SCENE ONE: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE WAITING IN THE HOSPITAL LOUNGE.
JACK: Why is it taking so long to get the bone marrow transplant results?
JENNIFER: My grandfather said it was very complicated. I'm just glad she's sleeping, the poor little thing.
JACK: Oh she is sleeping. That's a good sign.
JENNIFER: Oh she's just so little. She doesn't understand why she's here. She doesn't understand what's going on.
JACK WALKS UP BEHIND JENNIFER AND HOLDS HER, BUT SHE PULLS OUT OF HIS ARMS AND WALKS AWAY LEAVING HIM FEELING VERY ALONE AND AS IF HE IS NOT NEEDED.
SCENE TWO: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE AT THE HOSPITAL, THE TENSION IS CAUSING PROBLEMS FOR THEM.
JENNIFER: You know my grandmother got us these pamphlets from the aplastic anemia foundation. Maybe we should study them, read them.
JACK: Maybe it is still something else. Maybe it is still something that is not as serious as all this.
JENNIFER: Thank you for trying but you don't believe that anymore than I do.
JACK GOES OUT TO CHECK ON ABBY AND COMES RIGHT BACK.
JACK: I checked on her. She's still asleep.
JENNIFER: That's good. Did you see my grandfather?
JACK: No, no, I didn't see him. I suppose he's still with Dr. Anderson. I mean the way I see it, no news is good news. I mean she's sleeping so peacefully it's almost impossible to think that there's anything wrong with her at this moment.
JENNIFER: Will you stop it? How can you keep denying that there could be something wrong with our daughter? I mean the doctor said that she might have a very serious blood disorder Jack.
JACK: Let me tell you something. Might have is a hell of a lot better than knowing absolutely that she has this aplastic anemia. I think there's nothing wrong with hoping for the best.
JENNIFER: I don't think there's any good in it.JACK: Let me tell you something.
HE STANDS BEHIND HER AND WRAPS HIS ARMS AROUND HER.
JACK (CONT.): There is no good in doing this to ourselves. We just have to hold on.
SCENE THREE: AUSTIN COMES TO SPEAK TO JENNIFER. HE IS STILL THERE WHEN JACK RETURNS.
JENNIFER: Hi, have you heard anything yet?
JACK: Nothing yet. (Beat) Hello.
AUSTIN: Hi Jack.
JENNIFER: Austin's here if we need him. Jack and I really appreciate it. We do.
ALICE AND TOM COME IN.
ALICE: Now I brought you some sandwiches and I want you both to eat something.
JENNIFER: Thank you grandma, I appreciate that. Grandpa, what's happening?
JACK: There's nothing yet on the bone marrow test?
TOM: I'm afraid not. It's going to be at least another hour before we hear anything.
JENNIFER: An hour? I don't know if I can hold on for another hour.
JACK DECIDES IT WOULD BE GOOD IF THEY LEFT THE HOSPITAL FOR A WHILE.
SCENE FOUR: JACK HAS DRAGGED JENNIFER TO THE MALL.
JENNIFER: I don't want to be here. I want to go back to the hospital Jack.
JACK: Jennifer, let me explain it to you again. We have been there all night. We have been there all day today. It's time to get out, get some fresh air and maybe get something to eat.
JENNIFER: I'm not hungry.
JACK: I noticed you did not.... you didn't eat a single thing. Why didn't you eat that sandwich that your grandmother brought for you?
JENNIFER: Because I'm not hungry. You didn't touch it either.
JACK: Well I have an excuse. I mean I tried one of everything in the notorious little snack bar down at the hospital.
JENNIFER CANNOT EVEN SMILE AT HIS JOKES ANYMORE.
JACK (CONT.): You know something, I was just thinking. Remember that bag of potato chips we were looking for that time and they were underneath the chair at the kitchen table and little you know who was down there eating them one by one.
AT LAST JENNIFER SMILES.
JENNIFER: Remember when she had the pizza.
JACK: Eating it one by one. And I can still see that cheesy chippy little grin.
JACK GETS A BIG SMILE ON HIS FACE THEN GETS SAD AGAIN. JENNIFER SEES HIS PAIN AND HOLDS HIM.
JENNIFER: I know.... I know. (Beat) Let's go back okay. I mean maybe they'll get the test results early and I don't want to be here.JACK: Neither do I. Let's go.
