Season 4

S04 E11 Tension Mounts Part 2

Kyle XY S04 E11

Tension Mounts Part 2

Monday night.

After Kyle receives the text message from Amanda, he calls Foss.

KYLE: Hey, Foss.

FOSS’s voice: What’s up?

KYLE: I won’t be able to make tomorrow morning’s workout session. I have to work.

FOSS [cut to him at the warehouse where he’s setting up another training area]: You haven’t been “working” out at night have you?

KYLE [cut to him, he knows Foss meant if he or Jessi donned their suits and went for a midnight run]: No.

FOSS [cut to him]: Good. The police are monitoring store cameras.

KYLE [cut back to him]: I know. [He tells Foss what happened when he went jogging]. Why don’t I come over now for a workout?

FOSS’s voice: I’ll be waiting.

Cut to Kyle at the warehouse, he’s told Foss of his new ability in tapping communications.

FOSS: Handy. It makes my surveillance equipment obsolete.

KYLE: I don’t tap into things, unless it’s an emergency.

FOSS: Well, if the police step up their search techniques, you may have to be more aware of what they’re up to.

KYLE: I’ve thought of that. I’ll be careful.

Day 3 – Tuesday morning, October 12th…

When Jessi goes for her workout in the morning she sees Kyle isn’t there.

JESSI: Where’s Kyle?

FOSS: He had to work early.

This is what happens when she doesn’t listen in, she misses out on what’s happening.

FOSS: Did he tell you about the store cameras?

JESSI: Yes.

FOSS: It’s more imperative than ever you two don’t reveal any of your special abilities.

She nods, but she can’t help thinking on the idea of making their suits invisible. She doesn’t tell Foss though. But to work on the suits meant working with Kyle. One on one. That meant talking to him more than she had been.

Did she really need the knowledge inside his head to work on the idea herself? She could figure out a way to combine clear plastic with magnetic pulse waves to alter the molecular structure of the material. Science was already working on those two elements of camouflage; all she had to do was refine it.

When Jessi arrives at Latnok, she sees Nate is already at his station. Thinking of their conversation, she wonders what other ‘mistakes’ he’s made.

As she enters her office and settles in she finds Nate tapping on her open door. He’s standing just off to the side so she doesn’t notice what’s in his other hand.

Jessi wonders at the glad feeling she feels when she sees him there despite having been annoyed with him yesterday, and remembers his shirtless state when he greeted her, noticing he did have great abs, which she can see their definition even beneath the T-shirt he is now wearing today.

JESSI: Hi.

NATE [holds up his other hand and she then sees the envelopes in his other hand]: Mail came. [There’s also a larger sized envelope he lays on her desk]. That one came earlier for you. I signed for it.

JESSI: Thanks. [He turns around to head back out]. Wait! [He turns back]. What’s in it?

NATE [shrugs]: Don’t know.

JESSI: You mean you didn’t read it?

NATE [frowns]: Why would I?

JESSI: You usually read everything Latnok related.

NATE: It’s addressed specifically for you.

He turns to leave again.

JESSI: Wait! [He turns back with a raised eyebrow and she asks the question that’s been at the forefront of her mind]. What other mistakes have you made?

NATE [looks incredulous]: What?!

JESSI: You said you’ve made mistakes, or rather implied more than one mistake of joining that sorority.

NATE: You want to know that stuff about me now?

JESSI: Why not?

NATE: I’m busy working.

JESSI: You’re never that busy to talk to me.

NATE [smiles a slow pleased smile]: Miss me do you?

She scowls, beginning to get impatient with him wondering why she had wanted him to stay.

JESSI: No.

NATE: Liar. I saw how you were checking me out.

He swallows hard as she starts “checking” him out again. She was too innocent to realize the implications her looking at him could cause so he clears his throat.

NATE: That sorority is different.

JESSI [glances up at him, away from his chest]: How?

NATE: If you want to get all personal and want to know me better, why don’t we date first? You know, when you’re not too busy getting grounded and then having to cancel on me.

JESSI [glares at him]: I had a reason.

NATE [raises an eyebrow]: Yeah, didn’t it have something to do with Kyle?

JESSI [grows uncomfortable in confessing]: I listened in on a private conversation.

NATE [narrows his eyes in suspicion]: You do that a lot?

JESSI [glances away in guilt]: Yeah.

NATE: Why?

JESSI: I hate to feel left out.

NATE: Was it worth it?

JESSI: Yes and no.

NATE: Meaning?

JESSI: Yes, because I know how he feels about something and no because I got grounded for it.

NATE: So, what was it he felt that you had to know about?

JESSI: He wants to keep Cassidy’s embryo.

NATE [gazes at her in shocked surprise]: He wants to keep that thing?

JESSI: Yeah.

NATE: For God’s sake, why?

JESSI: Because it has Amanda’s DNA. And since he can’t give her any more children, he wants it.

NATE: Still, that’s Cassidy’s leavings.

JESSI: I know. [She’s feeling upset all over again but at least there’s someone else who understands her feelings].

NATE [shakes his head]: I don’t get it, Amanda’s DNA or not. That’s still not a good enough reason to keep the thing.

JESSI: Yeah, well, now you know why I’m all upset with him.

NATE: Because you listened in to find out. [She nods and he thinks for a second]. The best way to be a spy, hotness, it not to let on you overheard anything, good or bad. You gotta keep cool.

JESSI [eyes him]: Would you have been able to keep cool?

NATE [gives a slow smile]: I might have.

JESSI [still eying him]: Really?

NATE [inwardly calls on all his street-wise experience to keep cool and not let anything show on his face and shrugs]: Why don’t we talk later? If you want to unload, I’ll be around to listen.

This time she doesn’t call him back when he leaves but she does wonder what he can be hiding. Did he mean he did his own share of spying on people, too?

She starts checking the computer, particularly the emails Nate’s been receiving and sending. All were Latnok related, if she wanted anything more personal she’d have to access his cell and starts to use her new ability to track signals but the only drawback is she can only access signals that were going on now, not in the past.

If she hadn’t decided to start monitoring his cell she would have missed the call that came in. When he answers, his conversation made her more curious as to what was going on with him.

Cut to Nate back at his work station as he answers his cell.

NATE: Yeah?

LARRY’s voice: Hey, Nate. Haagler wants to see you.

NATE: Let me guess, Billy?

LARRY’s voice: He’s been expelled but Haagler still wants to see you. The police are here waiting for a statement from you as well.

NATE: I’ll be right there.

Nate returns to Jessi’s office and she pretends to act ‘cool’ like he suggested, not letting on that she spied on him and starts opening the mail he had brought in earlier.

NATE: I just got a call to make a statement to the police about what happened the other night. I’ll be back later.

JESSI: Sure. [She slices open another envelope and pulls out a statement].

Nate leaves and she bites her lip, feeling as if she betrayed him too by listening in on his personal conversation. Would he be as mad at her as Kyle was?

Kyle was right again. She shouldn’t listen in on others. Yet, curiosity overcame her guilt, over-ruling rightness. She just had to know the outcome of his meeting with this Haagler guy and finds a way to log into Nate’s cell and listen in.

Cut to Nate at the sorority house in a side office. Haagler is sitting behind a desk, Nate is sitting across from him. Larry is standing off to the side.

HAAGLER [puts his hands behind his head]: So, Nate. [Haagler’s cold hard brown eyes stares at Nate. Nate stares back and despite the cold trickle of sweat creeping down his back beneath his shirt, Nate shows no outward sign of nervousness]. You turned on a brother.

NATE: He betrayed the order.

HAAGLER: Come now, we all have…appetites.

He said it in a way that Nate hated to wonder what his appetites might be.

NATE: Yeah, well, his way wasn’t keeping to a low profile, was it?

