SCENE ONE: JENNIFER HAS JUST TOLD JACK SHE IS PREGNANT. HE IS IN TOTAL SHOCK.
JENNIFER: Jack, did you hear me? I said I was pregnant.
JACK: Pre.... pre.... pregnant?
SHE IS BURSTING WITH EXCITEMENT.
JACK: (Beat) How?
JENNIFER: "How?" You know how Jack.
JACK: I mean.... I mean.... I don't mean how, I mean when. When? I mean we've just been back together a couple of....
JENNIFER: January 10th.
JACK: "January 10th."
JENNIFER: Yes, I'm five weeks pregnant. Just think back five weeks.
JACK: You just told me you're pregnant and you want me to think. How can....
JENNIFER: Jack, the night of the storm.
JACK: The night of the.... oh no, no no, you're not.... you're not saying....
JENNIFER: Yes. We conceived our child on the set of Ask Dr. Love. Talk about a grand prize, huh?
JACK: Oh no, oh no.
JACK ROLLS BACKWARDS ON THE FLOOR.
JACK: No Jack, come here. Come back here.
JENNIFER: What.... what.... oh no, oh no, you didn't get that hysterical laryngitis again, did you?
JACK: No, no, nothing like that.
JENNIFER: Oh good. You know because for a minute I thought you weren't as happy about this as I am.
JACK IS NOT SO HAPPY AND HE IS TRYING TO HIDE IT.
JENNIFER (CONT.): You are happy, aren't you?
JACK: Oh yeah, yes I'm happy. I mean I couldn't be happier. I mean you look in the dictionary and the definition and the sight of my picture is right there.
SHE LEAPS ON HIM IN JOY.
JENNIFER: Oh I knew you'd be happy Jack. I knew it. And it is going to be so wonderful. You and me with a baby. Just think of it.
JACK HOLDS HER TIGHT BUT HE IS SCARED TO DEATH.
JACK: I am.
SCENE TWO: JENNIFER IMMEDIATELY GETS UP AND SHOWS HIM SOME MATERNITY CLOTHES THAT SHE HAS BOUGHT. JACK REMAINS ON THE FLOOR, TRYING TO TAKE IT ALL IN.
JENNIFER: Look, it's maternity clothes. I'm going to start wearing them now even though I'm not showing. What do you think?
JACK IS SILENT.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Heheh. Look at this. Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen in your whole life?
SHE SHOWS HIM A TINY BABY JUMPSUIT.
JACK: It's rather.... small.
JENNIFER: Well babies are small. I mean they're tiny. I mean you know their little hands and their fingers and their little toes.
JACK: You know I really haven't known that many babies, not on a fingers and toes basis anyway.
JENNIFER: Oh come on Jack, you're an uncle. Remember that time we baby-sat Stephanie. You were great.
JACK: And she cried when I held her and she cried when I didn't. The key word I believe is cry.
JACK STANDS UP.
JENNIFER: Well I mean that's what babies do. I mean they cry.
JACK: And spit up and pollute diapers and all manner of.... but isn't it wonderful.
HE TRIES TO PUT ON A BRAVE SMILE.
JENNIFER: Jack, what's wrong?
JACK: Nothing, nothing's wrong. Nothing at all.
HE RUNS OVER AND GRABS HIS JACKET.
JENNIFER: What are you doing? Where are you going?
JACK: I'm.... I need to.... ah.... get some.... something to celebrate with.... but.... that's right, you can't drink. You can't even drink those little baby sized bottles of....
JACK HEARS TWO HIGH PITCHED WARNING SOUNDS IN HIS HEAD, LIKE THE THEME MUSIC FROM PSYCHO.
JACK: What was that?
JENNIFER: Huh, what was what?
JACK: Er nothing, nothing.... nothing.
JENNIFER: You were.... you were saying something about baby sized bottles.
JACK: Of.... of.... of milk. Baby sized bottles of....
