Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #38

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Episode #38
Shortly After #37



The sun is shining brightly as CHILDREN play throughout the park. SHANNON stands by a tree, looking upset.

SHANNON (THINKING): This whole thing is a mess. Everything I do just seems to throw Jason and Courtney closer together … maybe they really do have some kind of special bond. Maybe they are meant to be together.

She has come to a small stream that flows through the middle of the park. Bending down over it, she sees her own reflection in the water.

SHANNON: (sotto voce) How have I gotten myself to this point? Look at me – I’m so desperate for Jason. It’s just – I love him so much. I need him. And that stupid bitch Courtney has to do no more than snap her fingers to have him come running. It’s not fair.

She puts her hand down in the water, into her reflection. The image breaks up as the water ripples.

SHANNON (CONT’D): (sotto voce) It’s not fair at all. I need to teach her a lesson – this time for good.

She stands up again. Suddenly a MALE HAND clamps over her mouth, muffling her cries of protest.


JASON, COURTNEY, and LAUREN sit around the room. Courtney’s face is stained from tears. Jason is looking upset. Lauren observes the exchange between the two; she sits shyly, feeling almost like an intruder as her friends speak.

COURTNEY: What do you mean you don’t believe me?

JASON: It’s not that I don’t – or I don’t want to, Courtney. I just can’t. I’m skating with Shannon now. I can’t just accept this kind of accusation without any proof at all.

COURTNEY: (in disbelief) You’re gonna keep skating with her?

JASON: I have to, Court. I can’t go out now – this close to the beginning of the season – and try to find another partner. And I can’t waste another year. You know I’d rather skate with you, but at the moment it’s not gonna happen.

COURTNEY: I don’t believe this …

JASON: Look, Court.

He takes her hand in his.

JASON (CONT’D): You are still my best friend. You always have been, you always will be. But until you get some proof of this accusation you’re making against Shannon, I can’t just go out and screw up my entire life. Do you see my point?

Courtney nods, biting her lower lip to fight back further tears.


The apartment is still a bit of a mess after the tragedy of a week ago. The window next to the door that was broken is missing; in its place is a temporary sheet of plastic.

MOLLY sits on the floor, cradling a WEDDING DRESS in her arms. The doorbell rings.

MOLLY: (without energy) Come in.

The door opens and SARAH enters.

SARAH: Hey, how are you?

MOLLY: Not too great. Look what got delivered.

Sarah sees the dress.

SARAH: Is that—?

MOLLY: My wedding dress. The one I would have worn to marry Craig.

Sarah sits down on the floor next to her sister.

SARAH: Oh, Molly … I’m so sorry.

MOLLY: Don’t be. It’s not your fault. (beat) It’s mine.

SARAH: I don’t want you blaming yourself for this, Molly.

MOLLY: Who else is there to blame, Sarah? Craig went crazy because of me.

SARAH: You couldn’t have prevented that.

MOLLY: Do we know that? No. We never will. I just have to live the rest of my life with what I’ve done.

Sarah hugs Molly, who begins to cry.

MOLLY (CONT’D): (sobbing) How did it all go so wrong, Sarah? How did my life get screwed up so badly?

Out on Molly, collapsed in Sarah’s arms as she weeps.



SHANNON struggles for release as the MALE HAND remains clasped over her mouth. It suddenly releases and she whips around, finding … DAVE, the hitman.

SHANNON: What the hell are you doing?

DAVE: You said to meet you here, remember?

SHANNON: No, I mean grabbing me like that. You scared the crap out of me.

DAVE: Sorry. It was just a joke. (beat) You got the money?

SHANNON: Well, to hell with subtlety, huh? Yes, I have it.

She opens her purse and hands him an envelope.

SHANNON (CONT’D): That should do it, right?

DAVE: Yep. That’s all you owe me.

SHANNON: Now listen to me, and listen well: I don’t want you going around talking about this thing, or letting anyone know that we’re connected in any way, all right?

DAVE: Fine. I understand. I’m a pro, remember? I’ve done this before. And I’ve never been caught.

SHANNON: Let’s keep it that way. ‘Cause if we’re found out, I’ll never have Jason -- and I’ll never be able to make Courtney miserable.