HAAGLER [stares at him for a second then cracks a cold hard grin]: No, he wasn’t. [He drops his hands and opens a folder on his desk]. I noticed Latnok was changing back to its original mission. [He leans close]. That right?

NATE: Yeah.

HAAGLER: Mmm. [He taps his fingers on the papers within the file, the papers were Nate’s monthly report to the order but Haagler says nothing more].

NATE: Problem? [He glances at the report then back at Haagler, and the look Haagler gives him makes him wish he hadn’t said anything. Haagler had deliberately paused, waiting for Nate to speak, just like an interrogator would].

HAAGLER: Just remember who you really belong to.

Nate clenches his teeth, he belonged to no one. But Haagler gives him a cold hard stare that would have even made the late Cassidy shiver in fear.

HAAGLER: That will be all, [his voice colder than ice, dismissing Nate].

Nate leaves. The trickle of sweat running down his back felt like droplets of ice-cubes. Big mistake, huge, his joining this sorority order. He knew it the moment he was first initiated when the members dressed in black robes, cutting the palms of their hands and making a blood oath.

Cut to Jessi as she overhears their conversation. She didn’t like the sound of this Haagler guy and now her curiosity grows higher. Keeping one ear tuned for more signals from Nate’s personal cell, she opens the large brown envelope addressed personally to her. When she opens it and sees the contents and who gave this to her, her eyes widen.

Cut to Josh at Beachwood High. It’s the lunch hour and he’s sitting with Andy, eating their lunch together.

ANDY: So, when can we double date? You can try your friends here. We don’t have to rely on Kyle and Amanda to keep going on dates with us.

JOSH: It’s only been a couple of times with them.

ANDY: And now they’re busy with heavy loads of studying. [Josh nods but she can tell by the look on his face something more is going on]. Or, so you said.

JOSH: Yep, real heavy. [He’s thinking of Kyle’s and Amanda’s recent offspring problem].

Andy eyes him.

JOSH: All right, I’ll ask Bobby.

ANDY: Good. [She smiles as she can’t wait for their next date and Josh thinks he’ll find some way to bribe his friend into double dating, anything to be with Andy].

Cut back to Jessi. Just as she’s about to read the contents of the large envelope she picks up a signal from Nate’s cell, an incoming email message. It’s from Grace Kingsley.

GRACE’s text: So, who killed my son?

NATE’s text back: The guy Cassidy was trying to sell information on Latnok to. When Cassidy didn’t deliver, the guy killed him. According to the police report, Cassidy managed to get a shot off, killing the guy as well.

Cut back to Jessi as she reels in shock, Nate was in contact with Grace? How long had this been going on for? No wonder it was no coincidence that she received a packet from the said woman herself. She looks down at the signature from Grace Kingsley signed at the bottom of the letter that was in the brown envelope.

Cut to later after work as Kyle heads back to the dorm for a study session with Declan. He has with him four subs, each one at least twelve inches long. It’s just five minutes after six thirty and Kyle sees Declan at his desk already reading his textbook.

KYLE: Hey.

DECLAN [glances up]: Hey.

KYLE: How was Jackie’s party?

DECLAN: Not bad. There were a lot of her girlfriends though, not much guys so I bailed a little earlier. How about you?

KYLE: Sunday night Hillary went to a party, she got into trouble and Jessi and I helped rescue her.

DECLAN: Whoa, back up. What kind of trouble?

KYLE: A guy drugged her and was about to rape her. Lori called me. Hillary managed to call her and left the line open so I was able to trace the signal.

DECLAN: Is she okay?

KYLE: Shaken and grateful.

DECLAN: Where was this party?

KYLE: At a sorority house.

DECLAN: Poor girl. Some parties aren’t worth attending.

KYLE: I think she was depressed her date with Dexter didn’t work out.

DECLAN: It didn’t?

KYLE: Not according to Lori.

Declan shakes his head in sympathy. After a few seconds of silence, Declan looks at the subs in Kyle’s hands with envy, then glances back at his books.

KYLE [catches the look]: Did you eat?

DECLAN: Actually no, not yet.

KYLE: Want a couple?

DECLAN: Yeah, that’d be great. [He eyes Kyle]. Did you buy extra for me?

KYLE: Of course:

DECLAN [grins]: A man who thinks ahead. [Kyle hands him a couple of subs]. Thanks.

KYLE [watches how eagerly Declan digs into the sandwiches as if he hasn’t eaten in a while]: You’re welcome, [he smiles back and sits down at his desk to eat his two subs].

DECLAN [over a mouthful of food]: The RA dropped by.

KYLE: Oh?

DECLAN [swallows his mouthful]: There’s a big study session happening down in the Activity room, he said we’re welcome to attend.

KYLE: Sounds good.

As they pack up their books to head down to the study session, Declan looks at what Kyle is bringing, only an artist’s pad and colored pencils.

DECLAN: That’s all you’re taking?

KYLE: I read all the books I needed to read at the library. After we come back I can work on the assignments.

DECLAN [remembers how Kyle used his hand to transfer information from within his head and into the computer]: Yeah, neat trick. I wish I had your gift to zap the answers to all my assignments.

Kyle just grins.

DECLAN [indicates the pencils]: You’re not using your usual crayons?

KYLE: I thought I’d try a different medium to practice with.

They leave.

Cut to Jessi back at home. Nicole is in her bedroom, sitting on the chair at her desk while Jessi sits back on her bed, pillows propped behind her.

Nicole is holding the letter from Grace in her hands, the rest of the contents were reports on DNA testing and proof of Kyle being her son.

NICOLE: I can’t believe it; Grace is threatening to claim Kyle as her son?

JESSI: Yes.

NICOLE: The nerve of her! She can’t, he’s of legal age now, an adult.

JESSI: Nevertheless, that’s her plan.

NICOLE: Why did she send this to you?

JESSI: She wants me out and Kyle in charge. The fact that Brian and Sarah were legitimate members of Latnok at one time doesn’t matter.

NICOLE: Have you told Brian about this?

JESSI: No, I thought you wanted to know first.

NICOLE: Yes, of course. Definitely. Thank you. [She’s still reeling in shock. Steven isn’t home from work yet and she can imagine his reaction to this news]. This isn’t right. We need to get a lawyer.

JESSI: Brian’s a lawyer. He arranged quite a lot for Adam before he betrayed him. [Nicole shakes her head]. He could recommend a lawyer.

NICOLE: Yeah, I don’t think I could trust whom he chooses as a lawyer.

JESSI: At least Nate remained true, he didn’t tell Grace the truth about it being Kyle who killed Cassidy and Foss who killed the guy Cassidy was going to sell the information to.

NICOLE: Yes, thankfully. But I don’t like the sound of this group he’s still involved in.

JESSI: I don’t like the sound of them either but I can’t let him know I spied.

NICOLE: Yeah, about your listening in, [she pauses to gaze back at the envelope].

If Jessi hadn’t listened in she wouldn’t have known about any of this and the why behind it.

JESSI: Am I grounded again?

NICOLE: No, no. I won’t ground you. This time your listening in paid off. [She pauses]. But still, it’s a matter of trust, especially when it comes to family.

Jessi takes the hint, when it comes to family, privacy is important, she’s sure Nicole would say it’s just as important for others, but with the recent turn of events, not anymore.

NICOLE: For now, just keep an ear out. Regarding Nate and this Grace person and whatever that sorority is. [She rubs her forehead]. What more can happen? As if this is what we need right now.

Cut to Amanda at her house as she answers the phone.

AMANDA: Oh, hi, mom. [She tries to sound cheerful].

CAROL [cut to her in her hotel room in New York on the phone]: Amanda, [she picks up on her daughter’s sadness], what’s wrong? Are things not well between you and Kyle?

