Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #39

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Episode #39
The Morning After #38



PAULA, still in her robe, is pouring herself a cup of coffee when BILL enters. He sneaks up silently behind her and waits as she takes a sip and then sets the mug down. Then he covers her eyes very suddenly.

BILL: Guess who?

PAULA: (laughing) Bill, stop that!

He removes his hands and she turns to face him.

PAULA (CONT’D): You’re definitely in a good mood this morning.

BILL: I definitely am, but I figured before I head over to the restaurant, I should spend a little quality time with my beautiful wife.

PAULA: I think we—

She plants a kiss firmly on his lips.

PAULA (CONT’D): — can arrange that.

BILL: That would certainly get my day off to a good start.

PAULA: Can I get you some coffee?

BILL: Sure. Thanks.

She pours him a cup and hands it to him.

PAULA: Boy, we’ve hardly had any time together lately. Everything has been so hectic.

BILL: Especially with Tim staying with us now.

PAULA: I do hope everything works out between him and Claire. I can’t bear to see them like this.

BILL: I know. I just can’t believe that he would cheat on her.

PAULA: I don’t buy it for a minute. Something’s fishy … something’s definitely fishy.


DIANE is sitting up in bed, the covers still pulled over her. She closes her eyes.
          FADE TO:



DIANE is laying in bed, barely awake. TIM enters, wearing only boxer shorts. He drops down quietly onto the bed and crawls over to Diane. He begins to nibble on her ear.

DIANE: Oh, Tim ... What time is it?

TIM: Let’s just say it’s early. But I couldn’t wait another minute to make love to you. Hope you don’t mind.

DIANE: I definitely don’t.

She pulls him into a deep kiss.

          FADE TO:


DIANE, sitting up in bed under the covers, slowly opens her eyes. A sly smile spreads across her face.

DIANE: That can all be mine -- he can be mine. I’m so close. I just need to make this happen.


Still in her pajamas, DANIELLE is busy unpacking her suitcases. She closes a dresser drawer and opens up the closet.

DANIELLE: Okay, I really need to make some room here.

She studies the closet for a moment.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): All right, I need to move this.

She picks up a CARDBOARD BOX, held together mainly by packing tape, and begins to carry it across the room. Suddenly the bottom drops out and the contents of the box fall to the ground. She bends down to gather them up and sees, among other things, several items of CLOTHING, a red WIG, and a DIARY. Danielle picks up the diary, which is finely made, and passes a hand over its cover.


There is a knock on the door that sounds throughout the empty room. CLAIRE enters, already dressed but still brushing her hair. She pulls the door open, revealing SARAH.

CLAIRE: Oh, hey, Sarah, come on in.

Sarah steps inside.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): So what brings you here?

SARAH: I’m here on official police business, Claire.



BILL and PAULA sit down at the kitchen table, still drinking their coffee.

PAULA: I just hope everything works out for Tim and Claire. I know that he didn’t cheat on her -- I just know it!

BILL: Then how can he be the father of Diane’s baby?

PAULA: I wouldn’t put it past her to have had the paternity test altered, I’ll tell you that. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

BILL: Can she really be that evil?

PAULA: She’s obviously got some problems -- very big problems -- that need to be dealt with. She can’t go about destroying other peoples’ lives like this.

BILL: It really is a shame. (beat) From what I hear, Jason’s not doing much better.

PAULA: Why? What’s wrong?

BILL: Hasn’t he seemed a little -- out of sort lately?

PAULA: A little, I suppose. Did he tell you anything was wrong?

BILL: From what he said, he and Courtney had a little argument. But he seems genuinely upset about it.

PAULA: You know -- (she stops herself) Maybe I shouldn’t say anything about this ...

BILL: About what?

PAULA: Well, Jason told me something.

BILL: You know what? He told me something too. (beat) Tell me what he told you.

PAULA: You tell me first.

BILL: No, I think you’ll be doing the telling first.

PAULA: Think again, buddy.

By this point, both of them have broad smiles spread across their faces.

