Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #41

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Episode #41
The Morning After #40



Establishing shot.

The neighborhood is covered in a few inches of snow. It fills the streets, blankets the sidewalks, and rests on rooftops. The sky is overcast, casting a dark shadow over King’s Bay in the wake of the snowstorm.


PAULA is peeking out the window through the blinds. She is still wearing her robe and slippers and cradles a mug of coffee. MOLLY enters, also wearing slippers and a robe.

MOLLY: Good morning, Mom.

Paula answers without removing her gaze from the window.

PAULA: Oh, good morning, dear.

MOLLY: What’s going on?

PAULA: Have you looked outside yet?

MOLLY: No … why?

PAULA: Take a look.

Molly looks outside and takes in the winter scene.

MOLLY: Wow …

PAULA: I can’t get over this snow. It came completely out of the blue. I mean, it’s been getting colder lately, but it was just unexpected.

MOLLY: Maybe we’ll have a white Christmas for once. (beat) I remember that as a kid, it drove me crazy that Christmas was the one winter day it was always sunny.

PAULA: You’d better keep your fingers crossed.

She takes a sip of coffee.

PAULA (CONT’D): You’re not planning on going into work today, are you, Molly? Your dad is gonna stay home. There’s no point trying to drive in this weather.

MOLLY: Nope, not a chance of that. I don’t think I’d be going anywhere even if there wasn’t any snow.

PAULA: Why is that?

MOLLY: Something pretty bad happened yesterday, Mom.


SARAH steps out of the bathroom in a robe, her hair still wet from a shower. BRENT is half-awake in bed. She looks over at him and then strolls over to the window.

SARAH: (sotto voce, regarding the snow) This is crazy!

Brent shifts in bed, clutching the pillow tightly as he dreams.

          FADE TO:



MOLLY and BRENT kiss. Finally they pull apart.

          FADE TO:


BRENT moves uncomfortably in his sleep, obviously disturbed by his dream. SARAH stands at the window but turns around as he murmurs.

BRENT: (mumbling) No, don’t stop … why? Why?

Sarah looks at him in confusion. Finally he begins to stir and opens his eyes.

SARAH: Are you okay, Brent?

BRENT: (groggily) Yeah, I’m fine.

SARAH: Then what were you dreaming about?


Several items of clothing, including Jason’s shirt from the previous day and Shannon’s jeans, lie in the doorway. The view pans along to the foot of the bed and encounters the rest of their clothing, including socks, a bra, and boxer shorts.

JASON and SHANNON are asleep in the bed, the covers pulled fully over them. She begins to stir and opens her eyes after a moment. Looking over, she sees Jason lying next to her and looks thrilled.

SHANNON (THINKING): This worked out too well. I thought maybe I’d get him to say something stupid while he was drunk, or something like that; I never guessed he’d make the move to get me into bed. What does this mean? Maybe my plans really have worked – maybe Jason is really falling in love with me.



BRENT lies half-awake in the bed, looking at SARAH, who is awaiting his answer.

BRENT: (suddenly alert) I – I don’t remember. What was I saying?

SARAH: Something about “Don’t stop” and “Why?”. You sounded really upset.

BRENT: That’s weird. I don’t remember.

SARAH: Oh well.

She is not at all suspicious of his answer and goes back over to the window.

SARAH: Will you look at that?

BRENT: At what?

SARAH: Outside. We had a huge snowstorm during the night!

Brent sits up in the bed, shirtless.

BRENT: No wonder – it’s freezing!

He shivers exaggeratedly, then grabs a shirt that is hanging over the bedpost and throws it on.

BRENT (CONT’D): That’s better. (beat) Do you think it’s safe to drink in to the station?

SARAH: Why don’t we wait a few hours and see if it clears up? I’ll go make some coffee.

BRENT: Sounds good to me.

Sarah exits. Sitting alone in the bed, Brent looks disturbed.

          FADE TO:



BRENT and MOLLY kiss.

          FADE TO:


BRENT sits in the bed. He adjusts his shirt, looking upset.