AMANDA [cut back to her as she closes her eyes, trying to hold back her emotions]: We’re fine, mom. Everything’s great.

CAROL [cut back to her]: Are you still taking the marriage course?

AMANDA [cut back to her]: Of course we are.

CAROL [cut back to her]: Oh. [She doesn’t sound or look as if that pleased her]. Are you finding you may not be compatible after all?

AMANDA [cut back to her as she shakes her head]: Mom! I don’t want to argue with you.

CAROL’s voice: All right, all right. How’s school?

AMANDA: It’s going well. [She looks at the stack of books on the dining room table, there was still so much homework that needed to be done].

CAROL [cut back to her]: Well, as long as things are well. I’ll see for myself when I come down for Thanksgiving.

AMANDA [cut back to her]: What? You’re coming home?

CAROL [cut back to her]: It’s nice to know my daughter is ecstatic her mother, who she hasn’t seen in months, is coming for a visit.

AMANDA [cut back to her as she rubs her forehead]: Of course I am, mom. It will be great to have you here, I do miss you. [More than she can know, her voice catches on a brief spurt of banked emotion].

Cut back to Carol as she frowns in concern, something is wrong, she knows her daughter too well, but she knows if she pushed, she won’t get any answers, hopefully she’ll see for herself what’s going on back in Seattle when she comes to visit, unless it will be resolved by then. Not for the first time she wishes she didn’t have to work so far from her daughter. She should have made Amanda go with her, then her daughter wouldn’t have gone to that graduation party, been drugged and hauled off to Vegas to get married. After turning eighteen though, it was doubtful Amanda would have gone with her, and no matter what she threatened, she would never have left her daughter destitute or without any means to live on.

CAROL: I miss you, too.

Cut to Kyle and Declan as they study down in the Activity room. Declan barely manages to read two pages of legal terms much less try to understand them and starts yawning. Several students are deep in study, while some, out of boredom start talking and introducing themselves.

One student, sitting at a table next to Kyle and Declan, leans over.

STUDENT: Hi, I’m James. You guys law or engineering students?

DECLAN: I’m majoring in law, criminal law, and the name’s Declan.

KYLE: I’m Kyle. I’m taking both.

JAMES: Both? Wow. I’m doing law, too, but corporate.

DECLAN: My dad’s in corporate law.

JAMES [nods to his friend sitting across from him]: This is Reg.

REG [nods to Declan and Kyle]: Hey.

They both nod back.

DECLAN: What’s your major?

REG: Law, same as James.

STUDENT [from another table and also growing bored with studying, enters the conversation]: I’m Max, I’m taking engineering.

Soon a few others join in, most are law, some are engineering and a few are in construction management.

KYLE: I’m doing Construction.

JAMES: I thought you were in engineering and law?

KYLE: That too.

JAMES: Ah, I get it.

KYLE: You do?

JAMES: You’re taking a few general interest courses.

DECLAN [bites his lip, holding back a snicker and whispers beneath his breath so only Kyle can hear]: You could say that.

Kyle throws him a look.

MAX: Have you read “Thermodynamics of Solids”?

KYLE: Yes.

MAX: Great! I’m stuck on a problem.

The guy beside him snorts, his name is Bruce and he’s in engineering as well.

BRUCE: Don’t you mean the first paragraph of the first chapter?

MAX: Shut up. Aren’t you stuck?

BRUCE: Yeah, but mine’s Electrical Engineering. [He turns to Kyle]. Which engineering course did you say you were in?

KYLE: All of them

The group hears and stares at him in amazement.

DECLAN [leans over and whispers to Kyle]: And so it begins.

KYLE [frowns at him in confusion]: What begins?

DECLAN [raises a brow]: Sooner or later, don’t you think a few people would notice you cramming all those majors you have planned into two years before transferring to Bastyr?

Kyle bites his lip, unsure he wants that type of attention, but knew that it was inevitable.

ANOTHER CONSTRUCTION GUY [cuts in]: No way. How could you be taking so many?

KYLE: I’m in a special program.

CONSTRUCTION GUY: For what, geniuses?

DECLAN [not liking the guy’s tone]: Yeah, does it matter?

CONSTRUCTION GUY: No, I just mean, okay, you’re smart, I get it. [He glances down at his book then at Kyle]. Could you help me out with a problem?

KYLE: Let me take a look.

Kyle heads over and takes a look at the book the construction guy is reading and sees he’s read and done the problems to that particular book already. Then he helps Max and Bruce with their problem.

Cut to the McMahon dorm. Tabitha knocks on Lori’s and Hillary’s open bed room door. They are sitting at their desks studying. They both look up.

TABITHA: You guys want to head downstairs to McMahon for a study and feast session?

HILLARY: Love to.

LORI: Sure.

TABITHA: We’ll be heading down in five minutes.

She walks away and Hillary starts packing up her books and laptop. Lori does the same.

HILLARY: Aren’t you low on funds?

LORI: Yeah, a bit. I have enough for food, though.

HILLARY: You borrowed again.

LORI: I have a very sweet boyfriend.

HILLARY: I’m jealous.

LORI: Hills, you’ll find someone.

HILLARY: I know I will, I just hate waiting. [She tries a brave smile].

Lori smiles back but just as they are heading out, Lori’s cell rings.

LORI: You guys go on ahead, I’ll be down in a few.

Hillary, Tabitha, Crystal, Diana, and Marjorie all head out as Lori answers her cell.

LORI: Hello?

AMANDA’s voice: Hi, Lori. I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.

LORI: No, not at all. [She frowns as she checks her watch]. Isn’t tonight your defense class?

AMANDA [cut to her as she sits on a bus, cell phone to her ear, there’s not too many people on the bus]: I’m on my way there now. I had to talk to someone.

LORI’s voice: I heard.

AMANDA: I was hoping you had. [She sighs and covers her mouth, finding it hard now to continue].

LORI [cut back to her as she hears a brief silence]: He sure does the unexpected, huh?

AMANDA [cut back to her as a sudden chuckle escapes her lips and a tear runs down her cheek]: Yeah, he sure does. I showed your mom the picture he drew of our daughter, hey, wait, I have it on my cell, I’ll send it to you. [She presses some buttons on her phone].

Cut back to Lori as she pauses her call to receive the picture and takes a brief look.

LORI: Aww. That’s so sweet. A round sweet cell-like blob.

AMANDA’s voice: Isn’t she sweet? I can’t believe he…

Lori hears the sound of emotions being choked back.

LORI: I hear you. He did the impossible again.

AMANDA’s voice: Did he ever.

LORI: So, you’re going to be a mom. Wow.

AMANDA [cut to her as she blinks]: Oh, my God. You’re right. I’m going to be a mom.

She sounds as if it’s the first time the fact that she’s going to be a mother one day has really occurred to her.

AMANDA: I’m a mother. [She thinks it out loud]. Like Hillary would say, for reals.

LORI’s voice: Ha yeah, you got that right, and you’re not even pregnant yet.

AMANDA: Oh, my God. I’m going to be… Kyle’s a dad. We’re parents.

LORI’s voice: Wow, huh?

AMANDA: I don’t know what I’m going to do to him. Hug him or…

LORI’s voice: Slug him?

AMANDA: As if. [Hillary’s expressions were rubbing off on her]. But what I’ve been feeling these past few days, yeah. I mean, that’s so against what the church believes in.

LORI [cut back to her as she frowns]: Does that mean you do was well?

AMANDA [cut back to her as she sighs]: I…sort of. I’ve been thinking on that a lot lately as well. Yet, Adam did the same thing. If he hadn’t, Kyle would never have been. I never would have known him, or married him…[she rubs her forehead]. What am I going to do?

