Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #49

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Episode #49
Two Days After #48



A RECEPTIONIST leads BRENT and SARAH into a medium-sized office. The decor is certainly respectable, but limited to simple wood pieces and file cabinets. A row of plaques along one wall adds an air of dignity.

RECEPTIONIST: Mr. Robinson will be with you in a moment.

She exits, closing the door behind her.

SARAH: So this is the place we’ll be working from now on, huh?

BRENT: Guess so. I hear this guy, Hank Robinson, has a great reputation in the investigative field.

SARAH: That’s always reassuring.

She looks over some of the plaques briefly and then turns to Brent.

SARAH (CONT’D): Are you sure this is what we wanna be doing with our lives?



Someone knocks on the door. CLAIRE enters and opens the door. MOLLY comes into the apartment.

MOLLY: I have arrived.

CLAIRE: So I noticed. Thank you so much for coming over to help me! This church bake sale needs me to bake eight dozen cookies and brownies -- there’s no way I could do it myself by tomorrow!

MOLLY: Glad to help out. It’s not like I have much else to do, since I lost my job.

CLAIRE: You’ll find another one, Molly. Don’t worry. (beat) Besides, you and Brian certainly seemed to be getting close the other night.

MOLLY: Yeah. I had a nice time with him.

CLAIRE: Being able to trust someone again is a big step in getting over this thing with Craig, and you’re doing a great job. (beat) Now why don’t we get to work in the kitchen, or we’re gonna be here all night?

MOLLY: Good point.

They head into the kitchen.



SHANNON stands before the sizable closet, removing clothing and examining it. A suitcase lay open on the bed.

Shannon folds an outfit and places it on the bed. She suddenly develops an introspective look on her face.

          FADE TO:



JASON and COURTNEY are in the midst of a conversation. A hand pulls on Courtney’s shoulder and turns her around. It belongs to SHANNON, holding a glass of champagne.

SHANNON: This is quite a cozy little conversation we’re having, huh?

COURTNEY: Yes, as a matter of fact, it is. So why can’t you take a hint and butt out?

SHANNON: Oh, I just happen to know something you might want to know about, Courtney.

COURTNEY: Fine ... what is it?

SHANNON: Keep in mind that I’m just looking out for your best intentions, Court.

COURTNEY: Oh, yeah. How could I forget? (beat) Now what is it?

SHANNON: Do you remember the night of the snowstorm?

COURTNEY: Yeah ...

SHANNON: When Jason over here had that little car crash?

COURTNEY: Yeah ...

Jason looks alarmed.

JASON: Shannon, really--

COURTNEY: No, hang on, Jason. I wanna hear this.

SHANNON: Well, Jason came over to my house to talk things out. It turns out somebody had made him very, very upset. Do we have any idea who that might have been?

COURTNEY: I know, Shannon. We had a fight. Maybe Jason said some things that he regrets while he venting. But that’s behind us now.

SHANNON: Oh, no. He didn’t just say something -- he did it.

Jason’s eyes open wide.

JASON: Please, Shannon--

SHANNON: And he definitely didn’t regret it. Ain’t that right, Jason?

COURTNEY: What in the hell are you talking about, Shannon?

SHANNON: Let’s just say that Jason and I got very cozy that night. So cozy, in fact, that we woke up in the same bed the next morning ... and our clothes were thrown all over the room.

Courtney looks stunned.

          FADE TO:


SHANNON snaps out of her flashback.

SHANNON: (sotto voce) I’m definitely doing a good job of keeping Courtney and Jason at odds. It’ll only be a matter of time before Jason gets tired of dealing with all the problems they have and he turns to me -- again.

A satisfied smile spreads across her face.



JASON and LAUREN are sitting at a table near a fireplace, sipping from large mugs of coffee. Soft music emanates from the sound system.

JASON: I just don’t believe all of this is happening.

Lauren hesitates before replying.

LAUREN: I don’t know what to say. It’s a messy situation.

JASON: No, “messy” was when Courtney and I had the fight over Shannon hiring the hitman. We’ve been promoted to “complete disaster” after what happened on New Year’s Eve.

LAUREN: I just feel so bad for you. I can tell that whatever happened with you and Shannon didn’t mean anything. You were really hurt by everything that was going on with Courtney.

JASON: I wish Courtney saw it like that! But she’s completely pissed. She stormed out of the party without even letting me explain.

Lauren gives a sympathetic nod before taking another sip of coffee.