PAULA (CONT’D): Fine, I’ve got an idea. On the count of three, why don’t we both say what we need to say?

BILL: Works for me. (beat) One, two, three ...

Neither of them says anything. Both burst out laughing.

BILL (CONT’D): That’s not gonna work. (beat) Fine, I’ll go first.

PAULA: Shoot.

BILL: Jason … he told me something the other day.

PAULA: Define “something.”

BILL: He said … well, he said he thinks he’s in love with Courtney.

Having said this, he looks to Paula for some kind of approval or confirmation.


DANIELLE is dusting in the living room. She picks up a small wooden carving and begins to dust it off.

ANDY (OS): Well, well, well ...

Danielle puts down the carving and turns around to face him.

DANIELLE: Good morning.

ANDY: It definitely is.

DANIELLE: (smiling) What’s that supposed to mean?

ANDY: (playfully) Oh, nothing. It’s just a good morning.

DANIELLE: Because of ... ?

ANDY: The goodness. This morning is so good, it’s goodness is unparalleled.

DANIELLE: Gee, that made sense.

She begins to dust the carving again.

ANDY: So, how have you been sleeping your first few nights here?

DANIELLE: Pretty well, I’ve gotta say.

ANDY: Is the room all right?

DANIELLE: It’s more than all right. I was expecting some cramped little room, a place you could really call “the maid’s quarters.” But it’s certainly nicer than that.

ANDY: That’s good to hear. I’d hate for you to be uncomfortable.

DANIELLE: (smirking) So would I.

In the entrance to the room, out of their line of vision, stands KATHERINE. Having heard part of this conversation, she shakes her head in annoyance and departs.


SARAH stands outside the door, in front of a surprised CLAIRE.

CLAIRE: (worried) Police business? What’s wrong now?

SARAH: Don’t worry, Claire. It’s nothing big.

CLAIRE: Why don’t you come on in?

SARAH: Sure.

Sarah steps inside and Claire shuts the door.

CLAIRE: So what’s going on?

SARAH: Actually, I’m supposed to update you on the investigation down in South America.

CLAIRE: About my father?

SARAH: Yeah. (beat) I have some bad news.



DIANE is now up and moving about. Still in her pajamas, she pulls a suit on a hanger out of the closet and hangs it on the door.

DIANE: And now …

She opens a drawer and shuffles its contents slightly, obviously searching for something.

DIANE (CONT’D): Where is it?

She glances down at the heap of items in the drawer. Sticking out from underneath some “rubble” is the corner of an ENVELOPE.

DIANE (CONT’D): Just what I didn’t need to find.

She pulls the envelope out and sits down on the bed.

DIANE (CONT’D): If anyone ever finds this thing, it’s really gonna be the end of the line for me.


KAHTERINE stands in the doorway, unseen. She shakes her head in disapproval and departs.

The focus pans out, revealing ANDY and DANIELLE talking in the middle of the room.

DANIELLE: Speaking of my room, I’ve got a question for you.

ANDY: Now you’ve got my attention.

DANIELLE: Anyway –

She turns her back to him and begins idly dusting a knick-knack to conceal the fact that she’s smiling in amusement.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): —I  finally got around to unpacking the rest of my things earlier this morning. While I was putting some stuff in the closet, I noticed this pretty big box taking up a whole lotta floor space – which I could quite easily use for shoes, of course.

ANDY: Of course.

She turns back to face him.

DANIELLE: So, anyway, I tried to move it. Now, this is one decrepit-looking box, I’ve gotta tell you. It’s all held together at the seams by packing tape … you know the drill. So I’m carrying it and all of a sudden the bottom falls out!

ANDY: (jokingly) Oh, the horror!

DANIELLE: Shut up. My point is, all this stuff fell on the floor, and as I went to pick it up, I noticed all these clothes and a couple of books and stuff – nothing special. But there was also a red wig and a diary. (beat) So who do these things belong to? Someone else on the staff?

