SCENE ONE: IT IS THE DAY OF THE HOSPITAL CARNIVAL AND JACK HAS JUST COME HOME. HE OPENS THE DOOR CAREFULLY TO MAKE SURE THAT JENNIFER IS OUT. HE IS CARRYING A METAL CAMERA CASE. HE SNEAKS IN AND IS ABOUT TO OPEN THE CASE WHEN JENNIFER CALLS FROM THE BEDROOM.
JENNIFER: Jack, is that you? Jack?
JACK GETS A FRIGHT AND HIDES THE CASE UNDER THE TABLE.
JENNIFER: What are you doing here?
JENNIFER IS BRUSHING HER HAIR.
JACK: Oh, look at you, look at.... at your hair. It's.... it's something new isn't it?
JENNIFER: No, this is always how I wear my hair Jack.
JACK: I know, long, loose and flowing. I love it that way. But there's something else. Perhaps the shampoo?
JENNIFER: What are you doing home from work?
JACK: I'm not home.... I mean I am but I'm not. I mean I'm not home home. I'm just home for a couple of minutes.... then I'm going to work.
JENNIFER DOES NOT BELIEVE HIM.
JENNIFER: Huh, huh. Are you going to work work or just work?
JACK: That's good.... Jennifer that's very good. Good.
JENNIFER: You still haven't answered my question Jack.
JACK: I'm hungry. You know I am starving. Are you hungry?
JENNIFER: Jack why are you home?
JACK: I was thinking about that.... those chicken wings that you made the other night. Can't get them off my mind. There are some here.
HE OPENS THE FRIDGE TO LOOK FOR THE CHICKEN WINGS.
JENNIFER: Really? You said they were greasy.
HE FINDS THEM AND TAKES THEM OUT OF THE FRIDGE.
JACK: Greasy? There they are. What's a little grease when it comes to chicken wings. I mean if chicken wings can't be greasy, then what can, right?
HE TAKES ONE OUT AND BREAKS IT APART.
JACK: Of course, when it comes to flounder, that's another thing altogether.
HE TAKES A TINY BITE OF CHICKEN THEN COVERS THEM AGAIN AND PUTS THEM BACK IN THE FRIDGE.
JACK: Very good. So what about.... what about you? Why are here? I thought you'd be working with your grandmother at the carnival.
JENNIFER: Well I am actually. I'm just leaving.
JACK: Well, ah, don't let me keep you. I mean you don't have to take care of me. I'm fine.
JENNIFER: Yeah.... yeah I'm sure you are fine.
JACK: I'm just saying that I don't want to detain you if there's things you have to do at the carnival. I don't want people to get disappointed so I'll have to feel guilty for keeping you.
JENNIFER: Well maybe you should feel guilty Jack.
JACK: Why do you say that?
JENNIFER: For trying to get rid of me, that's why.
JACK: I'm not trying to get rid of you Jennifer. I'm just saying that I don't want to detain you and take up all your time.
JENNIFER: What time are you going to be home tonight? And I do mean home home.
JACK: Ah.... well actually I have a lot of work to do at the paper so I'm going to be there.... very, very late, unfortunately.
JENNIFER: Yeah, yeah, that is too bad, isn't it?
JACK: But you're not going to be alone. I've arranged for Brian to be here tonight to....
JENNIFER: No, Jack.
JACK: Jennifer this is something we've already agreed to.
JENNIFER: No. I have decided that I do not need Brian here. I do not need him to him to look after me like I am some helpless child, alright.
JACK: Jennifer, please, do this for me, Please. I just want to know that when I'm gone, there's going to be someone here to take care of you and look after you. Please. (Beat) And I'll.... I'll call you later.
JENNIFER: Sure.... sure. If you get a chance, do.
SHE IS OBVIOUSLY UPSET WITH HIM.
SHE LEAVES WITHOUT KISSING HIM GOODBYE. HE IS UPSET TOO.
SCENE TWO: HE SITS DOWN AND OPENS HIS CAMERA CASE AGAIN. HE TAKES OUT THE EQUIPMENT HE NEEDS AND IS STANDING ON A CHAIR IN THE KITCHEN WHEN JO ENTERS.
JO: Jack, I'm here.
JACK IS ARRANGING A PLANT IN FRONT OF A VIDEO CAMERA THAT HE HAS PLACED HIGH UP ABOVE THE KITCHEN CUPBOARDS.
JACK: Good. The door is unlocked. Come on in.
JO: Oh son, you sounded so frantic on the pho.... what are you doing?
JACK: I'm not doing anything. I'm actually.... done. You can't see it, can you?
