Fast Forward: …and the number one way to fuck up a relationship

a new beginnings special

by Estee and Harmony

 

Ah, yet another fic that is not an episode.  This is sort of the complement to Rewind.  Instead of Jake and Ham in the past, it’s Jake and Ham in the future.  The most important thing to know about this is that it you cannot take it as a “will be.”  It’s simply a “could be.”  When you read the other episodes you shouldn’t think this is where the characters involved will ultimately end up.  This is just a “what if?”  Now, content.  The title is what it is to let you know that there’s some strong language used throughout the fic.  The themes are a little more adult-based, but this isn’t anywhere close to being an “adult” fic.  I think the essential Jake and Hamilton innocence is preserved.  Hopefully.  Also, I think this is, hands down, the coolest thing we’ve ever written.  I hope you enjoy it half as much as we do.  Oh, one more thing.  If you can, download the song Troubled Times by Fountains of Wayne .  It’s the only song we reference and we really think it fits well into that particular scene.  Enjoy…

 

(fade in to): a close-up of Hamilton Fleming asleep.  As the camera pulls out we realize that he’s asleep on the ground somewhere, a garden.  It’s dark outside.  Exact time and place aren’t too clear as the camera pulls out a little more.  Still, all we see is Hamilton, dressed in sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt.  The camera holds briefly as we are given the opportunity to look him over.  He’s older.  The fact that he is asleep originally gives the impression of youth, innocence and optimism, but upon inspection we realize that we’ve caught him in a moment of utter defeat and submission.  Hamilton Fleming has given up.  We don’t know why, but we will… 

(flashback to): to an establishing shot of the New York City skyline taken from the harbor and including the Statue of Liberty.  The year is 2010, though not much has changed in the city.  From the harbor, there are no twin towers, but everyone is used to that by now and apartments in Lower Manhattan rent for pretty high prices since they now have a view of the Statue of Liberty.  This isn’t a story about the twin towers though.

(cut to): a street somewhere in Lower Manhattan.  It’s busy and thriving.  It’s also after five on a Friday and everyone is rushing to get home. 

(cut to): a small office.  It looks almost like a store because there are glass windows in the front so anyone walking by may see what’s going on inside.  The name of the establishment is etched onto the glass on either of the large paned windows: “FPT Inc.”  Something about the way the outside of the business is setup and the way the name looks give hints that something creative is happening inside.  There is a “sorry, we’re closed” sign hanging in the door.

(cut to): inside the business.  There is a counter separating the customer area from the employee area.  In front of the counter there are a few lounge chairs, a couch and a coffee table with large sample books on it.  There are four computers in various places with one to three chairs at each.  The camera is pushed in past the customer area over the counter.  There are several computers with scanners and such.  A few of the stations have high tech graphic arts tools.  There are also large drafting tables.  One in particular has pictures laid out on it.  There is a door at the very back of this workspace.  It opens and for the first time we see Jacqueline “Jake” Pratt.  She’s wearing a long Khaki skirt and a business looking shirt…all very feminine.  Her hair just touches her shoulders and is cut in a moderately trendy style for the time.  She looks around a moment, thinking of leaving.  Instead, she walks over to a computer, her computer.  She sits down, with one leg underneath her.  She looks like she is trying to get back into full-concentration mode when the door begins to unlock.  She looks up.

(cut to): the door as Hamilton Fleming walks in.  He’s wearing a suit and tie, but has his jacket in his hand, thrown over his shoulder.  He has set down a portfolio to unlock the door.  Once he has it unlocked, he picks up the portfolio again.  He looks up at Jake as he sets down his coat and portfolio onto one of the chairs. 

Hamilton: Hey.

(cut to): Jake.  She smiles.

Jake: Nice suit…good choice.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He looks down and shrugs.

Hamilton: You picked this out for me years ago.

He looks back up at her, looking suddenly uncomfortable. 

(cut to): Jake.

Jake: Oh…yeah…

(cut to): a shot from the side that includes Jake and the counter.

Hamilton walks over to the counter.  He leans against is as he talks to her.

Hamilton: The meeting went really well.  They loved the pictures for the print ads: I showed them those first.  Then, you should have seen them when I showed them the prelims for the site.  Man, Jake…that was really brilliant.  You’ve got to start going to these meetings with me.

Jake: I’d rather stay behind the scenes, thanks.

Hamilton: I know how you feel, believe me, but…they love your work.  Every time they tell me like I did it and I want you to be there so I can point to you and say…it was all her…she’s the brilliant one.

Jake can’t help smile.  She shakes her head, though, and looks down a moment then back up at him.  They both start to speak.

Hamilton: Sorry, go ahead.

Jake: I was just going to ask if you wanted to celebrate…grab dinner or a drink?

Hamilton: I don’t—

Jake: …drink, I know.

Hamilton loosens his tie and considers the offer.

Hamilton: I told Julie I’d be home early and…I’m already late.  I mean, if you’re really in the mood to celebrate I could call her and—

Jake: Oh God, no, Hamilton…don’t be ridiculous. 

Hamilton swallows.

Hamilton: Another time, okay?

She smiles.

Jake: Yeah…now, get the hell out of here.

He smiles and nods.  He starts to walk over to get his stuff then thinks of something.

Hamilton: Hey, are you and…what’s his name?  Tom?  Tim?  Taylor?

Jake: Eric?

Hamilton: Yes.  Are you and Eric still—

Jake: No.

Hamilton: Oh…I’m sor—

Jake laughs.

Jake: Just go home Hamilton; I’ll see you tomorrow.

He collects his stuff and exits, glad for the out.

(dissolve to): later that night…much later.  Jake is still in the office, working at the computer.  The phone rings.  She hesitantly picks it up.

Jake: Hello, FPT Inc, what can I do for you in the middle of the damn night?  No, I knew it was you…because you probably tried home for the past few hours and then you tried here…He didn’t call you?  Never mind, of course he didn’t.  His charming girlfriend was waiting on him…oh, you know, just that they loved everything: the photos for the print ads…the prelims for the site…I know, this is our biggest account ever…I am…I am excited, okay?…Nothing’s wrong…He was wearing that suit I picked out for him.  The one he wore when he pitched our ideas to our first clients…I know…I am aware of that too…No I don’t and no I’m not, it just made things a little awkward for a moment…a brief moment…okay…I’m not even tired right now…I’m not…I—

There is a knock and Jake stops talking.  She slowly gets up from her chair.

Jake cont’d: …damn him.  I have to go…who do you think?

(cut to): the door.  Hamilton has by now unlocked it and enters the office.  He has a couple cartons of Chinese food.

(cut to): Jake.  She waves to Hamilton as she listens on the phone.

Jake cont’d: I know that. 

She looks at Hamilton, shaking her head.  He’s walked over to her now and stands holding the Chinese food.  He’s changed into jeans a t shirt.

Jake cont’d: I’m not fifteen, Jill…okay…bye. 

Hamilton: Did you tell her about the account?

Jake: She was thrilled.

Jake looks at the Chinese food.

Hamilton: I knew you’d stay here and start turning those prelims into finished product…you need dinner.  Sesame chicken, right?

He holds it out to her.  She takes it, smiling.

Jake: Oh, I love you.

He looks at her for a moment.

Jake cont’d: …for the food.  I mean I love Sesame chicken and that you brought it.  I didn’t mean—

She looks up at him, trying to find the right phrasing.

Hamilton: It’s cool.

Jake sits down in a chair and looks at the Chinese food.

Jake: How did we up here…like this?

Hamilton hopes to play this off.

Hamilton: Well, I took a cab because I had to get this food, but you probably took the subway –

Jake: You know that isn’t what I mean.

He pulls up a chair and sits next to her.  She doesn’t say anything.  She opens the carton and stares at the food.

Jake cont’d: I mean…forget it.

Hamilton closes his eyes a moment as he speaks.

Hamilton: You mean us. 

Jake: Yes.

He nods slowly implying he’ll tackle this question.  He doesn’t speak quickly and he seems to gauge her reaction to every word he says.

Hamilton: Well…there was the day we graduated from college when you said you hated me. 

He pauses as he looks at her, but she isn’t looking at him.

Hamilton cont’d: …of course, you had every right to say it…to mean it.  That was the day I found out what a coward I am.

Jake almost cringes at the memory.

Hamilton cont’d: Then there was the year of not talking to each other.  I drank that year. 

She looks up at him…at something she’s never heard before.

Hamilton cont’d: I also cried quite a bit.  Overall…not really a great year for me. 

Jake looks at him, but he doesn’t look at her until:

Hamilton cont’d: Then I ran into Jill one day.  We all went out to dinner and started tossing around ideas and…the rest is proverbial history.  The past two years have been the most creative of my life.

Jake looks up at this.

Hamilton cont’d: Professionally speaking, that is.

Jake looks back down at her food.  It’s clear he wants to ask her something.  He hesitates, but goes for it.

Hamilton cont’d: I’ve also spent the last two years wondering if…you still hate me as much as it feels like you do.

Jake: Hamilton…

Hamilton: I know what I said…what I’ve always said about us being best friends.  I mean, I don’t think that’s something I could shake if I wanted to.  But, if you hate me…

He looks at her, hoping for an interruption, but doesn’t get it.  He goes on.

Hamilton cont’d: …you’d have every right to…I hated myself for about a year.  And last weekend was—

Jake: … a mistake.

He looks at her for a moment wondering if he should say what he was going to.

Hamilton: …incredibly refreshing.

Jake stares at her food again, looking a little confused by what he just said.

(cut to): her sesame chicken.

(dissolve to): some party snacks involving chicken.  This is a flashback to the weekend they are referring to.  It’s a casual party at Jill’s place.  Jill’s place, incidentally, is also Scout’s place…they’re married which is evidenced in rings and behavior.

(cut to): Jake looking bored while talking to an excited Scout.

Scout: So, this building, it’s going to be about eighty stories and—

Jill walks up carrying a glass of champagne. Scout pauses, looking at the champagne suspiciously.  Jill smiles at him as she wraps her arm around his back and hands Jake the glass.

Jake: Thanks.

She quickly takes a sip.

Jake cont’d: Hey, I was working on the prelims for the Marshall account and I need something really bold for the main page.  Hamilton put together some amazing shots, but I’m thinking maybe something abstract initially then we use the photos within the site. 

Jill: Okay, I was working on something last night.  It might be what you’re looking for.  Want to go check it out?

Jake: Great, yes.

Jill turns to Scout.

Jill: Honey…can you keep these people under control until I get back?

He smiles and nods.  She kisses him before Jake and Jill walk away.

(cut to): Jake and Jill as they approach Jill’s studio.  The apartment is obviously rather large, but the studio is probably the most tucked away place.  As they get closer, voices can be heard from inside.  Jake and Jill look at each other, suspicious.

(cut to): inside the studio.  Hamilton is leaning against a tall worktable and a woman is sitting at the bench.  She’s beautiful in kind of an anti-Jake way.  Meaning, everything Jake is, she isn’t and vice-versa.

Hamilton: You’re not being reasonable. 

Julie: Neither are you.  You go to work with these two women everyday like it’s no big deal.

Hamilton: It isn’t a big deal, okay?  They’re my colleagues…and my partners. 

Julie: Yeah, it’s too bad you can’t just fire them.

Hamilton: I wouldn’t even if I could.

Julie: And that’s why I’m mad, Ham.  You take their side over mine whenever you can.  They hate me.  I mean did you hear what Jill said to me about not understanding what you guys do?  I don’t understand why they don’t like me…and why you don’t seem to care.

Hamilton: Do you even hear yourself?  Who cares what they think about you?  I am with you…shouldn’t that be what matters for us?

He looks at her with raised eyebrows and an insistent, pouty look, urging her to see things his way.

Julie: They’re probably both in love with you…

Hamilton loses it.

Hamilton: What?  Don’t even start this.  Jill is married to one of my best friends, and Jake—

Julie: Jake?  I don’t even understand that nickname, but I don’t understand a lot about her…like why you would have ever been with her. 

(cut to): Jake and Jill in the hall.  Whenever they speak, it’s quiet so as not to be heard by Hamilton and Julie.

Jake: We shouldn’t be—

Jill: Oh no, we’re staying and when they come out, we’re kicking his ass for being in my studio and hers for being such a dumb bitch. 

Jake laughs.

(cut to): Hamilton and Julie…same places.  Hamilton is still staring at her from the last comment.  He hasn’t quite figured out what to say, but he looks pretty angry.

Hamilton: What Jake and I had…I was the lucky one and you have no right to make judgments about something you know very little about. 

(cut to): the hall.  Jill looks pleased with Hamilton’s most recent statement.  Jake takes another sip of her champagne.

(cut to): the studio.  Julie stands up.

Julie: You’re doing it again…taking her side over mine.  It couldn’t have been that great because if it was, you wouldn’t have slept with a random girl at a party the day before she was supposed to move in with you.

Hamilton takes a deep breath.

Hamilton: You’re questioning my relationship judgment? 

He looks at her like he’s about to say something hurtful.

Hamilton cont’d: Well…I’m beginning to as well.

She looks un-phased as she rolls her eyes.

Hamilton cont’d: And I didn’t tell you about what happened that morning so you could use it against me in a fight.  That was like a really hard time for me and the fact that you would—

Julie: You’re such a girl.  The over-sensitive routine was cute when we first started dating, but now it’s just annoying.

(cut to): Jill and Jake in the hall.

Jill: I always thought it was kind of endearing.

Jake doesn’t look amused by any of this anymore.

(cut to): inside the studio.  Hamilton has his hand in his pocket and pulls out a few bills.  He walks over and hands them to her.

Hamilton: Take a cab back home.  Be there when I get back…or don’t…

She looks pretty shocked, but takes the money.

(cut to): Jill and Jake who realize that someone is about to come out.  Jake looks at her like “what do we do?”  Jill rolls her eyes and pulls Jake into a bathroom across the hall.

(cut to): the hall.  Julie walks out into the hall.  She turns back to the door.

Julie: Goodbye.

She closes the door and walks off.

(cut to): Jake and Jill in the bathroom.

Jake: What now?

(cut to): the studio.  Hamilton tries to regroup.  He looks around the studio.  He notices a painting near the computer and walks over to it, but doesn’t seem in the mood to examine it further.  He walks toward the door, opening it.

(cut to): the bathroom.  Jill flushes the toilet then opens the door and pushes her out.

(cut to): the hall.  Just as she is shoved into the hall, Hamilton walks out of the studio.  He looks glad to see her, yet slightly taken aback.

Hamilton: Uh…hey.

Jake: Hey.

Hamilton: What are you—

Jake: I was just coming to, um, check out something Jill was working on for the Marshall account.  Could be what I need for the main page.

Hamilton: Oh yeah, I think I saw it.  It’s really good, but all her stuff is great.  Don’t ever tell her I said that, though.

He smiles.  Jake laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: Let’s go take a look.

Jake: Okay.