BRENT (THINKING): What am I gonna do?

He drops his head into his hands.


SHANNON is still lying in bed, although she is awake. JASON lays next to her, asleep.

SHANNON (THINKING): I can’t believe how well this went!

Jason begins to shift around. He pulls the covers tighter over his naked body and groans uncomfortably. Finally his eyes drift open. He looks around and sees Shannon; he seems genuinely confused as to what has happened.

JASON: (hoarsely) What am I doing here?

SHANNON: Jason, it’s okay. It’s fine. We – we just got a little carried away, I guess.

JASON: What do you mean?

He takes another glance around and sees all the clothing around the room. He also realizes suddenly that he is naked under the covers. He sits up, suddenly wide awake.

JASON (CONT’D): What did we do?

SHANNON: We, uh--

JASON: God, my head hurts! (beat) Did we get drunk?

SHANNON: (pauses a moment to consider her answer) Yeah, I think so. And then ...

JASON: We had sex, didn’t we?

SHANNON: Three times. (playing innocent) I guess we did. Look, Jason--

JASON: (interrupting) How could I do something so stupid? I came over here because I was upset about what happened with Courtney! How could I do this?

SHANNON: If it helps at all, you definitely didn’t embarrass yourself.

JASON: Oh, I did something much worse than that! I screwed up my entire life!

Out on Shannon’s surprise at hearing him say this.



PAULA and MOLLY, both in slippers and robes, are in the midst of a conversation.

PAULA: What happened yesterday, Molly?

MOLLY: Nothing. I-- Well, I went into the office, and the boss called me in to talk.

PAULA: Uh-oh.

MOLLY: Exactly. She pretty much told me not to take it personally, but I’d just missed too much work lately.

PAULA: And ... ?

MOLLY: They let me go.

PAULA: (furious) What?! You’ve done excellent work there! Don’t they understand what you’ve been through? For God’s sake, Craig was their employee too! This whole thing should be affecting them just as much.

MOLLY: Calm down, Mom. Settle down.

PAULA: But--

MOLLY: Just calm down. It’s all right. She told me they understood exactly what I’ve been through, but they just need someone who’s more reliable at this point. I can’t argue with that. I haven’t exactly been available all the time ... especially in the last few weeks.

PAULA: (calming down) So what are you gonna do now?

MOLLY: To tell the truth, I’m not positive yet. But one thing is for sure: This thing has kept me down for too long. I’ve got to take back control of my life.


JASON finishes pulling his t-shirt on as SHANNON stands looking out the window.

JASON: I’m really sorry about all this, Shannon. It’s my fault.

Shannon recalls how she got things started the previous day ...

          CUT TO:



SHANNON holds up a mug and a BOTTLE of liquor.

SHANNON: This should make things interesting ...

          CUT TO:


SHANNON has turned to face JASON.

SHANNON: Don’t worry about it, Jason. Besides ... it wasn’t too bad. Not at all.

JASON: (distracted) Well, it’s nice to know I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself, but that sure as hell doesn’t make me feel any better. (beat) I’m really sorry.

SHANNON: Don’t worry. I was as much to blame as you were.

SHANNON (THINKING): Actually, it was pretty much all me, but there’s no point in ruining this wonderful little set-up.

SHANNON (CONT’D): We had too much to drink. We got carried away with ourselves.

JASON: I shouldn’t have even been drinking!

SHANNON: I shouldn’t have let you.

JASON: No, I’m twenty years old. I should know what’s right and what’s wrong. This whole mess is entirely my fault.

SHANNON: Jason, don’t say that. (beat) Who knows? Maybe we can do it again sometime -- this time without the alcohol.

Jason looks surprised that she has said this. He is obviously unaware of her manipulations at this point.

JASON: (firmly) It’s not gonna happen, Shannon – never.



MOLLY is now alone in the kitchen. She is eating breakfast as she thinks.

          FADE TO:



BRENT and MOLLY are in the middle of a heated discussion.

