Reality Of Life
Written by: Juana
Story summary: Ben and Felicity say a final goodbye…so the healing can begin. Sheri forces everyone to face the harsh reality that life isn’t always a picnic. Ben surprises everyone when he steps up and settles the crisis at hand.
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 RECORDING A TAPE TO SALLY. HER EYES ARE WELLING UP WITH UNSHED TEARS.
FELICITY: (VO) Dear Sally…thanks so much for the positive thoughts on your last tape. I wish I had as much confidence in the power of a wedding as you do. But sadly…I don’t. Maybe because I’m here first hand to see Ben slipping away…maybe that’s it. Whatever the reason…I’m not looking forward to going home for this wedding…especially now that I know…Ben’s not going back…alone.
FELICITY IT SITTING IN THE LIBRARY BY HERSELF. SHE LOOKS UP AS IF SHE CAN SENSE SOMEONE IS LOOKING AT HER AND SHE SEES BEN, STANDING ACROSS THE LIBRARY LOOKING AT HER. AS SHE LOOKS UP; HE STARTS TO WALK OVER TO HER.
BEN: I know you’re here to study…but I kind of need to talk to you. Do you have a minute?
BEN SITS DOWN AT THE DESK WITH FELICITY.
FELICITY: (cont.) Is everything okay?
BEN: Um…yeah…everything’s fine. (a beat) So I was wondering…what your plans were for getting home for the wedding.
FELICITY: I thought I’d probably fly home a week early…so I can help Christy with some stuff. Why?
BEN: Yeah…um...well Steve has asked me to fly home early too.
FELICITY: Oh…so are you?…going home early I mean?
BEN: I think so…yeah.
FELICITY: That’s good…for Steve I mean.
BEN: Okay…actually…yeah that is good…but that’s not why I came looking for you.
FELICITY: It’s not?
BEN: No. I need to tell you something.
BEN: (hesitates) I’m not flying home alone.
FELICITY: I…I don’t understand.
BEN: I wanted you to know that…I…I asked Bliss to come with me.
FELICITY SIT’S THERE IN COMPLETE SHOCK…FEELING SOMEHOW BETRAYED.
BEN: (cont.) Felicity?
FELICITY: Um…yeah…that’s great…(a beat) I should probably get going…Oh and thanks…for telling me I mean.
FELICITY IS GATHERING UP HER BOOKS, TRYING VERY HARD NOT TO LOSE IT AND START CRYING RIGHT THERE.
FELICITY: (cont.) I’ll just…see you around.
BEN: (knows he hurt her) Sure…okay.
FELICITY HURRIDLY EXITS THE BUILDING. BEN SITS AND WATCHES HER STRUGGLING WITH HIMSELF NOT TO GO AFTER HER. HE LOSES AND FOLLOWS HER OUT OF THE LIBRARY. HE CATCHES UP WITH HER OUTSIDE.
FELICITY KEEPS WALKING…PRETENDING SHE DOESN’T HEAR HIM. BEN RUNS TO CATCH UP TO HER. HE STOPS HER BY GRABBING ON TO HER SHOULDER.
BEN: Please…just stop for a minute.
FELICITY TURNS AROUND TRYING TO PUT ON A BRAVE FRONT.BUT HER TEAR STAINED FACE GIVES HER AWAY. AS HE SEES HER PAIN BEN’S HEART BREAKS ALONG WITH A LITTLE OF THE WALL HE HAS BUILT UP AGAINST HER.
FELICITY: What? (trying to inconspicuously wipe her tears away)
BEN: (stands silent just looking at her) I’m sorry. I hate…I hate that I’ve hurt you…again.
FELICITY: Fine…Can I go now?
BEN: I mean it Felicity…this whole thing is so…messed up. All I’ve ever wanted…all I still want…is for all the pain to be gone.
FELICITY: I think we both know…that’s not going to happen.
BEN: Isn’t there something I can do to help?
FELICITY: I know that’s what you want…to help. But everyday it just becomes a little clearer to me Ben, that part of the reason I keep torturing myself about you…is that you keep…being there for me.
BEN: I’m just trying to be your friend.
FELICITY: I know…and that’s very kind of you. But sometimes when you cross over that friendship line…when you try to make it more…you end up with less.
BEN: What are you saying…that we can’t even be friends?