HE LOOKS DOWN AT THE BOTTLES JENNIFER BOUGHT AND HE HEARS THE WARNING SOUND AGAIN.
JACK: Milk!.... Milk, that's what women drink when they're pregnant, so I'll go get you a bottle of....
THE WARNING SOUND GOES OFF AGAIN.JACK: I mean that should pacifier.
THE SOUND GOES OFF AGAIN.
JACK: I mean pacify you. Just give me a minute here to get my coat and booties on.
THE WARNING SOUND GOES OFF AGAIN.
JENNIFER: Your what? Your booties?
JACK: Ah, boots, I meant boots, boots.
JENNIFER: Jack are you okay? You seem a little rattled.
THE SOUND GOES OFF AGAIN.
JACK: Oh, I'm.... fine.
EVERYTIME HE THINKS OR SEES BABY THINGS, HIS HEAD IS FULL OF WARNING SIGNALS.
JACK: I'm fine, I couldn't be better.
JENNIFER: Are you sure? You look a little sick.
SHE WALKS OVER AND FEELS HIS FOREHEAD.
JACK: No really, really. I'm not sick. I'm fine. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
JENNIFER: Father, Jack?
JACK: Farther, I meant farther. I...I'm sorry.... I just need to go, I need to go.
HE WALKS STRAIGHT OUT THE DOOR AND SHUTS IT, LEAVING HER ALONE.
JENNIFER: Wait a minute Jack, what....
SCENE THREE: OUTSIDE, HE STOPS FOR A SECOND TO CATCH HIS BREATH. THIS NEWS IS NOT WHAT JACK WANTED TO HEAR.
JACK: Oh.... .oooooooh.
HE IS LEANING AGAINST THE WALL WHEN JO WALKS IN CARRYING SOME SHOPPING.
JO: Oh Jack, what a surprise. Hey I hope I haven't kept you waiting for me very long.
JACK: What are you....JO: Jack?
JACK: What are you doing here?
JO: I live here. What are you doing here? Son, this is Valentine's. It's time for a husband to be home with his wife, not his mother.
JACK: I am.
JO: Jack, what's the matter? Son, snap out of it, hey!
SHE GENTLY SLAPS HIS CHEEKS. JACK IS IN A DAZE.
JACK: The wife, the mother, wife, mother, wife, mother.... wife.... wife.
JO: Hey, hey.... Hey! Shall I call a doctor?
JACK: NO! No, no. No doctors, too expensive.
JO: Are you sure you're alright?
JACK: Yes, of course I'm alright, I'm fine, I'm.... fine.
JO: Okay. Well then son, go on home.
JACK: I am home.
JACK: Of course. It all seems hauntingly familiar. I am.... we're home. We were kicked out of the penthouse and we're forced to move into this rat trap across the hall from yours.
JO: Oh, that's wonderful. That's wonderful.
JACK: You think so.JO: Oh yes. I mean alright, I know.... I know that this isn't what you're used to but I can't think of anything nicer than having my son and his wife live right across the hall from me. And guess what? I'm going to make your favorite green noodle casserole anytime you want.
JACK SWALLOWS HARD.
JACK: That's great.... great. (Beat) I've got to go. (Beat) I really have to go now.
JO: Say hi to Jennifer.
JACK: Ah, say hi yourself. She's still inside.
HE WALKS OFF AND JO IS VERY WORRIED ABOUT HIM.
SCENE FOUR: JACK HAS LEFT, JO THEN KNOCKS ON JENNIFER'S DOOR.
JENNIFER: Jo, hi, come on in.
JO: Hi. I just saw Jack out there.
JENNIFER: Did he tell you the news?
JO: Yes he did and I am so happy even if Jack isn't.
JENNIFER'S FACE FALLS IN DISAPPOINTMENT.
JENNIFER: He isn't?
JO: Well let's face it. I mean he's not exactly accustomed to living in these circumstances, not when he grew up. JENNIFER: Oh, you mean the apartment?
