On a Clear Day
Fade In: Interior. Sylvia’s upstairs hallway. Arthur is exiting her bedroom as Charlie waits in the hall.
Charlie: Thanks for coming, Doc.
Arthur: (He nods) I gave her a sedative that should help her sleep. Do you know what caused her to faint like that?
Charlie: Yeah. She just found out that I don’t what her name is–Jennifer Crane?
Charlie: She just got married to some guy named Richard?
Arthur: Richard Wembly! Shut up!
Charlie: No she did and I guess he’s–
Arthur: He’s a billionaire and that makes her one of the richest women in the world even richer than Sylvia or Violet put together.
Charlie: Bingo! That’s what did it. I guess this Jennifer and Sylvia hate each other?
Arthur: Yes. They’ve hated each other since childhood when Sylvia was the little rich girl and Jennifer was the poor Minister’s daughter and it didn’t help when Jennifer had an affair with Max while Sylvia was married to him.
Charlie: Yeah. Well thanks again. I’ll show you out.
Arthur: Not that’s it any of my business, Charlie, is it? What are you doing here?
Charlie: You know something, Doc. You’re right. It’s not your business.
CUT-TO: Interior. Richard’s foyer. There is a banging on the front door. Alyson enters sleepily and opens it. Violet is there with moving men. She barges in.
Alyson: Aunt Violet-what are you?
Violet: Out of my way. (To the moving men) I want everything, the paintings, the furnishings, the rugs even. Get moving. (They start taking things down.)
Alyson: Wait what are you doing?
Violet: What I should have done when your father showed up to claim my house!
Alyson: Daddy won’t like this.
Violet: Your Daddy is preoccupied with other matters at the moment or haven’t you heard?
Alyson: Heard what? I just woke up.
Violet: Well you’d better stay awake little girl and keep your eyes wide open. Your Daddy has just given you a new stepmother–Jennifer Crane! They have flown to New York and got married at his New York penthouse today! The same woman who your Daddy had an affair with years ago breaking your late mother’s heart–my dear sister Elinor–will now be living in mine and my sister’s house! (To the movers) Don’t just stand there. Move!
Alyson: I didn’t know that she and Daddy–
Violet: Maybe you’d better get your sweet little head out of that ass of yours and look at the world around you. Then you wouldn’t be married to some phony Italian count!
Alyson: He is not phony and you don’t have to be so mean.
Violet: If you think is mean, you’d better watch. You ain’t nothing yet.
CUT-TO: Interior. Paula’s cottage. She is seated on her couch.
Paula: (On her phone): Julian, I need my money ASAP. You promised me six hundred thousand for a finder’s fee for your lousy movie and I haven’t received one penny. You have to call me back. For Christ sake, Julian, I let you suck on my breasts. (Lena enters from the bedroom with a suitcase) Call me. (She hangs up) Where do you think you’re going?
Lena: I can leave if I want. I’m not your prisoner.
Paula: (Blocks the door): Well you’re not going to go back and live with Jim and Kathy.
Lena: No I’m not doing that. Could you please move?
Paula: Then what are you doing?
Lena: Look you want me to stay away from your brother and his wife, no problem. I’m over Jim. Truly. Now if you’ll get out of my way, please?
Paula: It’s good to know you’ve finally accepted that Jim loves Kathy and no one else.
Lena: I’ve accepted it all right. You better believe that. (She exits with her bags.)
CUT-TO: Exterior. A beautiful sunny clear blue afternoon. We see Miss Caswell taking her cigarette out of her mouth and when she hears Paula’s door open and Lena exits Miss Caswell takes her cigarette and stamps it out in the soil underneath the rose bushes.
Paula: (To Lena) You’re welcome! (To Miss Caswell): Good morning.
Miss Caswell: (Smoke blowing out of her mouth of which is she is embarrassed): Morning. Is your friend leaving?