LORI [cut back to her]: Have you talked to Kyle about all this yet?

AMANDA’s voice: No.

There was a wealth of emotion behind that one word.

LORI: Ah.

AMANDA’s voice: And the other thing he wants…

LORI: Yeah, still that’s so like him wanting the other embryo. [She avoids saying Cassidy’s name].

Cut to Amanda who frowns. Lori sounds like she understands and accepts his view.

AMANDA [upset]: Are you siding with him?

LORI’s voice: God, no.

AMANDA [scrunches down in her seat, dabbing her nose with a Kleenex]: He can’t put right what somebody else has done.

But both knew Kyle was trying to do exactly that.

Cut back to Kyle in Poplar Hall down in the Activity room. Soon other students are asking Kyle for help and Kyle quickly scans the chapters the students are working on before helping them out over the next hour.

REG: How do you know so much?

KYLE: I have an eidetic memory.

REG [gives him a jealous look and mumbles]: Not fair. [He goes back to try and memorize on his own].

ANOTHER STUDENT [ at a table further back overhears]: Cool. Wish I had that.

MAX: Thanks, Kyle. You were a big help but we should let you get back to your, ah, [he glances at the empty artist pad and colored pencils Kyle had brought], studying?

KYLE: I’m taking Art, I was going to draw a picture but I’m not sure of what/

BRUCE: How about drawing me?

MAX: Oh, horrors, have him draw your ugly mug?

Bruce jabs him in the shoulder. Declan laughs.

DECLAN: You two roommates?

MAX: Unfortunately. [But he doesn’t sound as it it’s unfortunate].

Kyle picks up his pad and a colored pencil and starts drawing Bruce’s face.

MAX: Hey, he’s really going for it.

Declan watches as Kyle draws and sees it’s not his usual method of tapping the pencil on to the paper.

DECLAN: Where did you pick that method up? [Then it hit him]. Library book?

KYLE [glances briefly up at him]: Partly, and partly online from a famous artist born in the Netherlands. She turned professional at age 17.

DECLAN: Oh, yeah? Who’s that?

KYLE: Rejacenna.

He finishes the drawing within minutes and shows it to Bruce.

BRUCE: Whoa, awesome.

MAX: That’s great work.

BRUCE: Can I have that for my girlfriend?

MAX [aside to Kyle and Declan]: You should see her, she’s gorgeous.

KYLE [signs his name to the drawing, tears the sheet off the pad and gives it to Bruce]: Sure.

BRUCE [takes it]: Thanks, man.

KYLE: You’re welcome.

BRUCE: She’s gonna love this.

A few students gather around the drawing, admiring.

MAX: So, what are you going to draw next?

KYLE [looks around the room but only sees other painting of scenery on the wall]: I’m still thinking.

MAX: We’ll leave you to your muse then.

They, and the other students, go back to studying. Kyle glances out the window and sees a few trees. He doesn’t feel like drawing trees, he’s drawn so many already. He does see a bush with flowers on, which are becoming withered and close to falling off with the change of the season.

He then notices Declan has been stuck on the same few pages.

KYLE: Problem?

DECLAN: I’m having trouble with a few of these Latin phrases. Maybe I should take Latin.

KYLE: A lot of law is Latin-bases, it goes back centuries.

DECLAN: Great, another course I should take, History.

KYLE: Once you familiarize yourself with the terms it will go easier.

DECLAN: I hope so.

KYLE: Let me help. [He has Declan memorize a few Latin words and phrases and what they mean].

As Declan recites a few, Kyle’s attention is drawn back to the withered and dying flower, The more he stares, the more he imagines it coming to life of how it looked in the spring when it was in full bloom. He picks up a pencil, turns to a blank sheet and starts tapping the pencil on to the paper like his usual method of drawing.

DECLAN [distracted by the tapping, glances up from his book]: I thought you were going to try drawing the same way you drew Bruce.

Kyle is engrossed in the drawing as he sees the flower in his mind, healthy and vibrant, down to each petal. Almost seeing each cell-like structure within the petal. He doesn’t hear nor notice how Declan watches him as he goes from drawing a full flower in bloom to single petals to one petal showing it’s cellular plant structure.

Kyle also doesn’t notice the other student pause in their studies to watch him.

Declan frowns in concern; realizing Kyle is in one of his ‘focused’ states. Even breaking a pencil tip didn’t stop Kyle, his motions are on automatic as he quickly sharpens the stub and resumes again, drawing page after page of each petal, stem and leaf.

JAMES: Wow, look at him go.

DECLAN [glances at his watch]: I think I’m done for the night. [He reaches over and gives Kyle a sharp nudge]. You done?

Kyle blinks at him, suddenly aware of Declan and his surroundings. He glances back down at all his drawings.

DECLAN: Study session over, pal. Time to head back up.

KYLE: Oh, okay.

Declan gathers up his books. Kyle stares for a moment at the cellular structure he drew of a petal and sees it’s DNA sequence. He then glances over at the other students, realizing only then they had been watching him.

JAMES: Interesting drawings.

KYLE: Uh, thanks. [He gathers up all his stuff].

Everyone else in the room, seeing how late it is, starts packing up as well.

MAX [on his way out]: Thanks, Kyle. You were a big help.

BRUCE: You sure were, thanks. [He shakes Kyle’s hand and indicates the drawing Kyle gave him]. And for this. Sure you don’t want some money for it?

KYLE: It was a practice piece. No charge.

CONSTRUCTION GUY: We have another session on Thursday night, care to join us?

KYLE: Sure.

It’s midnight by the time Declan and Kyle return to their room. Kyle turns on his computer getting ready to do a few assignments before getting ready for bed.

DECLAN: You want to talk about it? [He points to the drawing pad].

KYLE: I could see the flower’s DNA structure.

DECLAN: Meaning what?

KYLE: I don’t know. I’ve been seeing the DNA cell structures of a lot of things lately.

DECLAN: IS that from the information that’s inside your head?

KYLE: Most of it, yeah.

DECLAN [shakes his head]: Information no one should see?

KYLE [flips through the drawings]: I’ll only hand in the flower and petal drawings. The cell-structure ones I think Nicole would like to see. [He pauses]. I’ll have to redraw the flower and petal. I didn’t want to draw it pixilated.

DECLAN: I thought not.

Kyle spends the next hour redrawing and finishing his assignments while Declan tries to memorize more Latin words. He really needs to practice memorization techniques. It’s almost 2am when they both finish and fall asleep n their beds exhausted.

Day 3 – Wednesday morning. Kyle joins Foss for another workout session. Jessi is there too.

At first they keep to their own practice set, rotating from rock climbing to weight lifts, to walking on coals, to other mental feats. Jessi can’t resist going one step further in out-scaling, out-climbing, out-weight-lifting Kyle.

FOSS [cautions her]: This isn’t a competition.

JESSI [smirks]: Where’s the fun in that?

FOSS: Just do the next set. This time I want you both to mentally lift those cement blocks. [His eyes narrow]. Which means you’ll have to join hands. [They glance his way]. What? You think I didn’t notice you’re avoiding the other? Whatever problem you have, work around it.

Jessi joins Kyle and eyes the hand he holds out to her, as if daring her to take it. Chin tilted as if answering his challenge, she takes his hand. The wave of energy he picks up from her, he uses to augment his own, and both concentrate on the stack of cement blocks piled high like a wall.

With their combined energy, they raise the whole stack, the output of energy making it seem as if it were effortless. In fact, Kyle had to concentrate harder to maintain and control the force, otherwise the wall of blocks would have gone sailing through the warehouse roof.