Hamilton walks into the studio and Jake looks back at the bathroom door.  Jill opens it a little.  Jake mouths “I hate you” to Jill who just rolls her eyes, smiling.

(cut to): inside the studio.  Hamilton walks over to the painting, still not inspired enough to analyze it.  Jake tilts her head, examining it.

Hamilton: Jake…can we save this for another day?

Jake: Huh?

Hamilton: I’m just…I’d rather…I don’t want to talk about business.

He sits down for a second and puts his head in his hands.

Hamilton cont’d: I’ve had kind of an emotional night.

Jake: I saw Julie leaving…

Hamilton: I don’t want to talk about it.

Jake takes a step back, finding it hard not to place a hand on his shoulder, make some comforting gesture.  She looks at him when he suddenly looks up at her.

Hamilton: Is it stuffy in here?

Jake: Um…

Hamilton: Can we go outside?

Jake: Oh…sure.

(cut to): the rooftop balcony outside the studio.  The door opens from the studio and Hamilton walks out, taking a deep breath.  Jake walks out behind him and closes the door.

Jake: God, how could you not love this city?

She walks to the edge of the balcony and looks out at the city.

Hamilton: Sometimes you can…not love it, that is.

Hamilton walks over to her and sits in a chair next to her.

Hamilton cont’d: Maybe I wanted too much, you know?  Too much from this city…from life.  I mean, I had this perfect, amazing relationship, but…I fucked that up beyond all repair. 

Jake: Julie?

Hamilton looks up at her sincerely.

Hamilton: No…not Julie.

He pauses a moment, looking at her intensely.  He drops the look and goes on.

Hamilton cont’d: Now I’ve got the perfect career.  I mean this thing we have…it’s so fulfilling.  I love what I do…what we do…you and me and Jill. 

Jake: So do I. 

Hamilton: But.  I’m twenty-five years old…that’s not old enough to feel how I feel.

Jake: Which is how?

Hamilton: Completely incomplete.

Jake: Where’s Will Krudski?  He’d point out that that is an oxymoron.

Hamilton: I got an email from him last month.  He’s about to start a book tour.  We’ll have to see him when he comes to the city.

Jake: Absolutely.

A beat.

Jake cont’d: So…completely incomplete, huh?

Hamilton: Can I have a sip of that?

He points to the glass that is still in her hand.

Jake: It’s champagne.

Hamilton: Okay…

She raises her eyebrows, but shrugs and hands it to him.  She leans against the rail and looks out at the city.  Hamilton takes a big sip of champagne.  He clearly doesn’t like the taste, but that doesn’t stop him from taking another sip.  He pushes the glass against Jake’s arm and she takes it.

Hamilton cont’d: You’re my best friend.

Jake makes an effort not to react.

Hamilton cont’d: No one gets me like you do.

Jake: Maybe that’s because you don’t let them.

Hamilton: Or…maybe they don’t try as hard as you did.

Jake: I didn’t have to try hard—

She shuts up.

Jake cont’d: Is this leading somewhere?

Hamilton: Does it need to be?

Jake hands him the champagne glass and starts to walk away.  He grabs her hand as she walks by and stands up.  He sets the glass down.

Hamilton cont’d: Wait…there is a point.

He lets go of her hand.

Hamilton cont’d: These last few years have been awkward, I know, but…I think it’s been working for us…this friendship.  I mean…have things…are you…do you think—

Jake: Yes, it’s been working for me.

Hamilton: Even with Julie and…what’s his name?  Adam?  Aaron?

Jake smiles.

Jake: Eric.

Hamilton: Right, Eric.  Where is he, by the way?  Never mind; not important.  My point is…you are still my best friend so…when I ask you this, you have to be honest with me.

Jake: Okay…

Hamilton: Have I lost it?  I mean…because it really feels like I have…

Jake laughs.  She walks back over to him and leans against the railing.  She picks up the champagne glass again and takes the last sip.

Jake: In what sense?

Hamilton: Have you ever had déjà vu? 

Jake: Yeah, sure.

Hamilton: What’s it feel like?  I mean, to you.

Jake: Um…I guess like I’ve done something before or been somewhere when I haven’t.

Hamilton nods.

Jake cont’d: What’s it like for you?

Hamilton: Well, like you said, but also a little like it’s right, you know?  Like whatever I am doing feels really right.

Jake looks at him, waiting for him to go on.

Hamilton cont’d: I haven’t felt that in a really long time.  In fact, my life feels like the complete opposite of déjà vu these days.  Like there are cosmic forces working against me and I’m having to push really hard to move forward in my life. 

Jake: Okay…yeah, you have lost it.

She laughs, but he looks pretty serious.

Jake cont’d: We should get back to the party…come on…

She takes his hand in an attempt to gently lead him back toward the door.  He follows her for a second until he’s caught up with her, then he stops, stopping her too.

Hamilton: When we walked out into the hall at the same time…

Jake looks at him pretty intensely.

Jake: …déjà vu? 

Hamilton nods.

Jake cont’d: I know, Hamilton, but…

She can’t seem to figure out just where that sentence was going.  He leans toward her, kissing her (or barely kissing her).  He pulls back quickly.

Hamilton: I’m sorry…I’m…sorry…

He starts to back away.  She’s pretty speechless and she lets him go without hesitation.  He goes through the door, letting it slam behind him.  Jake turns back to the city and leans against the balcony.  The shot zooms down into the city.

(flash forward to): the front of FPT Inc where we last left Jake and Hamilton.

(cut to):  inside.  Jake and Hamilton are briefly silent, each still considering the past weekend.  The conversation picks up where it left off.  Hamilton has just said the weekend was not a mistake, but, rather, “refreshing.”

Hamilton: Um…refreshing because of the conversation we had.  Even though I ended it stupidly, I felt like maybe we re-established a few things that have been lost lately.

Jake: They weren’t lost…over-looked maybe.

Hamilton looks at her, considering pointing out that those are kind of the same thing.

Hamilton: Okay. 

A beat.  Hamilton swallows.

Hamilton cont’d: Well, I better get back home. 

Jake nods.

Jake: Everything good there?

Hamilton smiles weakly.

Hamilton: I think so…we’ve talked a lot this week and…everything is at least better.

Jake: Good.

Hamilton: I’m sorry things didn’t work out with Eric.

She looks a little confused.

Jake: You got his name right.

Hamilton: Yeah.

Jake: You always knew it?

Hamilton smiles and turns to go.  He gets as far as the counter when:

Jake cont’d: And, Hamilton…

He turns back around.

Jake cont’d: I don’t hate you.  Even when I said I did, I didn’t.  I could never…

He nods graciously.

Jake cont’d: I mean, after all, you did bring me Sesame chicken in the middle of the night.

His smile turns to a smirk as he turns back around and exits.

Hamilton: See you tomorrow, Jake.

He exits.

(fade to): black.

(fade in): to FPT Inc.  It’s the next morning at about 8:45 a.m.  Jake walks up to the door, carrying a cup of coffee.  She’s also got a briefcase/portfolio thing so to unlock the door she has to hold the cup with her mouth.  As she struggles to do this and find her keys, Jill walks up to the door, opening it for her.  Jake walks in and sets her stuff down in the same chair Hamilton did the night before.  Jill locks the door behind her.  Jake holds her coffee cup with both hands and takes a sip.

Jill: You’re addicted to that stuff.

Jake: Let’s not start listing vices.

Jill: You’re right…your list is too long. 

A beat.

Jill cont’d: So, what was Hamilton doing here last night?  Work?

Jake: He just stopped by to bring me some Sesame chicken.

Jill: In the middle of the night?  See, we’re up to like three already. 

Jake: What?

Jill: …of your vices.  Coffee…Sesame Chicken…Him…

Jake: Stop…you’ve been way too preoccupied with that lately.  Hamilton and I are friends right now, that’s all.

Jill: Right now…see how you phrased that.  You want him bad.

Jake: One of these times he’s going to overhear you and…oh, God, you don’t say stuff like this to him, do you?  I mean, please don’t get him to even think in that direction, Jill.  He’s with Julie—

Jill: Aka dumb bitch.

Jake: …and that’s what he should be focusing on.

Jill: What?  What about work…this company?

Jake: Sure, that too.  And even this friendship with me that he’s been talking about lately.

Jill: “Talking”…yeah, right…

Jake: I’m never confiding in you again. 

Jake takes the last sip of her coffee and throws the cup away.  She picks up her briefcase and walks past Jill.

Jill: What is it with you two and rooftops anyway?

Jake turns around with a pleading look for Jill to drop it.  Jill drops all sarcasm.

Jill: Hey, Jacqueline, I’m sorry.  I know this must all be really stressful for you, not to mention all these new accounts.  I’m sorry.

Jake shrugs.

Jake: I’m fine.  You’re right.  I should be able to joke about all this.

Jill sighs and walks over to her, hugging her.  Jake hugs her back, probably glad for the gesture.  The door unlocks.

(cut to): Hamilton as he walks in and sees what’s going on.  He raises his eyebrows and smirks playfully.

Hamilton: Didn’t I tell you not to start the morning orgy without me?

Jill lets go of Jake and turns around.

Jill: Grow up, Ham.

She walks behind the counter.

Hamilton: She okay?

Jake nods.

Hamilton cont’d: You?

Jake: Everything is fine.  Come on, we’ve got work to do.

(cut to): An architectural firm, Denton and Associates, which is housed in one of the many office buildings in Manhattan.

(cut to): Scout Calhoun’s office.  He’s just arrived and is sipping water from a coffee mug. He’s dressed in a three-piece suit and looks very professional.  His phone rings.  Scout hits the speaker phone and slides into his chair.

Scout: Yes?

Secretary: Mr. Calhoun, Jill Thomas on the line for you.

Scout: Thanks Nancy…

Secretary: Yes, sir, here she is.

He waits for it to click over.

Scout: Hi…

Jill: Hey sexy…

Scout: You know, my secretary probably thinks I’m having an affair.

Jill: Are you?

Scout: Yeah…with Jill Thomas.

Jill laughs.

(cut to): Jill at her desk.  Some of the other employees have come into the office.  At it’s busiest, there are 15 people on staff.  Jill is watching Jake and Hamilton.  They’re sitting at Jake’s computer.

(cut to): Scout.

Jill: Next time you see Hamilton, do me a favor?

Scout: Okay…

Jill: Find out how he feels about Jacqueline.

Scout: Why don’t you ask him?

(cut to): Jill.  She’s watching Hamilton and Jake again.

Jill: Look, according to Jacqueline the friends thing is working out, but he also tried to kiss her on the roof the other night at the party so…

(cut to): Scout.

Scout: He did what?

Jill: Tell me about it.

Scout: What about Julie?  He’s been with her for like a year now.  I always thought he was over that whole thing with Jake…

Jill: And, maybe he is…

Scout: Okay…I’ll try to find out what’s going on with him.

The next few lines are cut back and forth so that you see each person when they speak:

Jill: Thanks…I love that you’re as nosey as me.

Scout: Speaking of…about that other thing…

Jill: It’s still set for this afternoon.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Okay.  I love you.

Jill: I love you too.

(cut to): FPT Inc.  Jill hangs up the phone and gets up to join Jake and Hamilton.

(cut to): Hamilton and Jake at her computer. 

Jake: What do you think about the color?

Hamilton: I don’t know…blue is—

Jake: …what everyone uses. 

Hamilton: Yeah.

Jake: Okay…color suggestions?

Jill: Green scheme?

Hamilton: Oh, yeah…good call.  I was just about to say that green would be great with the main page too.

Jake: Okay…let’s see…

Jake gets starts typing and making a few changes.  Hamilton reaches around her and gets a pencil so he can jot down some notes.  Jill looks back and forth between them, she smiles.

(dissolve to): a residential area in Manhattan, that evening.  This is Hamilton’s neighborhood.  He and Scout come walking out of a building, Hamilton’s building.  They’re in athletic gear and Scout carries a basketball.  They walk down the steps.

(cut to): the side of the building where, naturally,  a basketball goal is setup.  Scout and Hamilton walk around the corner.  Scout dribbles then takes a shot.

Hamilton: So…Jill left early today.  You two have a mid-afternoon meeting?

He has spoken suggestively enough to make Scout miss the shot he throws up.

Scout: She had a doctor’s appointment actually.  I would have liked to go with her, but I was in meetings all afternoon.

Hamilton: Is she okay?

Scout stops dribbling the ball.  He turns to Hamilton, smiling.

Scout: She’s fine…more than fine.  So am I.

Hamilton gives him a perplexed look, not getting the obvious.  He looks down at the basketball a minute as it registers.

Hamilton: Oh my God…holy shit…Scout, that’s…that great

He gives him a big hug and steps back.

Hamilton cont’d: You’re going to be a dad?  That’s so…cool.

Scout smiles and takes another shot, making it this time.

Scout: We’ve known, but were waiting to tell everyone until after this first trimester check up thing.  You’re actually like the first to know officially. 

Hamilton: Wow.  This is so heavy…parenthood. 

Hamilton leans against the basketball goal post.

Scout: Well, you know, maybe someday you and Julie will—

The look on Hamilton’s face makes him stop.  Scout raises his eyebrows hoping to prompt some sort of verbal explanation from Hamilton.

Hamilton: Who said I wanted kids?

Scout: Okay…no one said you had to have kids…calm down…

Hamilton: And if I do…who said I wanted them with Julie?

Scout: Okay…back off.

Scout passes the ball to Hamilton who holds it, taking a deep breath.

Hamilton: Sorry.

Hamilton passes the ball back.

Scout: No sweat.

He dribbles the ball again and starts shooting.

Hamilton:  I mean, just keeping up this relationship is hard enough. 

Scout stops dribbling.

Scout: Want to talk about it?

Hamilton looks hesitant, but then glad for the offer.

Hamilton: I don’t know if it’s her or the relationship, but…I’ve never had to put this much effort into anything in my life…

Scout: But, it’s worth it, right?  I mean, you love her, right?

Hamilton: Of course…

He doesn’t look at Scout anymore.  He goes after the ball the next time it falls and takes a shot, missing.

Scout: You do love her?

Hamilton: Didn’t I just say I did?

Scout: Okay.

A beat.

Hamilton: I care about her at least.

Scout looks at his in disbelief.

Hamilton: …sometimes. 

Scout stops dribbling again.  He looks pretty shocked.

Scout: And, you don’t see a problem with this?

Hamilton: I…I’m not ending things with her.  I need this relationship.  I mean, we had a fight at the party and then…I just…I realized I need her.

Scout nods, trying to be accepting.

Scout: Okay.

Hamilton: What I had with Jake…that was intense and real, but I can’t do that again.  It was too much…too intense…too—

Scout: …real?

Hamilton looks down.

Hamilton: I screwed up.  Do you even know what I did?

Scout: Something about another girl…I never got the full story.

Hamilton looks at him, wondering if he should tell him.  Scout has just shared the baby news and Ham seems resolved to open up.

Hamilton: The night before Jake was supposed to move in, I went to this party and—

Scout: …got wasted.