Paula: She’s no friend of mine. What is all that noise up at the main house?
Miss Caswell: I can’t say but it’s not good. I better get back to caring for Andrew.
Paula: How is he now that he can see?
Miss Caswell: He’s doing well.
Paula: Tell him I said hello. We were always very close. He dates my niece. (Miss Caswell exits as Alyson comes running across the lawn down the hill.) Alyson! What are you doing here?
Alyson: Oh, Mrs. Tremayne! What are you–
Paula: Never mind. Come in.
CUT-TO: Interior. Paula’s cottage. Alyson enters in front of Paula, who closes the door.
Alyson: What is going on around here? I just want to be with Gio.
Paula: Sit down. Do you want something to drink? Water lemonade scotch?
Alyson: Lemonade would be very nice.
Paula: Well let me make some.
Alyson: (She sits): Oh, that’s okay. I don’t mean to be rude but what are you doing here?
Paula: I’m renting this cottage now from your father. I moved in after you went off to your Swiss boarding school. Andrew and Violet are living across the way.
Alyson: I thought Andrew was away at Yale.
Paula: He was but he flunked out got hit by a car that somehow involved my niece Colleen, had a concussion, was operated on by Max and it restored his health and his eyesight.
Alyson: Wow. Andrew can see?
Paula: Yes. Didn’t anyone tell you?
Alyson: No but that’s great. I’ll have to go see him. I was always afraid of Andrew because he was blind. I know that’s a terrible thing to say but I was always afraid I’d catch it. Silly, huh? Even sillier is me living back here when I want to be in Italy with my husband!
Paula: Oh your husband is in Italy?
Alyson: Yes I think. I mean well we eloped and ended up at his grandmother’s villa. At least he told me she’s his grandmother and I believe him. Daddy has some crazy idea that Gio is really her husband.
Paula: And who is supposed to be his grandmother?
Alyson: Countess Althea Frangelico!
Paula: Oh, I know her. Well I mean I don’t her but I’ve seen her when I was in Hollywood starring in films. She’s a beautiful woman. Did you meet her?
Alyson: No only Daddy did and she told him some crazy story that she’s his wife just to me out of Gio’s life because she thinks I’m not good enough for him but I am. I truly love Gio like I’ve never loved any boy before.
Paula: That’s the same thing you used about Hugh.
Alyson: Oh, I’m sorry, Mrs. Tremayne. I didn’t mean to bring up any bad memories of Hugh.
Paula: I try not to have any bad memories of my son. To remember only the fun times no matter how few there actually were.
Alyson: So you knew the Countess?
Paula: No I didn’t actually know her. We had a nodding acquaintance. She was a friend of a friend that sort of thing.
Alyson: Was Gio with her then?
Paula: (Tiring of this): I really don’t remember, Alyson, it was such a long time ago. If you want my advice, you’d do wise to forget all about Gio and men in general. They only disappoint in the end. So what is going on at your Father’s house? Is he moving things out? I see a lot of vans up there.
Alyson: Daddy isn’t even home. It’s Aunt Violet. She’s come to take out all her belongings especially after she heard what happened. I only heard about it through her.
Paula: What is it? It’s not tragic, is it?
Alyson: Daddy has run off and eloped with Jennifer Crane. She’s now my new stepmother.
Paula: Wait? What? Are you telling me that Jennifer Crane is now married to one of the richest men in the world? She’s now Mrs. Richard Wembly?
Alyson: Yes. Are you all right?
Paula: All right? I’m in shock. To think that little Jennifer Crane who grew up next door to me is now married to a billionaire.
Alyson: So you were friends?
Paula: No we hated each other. She was jealous of me, that’s what it was. She always wanted to have the lead in the school plays and be an Oscar winner like me but for her to now be the wife of a billionaire. Well, Alyson, if this isn’t a tragedy I don’t know what is.