Jessi can feel the energy shift as Kyle controls it, he seems to do that so effortlessly. Whereas she can generate a larger mass of energy and expel it with greater force than he can, she still has trouble maintaining control. Like a cheetah, who can run fast with a tremendous burst of energy, it lacks the endurance to maintain its speed. Jessi already feels her energy level draining. Before her energy drains completely, Kyle manipulates the remainder to help steady and lower the load of blocks back down to their original position.

She envies his control.

FOSS [stares in awe]: That, [he points], was good. Very good. Which one of you though did most of the work? [By the disgruntled look Jessi throws Kyle’s way Foss knew it was Kyle]. Control issues again, Jessi? [She doesn’t respond]. You know what to do.

JESSI: Now?

FOSS [firmly]: Now.

Jessi heads to a mat, sits down in a lotus position and starts meditating. But certain objects, like a smaller block and some weights start scraping against each other.

FOSS [yells out]: Concentrate! Focus!

Jessi tightens her lip, finding it hard to focus and go to a ‘quiet’ place when her emotions are shifting up and down like a roller coaster ride.

FOSS [turns to Kyle]: What’s going on?

KYLE: She’s upset with me.

FOSS: I noticed.

KYLE: I want to keep Cassidy’s embryo.

Foss gazes at him stunned, then shakes his head. He doesn’t bother to ask why, he knows Kyle pretty well by now, typical of him. No wonder Jessi’s upset, her wayward emotions won’t be easily overcome and sighs, gazing over at Jessi, still struggling with control as several blocks shift and scrape together then jerk to a stop.

Workout over, Kyle waits for Jessi with his backpack already slung over his shoulder.

JESSI: I can make it to class on my own.

KYLE: Oh, I just thought since we both have Physics first—

JESSI [finishes his sentence]: We go together.

KYLE: Yeah.

JESSI [debates for a second]: Wait a second.

As she walks away, Foss comes to stand next to Kyle.

FOSS: Excellent control.

Kyle nods and they both watch Jessi grab her backpack.

KYLE [senses Foss wants a moment with Jessi]: I’ll wait outside. [He leaves].

Jessi is about to follow Kyle when Foss steps up to her.

FOSS: I know how upset you must be, Kyle’s decision can’t be easy for you.

JESSI: It’s not.

FOSS: We all can’t feel as he does.

JESSI: You don’t care for his decision either? [She picks up on Foss’ emotions].

FOSS: It’s not my decision to make.

JESSI [presses]: But you don’t think it’s right either?

FOSS: All I’m saying is he must see what we can’t.

JESSI: But you don’t agree with him?

FOSS [gives her a brief smile]: It’s not the first time we disagreed.

JESSI [as she frowns almost picking up a premonition of sorts]: And not the last?

FOSS [eyes her in speculation]: Likely not.

Jessi gives him a brief smile of goodbye and joins Kyle. They both are silent on their way to class.

Wednesday night. Amanda is sitting at the NU chapel beside her new friend Serena and several other classmates. Funny how in a roomful of people she had never felt more alone. Other than Lori, there was no one else to talk to about her troubles.

She was still thinking of her conversation with Lori. She was a mom. Okay, she wasn’t pregnant, nor likely to be until she was finished college but the very thought of being one has her both scared and excited all at the same time. She couldn’t wait. No, she could wait, couldn’t she? She shifts in her seat.

Flashback to when Kyle said their daughter would look mostly like her but she’ll have his dark hair. She felt like calling him, as the minister droned on with his sermon. But she couldn’t, not yet. She knows it would be like the last time she wanted to call him. She’d pick up the phone, then put the phone back down because she can still hear him announce how he wanted to keep that, that other one.

She shifts in her seat. Every time she thinks back on that, it makes her upset all over again. He can’t right a wrong, but being Kyle he thinks only of doing the right thing, it’s why she loves him.

But to talk to him, it would feel like she’d be agreeing with what he wants. She shifts in her seat again.

SERENA [leans over to whisper]: Everything all right?

AMANDA [fingers her crucifix and whispers back]: The service is different then what I’m used to.

SERENA [glances at her necklace]: You’re catholic? [Amanda nods]. Oh. If you ever want to talk, I’m willing to listen.

AMANDA [forces a smile and whispers back]: Thanks. [What she’d love to talk about she can’t].

Serena gives her a brief glance of concern and turns back to hear the rest of the sermon.

Amanda returns to her contemplation.

Tonight wasn’t her night to play the piano for the service and in a way Amanda missed it. She needed an outlet right now. She started playing the piano only after she knew Kyle went back to the dorm.

She tried telling herself it wasn’t deliberate, her not playing while he was staying next door, but can’t help admitting there was a small part of her, the angry and hurt part that deliberately did just that. Like the time she stopped playing when she was mad at her mom trying to force her to go back to New York at the music conservatory.

These past few days of self-reflection and a myriad of other feelings all centered around Kyle was disturbing. Because one thought emerged from everything else. Was she the type of wife he really needed?

He needed a wife who could easily accept his particular need – keeping that other child. Maybe she wasn’t the kind of wife for him after all. Was this what both their parents meant by waiting or annulling their marriage and when they were ready to deal with such heavy issues, and then marry?

Kyle said life with him wouldn’t be easy, she didn’t know then he hadn’t meant just his special abilities. It meant keeping Cassidy’s embryo.

Cut to Kyle and Declan in their dorm room. Declan has just finished eating and is about to head out.

KYLE: Where are you off to?

DECLAN: I joined a defense class. When the police had their open house during Dawg Daze, I saw they had this class available.

KYLE [grins]: Sounds like you’re looking forward to it.

DECLAN: Oh, yeah. Later.

KYLE: Later.

Declan heads out.

When he’s gone, Kyle looks around the empty room and finds he misses his friend already. With Amanda at NU and not talking to him yet, he can’t call her.

Kyle picks up his laptop and a power bar and heads downstairs to the lounge. Rather than study alone in his room, he decides to do his work around people.

The Activity room is being used for a SEED meeting, a group he thought about getting involved in but decided not to at this time, his schedule was too busy.

In the lounge he sees a few of the guys he met last night, including the construction guy who’s name is Ed. Ed and his roommate, Walter, who was in construction management as well, is sitting next to him.

ED [waves Kyle over]: Hey, Kyle. Join us.

There were two other guys sitting across from them he hadn’t seen or met.

ED [introduces the two other guys]: Hey, guys, this is Kyle. He’s the one who helped a bunch of us in study group last night. Kyle, [he indicates a red-haired guy]. This is Scotty, he’s in mechanical engineering.

KYLE [nods to him]: Hey.

SCOTTY [has a Scottish accent]: Hi there.

ED [nods to the other guy who is brown-haired and pale-skinned]: That’s Allen, he’s in Architecture.

ALLEN: And Art, as a minor.

KYLE: Hi.

ED [waves a hand at a power bar]: Hook up.

Kyle sits and plugs in his laptop. Another guy wanders over next to Kyle.

GUY: Hey, [Kyle glances up], didn’t I see you in Literature class last Friday?

KYLE: Yeah.

GUY: Name’s Chris.

KYLE [reaches out his hand]: Kyle.

They shake hands.

CHRIS: I also heard you were the guy to talk to for help. Well, mostly because my friend said you told him you have already read the text we had to read.

KYLE [remembering]: Was your friend Doug? [Chris nods]. I remember. And I’ll be glad to help.

CHRIS [drags over another chair]: Great, how much do I owe you?

KYLE [frowns]: Nothing.

CHRIS: You can’t be tutoring for free?

KYLE: I’m just helping. I can’t tutor on a regular basis since I’m fairly busy.

CHRIS: Still, for free?

ED: He likes an hour to study on his own first before he helps our sorry slugs out first.

CHRIS: Thanks, I’ll take what help I can get.

