Inventing the Abbotts (1997) Movie Script

The end of my innocence | and childhood began in 1957.
It's remarkable to me now just how little | I knew then about the people around me.
It took me years to figure out | exactly what the truth was...
...especially given my brother's knack | at inventing facts.
My mother once told me | that if the Abbotts didn't exist... brother would have | had to invent them.
Lloyd Abbott wasn't the richest man | in town, but it seemed like he was...
...because he had three beautiful | daughters: Alice, Eleanor and Pamela.
Twice a year, you'd see the big tent | go up on their tennis court...
...and everyone could see that one of | the Abbott girls was having a birthday...
...or graduating | or going away to college.
- Here we go. Another party. | - Shut up.
Every time an Abbott girl gets her period, | there's a party.
Kotex parties, Kotex party hats...
My brother and I were born strangers.
Same last name, same address...
...but everything else about us | was different.
Back then, Jacey was | a complete mystery to me.
And I was a constant source | of embarrassment to him.
Oh, Christ.
Mom, he has to wash that off. | - Why?
You can't let him go to the party | until he does.
It'll look worse if I wash it. | It's India ink. It'll turn gray.
You look like a clown! He looks | like a clown and he doesn't know it.
- I thought you weren't even going. | - I changed my mind.
Doug, you do understand that you may | be the only person at this party...
...with artificial sideburns? | - Yeah?
You do understand that | they don't look real?
That they look really as if | you'd drawn them on?
- Yeah. | - It does seem that he understands... just go to the party and ignore Doug.
- Have a good time. Pretend you don't... | - You've got...!
Lloyd Abbott had power in our town...
...and he didn't have to twist arms | to get what he wanted.
He had a much more effective | way of exercising influence.
He gave lavish parties with real Chicago | musicians and fresh shrimp cocktail.
There wasn't anyone who wouldn't do | almost anything to be invited.
Especially my brother.
We're going out to the lake tomorrow.
Sandy wants to show off | her dad's new boat.
Why don't you come?
I have to work.
I guess you'll have | to write me a letter then.
What do you mean?
I'll be right back.
- Hi! | - Hi!
- Nice tie. | - Thanks.
- Can I borrow a Kleenex? | - Greaser.
Got any smokes around here?
Ladies and gentlemen...
...I'd like to propose a toast in honor of | our cause for celebration tonight:
The engagement of our daughter Alice | to Mr. Peter Vanlaningham.
So is this Peter guy | Alice is gonna marry rich?
Of course. He's one of the Atlas Steel | Vanlaninghams. Pittsburgh.
- He's a bully. | - So how come Alice is marrying him?
Because my parents want her to. | And Alice is afraid of my parents.
It's practically an arranged marriage.
They think Alice has peanut shells | for brains or something.
So they sort of suggested | it that it was time to tie the old knot.
Then they sort of suggested that Peter | was the one to do it with.
Jeez. No one could be | that much of a pushover.
Look, Alice is the good daughter, | Eleanor is the bad one...
...and I'm the one that sort of gets off | the hook. That's just the way it works.
- Which one are you? | - You mean which kind of brother am I?
You got me. | The little brother, I guess.
- I like your sideburns. | - Thank you.
You never really knew | what was going on with the Abbotts.
And what the guests at the party | that night didn't know...
...was that they were celebrating | a very expensive shotgun wedding.
Alice Abbott was already | two months pregnant.
- I'll see you later, okay? | - Okay.
Thanks for coming.
Everything Jacey wanted | in life the Abbotts already had:
Cars, money, country clubs.
But in the beginning, more than | anything else, he wanted Eleanor Abbott.
I'd witnessed enough of my brother's | social agony to resolve early on...
...that I would never let | the Abbotts matter to me.
Three out of five?
Two out of three. You serve.
You wanna go get a beer?
- What, a "beer" beer? | - No, a root beer. Yeah, a "beer" beer.
- Where are we gonna get beer? | - The bait shop.
If you go in alone and nobody else is | there, Ernie will sell you a couple bottles.
Jacey, remember that time | I got my dick caught in my zipper?
Remember, in school? | In the first grade?
Mrs. Hurley came to help, | but I wouldn't let her... she got Mom | out of her classroom...
...but I wouldn't let her help me either. | So I made her go get you. Remember?
Yeah. I remember.
We should own that company.
What do you mean?
Midwest Steel Desk...
...Dad's file cabinet drawer.