Hamilton: Don’t I even wish.  Then maybe I wouldn’t have to replay the stupidity of that night over and over…it would have been gone when the buzz wore off.

Scout’s interest is fairly piqued.  Hamilton hesitates another moment before continuing.

Hamilton cont’d: I was talking to this girl who, unlike me, was lucky enough to be pretty wasted.  She wasn’t that interesting, but she seemed really into me so I hung out with her all night until she kind of sobered up at like five a.m.  Then I took her back to my place.  I knew Jake would be there at eight.  I didn’t even let this girl touch me until about seven.

(flashback to):  Hamilton bringing the girl into the apartment.  It doesn’t matter what she looks like…which is the point.  She tries to move in to kiss him, but he steps away.

(flash forward to):  Scout listening, but not quite believing Hamilton would do this.  Hamilton leans against the basketball post and slides down so that he is sitting.  He swallows and looks down at the basketball in his hands.  He closes his eyes before continuing. 

Hamilton cont’d: When Jake got there, I was about halfway through fucking this half sober, uninteresting…unsuspecting girl.

(flashback to):  Jake as she unlocks Hamilton’s  door and enters carrying a box.

(quick cut to): Hamilton and the girl.  Very brief as he looks up at the bedroom door.

(quick cut to): Jake at the bedroom door.  She doesn’t freak out, she just turns around and walks away.

(quick cut to): the box of stuff she carried in still laying on the floor.

(quick cut to): the door falling closed behind her.

(flash forward to): Scout and Hamilton at the basketball court.  Scout’s jaw drops a little, if for nothing more than Hamilton’s phrasing.  He doesn’t say anything, but doesn’t look pleased.  Hamilton has been telling the story without looking at Scout.  He sighs then looks up at Scout.  Scout looks pretty disgusted with the story.

Hamilton: Too much information…sorry.

Scout: It’s not that…I’m just kind of surprised that you would—

Hamilton: …I am too.

Scout: That’s really harsh…I mean, if you didn’t want to be with her—

Hamilton:  I know.  Like I said, I replay that moment all the time.  And…it’s not that I didn’t want to be with her.

Scout: I find that a little hard to believe.

Hamilton: I admit it; I was scared.  Loving her was so easy.  That’s really a scary and weird thing.  Putting no work into something and getting so much back…it’s too easy.

Scout gives him a doubting look.

Scout: Okay.

Hamilton: I was a coward and…I paid for it.  Luckily, I didn’t have to lose everything and I’ve managed to keep my best friend…

Scout: And you don’t think you’re being a coward now?

Hamilton looks a little angry at this.

Scout cont’d: No offense, but…staying with a girl that you don’t love…

Hamilton: I love her.

Scout shakes his head, knowing he can’t figure this out.

Scout: Okay.  Let’s just play ball, okay? 

Hamilton grabs the ball from Scout’s hands and takes a shot.

(dissolve to): Jill in the kitchen cooking.  Scout walks in from the living room.  He looks like he’s had a good work out from playing basketball.

Scout: Honey…I’m home.

Jill looks up, smiling.

Scout cont’d: I never get to say that…I’m always home before you.

Scout walks over to Jill, kissing her on the cheek then neck.  He bends down and kisses her stomach then stands back up.  He smiles.

Jill: Are you happy?

He leans toward her slightly, touching her arm.

Scout: More than you probably imagine.

Jill: Would you still be as happy if I asked you to take a shower?

Scout chuckles. He steps back a little.

Scout: I told Hamilton…about the baby.

Jill: What’d he say?

Scout: I think his exact words were “oh my God…holy shit.”  He freaked a little when I suggested maybe he and Julie would—

Jill: Ew!  Don’t even say that.

Scout: Ironically, that’s about the same reaction I got out of him.  I couldn’t figure out anything about Jake, though.  Sorry.

Jill: Did you even ask him about her? 

Scout: Uh…not really.

Jill: That bad, huh?

Scout looks down.

Scout: I think I heard more than I wanted to tonight.

Jill: Meaning?

Scout: Meaning that guy has some issues.  It’s like…he realizes stuff, but won’t admit it.

Jill: Like that he’s in love with Jacqueline?

Scout: Among other things…maybe.  I couldn’t figure it out, though, and he didn’t come out and say specifically that so…I’m not sure.

Jill: Maybe I should have just talked to him myself…you seem kind of—

Scout: I’m going to go take a shower. 

He turns to go and Jill watches him, a little perplexed over what he wasn’t telling her.  Before he gets out the door, he turns around, grinning.  Jill tilts her head.

Jill: What?

Scout: We’re having a baby.

Jill: Yes, we are.

Scout: I just like saying it. 

She grins, totally in love with this guy…this life.  He looks back with similar sentiments.  A beat.

Scout: Hey, did you tell Jake?

Jill: Not yet.

Scout: Can I?

Jill: She’s coming over around nine…I told her I wanted her to look at some stuff I’m working on.  We can tell her together.

Scout: You know, why don’t I walk her over since it’ll be dark?

Jill tilts her head, but trusts him enough not to ask.

Jill: Okay…sounds like a smart idea.

A beat.

Scout: Oh, man, I have to call Will.

Jill: Shower first, Dear.

Scout nods and walks out happily.

(dissolve to): Jake in her apartment at her computer.  This is the first time we’ve seen it.  It’s how you would expect her apartment to look.  Nothing too frilly or fancy, but definitely an air of sophistication.  It’s neat.  It doesn’t seem huge, but it seems big enough.  We’re in her living room.  There’s a couch facing the door.  Her computer is at a desk and she is typing.  A cat comes walking around the corner with a meow.

Jake: Hey…

The cat is pretty old, over nine years.  He’s an orange tabby…yes, it’s the cat.  Jake picks him up and sets him in her lap as she continues to type.

Jake: Never hurts to keep up correspondence with old British friends.

The cat meows.

Jake: You’re right…talking to your cat is pretty creepy.  I’ll stop. 

She happens to glance up at the clock.

(cut to): the clock, which reads “9:02.”

(cut to): Jake.

Jake cont’d: Shit.

Jake hits send and stands up, setting the cat down.  There is a knock at her door.  She looks at the cat like “expecting company?”  She walks over to the door opening it.  Scout is standing in her doorway.

Jake: What are you doing here?

Scout: I thought you might want someone to walk with…since it’s so late and all.

Jake: Uh-huh…did Jill send you?

Scout: Not really.  I just thought it might give us the chance to talk about a few things.

Jake looks very perplexed by this, but grabs a coat and nudges Scout out of the doorway and into the hall.

(cut to): a shot in the hall as Jake locks her door.

Jake: Let’s talk and walk…I don’t have all night.

Scout nods.

(cut to): the street as they walk toward Scout’s apartment.

Jake: So…what’s the topic of discussion?

Scout: Um…I was playing basketball with Hamilton today.

Jake: Well, that’s fascinating.  Who won?

Scout: You never told Jill what happened with Hamilton…before your graduation…did you?

Jake: Sure I did.

Scout: But…not the play by play?

Jake looks up at him.  She stops walking.

Jake: No…not the play by play.

Scout: I didn’t think so.

Jake: Why?

Scout: Because…Jill wouldn’t be talking to him, let alone in business with him, if she knew...if she knew everything.

Jake: Well, I know…and I’m in business with him.

Scout: You’re very forgiving.

Jake: Look, whatever he said to you, Scout…it wasn’t that dramatic…or traumatic.

Scout: Okay.

He turns to start walking again.

Jake: Did he say…

Scout stops and turns around again.  Jake looks down…very hurt by the memory.

Jake cont’d: Did he say why?

Scout: Uh…

Jake: I mean…did he say what I did or said to make him…was I pushing too hard?  I could never remember which of us suggested I move in with him…was it me? 

Scout: No…no…he…he didn’t really—

Jake: …or did he just pull the coward routine?

Scout: Yeah…yeah he did…

Jake: Then he’s still a coward.  Come on…

She turns to walk again.  Scout sighs and follows her.

(cut to): the apartment.  Jill is in her studio working on a painting…probably some unobvious mother theme happening in it.  She looks up as the sound of the front door startles her.  She smiles and exits the studio.

(cut to): Scout and Jake as they come in.

Scout: Okay, sit down on the couch while I go get Jill.

Jake: What?  Scout, I’ll just go back to the studio.

Jill walks down the hallway from the studio.

Jill: Hey.

Jake: Hi…where’s—

Scout: Can you just sit down?

Jake looks back and forth between them.  They both look pretty happy and despite her bad mood, she can’t help smiling.

Jake: What? 

Scout nods to the couch.

Jake cont’d: Fine…

She rolls her eyes and marches over to the couch, sitting down.  Jill walks over and sits on the coffee table in front of her and Scout sits next to Jill.

Jill: I don’t really have any new stuff to show you, but I do have some big news…

Scout: Huge really…huge news.

Jill looks at him and smiles.  He looks at her and she nods.

Jake: What?  Come on…you guys are freaking me out.

Scout reaches over and takes Jill’s hand.

Scout: We’re having a baby.

Jake looks at Jill first, processing.  Jill smiles.

Jake: Oh my God…holy shit…

Jill and Scout look at each other…recognizing the expression.

Jake: You guys…that’s great. 

She leans forward hugging them both in one embrace.

Jake: Wow…I mean…wow

She leans back again, looking at them.

Jake cont’d: Well…I think that pretty much negates my bad mood.

Jill: Bad mood?  What bad mood?

She looks at Scout questioningly.

Jake: Just in general…typical pessimistic outlook on life…

Jill: Yeah, right…what’s going on?

Jake: Can I get away with saying I don’t want to ruin this moment by talking about it?

Jill looks at her, a little sad, but she perks up.

Jill: Okay…

Jake: A baby?  A baby.  I’m so happy for you guys…congratulations…

(cut to): Jill and Scout who look pretty happy themselves.

(cut to): Hamilton’s apartment.  He’s in the kitchen doing dishes.  Julie walks in, but Hamilton doesn’t notice, he’s pretty lost in thought right now.  Julie walks up behind him and puts her arms around hit waist.  He snaps out of it and turns his head back to give her a kiss.

Julie: Penny for your thoughts…

Hamilton looks down at the dishes.

Hamilton: We’re almost out of Dawn.

Julie let’s go of him and steps back.

Julie: How romantic.

He turns around, drying his hands on a towel.  He puts his hands on her waist and smiles devilishly.

Hamilton: Sorry…I can be romantic.

She smiles and runs her hand up his arm not stopping until she reaches the back of his neck.  He takes her other hand and gently leads it up so that she has her arms around his neck, but she’s still a good distance away.  He leans forward, kissing her briefly then pulling back.  His playfulness has faded a little as he leans in for another kiss.

Julie: I love you.

Hamilton briefly hesitates, then tries to kiss her again.  She pulls back.

Julie cont’d: I love you.

Hamilton stares at her, mustering the nerve to say it back.  She drops her arms, crossing them in front of her.

Hamilton: I…did I tell you that Jill and Scout are having a baby?

Julie: What?  Who cares?

Hamilton: I do.  I mean, my best friends are going to be parents…that’s huge.

Julie: And me saying that I love you is…less huge?

Hamilton: It’s not the first time you’ve said it…that we’ve said it.

Julie: Well, we seem to be having trouble saying it tonight.

Hamilton has an epiphany.

Hamilton: I’m an idiot.

Julie smiles, expecting him to go in a direction that she’ll like.

Hamilton cont’d: Saying I love you…I thought that was the brave thing to do.

Julie: Brave? 

Hamilton: If I tell you I love you…I’ll have never been more of a coward.

Julie gets hostile.

Julie: You are so fucking screwed up. 

Hamilton looks insulted.

Julie cont’d: You’re just so sensitive, aren’t you?  Well, you’re also selfish.  You act like being in this relationship makes you some kind martyr.  Like, I’m the bad guy impending your quest to find perfect love.  I mean, get over yourself…you’re not that special.  You take your own feelings way too seriously and, I’m sick of it.  I should have left last weekend when I had the chance…I’m out of here.

She walks out.

Hamilton: No, no..wait…

He walks after her.

Hamilton cont’d: I need you, J-Julie…I…

Julie: You don’t need me; you need a shrink.

Hamilton: Wh-what?

Julie: You are in some serious denial. 

Hamilton: Denial?  Denial about what?

Julie: You know; I don’t…that’s the problem, but you’re using this relationship and me.  I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to realize this.  I’m leaving; I’m out of here and out of this fucked up little world you’ve created to hide from your problems…or, your fears.  You’re right; you are a coward.

She walks out.  Hamilton walks over to the kitchen table and sits down.  He looks around, angry.  He gets up and shoves the chair under the table so hard that is falls over.  He leans against the wall and slides down it until he is sitting on the floor.  He draws his knees up and puts his arms out on them with clasped hands.  He looks generally pissed off and upset.

(dissolve to): an establishing shot of a New York street.

(cut to): The living room of Jake’s apartment.  The lights are off.

(cut to): her bedroom.  She’s lying in her bed.

(cut to): an overhead shot of Jake.  She’s lying on her back, with the covers pulled up under her arms.  She’s not even close to asleep.  She stares at the ceiling, past the camera.  It’s hard to read, but her look isn’t unlike Hamilton’s…a sort of angry acceptance mixed with utter confusion…a completely torn expression.

(dissolve with): the shot of Hamilton on the floor in his kitchen.  The comparison is now even more obvious.  Neither of them move.  The shot holds like this for a few seconds.

(flashback to): the living room of  Hamilton’s apartment, three years ago.  No one is in there, but there are voices coming from another room.

(cut to): the bathroom.  Hamilton is at the sink, washing his face and Jake stands in the doorway.  He stands up, reaching for a towel without being that close to it.  Jake pulls the hand towel off of the rack and hands it to him.  He takes it and stands up completely, drying his face off, not realizing where the towel came from.  Jake rolls her eyes and smiles.  Hamilton looks at the towel then at her, getting it.

Hamilton: Thanks.

She smiles.  He walks over to the doorway, putting one hand on either side of the doorframe.

Hamilton cont’d: I’m not going to the party if you’re not.

Jake: I have a bunch of stuff to get packed up.

Hamilton: Well, I’ll come over and help you.

Jake: My mom and I are doing like a final bonding night thing…I can’t believe I’ve been living in that house for the past four years…I didn’t even live there in high school.

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: It’s probably cheaper than a dorm room in this city…definitely cheaper than this apartment. 

Jake: Well, I’m really glad that I’m getting out of there.

Hamilton: Yeah…me too.

He grins and leans in, kissing her.  When he pulls back:

Hamilton cont’d: Well, I’m definitely not going to this thing without you…what’ll I do without you?

He seems slightly distracted by what he’s just said and doesn’t quite hear her next comment.

Jake: Get wasted with a bunch of lame freshmen frat rats?

He’s still distracted.

Jake cont’d: Hey…isn’t that your cue?

Hamilton: Uh…what’d you say?

Jake: That you could get drunk.

