Beginning of a New Year
Written by: Juana
Story summary: Felicity talks Ben into exploring therapy to help him deal with his family issues, an action which may prove to be life altering to her future.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my story. They belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
INT: FELICITY’S ROOM: DAY
FELICITY IS SITTING ON HER BED WITH TEARS RUNNING DOWN HER FACE. IN ONE HAND SHE HOLDS HER TAPE RECORDER. AFTER A MOMENT’S PAUSE SHE TURNS IT ON BUT IS OVER COME BY A FIT OF CRYING AND TURNS IT OFF. AS THE TEARS SUBSIDE, SHE STARTS TO PUSH THE REWIND BUTTON BUT CHANGES HER MIND AND INSTEAD PRESSES PLAY.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally… I could have erased the bout of crying on the front of this tape, but then it occurred to me… I’ve always been real with you…never hiding or pretending that things are okay, when they so obviously are not. I’m sure this tape will come as a surprise to you when less than three weeks ago I was so *on top of the world.* But now…well I suppose I should start from the beginning.
FLASHBACK: TWO AND A HALF WEEKS
INT: FELICITY’S ROOM: DAY
BEN HAS ALREADY TOLD FELICITY ABOUT HIS MOM’S DECEPTION… BUT HE CAN’T SEEM TO MOVE PAST IT… TO HEAL.
BEN IS SITTING IN A CHAIR BY THE WINDOW AND FELICITY IS SITTING AT HER COMPUTER. HER BACK IS TURNED TO THE COMPUTER AS SHE CONVERSES WITH BEN.
BEN: I get it…okay? Can we please just stop having this same conversation over and over again?
FELICITY: I’m just concerned… that’s all.
BEN: I know you are concerned. But this is my problem.
FELICITY: I just want to help you.
BEN: I don’t need any help. I’m fine.
FELICITY: Ben… the last few days… everything you found out… that’s got to have some sort of impact on you.
BEN: Why? Why can’t I just take it at face value… so things aren’t what they seemed… big deal. It doesn’t change who I am.
FELICITY: Doesn’t it?
BEN: Fine. For the sake of argument let’s assume that it does have the power to change me if I don’t deal with it right… What you’re suggesting is ludicrous.
FELICITY: Therapy is not ludicrous. Look how it helped Sheri.
BEN: I hardly think my parent’s deception is making me suicidal.
FELICITY: I know that.
FELICITY GETS UP FROM THE COMPUTER AND WALKS OVER TO BEN AND SITS IN HIS LAP. HE AUTOMATICALLY PUTS HIS ARMS AROUND HER AND PULLS HER CLOSER. SHE PUTS HER HAND UNDERNEATH IS CHIN AND HE TURNS HIS FACE TOWARD HER.
FELICITY: If you won’t do it for yourself… will you do it for me?
BEN: Why is this so important to you?
FELICITY: Because I want you to understand that none of this is you. I don’t think you understand that you are the victim here.
BEN: And if I said I did understand that?
FELICITY: I think we both know that the nightmares you’ve been having aren’t stemming from you believing that you’re the innocent one here.
BEN: I’m sorry I ever told you about them.
FELICITY: You really think I didn’t know that something was bothering you?
BEN: No. It’s just… I really think you’re blowing my restless nights out of proportion.
FELICITY: Maybe. But could it really hurt to find out?
FELICITY: (VO) Could it really hurt to find out? God I wish I had never uttered those words. You see Sally… it was that day I realized Ben would do just about anything to keep me happy. He agreed to the therapy… and nothing has been the same since.
INT: CAFETERIA: DAY
JULIE, ELENA AND FELICITY ARE SITTING AT A TABLE EATING THEIR LUNCHES. FELICITY HAS BARELY TOUCHED HERS.
ELENA: (to Felicity) There are starving children all over the world you know. Granted the meatloaf surprise does leave a lot to be desired.
FELICITY: (coming out of her revelry) What? Oh… I’m just not very hungry.
JULIE: Is everything okay?
FELICITY: Yeah… at least I think so.
ELENA: Come on girl… spill. Did you and Ben have a fight?
FELICITY: No… it’s nothing like that.
ELENA: You know Noel has said on more than one occasion lately that Ben seems…. Different.
ELENA: Yeah. But he can’t quite put his finger on it. Said he seems sort of moody… pensive. And that he’s really been keeping to himself a lot.
JULIE: Now that you mention it, when I ran into him the other day he seemed sort of distant. Almost like he just wanted to be alone. And he didn’t show up for Science class the other day.
ELENA: So is Ben what’s got you bugged?
FELICITY: Yes. I mean I told him to go because I thought it would help, but instead it seems to have made things worse.
JULIE: Go where?
FELICITY: If I tell you guys… you have to swear to me that you won’t tell anyone. Not even Noel.