ED [leans over to Kyle]: You’re first client and we haven’t even started studying yet.

Kyle just grins and opens up his laptop.

KYLE [narrative]: Before helping Chris, I had an hour to work on an assignment. The assignment wasn’t about facts and logic but on creativity and imagination. Develop a short story for one of my Literature classes. [He thinks for a minute]. Facts was easy but making something up? That needed a little more thought and time to brainstorm. The teacher said sometimes a writer based his stories on his life. What if I used the problems Amanda and I were having into a story?

He thinks for a second before he starts to type his story of a couple who has twins. Soon his story becomes therapeutic in letting out his feelings.

Day 4 – Thursday night. Kyle and Declan join the study group down in the Activity room once again. It’s the same group plus several others including the guys Kyle met last night. He ends up helping all of them with problems and memorizing techniques once again. The study session goes fast.

ED [slaps Kyle on the back]: Thanks. I’m going to get a hundred percent for sure.

WALTER: Don’t scare him away. He needs to study too.

KYLE: I finished working on my assignments before I came down.

WALTER: No wonder you were a half hour later in arriving. Seriously though, you’ve been a great help to us.

Other students he’s helped who linger on, nod.

KYLE: You’re welcome.

Cut to Amanda as she meets up with Lori and Hillary at the Rack. All what Amanda was thinking of last night, she tells Lori…

AMANDA: Hey, guys. [She sits down with them and gazes at Hillary in concern]. How are you doing?

HILLARY [looks surprised for a second and glances over at Lori who gives a small shrug as if to say yes, I told her all about that night]: You heard. [She states it as a fact and heaves a sigh]. How do I feel? Stupid.

AMANDA [winces in sympathy]: At least you were saved.

HILLARY [heartfelt]: Yes. Thanks to your man. [She leans closer]. Whatever you do, don’t give him up. He’s a treasure.

AMANDA [gives a small smile and glances down in contemplation]: You’re right, he is a treasure. [Tears form in her eyes]. I’m glad you’re all right.

HILLARY: So am I. [But she narrows her eyes studying Amanda, catching the brief glance Amanda shares with Lori]. Those tears aren’t really for me, are they?

AMANDA: Um… [she really wasn’t good at lying].

HILLARY: Do you two want me to leave?

AMANDA/LORI [together at the same time]: No!

Hillary looks taken aback by their outburst and is pleased they want her to stay.

HILLARY: Oh, good. Good. [She nods in relief].

There’s a brief awkward silence. Hillary can’t help the wave of depression that falls over her. They were hiding something.

AMANDA: So, are you thinking of taking a self-defense course?

HILLARY: I don’t know. [She glances away]. Maybe. Unless I stop going to stranger’s parties, I won’t have to.

LORI: True. [She nods emphatically]. Very true.

HILLARY: Yeah. [She nods too then taps her fingers on the table top].

Amanda glances at Lori, then away. Lori glances away too.

AMANDA [suddenly she blurts out]: I don’t think I’m the right wife for Kyle.

Hillary stares at her with mouth open. The same with Lori.

LORI: What?!

HILLARY: Honeybun, why would you say that?

AMANDA [bites her lip then takes a deep breath, making Lori wonder what on earth she’s going to say next, it can’t be the truth!]: He wants to adopt.

HILLARY [stares confounded]: Huh? [Totally not understanding].

AMANDA: I can’t go into detail, but you know that half-brother he found out about who died?

HILLARY: Yeah, I remember.

AMANDA: The half-brother has…an offspring. Kyle wants to adopt it. And I don’t want it. [She glances with sorrow and guilt at Lori]. I’m sorry, I can’t say more or the why of it all.

HILLARY [glances from Lori to Amanda]: Wow. So, was that all the tension about when I was over there on the weekend?

LORI: Pretty much.

AMANDA: I really needed to unload, [glances again at Lori then back at Hillary], at least what I could. And you’ve been a great friend. Hopefully one day, I can explain more.

HILLARY: Well, when you can. [She’s dying to know the why but apparently Amanda telling her the little miniscule bit that she did, would have to do]. So, by not wanting this child makes you a bad wife, how?

AMANDA: Because, it’s the first thing he’s ever asked of me. Well, he didn’t really ask, he just hopes I might want to adopt it.

HILLARY: Wow. That means you’ll be parents right away. I can see why you’d hesitate.

AMANDA: Well, not right away.

HILLARY: Is someone else looking after this kid?

AMANDA: It’s being looked after. It just won’t be ready for ‘adoption’ until a few years from now.

HILALRY: Huh? How old is this kid?

AMANDA [glances at Lori and Lori shrugs as if to say she got herself into this mess]: I can’t say.

HILLARY: Okay. It’ll be kind of old by then, won’t it? [Amanda doesn’t say anything and she tries asking one more question]. Is it a boy or a girl?

AMANDA: A boy.

HILLARY: Huh. Well, well, well.

AMANDA: Yeah.

HILLARY: So, is this kid a real terror Kyle hopes to reform? I mean, I just don’t think why else you, [waves a hand first to Amanda, then Lori], and you, and all the Tragers would be so freaked. [She frowns in confusion and remembrance]. Even Jessi. She was madder than a hornet. She gave Kyle the fiercest glare.

LORI: Oh, you caught that.

HILLARY: Yeah.

AMANDA: He’s not a terror. The half-brother was. [Lori’s eyes widen]. I’m just afraid the boy might be too, but Kyle is sure that with love and guidance, he won’t be.

HILLARY: Wait, the half-brother was a terror?

AMANDA: Just a liar, a thief… a totally bad guy. Again, I’m sorry, I can’t say more. In fact, I might have said too much.

HILLARY: Trust me, honey, my journalist instincts says you haven’t even touched the surface. Well, maybe a tad.

AMANDA: Well, anyway, that’s most of it. That I can say, I mean.

HILLARY: Wow. [She ponders]. He’s still a treasure.

AMANDA [smiles, heartfelt]: I know. Which is why I’ve been thinking he needs a wife more like one who’s kind and as giving as he is.

HILLARY: Honeybun, no one is as kind and as giving as Kyle is. You are the wife for him.

LORI [nods]: I agree. You are.

HILLARY: So, now that we are all in agreement, do you still want to look at wedding magazines?

Amanda laughs and suddenly they’re all laughing.

Day 5 – Friday night.

Kyle comes over to Amanda’s house and knocks on her door; unsure of the reception she’ll give him. He rings the bell.

On the other side of the door Amanda nervously rings her hands, feels the sweat and wipes her palms on her pant legs before opening the door. She sees his hopeful puppy-dog expression and her heart melts but her tongue freezes as feelings swarm and churn inside her. She can only shake her head helplessly at him.

KYLE [swallows]: Hi.

AMANDA [finds her voice]: I’m so mad at you.

KYLE [hangs his head]: I know.

AMANDA: You give me a girl, and the ethics on that… and then you… [she shakes her head again as he looks back up at her].

KYLE: I know.

AMANDA [turns to grab her coat and purse]: Let’s just go.

He waits till she locks up and follows her to the van. He quickly skirts around her to open the door for her.

The words Hilary said, ‘he’s a treasure,’ rings in her head and totally agrees. But, there was this big but, a Cassidy but. They head to their course and it seems all the couples there are in the same state she and Kyle are in – mad and not talking to the other.

Kyle and Amanda enter the Sunday classroom where their marriage course is being held in. Kyle can sense the atmosphere in the room immediately. It’s tense and angry and resentful. Something has set off each couple against their spouses, much like he and Amanda. He picks up on one couple’s angry whispers.

TARA: I can’t believe you want to change the menu to hamburger!

RON: Hey, it’s my wedding too. I happen to love hamburger and so do my friends.