FELICITY: I’m saying…I can’t do *this* anymore. It just hurts too much. I have no idea what you’re feeling, but for me this is torture. I can’t pretend anymore that you being with someone else is something I can deal with. I don’t want to keep subjecting myself to the pain of watching you and Bliss. Knowing that…it should be me in your arms…not her.
FELICITY: No…please…look…I know I did this to myself. I know I’m where I am because of my mistakes. I accept that. I’m simply telling you that I can’t accept you and Bliss. I tried…but I can’t. If you choose to bring her to Palo Alto…there’s nothing I can do about that…but please…don’t expect me to be fine with it. Because I’m not.
BEN: I never asked you to be fine with it. I just wanted you to know.
FELICITY: Fine…I know now. Your job here is done.
BEN: Don’t do this.
FELICITY: Do what? Try and protect myself.
BEN: Don’t shut me out because I can’t give you what you want.
FELICITY: I think it’s time you understood something Ben…you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have Bliss and me.
BEN: So you’re saying I have to choose?
FELICITY: No. I don’t expect you to give up Bliss for me…I’m just asking you to understand I can’t be around like I have been…it’s too difficult for me…too painful.
BEN: So you’re giving up? You’re just planning on not being a part of my life?
FELICITY: I don’t know what else to do…I need time to heal…to get over us.
BEN: I can’t accept that. I’m not going to start pretending that you don’t matter to me…I won’t.
FELICITY: Don’t you see Ben…you have to. It’s the only way either one of us is going to get any better.
BEN: You’re wrong…that’s not a solution…that's avoidance.
FELICITY: Maybe…but it’s what I’ve got left. So it’s *my* solution.
FELICITY HUGS BEN.
FELICITY: (cont.) Goodbye Ben.
BEN HUGS FELICITY TIGHTLY…NOT WANTING TO LET HER GO. EVENTUALLY HE DOES THOUGH.
BEN: (frustrated) I’m not ready to let you go.
FELICITY: Yes you are…in some ways…you already have.
BEN: You mean…because I’m dating Bliss?
FELICITY: No…because you slept with her…I know that was your way of letting go.
BEN: That’s what you think?
FELICITY: It should never have been so easy for us to go to other people Ben…not if what we had was real.
BEN: You really believe that?
FELICITY: Don’t you? Isn’t that why you couldn’t get past what happened with Eli?
BEN STANDS CONTEMPLATING…WANTING TO FINALLY TALK THIS OUT WITH HER. BUT WHEN HE OPENS HIS MOUTH TO SPEAK…HIS PRIDE GETS IN THE WAY.
BEN: I…don’t want to talk about Eli.
FELICITY: Then we have nowhere to start…because that’s where we fell apart Ben. If we can’t talk about Eli…then…
BEN: (finishes her sentence) We can’t solve this.
FELICITY: I couldn’t have said it better.
BEN: So this is it.
FELICITY: I think…for now…it is.
BEN AND FELICITY STAND LOOKING AT EACH OTHER. TO THE OUTSIDER THEY LOOK LIKE A COUPLE…BUT THEY EACH KNOW THE REAL TRUTH. BEN PULLS FELICITY INTO HIS ARMS AND HUGS HER TIGHT…TRYING TO HOLD ON TO THE FEEL OF HER IN HIS ARMS. SLOWLY HE DRAWS BACK FROM HER AND LIFTS HER TEAR STAINED FACE TO HIS…BRINGING HER LIPS TO HIS HE TENDERLY AND LONGINGLY KISSES HER…GOODBYE.
BEN: Why does this hurt so much?
FELICITY: Because this time…it’s the real thing.
BEN: I am going to miss you so much. (he hugs her again…breathing in her scent)
FELICITY IS COMPLETELY IN TEARS. SHE CAN’T SAY ANYTHING SHE JUST LOOKS AT HIM AND TURNS AND WALKS AWAY. AS BEN IS STANDING THERE WATCHING HER…LYN COMES AND STANDS BESIDE HIM.
LYN: What was that man?
BEN: The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.
LYN: Yeah…that would have been my guess.
INT. NOEL’S DORM-DAY
PEGGY IS KNOCKING ON NOEL’S DOOR. ELENA ANSWERS IT.
PEGGY: Um…is Noel here?
ELENA: Yes…just one second.