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.

          FADE TO:


MOLLY returns from her daydream.

MOLLY: (sotto voce) This has gotten out of hand. If I don’t put an end to it soon, it’s gonna ruin my life … and everyone else’s.


Coffee and newspaper in hand, SARAH enters and sits down on the couch. A few seconds later, BRENT enters.

BRENT: It’s probably better off that we don’t try to go anywhere until this snow starts to melt.

SARAH: I know. I hope the rest of my family doesn’t decide to drive ... especially Jason. If he went to the rink early this morning on the icy roads, who knows what might’ve happened?

BRENT: He’s a smart kid. I’m worried about Molly ... she should barely be driving at all, the way she’s been acting and feeling lately -- let alone on icy roads.

SARAH: (suddenly very snappy) Yeah, well, Molly can take care of herself. She’s gotten herself this far, hasn’t she?

Brent is perplexed by Sarah’s sudden change of tone.


SHANNON and JASON exchange intense looks as each waits for the other to speak. A moment of silence passes.

SHANNON: How-- how could you just spend a night -- a night like that! -- with me and then just say it’s never gonna happen again? Didn’t it mean anything to you?

JASON: No! I mean, there’s too much going on right now. I know it’s no excuse for what I did, but I was drunk and depressed. That should tell you a little something about my mental state at the time.

Shannon is left speechless. She opens her mouth, but no words come forth. She is totally taken aback by Jason’s lack of heart regarding their night together.

JASON (CONT’D): I’m gonna try to head home now, okay?

SHANNON: Jason, the snow! The roads are practically paved with ice!

JASON: Well, I sure as hell can’t sit here any longer!

He begins to walk from the room.

SHANNON: Jason, please!

Jason turns around while in the doorway.

JASON: Shannon, just try to forget about it. Please. It was a mistake -- nothing more. I’m sorry.

He exits, closing the door behind him.

Tears begin to well up in Shannon’s eyes. She picks up a small glass figurine from the nightstand and hurls it against the closed door. It shatters and she screams, dropping her head down into her hands as a fresh burst of tears overtakes her.



SARAH is seated on the couch, staring at BRENT. Both look surprised at her last comment.

BRENT: What was that all about?


She takes a deep breath to compose herself as she stands up.

SARAH (CONT’D): I just wish this whole thing could be over. Not only for Molly’s sake, but for ours. It’s just so stressful.

BRENT: I know, honey. She’s starting to get her life back on track.

He embraces her tightly and they stand for a moment, simply locked together and listening to each other breathe.

SARAH: I love you so much, Brent. So much.

BRENT: I know you do. I love you too.

SARAH: Please, never leave me.

BRENT: I promise, Sarah. I’ll always be here for you.

He pulls her tighter for a moment and then finally speaks.

BRENT (CONT’D): I should go jump in the shower. Wanna join me?

SARAH: No, I’m fine. I’ll just read the paper.

BRENT: You sure?

SARAH: Positive.

Brent exits.

SARAH: (sotto voce) I can’t let this ruin my marriage. Brent hasn’t cheated on me; I do trust him. It’s just that Molly’s got this hold on him. I need to find out a way to break that hold -- before it turns into something much more.


JASON is driving home. He looks disgusted with himself and the situation in general.

JASON: (sotto voce) I can’t believe I did that. (beat) I can’t believe she let me do that! I guess it’s not fair to blame Shannon, though ... we both got drunk. I’m responsible for what I did. I just hope that nothing more comes of this. (beat) God, I hope she doesn’t get pregnant or anything ... Why did I do this?!? Why?


SHANNON comes into the room and pours herself a cup of coffee.

SHANNON: I don’t believe how badly this blew up in my face. I thought I’d really made some progress when he woke up in my bed this morning ... Now it seems like he’s just disgusted by me. I can’t let him find about that I intentionally got him drunk but I stayed sober ... he’d really just hate me then. No, I can’t let him find out about that -- or about anything else I’ve done.



