Written by: Juana
Story Summary: Ben’s mom intercedes on his dad’s behalf to try and get Ben to listen to him. When Ben goes to talk to Sheri he learns the real reason behind her actions. And Ben and Felicity draw closer together as he lets down some walls and shares his pain.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in my story. They belong to the brilliant writers and creators of the hit WB show.
INT: BEN’S ROOM-DAY
BEN IS SITTING ON HIS SIDE OF THE BED…PUTTING ON HIS SHOES. AS HE GETS UP OFF THE BED FELICITY WAKES UP. SHE WATCHES HIM GRAB A JACKET OUT OF THE CLOSET AND START TO PUT IT ON.
FELICITY: Where are you going?
BEN: I have to go take care of some things. I’ll be back in a little while.
FELICITY: Are you going to the hotel to see your dad?
BEN: (adamant) No.
BEN: I know that tone Felicity…I don’t want to talk about my dad right now.
BEN COMES OVER TO THE BED AND SITS DOWN ON FELICITY’S SIDE. HE BENDS DOWN AND GIVES HER A KISS.
BEN: Are you going to be here when I get back?
FELICITY: Probably not. I have some RA things I need to do back at the dorm. And then I have to work later.
BEN: Are you free for lunch?
FELICITY: (pauses) I might be able to pencil you in.
BEN: (laughs) How about we meet at Epsteins at about noon?
FELICITY: Sounds good.
BEN KISSES HER ONE LAST TIME AND THEN GETS UP AND LEAVES.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally…I’ve never really believed in destiny until I met Ben. I mean everything in my life was so pre-planned by my parents…well mostly my father. I just thought that was how life worked. Parents showed us what to do…pointed us toward our futures so to speak. But now I know that’s not the case…now I know you can make your own destiny…with your own choices. I chose to come here to New York and as a result changed my future. So now I’m a firm believer that life has many roads you can take and even people who have gone down the wrong road…well they can change.
FLASHBACK: PREVIOUS NIGHT
INT: BEN’S BEDROOM- NIGHT
FELICITY: (exasperated) All I’m saying Ben is give him a chance.
BEN: (angry) Why?
FELICITY: Because he’s you’re father.
BEN: That man in the other room is many things…but a father is not one of them.
FELICITY: How can you say that?
BEN: Because it’s the truth. You have no concept of what he has done to my life or me.
FELICITY: I may not know first hand what he did, but I have a pretty good idea.
BEN: You’ve seen his handiwork Felicity…so I’m sure you can image how horrible living with him was…but you can never actually *know. *
FELICITY: But Ben he’s sober now…he’s going to AA. He’s trying to make amends.
BEN: Felicity he was forced into AA by the courts.
FELICITY: Whether he was forced or not…it’s a part of his life now…he is better.
BEN: God Felicity this isn’t a temporary condition…it’s a disease…recovering or not my father is an alcoholic.
FELICITY: Are you going to go out there and talk to him or not?
BEN: No…I’m not.
FELICITY WALKS OUT TO THE LIVINGROOM AND GOES OVER TO MR. COVINGTON.
MR. COVINGTON: (looks at Felicity) No luck huh?
FELICITY: I’m sorry.
MR. COVINGTON: No…it’s okay. They told us at AA not to expect miracles…and frankly getting Ben to forgive me…Well I’ve been a pretty rotten father…so I’m not surprised.
FELICITY: He just needs some time.
MR. COVINGTON: I suppose.
MR. COVINGTON TAKES A CARD OUT OF HIS WALLET AND HANDS IT TO FELICITY.
MR. COVINGTON: (cont.) This is the hotel we are staying at. It’s room #305. If he decides he wants to talk to me…well will you just give this to him for me?
MR. COVINGTON: Thanks.
MR. COVINGTON PICKS UP HIS COAT AND STARTS TO WALK OUT.
FELICITY: Um…I was curious about something.
MR. COVINGTON: What’s that?
FELICITY: I thought…well did you say *we* are staying at the hotel?
MR. COVINGTON: Yes…Mrs. Covington is with me.
FELICITY: Ben’s mom?
MR. COVINGTON: Yes…but please don’t tell Ben. She doesn’t want him to know just yet that she and I are…well working things out.
FELICITY: Yeah…believe me I don’t want to be the one to tell him that.
MR. COVINGTON: Good bye Felicity. I hope to see you again.
BEN’S DAD WALKS OUT AND FELICITY CLOSES THE DOOR.