ELENA CLOSES THE DOOR AND GOES OVER TO WAKE UP NOEL.
ELENA: (shakes Noel) Wake up Noel.
NOEL: (rolls over) Just five more minutes mom.
ELENA: Noel…wake up…the door is for you.
NOEL: (reluctantly opens one eye) Who is it?
ELENA: I think it’s that same girl from the other day.
NOEL SITS UP RUBBING EYES. HE GRABS A PAIR OF SWEATS AND THROWS THEM ON TO ANSWER THE DOOR.
NOEL: Hey…Peggy…what’s up?
PEGGY: (hands Noel the note) It’s from Sheri…I think you should read it.
NOEL: (takes the note and reads it) When did she write this?
PEGGY: Sometime yesterday I think…I tried to call you last night…but no one was here.
NOEL: Have you seen her today?
PEGGY: No…and I’m getting kind of worried.
NOEL: Let me just get dressed and we’ll find her…I promise.
PEGGY: I’ll meet you back at the room.
NOEL CLOSES THE DOOR AND LEANS HEAVILY AGAINST IT…IN SHOCK.
ELENA: What’s wrong? You look like someone died.
NOEL: (choking back emotions) Someone may have.
NOEL HANDS ELENA THE NOTE.
NOEL: I need to find this ex boyfriend. Will you go get some people to help?
ELENA: Sure. Are you okay?
NOEL: No…let’s not worry about that now though.
NOEL GRABS HIS SHOES AND PUTS THEM ON HIS FEET. HE GOES TO PEGGY AND SHERI’S ROOM. HE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR. PEGGY ANSWERS. NOEL ENTERS THE ROOM AND WALKS INSIDE. HE SEES A WORRIED LOOKING GUY SITTING ON THE BED.
PEGGY: Noel…this is Marc. Sheri’s ex boyfriend.
NOEL: Good…if anyone can tell us how to find her…it’s him.
PEGGY: Is she gonna be okay?
NOEL: I hope so. (to Marc) Do you have any idea where she might have gone?
MARC: I think so…yeah. We use to go and sit up on the roof when we first got here…when we were still talking…. Peggy and I already tried to get up there though…it’s locked.
NOEL: I have a key…let’s go. (to Peggy) Do you think she would have sat in the cold all night?
PEGGY: I don’t know.
MARC: We…uh… we put a sleeping bag and some stuff up there…I think it’s probably all still there.
NOEL: What set her off Sheri…why now? She seemed better.
SHERI: (glaring at Marc) She saw Marc…kissing his RA.
SHERI: She was really upset when she came back. She asked me to go get her something to eat. When I came back the note was the only thing there.
MARC: (shocked) This is my fault?
NOEL: This is nobody’s fault…let’s just get up there.
FELICITY, ELENA, BEN, LYN, SEAN AND JULIE COME WALKING AROUND THE CORNER…ALMOST RUNNING INTO THE THREE.
NOEL: (cont.) Great…guys…thanks so much for coming…we think we may know where she is.
NOEL: You know him?
FELICITY: He’s one of my residents.
NOEL: (to Marc) You kissed Felicity? (To Felicity) You let him kiss you?
FELICITY: Okay…could we maybe discuss this later?
MARC LOOKS SHEEPISH.
NOEL UNLOCKS THE ROOF DOOR AND THE GROUP VENTURES OUT ON TO IT…CALLING SHERI’S NAME. NO ANSWER. THE GROUP CONTINUES TO SCOUR THE ROOF. BEN SPIES HER SITTING ON A LEDGE…ROCKING BACK AND FORTH…DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO FALLING IF SHE MAKES ONE WRONG MOVE.
BEN: Guys! Over here…quick!
EVERYONE COMES RUNNING OVER. SHERI SLOWLY GETS UP AND STANDS ON THE LEDGE. MARC IS THE FIRST TO SPEAK.
SHERI SLOWLY TURNS AND LOOK. IT IS EVIDENT FROM HER FACE THAT SHE HAS BEEN CRYING.
MARC: Yeah…it’s me…come here.
MARC: Why not?
SHERI: Because it’s over…I’ve made a decision…you won’t have to worry about your crazy ex girlfriend anymore.
MARC: You don’t mean that.
SHERI: Yes…I do. I saw you Marc…I saw you kissing…*her*
MARC: I know…I’m sorry…but I never lied to you…you knew it was over between us.