Hamilton: What?  You know I don’t drink.

A beat.  Jake leans toward him, putting her forehead to his.

Jake: You okay?

Hamilton: Yeah…no, yeah…I’m fine…I’m…fine.

He kisses her quickly, but with great sincerity.

Hamilton cont’d: Should I go?

Jake: Yes.  Go.  Definitely.

(flash forward to): the overhead shot of Jake in her bed.  Maybe she’s been replaying this memory.  She’s very obviously crying. 

(cut to): Hamilton in the same position as before.  Julie walks by carrying a bag.  Hamilton doesn’t look up as she continues on and slams the front door on her way out.  He flinches as the door slams.

(flashback to): graduation morning three years ago.  It’s the same shot from before as Jake walks out, leaving her box.  The door falls closed behind her.

(fade out): to black.

(fade in): to FPT Inc.  It’s the next day and about seven a.m., but lights are on.

(cut to): inside.  Jake is sitting at her desk.  She’s got both her legs pulled up in the chair and is staring at the computer screen.  The camera pans around so that it is behind her shoulder.  The computer screen is blank.  The door unlocks as Hamilton walks in carrying a small paper bag.  The camera tilts up as he walks in.  Once he gets close to the counter he sees Jake.

(cut to): a medium shot from the side including both of them. Hamilton walks past the counter.  He walks on to his desk looking at her a little suspiciously.

Hamilton: Today is my day, right?

Jake laughs.

Jake: I don’t know about that, but…yes…it’s your day to be in early.

He notices the blank computer screen as he leans against his desk.

Hamilton: Um…are you doing the scary psycho killer thing on purpose?

Jake gives him a dirty look and leans forward, turning her computer on.

Hamilton cont’d: Bagel?

He pulls the bagel out of the bag.

Jake: You’ve only got one.

Hamilton: Yes, but…

He pulls it apart.

Hamilton cont’d: I’ve got two halves.

He holds it out to her, but doesn’t move so that she has to get up to retrieve her half.  She does so reluctantly. 

Jake: Stop being charming…

He smiles and pulls out a knife and some cream cheese, handing it to her.

Jake cont’d: I’m serious…I’m really mad at you.

Hamilton looks a little confused by that.

Hamilton: I knew I should’ve got the orange juice too.

Jake looks at the bagel in her hands, then at his.  He’s given her the bigger half.  The whole bagel thing has really thrown her off, but, after taking a deep breath, she pursues what she intended to:

Jake: What made you think it was a good idea to tell Scout?

He’s busted and he knows it.  He puts his half of the bagel back into the bag and sets it down.  Jake sets hers down on his desk.

Hamilton: Tell Scout what?

Jake: The “play by play” as he called it.

Hamilton swallows.

Hamilton: It wasn’t like I was bragging about it or something.

Jake: Yeah, well…I wouldn’t think so.

Hamilton looks down.

Jake cont’d: I think that’s one story that isn’t yours to tell.

He nods.

Jake cont’d: I mean, God, Hamilton…if I’d wanted Scout to know, I would have told Jill.  And, telling Jill would have just been…bad.  First, she would have probably personally tried to kill you, which would not have put the three of us on such great terms to do this…

She indicates the office.

Jake cont’d: And besides that…don’t you think that it’s embarrassing for me?  Scout looked like he just wanted to hug me or…shoot me and put me out of my misery. 

Hamilton: I—

She seems unprepared to follow through with what she’s started, but she realizes that there’s no turning back.  She interrupts:

Jake: Hang on…that morning three years ago was the single worst experience of my life.  It took me a long time to not have that be the first thought that popped in my head when I thought about you.  And, when we started hanging out again…it was the same struggle all over again.  And, the fact that you just told him like it was no big deal…

She stops as her voice cracks; she starts to cry as she continues:

Jake cont’d: And I’ve been sitting there trying to build some strength for the past hour so that I could say that to you without doing…this…when you come in with your stupid bagel halves and make me momentarily forget how mad I am at you…

Hamilton doesn’t know what to say or do.  He finally collapses into his chair and puts his head in his hands.

Hamilton: I’m sorry.

He looks up at her, practically in tears himself.

Hamilton cont’d: I know I couldn’t say that enough times in my life to make everything right, but if you only knew how much I mean it…if you knew how much I feel it…everyday.  That’s what enters my mind when I think of you…when I see you.  I…I told Scout because I wanted him to hate me for it, but…I…I don’t want you to hate me.

Jake: Just stop, Hamilton. 

She wipes off her face.

Jake cont’d: Tell Jill I’m home sick…make her believe it because the last thing I want to do is stress her out right now, okay?

He nods weakly.  She turns and walks out, not taking anything with her.  He watches her for a moment then sheds a few tears of his own.  In a moment of utter disappointment and dejection, he puts his head down on his desk.

(dissolve to): the front of the building, a little later.  Jill is unlocking the door.

(cut to): Hamilton at his desk, with his head still down.  Jill gets past the counter and notices him.  She tilts her head.  She puts her stuff down on her own desk and starts to walk over to him.

Hamilton: I’m not asleep and…I don’t want to talk about it.

Jill: Okay…

She walks over and places a hand on the back of his neck.

Jill cont’d: Sweetie…everyone’s going to start getting here soon so…

He nods with his head still down.  He takes a deep breath then picks his head up.  His hair is pressed onto his forehead and he pushes it back, running both hands through it.  He hasn’t been sitting there weeping or anything, just thinking…I mean, we’re not talking tears still running down his face, but he looks bad anyway.  Jill, though, seems to decide against the “you look like Hell” comment.  He doesn’t look at Jill at first, but she watches him as he picks up the bag with his bagel in it.  He notices Jake’s half, still on the desk.  He picks that up too and puts it back into the bag, throwing it all into the trash can under his desk. 

Hamilton: Hey, um…Jake’s not coming in today, okay?  She called and she’s really sick.

Jill looks a little worried.

Hamilton cont’d: Um…not really sick, you know…just a little under-the-weather.  Nothing to worry about.

As he says this he remembers the reason for no stress and he smiles.

Jill: Look happier about her being sick.

Hamilton: Shut up…mom.

He stands up, grinning and giving her a hug.

Hamilton cont’d: Congratulations.

Jill: Thank you.

He keeps hugging her and she seems to sense something is wrong.  She doesn’t push, though.  Instead, she keeps hugging him.

(dissolve to): the end of the day.  A group of employees is leaving.  Hamilton is at a layout board with a light underneath.  He is examining some negatives.  Jill is at her desk, typing up something on the computer.  When she finishes, she flips the monitor off and walks over to him. 

Jill: I like that one.  I saw it earlier.

Hamilton nods.

Hamilton: Well, I had it narrowed down between that one and another one so…choice made.

Jill: I think I’m going to head out.

Hamilton seems pretty focused on the pictures.

Jill cont’d: If you wanted to talk…you would, right?

Hamilton looks at her.

Hamilton: I…yeah, of course.

Jill: Good.

She puts her arm around him a moment in a comforting gesture, then starts to walk away.

Hamilton: I just…had a rough night last night followed by a less than wonderful morning…which made today feel really long…

Jill has turned back toward him.

Hamilton cont’d: …and horrible…and, bad…I feel…bad…very bad…

He doesn’t look up, he just talks.

Hamilton cont’d: And, I…can’t…deal…with the guilt anymore…but…I can’t…get away from it…I’ve tried…I mean…I’ve really tried to get away from it…then I tried to deal with it…nothing works.  I want to make it better, but…

He looks at her, finally.

Hamilton cont’d: I can’t, Jill…I just can’t…

She thinks for a moment, not wanting to throw out her usual insults.

Jill: Maybe instead of focusing on making it better you could work on…moving on.  Then you’re not stuck in some moment.  It’s like that old U2 song. 

Hamilton: You don’t know everything that happened in the past…it’s just not that easy.

Jill: You had sex with someone else…okay…I’ve honestly wondered if you didn’t just make that up as an easy out of a relationship that suddenly got commitment-heavy.

Hamilton: I’m not anti-commitment…I wish things were that easy…I could just play my “I’m a guy” card and I wouldn’t feel like this.

Jill: Did something happen?

Hamilton: Julie moved out last night.

Jill: Oh…

Hamilton: I shouldn’t be talking to you…I mean, you have other things on your mind…which are so much cooler than this, by the way…

He actually smiles for the first time in the conversation.

Jill: I’ve got like the next six months to think about that so…I think I can spare a few minutes on you.

Hamilton looks at her, glad that she said this.

Jill cont’d: Why don’t we get out of here?  We can walk around or something?

Hamilton: Okay.

(dissolve to): Hamilton and Jill walking through a park.

Jill: So…I’m confused.

They have reached a bench and Hamilton stops walking and sits down.  Jill sits down as she continues talking:

Jill cont’d: I mean…are you upset over her moving out or…what she said?

Hamilton: I think I should say both.

Jill raises her eyebrows.

Hamilton cont’d: I’m just…I’m mad that she was right and that she left because of it…mad at myself, you know?  For letting her figure it out…before I did.  Mad that…that I couldn’t say “I love you” back to her and live with myself. 

Jill: Yeah…she was a sweet girl…

Hamilton has his head tilted down.  He glances up at her, smiling.

Hamilton: You hate her, don’t you?

Jill looks apologetic, but in agreement with his statement.

Jill: Sorry…

Hamilton: And…does Jake…Jacqueline hate her too?

Jill: She would never say it even if she did.  She has this respect for you…and your relationship with Julie…former relationship…

Hamilton nods.  A beat.

Jill cont’d: It was easier for her when she was with Eric, but I think she was doing kind of what you were…hiding behind that relationship because she couldn’t be in the one she wanted to be in—

Hamilton: Wait…wait…don’t misread what I’m saying here.  Saying that I wasn’t in love with Julie and that I’m still in love with…I mean…that’s not what I’m saying.

Jill: All right.

Hamilton: You’re…you’re less disapproving than Scout…not something I would have guessed.

Jill: I have a feeling that you told him stuff that you didn’t tell me.  Last night, he looked pretty…shocked, to say the least.

Hamilton: Yeah…shocked enough to tell her that I told him, apparently.  That didn’t go over so well.

Jill: When she called—

Hamilton: She didn’t call.  She was there before I was this morning.

Jill: Ah…

Hamilton: She would probably kill me if she knew I was talking to you…she was so mad I told Scout…

Jill: …this was about…the cheating?

Hamilton looks down.

Hamilton: I don’t need you to hate right now and…it’s not my story to tell, anyway.

Jill: In that case…I don’t think I want to know.

He closes his eyes a moment, like Jake did earlier, trying to erase the memory…unsuccessfully.  Jill puts her arm around him, standing up while pulling him up too.

Jill: Come on, Mr. Pouty Man…

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: This has been…soothing.

Jill: Want to come home with me for dinner?

Hamilton: I think I’m going to go home…enjoy the emptiness of my apartment.

Jill: Okay…well…call me later or something.  Give me a proof of life?

Hamilton: Okay.

Jill gives him another big, long hug.

Jill: You’ll be fine.  Remember…the future is what’s important.

Hamilton: Yeah…

They part and he gives her a mischievous look.  She raises her eyebrows questioningly and he takes a knee…talking to her stomach.

Hamilton: Listen…your mom is real smart so…listen to what she tells you.  Don’t tell her everything, though, because she’ll do what it takes to protect you…but that’s just her way of showing that she loves you.  She’s cool like that…just ask your Aunt Jacqueline.

A group of girls walk by, giggling at them.

Jill: God, get up…people are going to think you’re proposing.

Hamilton laughs.  He stands up.

Hamilton: You’re going to be a good mom, Jill.

Jill: Have I said how happy I am? 

Hamilton: No, but…I know.  You should have seen Scout…I think he was thrilled to be able to tell me...tell someone.

Jill: He’s been wonderful.

Hamilton: Anyway…I’ve kept you too long. 

He takes a step back, indicating they’ll be leaving in opposite directions.

Hamilton cont’d: This, by the way…

He gestures to her stomach.

Hamilton cont’d: …has an amazing ability to negate the way I’ve been feeling.

Jill smiles.

(dissolve to): Scout and Jill in their living room.  Scout is sitting on the couch and Jill, lying down, has her head on his lap.  Scout has one hand on her stomach.  She has both her hands over his hand.  He’s running his other hand through her hair.

Scout: Well, he was definitely right about two things…you didn’t hear everything that happened and you are surprisingly forgiving…

He looks down and she looks up.

Scout cont’d: …but, you were right about the past too…I should have thought of that.

Jill: When I walked into the office…he just looked like such crap…I almost said that to him, but…I was afraid he’d start crying.

Scout: This has quickly spiraled into a bad situation.  It seemed like everything was just getting normal with them.

Jill: How could anything ever be normal with “Jake” and Hamilton?

Scout: Relatively normal, then.

Jill: Speaking of relatives, I called my dad today.

Scout: Did you tell him?

Jill: Uh-huh…I think he was crying…in a good way.

Scout: I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell my dad why the hyphenated last name is important to us.  

Jill closes her eyes as she continues talking to him:

Jill: If he’s set on Calhoun…I could deal with that.

Scout: You could?

Jill: It is the name of a man I happen to love very very very much.

Scout: You’re going to have to be pregnant more often…it has put you in a very very very agreeable mood.

Jill: Yeah…I’d say yes to about anything…

She smiles. 

Scout: Well…let me not miss that opportunity.

(cut to): Jake’s apartment.  Jake is pacing around the living room, carrying the cat. 

Jake: This is beyond pathetic.  I’m a grown woman, for God’s sake.

She sets the cat down and walks over to the phone with purpose. We’re fully convinced that she’ll make the call.   She gets as far as placing her hand on it when she turns abruptly.  The cat looks up at her from the couch.

Jake cont’d: …shut up. 

He meows and walks toward her.  She sighs.

Jake cont’d: It’s hard not to miss him, huh?

The cat meows again.  Jake walks over and pets him.

Jake cont’d: And you’ve never even had his coffee…that’s some good stuff.

She looks at the cat a minute longer then turns to the phone.

(cut to): Hamilton’s apartment.  He has his cordless phone in one hand and sits on his bed.  In his other hand is a coffee cup.  He takes a sip from it and sets it down on the nightstand.  He dials.

(cut to): Jill and Scout’s living room, above the couch.  The phone rings.  The camera pans around until it reaches their phone that rings again.  The camera pans again until it reaches the couch where Jill and Scout are definitely getting into foreplay territory.  They’re sitting up and Scout is unbuttoning Jill’s shirt, kissing her.  The phone rings again and Scout looks over at it then up at her.  She looks at him like “do you really want to answer that?”  He gets the hint and turns back to her, kissing her.  The phone rings again.

(cut to): Jake as she finishes dialing.  She’s calling him.  She gets a busy signal.  She slams down the phone.

Jake: Dammit, Hamilton…

(cut to): Hamilton.  He holds the phone away from his ear and turns it off, tossing it onto the bed.  He looks over at it.

