SCENE ONE: IT IS A BIT LATER THAT NIGHT AND THEY ARE SITTING AT THE TABLE EATING DINNER. OR AT LEAST PUSHING IT AROUND WITH FORKS. NEITHER PERSON IS TALKING.
JENNIFER: Are you through?
JENNIFER: Are you through, is it over?
JACK: I beg your pardon. Is what over?
JENNIFER: Dinner. Are you through with dinner?
JACK: Ah, yes, I suppose I am.
JENNIFER: Well give me your plate then.
JACK: (Thinking to himself) I wonder if she knows, if she even suspects that I've only got a little time left? (Beat) Perhaps that's why she's been acting so strange.
JENNIFER: Your plate Jack. Can you give me your plate?
JACK: Yes, certainly.
JENNIFER: (Thinking to herself) I wonder if he even suspects I suspect that he's having an affair? What other reason could there be for him to act so strangely?
JACK: You were staring at me.
JACK: I said you were staring at me.
JENNIFER: Was I?
JACK: Yes. What were you thinking?
JENNIFER: Nothing. But you were staring at me too. What were you thinking?
JACK: Nothing. Nothing important anyway. Nothing at all.
HE LEAVES THE TABLE.
SCENE TWO: JACK AND JENNIFER HAVE CONTINUED THEIR SILENCE FOR SOME TIME.
JACK: So, the dishes are all done?
JENNIFER: Yeah, I just finished them.
JACK: Good, perhaps we could....we could sit and talk.
JACK: Well you....you've been a little quiet lately.
JENNIFER: I didn't think you'd noticed.
JACK: Oh I noticed. (Beat) I noticed. (Beat) Perhaps you could tell me what's wrong.
JENNIFER: Why don't you tell me Jack?
JACK: Tell you what?
JENNIFER: What's wrong.
JACK: Well....how could I tell you what's wrong? You're the one who's been acting strangely.
JENNIFER: Because of you.
JACK: Because of me how? What are you talking about?
JENNIFER: I don't know but you're the one who brought it up so if you have a confession to make, maybe now is the best time to do it, don't you think?
JACK: A confession to make?
JENNIFER: Yes, a confession. (Beat) Well?
JACK: Ah, I....I have nothing to say really.
JENNIFER: Don't you say that Jack. Look if you don't want to talk about it fine. If you're not ready to talk about it fine. But don't say nothing. You have been pushing me away and avoiding me every single chance you get.
JACK: Avoiding you?
JENNIFER: We have barely seen each other in weeks.
JACK: Avoiding you.
JENNIFER: Yes. So that now this is out in the open let's talk about it. Let's get it out in the open.
THE DOORBELL RINGS.
JACK: Ah, it looks like we have company.
JENNIFER: Jack, leave it. I'm not expecting anybody.
JACK: Yes, you are.
JACK OPENS THE DOOR TO BRIAN.
JACK: Oh detective, on time as usual.
BRIAN: Jack, Jennifer.
JACK: Look I hate to eat and run but I have to work on tomorrow morning's edition of The Spectator.
JENNIFER: If you walk out that door right now, I am telling you Jack....
JACK: Ah Brian?
JACK: You know I was just remembering there are a couple of TV movies on tonight. Real good romantic movies. I mean the kind you just don't want to miss. I circled them the times. So if you kids will excuse me, news waits for no man. Good evening.
JACK DISAPPEARS OUT THE DOOR.
BRIAN: You know Jennifer, there is a good movie that I read a review about in the paper today so maybe we can sit down and....well how about it? Are you in the mood for a good romantic cry?JENNIFER: Yeah, I'm in the mood Brian. I'm definitely in the mood.
SCENE THREE: JENNIFER AND BRIAN HAVE BEEN WATCHING A MOVIE. THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE JENNIFER HAS BEEN DISTRACTED WATCHING THE DOOR FOR JACK TO RETURN. MEANWHILE BRIAN HAS BEEN CRYING OVER THE MOVIE.
BRIAN: I'm a mess. I just....Jennifer?
JENNIFER: Huh? (Beat) Brian, you're crying.
BRIAN: Did you see that, the movie there? The way the woman there confronted the husband about having the affair like that?
JENNIFER: There's a box of tissues in the bathroom.
JENNIFER: I'll be right back.
BRIAN: No, Jennifer, wait. Wait a second. I said something to upset you.
JENNIFER: It has nothing to do with you really Brian.
BRIAN: Well it couldn't have been the movie because you barely watched.
JENNIFER: Well it doesn't matter. I'll go get your tissues.
BRIAN: Wait, wait a second, wait. I need to talk to you. Now listen, I know this is going to sound crazy considering the movie and everything we just saw but you don't possibly think that Jack is having an affair, do you?
JENNIFER: Brian, I know that Jack is having an affair. You saw the way he ran out of here.