SCENE FIVE: THEY HAVE RETURNED TO THE HOSPITAL, AND SEE TOM, WHO HAS NEWS FOR THEM.
JACK: Alright, what's the diagnosis?
TOM: Let's go over here.
JENNIFER LOOKS AT JACK.
JACK: It's okay. (Beat) So?
DR. ANDERSON: I'm sorry but it's confirmed. Abigail has aplastic anemia.
JENNIFER: My god
TOM: I'm sorry Jack. I'm sorry Jennifer.
JACK: So.... so what happens now?
TOM: The best hope is a bone marrow transplant if we can find a match.
JACK: And.... and if we can't find a match?
DR. ANDERSON AND TOM LOOK AT EACH OTHER.
JENNIFER: Oh my god. My baby will die, won't she?
JACK HOLDS HER TIGHTLY.
JENNIFER: Our baby's going to die.JACK: No, no.
JENNIFER: Oh my god.
SCENE ONE: THE SAME DAY AND ALICE COMES OVER TO TALK TO THEM.
ALICE: Now why don't we all go down to the cafeteria and have a bite to eat.
JENNIFER: No, no, grandpa's examining Abby and then I want to go in and stay with her for a little while.
JACK: No we want to wait. Wait a minute, he's here.
JENNIFER: How's she doing?
TOM: Sound asleep.
JENNIFER: Good. I'm going to go stay with her for a little while.
TOM: Jennifer, let's you and I have a little talk first, alright.
JENNIFER: Grandpa I need to be with my baby right now.
TOM: This won't take a long time. Let's all go into the lounge, uh.
JACK LOOKS EVEN MORE WORRIED ABOUT WHAT TOM HAS TO SAY.
SCENE: TWO: JACK AND JENNIFER ARE TERRIFIED, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TOM'S NEWS ABOUT ABBY IS NOT GOOD.
JENNIFER: What's going on?
JACK: You can tell us if there's something wrong with her.
TOM: Let's all sit down, please. No, no, no. Abby is resting comfortably. As I explained to you, we're going to treat Abby with drug therapy, blood transfusions. But the best hope for her is a bone marrow transplant.
JACK: We understand that.
TOM: Now I'd like to discuss with you the process of finding a suitable match for Abby's transplant.
JENNIFER: Well Jack or I will donate whatever marrow she needs.
JENNIFER: I mean we're her parents. I'm sure that one of us will match.
TOM: Darling, I'm afraid it's much more complicated than that.
JACK AND JENNIFER LOOK AT EACH OTHER.
JENNIFER: Why do you think that Jack and I won't be a match?
TOM: Because parents are rarely matches. The odds are even less that another relative can be a match. Although there are exceptions of course.
JENNIFER: Where do we find someone who's a match?
JACK: What he's trying to say is that we're going to be depending on the kindness of strangers.
ALICE: He isn't ruling out anyone at the moment. Are you Tom?
TOM: No. Except of course, you Jack.
JACK: Wait a minute, why wouldn't I be a match?
TOM: Well you could be a match but you can't be a donor.
JACK: Why not?
TOM: Because of the Hodgkins Disease. I know that you've been in remission for several years but it's too risky for Abby.
JACK: Of course, of course. You're very right.
JACK COVERS HIS DISAPPOINTMENT AND DEPRESSION VERY WELL AND MOVES AWAY FROM THE TABLE SO THEY CANNOT SEE HIS FACE. JENNIFER SEES HOW UPSET HE IS.
JENNIFER: Jack, Jack, it's alright because we are going to find a donor.
JACK: Yes, a stranger.
JENNIFER: It doesn't matter who it is as long as it helps Abby.
TOM: Look first thing tomorrow I'll contact the national marrow donor program. They have a computerized list of potential donors.
JENNIFER: Are there enough names on the list so that Abby has a good chance of getting a match?
TOM: Well hopefully yes but we'll have to wait and see.
ALICE: And in the meantime, Tom and I will be tested and right now the best thing you can do for Abby is to go home and get some rest.
JENNIFER: Grandpa will you set up a blood test for me tonight please?
JACK IS LISTENING AND HURTING BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN DO TO HELP ABBY.
TOM: Of course, of course. I'll talk to you later.
TOM AND ALICE LEAVE AND JENNIFER TURNS TO JACK. THEY HOLD EACH OTHER.