Hamilton: Don’t be stupid…

He looks at his cup of coffee thinking of taking another sip.  He picks up the phone.

Hamilton cont’d: You have no idea what you’re going to say…

He assesses the situation

Hamilton cont’d: Talking to yourself like a character in a soap opera…you do need a shrink…God, this is so ridiculous.

He dials a number.

(cut to): Jake’s apartment.  She’s standing by the phone so when it rings, she’s pretty startled.  She picks it up hesitantly.

Jake: Hello?

(cut to): Hamilton’s apartment.  He hesitates a moment.

(cut to): Jake.

Jake: …Hello?

Hamilton: Hi.

(slide to): a split screen so that we can see them both.  Hamilton is still seated on his bed.  Jake is pacing.

Jake: Hi…weird…I just tried to call you.

Hamilton: I was…trying to call Jill…about work…

Jake: Oh…

Hamilton: …which is not why I’m calling you…at all.

Jake stops pacing.  Hamilton stands up.  Hamilton doesn’t continue.

Jake: Why are you calling?

Hamilton: Uh…why were you calling me?

Jake: I asked you first.

Hamilton: You called me first…

Jake hesitates, looking around.  She looks at the cat who seems pretty uninterested as he cleans his face with his paws.

Jake: You haven’t been by to see your cat in…awhile.

Hamilton smiles at the bluff.

Hamilton: No…I haven’t.

They both start to talk.

Hamilton: What?

He sits down again. 

Jake: I don’t know.

She walks over to the couch and sits on the arm.

Hamilton: Ever feel like…fifteen again?

Jake: Like right now?

Hamilton laughs.  A beat.

Jake: I was calling because…

Hamilton: You know…maybe we could just not talk about it.

Jake: What?

Hamilton: Anything other than…the future.

Jake: You talked to Jill, didn’t you?

Hamilton doesn’t say anything.

Jake cont’d: It’s okay…it just…sounded like something she would say.

Hamilton: Exceedingly optimistic?

Jake: Yeah.

Hamilton: Can you believe she’s having a baby?

Jake smiles, and moves from the arm of the couch to actually sitting on it.  She leans against the arm.

Jake: It’s amazing.  I guess she’s got room to be optimistic.

Hamilton leans back against the headboard of his bed and pulls one of his legs onto the bed.

Hamilton: …and we don’t?

Jake: I don’t know, Hamilton.  Life hasn’t been pushing me in that direction lately.

Hamilton: Maybe…maybe we haven’t been pushing life in that direction.

Jake: You really have been talking to Jill.

Hamilton: I came up with that one on my own actually.

Ham leans forward again as Jake puts her elbows on her knees.

Jake: I don’t know what to do here…

Hamilton: It’s so hard…knowing you’re never going to be able to forgive me…it’s like…my own personal hell.  I’ve been thinking about it non-stop lately.

Jake is tired of this constant “do you still hate me?” game. 

Jake: Hamilton…I forgave you a long time ago…everything’s just kind of blown up lately…I don’t understand it at all….

Hamilton: You forgave me?  How could you have—

Jake: It’s not the forgiving that’s the hard part.

She pauses.  Hamilton is anxious to here more.

Jake cont’d: What’s hard is forgetting.  Three years ago and…I remember that morning better than I remember this morning, but…you’re important to me and I’m willing to put the work into…moving on.

Hamilton: Should we…be doing this in person?

Jake: Doing what?

Hamilton: Recovering our friendship.  I really need to get my best friend back.

She puts one hand on her temple as she continues to hold the phone with the other.

Jake: So do I…

Hamilton: Should I—

Jake: No…um…

She searches for the right words.  She gets up and paces again.

Jake cont’d: Let’s…take Jill’s advice.  Tomorrow, there will be no past.

Hamilton: And we just…start over?

Jake: Yeah…a new start.

Hamilton: A clean slate?

Jake: …metaphorically, yes.

Hamilton: O—okay.

Jake: Okay.  Goodbye, Hamilton.

Hamilton: Goodb—goodnight.

They both hesitate before hanging up.  Finally, Jake hangs up her phone as Ham presses the button on his. 

(slide to): a shot with just Jake; her hand is still on the phone.  She looks over at the cat…Hamilton’s cat.

Jake: Don’t mock me…I can do this.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He spreads out on his bed.

Hamilton: I hope I can do this.

(flashback to): graduation from college.  They went somewhere like Felicity’s University of New York.  Graduates fill seats, rows of people in black graduation gowns.  The shot starts behind the graduates facing the stage as a speaker gives a talk about history…and opportunity.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He looks terrible.  He hasn’t shaved and he is very tired, but neither of those is worse than the expression on his face.  He looks around then over to the area where he knows Jake should be sitting, but isn’t.  He closes his eyes tightly.  His expression says nothing more or less than “what have I done?”

(cut to): Jake’s house.

(cut to): her bedroom.  None of her stuff is left.  We assume it’s all been packed up and moved to another room.  Jake is sitting on the bed with her knees drawn up tightly to her chest.  Her arms are wrapped around her knees and her head is down.  She’s crying…hard.  She’s rocking back and forth very slightly.  The camera begins to spin slowly around her and…

(fade to): black

(flash forward)

(fade in):  to FPT Inc. the next day. 

(cut to): inside.  Jake is standing by a coffee pot near the back of the office.  In this area there is a mini fridge, water cooler, that kind of thing.  She watches eagerly, cup in hand, as the coffee drips down into the pot.  She sighs impatiently and pulls the pot out and pours the little bit that is in it in her cup as coffee drips on to the hotplate.  There is the noise of the door unlocking.  Jake quickly puts the pot back and walks toward her desk.

(cut to): Jill as she hurriedly walks past the counter carrying a portfolio.

Jill: I know it’s my day to be early, but I—

Jake: No big deal.  I’ve been here for a while so…everything’s under control.

Jake takes a sip of her coffee.  Jill takes the cup from her.

Jake cont’d: Hey.

Jill: You don’t need this.

Jake takes it back.

Jake: This morning…I need it.

Jill tilts her head.

Jill: You weren’t trying to call me last night?

Jake: Um…nope.  That was Hamilton actually.

Jill: Proof of life…oops…

Jake: Huh?  Never mind…

Jill: So…

Jill raises her eyebrows.

Jake: I called him…well, he called me…anyway, we talked last night and…he said what you suggested to him about concentrating on the future. 

Jill: And then he came over and you guys officially made out—up…made up?

Jill smirks.

Jake: No…we decided that today was a fresh start. 

Jill looks skeptical.

Jill: You know…that whole future spiel…I mean, he was really depressed, Jacqueline.  Like depressed like you were three years ago.  You’ve never seen dwelling like this.  So…I gave him the future speech like I gave it to you then, but…maybe you two do have some stuff to work through.

Jake: I know you’re not saying this to me now.  I’m…I’m here to start over.

Jill: That’s not a bad way to go…I just…do you want to erase the past ten years?

Jake: More like the last three.

Jill: …then you’re a couple.  Do you want that? 

Jake: That’s not going to happen.

Jill: Okay so…then you go back to when you were fifteen before he even knew Jacqueline…when he just knew Jake.  Then you’re fifteen and a cross-dresser.

Jake laughs.

Jake: Wow…I haven’t thought about that in a long time.  Everything was so complicated and intense.  But…uh…you’re right…it’d be hard to go back to that.

Jill: Are you still in love with him? 

Jake looks down, thinking about that.

Jake: I think…what I feel…it’s this weird mix.  I mean, any attraction…it’s like…if I could sleep with him…no strings attached…I would.

Jill: Wow. 

Jake: But…other than that…I just…I want to be his friend and…I need him to be mine.

Jill looks as though she may respond.  Before she can, the door opens.

(cut to): the door as Hamilton walks in.

Hamilton: Morning Jill…Jacqueline.

(cut to): Jill as she looks over at Jake.

Jake: Morning.

Jill: So…how does this work?  You guys pretend like you never met before or—

The look on Jake’s face makes her stop.

Jill cont’d: So…everyone ready to get to work?

Hamilton: Yes…work would be good.

(dissolve to): the end of the day.  All the employees are leaving.  Hamilton is sitting on a stool at one of the taller worktables.  He’s got a pencil in hand and is focusing on whatever he’s doing.  Jake is typing away a computer.  Jill sits at her desk as she turns off her computer.  She looks up at Jake first then at Hamilton.  She kind of shakes her head at the whole screwed up situation.  Her phone rings.

Jill: Jill Thomas…hey…you are?…no, you didn’t…you didn’t have to do that…okay…I love you…see you in a minute…bye.

She hangs up the phone.  She stands up and prepares to head out.

(cut to): Jake at her desk.  Without looking up and with a lot of sarcasm:

Jake: What’d the wonder-boy-perfect-husband do now?

(cut to): Hamilton who laughs to himself as he continues with his work.

(cut to): Jill as she picks up her bag.

Jill: Got home early enough to make me dinner.

(cut to): Hamilton. 

Hamilton: Lucky you…I need someone to make dinner for me.

(cut to): Jake.

Jake: Ask Julie nicely…

(cut to): Jill as she walks toward the door.  As she walks past Hamilton who is still recovering from what Jake said as he realizes she has no clue Julie moved out.

Jill: I’ll let you clear that one up after I leave, okay?

Hamilton watches her as she walks out.

(cut to): Jake as she looks over at Hamilton.

Jake: Clear what up?

Hamilton puts his pencil down and swivels the chair so that he is facing Jake.

Hamilton: Okay…um…Julie like…moved out.

(cut to): Jake at her desk.  She looks pretty surprised.  The cuts go back and forth between them as they talk.

Jake: When?

Hamilton: Night before last.

Jake: And you just…weren’t going to tell me?

Hamilton: I don’t know…I mean, I was I guess…I just…the right time never presented itself…

Jake looks thoughtful for a minute.

Jake: Anyway…the future, right?

Hamilton looks relieved.

Hamilton: Yes…

Jake gets up and walks over to him.  She looks over his shoulder at some storyboards he was working on.  He has some pictures scattered about to go with them.  Jake checks everything out, nodding.

Hamilton: So…what are you doing this weekend?

Jake shrugs.

Jake: The Marshall thing at Jill’s Saturday night…what about you?

Hamilton: This is my first weekend as a bachelor in a year…I don’t know…I mean, of course the thing on Saturday…

Jake: You know…when a guy says “what are you doing this weekend…what he means is…”

Hamilton looks up at her, recognizing a reference to a time that seems extremely far away from him right now.  He smiles, surprised she’s remembered.

Jake cont’d: And like when a guy says, “I really, really like you”…what he means is…”I want to have sex with you”

Hamilton laughs.

Hamilton: What was the other one? 

Jake thinks.

Hamilton cont’d: Oh…when a guy says, “I need to know where this relationship is going”…what he means is—

Jake (matter-of-fact): …I want to have sex with you.

Jake looks at him, but he’s not on the same page.  He’s still thinking of the past.  Hamilton shakes his head.

Hamilton: Was I naïve or what?  I mean what a complete idiot.

Jake: Yeah…back then you would have never been able to pick up on the fact that when I say “ I want to have sex with you” what I mean is…”I want…to have sex…with you.”

Hamilton looks a little taken aback.

Hamilton: Uh…are you speaking generally?

Jake: I’m…I’m speaking to you, Hamilton.

He really doesn’t get it.

Jake cont’d: No strings attached.

Hamilton: No…strings attached?

Jake: Just…one night…just…for fun.

Hamilton: Wow…um… like…right here, right now?

Jake looks like she realizes suddenly what she’s actually saying.

Jake: Dumb idea…momentary loss of inhibitions…I’m sorry…

She starts to walk away from him looking a little embarrassed.

Hamilton: Um…no…no, wait.

She turns back around.  He considers it a moment more.  He closes his eyes as he speaks:

Hamilton: Okay.

Jake: Okay?

Hamilton: I mean…unless this is like some test of my morals…

Jake: Not particularly. 

Hamilton: Is there a reason for this?

Jake: Look at you Hamilton…you’re gorgeous and sexy and…you smell good.  I also happen to have first-hand knowledge of…what a great lover you are.  I’ve been working with you for two years and…sometimes…sometimes it’s hard to get past all that.  And when you kissed me…or almost kissed me on the roof at Jill’s…I really started thinking about this and…I want you.

He looks pretty close to hyperventilation.

Hamilton: And this is all purely physical, right?

Jake: Pure might not exactly be the correct characterization, but…yes…hence, no strings attached.

Hamilton: So like…just once?

Jake nods.

Hamilton: Tonight?

Jake: Your call.

Hamilton: What about…what about after that thing at Jill’s…on Saturday.

Jake: Celebrate the official obtaining of the account?

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: Yeah…

Jake: Okay…after that.

Hamilton: So…it’s a date.

Jake laughs.

Hamilton cont’d: Hey, uh…want to be my date for the party too? 

Jake shakes her head.

Jake: Too many strings, Hamilton.

She walks away and he looks on in complete shock over the whole thing.

(fade out): to black.

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the outside of Jill and Scout’s apartment.

(cut to): the door as Scout lets some important looking business guys in.  Jill walks up greeting them then she takes Scout’s arm.  The dress is not quite semi-formal. 

(cut to): Jake talking to a man and woman.  Jake doesn’t look very comfortable being the center of attention:

Jake: I don’t really know how we came up with the idea…we’ve all kind of known each other forever and…we made our respective talents work together somehow.

Hamilton walks up joining the conversation.

Hamilton: It’s really cool to be able to work with your best friends.

Woman: Oh, here he is…

Man: We were very impressed with Mr. Fleming’s presentation…and his praise for his colleagues…especially you, Miss Pratt.

Jake and Hamilton look at each other, then down.  Hamilton regains his confidence and turns his attention back to the man and woman.  Jake seems a little surprised at Hamilton’s ease in “schmoozing.”

Hamilton: Thank you.

Man: And that is Miss Thomas…or is it Mrs. Thomas?

He points over to Jill.

Jake: Mrs. Calhoun, but she kept Thomas for our business so…

Hamilton: …feel free to call her Jill.

Hamilton smiles charismatically.  They both nod and walk away, thanking Hamilton and Jake.  Jake breathes a sigh of relief when they’re gone.

Jake: God, I have like no idea how to talk to people like that.

Hamilton: You were doing great…I was watching.

Jake looks up at him.  He smiles, looking a little nervous. 

Hamilton cont’d: You look great too…amazing, actually…

He leans a little closer.

Hamilton cont’d: …and you smell good.

Jake looks into his eyes for a moment. 

Jake: I don’t…I don’t think I can do this…I’m sorry…

She walks toward the kitchen.  He watches her.  He seems…maybe almost relieved.

(cut to): Jill and Scout who have been watching the whole time.

Scout: What do you think that was about?

Jill: I don’t know…very strange.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He walks through some people, toward the hallway.

(cut to): Jake as she walks out from the kitchen and sees Hamilton leaving.

(cut to): the hall bathroom; the one across from the studio.