JO: See what?
JACK: Good. I've installed a closed circuit camera in the plant.
JO: A camera? Oh.... ooooh I'm not on TV am I? Oh.... I can't. I don't even have lipstick on yet.
SHE TURNS AROUND AWAY FROM THE CAMERA.
JO: This is not about you.
JACK: I've installed a closed circuit camera so that I can observe Jennifer and Brian Scofield together.
JO: What? Oh Jack.
JACK: I want to be able to see how they behave together so I can see if there's any potential for any future.... future whatever. So I have to....
JO: You're spying!
JACK: I'M NOT spying on them. When you watch.... watch Oprah or Donahue or Geraldo you're not spying on them. You're just watching people on television. It's not such a new idea is it?
JO: THAT IS SPYING!
JACK: Look I do not have time to argue with you. Are you going to help me or not?JO: NO! UH, UH! I am not going to help you. I think this is low, it's sneaky, it's underhanded. And as much as I love you, I am not going to compromise my personal integrity to help you out on this one. No way, no how, no, no, no, no, NO.
SCENE THREE: MINUTES LATER, JACK IS AT JO'S PLACE ADJUSTING HER TV TO PICK UP THE PICTURE FROM HIS VIDEO CAMERA.
JO: What's taking so long?
JACK: I'm not good at this.
JO: Now he tells me. Jack if you mess up my TV.
JACK: Wires and bolts and....
JO: And on Thursday of all days. Tonight my favorite shows are on Jack.
JACK: Wait, wait, wait, wait. I've just.... I've got the right little thingy to go into the.... right little thingy. There! Yes, yes, I've got it. It's good, it's good.
HE STEPS BACK NEXT TO JO AND ON THE TV IS A GOOD CLEAR PICTURE OF THE LIVING ROOM AT HIS APARTMENT.
JACK: Just can't find it in yourself to understand me in this, can you?
JO: Oh son, no.... oh son, I can't possibly understand what you're going through and I don't want you to think I'm being callous. I just wish sometimes you wouldn't worry so much and I wish that you would channel your mind into something more useful like finding a cure for....
JACK: THERE IS NO CURE. You know that as well as I do. I think it's about time you finally admitted it.
JO: Alright, I admit it. But you've got to do something for me.
JO: Be happy. Enjoy your life.JACK: I cannot enjoy my life until I know when I'm gone there will be somebody to look after Jennifer.
SCENE FOUR: AFTER THE CARNIVAL, JENNIFER ARRIVES HOME WITH BRIAN WHO IS TELLING HER WHAT HIS FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOWS ARE.
BRIAN: And I tend to watch comedies more than anything else. It's not that I can't appreciate the more profound piece from time to time but I just seem to have a penchant for the humorous sort of genre of....
JENNIFER IS NOT EVEN LISTENING.
JENNIFER: Of what?
BRIAN: Of.... of cold cuts. I prefer my sandwich with a spicy Dijon....
JENNIFER: Are you hungry Brian?
BRIAN: No, no, no, but you know what, go ahead and get something for you and the baby.
JENNIFER: You know I'm not really hungry either.
THEY ARE BOTH OBVIOUSLY BORED WITH EACH OTHER.
BRIAN: How about those Cubs?
JENNIFER: Yeah. (Beat) Ah, you can sit down if you'd like.
BRIAN: Oh okay.
JENNIFER: Maybe I'll sit down too. It's been a really long day.
JENNIFER: Thank you.
JENNIFER SITS DOWN NEXT TO BRIAN AND KICKS OFF HER SHOES.
BRIAN: The shoes can be confining.
JENNIFER: Yeah, very confining.
JENNIFER: So, ah, you play cards?
BRIAN: Do I play cards? Yes I play cards. Cards.... actually my game is Rummy. Rummy's my game.
JENNIFER IS SUDDENLY INTERESTED.
JENNIFER: Really? Rummy's my game.
BRIAN: You're kidding.
JENNIFER: No I'm not kidding. But you know what, Jack thinks it's such a stupid game that I've never had a chance to show off what a great rummy player I am.
BRIAN: Are you crazy? Listen, I don't want to competitive here or anything like that but I would be surprised, I mean highly surprised, listen I would be shocked if you could beat me.
JENNIFER: Well put this in your pipe and smoke it Scofield because not only am I going to beat you, I am going to show you how this game is played. Let's go. Where's those cards? The adrenaline is going now!
SHE JUMPS UP TO GET THE CARDS.
SCENE FIVE: OVER AT JO'S APARTMENT, JACK IS PACING UP AND DOWN WHILE JO MAKES POPCORN.