Close up of Paula
CUT-TO: Interior. Kathy’s kitchen. She is chopping vegetables as Dot stands beside her helping prepare the dinner.
Kathy: The thing is I know Adrian wants me to visit him daily at the jail cell and I want too because I miss him but I also want to kill him for getting us into this situation.
Dot: I know it.
Kathy: It’s not like he had a sexual affair with Lena. It’s not like that.
Dot: I know it.
Kathy: It’s just that he’s had an emotional one.
Dot: I know it.
Kathy: He’s always been there for here whenever anything went wrong in her life. Ever since our separation she has been insinuating herself in our lives and even when we reconciled she still refused to go away.
Dot: I know it.
Kathy: But why should she go away? He keeps pulling her back? Even when she married Noel I thought to myself good, she’s out of our lives. But when Jim saw how unhappy she was with Noel he stood there like her avenger ready to save her.
Dot: I know it.
Kathy: Mom, are you listening to me?
Dot: Yes I’m listening and I totally agree.
Kathy: It’s as if he has extra testosterone that he has to use to save not just us but the entire world from evil Noel Tremayne and that entire world is Lena Tremayne. He’s saved the world from it and now he’s sitting in a jail cell confessing to killing Lena’s husband!
Dot: He’s had an emotional affair there’s no doubt about it and sometimes that can hurt much more than a sexual one. Did you want these carrots to go in the stew?
Kathy: Yes. (Dot puts them in off the cutting board.) The thing is I also blame myself partly anyway.
Dot: Why? You’re not to blame for anything.
Kathy: No I am. If I hadn’t wanted Declan so much I wouldn’t have ignored my family.
Dot: You didn’t ignore your family.
Kathy: Running away with a baby without any intentions of ever coming back? That’s ignoring your family, Mom.
Dot: (Guides her to the kitchen chair.): Sit down. Let me get you a glass of wine. You could use it.
Kathy: No, I’m fine.
Dot: No you’re not. (Opens the refrigerator and takes out the bottle of red wine and takes down a glass and pours Kathy one and brings it to her.) You ran away with Declan to save that child from his father. Maggie wanted you to have him.
Kathy: Yes but I wanted him to. I needed him to replace the child I miscarried after Patrick. To be able to get him Jim had to fight Noel and protect me so don’t you see that I’m partly responsible for Jim sitting in that cell?
Dot: Drink your wine. (Kathy sips it.) No I don’t see it at all. You were doing something good, Kathy. You were saving a child and to whatever you had to do you were willing too even if it meant leaving your husband and your other children. Don’t tell me you didn’t think of them every second of every day you were gone.
Kathy: No I did.
Dot: Of course you did because that’s the kind of person you are and why I’m proud to call you my daughter. You’re not so little Italian ninny running around looking for someone else’s husband to protect her. I always liked Lena but she’s odd. Always has been. Her father and her mother protected her even when she had that baby out-of-wedlock she was protected. She’s not like you or me even. She can’t handle the real world so she finds someone’s ego to build so he will protect her like her father did. I used to think the poor thing needed help. I even took her into my home after her father was killed to help her recover but it didn’t do any good. Nothing ever does. I used to have a sympathy for her but no more. Not after she’s hurt you and Jim. No. She’s a dangerous girl and she must be stopped before she causes more harm.
Kathy: That’s what I’m worried about, Mom. I wonder if she already has.
CUT-TO: Exterior. Downtown Boston with the name Boston coming across the screen. We slowly dissolve into an expensive hotel room. Lena is seated in a chair on her phone.
Lena: Yes, I did as you said. I’m here in Boston. Yes, I will remain out-of-the-way until the trial all expenses paid of course? Good. (We slowly dissolve to seeing Kathy at her kitchen table anxiously sipping her wine as these lines are said) Yes, Mister Kelly, I will rest until the time arrives for my day in court when I tell the truth about Jim Burke and see poor Kathy’s heart-break in two.
Fade to Black