(cut to): Hamilton inside.  He’s standing at the sink and has the water running.  He scoops up some and pats it onto his face.  He looks at himself in the mirror.  He hasn’t bothered to lock the door so when it begins to open, he starts to indicate that he’s inside, but before he can, Jake peeks her head in.

Hamilton: Jake…

She comes in, looking at him intently.  He doesn’t really know what to do.  She locks the door then turns back to him.  He raises his eyebrows.

Hamilton: What are you doing?

Jake: Moving on…

Hamilton: How—

Before he can say anything else though, she gently pushes him against the wall then moves in to kiss him.  She hesitates ever so briefly but goes through with it.  This is the first kiss in three years…the first real kiss anyway.  Any of his own hesitation seems to be momentarily put on hold as he kisses her back.  She holds on to his neck with one hand and starts unbuttoning his shirt with the other.  He’s really into the kiss.  When she pulls back for a second he looks really disappointed.  Still very close:

Jake: Oh…wow…this is going to be fun…

Hamilton: I know, but—

She starts to kiss his neck and he shuts up.  She uses both hands to work on his shirt.  He looks like he’s making a great effort not to be into it and finding himself very unsuccessful.  Finally, he manages something:

Hamilton: W-wait.

Jake slows down and puts her lips very close to his in a completely teasing gesture.

Jake: What?

Hamilton: Um…

He licks his lips and moves ever closer to her lips.  He kisses her for a moment, but tears himself away.  He’s breathing pretty heavily.

Hamilton: I really have to tell you something.

Jake: Uh-huh…

She closes her eyes, leaning forward and kissing him gently on the chin, very near his mouth.  He swallows hard.

Hamilton: I’m…I…

Jake: Yeah?

She kisses him again then he makes himself say it:

Hamilton: I love you.

She stops and opens her eyes, looking at him seriously.

Jake: What?

Hamilton: I love you and…I can’t do this without saying that and…I think that breaks the no strings attached rule, but—

Jake: Yeah…it does. 

She steps back from him.

Hamilton: But see…there are strings attached…tied in knots really.  Stuff that I couldn’t untangle if I tried so…you see…I can’t do this without strings…and I don’t want to.

Jake doesn’t say anything.  She doesn’t really fully get it anyway.  He tries to make himself clearer.

Hamilton: I don’t think I was ever not in love with you.

Jake: Whoa, slow down.

Hamilton: I was just in complete denial…because I had to be, but…I can’t do that anymore.

Jake: Don’t do this to me…

Hamilton: I can’t do this tonight and be over it tomorrow.  I don’t want a fresh start either…I want all the stuff in our past…but mostly I want you.  And not like you said it the other day at work…not in a way that can be satisfied in one night.  I want to be with you every night….and wake up with you every morning.

Jake: I thought we decided to start over as friends…forget—

Hamilton: We started over two years ago as friends…this is where we wound up after we “started over”…while what was happening here felt…damn good…

He swallows trying to push that feeling away for the moment.

Jake: God, you used to be the person that made my life simple…

Hamilton looks down.

Hamilton: I want to be that person now.

Jake: I’m sorry, Hamilton, but…tonight’s all I’m offering right now.  I’m not prepared to give you anything else.

He gets a little upset…more at the situation than her.

Hamilton: And I’m not prepared to fuck you, okay?

Jake hangs her head.

Jake: You know I hate that word used like that.

Hamilton: Yeah…I know…because it turns a beautiful gesture into an ugly act…and, honestly, I think that fits perfectly.

This hurts her because she knows he’s right.  She takes a step toward the door.

Jake: I guess you’re right…

She turns away and reaches out to unlock the door.

Hamilton: I’m sorry…I had to tell you.

Jake doesn’t respond; she walks out.

(cut to): the hall where Jake walks out of the bathroom closing the door behind her.  Jill and Scout have momentarily ducked out of the party and are at the other end of the hall talking together.  Jake looks like she wants to turn back, but looks at the door and knows she can’t.  She walks toward Jill and Scout…and an exit.

(cut to): Jill and Scout.  Scout sees her first and indicates for Jill to look.  Jake reaches them and stops only because she knows she has to.

Jake: I’ve got to get out of here.

Jill: What?  Look, they all love you, okay? 

Scout: I’ve been hearing the words “bright” and “driven.”

Jake laughs to herself.

Jake: Driven?  Maybe.  Bright?  Not so much…

Jill gives her a questioning look.

Jake cont’d: I’m just…tired.  This week’s been long and…up…and down…and—

Jill: Okay.   

Jake: Okay.  I’ll see you Monday then.

Jill: I’ll stop by tomorrow.

Jake: I’m probably going to crash all day so…

Jill: Call me when you wake up then.

Jake: Fine. 

A beat.

Jake cont’d: I have to go.

She walks off.  Jill looks at Scout with a worried expression.

Scout: She’ll be okay….she’s tough.

Jill: She’s not that tough.

(cut to): Hamilton in the bathroom.  He’s slid down to a sitting position on the floor.  He draws his knees up slowly as:

(flash back to): Jake’s bedroom three years ago.  She’s on the bed just as when we left this scene before.  She’s crying and rocking slightly.  There’s a knock on her door.

Jake: Go away.

The door opens.  It’s Hamilton.

Hamilton: Thank God you’re here.

She looks up at him.  His look is filled with a lot of emotions.  In a way, she looks glad to see him.  She seems to push that away.

Jake: Get out.

Hamilton: Can I just…

He walks in and sits on the bed.  Jake gets up angrily.

Jake: No…you can’t just anything.  Get out.  Go away.  Leave.  Don’t come back. 

Hamilton looks up at her from the bed.  He still looks terrible.

Hamilton: Please…please don’t do this…

She’s never really quit crying and when he starts talking, he can’t hold back tears.

Jake: You did this.

Hamilton: Please…please, Jacqueline…

He slides off the bed onto the floor.

Jake: Get up, Hamilton.

Hamilton: Please…please…

He’s sobbing. 

Jake: Stop.

Hamilton: I’m begging you.

Jake: Just get up…stop.

Hamilton: I can’t.

Jake: Fine….

She starts to walk toward the door.

Hamilton: No, no…no…wait.

He pulls himself up so that he is sitting on the bed again.  She turns around.  She thinks of something.

Jake: Is there a reason?…a reason that you did it?

Hamilton: No.

Jake looks angry and hurt all at once.

Hamilton cont’d: I mean…yes, but…not one I can give you right now.  I need time to figure it out myself.

Jake: Don’t bother…it doesn’t matter.

Hamilton: It does…it matters…this matters…we—

Jake: No…we don’t.  Get out.

Hamilton: If I go…will you let me come back?

Jake: No.

This word stings him.  He rubs his closed eyes then looks up at her.

Hamilton: I’m a coward.

Jake stares at him.  She opens the door.

Jake: Leave.

Hamilton: No…

Jake: It’s over.

Hamilton: No…please, no…

Jake: Please leave.

He leans forward, crying.

Jake: It’s over.

He looks up at her, shocked that she’s said this.  Tears are streaming down his face; he doesn’t know what to say.

Hamilton: I love you.

Jake: I hate you. 

He closes his eyes, as tears still stream down his face.  He takes a deep breath then forces himself up.  He walks over to her, makes an attempt to touch her in some way…touch her face.  She backs away.

Jake: Please just go…

Hamilton can’t speak.  He doesn’t nod.  He turns, completely heartbroken, and walks slowly out of her room.  She slams the door.

(cut to): Hamilton in her hall, he leans against her door.

Hamilton: Idiot…idiot…idiot…

(flash forward to): Jake as she has just exited Jill and Scout’s apartment building.  She leans against the door.

Jake: Idiot.  I’m such an idiot…

She shakes her head and walks down the steps.

(cut to): Hamilton in the bathroom.  He holds onto the sink and pulls himself up.  He looks in the mirror, splashes a little more water on his face then exits.

(cut to): the hallway.  Jill and Scout are still there…a little further away from the party (thus closer to the bathroom).  Jill is leaning against the wall and Scout has one hand on the wall leaning toward her.  His other hand is being held by Jill as they talk quietly, both looking pretty happy.

(cut to): Hamilton as he walks out of the bathroom and sees them.  He starts to turn around, but it’s to late.

(cut to): Jill as she sees him.  Scout turns to follow her gaze.

(cut to): Jill and Scout.

Scout: Well, this just got interesting.

Jill: Yeah…wow.

Hamilton walks up to them.

Hamilton: Mind if I head home?

Jill: Um…your home?

Hamilton: Huh?

Scout: What’s going on, Hamilton?

Hamilton looks at them. 

Jill: You look terrible.

Hamilton: Thanks.

Hamilton looks down.  He decides to pose the hypothetical, hoping they won’t catch on:

Hamilton: If someone offered you unconditional…sex…what would you think?

Jill: Oh my God.  She didn’t?

Scout: Jake did this?

Hamilton: I didn’t say that.

Jill (slightly amused): Oh my god…she’s brave. 

Scout: You know, I think we can handle this party, man.

Hamilton: I didn’t say it was Jake…

Scout: We saw her come out of the bathroom, buddy…it’s okay.

Hamilton: Look, we’re not doing it, okay?  I just need to go home.

Jill and Scout look at each other.

Scout: This is getting really hard to keep up with.  I mean…first you love Julie…

Jill: …then you don’t and she moves out, but…not because you’re in love with someone else. 

Scout: Oh, yeah…definitely not…and definitely not because you’re in love with Jake.

Jill: And Jacqueline tells me that she wants to be your friend, but she’d do you with no strings attached if the opportunity presented itself…

Scout: …then she makes the opportunity present itself.

Jill: Which really surprises me…I mean…what level of denial is that?

Jill and Scout discuss it without really acknowledging poor Ham. 

Hamilton: Look, I admit it’s kind of a screwed up situation right now…

He kind of smiles to himself, a little nostalgically.

Hamilton cont’d: I just need to go home, okay?

Jill: Okay. 

Scout: Like I said…we’ve got.

Hamilton: Thanks you two…and, even though I’m a little preoccupied right now…I’m so happy for you.

Scout: Thanks, Ham.

Jill leans forward giving him a little impromptu hug.

Jill: You’ll be okay?

Hamilton: Yeah…yeah, I will be.

Jill: Okay.

She lets go of him.  He nods and takes off.

Jill: That is what it’s going to be like…

Scout: What?

Jill: Parenting.

Scout (sarcastic): Oh…good.

He smiles then takes her hand.

Scout cont’d: Let’s get back out there before they realize all three of their stars are gone.

They walk out together.

(dissolve to): Hamilton’s apartment.  The door unlocks and Hamilton walks in, turning on a light.  He looks around at his apartment.  It’s the same one from three years ago which hits us hard for the first time.  It hits Hamilton too.  He looks around.  He walks further in and passes a phone in the living room.  He lingers by it a moment, then settles with checking messages.  The machine informs him that he has “no new messages.”

Hamilton: Well, that’s depressing.

He sits down on the couch, kicking his shoes off.  He picks up the remote and turns on the TV.  He lies down on the couch as he flips past a few infomercials.  He flips past, but then back to a rerun of Felicity.  It’s the episode where Noel sleeps with his ex-girlfriend after having a fight with Felicity.  Ham watches as Felicity watches Noel get into an elevator with the ex-girlfriend.

(cut to): Jake’s place.  She’s changed into some sleepwear…a little sexier than you’d expect for a night alone.  She’s pacing around the living room.  The cat is again on the couch.  He looks up at her and she notices.

Jake: What?  Don’t look at me like that.  It’s not like that…and so what if it is?

Before the cat can respond, there’s a knock at the door.

Jake: Who is it?

Eric: It’s Eric.

Jake: Okay, hang on.

She picks up the cat and sets him down in the kitchen, closing the door.  She then walks over to the front door and takes a deep breath before opening it.  When she does we see Eric for the first time.  He’s kind of the male equivalent of Julie in that he’s the anti-Hamilton.  He’s good-looking, but in a very different way than Hamilton.  He smiles when he sees her and what she’s wearing.

Eric: You look sexy.

Jake smiles.

Jake: Come on in.

She opens the door all the way.  He walks in with a smirk as she shuts the door behind him.  He leans against the door and she stands in front of him.  He hasn’t really dropped the smirk.  He reaches over touches her bare shoulder.  She reaches out and takes his other hand, leading him toward her bedroom.  The camera stays on the door, though.

(dissolve to): the same shot of the door, but it’s obviously morning.  Someone is knocking on the door. 

(cut to): the kitchen.  Jake is making coffee.  She’s waiting anxiously by the coffee pot for it so make enough for her to put into her cup.  She hears the knocking.  She walks out of the kitchen.

(cut to): the door as she gets there, opening it slightly.  Hamilton is standing in the hall.  He’s showered and dressed which contrasts Jake’s “just woke up”-ness.

Hamilton: Can I…can I come in?

Jake: No.

Hamilton: I just…think maybe if you let me explain a few things…if we could just talk for a little while.

Jake: Now isn’t a good time.

Hamilton: Okay, that’s cool.  When would be—

Eric: Who’s that, Jackie?

He peaks around, but kisses Jake’s neck before looking up to see Hamilton.  He’s only wearing boxers.  He doesn’t really notice the disappointed (and disgusted) look on Hamilton’s face.

Eric: Oh, hey, bud…little early for business, isn’t it?

Hamilton has trouble putting together anything to say.  He looks at Jake, but she isn’t making any effort to make eye contact.

Hamilton: Um…I’ll see you Monday.

He forces a smile.

Eric: See ya later, Ham.

Hamilton still stares at Jake.

Hamilton: Bye, Eddie.

Eric: Eric.

Hamilton: Oh, yeah…sorry.

He turns and walks off.  The door closes.

(cut to): inside Jake’s apartment.  She’s leaning against the door and he has his hands on her hips.

Eric: He’s a little dense, isn’t he?

Jake: Let’s not talk about him…

Eric smirks again and leans in to kiss her.

Jake cont’d: I have to get some coffee.

She slips away from him and walks toward the kitchen.

(cut to): the kitchen as Jake walks over to the coffee pot.  Eric walks in the kitchen behind her.  The phone rings.

Eric: Want me to get that?

Jake: Um…

But it’s too late.  He picks up the phone.

Eric: Hello?…you might not…is this Jill?…this is Eric…I’m good…yeah, hang on…she’s getting coffee…

Jake walks around from the kitchen with no coffee in her hands.  She takes the phone from him and holds it up to her ear tentatively.

Jake: …hello?…no, I—…you’re not being—…it’s not—…I’ll—…No, it isn’t…Don’t worry about—…I’ll see you Monday.  Jill—…just stop…J—…okay…bye.

Jake hangs up the phone.  She forces a smile and Eric moves in to kiss her.

(cut to): Jill’s kitchen where she was talking on the phone.  Scout walks in.  Both of them are still in their pajamas.  Jill still has her hand on the phone.

Scout: What?  What’s wrong?