ANDY: I’m actually not sure. I haven’t spent much time in the maid’s quarters as of late.

DANIELLE: (smiling) Well, maybe you should drop by for a visit sometime.

ANDY: Maybe I will.

DANIELLE: And now if you will stop distracting me, Mr. Fitch, I’ve gotta get back to work!

She skips away across the room, obviously very happy. He looks after her, obviously both amused and intrigued.


SARAH takes a seat on the couch. CLAIRE plops down into an armchair.

CLAIRE: Let me have it. What’s this bad news?

SARAH: They’ve officially given up searching for the body.

CLAIRE: Whose body?

SARAH: Your father’s.

CLAIRE: What?! They haven’t found it yet?

SARAH: It was probably burned by the acid or something. But something went wrong … I’m not sure what. Anyway, they haven’t found him.

CLAIRE: Oh, this is just what I need.

SARAH: Don’t shoot the messenger!

CLAIRE: Don’t worry. You’re not in any danger.

SARAH: Oh, there’s more.

CLAIRE: How much more?

SARAH: Actually, it’s not too bad. We – they – found an addressed envelope down in his study that was never mailed.


SARAH: We’re wondering if whoever he was still corresponding with while he was in hiding could maybe help us out in some way.

CLAIRE: Isn’t there enough evidence to have the case closed?

SARAH: Pretty much, yeah. And any charges that might be filed against you –

CLAIRE: (terrified) For killing him?

SARAH: (beat) Yeah. Any charges that might be filed will be dropped because it was self-defense.

Claire breathes a sigh of relief.

CLAIRE: So why is it necessary to find this mystery letter person?

SARAH: They might’ve been aware of his plan all along, or at least some of it. It could help you out a little. (beat) We’re also figuring that maybe if it’s one of his mob cronies, the guy is probably on the wanted list for something, and it’ll help us track him down.

CLAIRE: Good thinking. So do you know who the envelope was for yet?

SARAH: We’re thinking he sent the actual letter in another envelope, because on this one the ink – the envelope was typed, probably for secrecy – ran out right after the words “King’s Bay.” Anyway, Brent is tracking down the address right now.

CLAIRE: (joking) It’s nice to see you guys are working for your paychecks.

SARAH: Far too hard, if you ask me.

There is suddenly a knock at the door. Claire rises and opens it.

CLAIRE: What are you doing here?



BILL and PAULA sit at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and looking merry.

PAULA: So you really think he’s in love with her?

BILL: It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? I mean, look how well they get along.

PAULA: You’re right. You know, he never said anything that direct to me, but I got the feeling that something was going on there. Does Courtney know about any of this?

BILL: I don’t think so. The way he told me, it sounded so much like a revelation – maybe even to himself.

PAULA: I have to say, I wouldn’t mind seeing them together one bit. Speaking of which, when Courtney was in the hospital—

MOLLY (OS): Good morning!

Molly enters the kitchen, looking happier than she has since Craig’s death.

PAULA: Good morning, dear. Care for some coffee?

MOLLY: No, I think I’m okay.

PAULA: How are you feeling? Any better?

MOLLY: Sarah and Brent are helping me work through this. I still don’t feel great, but I’m definitely getting there. I’m making progress.

BILL: Good. I’m glad to hear it.

MOLLY: But enough about me. It’s depressing and boring. (beat) What were you guys just talking about?

Bill and Paula look to each other in order to explain the situation to Molly.


DIANE, still sitting on the bed, removes the LETTER from the ENVELOPE and unfolds it.

DIANE: I can’t believe I have to keep this thing lying around …

She scans over it with her eyes, even though she seems to have practically memorized it.

DIANE (CONT’D): It’s so incriminating. If anyone ever found it, Tim would know every single trick I’ve pulled. Everything would be screwed up – all my plans. (beat) But I can’t get rid of it – not yet. Some of the stuff that James wrote pretty much clears me of any wrongdoing, in terms of him kidnapping the baby and everything. If they turn up some kind of evidence, my name could come up … you never know. It’s better safe than sorry. (beat) I just need to keep this thing hidden … or else.


