Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #50

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Episode #50
A Few Hours After #49



JASON is seated by the aisle and SHANNON is next to the window. Jason looks depressed and uncomfortable. His traveling companion, on the other hand, looks almost giddy.

SHANNON: This is gonna be so great! I’ve been looking forward to this competition for so long.

JASON: (unenthusiastic) It’s a great opportunity. We’re lucky we got a bye through the Regionals straight to this competition.

SHANNON: I know … Besides, we get to spend some time away from home.

JASON: That should definitely help.

SHANNON: You’re right about that. There’s so much confusion going on right now; it’ll be nice to have a break from it.

Jason sighs, obviously thinking about his own dilemma.



COURTNEY and LAUREN are seated on the floor, several magazines spread out in front of them. The former looks glum, and her mood seems to have spread to her friend.

LAUREN: Try to cheer up, Courtney.

COURTNEY: I’m trying. I really am.

LAUREN: I know, but you’re letting this situation with Jason turn your entire life upside-down.

COURTNEY: But that’s exactly what it’s done!

LAUREN: I understand how you feel. I do. But it won’t do you any good to sit here moping. You should try to distract yourself. There’s so much to do in this world—

COURTNEY: (interrupting) That’s the problem!

Lauren looks at her, partially confused.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): Jason is – was – such a big part of my life. Without him I feel completely lost, completely empty.

She bites her lower lip and stares at the carpet despondently.



The curtains are drawn, blanketing the grand room in an inviting shadow. The fireplace roars, casting some light outward and over the room. DANIELLE and ANDY sit in front of it, cradling mugs of hot chocolate.

DANIELLE: This is so relaxing. I’m glad I finished all my work early.

Andy flashes her a charming smile.

ANDY: So am I.

DANIELLE: I can’t believe how welcome you’ve made me feel. I thought moving to King’s Bay was gonna be such an uphill struggle – the only person I knew was my brother. But now I see that this happened for a reason.

ANDY: And what reason would that be?

DANIELLE: So that I could meet you.

They kiss gently. Danielle lays her head down on Andy’s chest. As he strokes her hair, KATHERINE appears in the doorway, unseen to both of them. She makes a distressed face at seeing them together.

Out on Katherine’s annoyance.



JASON shifts uncomfortably in his seat as SHANNON leans over to speak to him.

SHANNON: Are you okay?

JASON: I’m fine.

He avoids eye contact with her.

SHANNON: Do you want me to do anything for you?

JASON: You’ve done enough.

SHANNON: Then what’s bothering you? You seem so upset.

JASON: (suddenly bursting out) I am upset! I’m pissed, okay? My life is practically in ruins. (beat) I don’t even know why I’m talking to you about this! It’s not like you care about my feelings.

Shannon is taken aback.

SHANNON: What do you mean?

JASON: You know damn well what I mean! Why did you have to tell Courtney about our night together, knowing that it meant absolutely nothing to me? I was drunk off my ass and that was it -- end of story.

SHANNON: Jason, I was just looking out for you. I didn’t want you to get hurt by Courtney. Look how she’s jumped all over me, like I was some kind of criminal!

JASON: That’s such bull and you know it! You told her to get her mad at me. Let me tell you now, Shannon -- it’s not gonna do anything to help you out. The only thing that’s changed is I don’t have Courtney.

Shannon is overwhelmed by Jason’s angry outburst.



COURTNEY tosses a magazine onto the floor in anger as LAUREN looks on.

COURTNEY: Look at what a mess this has turned into!

LAUREN: There’s nothing you could have done to change this, Courtney. Jason slept with Shannon on his own, even if he was drunk.

COURTNEY: The only reason he did it was because he heard me say I never wanted to see him again!

LAUREN: You told him that? I thought you just said you were annoyed that he didn’t believe you about Shannon.

COURTNEY: I didn’t tell him that, and I never meant for him to hear it. It turns out the day before his accident, he came over here to apologize to me. When he got to my door, he heard me tell you that I didn’t care if ever saw him again.


COURTNEY: “Oops” is right. He needed someone to talk to and thought he could trust Shannon. I guess they ended up drinking together and one thing led to another ...

LAUREN: You were angry, Courtney, that’s all. (beat) Just chalk it up to the fact that both of you overreacted.

COURTNEY: I know I did, but I completely blew it! From the beginning, I had this feeling I should keep quiet about my feelings for Jason. But no -- like an idiot, I tried to make something of it. All it ended up doing was destroying our friendship ... and breaking my heart.