ELENA: Scout’s honor.
FELICITY: Okay… well I suggested to Ben that he go to therapy.
MARC HAS WALKED UP BEHIND FELICITY JUST AS SHE SAYS THIS.
MARC: You what?
FELICITY: Marc… you startled me. It’s nothing… we were just talking.
MARC TAKES THE EMPTY SEAT AT THE TABLE NEXT TO AN UNCOMFORTABLE JULIE.
MARC: Good. Because for a second there… I thought you said you told Ben to go to therapy.
FELICITY: And that’s bad?
MARC: God… yes. Therapy changes people Felicity. It takes people’s trivial stuff and blows them into huge problems… and then people in their lives… well they end up getting hurt.
FELICITY: How do you know that?
MARC: I’m not saying I can prove that… I just know what it did to me and Sheri. I mean we were a part of each other’s lives for so long… now she won’t even speak to me. Her therapist has her convinced that I’m no good for her. That by being friends with me… well that it will somehow draw her over to the dark side again… it’s ludicrous.
FELICITY: Ludicrous? That’s what Ben said therapy was. Maybe I should have listened.
ELENA: Maybe its not too late. You can just go to Ben and tell him you were wrong to force him into therapy.
FELICITY: I didn’t force him into it… I suggested. But God he did start going because of me.
FELICITY PUSHES HER CHAIR BACK FROM THE TABLE AND GETS UP.
FELICITY: (cont.) I have to go. I have to find Ben.
ELENA: I’ll go with you. I have to get to class anyway.
ELENA AND FELICITY LEAVE… WHICH LEAVES JULIE ALONE AT THE TABLE WITH MARC.
MARC: (awkward) So how are you?
JULIE: Fine… I’m fine.
MARC: You look really great.
MARC: So I know this is none of my business… but are you happy… with Lynn I mean?
JULIE: Lynn and I broke up.
MARC: You did?
JULIE: Yeah… a couple of weeks ago.
MARC: I’m sorry… I know you really wanted things to work out.
JULIE: Actually… I broke up with him.
MARC: Can I ask why?
JULIE: I don’t really want to get into it.
MARC: Yeah…I understand.
MARC: So I guess I should probably go.
MARC STARTS TO GET UP BUT THEN JUST AS QUICKLY SITS BACK DOWN.
MARC: Actually… I came over here for a reason… I almost forgot.
MARC: I got invited to the loft party on New Years Eve… I knew you would probably be there. I just wanted to make sure you were okay with me going. I don’t really want to make your New Years uncomfortable for you.
JULIE: That’s really sweet of you Marc… but I think we can be in the same room together.
MARC: Actually… I was pretty sure of that… it’s just the invitation was from a girl.
JULIE: Oh… so you would be there with a date?
MARC: Yeah… unless you aren’t comfortable with that. Sarah and me can go do something else.
JULIE: You and Sarah? You mean Sarah from work?
MARC: Yeah. Okay obviously you’re not okay with this… we’ll just find some place else to go. It’s no big deal.
JULIE: No… I’m sorry. If you want to go to the loft party with Sarah… that’s fine.
MARC: Are you sure?
JULIE: Positive… but thanks for caring enough to ask.
MARC: Regardless of the way things are now Julie… well I just want you to know I will always care.
MARC WALKS AWAY FROM THE TABLE. JULIE CONTINUES TO SIT THERE PAIN EVIDENT IN HER EYES. AS MARC NEARS THE DOORWAY WE SEE ELENA HIDING ON THE OTHER SIDE.
MARC: I hope you’re right about this… because I hated hurting her like that.
ELENA: Trust me. Julie just needs to think that she’s losing you to realize she doesn’t want to.
MARC: Why are you doing this for me?
ELENA: Because Julie is my friend… and she loves you. She’s just too stubborn to admit it.
MARC: I thought Lynn was your friend too.
ELENA: I like Lynn… but he doesn’t make my girl happy… so that’s why I’m championing your cause.
MARC: Well I guess I should say thanks… but I think I’ll wait until the outcome has been decided.
ELENA: Fair enough.
MARC: So I guess I’ll see you at the New Years Eve party?
ELENA: I’ll be there. Right now I’ve got to go… I’ve got more lives to fix.
MARC: You’re a regular little cupid aren’t you?
ELENA: Let’s just say that I am determined to make 2000 a year where everyone is with who they truly should be.
ELENA WALKS AWAY AND MARC HEADS OFF IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
FELICITY KNOCKS ON THE DOOR OF THE LOFT. NOEL ANSWERS.
NOEL: Hey… long time no see.
FELICITY: Yeah… is Ben here?
NOEL: Actually no. He went to the Golden Dragon to pick up some food. Did you want to come in and wait?
