Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #47

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Episode #47
Two Days After #46, New Year's Eve



The floor is covered in heaps of clothing, blankets, and pillows. An empty pizza box rests among the rubble.

TELEVISION VOICE (OS): And we’re here in the Town Square, as hundreds of residents have gathered to ring in the New Year in style!

The buzz from the television continues as the screen comes into view. A WOMAN stands in the foreground of the screen, holding a microphone by her mouth. In the background is a crowd of festive PEOPLE.

WOMAN (CONT’D): In just thirty-two minutes--

The voice is interrupted as the TV is turned off.

DIANE sits on the couch in sweats, looking as if she hasn’t moved from her spot in days. Her pregnancy is now extremely visible. She tosses the remote control down next to her and sighs.

DIANE: (sotto voce) All around me, everyone’s celebrating New Year’s Eve, having a great time. But not me, oh, no. I’m sitting here all alone and pathetic.

She takes a drink from a can of beer that rests on the coffee table. After replacing it, she continues.

DIANE (CONT’D): (sotto voce) Right about Tim and Claire are probably celebrating at some swanky party ... That should be me with him, not Claire! It’s not fair!

She sighs again and slumps back down into the couch dejectedly.



A crowd of PEOPLE is gathered in the room, socializing as they sip champagne and dance. The DJ is in the front of the room, next to the stage.

TIM and CLAIRE are standing by the buffet table with JASON.

CLAIRE: (looking around the room) This is some party your parents cooked up.

TIM: They’ve done it for the past few years. It’s all the employees at my dad’s restaurant and a lot of my parents’ friends. It’s kind of like an extended company Christmas party. (beat) I’m just glad we were able to get a babysitter so we could make it.

JASON: If it had been any other night, I would’ve watched Travis for you.

CLAIRE: If something like this comes up again, we’ll give you a call. But we didn’t expect you to stay at home on a night like tonight.

JASON: You’ve got that right.

TIM: So, why didn’t you bring a date?

JASON: Long story. Long, long story. But Courtney’s coming, so that should be fun.

CLAIRE: Yeah. How’s her leg doing?

JASON: She’s been back at physical therapy and everything, and it’s coming along, but it’s just really frustrating for her. After hurting it last year and then getting attacked, it’s been a double whammy.

TIM: That really sucks. Hopefully she’ll get better for next season, right?

JASON: That would be nice. I don’t know how much longer this thing with Shannon is gonna last.

CLAIRE: What do you mean?

Across the room, SARAH is talking to PAULA.

SARAH: I love these parties. There are people here I haven’t seen in so long!

PAULA: I know. I plan to make the rounds tonight, if you know what I mean. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Where’s Molly?

SARAH: I don’t think she’s here yet.

PAULA: I hope she shows up. It’ll do her some good to spend the night among all these people. I know she’s been trying to get her life back together, but she’s got a long way to go. The mention of Craig’s name brings tears to her eyes.

SARAH: I know. She’s definitely trying, though. She told me she was bringing a date tonight.

PAULA: Really? Who?

SARAH: That Brian guy she went out to dinner with last week.

PAULA: That’s good to hear. She needs to be around people ... otherwise she’s liable to wind up thinking all men are like Craig.

SARAH: Lord knows they’re not.

She glances over at BRENT, who is talking with ANDY and DANIELLE.

PAULA: I see that you’re referring to someone in particular.

SARAH: Definitely. That husband of mine is the exact opposite of Craig. He’s everything I’ve always wanted.

PAULA: I’m glad to see you so happy. Like your father said on Christmas Eve, any doubts we had about that marriage are long-gone.

As Paula says this, Sarah looks back towards Brent. MOLLY and BRIAN enter and Brent greets them. Sarah suddenly appears irked.



TIM and CLAIRE are awaiting an explanation from JASON.

CLAIRE: What do you mean about this thing with Shannon not lasting much longer?

JASON: No -- all I mean is that it was supposed to be temporary. I can’t wait to skate with Courtney again.

TIM: She means a lot to you, doesn’t she?

JASON: Yeah, she does.

Tim opens his mouth as if to speak, but doesn’t pursue the topic any further.

CLAIRE: Speaking of Courtney--

She points to the entrance, where HELEN, DON, and COURTNEY have just arrived.

JASON: I guess I should go say hi.

TIM: Okay. Talk to you later, Jay.

Jason departs. Claire looks after him until he is far enough away before speaking.

CLAIRE: What do you think is going on there?

TIM: I don’t know, but something is definitely not right.

Near the entrance, BRENT, DANIELLE, and ANDY are greeting MOLLY and BRIAN.

BRENT: Hey, Molly! Glad you made it!