KATHERINE stands in the doorway, watching ANDY and DANIELLE cuddle for a moment. Then she loudly clears her throat. They both spring up into sitting positions, trying to look innocent.

ANDY: Mother ...

KATHERINE: Andrew, I, um ... I need to have a word with you about something in the study, if you wouldn’t mind.

ANDY: No, not at all.

DANIELLE: Mrs. Fitch, I got the videotape from my sister-in-law of her brother skating.

KATHERINE: Oh, thank you, Danielle! I love ice skating -- it’s so unique that her brother is in a sport like that! Would you mind leaving it in my bedroom?

DANIELLE: No problem. I’ll go get it.

Danielle scrambles to her feet and exits.

ANDY: So, Mother, what did you want to speak to me about?

Katherine glances down the hallway to be sure Danielle is out of earshot.

KATHERINE: That girl!

Out on Andy’s concern.



SHANNON seems startled by JASON’S outburst.

SHANNON: What are you talking about?

JASON: Look, Shannon, I know what you’re up to. At first I was too stupid to see it, but Courtney pointed it out to me. It’s obvious that you’re after me, for one reason or another.

SHANNON: It’s just--

JASON: It doesn’t matter. Just get it through your head now: It’s not gonna happen. That night was a mistake, I told you.

SHANNON: I understand that those weren’t the best circumstances, but we could always give it another shot. Maybe on this trip, with no one to interrupt us?

JASON: No -- and that’s final. (beat) Do you even care about skating, or this all about some sick obsession with me?

SHANNON: (getting more defensive) Of course I care about skating! It’s my career. I’ve put so much time and money into it. If I didn’t care about it, why would I have done what I’ve done to hang onto it?

Jason stares at her, interested, as she realizes she may have said too much.



LAUREN tries to comfort COURTNEY, who has begun to cry.

LAUREN: Courtney, calm down. It’s gonna be all right.

She hugs her friend.

COURTNEY: (through tears) That’s the problem, Lauren -- it won’t be all right. Don’t you see the problem? I’ve lost him for good!

LAUREN: What did you say to him when you guys talked at the coffee house?

COURTNEY: Pretty much, he took all the blame for it, saying it didn’t matter if he was drunk or not. I told him that I understood what might’ve happened, but my feelings for him just felt so betrayed that I thought it would be better if we were just friends.

LAUREN: See? You can still be friends. You haven’t lost him ... you may never have him in the way you hoped, but the friendship can still stay intact.

COURTNEY: But it won’t. Things have changed between us. It’s gotten awkward, like ... you know. We obviously both have feelings for each other, but too much has happened. We can’t be together.

LAUREN: Give him a break. It’s clear that you wanna be with him. Don’t hold this Shannon thing against him.

COURTNEY: I shouldn’t be angry -- maybe inside, but not at him. I mean, it’s not like he cheated on me. We weren’t together when he slept with her. (beat) But no matter how hard I try, I just feel betrayed.

LAUREN: I think I know what you’re saying.

COURTNEY: It’s like we had this bond -- it was so innocent, so ... so pure. Then all of this happened, and it made our relationship so complicated.

LAUREN: When Jason gets back from the competition, you need to have a serious talk with him.

COURTNEY: I would love to do that, but I can’t get over this feeling of disgust I have at him sleeping with Shannon. It’s like our relationship is permanently scarred.

She lets out a tremendous sob, and Lauren hugs her again.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): (through heavy tears) I just want things to be the way they used to be ... except that I’m in love with him now.



ANDY looks at KATHERINE in disbelief. Both speak in hushed voices and glance frequently down the hallway.

ANDY: What are you talking about, Mother?

KATHERINE: Andrew, this has gone too far.

ANDY: You don’t mean--

KATHERINE: Yes, I do. It’s obvious that you didn’t listen to me the first time I warned you about getting involved with her.

ANDY: You can’t be serious!

KATHERINE: I am dead serious.

She glowers at her upset son.

KATHERINE (CONT’D): Let me make myself perfectly clear: I think Danielle is a terrific young woman, but you are not, under any circumstances, to date her or become otherwise involved as long as she is on our payroll.

ANDY: Why? What’s wrong with it?

KATHERINE: It’s just not right, Andrew! (beat) Now I don’t want to hear any more about this -- end of discussion.

Footsteps are heard moments before DANIELLE appears in the doorway, holding a VIDEO.

DANIELLE: Here’s the tape of Jason and Shannon skating, Mrs. Fitch.

KATHERINE: Oh, thank you, Danielle!

