Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #42

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Episode #42
Shortly After #41



BRENT is watching television when SARAH enters.

SARAH: I don’t believe this snow ...

BRENT: It’s starting to melt. We could probably go into work if we wanted to.

SARAH: But do we want to?

BRENT: Of course not. Why do that when I could spend the whole day at home with my beautiful wife?

SARAH: You make such a convincing argument ...

BRENT: I do what I can.

SARAH: You know ... Speaking of work, you know how you’ve been saying you’re kinda unhappy with it lately?

BRENT: Yeah. I love what I do -- helping people, serving justice, and all that -- but it just drives me crazy how political the whole system is. The whole police force is practically corrupt.

SARAH: Well, that got me thinking about something, Brent.

She looks at him hopefully.


DIANE is sitting atop a table in the office of her OB/GYN. BRIAN stands nearby.

DIANE: This hospital visits really bore me to death.

BRIAN: They bore you? I’m the one standing here like an idiot. At least you have a point in being here.

DIANE: You have a purpose too -- moral support.

BRIAN: Gee, that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. (beat) Isn’t Claire on duty today?

DIANE: I think she is. Maybe we can get a little “work” done while we’re here.

BRIAN: Maybe ...


The telephone rings through the empty kitchen. PAULA rushes in and answers it.

PAULA: (on phone) Hello? Oh, hi!

She is silent as she listens to the voice on the other end. A look of panic spreads over her face.

PAULA (CONT’D): (on phone) Oh my God, is he okay? (beat) We’ll be right there.

BILL has entered the room, having heard his wife’s escalating and nervous voice.

BILL: What’s wrong?

PAULA: It was Claire. We’ve got to get to the hospital -- there’s been an accident!



TIM and CLAIRE are talking.

TIM: So, Diane’s here for a check-up today, right?

CLAIRE: Exactly. She’s up on the fourth floor. I saw her come in -- that Brian guy was with her.

TIM: Doesn’t he realize how crazy she is?

Claire shrugs.

CLAIRE: Anyway, you should head on up there. (beat) And remember: Stick to the plan. Don’t lose--

PAULA, BILL, and MOLLY rush in. Panic is written all over their faces.

PAULA: (frantic) Claire, is he okay?

CLAIRE: Jason is fine, Paula. He’s awake and out of danger.

TIM: I just went in to visit him. He seems okay. A little shaken, but okay.

BILL: So what exactly happened?

CLAIRE: It looks like his car just veered off the road because of the ice.

PAULA: I want to see him.

CLAIRE: I’ll bring you to his room.

BILL: I’ll come back there in a little bit, okay?

PAULA: Sure.

Claire leads Paula away.

MOLLY: I don’t believe this.

BILL: Why was he trying to drive home in this weather? The roads were barely negotiable when we were on the way over just now.

TIM: He didn’t say anything about it, Dad. I think he was just trying to get home.

BILL: (confused) But why didn’t he come home last night?

Tim and Molly realize what Bill is getting at.


CLAIRE leads PAULA into the room. JASON is lying in the bed, looking exhausted. He is bruised, but otherwise appears fine.

PAULA: Oh, Jason! I’m so glad you’re alive!

She hugs him tightly. Looking over her shoulder, he makes an exaggerated face at Claire, who giggles slightly.

JASON: Believe me, Mom, so am I.

PAULA: Claire, would you mind calling Sarah? I think it would be nice for her to come see her brother.

CLAIRE: Yeah, no problem. I’ll take care of it right away.

Claire exits.

PAULA: So what were you doing driving home in that snow anyway, Jason?

Jason freezes, trying to think of an answer.


SARAH and BRENT are in the middle of a conversation.

BRENT: What are you planning now?

SARAH: Something. Definitely something. I was just thinking—

She is interrupted by the ringing of the telephone, which she answers.

SARAH (CONT’D): (on phone) Hello?

She looks terrified as she listens to the answer.

SARAH (CONT’D): Is he okay?

She breathes a sigh of relief as she hears the response.