JACK: Oh I don't believe this.
JO: What are they doing?
JACK: Oh he's making her adrenaline flow.
JO: Oh Jack.
JACK: That's not in his job description. That's not his job dammit.
JO: You've got to relax about this.
JACK: You're right. You know something you're right. This is what I wanted to have happen. I mean they're getting to know each other, maybe even falling.... (He sighs heavily as he looks at the screen).... it's good. They're sitting there, they're playing cards, they're laughing. He's laughing. Why is she laughing? He's not that funny is he?
JO: Well, Brian does have a good sense of humor.
JACK: Look at him. He's got his hands on her stomach, probably making the baby kick. I mean look at her now. There she is laughing and her face.... she's all rolling her head back, you know, red in the face. She's hysterical.
JO: Oh Jack!
JO CANNOT STOP GIGGLING AS SHE WATCHES JENNIFER AND BRIAN.
JACK: I mean.... I tell you what, this is what he did. He probably told this really lame joke and she laughed with him so he wouldn't feel like an idiot. Isn't that right?
JO: Yes, son, that's right.
JACK: And what about these cards? Why are they playing cards? She never played cards with me.JO: Now listen to me.... Jack, listen.... Listen. Would you listen to me?SHE GRABS HIS SHOULDERS TO STOP HIM GETTING HYSTERICAL.
JO: Now you've got to make up your mind. Do you want Jennifer to be attracted to Brian or not?
JACK: I do.... but not so soon.
HE LEANS DOWN AND TURNS OFF JO'S TV.
JACK: Not now.
HE HEADS FOR THE DOOR.
JO: Where are you going? I thought you wanted to watch this.
JACK: They're too boring to watch. If they were a television show they'd be off the air. If they were a television show they wouldn't even be on the air. I'm going home.... home, home.
HE SLAMS THE DOOR AND LEAVES.
SCENE SIX: BACK IN THE APARTMENT, JENNIFER HAS JUST GOT RUMMY. SHE SQUEALS WITH JOY.
JENNIFER: WHOOOOOOOA! RUMMY! RUMMY!
JENNIFER: Yes, yes, read 'em and weep Scofield. There you go. There's my discard. I win. Let me see. Minus what?
BRIAN: You're kidding. This is ridiculous. You know I mean this is not right. This is beginner's luck. Why don't you just pick up your cards? Pick up your cards.
JENNIFER: Beginner's luck. I told you, this is my game.
BRIAN: Whoa, we're going to play a real game now.
JACK BURSTS IN THE DOOR.
JACK: Oh the hell you will, the hell you will.
JENNIFER: Oh hi Jack.
JACK: Put the cards down Jennifer.
BRIAN: Hey Jack, I thought you were going to be home a lot later.
JACK: Oh I know what you thought. You thought you could sit here and play cards and heaven knows what else while I was slaving away at the office.
JENNIFER: Wait a minute Jack. This is was your idea.
JACK: That does not mean I have to enjoy it.
BRIAN: Alright, you know what, I guess I'm going to go now. I better go. Jack listen I'll.... I'll talk to you tomorrow and Jennifer I'll see you and remember the breathing thing.
JACK: Look don't worry about Jennifer, she has someone to take care of her. You understand that? Do you?
BRIAN WALKS OUT THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: Why did you do that?
JACK: What do you mean, why did I do that? I wanted to get rid of him, that's why.
JENNIFER: What do you mean? You hired him. You hired him to baby-sit me then you come in here and you kick him out. You made him feel like a fool.
JACK: That's because he is a fool. He's a fool if he thinks he can make you laugh and make you happier than I do.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about?
JACK: Sit down, please. Please, just sit down.
SHE SITS DOWN AT THE TABLE AND HE SITS DOWN OPPOSITE HER. HE GATHERS UP THE CARDS.
JACK: Alright, let's play Rummy.
JACK: Yes you heard me. Let's play Rummy.
JENNIFER: You hate Rummy.
JACK: That doesn't matter. From now on if you enjoy it so do I. We are going to have everything in common for the next couple of months, everything. We are going to have plenty of laughs, plenty of good times and you're going to have vivid memories of it all. Every single laugh.... every single good time.
JENNIFER SENSES THAT JACK IS VERY UPSET ABOUT ALL THIS AND SHE REACHES OVER AND TAKES HIS ARM.
JENNIFER: Jack listen to me. What.... you always make me laugh and you always make me very happy.JACK: Please remember that.... for me.... please remember the good times with me.
HE LOOKS IN HER EYES AND SHE CAN SEE THE SADNESS THERE.