After the Storm
Fade In: Interior. Joan and Ted’s kitchen. The sun is shining through the windows as Joan is dressed perfectly in her nightgown, bathrobe, slippers, hair and make up done as she is cooking eggs in the frying pan. Orange juice and coffee has been poured and hot toast is on the table in a toast holder. Joan is humming to herself as Robin enters.
Robin: Good morning, Mrs. Norris.
Joan: Good morning, Robin.
Robin: What’s all this?
Joan: Why it’s breakfast, dear. Come. Sit and eat.
Robin: Oh, wow, that’s really nice, Mrs. Norris, but I don’t eat breakfast.
Joan: You don’t eat breakfast? I don’t understand.
Robin: My mother never made me breakfast and I just never got into the habit of eating it I guess.
Joan: Oh, well, in this house we eat breakfast and since you are a guest in this house you’ll be eating breakfast. Now look, dear, the eggs are scrambled unless of course you prefer them sunny side up?
Robin: Well I–
Joan: Sit down, Robin. I insist.
Announcer: It looks as if Robin Lane will be eating a breakfast she will never forget this morning in a town called Briarwood.
Fade back in on the scene as we left it. Robin is seated at the table finishing her eggs and toast.
Joan: Drink your orange juice, dear.
Robin: (Putting down her fork): Oh, thanks, Mrs. Norris, but I really can’t. I’m so full.
Joan: That’s fine but I didn’t pour it for it to sit in the glass.
(Robin starts to drink it as Jeff enters. He’s dressed for the day.)
Jeff: (Crosses to Robin and takes the drink out of her hand): If she doesn’t want to drink it, Mom, she doesn’t have too.
Joan: Jeff, I didn’t hear you come downstairs.
Jeff: I have a way of sneaking up on people.
Joan: Yes. I noticed.
Robin: Aren’t you going to eat anything, Mrs. Norris?
Joan: No, dear, I always wait for Doctor Norris to come down in the morning and we eat breakfast together.
Jeff: It’s going to be a long wait.
Joan: What does that mean?
Jeff: I couldn’t sleep so I was looking out the window at the storm last night and I saw Dad leaving around two this morning.
Joan: There must have been an emergency at the hospital.
Jeff: (Shrugs): Whatever. Come on, Robin, I’ll drive you to school.
Robin: I don’t really feel like going back today. All the kids will be asking me about my mother and–
Joan: Well you’ll have to face it sooner or later. As difficult as it is we must all face our troubles head on. As my mother used to say it’s always darkest before the dawn. Now I must go call your Father and find out what tragedy took him to the hospital so early. Excuse me. (She flits out.)
Robin: Is she always like that?
Jeff: Ever since I’ve known her. Scary right?
CUT-TO: Interior. Ted’s bedroom. Joan enters and finds the bed hasn’t been slept in. She gets on her cell phone.
Joan: (As the phone rings): Pick up! Pick up! Goddam–Hello, Ida. Have you seen Doctor Norris around today? You haven’t? That’s odd. No, no, Ida. Everything is fine but if you do happen to see him tell him his loving wife is looking for him. Thank you and I’ll see you soon. (Hangs up) Where the hell is he?
CUT-TO: Interior. Briarcliff drawing room. Roxann is there dressed for the day pouring a little booze into her coffee cup. Patsy enters unnoticed.
Patsy: Morning, Roxann.
Roxann: Oh, Pats, you scared me.
Patsy: Imagine that. Me scaring the great Roxann DuPres.
Roxann: Please, Pats, not today, huh?
Patsy: I was only teasing you. Did you hear that storm last night?
Roxann: Yes. How could you help but hear it? I’d forgotten thunderstorms are so loud in Briarwood.
Patsy: They aren’t like that in Paris?
Roxann: No. You should come visit some time and see for yourself.
Patsy: There’s no need for me to go to Paris. The only person I know there is you and you’re here. So who I would visit?
Will: (Entering in his wheelchair): Still it’s not a bad idea. You should go abroad and see the world. Perhaps your sister can take you when she goes.
Roxann: Maybe I will. Patsy is always welcome but I’m not sure when I will be leaving.
Will: There’s no reason for you to remain. I’ve recovered from nearly fatal stroke as unhappy as that makes you so your presence is no longer necessary.
Roxann: As hard as this is for you to comprehend at your age–which must be like one hundred–the reason I’m staying in Briarwood has nothing to do with you.
Amy: (Enters): There you are, Judge. I’ve been looking all over for you. Come now breakfast is ready.
Will: Blast you, woman. I’m not hungry.
Amy: You’ve got to eat something. Patsy, take your Father into the breakfast room.
Patsy: Yes, Aunt Amy, (taking the chair) come along, Daddy.
Amy: (To Roxann): Will you be joining us? (Roxann laughs and starts to exit.) Could you tell Paris to come home before three in the morning?