TARA: It’s supposed to be elegant. Hamburger is so, so regular.

RON: Oh, so I’m too regular for you, am I?

TARA: Oh, I can’t talk to you! [She storms off].

ROSE: I knew they wouldn’t last.

CHARLIE: You don’t know anything. Why do you have to be so negative?

ROSE: I live with you.

CHARLIE: That’s it, we’re done.

ROSE: Don’t you dare walk out on me, you, you quitter!

CHARLIE: Watch me.

ROSE: Charlie, so help me, I’ll sue!

CHARLIE: Money is all I mean to you, isn’t it?

Amanda’s eyes widen as she too overhears the other couples bicker. Then she glances at Kyle. He looks back with a sad look in his eyes.

Oh, this was going to be a fun night. The room is silent as the couples take their seats, avoiding eye contact.

FATHER JOHNSON [trying for lightness]: Well, I can see that last week’s communication session brought out more truth and honesty than anyone could handle.

His secretary, Heather, frowns at him.

FATHER JOHNSON [coughs]: So, ah, why don’t we begin by listing our grievances. You can choose to share them, and remember, it’s a time to listen, and listen only. [Silence is his only response]. Well, [he coughs again], it’s a good thing our lesson tonight is on conflict management. [He glances at his secretary who takes it as her cue to speak].

HEATHER: We can split into two groups, if you like. The women with me and the men with Father Johnson.

Most of the couples nod as if that were a great idea.

Cut to Josh and Andy on his double date with his friend Bobby and his girl-friend, Maggie. They are all at The Rack, having arranged to meet there. The two guys are off to the side while Andy and Maggie hang at the counter waiting for them.

JOSH: What do you mean, you’re off? You bailing on me?

BOBBY: Come on, man. I’ve got a sweet night planned with Maggie, the exclusive kind if you know what I mean.

JOSH: Yeah, but I assured my parents I’d be double dating with you.

BOBBY: And you will be, I got you covered. I’ll just say you were with me all night, no sweat.

JOSH: That’s not the point. They’ll find out.

BOBBY: You’re being paranoid. Why not take advantage of this opportunity? [He winks at Josh].

JOSH: You just don’t get it.

BOBBY [starts getting angry]: When did you become so straight and narrow?

JOSH: When there’s a strong possibility I won’t ever be allowed to see Andy again.

BOBBY: So, sneak out.

JOSH: I don’t want my parents to mistrust me again.

BOBBY: Why? Because you almost put a bun in Andy’s oven? [He starts smirking but it dies a quick death when Josh glares at him, looking ready to punch him]. Sorry, man.

JOSH: Be more careful when you talk of Andy.

BOBBY: Fine. But you gotta understand, Maggie’s expecting just us two tonight. She barely wanted to swing by here.

They both glance over to see Maggie impatiently tap her foot and check her watch. Andy and Maggie were not even talking and looked like neither could stand the other.

JOSH: Well, thanks for nothing.

Josh walks over to Andy.

JOSH: Come on, let’s go.

He takes her hand and leads her out of the Rack. Maggie joins Bobby and he leads her over to his parked car and they get inside but not before Josh and Andy overhear Maggie’s comment.

MAGGIE: About time. What took you so long? [She pouts]. You better make this up to me. I had to wait a whole ten minutes for you.

BOBBY: I’ll make it up, I promise. [He goes as far as helping her buckle up as if she were too helpless to do that much].

JOSH [shakes his head as he watches his friend drive off]: He’s totally whipped.

ANDY: I tell ya, if I had to spend one more second with that airhead I would have popped her one. Talk about self-absorbed.

JOSH: We don’t need them.

ANDY: Where are we going?

JOSH [sighs]: Home. My house. If you’re game?

ANDY: Your parents are way better than Miss Maggie. [She imitates a southern belle with her hand curved in the air for Josh to plant a kiss on it].

JOSH [plants a kiss on her hand then holds out his arm]: My lady.

ANDY [slips her hand around his arm]: Lead the way, kind sir.

He leads her over to his car and opens the door for her, holding her hand as she slides gracefully inside. He grins and shuts the door.

When he gets in on the driver’s side he sees Andy pouting.

JOSH: What?

ANDY: Aren’t you going to help me with my seatbelt?

JOSH [snorts]: Don’t push it.

They laugh and each does up their own seat belt.

Cut to the church where the women join Heather in another Sunday classroom.

HEATHER: So, ladies. Anyone care to share his or her spousal peeves?

DONNA: I would. It’s the same old problem.

HEATHER: And what is that?

DONNA: He’s a hoarder! Every freakin’ day he brings home something he found in the garbage bin that he couldn’t believe someone would throw out. That it was in perfectly good condition, if one little thing was fixed on it.

HEATHER: That must be frustrating.

DONNA: I knew he was a clutter-bug but, not this! Not to that extent. I’m ashamed to have anyone over the place is do dirty.

ROSE: I would hate that.

DONNA: I know, it’s so awful. It’s not even clutter anymore, it’s more than a mess.

TARA: I’m sorry, [she sniffles], it makes my beef with Ron so petty. All I’m complaining about is he wants to change the menu at our reception. [She shakes her head].

Rose doesn’t say anything, as much as she would love to, it would be negative.

ROSE: My husband’s so cheap I have to beg for every dime. He constantly asks what it’s for; I shouldn’t have to account for every single thing I buy. Some of it’s personal. He seems to think I don’t need much of that even. As if ten dollars goes very far.

When they all had their turn, Heather turns to Amanda.

HEATHER: Amanda, you’ve been quiet. Would you like to share?

Amanda thinks for a moment. After listening to these women’s peeves on their husbands, she’s even more thankful and grateful she has a guy like Kyle. He’s perfect. Maybe the trouble was, he was too perfect.

AMANDA: Can a guy be too good?

ROSE [snorts]: No such thing.

HEATHER [cautions]: Rose… [she then nods to Amanda]. What do you mean?

AMANDA [shakes her head, she sure isn’t sharing the real problem, much less to someone like Rose who was so cynical she’s become bitter]: I know he’ll end up doing the ‘right’ thing, but it will make me feel like I’ve let him down in some way. [Heather frowns, not knowing the problem she can’t know what she means]. I’m sorry, I can’t say more.

ROSE: That bites. We shared.

HEATHER [admonishes]: Rose!

AMANDA: Except, it’s something he wants that will affect the rest of our lives.

ROSE: What? Kids?

At Amanda’s sudden start, everyone knew Rose guessed correctly.

ROSE: What? I’m right? [Amanda stays silent]. Let me guess you don’t want kids.

AMANDA: Of course I do! Like I said, I can’t say.

HEATHER: Mmm. Does he expect you’ll accept whatever it is?

AMANDA: No. He understands what I feel and at the cost of his need, he won’t bring ‘it’ into our lives.

DONNA: Pretty ambiguous. Maybe it will help if you tell us what it is, if it isn’t a kid issue. [She gives Rose a pointed look]. We’ll understand.

AMANDA: I’m sure you will, it’s…I just can’t.

HEATHER: If he’ll end up doing the right thing as you say, what problem will you then have?

AMANDA: The knowledge that I couldn’t be the wife he needs me to be.

HEATHER: So, it’s your expectations of yourself that’s causing the problem.

AMANDA: No. Yes. I don’t know.

HEATHER: How have you handled this problem? [She asked the same of everyone now it was her turn].

AMANDA: I haven’t spoken to him until tonight on our way here. Why?

HEATHER: Is that how you usually deal with a problem you two have? The silent treatment?

AMANDA [shifts uncomfortably in her chair thinking of the time she didn’t want Kyle talking to her after she found out Charlie cheated on her]: Yes.

HEATHER: How did that treatment make him feel?