He looks worried.

Jill: Jacqueline is a moron.  I’m disowning her.

Scout: Oh no.

Jill: I called…to check on her…

Scout: Uh-huh…

Jill: And who but Eric answers her phone…

Scout: Whoa.

Jill: What if I’d been Hamilton?  He was so hurt last night.

Scout: It’s…not fair to take his side.  He’s made some mistakes of his own.  Don’t you think he tends to wear his heart on his sleeve…it’s not hard to figure out what he’s feeling…

Jill: …and Jacqueline buries it so far down that even she doesn’t know what she’s feeling. 

Scout: Exactly.  And remember…you said yourself that she’s not that tough.

Jill: Okay, so maybe she’s not a moron, but…God, I wish she’d get a clue.  Monday at work is going to be tough…dealing with the two of them while—

Scout: You don’t stress yourself out over this.

He walks over to her and wraps his arms around her.

Scout cont’d: I don’t want my kid born wondering if Uncle Ham and Aunt Jake have hooked up yet.

Jill laughs and kisses him.

(fade out): to black.

(fade in): to FPT Inc.  Monday.  Jake walks up, unlocking the door.  She doesn’t notice that the lights are already on.  She walks in, toward her desk.  She hears a noise from the back.  Hamilton walks from a storage closet carrying Styrofoam cups. 

Hamilton: You’re here.

Jake: I’m supposed to be…what are you doing here?

Hamilton: Making coffee…

He walks over to the coffee maker and sets the cups down, taking one off the stack.  He pours a cup.

Hamilton cont’d: …for you.

She looks at the coffee pot, knowing how good his coffee is. 

Jake: Hamilton—

Hamilton cont’d: Because…I want you to be awake to hear what I have to say to you.

He walks over to her and hands her a cup.

Hamilton cont’d: That is…if you’ll listen.

Jake: Okay.

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: Good. 

A beat.

Hamilton cont’d: I think this may be…well, maybe we should sit down.

Jake shrugs and walks toward the front, to the customer section.

(cut to): a pair of chairs.  Jake and Hamilton sit down together.

Jake: Okay…we’re sitting.

Hamilton: I know you’re with Derrick now…again…

Jake: Eric…yes.

Hamilton: But…and I don’t mean to disrespect that…

Jake: Sure you don’t…

Hamilton: I have to say this regardless.

He pauses, looks down and begins:

Hamilton: Three years ago…I made the worst decision of my life. 

Jake starts to get up.

Jake: I’ll talk about a lot of stuff with you, Hamilton…but I’m not talking about this.

Hamilton: Please?  We’ve never…I never gave you an explanation. 

Jake: You were a coward…isn’t that the explanation?

Hamilton: And I don’t want to be a coward anymore.

Jake settles back on the chair, now interested.  Hamilton seems to wait for her to give him permission to go on.  A few seconds pass and Jake, who has been studying her shoes, looks up.

Jake: Was it my fault?

She looks at him seriously.  He looks at her, surprised she’s said this.

Hamilton: No…no…God, Jacqueline…

Jake: Because I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if I pushed too hard or…if the moving in thing freaked you out or…I don’t know.  I mean, I’ve replayed that last conversation we had…in your bathroom…I’ve replayed it a million times. 

Hamilton: Good, that’s where I want to start.

Jake nods and takes a deep breath.

Jake: Okay.

Hamilton also take deep breath.

Hamilton: Remember when I said, "what will I do without you?" 

Jake: And I said something about partying hard…yeah.

Hamilton:  And, I didn’t really hear you because…the magnitude of that question hit me hard.  And, after you left, I thought about that question even more and I realized I’d forgotten how…how to be without you…and…that scared me. 

He pauses.  She doesn’t interrupt.  She listens patiently…this is something she’s wanted to hear for a long time.

Hamilton cont’d: I mean, what if I really couldn’t be without you.  What if you were like my oxygen supply or something…my lifeline.  I needed to know what it was like not to be with you…because it hit me that...I really didn't know what I'd do without you.  How would I exist without you?  I had to know and…the minute that you walked in that morning…I knew I was right.  I couldn’t live without you…or be without you…or breathe without you. 

Jake: Obviously you can…and have.

Hamilton: Maybe I’ve been surviving, but I haven’t been living…because…because I learned a long time ago to define my life in terms of you.  And, I wanted a lot of things when I came to this city, but…I wanted them all in conjunction with you.  I just figured all this out.  I mean…this unfulfilled feeling...this gaping void…this complete incompleteness.  I need you.

Jake: I don’t know how to argue against that without sounding harsh and ungrateful but…you should have thought of that a long time ago.  I mean I’m with Eric and—

Hamilton: Look, “Jackie”, I wouldn’t be saying this to you if things felt that simple.  In the bathroom at the party when…when you were kissing me…if all I’d felt were passion…it wouldn’t have been…it wouldn’t have been so hard to stop.  But…the way you were kissing me…it reminded me of…

He looks up at her realizing how quiet she’s been…like she’s waiting for him to explain it to her.

Hamilton cont’d: …it reminded me of high school…you kissing me when we were like sixteen…when it wasn’t really about sex…even with all the raging hormones.  It was like the purest expression of…love.  If you had never said, “I love you” back then, it wouldn’t have mattered because…I knew it every time you kissed me.  No matter how jealous I ever acted about anything…I knew you loved me…

Jake: You’re really arrogant, you know that?

He looks down.

Hamilton: If I were arrogant…I’d know I’m right.  I thought I was right  I was sure from the time you kissed me up until…yesterday morning. 

Jake: You shouldn’t have come over.

Hamilton: I just…I thought we were in the middle of something…not that it was over.

Jake: Well…it is…finally…it’s over.

This stings Hamilton.  He closes his eyes a moment, but nods.

Hamilton: Okay.

He stands up.

Hamilton cont’d: I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for everything I’ve done and everything I’ve caused…especially this.

He steps back and walks to his desk.

(cut to): Hamilton at his desk.  He pulls out his portfolio and puts some of his work in it: his storyboards and pictures.  Jake sits on the couch, not watching him, staring at the coffee in her hands.

Hamilton: You can tell Jill I went home sick…until I get the nerve to go by and see her and let her know that…I’m pulling out.

(cut to): Jake on the couch.  It takes her a moment to realize what he’s saying.  He walks back up to her, carrying his coat and the portfolio.

Hamilton: Goodbye, Jacqueline.

He smiles sadly, trying to keep it together.  He turns and goes before she can say anything.  She can’t really believe what’s just happened, but…he’s gone.  She looks at her coffee…his coffee.  Her hands are shaking as she tries to set the cup down on the table.  When she does, it falls over and spills everywhere.  She looks at it hopelessly as if it represented what she had with Hamilton.  She puts her head in her hands and doesn’t try to clean the coffee up.

(cut to): Hamilton as he walks down the street.  When he’s sufficiently far enough from the business, he stops and drops his portfolio and kind of falls to a squatting/kneeling position.  A lot of people are headed to work, but they don’t really pay attention to him.

(flashback to): Hamilton in Jake’s hall where he was calling himself an idiot.

(cut to): Jake in her room standing by the door still holding on to the door knob.

(cut to): Central Park that same day (three years ago) at dusk. 

(cut to): Hamilton sitting on a bench in a somewhat secluded section of the park.  He leans forward and has his head in his hands.  His camera is across his shoulder.  A ring box sits next to him.  He picks his head up a moment and looks at the small box.  He grabs it as he slides down off the bench sitting on the ground, pulling his knees to his chest and doing a decent imitation of Jake earlier on her bed. 

(cut to): Jake standing in the park.  She’s been crying herself.  She looks so uncertain of what to do.

(cut to): a shot from her point of view.  She’s far away, but not so far that she can’t see Hamilton and his present state.

(cut to): Jake.  She seems to make herself walk away.   She stops, looking back.  She closes her eyes, turns back around and walks away.

(cut to): Hamilton on the ground in the park, crying.

(flash forward to): Jake on the couch with her head in hands and the coffee spilled in front of her.

(cut to): Hamilton on the street…still down…not knowing how he’s going to get up and move on.

(fade out to): black.

(fade in to): FPT Inc. later in the day.  Jake is at her desk typing.  There are other employees around providing background.  Jill walks over to Jake’s desk and pulls up a chair.  She sits down and doesn’t say anything.  She folds her arms and sits there.  Jake tries to ignore her, but eventually she stops typing.

Jake: What?

Jill: Sick?

Jake: Yeah…why is that so hard to believe?  That a person would be sick?  This is a big, dirty city…lots of germs floating around.

Jill: Jacqueline…what the hell is going on?  Full story…now.

Jake looks at her watch.

Jake: No time…Eric’s stopping by in a few minutes.

Jill: What the hell for?

Jake: …lunch?

Jill rolls her chair closer to Jake and grabs her shoulders shaking her.

Jill: What is the matter with you?  You are making me crazy, Jacqueline…I mean you really are.

Jill stops and puts her hands in her lap as several employees look over.

Jake: I can see that someone is.

Jill: Why—

Eric: Jackie…

Jake and Jill look up at the door.
(cut to): Eric as he walks in and over to the counter.

(cut to): Jake’s desk.   Jake talks to Jill as she gets up:

Jake: I’ll tell you everything later, I promise. 

Jill: But—

Jake: Right now…could you just give me a hug?  Please?

Jill realizes how stressed Jake looks.  She stands up and gives her a hug.

Jake: I’m taking the rest of the day, okay?

Jill: Yeah…

The embrace ends and Jake turns to go.

(cut to): Hamilton in his apartment.  For the next few shots, there isn’t audio…perhaps music.  He’s sitting on the couch staring at the TV that isn’t turned on.  There are a few boxes around him.  He picks up the remote and looks at it.  Rather than turning the TV on, he tosses it into one of the boxes.

(cut to): Jake and Eric sitting at a table outside of a café.  Jake sits back in her chair with her legs crossed and her head down as Eric speaks angrily to her.  We don’t hear any of it, but the assumption is she’s ended things (again) and he is (justifiably) angry.
(cut to): sometime later in the week, Jill’s place.  Jake and Jill sit on the couch, talking.  Jake is explaining everything as she promised.

(cut to): the weekend, Hamilton’s apartment.  Most of his stuff is packed up.  He walks out of the bedroom and over to the door, opening it.  The audio comes back.  Scout is standing there carrying a few more boxes.  He holds them out to Hamilton.

Hamilton: Thanks.

Scout: I can’t believe you’re moving out of this place.  I mean…this is a great place.

Hamilton: Thanks for the boxes.

Scout walks in, closing the door behind him.

Scout: You going to be okay?

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: Yep.

Scout: I gotta say…you’re not that convincing…

Hamilton: That’s good…I’m totally lying.

He smiles slightly.

Scout: So…where are you going?

Hamilton: Uh…that’s a good question.

Scout: Wait, wait, wait…you haven’t decided yet?

Hamilton: Nope…but, once I get all this stuff in storage…I’m out of this city.

Scout: What are you going to do?

Hamilton: Are you here to help me pack or what?

Scout: Change of plans…sit down and talk to me.

Hamilton sighs and rolls his eyes.

(cut to): the couch as Ham and Scout sit down.

Hamilton: I can’t keep paying for my mistakes and…I can’t get a fresh start here. 

Scout: I’m sorry about everything with Jake.

A beat.

Hamilton: Want to see something I found while I was packing?

He hops up and looks around, spotting the box he was looking for.  He walks over and pulls something out and puts it in the pocket of the jacket he has on.  He then sits back down on the couch.

Hamilton: I bought this a week before we graduated.

Scout: So like…three years ago?

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: …from high school.

Scout gives him an inquisitive look.  He takes the item from his pocket…a ring box.  He opens it revealing a ring…of the engagement variety with a (very) small diamond.

Scout: …why?

Hamilton: I’m a moron?

Scout: You were going to propose…to Jake…back then? 

Hamilton: At some point.  I mean I knew graduation…high school graduation was a bad time.  We had a lot of other stuff going on then…like dealing with my dad.  Then we were in college and the timing was always all wrong.  I still almost did it once or twice anyway, but…having her say no wasn’t something I could have dealt with so…I held off.  I was going to do it graduation night…when she was through moving in.  I was going to take her to this garden…it’s my favorite place in New York.  I always thought of it as our “spot,” but I don’t think she found it as impressive as I did…at first.  Eventually, though, that’s where we always ended up…together in that amazing little place.  What a great escape from this hectic city…

Scout: That place in Central Park that you took all those pictures of?

Hamilton nods.

Scout cont’d: I can’t believe you were going to propose.

Hamilton: I think…she would have said yes.  I thought about getting her a new ring since, by that time, I realized this one kind of…sucked.  But, then I figured I’d just tell her the story, you know?

Scout: And now…you’re telling me instead?

Hamilton: Yeah…kind of depressing, huh?

He laughs and closes the box then puts it back into his pocket.

Scout: You’re a little too happy for something so “depressing.”

Hamilton: Look, I love her…and…I can’t have her…and…I can’t accept that while living here in this city.  That’s why I’m “happy.”  I’m just ready to get out of here.  I’m already leaving with less than I came with and…I don’t think I can take losing any more.

Scout: Well…I wish you’d reconsider, but…if not, I’m here to help so…

He stands up looking around.

Scout cont’d: …give me something to do.

Hamilton picks up a box and hands it to him.  Scout takes the box and turns away.  He picks up something wrapped in newspaper and puts it in the box.  Hamilton takes the ring box out of his pocket again and looks at it.  He looks around the apartment, closing his eyes.

(flashback to): three years ago, about a week before graduation.  Jake and Hamilton are in his kitchen, cooking together.  There’s a bunch of stuff all over the counter.  Jake is chopping something and Hamilton is taking something out of the oven.

Hamilton: I can’t believe I still have to wait a week to have you here.

Jake: I’m here now.

Hamilton: I meant like…all the time.

She smiles.  He reaches over her to grab a fork out of the drawer and knocks over a measuring cup full of tomato sauce.  It spills on Jake’s shirt.   He picks up a towel and starts to wipe it off.

Hamilton: Oh, no…sorry.

Jake: It’s okay.  I’ll just—

Hamilton: Take off your shirt?

She smiles and grabs his chin.

Jake: No…put on one of yours.

She kisses him on the cheek and starts to walk out. 

Hamilton (teasingly): I don’t know why you’re bothering…you know I’m just going to take it off later anyway…

In the doorframe she pauses and turns around, smiling at his comment.  She leans on the doorframe.

Jake: Make me some coffee?

Hamilton: Coffee does not go with this dinner.

Jake: Yeah, but…you make really good coffee.

Hamilton: Put coffee in coffee-maker, add water.  I don’t grind the coffee myself…I don’t use special water…

He trails off as he looks at her, realizing she’s giving him a sexy, pleading look.  He can’t say no to a look like this.

Hamilton cont’d: Why don’t I make you some coffee?

She smiles and looks at him as he turns back to the dinner.  When she doesn’t leave he looks back up at her.  She’s still smiling and it makes him smile.