She takes the tape.

KATHERINE (CONT’D): I’m going to go watch it right now, if you’ll excuse me.

ANDY: Go right ahead.

Katherine departs after giving Andy one final authoritative look.

Danielle studies Andy’s face for a moment.

DANIELLE: Is something the matter? What did your mother say to you?



JASON looks inquisitively at SHANNON.

JASON: Which brings about another question ... Exactly what have you done to get where you are?

SHANNON: Nothing. I just mean, all the work I’ve put in.

JASON: (calming down) Fine. If you say so.

SHANNON: What is that supposed to mean?

JASON: Nothing. Nothing at all.

SHANNON: What are you accusing me of, Jason?

JASON: I-- I’m not sure. It just seems like you were so thrilled to tell Courtney about me sleeping with you ...

SHANNON: I have done nothing other than work my ass off to get where I am. Forgive me for having feelings.

JASON: It’s not that. It’s the way you express them.

SHANNON: Well, I haven’t exactly had an easy life.

JASON: In what way?

SHANNON: Just overall. It’s been an uphill battle.

JASON: If you say so ...

SHANNON (THINKING): You have no idea what I’ve been through, or what I’ve done to get what I want, Jason.



COURTNEY and LAUREN are now painting their fingernails.

LAUREN: It’ll pass, Courtney. Don’t get too worried.

COURTNEY: I know, but there’s the simple fact that I’ve lost one of the most important people in my life.

LAUREN: You haven’t lost him entirely. You told him you wanted to be friends.

COURTNEY: There are two problems with that: Number one, if we were friends like we used to be, there’s no way I could keep it completely platonic; second of all, too much has happened in our relationship. We won’t be able to get back the friendship we used to have.

A knock on the door is heard.


She wipes her eyes.

The door opens and HELEN enters.

HELEN: Do you two want some dinner? It’s all ready to go downstairs.

LAUREN: Yeah. Come on, Court.

COURTNEY: Go ahead, Lauren. I don’t feel like eating.

HELEN: Why not?

COURTNEY: Because I’m sick to my stomach in the worst way possible.



ANDY and DANIELLE are in mid-conversation.

DANIELLE: What did your mother say to you? It’s obviously eating at you.

ANDY: She was just getting on my back about business. Nothing to worry about.

DANIELLE: Okay. (beat) So, where were we?

She begins to cuddle closer to him, but he pulls away uncomfortably.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): Is something the matter -- something besides business?

Andy looks confused for a moment before answering.

ANDY: I was just thinking--


ANDY: What if “Lisa” goes back to the locker at the bus station and finds the video missing? She could realize we’re onto her and leave town or something!

DANIELLE: If she hasn’t already.

ANDY: I know, but it’s too much of a chance. Brent made a copy for the police, right?


ANDY: Then why don’t we go put the original back before someone starts to get suspicious?

DANIELLE: Good idea. I’ll go grab the video.

She leaves the room. Andy breathes a deep sigh of relief, shakes his head, and follows after her.



HELEN enters the room, where food and plates are set out informally on the table. DON is already seated, glancing over a newspaper.

DON: Are the girls coming down?

HELEN: I don’t think so.

DON: Not hungry?

HELEN: Courtney says she has no appetite at all. You know, something is definitely going on with her.

DON: I’ve noticed it too. She’s practically been depressed over the last few days.

HELEN: Do you think it might have something to do with Jason?

DON: It very well could.

HELEN: You don’t think he’s done anything to make her mad, do you?

DON: Right now she’s not “mad.” She’s acting like her life is over. I think it’s more complicated than a simple fight.

HELEN: You’ve got a point. What do you think is going on between them?

DON: Something very complicated. They’ve been so close forever ... lately she’s been talking about him in a different way, you know? From the looks of it, Courtney’s learning a difficult lesson the hard way.

HELEN: And what lesson would that be?

DON: That when two people have feelings for each other like that -- the way I think Courtney and Jason feel about each other -- someone gets hurt every time.



ANDY and DANIELLE enter the bus station, which, with its unwashed floors and scruffy populace, is a direct opposite of the glamorous Fitch mansion.

DANIELLE: You were probably right about this. It’s just a little bit safer than taking a chance on “Lisa.”

ANDY: From what we know of her, she’s less than reliable, so this just seems like a good bet.

DANIELLE: And that, my good man, is one thing I love about you -- your brains!

She kisses him softly on the lips after bouncing his head about for a moment.

Andy looks uncomfortable after the kiss.