BRIAN: Yes, but there's a perfectly good explanation for that.
JENNIFER: Oh, you're covering up for him, right?
BRIAN: What? No of course. I would....no I would never do that.
JENNIFER: Are you kidding me? All men do that. They all cover up for their friends. They lie for them; they cover up for them, especially to their wives. That's what they all do Brian.
BRIAN: No, no, let me enlighten you here Jennifer. Jack and I aren't exactly friends, if you haven't noticed, okay? I mean we're both socially awkward males. That's a given. But that is not enough to bring the blooming flower of relationship to friendship.
JENNIFER: Are you insulting Jack?
BRIAN: No, no. I was just thinking cause he's making you so upset. Considering what he's been doing....
JENNIFER: Alright, it doesn't matter if he's making me upset, okay. He might be crazy and untrustworthy and unfaithful. But he's still my husband.
BRIAN: Jennifer, listen to me, look I mean I might not know much about anything but I do know one thing. When two people are so in love with each other, Jack couldn't possibly be doing what you think he's doing. There's absolutely no way Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Alright, alright, can I just tell you one thing, alright? Jack and I have not been....we have not been together in a long time. Do you understand what I'm saying when I say together?
BRIAN: Yeah I think I understand.JENNIFER: Alright, so there's your proof. There is no explanation. Jack is sleeping with another woman.
SCENE FOUR: BRIAN AND JENNIFER PLAYING SCRABBLE. JENNIFER HAS PUT UP A WORD AND BRIAN IS DISPUTING IT AND IS CHECKING THE DICTIONARY.
BRIAN: Wrong Jennifer, "imbecile" is spelt "i-m-b-e-c-i-l-e."
JENNIFER: That's it. This is not working Brian.
JENNIFER HAS PUT DOWN THE WORD "INSINCERE" AND "INSECT" CROSSED WITH "IMBECILE".
BRIAN: Yes it's not taking your mind off Jack, is it? "Imbecile," "insect," "insincere."
JENNIFER: I mean trying not to think about it, is just making it worse.
BRIAN: Well that's it. There's your answer then. We have to figure this out. You have to confront him.
JENNIFER: Confront him?
JENNIFER: Confront him. He'll lie to me. You know he'll lie to me. That's almost as bad as not knowing at all.
BRIAN: Listen this is ridiculous. You're driving me crazy. This is not good for you; this is not healthy for the baby. You're going to eat yourself alive and I'm not going to let you do that.
JENNIFER: You know something, you're right.
BRIAN: I am?
JENNIFER: Yes, you are absolutely right. It's the not doing something that is making me feel this way.
BRIAN: That's what I've been telling you all along.
JENNIFER: Right so I am going to find out the truth once and for all Brian.
JENNIFER: Tonight! And you are going to help me.
BRIAN: I am?
JENNIFER: Yes, grab your coat because we've got a lot of work to do.
BRIAN: We?JENNIFER: Yes, we.
SCENE FIVE: MEANWHILE, JACK IS HANGING OUT DOWN AT ALICE'S RESTAURANT. HE IS SITTING IN A BOOTH DRINKING THE BOTTOMLESS CUP OF COFFEE SUPPLIED BY GINGER.
GINGER: You know what? I'd ask if you felt like talking about it Jack but I'm really not in the mood for listenin'.
JACK: And I'm not in the mood for talking so we're even on that score.
GINGER: You'd get a better cup of coffee upstairs in your apartment. I suppose you know that.
JACK: I know that. (Beat) I know that.
JACK LOOKS VERY SAD AS GINGER WALKS AWAY. SHE GOES OVER TO TALK TO MAGGIE ABOUT BRIAN AND JACK LISTENS IN. MAGGIE ENCOURAGES HER TO SEE BRIAN AND SEE IF THEY CAN MAKE UP AND JACK DOES NOT LIKE THAT. GINGER DECIDES THAT MAGGIE IS RIGHT AND THAT SHE SHOULD GO SEE BRIAN RIGHT NOW.
SCENE SIX: NOT WANTING GINGER TO MAKE UP WITH BRIAN, AND THUS RUINING HIS PLANS, JACK WALKS OVER TO HER TO STOP HER.
JACK: Ah Ginger, I need to talk.
GINGER: Don't you stop me. I got something to do that's very important.
JACK: Well this is even more important. We need to sit down and talk, right now, right away.
GINGER STILL WANTS TO LEAVE.
JACK: No, let me finish.
GINGER: Finish? I have not understood anything you said, since you started. Now why don't you get your thoughts together and when I come back, we'll talk.
JACK: No, I can't. I don't have that long.
GINGER: Why not?
JACK: Because....because....because of the deadline. I have a deadline.
GINGER: What are you talking about?
JACK: I'm talking about opportunity. A big opportunity. Really big.