LAUREN sits watching as JASON clasps COURTNEY’S hand in his and speaks to her.

JASON: You understand what I mean, don’t you, Court?

COURTNEY: I-- I guess I do.

JASON: It’s not that I don’t believe you, but-- well, you and Shannon haven’t exactly been best pals the past few months, from what you’ve told me.

COURTNEY: What are you suggesting?

JASON: Nothing -- really. All I mean is that -- well -- isn’t it possible that you could be jumping the gun on this thing a little?

COURTNEY: You think I’m lying?

JASON: I didn’t say that--

COURTNEY: I don’t believe this! You actually think I’m making this up.

JASON: Courtney--

COURTNEY: (interrupting, angry) You don’t think I am, do you, Lauren?


COURTNEY: Yeah ... you believe me, right? Tell Jason I’m not lying.


MOLLY and SARAH sit on the floor. Molly is sobbing, clutching her wedding dress, as Sarah holds her.

SARAH: It’s not your fault, Molly. It isn’t.

MOLLY: Who else’s is it?

SARAH: Craig! He was insane!

MOLLY: But I set him off, Sarah. Everything I did -- it just made him more and more insecure.

SARAH: Listen to me.

She manually turns Molly’s face toward hers.

SARAH (CONT’D): Now be honest with me.

Molly nods, agreeing.

SARAH (CONT’D): You never cheated on Craig, right?

Looking into her sister’s eyes, Molly debates her answer.

          CUT TO:



Sitting on the couch, BRENT and MOLLY kiss.

          CUT TO:


SARAH stares into MOLLY’S eyes, awaiting an answer.

MOLLY: No. Of course not.

SARAH: All right, then. How could it have been your fault?

They hug.

SARAH (THINKING): Of course, you did kiss Brent, but there’s no way Craig could have seen that. I was there, outside the window ... Craig wasn’t.

SARAH: Everything Craig was jealous of was in his mind. It wasn’t your fault at all, Molly.

MOLLY: I guess you’re right -- you are, I know it. But I just feel that I wasn’t as into the relationship as him ... I wasn’t as devoted to him as I should have been.

SARAH: (suddenly unnerved) And why was that?



SARAH and MOLLY sit on the floor with the wedding dress.

SARAH: Why weren’t you devoted enough to Craig?

MOLLY: (sobbing again) I guess I knew it really wasn’t going to work. I just didn’t know how to say that to Craig.

SARAH: Some things just weren’t meant to be. It just turns out that in your case Craig really couldn’t deal with that reality.

MOLLY: I just don’t understand -- just a few months ago, I thought Craig and I could be happy together forever. I thought he was the one. (beat) And then it all fell apart. How -- why did this happen to me?

She bursts into tears again and falls into Sarah’s arms.

SARAH: Come on, Molly. Why don’t you take a nap? You’re exhausted.

MOLLY: (pulling herself up) That sounds like a good idea.

She begins to walk to the bedroom and then quickly turns back.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Thanks for being such a great sister, Sarah. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you.

SARAH: It’s my pleasure, Molly. I can’t bear to see this to happen to you.

Molly exits into the bedroom. Sarah stands alone in the living room.

SARAH (CONT’D): (sotto voce) That’s why it hurts me even more to see what happened between you and Brent.


MOLLY crawls onto the bed and pulls the pillow tight to her head.

MOLLY: (sotto voce) Sarah’s been there for me through all of this. That only makes me feel worse.

She wipes her nose and sniffles.

MOLLY (CONT’D): (sotto voce) I have to forget about any feelings I have for Brent. I can’t do that to Sarah -- I can’t ruin her life like that.


COURTNEY, JASON, and LAUREN sit around the room.

COURTNEY: You don’t think I’m lying, do you, Lauren?

LAUREN: Well ... you do seem to have this vendetta against her.

COURTNEY: Not you too!

LAUREN: I don’t think you’re lying, Courtney. I saw that girl answer the door -- the girl you said was Shannon.


JASON: Really, Lauren?

LAUREN: This girl opened the door for the hitman dude, and Courtney said it was Shannon.

JASON: Oh, boy.

COURTNEY: Do you believe me now, Jason?