INT: OFFICE BUILDING-DAY
BEN WALKS UP TO A SUITE DOOR WITH A TITLE PLACQUARD THAT READS DR. DANA BENSON PHD. HE OPENS THE DOOR AND ENTERS INTO A PATIENT WAITING ROOM. HE LOOKS AROUND SPIES SHERI AND GOES OVER TO HER.
SHERI: Ben? What are you doing here?
BEN: Peggy told me you were here…I need to talk to you.
SECRETARY: Sheri Dr. Benson is ready for you now.
SHERI: (to secretary) Thanks.
SHERI STARTS TO GET UP AND BEN LOOKS AT HER EXPECTANTLY.
SHERI: (cont.) I can’t now Ben…I have an appointment.
BEN: I just need a few moments.
SHERI: Fine…follow me.
SHERI: Into the office.
SHERI: You wanted to talk…I can think of no better place then in a therapist office.
BEN RELUCTANTLY FOLLOWS SHERI INTO HER DOCTOR’S OFFICE. NOT EXACTLY SURE WHAT TO EXPECT HE IS PLESANTLY SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT IT’S VERY INFORMAL…NO DOCTOR BEHIND A DESK…JUST A COMFORTABLE SET OF COUCHES A BIG COMFORTABLE LOOKING CHAIR WHICH THE DR. IS SITTING IN.
DR. BENSON: Sheri…great to see you and who is this? (motions toward Ben)
SHERI: Dana…this is my friend Ben.
DR. BENSON: So this is *the* Ben? (extends her hand) Hello Ben…I’m Dr. Benson…but you can call me Dana.
DR. BENSON: So Sheri…you seemed pretty upset on the message you left on my recorder last night. Do you want to tell me about that?
DR. BENSON: Actually first why don’t we set some of the ground rules for our observer. Ben there is absolutely nothing you cannot say in here. Sheri is here because she seeks the truth. I’m not about solutions. I make suggestions and you make the decisions. You are free to participate in our chat today or you can just sit back and listen, the choice is yours.
BEN: (slightly uncomfortable) Okay.
DR. BENSON: All right Sheri…continue.
SHERI: I kissed Ben last night.
BEN PUTS HIS FACE DOWN INTO HIS HANDS.
DR. BENSON: I see…and why do you think you did that?
SHERI: It just seemed like the right thing to do.
DR. BENSON: That’s pretty vague Sheri…let’s go a little deeper. Do you find Ben attractive?
BEN IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE UNCOMFORTABLE.
SHERI: (blushing) Yes of course…he’s gorgeous.
DR. BENSON: Is this making you uncomfortable Ben?
DR. BENSON: But an attractive woman just paid you a compliment. Why would that make you uncomfortable?
BEN: I don’t know.
DR. BENSON: Okay…well will get back to that. Sheri aside from the fact that Ben is attractive to you…what else led you to kiss him?
SHERI: He’s really good to me.
DR. BENSON: Okay…let’s put that aside for a second. What about Sean?
SHERI: Sean broke up with me.
DR. BENSON: Can you tell me why?
SHERI: Cause Ben told him to.
BEN: Wait…that’s not exactly true…I just suggested that maybe he was too old for you.
SHERI: (to Ben) You told him I wasn’t over Marc.
DR. BENSON: (to Ben) Is that true?
BEN: Well yes…but at the time…forget it.
DR. BENSON: Ben do you have a girlfriend?
SHERI: It’s Felicity.
DR. BENSON: (to Sheri) Am I correct in stating that this is the same Felicity that Marc had a slight crush on?
DR. BENSON: Ben are you and Felicity happy?
DR. BENSON: So what does that tell you Sheri?
SHERI: I’m not sure.
DR. BENSON: Let’s go back to our former discussion about Sean. In previous sessions you said you thought you might be falling in love with him. That he made you happier then you have ever been before, but now you’re telling me that you kissed Ben. Why do you think you have two such contradictory feelings?
SHERI: Because of Felicity?
DR. BENSON: Very good Sheri.
BEN: I don’t understand.
DR. BENSON: It’s about resentment Ben. (to Sheri) Are you comfortable discussing some of the former session issues in front of Ben?
DR. BENSON: Okay the easiest way to put this is plain old fashion jealousy. One of things that Sheri and I have been working on is understanding her relationship with Marc. Why it lasted so long…what really ended it…and even though Marc always talked a big game…Felicity was the first actual girl that Marc professed to liking. Therefore Sheri equated the final break-up to Felicity. And even though she understands now that Felicity was merely a pawn…in her mind…. she is still separating the anger and betrayal she felt when she saw Marc kiss Felicity.