JASON (CONT’D): I just need to find a way to straighten things out with Courtney -- before it’s too late.

Out on his distressed face.



CLAIRE and MOLLY, both wearing aprons, are mixing batter in large mixing bowls. Molly puts her whisk down and shakes her hand.

MOLLY: Ow! My arm is killing me!

CLAIRE: I know. The stirring tires it out pretty quickly.

MOLLY: I still can’t get over what went on with Jason, Courtney, and Shannon the other night.

CLAIRE: Yeah, sounds interesting. Too bad I missed it.

MOLLY: Shannon is really crazy! You had to see the way she stormed out of there after dropping that bombshell on Courtney.

CLAIRE: So what exactly happened -- Jason slept with her?

MOLLY: From what Shannon claims, yeah.

CLAIRE: Wow ... this thing between him and Courtney has gotten pretty serious lately.

MOLLY: I know. He has really strong feelings for her. (beat) I just hope that anything that’s already happened doesn’t screw up whatever future they might have together.



JASON and LAUREN remain at their table.

JASON: Lauren, I really wanna thank you for at least hearing me out on this. It’s nice that you were at least willing to hear my side of the story.

LAUREN: Look, Jason, I understand that we all make mistakes, and at the time that this ... happened, the circumstances between you and Courtney were less than great. So believe me when I say I’m not gonna hold this against you.

JASON: I just wish we could say the same for Courtney. (beat) I have to go see her. I need to try one more time to clear things up.

LAUREN: Go ahead. I’m almost done here anyway.

JASON: You sure?

LAUREN: Positive. You need to do this.

JASON: Okay, I’ll see you later.

LAUREN: Lemme know how it goes. Good luck.

JASON: Thanks -- I’ll need it.

He rises and walks away from the table. As he opens the door to leave, he is stunned to see COURTNEY before him. They stare at each other curiously.



BRENT stands behind SARAH, who is looking over the wall of plaques.

BRENT: What do you mean?

SARAH: All I mean is, are we really ready to leave the police department and do this? I’m really gonna miss it.

BRENT: So am I, but that’s all I’m gonna do -- miss it. I’ll miss everything how it used to be, but it’s changed a lot lately, and I don’t wanna be a part of that. It’s time for me to move on.

Sarah nods in understanding.

BRENT (CONT’D): Of course, you haven’t been on the force very long, so it might be different for you. I feel like this is something I need to do, but if you don’t want to, no one’s saying you have to. That’s a decision for you to make.

Sarah pauses a moment before responding.

SARAH: No, I wanna be a part of this. I don’t wanna be away from you, and this was my idea to begin with, right?

BRENT: Right.

SARAH: So I’m gonna do it.

BRENT: Are you sure?

SARAH: Absolutely positive. You’re right about what the force has turned into. I think we’ll both enjoy getting to do more investigative work.

BRENT: That’s what I’m hoping. (beat) I’m glad you’re doing this -- the idea of working without you turns my stomach.

He pulls her into an embrace. She rests her head on his shoulder.

SARAH (THINKING): So does the idea of you winding up with Molly -- which is exactly why we both need to take these jobs.



SHANNON continues to pack her suitcase.

SHANNON: It looked like my little announcement knocked the wind out of Courtney. Hopefully it’ll be enough to keep them apart at least until we leave for Sectionals tonight.

She puts a folded shirt into the suitcase and pushes down, trying to compact its contents.

SHANNON (CONT’D): And once we get to the competition, I’ll be able to work my “magic” on Jason ... and he’ll never give Courtney a second thought.



JASON and COURTNEY stand face-to-face in the doorway.

JASON: Oh, uh ... hi.

COURTNEY: Yeah. I was just, uh, gonna get something to drink.

They stand silently in place.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): Would you mind moving? I’d like to get inside.

She begins to push past him.

JASON: Look, Courtney, we really, really need to talk about this.

COURTNEY: There’s nothing to talk about. Now if you don’t mind--

JASON: Go ahead and get whatever you want. I’m gonna wait here. When you’re ready, we’ll sit down and talk, okay?

Courtney pauses before responding.


She heads for the counter. Jason stands by the doorway, looking concerned.

Back at the table, LAUREN puts her mug down and looks upward.

LAUREN: (sotto voce) Please, God, don’t let this little misunderstanding separate Jason and Courtney. They’re my friends, and I want what’s best for them. I just know they belong together ... please don’t allow anything to stand in the way of that.

Out on Jason’s worry-ridden face.



CLAIRE and MOLLY have resumed baking.