He gives her a nonchalant hug, but her face reflects the emotions this simple gesture stirs up inside her.

MOLLY: Okay, everyone, I’d like you to meet Brian Hamilton. Brian, this is a group of escaped mental patients that my parents found outside the house.

BRENT: They only let us out on holidays.

He and Molly laugh together.

MOLLY: Anyway, Brian, these are: Brent, my brother-in-law; Danielle, his sister; and--

DANIELLE: And this is Andy Fitch. Andy, these are Molly, Brent’s sister, and Brian. We ran into them at the restaurant, remember?

ANDY: Oh, yeah. Nice to meet you.

He and Brian shake hands.

BRIAN: Same to you.

Sarah approaches the group.

SARAH: Hey, everyone, what’s going on?

BRENT: We were just wrapping up the introductions. Sarah, that’s Brian; Brian, this is my wife, Sarah.

MOLLY: And my sister.

BRIAN: Nice to meet you, Sarah.

SARAH: The pleasure is all mine.

MOLLY: So, does everyone know who everyone is now?

BRIAN: I think I’ve got it. This is quite a close little gang, isn’t it?

SARAH (THINKING): (sarcastically) Closer than you think, buddy.

Meanwhile, Jason has made his way over to Courtney, Don, and Helen.

JASON: So how’s everyone doing tonight?

HELEN: Pretty well.

DON: If you kids don’t mind, we’re gonna go find Bill and Paula and say hi.

COURTNEY: Go right ahead.

Don and Helen leave.

JASON: I’m glad you made it.

COURTNEY: So am I. There’s a lot we need to talk about.

JASON: I know. We need to get it all worked out before I leave for Sectionals.

COURTNEY: When do you leave, anyway?

JASON: The day after tomorrow.

COURTNEY: Wow. Just so you know, you guys are gonna kick ass.

JASON: Thanks, but it won’t be the same without you.

Out on Courtney, touched by this sentiment.



DIANE drags herself into the kitchen, looking despondent.

DIANE: (sotto voce) Why did this have to happen? All I wanted was to be happy; I never wanted to hurt anyone.

          FADE TO:



DIANE opens the door, trying to usher TIM and CLAIRE out.

DIANE: You can’t do anything else! Just get out!

TIM: We’re goin’, we’re goin’.

CLAIRE: And this time, I’m taking my husband with me.

They begin to leave. Halfway out the door, Claire turns and faces Diane.

CLAIRE: Expect a call from our lawyer.

DIANE: You can’t press any kind of charges. That letter clears me of everything!

TIM: Oh, this isn’t about criminal charges, Diane. That’s over with.

DIANE: Then what are you talking about?

CLAIRE: This behavior is hardly that of a good mother, Diane.

Diane absorbs this statement for a moment.

DIANE: You don’t mean--?!?

CLAIRE: Yeah. We’re suing you for custody of that baby.

          FADE TO:


DIANE stares into space, rubbing her pregnant stomach.

DIANE: (sotto voce) No, baby, you’re all I’ve got left. I’m not gonna lose you too -- no way, no how.



HELEN and DON are talking to PAULA and BILL.

HELEN: To tell the truth, I’m glad we even got Courtney to come with us tonight. She’s been in such a downcast mood lately.

BILL: Jason, too.

PAULA: Do you think something might be ... well, going on between them?

DON: It’s possible. Look at how close they’ve always been.

HELEN: I just hope whatever they do doesn’t ruin their friendship. That’s too valuable to lose.

BILL: They’re strong kids. Whatever this thing is, they’ll put through it together.

Seated at a table, SARAH, BRENT, ANDY, and DANIELLE are in mid-conversation.

SARAH: So, Brent’s mentioned something to me about this arson you two are trying to figure out. What’s the deal with that?

DANIELLE: When I was cleaning out the maid’s quarters at the Fitches’ place, I found this box of the former maid’s things. I tried to move it, but the bottom busted open. There were a whole bunch of clothes and stuff, but I also found a diary and a wig.


ANDY: Exactly. The diary outlined plans for an arson, and then had a final account of this person’s feelings about the whole thing once it was done.

SARAH: And how did she feel?

ANDY: Extremely satisfied, from what we gather.

DANIELLE: Anyway, inside the wig I found this key, and Andy realized that it was for a bus station locker. We went to the locker, where we found a video.

ANDY: It showed the actual fire -- the house burning to the ground. Apparently the camera was perched in a tree or something sometime beforehand.

SARAH: Whoa. This is weird stuff.

BRENT: I know. Do you remember the Powell case a few years back?

SARAH: You don’t think this is related to that, do you?

BRENT: It’s their house in the video.

SARAH: Are you serious?

BRENT: Completely.