FELICITY: Sure… if you’re sure he won’t mind.
NOEL: Why would he mind? Did you two have a fight or something?
FELICITY: No. I just…well I just haven’t seen too much of him lately.
NOEL: Oh. Did you want a coke or something from the kitchen?
NOEL WALKS OVER TO THE KITCHEN AS BEN WALKS IN.
BEN: Hey. What are you doing here?
NOEL COMES OVER CARRYING A CAN OF COKE.
NOEL: Now is that anyway to greet your girlfriend?
FELICITY: It’s okay Noel. Thanks.
FELICITY TAKES THE COKE FROM NOEL WHO CONTINUES TO STAND THERE.
FELICITY: (cont.) Do you think that maybe Ben and I can have a moment here?
NOEL: What? Oh yeah sure I was just headed to my room to study anyway. It’s good to see you again Felicity.
FELICITY: Thanks. You too.
NOEL WALKS INTO HIS BEDROOM AND CLOSES THE DOOR.
BEN: I wasn’t implying I didn’t want you here. I was just surprised to see you that’s all.
FELICITY: Uh huh.
FELICITY: Ben… what is going on?
BEN: What do you mean?
FELICITY: I mean with us. You’ve called me like maybe twice in the last two weeks and those times were just to break dates with me.
BEN: It’s nothing. I’ve just had a lot on my mind. That’s all.
FELICITY: Well then let’s talk about it. Because I can’t keep up this pretense that everything is normal with us.
BEN: There’s nothing to talk about.
FELICITY: So you’re telling me that when you’re in therapy… you have nothing to talk about?
BEN: That’s different.
FELICITY: How? How is that different?
BEN: I don’t know… it just is. It’s easier there.
FELICITY: (hurt) Easier than talking to me?
BEN: Please don’t do that.
FELICITY: Do what?
BEN: Don’t put words in my mouth. You know you’re the one who suggested therapy.
FELICITY: I know… but I never imagined you would prefer talking to a therapist more then your own girlfriend.
BEN: You’re being silly.
FELICITY: Am I?
FELICITY: Then why haven’t you called me Ben? Why have you been avoiding me?
BEN: I haven’t been avoiding you.
FELICITY: We use to see each other everyday… we shared the same bed almost nightly… now I see you only when I surprise you in your apartment. How can you say you’re not avoiding me?
BEN: I’ve just got a lot of things I’m dealing with. Okay?
FELICITY: No… it’s not okay. Ben I want to be a part of your life again. I don’t like the way things are between us.
BEN: What do you want me to do? I can’t pretend that I want the third degree from you every time I see you.
FELICITY: The third degree?
BEN: Yes. You can’t just let anything go. You can’t just let me be bummed or in a bad mood, with out somehow thinking you have the magic solution.
FELICITY: I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that was how you felt.
BEN: Well it is. I need to be able to come to you when I’m ready to talk… not talk to you when you’re ready to listen.
FELICITY: Fine. I won’t ask you what’s wrong anymore. Is that what you want? Cause I’m not a mind reader Ben.
BEN: No. You see you're doing again. I try and tell you what’s wrong and instantly you think that it’s some kind of personal attack on you.
FELICITY: Well that’s how it feels. I thought being together meant sharing things… I never realized you felt I was being over bearing and intrusive.
BEN: God… that’s not what I said. I want to share with you… I do. But honestly I get enough therapy from my doctor. I don’t need girlfriend therapy.
FELICITY: (hurt and angry) Maybe what you don’t need is a girlfriend period.
FELICITY: (VO) God Sally… had I really said that? Maybe I had planted the seed that would determine mine and Ben’s fate.
BEN: Felicity… don’t say that. I don’t want you to leave… I just want you to give me some space. Be my girlfriend… not my analyst.
BEN PULLS FELICITY INTO HIS ARMS. SHE STANDS THERE STIFFLY NOT HUGGING HIM BACK. HE PUTS HER AT ARMS LENGTH AND LOOKS INTO HER EYES.
BEN: (cont.) Please don’t do this. Don’t make this into a huge fight. We both know we want to be together and that all this *stuff* will seems trivial in the future. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.
FELICITY LOOKS AT BEN WITH TEARS WELLING IN HER EYES.
FELICITY: I’m sorry for reacting so badly. I want to help you Ben… I do. I just feel so excluded from your life lately.
BEN: I know. It won’t happen again.
BEN PULLS FELICITY TIGHTLY TO HIM AND PLANTS A DEEP AND TENDER KISS ON HER LIPS DISPELLING ALL HER FEARS. AS THE KISSING BECOMES MORE HEATED AND PASSIONATE HE SCOOPS HER UP INTO HIS ARMS AND TAKES HER INTO HIS BEDROOM KICKING THE DOOR CLOSED.