Hamilton cont’d: What?

Jake (seriously): Thank you.

Hamilton: For the coffee?

Jake: For a lot of stuff…

He nods.  She backs out of the room, going to change her shirt.

(cut to): Jake as she reaches his bedroom.  She walks over to his dresser and pulls open the top drawer.  In it are socks on one side and boxers and shirts on another. 

Jake: Hmm…

She picks up a pair of his socks which are rolled together, but don’t match.  She shakes her head and reaches down to put it back when her hand hits something hard.  She pulls out a (the) ring box. 

Jake: Whoa.

She puts it back down without opening it then picks up one of his white t-shirts from the other side of the drawer.  She rolls her eyes at her own curiosity then picks up the box.  She opens it, revealing the ring.  She smiles, shaking her head, but in a happy way.

Jake: What are you doing, Hamilton?

She looks at the ring one more time then closes the box and puts it back under the socks.  She thinks twice about the shirt in her hand and puts it back.  She closes the drawer, looking impressed that there’s a ring.  She takes off her shirt, but is still wearing a bra.  She looks around a moment then shrugs.  She tosses her shirt into his dirty clothes hamper and walks out of the room.

(flash forward to):  Jake’s apartment.  She is in her kitchen chopping vegetables and looking thoughtful…thinking of the past.  She sets the knife down and looks around.  She shakes her head.

Jake: Don’t do this to yourself…he doesn’t deserve it.

She looks at the coffee pot.

Jake cont’d: …then again…maybe he does…

She looks down at her hands…then over at the floor where Ham’s cat is eating.

Jake cont’d: …maybe I do too.

She finally gets it.  It’s subtle, but it’s an epiphany.  It’s not even about the ring…or the cat…or the coffee, but…she gets it.  She smiles to herself then shakes her head.

Jake cont’d: Get over it, Jacqueline…it’s too late…just…get over it.

She sighs and closes her eyes.

(cut to): a little while later.  She’s curled up on her couch, reading a newspaper.  She takes a sip of the coffee she’s made.  There’s a knock. 

Jake: It’s unlocked.

Jill walks in.

Jill: In this city? 

Jake looks up.

Jill cont’d: You were hoping it was him, weren’t you?

Jake looks back at the paper, not saying anything.

Jill: Jacqueline, he’s leaving tomorrow.

Jake: Are we going to hire another photographer because I have a few people in mind—

Jill: Can’t you just admit it…

Jake: What?  That I’m in love with him?

Jill: I was going to say…that you’re going to miss him.

Jake: He totally screwed over our business, Jill.

Jill: And I could kill him for it, I really could…I mean, we’ve already got all that nifty letterhead, but—

Jake (jokingly): Shut up.

Jill: You really don’t care that he’s leaving?  I mean, you can honestly say that?

Jake: I’m going to miss him and there is—…but, Jill,…this isn’t some Nora Ephron film…I’m not going to run after his plane declaring my undying love for him.  That’s just…hokey.

Jill: Wait…what?

Jill sits down on the couch with her.

Jill cont’d: You have to stop playing with my emotions, Jacqueline.  Is there “undying love” to be declared. 

Jake looks off.  Jill’s jaw drops a little.

Jill cont’d: Do you love him?

(cut to): Jake as she looks down…considering the question that she already knows the answer to.  Jill freaks.

Jill: Wait…Jacqueline…no adamant opposition…no instant rejection…no—

Jake: …denial?  I think…I think I’ve moved into acceptance, but…it’s too late.

Jill: Oh…no way…no freaking way…

Jake gives her an inquisitive, but skeptical look.

(fade out to): black

(fade in to): Hamilton’s empty apartment the night before he leaves.  Most of the furniture is gone as are all the boxes that were there.  By the door there is a suitcase.

(cut to): his bedroom.  He’s lying in his bed on his stomach.  His laptop is plugged in on the nightstand by his bed.  At first he appears to be asleep, but we realize he isn’t when he turns over and repositions himself on his back.  He stares up at the ceiling. 

(cut to): Jill and Scout’s.  They’re sitting together on the couch watching You’ve Got Mail.  It’s at the part when Joe first sends an instant message to Kathleen.

Jill: Oh…hey…what time is it?

Scout looks at his watch.

Scout: It’s like five after eleven.

Jill: And, you’re sure Hamilton said he’d be online like all night, right?

Scout: Yeah, I mean he said he wanted to put the finishing touches on his online portfolio.  What’s going on, Jill?

Jill: Nothing…I just…thought I might i.m. him later…

Scout: Uh-huh…but you’ll eventually tell me the real reason, right?

Jill: Yes, Dear.

She puts her head on his shoulder as they continue to watch the (oldie) movie.

(dissolve to): the scene in the movie where Joe tells Kathleen that he wishes they had met under different circumstances (“If I weren’t Fox Books and you weren’t the Shop Around the Corner…if we’d just met…I’d have asked for your number and I wouldn’t have been able to wait twenty four hours before calling you up and asking you out to drinks…or dinner…or a movie…for as long as we both shall live.  And the only thing we’d ever fight about would be which video to rent on a Saturday night…”  Something like that)

(cut to): Jill and Scout on the couch.  Scout’s still watching, but Jill’s fallen asleep.  Scout smiles and kisses her on the top of her head then puts his head on hers as he continues to watch for a moment until he thinks of something.

Scout: Jill…hey, Jillian?

Jill: Huh?

She’s not fully awake.

Scout: It’s getting late…were you going to get in touch with Ham or…

Jill: Will you just go to my computer and hit send on that email I have up?

Scout: Yeah.

Jill: I love you.

Scout gets up and lays her gently down on the couch.  He kneels down and pushes some of her hair out of her face.  He smiles as he gently touches her stomach.  He kisses the top of her head then gets up to send the email.

(cut to): Hamilton’s bedroom.  He’s on his side and is actually asleep.  He’s kicked all the covers off and has on just boxers and a sleeveless t-shirt.  His laptop dings.  He opens his eyes slightly then closes them again.  His laptop informs him “You’ve Got Mail.”  He reluctantly opens his eyes again and lifts his head.  Sure enough, the flag on his mailbox is up.  He picks up the laptop and pulls it into bed.  Without repositioning himself too much he clicks on the mail icon.  His inbox comes up quickly and there is a message from “NYC.”  He looks suspiciously and sleepily at his computer.  He puts his head back down for a moment, but then picks it up a little and clicks the message.  The email pops up and all it says is “click here.”

Hamilton: What the…

He moves the mouse to the words and clicks.  A picture pops up.  It’s a black and white shot of a park.  It’s actually a small garden area in Central Park.  Hamilton recognizes it right away.

Hamilton: The garden?

He scrolls down, but there’s no message.  Hamilton still looks really tired.  He puts his head down for another moment then picks it up and crawls out of bed.

(cut to): downstairs in front of his building.  He walks down the stairs of the building.  He’s changed (or put on rather) sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt.  It makes him look younger, more innocent as do his sleepy expression and tousled hair.  He flags down a cab and climbs in.

(cut to): Central Park.  The cab stops and he gets out. 

Hamilton: Obviously, someone wants me to get mugged…one final reason to hate New York before I go…

He sighs and walks into the dark park.

(cut to): the area from the picture.  Hamilton walks up and looks around.  It’s pretty dark.  He shrugs and sits down on the grass, then lies down, closing his eyes.  And, we’ve made it back to where we started: the disappointed Hamilton from the first scene, “asleep” on the ground.  Defeated, he lies there another moment just as when we first met him.  A string of small white lights cut on not to far from where he is lying.  They are on the ground and seem to provide a trail.  After a few second, he lifts his head up and sees the lights.

(cut to): somewhere down the light trail.  Hamilton walks along, following the lights.  He finally seems to reach his destination.  There is a small switch at the end of the string of lights.  He looks suspiciously at the power cord that leads away.  He decides to continue playing along.  He looks around, almost smiling at the playfulness of this venture.  He flips the switch.  More lights come on.  There are some wrapped around trees and others strung between them.  He notices a larger spotlight pointing at something that is partially hidden behind a tree.  He walks in that direction and when he gets close enough to see it, he stops.

(cut to): a shot from Hamilton’s point of view.  Between two trees and with lights wrapped around it there is a…chalkboard.  Written on it are the words “the unwanted past” and there is an arrow pointing down.

(cut to): Hamilton.  He walks closer to see where the arrow is pointing.  He freezes.

MUSIC: Troubled Times by Fountains of Wayne

(cut to): a shot from his point of view of an eraser directly under the arrow.  He swallows then looks around, but much of the garden area is still hidden in darkness.

Hamilton (loudly): I get to do it?

He looks around.  He accepts that he has to do it.  He picks up the eraser and slowly erases only the word “unwanted.”  He steps back and looks at his work.

Hamilton (loudly): Okay…

(cut to): Jake as she walks out timidly from a shadow-covered area. 

(cut to): Hamilton as he sees her.  His cheeks are flushed and his hair is still messy.  His look is still filled with surprise, but now relief is expressed too.  Jake walks up.  She just has on jeans and a tee-shirt…nothing fancy.  She looks at the board.  Hamilton looks at her.

Jake: Not exactly a clean slate.

He looks at her a moment, truly shocked, amazed and…pleased with the whole situation.  He takes a deep breath, savoring the moment and knowing he should respond.

Hamilton: I got rid of what I wanted to.

Jake looks at him, meeting his rather gaze. 

Hamilton: I haven’t slept in seven days and…I finally fell asleep tonight…

Jake laughs.

Jake: Sorry…

Hamilton: No…I just…I’m not still asleep, right?

Jake shakes her head.

Hamilton cont’d: …’cause this feels like a dream.

She pulls a piece of chalk from her pocket and shows it to him then walks over to the board and begins to write.  He watches and anticipates every letter.  Slowly she spells out “I love you too.”  She turns back to him.  His look is filled with many emotions…all positive ones.  They just look at each other for a few moments.  Hamilton looks truly amazed; Jake looks happy, but anxious.

Hamilton: I—

Jake: You don’t have to say it.

He looks at her inquisitively.

Jake cont’d: I’ll know when you kiss me.

He raises his eyebrows.

Hamilton: This is a dream…

He steps up to her, touching her face.

Jake: Not exactly me chasing after your plane, but…I think it gets the point across.

Hamilton doesn’t get that entirely, but he smiles nonetheless.

Hamilton: I don’t…I didn’t have a plane ticket anyway…

She smiles, shaking her head.  He takes another deep breath…almost a sigh of relief…a weight lifted type thing.  He pushes some hair out of her face as he leans toward her, just about to kiss her.

Hamilton: Thank you.

Jake: For what?

Hamilton: …for a lot of things, but…I meant the slate…clean or not...just the existence of it.

She nods slightly.  He closes his eyes and kisses her.  This is a great kiss.  It’s innocent yet passionate.  Neither of them seems to want to give it up first.  This is a long and fulfilling kiss. Eventually, they both pull away slightly.

Hamilton: I know I don’t have to say it, but…I love you…

Jake: I love you too…and now you have it in writing.

Hamilton: Spoken…in writing…and…like this…

He kisses her again, briefly.

Hamilton cont’d (quietly): This is like…a perfect ending.

Jake smiles, kissing him.

Jake (whispered): It’s a perfect beginning.

He takes a deep breath and nods.  They kiss again.

(pull out)

We get a fancy crane shot pull out as we see the bigger picture of this “perfect spot.”  The lights frame Jake and Ham…and the chalkboard perfectly.  The music crescendos a little for effect.

(cut to): an even higher overhead shot.  Jake and Ham are even further away and we see the Garden as part of the bigger park. 

(cut out): to a helicopter shot of even more of the park.  We can still see the small area of light.

(cut to): an even further away shot including much of the city.

(cut to): an overhead, city shot.

(fade out to): black.  The music fades out as the song ends, but don’t cue the over-used Louis Armstrong song quite yet.

(fade in): to two people holding hands…just the hands.  The guy moves his finger, rubbing her hand gently and revealing a ring…the ring…Ham’s ring.

(cut to): a shot of Jake and Hamilton sitting in the waiting area of a hospital, holding hands (same hands as before).

Hamilton: This is crazy…they should let us in there…they let her dad in there.

Jake: Yeah, Hamilton, he’s her dad.  Anyway, Scout said he’d come out as soon as something happened.

(cut to): down the hall.  Will Krudski comes jogging up.  He’s older maybe with some facial hair, but…still pretty much the same Will.

Will: Am I too late?

Jake: Nope…we’re still waiting. 

She points to a nearby “waiting room” sign.

Hamilton: You made it.  I didn’t think you’d be able to get out of that book-signing thing.

Will:  That wasn’t a problem, but actually getting here…that wasn’t easy.  It took two hours just to get from the airport to here…this is after a five hour flight from Seattle. 

Jake: But, you made it…

Will: Yes, and…I brought a video camera.

He holds up the camera bag.  It’s small and the camera is too.  It is the future, after all.

Jake: They won’t even let us in there.

Hamilton: But Scout’s supposed to—

Scout comes running up to them.  The other people in the hospital don’t look so impressed and give the foursome weird looks.

Scout: I’m a dad!  You guys…I’m a dad.  Will!  You made it…I’m a dad, Will!

Will gives him a big hug and smiles.

Will: I know…I know…

Jake and Hamilton look at one another, smiling.  Jake still looks at Hamilton when she speaks to Scout.

Jake: So…do I have a new niece or nephew?

Scout looks at them like the question is too complicated phrased like that.

Scout: Uh…

Hamilton: Boy or girl?

Scout: Uh…boy…a son…I have a son…I have a son!  You have to come see him…like now.  He’s amazing!

They all hurry down the hall together.

(cut to): Jill holding the baby as the four of them reach the door.  She looks exhausted but she smiles when she sees them.  Her dad is sitting in a chair next to her.

Jill: Even Will Krudski showed up for this…I’m honored.

Will: Hi Jillian.

(cut to): Jill and the baby.  Scout walks up and kisses Jill then the baby.  Jill’s dad reaches up and pats him on the back.

(cut to): Jake, Hamilton and Will as they look on.  Will pulls out the video camera.

(dissolve to): later that day.  Jake and Hamilton stand together at the nursery window, holding hands.

(cut to): the baby.  His bracelet says “Calhoun.”

(cut to): Jake and Hamilton.  Jake watches him watch the baby.

Hamilton: This is like…amazing.

Jake still looks at Hamilton.

Jake: Yes…it is.

He looks over at her.

Hamilton: This is my new favorite place in this city.  Think we can come back?

Jake smiles.  They turn toward each other.

Jake: I’d like that.

He grins as she puts her arm around his neck, pulling him over for a kiss.

(cut to): a closer shot of them finishing the kiss.

Hamilton: …and is this the perfect ending?

Jake: Well, it’s certainly a good start…

He smiles and kisses her again.

(fade out)

 

THE END

(but really it’s yet another beginning…we seem to have a lot of those around here J)

 

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