AMANDA: Awful.

HEATHER: Is that how your mother dealt with a problem with your father?

AMANDA: My mother?

HEATHER: Yes.

AMANDA [thinks back]: Yes, she did. But, this is different.

HEATHER: The problems may change but your behavior and how you handle problems remain the same. How did your father feel when your mother remained silent?

AMANDA [whispers on the pain of remembrance]: Awful. He hated it. I hated her for doing that to him. [She puts a hand to her mouth]. Oh, God. I’m just like my mother.

HEATHER: Most behavioral patterns are learnt from our parents, but we can break the cycle. How would it feel if you started talking to Kyle again? Don’t think, just respond.

AMANDA: Like I’m agreeing with what he wants.

HEATHER: How will talking to him be the same as agreeing to his want?

AMANDA [shakes her head]: It won’t I guess but it will feel like… [she stops, realizing the significance]. Oh God, I didn’t mean to hurt him. [She whispers the next words]. He’s been hurt enough.

HEATHER [leans closer]: Excuse me?

AMANDA [shakes her head]: Nothing.

DONNA [sitting nearer, heard her]: What do you mean, hurt enough? You hurt him more than once?

AMANDA: Yes. I gave him the silent treatment once before.

DONNA: Just one other time? Your tone implied more.

AMANDA: No, it’s nothing, [she throws up her hands in frustration, just like her mom would have done]. I don’t mean the problem is nothing.

HEATHER: Was he hurt by his parents the same way?

AMANDA: No, not his parents. [She presses her lips together as an indication the subject was closed].

HEATHER: Okay, then. I hope we’ve learned something this evening. I know it won’t be easy, but give these, [she waves a set of sheets], methods of coping a try.

The evening ends and Amanda finds she’s still keeping silent on the ride back home. She takes a deep breath.

AMANDA: I don’t mean to be mean by not talking to you.

KYLE: I know.

AMANDA: I so don’t mean to be like my mother. I fear that’s what I’m turning out to be.

KYLE: You’re not. [He pulls up to her house].

AMANDA: I also feel like I’m not the wife I should be for you either.

KYLE: Amanda…

AMANDA: Please, I don’t want you to feel guilty. That’s just the way I feel. [She gives a shaky laugh]. Just like how you feel about wanting that embryo.

They smile with hesitation and after he walks her to the door, she turns to him.

AMANDA: I hate being mad at you.

KYLE: I hate having you mad at me.

AMANDA: I love you, but this problem, I just can’t deal with it now. You know? [She waves a hand quickly]. Forget that, I know you know.

They laugh shakily.

KYLE: I love you, too. [But then he frowns in concern]. What did you mean you don’t feel like you’re the kind of wife you should be for me?

AMANDA: The kind of wife who could accept that…kid.

KYLE: Amanda, you are the kind of wife I need. I know it’s not easy for you.

AMANDA: Well, I want to be what you need.

He steps closer and when she doesn’t draw back, he kisses her softly, then draws back. He sees her eyes are still closed and when she doesn’t feel his lips on hers, she opens her eyes. The look in them causes him to swallow and lean down for another kiss. Soon their kiss quickly deepens and soon they have their arms wrapped around each other.

They break their kiss, both overcome with pent up emotions.

AMANDA: I’ve missed you.

KYLE: I’ve missed you.

He sneaks in another kiss which she eagerly reciprocates.

AMANDA: Stay with me tonight?

He nods and closes and locks the front door. Just then, the phone rings.

Amanda sighs when she sees who it is.

AMANDA: Hello, mom.

CAROL’s voice: Hello, Amanda. You sound out of sorts. Is everything all right?

AMANDA [glances over at Kyle]: Everything is more than all right. I was just saying goodnight to Kyle. He just brought me home.

CAROL’s voice: Oh, I’ll wait, then.

AMANDA: Mom, he’s staying.

CAROL [cut to her in New York bedroom]: What? Amanda, you know how I feel about that. If you two are sleeping together than it’s high time you stay together as a married couple. Even the church regards you as unmarried since you didn’t marry in a church.

AMANDA’s voice: I know, Mom. But we’ve been through this before; we’re making convalidation, beginning with this course. Besides, I respect Kyle’s view. To him we are married. And the way I feel…I agree.

CAROL [closes her eyes and throws up a hand in frustration much like Amanda gestured with her hands]: I give up.

AMANDA’s voice [faint]: About time.

CAROL: I heard that, young lady.

AMANDA’s voice [sounding exasperated]: Mom…

CAROL: Fine, do what you like.

AMANDA [cut back to her as she frowns, suddenly suspicious, her mother caved in too fast]: We will.

CAROL: Well, goodnight then. Say goodnight to Kyle for me.

But before Amanda can have a chance to say goodnight on her mother’s behalf, her mother hangs up.

Cut to the Trager house where Nicole and Steven are sitting at the kitchen counter having a cup of coffee when the phone rings. Nicole gets up to answer it off the side table.

NICOLE: Hello?

CAROL’s voice: Hello, Nicole.

NICOLE [glances over at Steven]: Hi, Carol. How are things?

CAROL [cut to her on her phone]: Work is busy but going very well. I think you know why I’m calling.

NICOLE [cut back to her as she sits beside Steven]: Kyle and Amanda should be home soon from their meeting.

CAROL [cut back to her]: They are. I just talked to my daughter. Did you know he’s going to stay the night? They made a promise. Otherwise, they should stop playing at this marriage, get a place of their own and live together! It’s not like they can’t afford to. They’re lucky than most couples their age. [Cut back to Nicole as she rambles on and Steven rolls his eyes as he overhears her tirade]. Or, better yet, have this farce of a marriage annulled!

NICOLE [thinks on the daughter they are going to have one day]: Actually, I don’t think having the marriage annulled is a good idea anymore.

CAROL’s voice [sounding panicked]: What? Why not? Did they…did they…you know!

NICOLE: No, Carol, they haven’t consummated their marriage. Yet.

CAROL [cut to her at the slight pause Nicole gave before the last word it told her enough that things back home were getting very serious]: Yet?

NICOLE [cut back to her]: You know, Carol, I don’t think they will give up on their marriage.

CAROL’s voice: I thought I had you on my side. What changed?

NICOLE: I’ve seen them together. They’re very serious.

CAROL’s voice: That’s what I’m afraid of.

NICOLE: I’ll tell you what I can do, I’ll hold them to their promise and they can stay here under supervision.

CAROL’s voice: Well, that’s something, at least.

NICOLE: I think you should prepare yourself, Carol. They mean to stay together.

CAROL [cut back to her]: I see. So that’s how it is. [She hangs up and picks up a picture off her night table, its Amanda’s graduation picture]. You’re so grown up.

She holds the picture close to her.

Cut back to the Bloom house where, a few minutes later, Kyle’s cell phone rings. He takes it out of his jacket pocket and looks to see who’s calling.

KYLE [to Amanda]: Nicole. [He answers]. Hi, Nicole.

NICOLE’s voice: Hi, Kyle. I hate to bother you, but are you staying the night?

KYLE: Let me guess, you got a call from Mrs. Bloom?

NICOLE’s voice [Kyle could hear the wince in her voice]: Yeah, I did.

KYLE: Can you hold for a moment?

NICOLE’s voice: Sure.

KYLE [to Amanda]: Would you like to stay with me tonight instead?

Amanda smiles.

KYLE [to Nicole]: We’re coming over, Nicole. You won’t have to worry.

NICOLE [cut to her in the kitchen]: Thanks, Kyle. Andy’s over, Josh will be taking her home soon. Then we’ll talk.

She hangs up and glances over at Steven.

STEVEN: Wait until he finds out he’ll have another mother to contend with.

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