SARAH (CONT’D): We’ll be there as quickly as possible. (beat) Yeah, thanks. Okay, bye.

She hangs up.

BRENT: Who was that?

SARAH: It was Claire. Jason’s in the hospital—

BRENT: What happened?

SARAH: He had a car accident this morning.

BRENT: He’s okay?

SARAH: He’s doing fine. I just wanna go over and see him.

BRENT: I’ll come with you.

Brent grabs his keys off the hook by the front door and they leave.

On the coffee table sits a NEWSPAPER, folded from reading. The visible headline reads:




PAULA waits for JASON to answer her question.

JASON: I-- I just wanted to get home. I had no way of getting in touch with you guys ... I figured you’d be worried.

PAULA: Where were you all night, anyway?

JASON: Oh, I -- I went over to Shannon’s and had dinner there. Then it started to snow. I didn’t have a chance to drive home, so she let me stay over -- in the guest room.

PAULA: Oh, okay. We went to bed early, but this morning we noticed that you hadn’t come in last night. We were really worried.

JASON: Well, I’m fine. A little bruised, but fine.

PAULA: So when do you get to come home?

JASON: Later today. They just need to be sure everything is intact.

PAULA: I’m so glad you’re all right.

She hugs him again.

PAULA (CONT’D): Is there anyone else you’d like me to call? (beat) Courtney, maybe?

Jason considers his answer as he recalls the conversation he overheard ...

          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 looks up at PAULA from his hospital bed as he comes out of his flashback.

JASON: No, I don’t think that’s such a hot idea. (beat) Could you maybe call Shannon, though?

Paula looks surprised but nods anyway.

JASON (CONT’D): Thanks, Mom.


MOLLY, BILL, and TIM are talking.

BILL: I just wonder where he was last night.

MOLLY: Damned if I know.

She sees SARAH and BRENT enter.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Oh, hey, guys.

SARAH: How is he?

TIM: He’s fine. Don’t worry.

SARAH: Thank God.

BILL: We got really lucky. He could’ve been killed so easily this morning.

BRENT: You wouldn’t believe how many kids we find who’ve been killed in accidents like that. I’m just glad Jason didn’t turn out to be one of them.

TIM: So, how are things going on the police force anyway?

BRENT: To tell the truth--

SARAH: We’re getting a little fed up with it.

BILL: Really?

BRENT: It just seems so disorganized lately -- especially after what happened with  the officers we had guarding Molly. Granted, there are definitely some great people who genuinely want to make King’s Bay a better place, but I’m realizing that half these officers would be better off behind bars than patrolling the streets.

SARAH: You’re right about that. I’m -- we’re -- just not that happy with it anymore.

TIM: So what are you gonna do?

BRENT: Haven’t really thought about it--

SARAH: Actually, I’ve had a few thoughts lately. We haven’t really talked them over, but it could be a step in the right direction.

Brent looks at Sarah, surprised. The others become aware of the sudden tension in the air.

TIM: I’ve got something to take care of. I’ll see you guys later.

He departs.

BILL: I’m gonna go check in with Jason, okay?

Bill leaves. Molly remains.

MOLLY: You know, I think I’ll head on down to the cafeteria and get some lunch. I’m starving.

She leaves quickly. Brent continues to stare at Sarah in astonishment.

Out on this tense scene.



SHANNON paces back and forth, holding a cordless phone to her ear.

SHANNON: (on phone) What do you mean, you think? It needs to get taken care of ... I really don’t want all my stuff left lying around! Just throw it out -- it’s all junk anyway! (beat) Can you hold on? I’ve got a call on the other line.

She presses a button.



PAULA is talking on her cell phone.

PAULA: Shannon? This is Paula Fisher, Jason’s mother.

SHANNON (OS): Hi! What can I do for you?

PAULA: Jason was in an accident earlier this morning.


SHANNON looks alarmed as she listens to the voice on the other end of the phone.

SHANNON: (on phone) Is he all right? What happened?

She pauses, listening again to the explanation. The frantic look disappears from her face.