PAULA walks in and sets down her coffee mug on the dresser. BILL is just pulling himself out of bed.

PAULA: I thought you were awake already.

BILL: After I saw that I didn’t need to go to work I climbed back into bed. No use in wasting precious sleeping time.

PAULA: I see. (beat) Speaking of sleep, I don’t think Jason came home last night.

BILL: Why do you say that?

PAULA: Well, he called to say he wouldn’t be home for dinner. I figured he’d be in at midnight or so, so I climbed into bed. This morning I didn’t even think about it -- I just figured he was sleeping late. But I just checked his room, and his bed certainly doesn’t look slept in. Besides, the spot he usually parks his car in is covered in snow ... no signs of having been parked in overnight.

BILL: Could ... could he have spent the night at someone’s house?

PAULA: Maybe he saw that it was snowing and decided not to try driving home.

She peeks out the window hopefully.

PAULA (CONT’D): And on top of all that, it’s snowing again. I hope he doesn’t try to do anything stupid.

BILL: He’s a smart boy, Paula. He wouldn’t put himself in danger. He’s got his wits about him.

Paula looks at him worriedly.

PAULA: I sure hope so.


MOLLY is putting her breakfast plate in the dishwasher.

MOLLY (THINKING): I need to do something to get my mind off of Craig -- and Brent. First of all I need to get a new job. Maybe refocusing on my career would be a good idea for a while. (beat) Then I need to put the pieces of my personal life back together.


SARAH is reclining on the couch, reading through the newspaper. She looks up distractedly.

SARAH (THINKING): I need to figure out a way to keep Molly away from Brent. I love her and everything, but this situation is getting way too messy.

She goes back to flipping through the paper. Her eyes are caught by a certain article, which she skims through. Suddenly, as though a light has turned on in her head, she looks up.

SARAH: (sotto voce) That’s it ...

She looks down at the newspaper article again. The headline reads:


Sarah rereads the headline and then bites her lower lip, looking fascinated by this possibility.

SARAH (THINKING): Maybe I’m onto something here ...


SHANNON walks back into the room and begins to pick up the loose clothing that is strewn throughout the room. The shards of glass from the smashed figurine remain on the floor.

SHANNON: (sotto voce) It was definitely an exciting night ... Too bad Jason didn’t even care about it in the morning.

She carries the pile of clothing over to the bed.

SHANNON (CONT’D): (screaming) He wanted me! He did! But he said it was just a mistake -- and it’s all because of her! This is all Courtney’s fault! I’m gonna make her pay for this!!

Mad with rage, she flings the clothes across the room again. The insanity in her eyes is visible as she breathes deeply, her nostrils flaring with each heavy breath.


JASON is still driving. Snow is flying in the way of the windshield; he is struggling to see through it.

JASON: This is crazy.

He flips the radio on. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by ‘N Sync fills the car:

 “Let it go
  If you want me, girl, let me know
  I am down
  On my knees
  I can’t take it anymore ...”

He begins to think about his own relationship problem.

          FADE TO:



JASON has his ear pressed to the bedroom door, listening to the girls’ conversation.

LAUREN (OS): It’s not a matter of believing Shannon. It’s--

COURTNEY (OS): (interrupting, upset) It doesn’t matter. At this point, I don’t care if I ever see him again.

Jason, having overheard Courtney’s last comment, steps back from the door, obviously hurt.

          FADE TO:


JASON drives, as ‘N Sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart” continues to play.

JASON: (sotto voce) I really blew it this time. Oh, Courtney, what are we gonna do now?

He sits back, consumed by his thoughts, as the song continues:

 “It’s tearin’ up my heart when I’m with you
  And when we are apart I feel it too
  And no matter what I do I feel the pain
  With or without you ...”

Lost in the melody and visibly consumed by his painful predicament, Jason begins to get a glazed-over look in his eyes.

Suddenly the car swerves. He snaps out of his dazed state and turns the wheel furiously, but he is too late. The car disappears to the side as snow flies through the air. The sound of twisting metal is heard.


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