SARAH: I was only a cop-in-training then, so I wouldn’t know the house if I tripped over it, but I do remember the case. It went unsolved, right?

BRENT: Correct. There were a few suspects, but they all went free. No concrete evidence ever came to light.

ANDY: Do you think one of those suspects was actually “Lisa”?


ANDY: “Lisa” -- our old maid. We think she was using an alias.

BRENT: I’d be willing to bet that this “Lisa” character was one of those suspects. My bets are on the Powells’ daughter.

SARAH: You know, if all of this is true, then there’s a murderer running around free as we speak.

BRENT: I know. That very thought scares the hell out of me -- which is exactly why we need to catch this “Lisa” person as soon as possible.



MOLLY and BRIAN are now sitting with TIM and CLAIRE at a table.

BRIAN: If you don’t mind me asking, Tim, how’s the baby doing now?

TIM: He’s great. He’s really doing well. The only problem is that he’s crawling now, which can be a little bit of a hazard.

BRIAN: Yeah, really.

TIM: Why would we have minded you asking?

BRIAN: Oh, just because of-- well, you know, everything that happened right after he was born.

CLAIRE: Don’t worry about it, Brian. All of that is over now. We’ve got our little boy back, and that’s all that really matters.

A cellular phone rings.

BRIAN: I think that’s me. Excuse me.

He gets up and steps away from the table.

CLAIRE: Molly, he’s a really nice guy. You definitely have good taste.

MOLLY: Don’t even start with me about taste, especially after the Craig episode. That was an instance marked by lack of any taste whatsoever.

CLAIRE: But that’s all it was -- an instance. If you just stick to guys like Brian -- normal guys who can just fall in love with you rather than stalking you to make you love them -- then you’ll see how great it can be to really be in love with someone.

She flashes a warm smile at Tim. He kisses her in return.

MOLLY: You guys totally give me hope in finding true love.

CLAIRE: So Tim, what’s your take on Brian?

TIM: He’s a really nice guy, and he’s making good progress in the company, too. His own flaw is that he is Diane Bishop’s assistant.

CLAIRE: (feigning disgust) Don’t even mention that name! (beat) But you see, Molly? There’s nothing to worry about.

MOLLY: I hope you’re right, Claire.

Brian has moved away from the table as he answers his cell phone.

BRIAN: Hello?

DIANE (OS): Brian! I’m so glad I caught you!

BRIAN: This isn’t the best time, Diane.


DIANE is talking on the phone.

DIANE: What do you mean?

BRIAN (OS): Well, I’m in the middle of a New Year’s Eve party.

DIANE: Why are you at a party while I’m stuck sitting here, drowning in melted cheese?


BRIAN is speaking into his cell phone.

BRIAN: Because minions have social lives too. (beat) I really can’t talk right now.

DIANE (OS): Who are you there with?

BRIAN: The same girl I went out with the other night.

DIANE (OS): Tim’s sister?

BRIAN: (reluctantly) Yes, Tim’s sister.

DIANE (OS): Is Tim there?

BRIAN: With the wife on his arm.

DIANE (OS): Dammit! Hey, do you think you could do me a little favor while you’re there?

BRIAN: Look, I’m willing to help you out behind the scenes, but if anyone finds out that I helped you try to break up Tim and Claire, it’ll blow any chance I have at a relationship with Molly.

DIANE (OS): But Brian ....

BRIAN: The answer is no. Now goodnight.

He flips his phone closed and heads back to the table.


DIANE hangs up her phone in frustration and stands silently for a moment.

DIANE: If Brian won’t help me out tonight, I guess I’ll have to take matters into my own hands.

A devilish grin spreads across her face.



The sounds of LeAnn Rimes’s “Looking Through Your Eyes” fill the room. The dance floor is occupied by a number of dancing couples, including COURTNEY and JASON.

COURTNEY: I’m actually having a very nice time tonight.

JASON: Tell me about it. (beat) We shouldn’t fight like that anymore. There’s no point.

COURTNEY: You’re right. We’re too good of friends to let something petty like that get in the way.

They stare at each other for a moment as they continue to dance, and the chemistry is apparent.

FEMALE VOICE (OS): Mind if I cut in?

Jason and Courtney both turn to see SHANNON, arms folded as she awaits a response and decked out for the party.



MOLLY, BRIAN, and BRENT are seated at their table. SARAH is standing up.

SARAH: If you’ll all excuse me, I’ll be right back.

She leaves.

BRENT: This is really some party, Molly.

MOLLY: My parents love to do stuff like this.

BRIAN: It’s definitely packed.

Molly takes the last sip of her drink.

BRIAN (CONT’D): Do you want me to get you another one? I’ve gotta go to the bar anyway.