CLAIRE: Speaking of getting pretty serious, you and Brian certainly looked close last night.

MOLLY: I know. I had a really good time.

CLAIRE: You don’t sound too enthused about it. Is something wrong?

MOLLY: No, it’s just ... you know.

CLAIRE: I think I know why you’re so reluctant to get involved with Brian.

Molly looks panicked.



JASON is seated at a table, waiting. LAUREN approaches him.

LAUREN: I’m gonna head on out of here, okay?

JASON: Go ahead. I’ll talk to you later.

LAUREN: Good luck with Courtney.

JASON: Thanks.

Lauren leaves.

A few seconds pass before COURTNEY comes up to the table with a mug. She places it down on the table and sits down.

COURTNEY: So let’s hear it.

JASON: Courtney, please just let me talk.


JASON: I know that my sleeping with Shannon is inexcusable, but you have to know all the circumstances surrounding me when I did it.

COURTNEY: (furiously) What circumstances could possibly excuse you sleeping with her when -- let’s just get it out in the open, since both of us know it -- when this ... this thing has been building between us for months!

JASON: Would thinking that you never wanted to speak to me again qualify as a reason?

COURTNEY: I understand that we had a fight -- a big fight. I’m even willing to take fault for it. But to just give up on everything -- especially our friendship ... You assumed too much.

JASON: I didn’t assume -- I heard it.

Courtney is suddenly somber.


JASON: The day before I had the accident, the day I went over to Shannon’s, I came over to see you and apologize for not believing you. But when I got to your bedroom door, I overheard you telling Lauren that you’d be perfectly happy to never speak to me again. I didn’t know what to think, what to do. So I went to Shannon’s ... I needed someone to talk to.

COURTNEY: Are you telling me the truth?

JASON: Ask your dad. I came over to see you and then I ran right out.

Out on Courtney’s stunned expression.



MOLLY awaits further explanation from CLAIRE.

CLAIRE: I think I know why you’re reluctant to get serious with Brian.

MOLLY: (nervously) Why?

CLAIRE: Because you don’t know if you can trust him. After what happened with Craig, you don’t know if you can ever trust anyone again. Am I right?

MOLLY: Yeah, I guess so.

CLAIRE: You don’t have to rush. Really. It’s just that we all want you to be happy, and you certainly can’t do that by locking yourself up in your room all day.

MOLLY: I know. It’s just so hard!

Her eyes begin to tear.

CLAIRE: Molly, don’t worry about it. We all understand how terrible the last few months have been for you, but keep in mind that we’re all here for you. No one is gonna be able to hurt you like that ever again.

Molly breaks down into full tears. Claire hugs her and Molly continues to cry, as if she is falling apart all over again.



SARAH and BRENT are now seated on one side of the desk. HANK ROBINSON enters, a man obviously well into his fifties but not at all bittered by life. The mild twang with which he speaks adds an endearing quality to him.

HANK: Brent! Sarah! How are you?

They stand.

SARAH: Fine, thank you. It’s nice to meet you.

Hank shakes hands with both Brent and Sarah.

HANK: The pleasure is all mine, believe me. Your recommendations from the King’s Bay PD were excellent. (beat) Have a seat.

They return to their chairs and Hank slips into his chair behind the desk.

HANK (CONT’D): First of all, we’d all like to welcome you aboard.

BRENT: We’re glad to be here.

HANK: Originally, the purpose of this meeting was supposed to be to just clue you in as to what goes on around here, general policies and stuff.

SARAH: Sounds good.

HANK: That was the original purpose.

Brent and Sarah look confused.

HANK (CONT’D): I’ve got an offer to make both of you first, though.



COURTNEY and JASON sit at the table, ignoring their mugs of coffee as they speak.

COURTNEY: You really heard me say that?

JASON: Yeah, and as you might imagine, it really hurt.

COURTNEY: Wow. I-- I didn’t know.

JASON: It’s still no excuse for what I did. Neither is being drunk.

COURTNEY: Yeah, you mentioned that the other night.

JASON: I guess Shannon and I both had too much to drink. Since I’ve never really done that before, it probably didn’t take much to knock me out -- or make me do something incredibly stupid.

COURTNEY: What do you mean, “probably”?

JASON: I don’t remember much after I got to Shannon’s house.

COURTNEY: (hopefully) Are you sure you even slept with her?

JASON: Ninety nine percent positive. (beat) I know I can’t make any excuses for this, and I don’t deserve to be forgiven, but I know that what we could have -- what we have now, for that matter -- is too good to lose. So what do you say?