SHANNON (CONT’D): He’s okay? (beat) Oh, thank God! I’ll be over to see him as soon as I can. Thanks so much for calling. Bye.

She presses another button to switch back to the other line.

SHANNON (CONT’D): I’m back. (suddenly nasty) Just make sure you get rid of that stuff, okay? Fine ... thank you. Goodbye.

She hangs up the phone, annoyed.

SHANNON (CONT’D): Some people ...


DIANE picks up her purse, preparing to leave the empty room. TIM suddenly enters.

DIANE: Tim! What are you doing here?

TIM: Well ... I came over to try to talk things out with Claire. She’s working today, you know. Anyway, it didn’t work.

DIANE: Oh, I’m so sorry!

TIM: I think I just need to accept that that part of my life is over. (beat) Which means it’s time for me to turn over a new leaf ... to raise the curtain on a new phase.

DIANE: Which would be what?

There is a hint of suspicion in her voice that indicates she has an idea what Tim is getting at.

TIM: I figure, since you’re having my baby, I should try to build a home with you -- if that’s all right with you.

DIANE: (joyously) It’s more than all right, baby!

She leaps up and hugs him, planting a kiss right on his lips. She wraps her arms around him and pulls him in tightly. As he looks over her shoulder, he rolls his eyes.



MOLLY sits down at a table with a candy bar, looking bored. BRIAN walks by, but stops in mid-stride.

BRIAN: Hi ... you’re Tim Fisher’s sister, right?

MOLLY: Yeah, Molly.

BRIAN: I’m Brian Hamilton. I work with Tim.

MOLLY: Nice to meet you.

They shake hands.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Why don’t you sit down? I could use some company.

BRIAN: I’d be glad to.

He sits down.

BRIAN (CONT’D): How’s your other brother doing? I spoke with Tim for a little while before. He said there was a car accident.

MOLLY: Jason -- my little brother -- he’s fine. I guess he just hit a patch of ice or something, but he should be released later today. (beat) Thank God for miracles.

BRIAN: You know, my older brother was killed by a drunk driver when I was a teenager.

MOLLY: I’m so sorry.

BRIAN: Thanks. It took me years to get over it. I still miss him so much sometimes ... Your family should feel very lucky that Jason’s still alive right now.

MOLLY: We do, believe me. (beat) So, you work with Tim?

BRIAN: Yeah, I work in his department. What do you do?

MOLLY: Actually, I worked for Charlene Powers -- the fashion agency -- until a few days ago.

BRIAN: What happened?

MOLLY: They asked me to leave.

Brian looks curious, but doesn’t dare ask why this happened.

MOLLY (CONT’D): In case you’re wondering, I got involved with the wrong guy -- the really wrong guy. He tried to kill me--

BRIAN: What?!

MOLLY: Yeah, I know. Luckily, my brother-in-law showed up and stopped him.

BRIAN: That’s always a good thing.

MOLLY: Yeah, really. (beat) If there’s one thing I learned from that experience, it’s to never rush into anything without knowing the whole story first.

BRIAN: That’s definitely a good rule to live by.

Their eyes meet. There is clearly a mild attraction between them.


BRENT and SARAH are in the midst of a tense stare-down.

BRENT: What is this all about?

SARAH: I just-- I’ve had some ideas about what-- about what I should do with my career. I personally will always be thankful that I joined the force, because it’s where I met you. There are just other things I’d like to go after.

BRENT: Like what?

SARAH: Well ... I read this thing in the paper about a P.I. agency right here in King’s Bay.

BRENT: Are you serious?

SARAH: I just figure it would be an opportunity to keep solving crimes and helping people -- which is the aspect I love about police work -- without having to deal with all the politics of the force.

Brent stares at her, disbelieving, for a moment.

SARAH (CONT’D): Why shouldn’t I be allowed to do what I want with my life?

BRENT: It’s not that. It’s just ... I love working with you. I don’t know if I could deal with being on the force if you weren’t there.

SARAH: So why don’t you quit and join the agency too?