          CUT TO:



ANDY gives KATHERINE a disbelieving look.

ANDY: You can’t be serious!

KATHERINE: I am dead serious.

She glowers at her upset son.

KATHERINE (CONT’D): Let me make myself perfectly clear: I think Danielle is a terrific young woman, but you are not, under any circumstances, to date her or become otherwise involved as long as she is on our payroll.

          CUT TO:


DANIELLE watches ANDY as he snaps out of his flashback.

DANIELLE: What’s going on, Andy?

ANDY: Nothing. This whole situation has me unnerved -- I’d like to catch “Lisa” before she does something else.

DANIELLE: So would I. (beat) Brent is running follow-up checks on all the original suspects. I would say that by this time next week, we will know who “Lisa Stafford” really is.



COURTNEY is alone in the room, sprawled out on the floor. She appears both emotionally and physically drained and barely moves, other than to wipe her eyes.

COURTNEY: (sotto voce) I can’t believe how badly everything has gotten messed up. I love Jason -- I really love him! What did I do to deserve this?

She rolls over onto her stomach and holds her head in her hands.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): (sotto voce) I know it’s not his fault. Something -- or should I say someone? -- has been working to keep up apart all along ... Shannon.

After a moment of silence and a deep exhale, she sits up.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): (sotto voce) She’s done enough already. If that crazy bitch thinks she’s gonna get the satisfaction of ruining my life, she’s wrong ... The battle is just beginning.



JASON is reading a textbook for school. SHANNON has dozed off but is shifting uncomfortably in her seat. Her face looks pained.

          FADE TO:



Flames leap up, reaching for the ceiling of the charred house. As the fire rages, a middle-aged MAN and WOMAN lay pinned to the floor, screaming in terror.

MAN: Help us!

WOMAN: Get us out of here -- please!

          CUT TO:


JASON is still reading. SHANNON jerks awake suddenly in a cold sweat.


All heads turn her way, including Jason, who drops his book.

JASON: What’s wrong?

SHANNON: I just had a terrible nightmare.

JASON: What was it about?

Shannon pauses, breathing heavily. People around the plane return to their previous activities.

SHANNON: I’m not sure ... I was just in some kind of danger.

JASON: That’s weird.

Shannon raises an eyebrow as Jason picks up his textbook.

SHANNON: I’m scared, Jason.

She moves in closer to him.

JASON: Don’t even try it, Shannon. It’s not gonna work.

SHANNON: (feigning innocence) What?

JASON: This whole “poor me” routine. Just sit back ... the plane should be landing pretty soon anyway.

SHANNON: I just don’t see--

JASON: (interrupting, firmly) You wanna know the truth? If we don’t qualify for Nationals here, or if we make it to Nationals -- whenever the season ends -- it’s over.

SHANNON: What do you mean? Are you quitting?

JASON: No -- I mean us.

SHANNON: You’re not gonna skate with me anymore?

JASON: Courtney’s almost rehabilitated. You knew from the beginning this was a temporary deal.

SHANNON: But look at how good we are together--

JASON: It’s over. Deal with it.

He returns to his reading.

SHANNON: (slyly) How can you be so sure I won’t just throw this competition if I don’t have anything to look forward to, just to spite you?

JASON: Because--

He closes his book.

JASON (CONT’D): --you need this as much as I do. If you wanna go anywhere in this sport, if you try to get another partner, you’ll need to do well this year. If we do well, as least you take some success away from this experience.

He reopens the book and resumes reading. Shannon sits back in her seat.

SHANNON (THINKING): It’s not gonna be that easy to get rid of me, Jason. I’ve worked far too hard to get here. (beat) And if you think you’ll be able to be with your precious Courtney, think again -- I’m not giving up that easily.



KATHERINE is sitting in a chair watching the television. On the screen, JASON and SHANNON are skating. The music ends and they stand in their finishing pose. The camera zooms in on their faces as they step out of the pose.

Katherine stares at the screen, straining as if something is not quite clear. She appears confused.



DANIELLE and ANDY approach the locker.

DANIELLE: I just hope she hasn’t already been here and seen that the video was missing. Who knows what she could’ve done?

ANDY: She’s obviously not the most stable girl.

He unlocks the locker and pulls it open. His facial expression is one of puzzlement.

DANIELLE: What’s wrong?

ANDY: There’s something else in here.

DANIELLE: What is it?

He silently reaches into the locker and pulls out a ROLL OF FILM, which he holds up for Danielle to see.

Out on Danielle’s baffled look.


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