JO: Of course, what else?
JENNIFER: Well I....
JENNIFER HOLDS OUT HER ARMS AND INDICATES HER EXPANDING WAISTLINE.
JO: Jennifer, have you.... well put on a few.... pounds since the last time I saw you?
JENNIFER: Well maybe, but I'll be putting on a lot more.
JO: A lot more?
JENNIFER: Huh, huh.
JO SLOWLY REALIZES WHAT JENNIFER IS SAYING.
JO: You.... oh, you and Jack....
JO: You're going.... you're going to have....
JENNIFER: Yes. We're going to make you a grandmother again.
JO REACHES OUT TO JENNIFER FOR A BIG HUG.
JO: Oh I'm so excited. Oh Jennifer, when did this happen?
JENNIFER: Today. I just broke the news to Jack.
JO: Oh.... oooooh.
JENNIFER: Oh what?
JO: Oh.... nothing really. No.
JENNIFER: Good. I'm so glad you're here. I tell you what, why don't you wait until Jack gets back. He just ran out to get something to celebrate with.
JO: I'll bet.
JO KNOWS THAT JACK IS UNHAPPY ABOUT THIS NEWS BUT SHE KEEPS IT TO HERSELF. JENNIFER SHOWS HER AROUND THE TINY APARTMENT.
JENNIFER: So I mean I realize it's small but it does have an extra bedroom and it's perfect for the nursery.
JENNIFER: You know and with you down the hall and with my grandmother's restaurant downstairs, the baby's going to have family around it all the time and I think that's much better than a huge penthouse, don't you?
JO: Well I do.
JENNIFER: Jack will too. I mean the most important thing is that he is happy about the baby.
JO KNOWING THAT JACK IS UPSET TRIES NOT TO SHOW IT, BUT THE MORE SHE TRIES TO HID THIS THE MORE FORCED A SMILE SHE HAS. JENNIFER IS TOO EXITED AT FIRST TO NOTICE.
JENNIFER: I mean you should have seen his face when I told him. He was so excited he was speechless.
JO: Oh I'm sure he was floored.
JENNIFER: And he had a smile on his face the whole time.
JO: Oh really.
JENNIFER: The same way you do right now.
JO: Oh.... oh well.
JENNIFER: Come to think of it. (Beat) It looked as forced as your's does right now.
JO: Oh I'm not.... this is not forced. No I could not be happier than I am for the two of you.
JENNIFER: Why are you acting this way Jo?
JO: What way?
JENNIFER: Something's wrong Jo. Tell me.
JENNIFER: Oh Jennifer, now what could be wrong?
JENNIFER: It's Jack. He's really not as happy about this baby as I am, is he?
JO: Now I would not go so far as to say that, no.
JENNIFER: Well what did he say to you?
JO: Well.... not very much, actually.
JENNIFER: Yeah, just like he didn't to me.
JENNIFER IS NOW WORRIED TOO.
JO: Jennifer I.... I think that he's probably a little shell shocked, you know. And.... and I think once he gets the idea in his head he's going to be as happy about this as you and I are.
JENNIFER: I guess I just thought that because we're back together now that.... ah, we wouldn't even have to think about it. That he'd want it as much as I do. But maybe I was wrong.
JO: Oh maybe not, maybe not.JENNIFER: Yeah maybe not.
SCENE FIVE: MEANWHILE JACK IS WANDERING AROUND TRYING TO GET HIS HEAD STRAIGHT ABOUT THE BABY AND HE ENDS UP OUTSIDE A BABY SHOP. HE LEANS ON THE WINDOW AND RUNS HIS HANDS DOWN. SUDDENLY HARPER APPEARS IN HIS SUBCONSCIOUS AND SHAKES A RATTLE IN FRONT OF HIS FACE. HE IS WEARING A VINTAGE BASEBALL UNIFORM FROM THE EARLY PART OF THIS CENTURY.