BEN: And that’s why she kissed me?
DR. BENSON: That and partly because it would be a threat to your happiness.
BEN: I don’t understand why wouldn’t she want me to be happy?
DR. BENSON: Let’s see if Sheri can explain that for us.
SHERI: I’m not sure…but I think it was because you broke Sean and I up.
DR. BENSON: That’s exactly right. Ben took something away from you…so you in turn tried to take something away from him. But in a way that you considered non-painful to him…because you still feel you owe him so much.
BEN: (to Dr. Benson) And you get all that from a kiss?
DR. BENSON: Absolutely. All actions have reasons. You can tell a lot about a person by the way that they react.
BEN: You can?
DR. BENSON: Let’s go back to your reaction to Sheri’s compliment.
BEN: Do we have to?
DR. BENSON: Not if you don’t want to.
BEN: It’s just…well I mean what could you possibly tell about me from that…except that maybe I’m a tad insecure.
DR. BENSON: But insecurity itself stems from other things. Insecure people tend to come from homes or backgrounds where love wasn’t very prominent. Often time’s…family members disappointed them in some way.
THE TIMER BY DR. BENSON’S DESK GOES OFF.
DR. BENSON: Well that’s our session for today. But Ben…my door is always open should you decide you have things you want to talk about. And Sheri…I’ll see you next Tuesday for our regular session.
SHERI: Thanks Dana.
BEN SHAKES DR. BENSON’S HAND.
BEN: Thanks for letting me sit in.
DR. BENSON: It was my pleasure.
BEN AND SHERI ARE WALKING AROUND CENTRAL PARK.
BEN: I’ve got to get going…I’m meeting Felicity for lunch.
SHERI: Before you go…can I please just say…I’m really sorry about last night?
BEN: Don’t give it another thought.
SHERI: Thanks…. there is just one more thing though.
SHERI: I really like Sean…and I want you to be happy for me…but I’m going to date him either way.
BEN: I know. I think maybe Felicity was right on this one…I think that maybe Sean will be good for you.
SHERI: (excited) Really?
SHERI HUGS BEN AND BEN HUGS HER BACK.
BEN: (cont.) Okay…I’ve really got to get going now or I’m going to be seriously late.
INT. EPSTEIN BAR-DAY
BEN COMES RUSHING IN LOOKING FOR FELICITY…BUT STOPS SHORT WHEN HE NOTICES HIS DAD SITTING WITH HER. ANGRILY HE WALKS OVER TO THE TABLE.
BEN: (to Felicity) What is he doing here?
MR. COVINGTON: Please don’t blame Felicity…it was your roommate who told me you were going to be here.
BEN: (to his dad) I told you last night that I didn’t want to see you.
MR. COVINGTON: I was hoping you had changed your mind.
BEN: Well I haven’t. So if you don’t mind…I’m here to have lunch with my girlfriend.
MR. COVINGTON: Isn’t there anything I can say…something to get you to at least listen to me.
BEN: Nothing comes to mind.
FELICITY: (VO) It was awful Sally…Ben wanted nothing to do with his dad. And I was torn. I mean I really saw a huge change in him…but I also understood that he had made Ben’s childhood a living hell. How do you forgive something like that? How do you learn to trust someone who let his life spiral so out of control that he had lost everything? There must be a way…because Ben’s mom certainly had.
BEN SITS DOWN AT THE TABLE. HE DAD GETS UP AND WITHOUT ANOTHER WORD LEAVES.
BEN: He didn’t happen to mention how long he was planning on staying in town did he?
BEN: Look…I know you think I’m being…stupid about this…but I just can’t forgive him Felicity. I mean I’ve pretty much filed away all the crap he did to me. But I will never forgive him for the way he treated my mom.
FELICITY: Even if your mom did?
BEN: Is that what he thinks is gonna happen?
FELICITY: I don’t know…maybe.
BEN: Then he’s delusional. She’s through with him…we both are. He’ll just have to find some place else to get his past deeds purged.
FELICITY SEES BEN’S MOM WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR.
FELICITY: Are you sure about that?
BENS MOM WALKS STRAIGHT UP TO THE TABLE.
MRS. COVINGTON: Hello Felicity.
FELICITY: (very uncomfortable) Hi.
BEN: (complete shock) Mom?
MRS. COVINGTON: I need to talk to you Benjamin.