JASON: Yeah-- no-- sort of. I mean, if both of you say you saw them together, that has to count for something. But at the same time, you have no proof of it. If I’m gonna confront Shannon about it, I need proof.

COURTNEY: I’m gonna get that film back. I’m gonna show you that I’m telling the truth.

She gets up to leave.

JASON: Where are you going?

COURTNEY: Lauren and I--

She pulls Lauren by the arm into a standing position.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): --are going back to my house. We’re gonna figure out a way to get that film back.

JASON: Please, please -- be careful.

COURTNEY: We’ll be fine.

Courtney drags Lauren out the front door.


JASON: Bye, guys!

Courtney and Lauren are gone. Jason pulls the front door shut.

JASON (CONT’D): (sotto voce) I’d love to believe you, Courtney. I would. But I can’t stop skating with Shannon and get in trouble with the cops unless I have some proof. I just hope you’re not mad at me.


LAUREN and COURTNEY, who slams the door, get into the car. They just sit silently for a moment.

LAUREN: Are you really that mad at him?

COURTNEY: Hell yeah! I can’t believe he’s taking Shannon’s side.

LAUREN: If you’re so mad, why didn’t you say something?

COURTNEY: Because -- I don’t know.

LAUREN: You should have shown him you mean business. You came off sounding so vulnerable, so hurt.

COURTNEY: I am hurt! Pissed and hurt! I feel like-- (beat) I feel like Jason and I are just drifting apart. He used to always take my side in things like this.

LAUREN: But you didn’t used to look at him this way. He used to just be your best friend.

COURTNEY: And now I’m practically in love with him, I know. But that still doesn’t change the fact that I feel betrayed. I feel like he’s betrayed me.

LAUREN: Don’t be so hard on him, Court.

COURTNEY: I’m not gonna take this lying down. I’m gonna get that film back. I’m gonna show Jason that I’m telling the truth. And I’m gonna expose Shannon for the crazy, crime-committing bitch she really is.



SHANNON enters the room and collapses onto the bed.

SHANNON: I’m so glad this thing with Dave is done! I just wanted to get him paid and out of my life ... That guy was a ticking timebomb. If I cut off all ties with him, it gives me one less thing to worry about. Courtney is determined to bring me down ... I’ve got to do whatever I can to make sure she’s the one who gets screwed. Keeping that film hidden is the first step. But I can’t let her find out about anything else ...
          FADE TO:



A MAN and a WOMAN scream and struggle for escape as flames engulf them. They seem to be pinned underneath a fallen door.

WOMAN: Please -- help us!

MAN: Thank God you’re here!

WOMAN: (suddenly even more frantic) What are you doing?

MAN: Why are you doing this? Why?

WOMAN: You can’t do this to us! You can’t!

          CUT TO:


SHANNON lays sprawled on the bed.

SHANNON: That’s over and done with now. I can’t keep thinking about it. Now I’ve got to focus on Courtney and Jason ... It’s just that there are so many loose ends. So many feathers floating in the wind. Can I actually pick them all up again?


MOLLY steps out of the bedroom, having just woken up. She rubs her eyes and heads in the direction of the kitchen. Suddenly the doorbell rings.

MOLLY: Who is it?

BRENT (OS): It’s me!

She opens up the door. BRENT enters.

MOLLY: What are you doing here?

BRENT: I wanted to see how you were doing. Sarah said you’ve been really upset.

MOLLY: I have – I am. It’s just that I don’t understand why this had to happen to me.

BRENT: It could have happened to anyone, Molly. Craig was a psycho long before he met you.

MOLLY: Maybe so, but it was me it happened to!

BRENT: I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times already, but this is not your fault.

MOLLY: Brent--

BRENT: (interrupting) Don’t do this to yourself. It’s not worth it.

MOLLY: I know, Brent. That’s what everyone seems to be telling me. But it just doesn’t seem to mean anything anymore. No matter how you look at it, this whole thing was really my fault.

BRENT: Why? How?

MOLLY: Well ...

BRENT: What?

MOLLY: You heard what Craig said that night. About me -- and you.

Out on Brent as he swallows nervously.



COURTNEY walks in and picks up the phone.

COURTNEY: Maybe she’ll be able to help me out with this ...