Out on Brent, considering the ramifications of this possibility.



SHANNON enters and takes a look at JASON lying in the hospital bed. She gasps.

JASON: Don’t worry ... I’m fine.

SHANNON: Are you sure?

JASON: I’m positive. (beat) I’m glad you came by.

SHANNON: How could I not? I got so scared when your mom called ...

JASON: Yeah, she tends to make things sound worse than they are. Don’t panic -- I’m getting out of here later today.

SHANNON: That’s good to hear. (beat) Listen, about last night--

JASON: Let’s not get into that again, Shannon. It was a mistake.

SHANNON: How can you say that? Even if we were drunk -- it felt so right.

JASON: I-- We could never make that work. Just believe me: It was a mistake.

Shannon is unable to breathe at hearing these words.


BRENT considers SARAH’S proposition.

BRENT: Do you seriously think we should do this?

SARAH: I can’t tell you what to do, Brent, but I think I’m gonna go after this job. It’s what I want right now.

BRENT: Hmm ... What about your family? Won’t you miss everyone? And Danielle’s here now -- she just moved here.

SARAH: The agency is here in King’s Bay. The only time we’d be away is when we were out on cases.

BRENT: You know, that could work. (beat) It’s not a bad idea at all.

SARAH: So you’ll think about it?

Brent is silent for a moment.

BRENT: Let’s do it.

Sarah smiles widely, in gleeful surprise. She throws her arms around him joyously.

SARAH (THINKING): This is exactly what I need. I’ll be able to stay in town, but Brent and Molly won’t ever have enough time together again. She’ll never be able to ruin my marriage this way.

Across the room, PAULA and BILL wait.

BILL: I hope everything is okay between Sarah and Brent.

PAULA: It looks just great to me. Look at them.

She indicates the embracing couple.

BILL: Good. They’re too good together -- he makes her so happy. I’d hate for anything to come in between them.

PAULA: I wouldn’t worry about it. I have a feeling that their bond is pretty much unbreakable.

CLAIRE approaches them.


PAULA: Oh, hi, Claire! What’re you up to?

CLAIRE: I’ve got a little break, so I figured I’d come see how everyone’s doing. Is Jason feeling better?

BILL: I think he’s perfectly okay.

CLAIRE: That’s good.

PAULA: How are you holding up, dear? I know this situation with Tim has been painful for you, especially after everything with your father.

Claire nods.

PAULA (CONT’D): But he has moved back in, right?

CLAIRE: Oh, yeah. Everything between Tim and I is great. I trust him completely ... it’s someone else I’m worried about.

BILL: Diane?

CLAIRE: Exactly. But I think we’re on the road to getting her out of our lives once and for all.


MOLLY, finishing off a candy bar, sits across from BRIAN.

BRIAN: That’s really too bad about that guy.

MOLLY: I’m getting over it. You know what they say ... Life goes on. And I have to make it. Otherwise I’m gonna be miserable for the rest of my life.

BRIAN: I’m glad you’re looking at it that way. So many people would have just given up by now.

MOLLY: I guess I’ve always been a bit of a fighter.

BRIAN: Now that’s definitely something I like in a woman. (beat) Maybe I’m being a little forward here, but would you like to have dinner with me Saturday night?

Molly thinks it over for a second.

MOLLY: It’s a date.

Brian smiles at her. Molly seems pleased at making this progress with her life.


DIANE and TIM pull out of an embrace.

DIANE: You are saying what I think you’re saying, right?

TIM: Only if what you think I’m saying is that it’s you I want to be with, not Claire.

DIANE: Works for me! (beat) I guess you don’t have anyplace to stay, do you?

TIM: I’ve been at my parents’ lately.

DIANE: Well, why don’t you move in with me? If we’re gonna get married before the baby is born, we’ll need to live together anyway. So why not sooner rather than later?

TIM: Yeah ... great idea.

Diane wraps her arms around him again.

TIM (THINKING): Just keep thinking of where this is gonna lead. It’ll all have been worth it by the end of this ...


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