SHERI: Yes…but knowing that…and living with it…those are different things.
MARC: What do you want me to do Sheri?…I’ll do it…just come down off the ledge…please.
SHERI: You can’t give me what I want…I know that.
MARC: What do you want?…I’ll do it…whatever it is.
SHERI: Sure until I come down…and then its back to her…isn’t it?
SHERI: Who are you?
FELICITY: My name is Felicity…I’m Marc’s RA.
SHERI: (hurt) You brought her with you?
FELICITY: No…no…it’s not like that. Sheri…I’m not interested in Marc. I can promise you that.
SHERI: I saw the two of you kissing.
FELICITY: I know…but it’s not what you think…he surprised me.
MARC: It’s true…she didn’t know I was going to kiss her…it was sort of an ambush.
SHERI: Then…you don’t love him?
FELICITY: No…not in the slightest. He’s just a friend…nothing more.
SHERI: But you love her…don’t you Marc?
BEN: How could he possibly?
SHERI: What do you mean?
BEN: I mean love isn’t something that just appears. What Marc has…it’s a crush…nothing more.
SHERI: How do you know?
BEN: Because I’ve been where he is. I had a long-term girlfriend…for like five years. She left me for the same reason Marc left you…I’m guessing.
SHERI: He said he needed to explore *other* possibilities. Is that what your girlfriend told you?
BEN: Something like that.
SHERI: How did you get past that…how did you go on?
BEN MOVES A LITTLE CLOSER TO SHERI.
BEN: I’d like to talk to you about it…if you’ll let me.
SHERI HESITATES. LOOKING AT BEN.
SHERI: All right…you can come up…but they need to back away.
BEN: Sounds good…everyone…go ahead and back up.
FELICITY: You’re not going up on that ledge are you?
FELICITY: I don’t want you to. Please…don’t.
BEN: But she needs me to…I’ll be fine…don’t worry.
SHERI SITS DOWN STRADDLING THE LEDGE…BEN COMES AND SITS DOWN BESIDE HER.
SHERI: Hi….(waiting for a name)
BEN: (looking down) So…it’s pretty high up.
SHERI: Yeah…are you scared?
BEN: Honestly? Yeah…a little.
SHERI: Yeah…me too.
BEN: So why are you up here then?
SHERI: Marc and I used to come up here…before he met Felicity.
BEN: I see. So this place holds memories.
SHERI: Yeah…good ones.
BEN: Can I ask you a question?
BEN: Why would you choose here to end it then…in a place of good memories.
SHERI: Can you keep a secret?
SHERI: I’m afraid to die.
SHERI: I thought being here…in a place that always made me feel good…I thought I could conquer that fear.
BEN: Oh…but you didn’t?
SHERI: Not yet…but I’m still hoping.
BEN: Would you be willing to let me try and talk you out of trying to do this?
SHERI: I don’t know.
BEN: I promise you…I will tell you nothing but the truth.
SHERI: Why are you being so nice to me?
BEN: Because I understand.
SHERI: Right…the girlfriend…so what happened?
FELICITY: (VO) We must have stood their for what seemed like forever…watching Ben talking to Sheri…hoping beyond hope that he was getting through to her. Everyone wanting this to turn out *okay*, or as okay as a situation like this could ever be.
BEN: I can promise you…being in love is never easy. But I know that if I had given up after the first time…I would have missed so much.
SHERI: Are you in love now?
BEN: (turns and looks at Felicity) Definitely.
SHERI: And it’s not Tiffany?
BEN: No…not to say a part of me won’t always love Tiffany. But she did me a favor by letting me go. I didn’t see it then…but I do now.
SHERI: Because you found your real love?
BEN: Because whether what I found right now is real love or not…it feels like it is.
SHERI: But see…you have her…you’re not alone. Without Marc…I’m alone.
BEN: Maybe…for now. But after Tiffany…well being alone was a good thing.
SHERI: I don’t understand.
BEN: I had spent so much of my life as part of a couple…it was *fun* to be single.
SHERI: It seems like it was pretty easy for you to get over Tiffany.
BEN: Hardly…I just refused to let the pain beat me. I made myself go out and meet people.
SHERI: And because of that…you met someone else?