She dials a number and waits.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): C’mon, Sarah, pick up!

She waits for another few seconds and then hangs up.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): Ugh! I need to get in touch with Sarah. I need to see if they’ve found Dave Roberts yet. That may be my only hope of getting the film back.

Enter HELEN.

HELEN: Oh, hi, honey. How was your day?

COURTNEY: Not great.

HELEN: Why? What happened?

COURTNEY: I’m just getting really frustrated with these--

She gestures in disgust toward her crutches.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): --and with this whole mess in general. I just wish it could be over with.

HELEN: I wonder if the police have tracked down the hitman yet.

COURTNEY: Sarah gave me her cell phone number, but I just tried and no one picked up.

HELEN: Just keep trying. I’m sure you’ll get through eventually. (beat) So what’d you do today?

COURTNEY: (trying to lie) Oh, I, uh, I just hung out with Lauren.

HELEN: Doing what?

Courtney tries to quickly think of a lie. She obviously has not told her mother about her secret sleuthing.


JASON is pouring himself a drink when BILL walks in.

JASON: Oh, hey, Dad.

BILL: Are you alone?

JASON: (confused) Yeah ...

BILL: Oh, I thought I heard Courtney’s voice before.

JASON: Oh, yeah. She and Lauren were here before.

BILL: Where’d they go?

JASON: She, um, she had to go home. Not sure why.

BILL: Okay. (beat) You’re acting awfully strange. Is something bothering you, Jay?


SARAH is driving alone.

SARAH: I need to get in touch with Brent. Where’s my cell phone?

She searches around for her purse, to no avail.

SARAH (CONT’D): Oh, crap! I left my bag at Molly’s. (beat) I’d better go get it, just in case anyone tries to get in touch with me.


MOLLY and BRENT are talking.

MOLLY: Don’t look so confused, Brent. You know what happened--

BRENT: I just don’t understand how he could have found out about any of that. I mean, there was only that once, at my apartment--

MOLLY: We hardly did anything. It was just a kiss.

BRENT: Two, actually, but never mind that. But yeah, he obviously didn’t see it. There’s just no way.

MOLLY: That’s what worries me. Could we have been that transparent about it?

BRENT: About what?

MOLLY: You know what I’m talking about.

BRENT: No, I mean, exactly what were we hiding? The fact that we kissed -- or something else?

The tables have turned now. Molly is now looking as if she’s had the wind knocked out of her.



SHANNON enters the massive kitchen and pulls open the refrigerator. The house seems to be empty and the quiet is nearly unnerving -- an air of loneliness appears to be in constant circulation.

SHANNON: (sotto voce) This is ridiculous. I can just feel it all waiting to blow up in my face.

She pulls open the refrigerator and pulls out a microwaveable dinner.

SHANNON (CONT’D): (sotto voce) I’ve got to stop thinking like that! I’ve worked too hard to let this all go now! Besides, I’m closer than I’ve ever been with skating ... I’ve made so much progress lately. Now I just need to make that same kind of progress with Jason.

She sticks the dinner in the microwave and presses several buttons angrily.


HELEN is confronting COURTNEY.

HELEN: So, what did you and Lauren do?

COURTNEY: (thinking quick) We went over to see Jason. Nothing much.

HELEN: How is he these days?

COURTNEY: (rushed) Fine -- he’s fine.

She quickly moves to exit the room. Helen stops her.

HELEN: Courtney, something’s wrong. I can tell. (beat) Why don’t you just tell me what’s going on?

COURTNEY: Okay, fine. Mom, you need to promise me you won’t get mad.

HELEN: Is whatever you’ve done illegal?

COURTNEY: Of course not!

HELEN: All right, then. What is it?

COURTNEY: Lauren and I sort of ... We kinda tracked down the guy who I I.D.’d as the hitman.

HELEN: You did what?!?

COURTNEY: Don’t worry. We just found out where he lives.

HELEN: And ... ?

COURTNEY: We decided to follow him around a little, to see if he did anything that might incriminate him or Shannon.

HELEN: Do you really think Shannon is behind this?

COURTNEY: Anything’s possible. Anyway, he went straight to Shannon’s house one day.

HELEN: Are you serious?

COURTNEY: Totally. She opened the door and I got some pictures of them together.