Amy: The storm kept me awake last night so I came down here to get a book and I saw Paris coming through that door at three o’clock this morning. I’m not sure where she was but if you could tell her the curfew is midnight at the latest that would be good.
Roxann: I don’t do anyone’s dirty work and certainly not yours. If you want to tell her go ahead.
Amy: I’ve already told her but she seems to be defying me. I thought you as her mother would be concerned about the time she’s keeping and with whom she appears to be keeping it.
Roxann: Is that what you thought? Paris is seventeen. She can take care of herself.
Amy: Isn’t that odd? You thought the same thing at that age and look how that ended.
Close up of Roxann wanting to rip Amy’s head off.
Close up of Amy smiling.
CUT-TO: Exterior. The previous night with lightening and rain. We see the driveway of Briarcliff. We see Ted’s car pulling up to the driveway. He turns off his headlights and drives over to park his car underneath Roxann’s bedroom window. He parks it and looks up at her window.
CUT-TO: Ted’s POV. He sees Jim’s car pull up and Paris exiting his vehicle. She blows Jim a kiss and then closes his car door. She runs in the rain to the front door of Briarcliff, opens it and exits inside. Jim’s car drives away.
CUT-TO: Exterior. We see Ted through the raining windshield pounding his fists on the steering wheel.
We hear a knocking on the door.
Dissolve to: Interior. Ted’s office. He is asleep on his sofa in his office and there is rapid knocking on his door. He wakens to it and hears Joan’s voice–
Joan: (Off): Ted, Ted, open the door. It’s me. Joan. Ted, are you in there? Ted!
Ted removes his raincoat and hangs it up on the coat rack putting on his doctor’s jacket and looking into the mirror while combing his hair all the while saying
Ted: Just a second, please.
Joan: (Off): Ted, let me in.
Ted: Just a minute. (He crosses to the door and opens it. Joan is there in her nurses’s uniform.) What is it?
Joan: (Enters): Where were you last night?
Ted: What do you mean where was I?
Joan: I went upstairs to your room and your bed hadn’t been slept it.
Ted: That’s because I was here. Why do you ask?
Joan: Jeff saw you leaving the house around two this morning and when he told me about it I became concerned.
Ted: There’s no need to be. Ida called me saying there is an emergency and I came here and took care of it. Then I was tired and instead of going back home I slept here on the couch. Is that all?
Joan: Yes except when Jeff told me you weren’t home I called here at the hospital and got Ida and she told me that you weren’t here and that she hadn’t seen you.
Ted: That’s right. She didn’t see me.
Joan: I don’t understand. I thought you said–
Ted: Look, Joan, I don’t have time to figure out what’s going in that pretty little head of yours. I told you what happened and where I was and that’s that. Ida is an old lady. Maybe she’s suffering from senility.
Joan: I doubt that. Ida is a very bright woman. We wouldn’t be able to run this hospital without her. I was just concerned that’s all.
Ted: Concerned? It sounds more like suspicious to me–
Joan: Suspicious? Of what?
Ted: (Seeing Jim walk by): Jim! I want to see you. That will be all, Joan.
Joan: Of course, Doctor. (To Jim, who enters) Good morning, Doctor.
Jim: Good morning, Joan.
Ted: (To Joan as she exits): Close the door on your way out. (She does.)
Jim: All right, Ted. What did I do wrong this time?
Ted: Paris DuPres.
CUT-TO: Interior. Briarcliff Drawing Room. Judge is in their with Amy.
Will: If you are going to serve gruel for breakfast have the good sense to call it that. What is for lunch–mutton? (He sees Paris walking down the stairs.) You! (Paris sees him and stops.) Come in here. I want a word with you.
Close up of a bewildered Paris and then an angry Will
CUT-TO: Close up of Roxann
Roxann: The thing is I came back to Briarwood for my share of the inheritance and then I was going to leave again. I swear. But, of course, I wanted to see Kayleigh. I mean I gave birth to her but then to find out she’s blind and my sister Patsy is going to marry her father and then send Kayleigh away to God knows where. Well I had to do something to protect her. I love her. She’s so sweet and pure and innocent. So I dressed up as her piano teacher to get inside her house and get close to her and then I had sex with Peter to convince him to marry me instead of Patsy. Is that so wrong? Then the bastard tells me last night it’s over and to stay away from Kayleigh not realizing I had already seen her. Plus Patsy tells me if she doesn’t marry Peter she’ll kill herself. I don’t know what to do. I’d like to just hop on a plane out of here and go back to Paris but I can’t. It’s horrible to discover you’re not as heartless as you thought you were. So I had to come here and discuss this all with you.
As she said her last line we pull back to see that Roxann is talking to her Mother’s headstone in the Briarwood Cemetery.
Adam: (Off): Is there anything I can do?
We pull back to show Adam standing nearby as Roxann is kneeling in front of her Mother’s grave.
Fade to Black