GINGER: What do you mean, like a job?
JACK: A job? Yes, exactly, exactly, that's what I'm talking about. I mean you don't really expect to work here the rest of your life. A woman with your.... potential.
GINGER IS IMPRESSED.
GINGER: Well I'm not exactly the executive type. Is this a joke?
JACK: No, no joke, no executive. I'm talking about you making a living....as you are, who you are, thinking the way that you do. The Spectator needs you.
GINGER: For what, a paperboy?
JACK: No, no, I wasn't thinking about anything like that.
GINGER: What are you thinking about?
JACK: Ah....your....your clothes.
GINGER: My clothes? What about them?
JACK: Well just looking at them I can see you have a....you have a fashion sense that's all your own. I mean I'll bet that you know where to find these....this garment at the best price in this town. You do. Come on, be honest, you do.
GINGER: Well yeah, I guess I do know about that.
JACK: Well there it's obvious. I mean it's time for to write a column for The Spectator about....fine....fashion hunting. We'll call it fashions for those who like to....wear less. What do you say?
JACK: Well let's just sit down right here and just talk over all the details. Here we go.
HE PUSHES HER INTO A BOOTH AND PULLS UP A CHAIR AT THE END NEXT TO HER.
SCENE SEVEN: AT THAT EXACT MOMENT, JENNIFER AND BRIAN GET TO THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: Okay Brian, have you any idea where we might start looking for Jack. (Beat) Brian?
JACK: Yeah, yeah, I have a very good idea.
JENNIFER: Great, really?
BRIAN: And we don't have to go that far either.
JENNIFER: Brian, what are you talking abou....
THEY BOTH LOOK OVER AND SEE JACK AND GINGER IN CONVERSATION. GINGER IS LEANING IN CLOSE AS JACK CHARMS HER.
BRIAN: Well let's go over there.
JENNIFER: No, I am not. I am not going over there.
BRIAN: Whoa, whoa, whoa, but the whole idea of us coming over here was you finding him and confronting him. I mean you saying, Jack, are you having an affair?
JENNIFER: The answer to that is pretty obvious, don't you think?
BRIAN: Well what are you talking about?
JENNIFER: What am I talking about? Look who he's nestling up to?
JENNIFER: Yes, that's right, Ginger.
BRIAN: Well you just go over there and say excuse me Ginger I'd like to talk to my husband about a....wait a second here. You don't possibly think that Jack and Ginger....
JENNIFER: You know I just can't believe that he would do this out in the open. I mean this is my grandmother's restaurant. We live right upstairs.
BRIAN: Jennifer, wait a minute. They're just having an innocent cup of coffee.
JENNIFER: Innocent cup of coffee? He said he had to go to work. Does this look like work to you?
BRIAN: Well no, but this is ridiculous. You don't have any proof.
MEANWHILE GINGER IS GETTING FRUSTRATED WITH JACK.
GINGER: Jack, you are whispering again.
JACK: I just....I don't want anyone to hear this, that's all.
GINGER: Well I can't hear you.
JACK: Alright, alright, I just....I just don't want word of this journalistic coup to get out before it's a done deal. So tell me, is it a deal? Yes or no?
GINGER: You know it's not that simple. I think this offer is really wonderful.
JACK: Huh, huh.
GINGER: And god knows Molly would be really impressed to see my name in that paper.
JACK: So you are considering it?
GINGER: No....well I might if I could write.
JACK: Well come on now, writing's like acting. I mean....everybody thinks they can do it. So just allow me to coach you.
GINGER: You would?
JACK: Yes, yes, I tell you what, I'll work with you day and night until you feel comfortable enough to go solo. What do you say?
GINGER: Um....I say yes.
GINGER: I say YES!
GINGER JUMPS UP AND JACK DOES TOO. SHE GRABS HIM AROUND THE NECK AND GIVES HIM A HUGE HUG WHICH JENNIFER CAN SEE.
GINGER: Oh YES!
GINGER: Thank you.
JACK: You're welcome.
GINGER: Thank you.
JENNIFER IS NOW VERY HURT AND ANGRY.
JENNIFER: You see Brian, I told you. I knew it, I just knew it.
BRIAN: Ginger and Jack!
JENNIFER RUNS UPSTAIRS TO THE APARTMENT.
SCENE EIGHT: A SHORT TIME LATER, BRIAN RETURNS TO THE APARTMENT.
BRIAN: Jennifer are you alright?
BRIAN: Well can I be not alright with you?
JENNIFER: You know what Brian, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left you there like that.
BRIAN: I couldn't move. I just don't believe it.
JENNIFER: You know I know how you feel about Ginger. This must be just as hard for you as it is for me.
BRIAN: Are you kidding me? Worse! I mean look who I was replaced by.
JENNIFER DOES NOT LIKE COMMENTS LIKE THAT ABOUT JACK.