HELEN: Do you think that’ll be enough for the police to go on?

COURTNEY: It should be just cause to investigate, at the very least.

HELEN: Wait. I don’t see how this is upsetting you.

COURTNEY: Oh, it gets worse.

HELEN: What happened?

COURTNEY: Well, Lauren had already left when I took the pictures.

HELEN: Where’d she go?

COURTNEY: She got beeped by work. Anyway, the hitman guy -- Dave Roberts -- saw me and came and got the camera from me. I couldn’t get away fast enough because of the crutches.

HELEN: Courtney, you could’ve been killed!

COURTNEY: But I’m here now, aren’t I? I’m fine. The problem is that without the camera, I don’t have the pictures, and Jason won’t believe that Shannon hired that guy to hit me.

HELEN: Well, he’s got a lot on the line with this, Courtney. You can’t expect him to ruin his entire skating season with no proof of anything!

COURTNEY: That’s exactly what he said ... It just hurts that he’s taking her side over me.

HELEN: Listen, honey, things like this happen. If Shannon really is behind this, the truth will come out eventually. Just be patient.

COURTNEY: And what about Jason?

HELEN: What’s wrong with him? He’s being perfectly fair.

COURTNEY: I just feel like he’s betrayed me.

HELEN: Courtney, I know you mentioned that you’re beginning to look at Jason as more than just your best friend. Keep in mind that that might influence the way you look at his actions.

COURTNEY: That’s what Lauren said.

HELEN: She’s right. He hasn’t betrayed you. He’s trying to be fair to everyone involved.

COURTNEY: (sighs) Fine, I guess you’re right. It’s just that-- I can’t help but wonder if he’s sticking up for Shannon because maybe ... maybe he has feelings for her.


JASON is talking with BILL.

BILL: Is something the matter, Jay?

JASON: I just-- I had a little argument with Courtney.

BILL: About what?

JASON: Nothing, really. It’s not a big deal.

Neither of them speak for a moment.

BILL: It seems like this is really hurting you.

JASON: It is. She’s my best friend. She’s-- she’s the most amazing girl I’ve ever known.

BILL: Do you think that--

JASON: I know what I feel. Dad, I ... I think I might be falling in love with Courtney.


MOLLY and BRENT are talking.

MOLLY: What we were hiding –

She pauses.

MOLLY (CONT’D): — was that we kissed. I kissed my sister’s husband!

BRENT: I wasn’t married to Sarah at that point.

MOLLY: You guys got married that night … that doesn’t help at all.

BRENT: I know we said we’d kiss a second time just to see how it felt. Both of us said that it meant nothing. But what I’m asking is, were we honest with each other? With ourselves?

MOLLY: Brent—

BRENT: Molly, we need to get this out in the open.

MOLLY: We can’t! If Sarah ever found out about any of this, she’d kill me!

BRENT: She’d kill me!

MOLLY: But I think she could forgive you. You weren’t married to her yet; it was kinda spontaneous. But me? I don’t think so. I’m her sister – I always have been, I always will be.

BRENT: Do you think I feel any better about it because we weren’t married yet? Of course not! Every time I think of that night, I just feel this … this guilt.

MOLLY: So do I! That’s the problem.

BRENT: Well, how do we fix that?

MOLLY: I don’t know if it’s possible. Maybe we will have to live with that for the rest of our lives.

Neither of them speaks, though their eyes connect. Both are obviously feelings a thousand emotions at once.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Oh, God, Brent, what are we gonna do?

She moves into his arms as he hugs her. She rests her head on his shoulder, looking sideways, and begins crying. Brent has a look of utter concern spread across his face; he bites his lower lip in agony and stares straight ahead, the pain obvious in his eyes.

Over the shoulder that Molly is leaned on, the broken window can be seen. SARAH appears in it and stares at her husband and sister for a moment.

SARAH (THINKING): Oh, no. What’s going on?

On a table not far from where Brent and Molly are standing in their embrace, Sarah spies her PURSE. She casts a glance at it and then back at Brent and Molly.

SARAH (THINKING): I can’t watch this.

She retreats and vanishes from view of the window.

Out on Brent and Molly, still embracing and looking pained.


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