JACK: Ooooh. HARPER: Congratulations Jackie.
JACK: I should have know.
HARPER: Oh come on, you didn't really think I wouldn't show up, did you? Duke'd be here too but he's still out in left field.
JACK: He was born in left field.
HARPER: No I mean literally. He's in Florida, trying out for the team.
JACK: What team?
HARPER: (Referring the the White Socks scandal) The Socks. You know Duke and this friend of his Doc, the name of Bombay, they're total baseball fiends and they feel if that if Ty Cobb can still play then why not them? But I already made the team but if they make it they're going to buy a cornfield in Iowa.
JACK: A cornfield in Iowa? Isn't that right out of....
HARPER: Yeah, Field of Dreams. Dead people love the movies, especially Costner's.
JACK: Okay, I can't deal with this right now. Go somewhere, take a powder or something.
HARPER: Oh come on there you go again with the baby talk.
JACK: Baby talk! Wait a minute, was that you with the music earlier?
HARPER: Oh no, no, no, son. I can't take credit for that. That came out of your own twisted brain. But you know if you're going to do movie references you got to update them a little. It isn't as if there hasn't been a horror movie since Psycho. Take that new movie, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. It's chock full of good advice for new dads and so am I.
JACK: Look, I...I don't need it thank you very much. Just.... go back to hell or Florida or Duke or wherever you came from. But I just don't need it, thank you.
HARPER: Sorry, no can do. Grandpa Deveraux is here to tell you everything you need to know about raising kids.JACK: But I....
HARPER PUTS TWO WRAPPED CIGARS INTO JACK'S MOUTH.
HARPER THEN UNWRAPS ONE AND PUTS IT BACK IN JACK'S MOUTH AND LIGHTS IT.
HARPER: And don't be afraid to discipline them. Of course that's really Duke's area, not mine. Although he might have gone a little overboard at times.
JACK STARTS TO COUGH WITH CIGAR.
JACK: At.... times?
HARPER: Well come on, don't be so sensitive. You know Steve took most of the burden of it. Oh, gosh I pampered you. I gave you everything you ever wanted.
JACK: Yes, perhaps too much.
HARPER: Oh come on, what are you talking about? Just because I gave you a classic Bentley on your 16th birthday. What about that airplane, the jet, when you graduated? And of course the condo in Aspen. Now if that isn't love, I don't know what is.
JACK: Yes, you may just have a point there.
HARPER: Yeah just follow my lead Jack. That's how I raised you and look how you turned out. Now you can raise your child to be just like you.
JACK: No !.... Ah, no.
HARPER: Come on Jack, isn't that what every father wants? A child that's raised in his image?
JACK: No, I don't want to have any kid growing up like me.
HARPER: Come on Jack, it can't be helped. Sins of the father!
JACK: Not with me. It's going to be different with me.
HARPER LAUGHS AT HIM.
JACK: It is! It's going to be different.
HARPER: Sure, sure, that's we all say, in the beginning. We all say we want what's better for our child. We all swear that we won't make the same mistakes that our parents made with us. But that's.... it doesn't work that way. What's is it called.... repetition compulsion. The vicious cycle, old patterns that keep coming back. And Jack, let's face it, you've got two patterns to buck.
JACK: Well, I tell you something, the buck stops here. Or the buck starts here. So you can just buck off Grandpa.
JACK STORMS OFF.
HARPER: "Grandpa," "Grandpa," what a beautiful word. HAHAHAHAHAH.
SCENE SIX: BACK AT THE NEW APARTMENT, JENNIFER IS ALONE AND STARTS TO TALK TO THE BABY.
JENNIFER: Don't you worry. Your daddy just has to get used to the idea. Then he'll be happy about you too. You'll see.
SUDDENLY THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN AND JACK STAGGERS IN CARRYING TWO SHOPPING BAGS FILLED WITH BABY TOYS.