BEN: Oh god…please tell me that you are not here with him.
MRS. COVINGTON: He’s your father Benjamin.
BEN: Okay…I cannot do this. (to Felicity) I’m going back to the loft…are you coming with me?
FELICITY: If you want me to…yeah.
BEN: I really do. (to his mom) Mom I’m sorry…but pleading dad’s case for him…just makes this worse.
BEN AND FELICITY GET UP FROM THE TABLE AND GET READY TO LEAVE THE BAR.
FELICITY: (to Mrs. Covington) I’m sorry.
FELICITY AND BEN ARE SITTING ON THE COUCH. THE PHONE RINGS AND FELICITY PICKS IT UP.
MRS. COVINGTON: Can I please speak to Benjamin?
BEN STARTS TO HAND BEN THE PHONE AND HE SHAKES HIS HEAD NO.
FELICITY: Ben, it’s your mother.
BEN RELUCTANTLY TAKES THE PHONE:
MRS. COVINGTON: I just wanted to make sure you were okay.
BEN: I guess that depends on what’s going on with you and dad.
MRS. COVINGTON: Were working on things.
BEN: Working on things? Like back together…living in the same house…working on things.
MRS. COVINGTON: (a pause) Yes.
BEN: God…mom…I don’t get it. I really don’t. Eight months ago he beat you up so bad it put you in intensive care. How could you go back to him?
MRS. COVINGTON: He’s different now Ben.
BEN: He’s an alcoholic mom. That isn’t gonna change. You remember what that was like don’t you?
MRS. COVINGTON: He’s trying to fix things Ben.
BEN: Mom…you are so much stronger than this. You don’t need him!
MRS. COVINGTON: I love your father Benjamin.
BEN: And I don’t.
MRS. COVINGTON: Ben!
BEN: Well I’m sorry…but it’s true. I have nothing but contempt for him and what he did to our family.
MRS. COVINGTON: I understand that Ben…but I’m asking for me…for my sake. Please just listen to what he has to say.
BEN: (frustrated) I’ll think about it.
MRS. COVINGTON: Good. That’s all I’m asking. We are going to be in town for the rest of the week…please give talking to him some serious thought.
BEN: All I can promise is that I’ll think about it.
MRS. COVINGTON: Well then I guess that will have to be good enough for now. Goodbye honey.
BEN: Bye mom.
BEN HANGS UP AND GOES STRAIGHT INTO HIS ROOM AND LIES DOWN ON THE BED. FELICITY FOLLOWS HIM.
FELICITY: Do you want to talk about it?
FELICITY SITS DOWN ON THE BED. BEN SITS UP AND PULLS HER TO HIM.
BEN: Do you really want to hear this?
FELICITY: If you want to share it…I would love to hear it.
BEN HUGS FELICITY AND PLANTS A KISS ON THE SIDE OF HER CHEEK.
BEN: You are so good for me.
FELICITY: (VO) So I sat there and listened Sally as he recanted his childhood. I’ve never seen such pain on anyone’s face before. And about a thousand times he seemed just on the edge of tears. I wanted so much to help him…forget…but somehow I knew that remembering was what was going to make it at least a little better for him.
BEN FINISHES UP HIS STORY AND LOOKS DOWN AT FELICITY WHO IS SNUGGLED IN HIS ARMS.
BEN: So do you still think I should forgive him?
FELICITY: I’m so sorry you had to go through all that Ben.
BEN: I used to feel sorry for myself too. But I’ve come to realize life can deal you a shitty hand and you have to cope. It’s not my fault…it’s his. He was the one with the problem. My mom and me were just the ones who were unfortunately caught in the middle. So you see how it’s hard for me to believe that he could ever change.
BEN: I mean he has had like what six months of being sober…but he’s been a bastard my entire life.
FELICITY: So are you going to talk to him like your mom asked?
BEN: (pauses) Yeah…for her…but I honestly don’t know what he can say that will change him in my mind.
FELICITY: I know…but it’s good that you’re at least willing to listen.
SALLY: (VO) Dear Felicity…I sympathize with what Ben is going through. Coming from a broken home myself and having had the single mom who worked all the time…I know what it feels like to have a less than perfect home life. As for people changing…yes I believe they can…but only if they really want to. I understand Ben’s caution where his father is concerned. We all want the wish to come true…but too many harsh realities often can crush a young person’s wish beyond recognition. We learn to accept that which we cannot change…almost to the point of making accepting change itself impossible. Love Sally.