CLAIRE holds the door open. SARAH stands inside the apartment.

CLAIRE: What are you doing here?

TIM is seen standing outside the door.

TIM: I need to talk to you.

CLAIRE: This better be good, Tim …

TIM: Oh, it is.

He walks in and sees Sarah.

TIM (CONT’D): (awkwardly) Oh, hi.

SARAH: Hey. How— (she cuts herself off) I should be going.

CLAIRE: No, why don’t  you stick around? Do you wanna go get some coffee from the kitchen?

SARAH: Sure. I’ll be back in a little bit.

She departs.

CLAIRE: So what’s going on, Tim?

TIM: You know how I told you that I was remembering Diane kissing me?

Claire nods.

TIM (CONT’D): Well, I remembered everything. I’ve had this dream a few times over the past few days – both during the day and in my sleep.

CLAIRE: (interested but wary) What’s it about?

TIM: In the dream, I’m in my hospital room. I must have still had amnesia, because I’m calling Diane “Claire.” All of a sudden, she asks me to – (beat) – to make love to her.

CLAIRE: What?!?

TIM: I know it sounds crazy, but I remember it all now. For some reason, I wasn’t remembering very much from the time I had amnesia. The stuff I did remember was all stuff that you guys told me about.

CLAIRE: So you think … ?

TIM: (finishing her thought) Diane purposely made me think she was you so she could trick me into sleeping with her.

Out on Claire’s astonishment.



MOLLY has joined PAULA and BILL at the table. They have just finished updating her on their conversation.

PAULA: Isn’t it strange, after all this time, that our little “prediction” is coming true?

MOLLY: You know what’s even stranger?

BILL: What?

MOLLY: Jason told me the same thing before he told you, Dad! So ha-ha!

PAULA: It just seems so weird, you know? When they were little, we always joked about this. It almost seems surreal that it’s coming true.

BILL: I just hope he and Courtney get over whatever argument it is they’re having. This could be a good thing … I’d hate for them to ruin it over something petty.


DANIELLE closes up the last of her suitcases and puts it in the closet. She closes the closet door and walks back over to a desk, upon which sit the RED WIG and the DIARY.
She fingers the diary curiously, but refrains from opening up the snap that holds it shut.

DANIELLE (THINKING): Can I really do this?

There is a knock on the door. She tosses the diary back onto the desk and opens up the door. There stands ANDY.

ANDY: I figured I might take you up on that offer to drop by for a visit, if it’s not too soon?

DANIELLE: Of course not. Come on in.

He steps into the room and looks around, obviously impressed by what he sees in terms of decoration and atmosphere.

ANDY: This place certainly looks better than the last time I was up here.

DANIELLE: Which was when?

ANDY: Quite a while ago. Before we hired the last maid. It was a mess, more or less. Did you clean it up like this yourself?

DANIELLE: No. It was like this when I moved in … the last maid must’ve done it.

ANDY: She must have. (beat) Wow.

DANIELLE: Is it that weird?

ANDY: No, not really. It wasn’t exactly a dump or anything. It’s just that I never imagined she could do all this to it. She really made it look great. Painted it and everything.

Danielle looks confused.

ANDY (CONT’D): You see, she was really quiet. Not only quiet … kind of odd. She really went out of her way to keep to herself. Not exactly an exciting person.

DANIELLE: Why did she quit so suddenly? Did she not get along with your mom or something?

ANDY: No, just the opposite. There was absolutely no conflict. That’s how my mother likes the servants – quiet and without personalities. She just wants them to be respectful and courteous and get their work done. Nothing more.

DANIELLE: (suddenly worried) Do you think she doesn’t like me? I mean, I do talk to you an awful lot. Is it too much for her?

Andy ponders his answer as he thinks back to a prior conversation with his mother.

          FADE TO:



KATHERINE and ANDY are talking.

KATHERINE: Of course. Why are you so interested, anyway?

ANDY: No particular reason.