Out on Courtney’s face, strained immesasurably by the act of contemplating her entire future at that exact moment.



BRENT and SARAH sit across the desk from HANK.

BRENT: What do you mean by “offer”?

HANK: Very simply, I’ve got an assignment for you two.

SARAH: Already?

HANK: Yep.

BRENT: Can you give us some details?

HANK: Actually, I can tell you quite a bit. An heiress named Mimi Yung recently lost both of her parents.

BRENT: Is this a murder case?

HANK: Nope. The parents were killed in a car accident, plain and simple. Mimi inherited a fair amount of wealth, including not only money but an extensive collection of art and jewelry. Recently, a sizable amount of jewelry was stolen from her.

SARAH: How much?

HANK: A hundred grand’s worth.

SARAH: $100,000?

HANK: You got it.

BRENT: So I’m assuming the point of this case would be to catch the culprit and get her jewels back, correct?

HANK: Exactly.

SARAH: Sounds pretty interesting. Where is all this action going on?

HANK: That’s the other catch. You two would have to be willing to spend quite a bit of time away from King’s Bay if you accept this case.

BRENT: Where would we have to go?

HANK: Upstate New York.



CLAIRE is consoling a weeping MOLLY.

CLAIRE: I’m sorry I brought it up, Mol. I wasn’t thinking.

MOLLY: Don’t worry, Claire. I need to be able to deal with everything that has happened in my life. How else am I gonna move on?

The cry of a baby interrupts their conversation.

CLAIRE: And that, my friend, would be Travis. He’s up from his nap. Lemme go see what’s up with him. I’ll be back in a sec.

Claire exits the kitchen. Molly takes a tissue from a box on the counter and wipes her eyes.

MOLLY: (sotto voce) How did my life turn into such a mess? I thought that with Craig and the stalker gone, things might calm down. But I’m just as miserable as I was when my life was in danger.

          CUT TO:



MOLLY and BRENT kiss.

          CUT TO:


MOLLY wipes her eyes one more time.

MOLLY: (sotto voce) And I know exactly why.



SHANNON lugs two suitcases down the stairs. Upon reaching the bottom, she drops them down and breathes a sigh of relief.

SHANNON: This trip is gonna be well worth it -- and for much more than the skating. As long as Dave doesn’t blab that I hired him to attack Courtney, I should be fine. And she’ll never find that film hidden in the locker at the bus station ... hopefully no one else will either. But I still wonder who would have stolen that video -- and why.



In the midst of a heated discussion, JASON and COURTNEY are seated across from each other at a small table. Their elbows are up on the table and they have leaned in toward each other anxiously.

COURTNEY: I just don’t know what to say, Jason.

JASON: Do you mean--?

COURTNEY: After everything that’s happened, I don’t see how we can be together. This is exactly why I was afraid of these feelings to begin with ... I knew they would ruin our friendship.

JASON: Nothing has to change, Courtney. Shannon has obviously been working on us for quite a while ... I find it difficult to believe that all of our misfortunes have been completely coincidental. After this season, though, I’ll be done with her -- on and off the ice.

COURTNEY: That’s the problem. It’s always “just a little bit longer.” No matter what we do, something else jumps up to nip this in the bud. All I can tell is that someone, somewhere is trying to tell us we shouldn’t be together.

JASON: And that someone is Shannon!

COURTNEY: Be that as it may, there’s just been too much misunderstanding, too much confusion, and too much pain for all of us. I think it’s best if we just try to be friends.

She rises to leave.

JASON: Courtney--

COURTNEY: I’m sorry, Jason. I really am.

She walks towards the exit, trying not to look back, as the current piece of music ends. Out of the silence, Madonna’s voice fills the room as “You Must Love Me” comes on:

 “Where do we go from here?
  This isn’t where we intended to be
  We had it all, you believed in me,
  I believed in you ...
  Certainty disappears
  What do we do for our dream to survive?
  How do we keep all our passion alive?
  As we used to do?”

Jason continues to look after Courtney as she heads out of the door and, in effect, out of his life. She turns back one last time as the chorus of the song swells up:

 “Deep in my heart, I’m concealing
  Things that I’m longing to say
  Scared to confess what I’m feeling,
  Frightened you’ll slip away ...”

Appearing to be in anguish, Courtney turns away and heads out of the coffee house.

Left alone at the table, a distraught Jason buries his face in his hands.


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