MOLLY: Yeah, that would be great.

Brian leaves. Molly and Brent sit in awkward silence for a moment.

MOLLY (CONT’D): So ... how are things down at the station? It must be relaxing to not have any cases of mine to deal with, huh?

BRENT: There’s always plenty more crime where that came from, don’t you worry. (beat) Listen, there’s something we need to talk about.

Molly is caught off-guard by his straightforwardness.

Near the entrance of the room, TIM and CLAIRE are talking with BILL.

BILL: So when is the custody hearing set for, anyway?

CLAIRE: A week from Tuesday. Hopefully it’ll just take that one hearing to prove to the judge that Diane is a lunatic.

FEMALE VOICE (OS): It’s not nice to talk about people behind their backs, Claire.

All three turn to see DIANE standing there in an evening gown, hands on her hips.



On the dance floor, COURTNEY and JASON have separated as they look at SHANNON, standing smugly before them.

COURTNEY: What are you doing here?

SHANNON: Hello! I was invited!

COURTNEY: Yeah, right. What a bunch of crap.

JASON: No, she’s right, Court. My mom invited Shannon and her parents.

SHANNON: Thank you, Jason.

JASON: (trying to change the subject) Speaking of which, where are your parents, Shannon?

SHANNON: They couldn’t make it. They-- they had someplace else to be tonight.

JASON: Oh, that’s too bad.

COURTNEY: Yeah. Maybe they would’ve been able to keep their psychotic daughter in line.

SHANNON: Screw you!

JASON: Please, just stop it! Both of you!

Courtney takes a deep breath.

COURTNEY: All right, I’m gonna go mingle for a while. I’ll see you later, Jason.

JASON: Okay.

Courtney departs.

SHANNON: Oh, I brought a little friend. I hope you don’t mind.

JASON: Oh, no, not at all. Lots of people brought dates. Where is he?

Shannon points to a young MAN approaching them.

SHANNON: Jason, this is DJ.

DJ: Hey.

JASON: Hi. Nice to meet you.

SHANNON: (whispering to Jason) But don’t worry. It’s not a real date. We’re just friends.

JASON: (rolling his eyes) I see.

SHANNON: And now, if you don’t mind, Deej, Jason owes me a dance.

She pulls Jason closer to dance as DJ walks away.

Across the room, Courtney rolls her eyes in frustration as Shannon waves to her over Jason’s shoulder.

Meanwhile, TIM, CLAIRE, and BILL stand staring at DIANE.

CLAIRE: What the hell are you doing here?

DIANE: I’m not one to miss a party, people. Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time.

TIM: I don’t believe you were on the guest list, Diane, so why don’t you just leave before you have to be escorted out?

DIANE: Tim, please -- I just need to talk to you out on the balcony for a minute.

Tim looks at Claire and then at Bill for approval.

TIM: Fine. I’ll give you two minutes and then you’re gone, understood?

DIANE: Understood. (beat) Now c’mon!

She grabs him by the hand and leads him out onto the terrace.


TIM and DIANE step outside and shut the door behind them.

DIANE: Let me just get right to the point. (beat) Look, Tim, I love you.

TIM: That’s such a bunch of bull.

DIANE: No, I mean it. I can’t live without you -- and neither can this baby. We need you, Tim.

TIM: The baby isn’t gonna have to live without me, that’s for sure. Claire and I are gonna win custody and you know it.

DIANE: All I know is that I’m not complete without you, Tim.

She grabs him and begins to kiss him. He shoves her away.

TIM: Don’t start with that. It’s not gonna work. I think we’re done here.

He goes back inside, leaving her standing alone.

DIANE: (sotto voce) Well, if that’s how he’s gonna act ...

She climbs up onto the ledge and begins to shriek.

DIANE (CONT’D): (yelling) I’m gonna do it! I’m serious!


CLAIRE and BILL are talking when TIM returns.

CLAIRE: What’d she have to say?

TIM: The usual act. I told her to get over it.

DIANE (OS): (muffled through the glass) I’m gonna do it! I’m not kidding!

CLAIRE: Was that her?

She leans her head and peeks out the window, catching a glimpse of DIANE standing on the ledge.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): Tim, she’s up on the ledge!

TIM: Oh my God -- the baby!

Tim and Claire rush for the door.


DIANE holds onto the wall behind her for dear life. The door opens and TIM and CLAIRE rush outside, leaving it open.

TIM: Diane, please, come down from there!

DIANE: No! If I can’t have you -- well, then, you can’t have this baby!

CLAIRE: You wouldn’t do it, you psycho.

DIANE: Oh, I just might be crazy enough.

She looks down several stories to the street below and then grits her teeth in anguish. Hold on her terrified face.


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