BRIAN: I'm sorry, I know how you feel about me insulting Jack.
JENNIFER: You know what, I've changed my mind. Feel free!
BRIAN: It's just that I don't understand it. I mean what does he have that I don't have?
JENNIFER: I think if you're asking me, you're asking the wrong person.
BRIAN: Well I didn't mean it to come out that way. I mean isn't that a weird combination to you?
JENNIFER: Brian, Jack and anybody is a weird combination I'm starting to think.
BRIAN: Yeah but not with you two. With you two it seems to balance the whole thing when you're together.
JENNIFER: That's just it, we're not together Brian. We're not together at all. The thing is he's having this affair behind my back. He might as well have it right in front of me because I wouldn't be able to see him having it. I can't even see my own feet. I'm such a whale right now and....
BRIAN: A very beautiful whale.
JENNIFER: You think so too, huh? Look the thing is even if Jack wanted to hold me right now he wouldn't be able to fit his arms around all this.
BRIAN: Oh come on, what are you talking about here? Are you kidding me? Come here, come here, give Brian a hug.
HE WRAPS HIS ARMS AROUND HER AND GIVES HER A REASSURING HUG.
BRIAN: Look at this. This is a perfect fit.
JENNIFER: That's because you have very long arms.
BRIAN: No, it's because you are a beautiful and desirable woman who's even more beautiful and more desirable because she doesn't know she is.
JENNIFER: You really mean that don't you?
BRIAN: Yes, are you kidding me?
JACK WALKS TO THE DOOR AT THIS MOMENT AND HEARS WHAT BRIAN HAS TO SAY.
BRIAN: There isn't a man in this town who hasn't lusted after you. Are you kidding me? We could start a fan club. We could have little Dakota rings.
JACK IS NOT HAPPY ABOUT THOSE COMMENTS.
JACK: Well, well, well.
THEY BOTH TURN TO HIM.
JACK: No, no, please don't....don't stop on my account. Just keep.....doing whatever it was you were doing.
BRIAN: Well Jack we can explain this whole....
JACK: No, no. There's no explanation necessary. I'm just....happy to see the two of you get along so well.
JENNIFER: And we are Jack. Actually we are getting along better than well aren't we Brian?
SHE STORMS OFF INTO THE BEDROOM. JACK COMES INSIDE AND SHUTS THE DOOR.
JACK: Brian, what exactly did she mean by that?
BRIAN: Jack, I have an explanation for all of this.
JACK: No, no, there's no need to explain. You were here to take care of Jennifer and that's exactly what you were doing and in the process you've become friends. I couldn't be happier to see it.
BRIAN: You couldn't?
JACK: No, I want this to happen. You're here, she's here, she's safe. Why wouldn't I be happy? Why wouldn't I be thrilled beyond words?
JACK'S VOICE SHOWS THAT HE IS VERY UNHAPPY.
BRIAN: Jack, Jennifer is going through a rough time right now.
JACK: Meaning what?
BRIAN: Meaning, meaning, well....
JACK: Well, please just spit it out.
BRIAN: Alright Jack. Jack I know what's going on.
JACK: Going on?
BRIAN: Right. Going on. And I wasn't very thrilled to hear about it.
JACK: How did you find out?
BRIAN: Jack, look you're not doing a very good job of hiding it.
JACK: I'm not?
BRIAN: No, you're not. All I had to do was open my eyes and look.
JACK: So does Jennifer know too?
BRIAN: Let's just say I think it's time that you two had a little talk. I have to go.
JACK: Wait a minute, we're not finished here. I have to....
BRIAN: Oh we are finished here. Look, listen, you listen to me. You better talk to her. It's time you got it out in the open. You air it out.
BRIAN: Communicate with her. Tell her.
SCENE NINE: LATER, JENNIFER COMES OUT OF THE BEDROOM WITH A PILLOW AND BLANKET. SHE SHOVES THEM IN JACK'S FACE.
JENNIFER: Alright Jack.
JACK: But....but, what is this?
JENNIFER: From here on in you sleep on the couch.
JENNIFER: WHY? Do you want me to tell you why? (Beat) Fine, because I am pregnant, alright, and that can be slightly uncomfortable sometimes so I'm going to need all the room I can get. And besides I think we should both get used to sleeping alone for a while.
SHE WALKS BACK INTO THE BEDROOM.
JACK: Wait a minute, ....Jennifer we need....listen we need to talk about....we need....
SHE SLAMS THE DOOR IN HIS FACE.
JACK: Obviously I'm missing something here.
SCENE TEN: BRIAN GOES DOWNSTAIRS TO ALICE'S RESTAURANT WHERE GINGER TRIES TO TELL HIM ABOUT HER NEW JOB BUT HE REFUSES TO LISTEN TO HER