Lloyd Abbott screwed Mom | out of the patent after Dad died.
Says who?
It's absolutely true.
- Mom's not stupid. | - I didn't say she was stupid.
Lloyd's pretty smooth. | That's why he owns the company.
- No. He married the boss's daughter. | - He owns the company...
...because Dad's patent | saved the company's ass...
...after the war, | when all the war contracts dried up.
Maybe Mom sold it because | we needed the money.
What money?
We never had any money. | Money had nothing to do with it.
And that's why we're driving this car | instead of that one.
- For what? | - I heard you got accepted to Penn.
How'd you swing | an Ivy League school like that?
My grandfather went there | and I had the grades, so...
- It really stinks in here. | - Yeah. I dropped something.
I just thought you and Steve...
Well, that's what you thought.
I think Steve is...
I don't know. I don't know | what I think about Steve.
I never think about him.
I just do things. | I let other people figure them out.
That's what parents are for. They're | really good at doing all the thinking... why should I?
I think this is called | the silent treatment.
I get enough of it from my father. | I don't need it from you.
So good luck at Penn.
Come on, Dad's waiting.
Thank you, Mr. Abbott.
Stay away from him.
Because I said so.
We should have a party out at the | boathouse. That's what we should do.
- You know, invite some girls... | - Right, right.
...get some beer, go swimming, | look up a few words in the dictionary...
- Yeah, like "boring" or "eunuch. " | - Eunuch?
- What's that? | - It's Latin for busboy.
Business is a little light today. | Too damn hot.
Which one of you knuckleheads | wants to get off early?
- Oh, me. | - I do.
Call it in the air.
Hi, Doug.
Get out!
I had always thought of Eleanor Abbott... just another stuck-up rich girl, | a flirt, a tease.
She proved to be a bigger rebel | than I ever was.
Write to us when you get there, okay?
Jacey and I | never talked about that thing...
...between he and Eleanor in the garage.
But Jacey never bragged | about his conquests.
When he went off to college that fall, | I didn't feel particularly sad.
I felt free.
- How's your chin? | - Drop dead.
- You want a ride? | - Nope.
You can drive.
- I don't have my license yet. | - I don't care.
- How come you never ask me out? | - What for?
- For a date, blockhead. | - Because I see you all the time.
- I don't mean just hanging out. | - Come on.
- Scared of me? | - Hell, no.
I got a job. I got school. I don't have | time for dates and all that stuff.
Forget it.
- It's not like I'm your boyfriend. | - I said forget it, so forget it.
My brother was more successful... reinventing himself than I was.
Just as the Abbott parties were the place | to be in Haley, Jacey's parties at Penn...
...were the hippest ones around.
And even though he had | a major in architecture...
...he seriously minored | in beautiful coeds.
...bras, hooked bras...
...all utilize the same fundamental | principles of structural design.
You know, I'm engaged.
- So am I. | - You are?
I'm engaged in conversation with you.
I was in awe | of his success with women.
The thought of Eleanor conjured images | of absolute debauchery in my mind.
After a while, I didn't see my brother | beneath her on the sofa in the garage...
...I saw me.
Doug, dinner!
I wish you wouldn't | smoke in the garage, honey.
I don't smoke in the garage.
There's a lot of old stuff out there. | I don't want anything to catch on fire.
I don't smoke, Mom.
Just the same, I'd prefer it | if you'd smoke in the backyard.
Yes, ma'am.
I gotta get ready.
Where are you going?
I kind of have a date.
Well, you know, Friday nights...
- You can leave that. | - Thanks.
- Have fun. | - You too.
- Hi! | - Hi!
What do you want?
What are you doing tonight? | You wanna go out?
I don't believe you. | I can't.
My folks went out to dinner | with Peter and Alice...
...and I got tricked into | watching the baby.
Where's Eleanor?
- I thought you came over to ask me out. | - I did.
Good, because she's not here.
- Can I come in? | - No.
- Why not? | - Because my parents aren't here.
Maybe some other time?
Okay. But just for a little while.
You're not like Jacey.
Why not?
He's so trig and polished.
What does "trig" mean?
You know, handsome, sexy, | sophisticated... a pipe smoker.
I don't think Jacey smokes a pipe.
You don't have to smoke a pipe | to be trig.
Call it a Dodge!
...either you're mad at me | because you're mad at me...
...or you're mad at me because | you like me. That's how girls act.
I don't know much, but I know that.
So I...
Which is it?