JENNIFER: Jack where have you been?
JACK: Where does it look like I've been? I've been out shopping for the baby.JENNIFER: I thought you weren't excited about the baby.
JACK: Well I must admit at first I was a little....
JACK: Ah, yes, that's one.... word for it. But I.... I guess I needed to get out, get some fresh air. So I took a walk and I didn't know where I was going and then I found myself in front of this baby store. All these things and next thing I knew I was buying out the whole store. Buying everything I could, just getting things for the kid. Getting things for our kid.
HE HANDS HER A WHITE BEAR.
JENNIFER: Then you are happy?
JACK: Of course I'm happy. You and I, we've done it. We've.... we've created a life. We're having a baby.
JACK: How could I not be happy about that?
JENNIFER: Oh Jack.
SHE GIVES HIM A BIG HUG AND THEN REALIZES THAT IT WAS ALL IN HER HEAD.
JENNIFER: Please let it be that way. Please.
SCENE SEVEN: LATER THAT NIGHT, SHE IS BACK AT THE PENTHOUSE, LYING IN BED WAITING FOR JACK TO COME HOME. SHE HEARS HIM COME IN THE ROOM AND TURNS ON THE LAMP. HE SITS ON THE END OF THE BED AND TAKES OFF HIS SHOES.
JENNIFER: Where have you been?
JACK: Ah.... I was out walking. And.... thinking.
JENNIFER: You're not happy about the baby, are you Jack?
JACK: I'm.... I'm not...ah, I'm not sure how I feel. (Beat) I'm saying this has all been rather sudden. We've just started seeing things eye to eye again, we've lost our money, our home, our livelihood. I must say this child has very poor timing, don't you think?
JENNIFER IS SILENT. HE MOVES OVER NEXT TO HER. JACK IS OBVIOUSLY FEELING TERRIBLE ABOUT NOT BEING EXCITED. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE DESPERATELY WANTS TO BE HAPPY, AND THAT HE FEELS HORRIBLE ABOUT HURTING JENNIFER.
JACK: I know how you wanted me to feel.... when you told me, you wanted me to jump for joy, you wanted me to forget about everything and just run off and start painting the nursery or buy large stuffed animals or.... or start playing cute scenes where we start making up names for our baby and there's a part of me that would like to do that.... there is. (Beat)
JACK (CONT.) But there is another part.... that is.... frightened.... imagining the kind of father that I could be. (Beat) Panicky, self obsessed, difficult to deal with.... you can stop me anytime. (Beat) Jennifer I would give the world to be happy about this. (Beat) I just don't know if I can be.
HE MOVES AWAY FROM THE BED AND HER. JENNIFER IS REALLY UPSET AND HURT.
SCENE EIGHT: LATER, THEY ARE BOTH IN BED, TURNED ON THEIR SIDES AWAY FROM EACH OTHER, BOTH STARING INTO THE DARKNESS.
JACK: You may despise me now if you'd like? It's alright to say it, it's not like I don't deserve it.
JENNIFER: I'm having your baby Jack.
JACK: That shouldn't change anything. There are plenty of women who despise the fathers of their children. It's the life's blood of divorce court.
JENNIFER: Well for what's it's worth, I think you'll make a terrific dad.JACK: Look you don't have to say that, just to say it (Beat).
JACK (CONT.): Or are you saying it because you really mean it?
JACK IS AFFECTED BY HER FAITH IN HIM; BUT HE STILL IS CONFUSED ABOUT HIS FEELINGS, WANTING TO BE HAPPY, BUT FEARFUL THAT HE WILL BE LIKE HARPER AND DUKE, ESPECIALLY NOW THAT THEY ARE BROKE. WITHOUT TURNING OVER, SHE REACHES OUT FOR HIS HAND. HE DOES NOT MOVE EITHER BUT SLOWLY STROKES THE WEDDING RING ON HER FINGER.