JENNIFER: This is getting really scary.JACK: Yes and it's beginning to sound strangely familiar too. But we have to believe that there is going to be somebody on that list who's going to be a match. We have to be sure that nothing's going to happen to our child.
SCENE THREE: JENNIFER GOES IN TO BE WITH ABBY AND JACK HEARS WHAT SHE'S SAYING AS HE COMES IN THE DOOR.
JENNIFER: Maybe daddy will rent us a great big boat and we'll take you down the river. I know how you love the water. You know when you go to college, you're going to be on the crew at Yale. And I say Yale because that's where your daddy thinks you're going to go to college. But between you and me honey, you can go to any college you please, you hear me? Because I know you're going to be the sweetest and the prettiest girl on that whole campus. And when you graduate, mommy and daddy are going to be screaming and yelling for you. And we'll probably embarrass you. I just want to promise you one thing. That your daddy and I are going to give you the most full and wonderful life.
JACK TEARS UP AS HE LISTENS TO HER.
JACK: Aaah, they're ready for the blood test Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Oh god, I don't know what we're going to do if we lose her.
JACK: No, no, we're not going to lose her. We're not going to lose.... as a matter of fact we're going to do everything we can, everything in our power to find a donor.
JENNIFER: You're right. We haven't even started looking yet and I'm giving up.
JACK: We're never going to give up. We are never never going to give up. Now come on, you need to get in there and take care of business and I'll take care of....
SHE HANDS ABBY TO JACK AND LEAVES THE ROOM.
JACK: Listen to me, I may not be able to give blood like anybody else. I may not be able to be a donor. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to give up on you.
JACK (CONT.) So don't give up on yourself. Just hang in there. I'm going to do everything in my power to get you better. Everything.
HE HOLDS ABBY VERY TIGHT AGAINST HIS CHEST.
SCENE FOUR: JENNIFER COMES BACK FROM HER BLOOD TEST.
JENNIFER: Excuse me have you seen my husband?
NURSE: Oh yes I did. I saw him in Abby's room.
JENNIFER: Oh thank you.
AUSTIN COMES OVER TO SPEAK TO HER AND SAYS THAT HE'S ORGANIZED FOR THE NETWORK TO AIR THEIR BEST SHOWS WHILE ABBY IS SO SICK AND ALSO TO ADVERTISE FOR DONORS. THEY ARE STILL TALKING WHEN JACK COMES IN.
JENNIFER: How's she doing?
JACK: Well she finally fell asleep.
JACK IS NOT COMFORTABLE WITH AUSTIN AROUND JENNIFER ALL THE TIME.
AUSTIN: Well I got to get going. I have to take care of some stuff before I leave. I'll call you when I get back.
JENNIFER: Thank you Austin. Thanks for everything, really.
JENNIFER: Listen we are going to find a donor.
JACK: You know something. I still want it to be me.
JENNIFER: Jack you know that even if you could donate there's a very slight chance that you would even be a match.
JACK: You don't understand. I'm letting her down. Everyone here is trying to help her and I'm....
JENNIFER: You're not letting her down.
JACK: I'm not.... I can't even try.
JENNIFER: You are there for her 24 hours a day Jack, alright. Nothing can match that kind of love and the love that she has for you. That's what's important. That's what counts. You hear me?
SHE GIVES HIM A BIG HUG.
SCENE FIVE: THEY BOTH GO BACK IN TO SEE ABBY.
JENNIFER: Oh here we go. They woke her up and they gave her the medicine. I don't understand why she can't have her teddy bear to go to sleep with.
JACK: It's something to do with keeping the bed infection free. I mean that's hospital regulations and I'm sure she's a big enough girl to handle that.
JENNIFER: Remember when you bought her that teddy bear. She wasn't even born yet. I can't imagine what our life was like before she was born.
JACK: I think she can.
JACK: She's become quite a little anchor, hasn't she?
JENNIFER: Hmmm yeah.
JACK: You know I was just thinking. If she really doesn't want to go to Yale, I mean if that possibility ever arises, I won't stand in the way. I mean she can go wherever she wants. However I do plan to be heavily involved in the choosing of her husband.
JENNIFER: Did you hear what daddy just said? Did you hear what he just said? Why don't we say goodnight to the stars, huh? Come say our little prayers, huh.
THEY GO TO THE WINDOW WITH ABBY AND SHOW HER THE STARS.