She eyes him suspiciously, studying his face.

KATHERINE: I see that look in your eyes, Andrew. Please, please tell me that you are not thinking of anything other than a professional relationship with Danielle.

ANDY: Mother!

KATHERINE: Forgive me if I’m wrong, Andrew, but it seems to me that you’ve got a “thing” for her. Take my advice: Forget all about it!

ANDY: Why, Mother? I’ve managed to spend some time with her in the past few days, and it seems to me that she is an intelligent, kind, funny, attractive woman ... (sarcastic) Then again, I do see how that’s the kind of woman you’d absolutely hate for me to bring home.

KATHERINE: That’s exactly the problem! If you brought her home it would be one thing. It’s quite another, though, when she is on our payroll! Now please, speak no more of this.

          FADE TO:


DANIELLE is nervously awaiting ANDY’S answer.

ANDY: (snapping out of his flashback) No, of course she likes you. (beat) What’s not to like?

He flashes her a charming smile.



DANIELLE and ANDY are talking as she breaks down a cardboard box.

DANIELLE: So anyway, what do you know about the last maid?

ANDY: She was quite mysterious. In fact, I don’t think I ever had a real conversation with her. We’re pretty friendly with the rest of the staff -- Walter, the gardener, the cook. She was almost ... reclusive.

DANIELLE: No idea why?

ANDY: I always got the feeling there was something odd going on there. And she didn’t seem to be in this for the long haul. After all, she worked here for only a few months.

DANIELLE: That’s a weird case. (beat) She left all this stuff behind in that box. I wonder where she was headed to.

She gestures towards the RED WIG, DIARY, and CLOTHING lying on the desk.

Andy looks it over suspiciously, finally picking up the wig and looking it over repeatedly in his hands. He looks absolutely speechless.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): What is it, Andy? What’s wrong?

He looks at Danielle, then at the wig, then back at Danielle, his jaw hanging open.

ANDY: This -- this was her hair.

Danielle looks equally confused.


TIM and CLAIRE are seated on the couch.

TIM: Considering the way she’s been acting lately, I really wouldn’t put a stunt like that past Diane. There’s a side to her we had never seen before.

Claire stands up and paces for a moment. She rubs her forehead in exasperation.

CLAIRE: This is insane.

TIM: You don’t believe it’s possible?

CLAIRE: No, I believe it’s perfectly possible. I just can’t get over the bad luck we’ve had lately.

TIM: Yeah, it kinda sucks.

CLAIRE: “Kinda” isn’t the word. (beat) It’s just -- I trusted her. Throughout the whole time you were in the hospital, I really believed she was our friend. I never thought she had a hidden agenda.

TIM: I know. I trusted her even more. She was always so supportive -- now I know why. She was just trying to get on my good side.

CLAIRE: I can’t get over the fact that she might have done this. It’s madness!

TIM: Claire, I am gonna get the proof you need to accept that Diane really did manipulate both of us and our marriage. I’m gonna prove that you will never, ever have any need to question my devotion to you.


She is interrupted by a phone ringing.

TIM: That’s not our phone, is it?

CLAIRE: No, I think--

SARAH bursts in from the kitchen and digs through her PURSE, which is on the coffee table.

SARAH: That’s me.

She pulls her CELL PHONE out of the bag and answers. As she speaks, Tim and Claire listen to her side of the conversation.

SARAH: Hello? (beat) Oh, hey, hon! What’s up? (beat) Yeah ... okay ... who? (beat) You’re kidding me, right? I don’t believe this! (beat) Yeah, I’ll tell them. Thanks. (beat) Love you too. Bye.

She turns off the phone and flips it shut.

CLAIRE: Who was that?

SARAH: It was Brent. They looked up the address that they found on that envelope in your dad’s study.

CLAIRE: Whose was it? Can it help out with the case at all?

SARAH: We’re not sure, but it’s definitely some interesting information. (beat) The envelope was made out to Diane Bishop.

Tim and Claire both looked shocked by Sarah’s admission.


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