BEN: I want to be honest with you…getting over Tiffany was hard…just like getting over Marc will be…but there’s someone great out there…waiting for you to do just that…I promise.
SHERI: I don’t know…it just seems so hopeless.
BEN: It’s not…we can help each other…sort of a buddy recovery system.
SHERI: You want me to help you?
BEN: Yeah…if you would…I would owe you big time.
SHERI: But I thought you were in love with someone else?
BEN: I am. Unfortunately it’s not going to work out…and I’ve been trying to get over her…no luck. But maybe…with your help…
SHERI: You’re very sweet.
BEN: Thanks. So what do you say? Can you help me?
SHERI STARTS TO CRY. BEN SCOOTS OVER AND PUTS HIS ARMS AROUND HER.
BEN: (cont.) It’s gonna be okay…what do you say we find a warmer place to go talk? Somewhere with less people…and hot chocolate?
SHERI: (manages a small smile) That sounds good.
BEN MOVES OFF THE LEDGE AND PUTS HIS HAND OUT FOR SHERI. SHE TAKES HIS HAND AND STEPS DOWN FROM THE LEDGE. BEN TAKES HER INTO HIS ARMS AND HUGS HER.
SHERI: (cont.) Thanks for talking to me.
BEN: Yeah…thanks for listening…and for not jumping.
SHERI LAUGHS AND KISSES BEN ON THE CHEEK. MARC COMES RUNNING UP.
MARC: (takes Sheri into his arms) Don’t ever scare me like that again.
SHERI HUGS HIM BACK AND THEN STEPS AWAY FROM HIM. MARC IS HURT BUT IN THE SAME VEIN HE UNDERSTANDS…SHE NEEDED TO DO THAT…FOR HER. NOEL, ELENA, LYN AND JULIE COME WALKING UP.
FELICITY RUNS UP TO BEN AND GIVES HIM A HUG AND A LOOKS AT HIM WITH A SMILE OF PRIDE.
FELICITY: That was really…great.
BEN: Thanks…Can I…can we go somewhere?
BEN GOES OVER TO SHERI.
BEN: (to Sheri) I know you need to go talk to someone experienced now…but can I call you later?
SHERI: I’d like that. Since right now…I think Noel is probably going to have me committed.
BEN: I’m sure he’ll just have you talk to a counselor… just remember…I’m here when you need to talk.
SHERI: Thanks…I’m really glad we met.
BEN: Yeah…me too.
INT. FELICITY’S DORM-DAY
FELICITY OPENS HER DOOR AND LETS BEN INSIDE. BEN WALKS IN AND AS SOON AS FELICITY CLOSES THE DOOR HE SWEEPS HER INTO HIS ARMS AND BEGINS PASSIONATELY KISSING HER. FELICITY IS OVERWHELMED BY ALL SHE HAS BEEN FEELING WATCHING HIM TALKING TO SHERI ON THE ROOF…AND ALL THE DORMANT FEELINGS HE IS NOW WAKING UP IN HER.
BEN MOVES FELICITY TOWARDS THE BED AND BEGINS TO UNBUTTON HER SWEATER. FELICITY PULLS AWAY FOR A MOMENT.
BEN: (passion in his voice) Please Felicity…just let this happen…for the both of us…don’t ask me why…just lose yourself in the feelings…can you do that?
FELICITY LOOKS AT BEN…FEELING ALL THE PASSION…SHE HESITATES AND THEN IN A SMALL…BREATHY VOICE FILLED WITH PASSION…SHE ANSWERS.
BEN BEGINS KISSING HER AGAIN…LOSING HIMSELF AND ALL THE PAIN OF THE PAST MONTHS IN THE PASSION FILLED MOMENT THEY ARE SHARING.
SALLY: (VO) Dear Felicity…When I got your tape…I literally wept. I guess because I want so much for things to work with you and Ben. I am so amazed at what Ben was able to do for Sheri. He possesses a rare quality…he is able to listen. In my heart of hearts I know Ben is the man for you…the one who completes your life…and given time…he will be the man standing by your side as you promise to love, honor and cherish for the rest of your life. Until then…just know that it’s you he needed to be with and no one else after his ordeal…after his brush with reality. It’s easy to live day in and day out thinking your life is unlivable…but when you meet someone who actually believes that enough to go out on that ledge…it changes you…and makes you see your problems as fairly insignificant…and definitely manageable.