROUGH HIS STUFF AND GIVES HER A KEY RING WITH A NATIVE AMERICAN TOKEN ON THE END. JENNIFER IS PLEASED AND ASKS HIM TO DINNER TO MEET JACK BUT HE REFUSES.
SCENE SEVEN: JENNIFER ARRIVES SHE BACK TO THE PENTHOUSE, WHERE JACK IS WAITING FOR HER.
JENNIFER: Jack, oh I've got great news.
JACK: Oh good. I.... I could use some.
JENNIFER: Well first of all I got tons of usable stuff for my new story and then better than that, on the way to the library, you're never going to guess....
JACK: Ah, don't.... don't tell me. You ran into Howard.
JENNIFER: Yes, how did you know?
JACK: Oh I don't know. Just call it a feeling, a hunch. I just get the feeling who jets.... ah, gets around.
JENNIFER: Oh, you know what. He gave me another present. Look.
SHE HOLDS UP THE KEY CHAIN AND JACK PULLS A FACE.
JACK: What is that thing? Kind of spooky looking if you ask me. Kind of like a little voodoo doll that'd put a curse on you.
JENNIFER: Oh come on Jack. You are so ridiculous.
JACK: Oh yes! You'll think it's ridiculous too when you wake up in the middle of the night and you have these tremendous back pains and these inexplicable muscle spasms. Let me look at that thing right now. I tell you what we're going to do with this. We're going to take this out and we're going to bury it in the middle of the night in a full moon just before it can put an evil spell on us and our.... our progeny.
JENNIFER: Oh give me a break. We don't even have any progeny, at least not yet and this is anything but evil. I mean this is an adorable little thing and it's very sweet that Howard gave it me and I intend to keep it.
JACK: Well if that's the case I just hope that when I finally meet him, if he decides that he has to give me something, I hope it's something more interesting than a dead rose and a voodoo key chain.
JENNIFER: Well actually I asked him to come to here and meet you. I was going to bring him here myself but he didn't feel comfortable doing that and I don't know, I think maybe he doesn't have that much so coming face to face with a successful businessman like you could be hard on his pride.
JACK: Well I'm not a snob. I mean.... I'm very sensitive to the underprivileged.
JENNIFER: Well I know that Jack but Howard doesn't. I don't know, I'll talk to him again, maybe.... maybe he'll change his mind. But you know right now let's forget about Howard, let's forget about everything except us, okay.
SHE PLACES THE KEYCHAIN ON THE DRESSER WITH THE TOKEN STANDING.
JENNIFER: We are magic Jack.
JENNIFER: Don't you know that Jack and nothing can touch us.
SHE HOLDS HIM TIGHT BUT HIS EYES KEEP WANDERING BACK TO THE TOKEN.