We better take a look at her. | Let's pull alongside.
Anybody aboard?
Lieutenant Dawson boarded the boat.
Anyone down there?
As he looked around he | noticed a deck full of strange equipment.
Skin diving lungs...
...complicated instruments...
...magnetic detecting devices | and a cabinet of jars...
...filled with sediment.
Do you love me, Doug?
Stop it.
I'm sorry.
I'm really sorry.
I'm not Eleanor.
I can't go so fast.
Every time we go out, | you gonna tell the same goddamn story?
Brushing your teeth | with Brylcreem. That's funny...
Will you shut up? | "Comes in a red-and-white tube... "
The baby's crying.
Just stay out of it.
She meant no harm, | she thinks it's funny.
- So do I. | It doesn't matter what you think.
It's their business. Alice is a spoiled | brat, but she's Peter's problem now.
Why don't you just take one of your | pills and watch The Jack Paar Show...
...and see what he's | crying about tonight?
All right, Alice. | Open the goddamn door right now.
Open the goddamn door, right now!
If you don't open the door right now, | you're gonna pay up.
Open the goddamn door...
Although I shared Jacey's | avid interest in the opposite sex...
...I obviously lacked | his consummate skills.
Next. | - Thank you.
- Hi, Jacey. | Hey.
Hey, get my case, will you?
When he came home that | summer, he picked right up with Eleanor.
And she was more than eager to pick | right up where she left off with him.
Hi, Daddy.
What are you doing out here?
Fucking Jacey.
Get in the car.
Good night.
Good night.
I'll get it, honey.
- How are you? | - May I have a word with you, Helen?
Of course. Won't you come in?
No, I don't have time. | Please...
My mother never had many visitors.
In fact, before that day I'd never seen | her and Joan Abbott speak to each other.
Joan was the pinnacle of high society. | My mom had no social life to speak of.
She was the only mom I knew | who worked for a living.
I assumed that was why | she never got out much.
There was a reason, but being a | schoolteacher had nothing to do with it.
Jacey needs to be disciplined. | - I don't think that's necessary.
- Lf I were you, I'd talk to him and... | - I'm not going to do that.
If you have something to say to my son, | you'll have to say it to him yourself.
I just thought you'd like to know | what your son has done.
And why on earth should I believe | anything you say, Joan?
That visit not only marked | the end of Jacey's affair with Eleanor...
...but also the end | of Eleanor Abbott herself.
She disappeared from Haley, | vanished or banished.
No one knew for certain.
But life at the Abbotts' | went on without her.
How come you're going | to summer school?
I got an incomplete in U.S. History.
Mrs. Bates caught me drawing boobs | on a picture of Mamie Eisenhower.
- Why do you always do things like that? | - I wish I knew.
Just can't seem to help it sometimes.
Are you coming to the party?
It's my birthday, you know.
Everybody's gonna be there. | It should be fun.
I don't know. Maybe.
Just come, okay?
Fill her up.
Nice tie.
Mind if I borrow it?
I thought you didn't like | those parties at the Abbotts'.
I don't.
Then why are you going?
Just doing someone a favor, I guess.
How come you're not going?
I'm persona non grata.
- What do you mean? | - You know what I mean.
Jacey, what happened | with you and Eleanor?
Eleanor was just looking for a way | out of the whole Abbott world.
And it turns out | it takes a lot to get away.
It's not enough to sleep around | with the boys from your world... have to fuck the boys | from the wrong side of the tracks.
- You mean like guys from Fountain Park? | - No. I mean me.
She was fucking me.
Yeah, but we're not from | the wrong side of the tracks.
I wouldn't go to that party | if I were you.
Well, you're not me. | We're just as good as the Abbotts.
- What? | - You don't have any idea, do you?
About what?
After Dad died...
...Mom had an affair with Lloyd Abbott. | That's how he got Dad's patent from her.
I don't believe you.
Believe it or not, I don't care.
Tell you what, | why don't you go ask Mom?
Why don't you ask her what happened...
...why she doesn't have any friends | or get invited to the Abbotts'?
Ask her which side of the tracks | we live on.
- How long have you been here? | - A while.
- Are you okay? | - Fine.
Having fun?
Come dance with me.
So is Jacey just home for a visit | or is he here for the summer?
Home for the summer. | It's cheaper if he comes home.
He can save money for school | because he doesn't have to pay rent.
- Money's tight. We're sort of poor. | You're not poor.
Are you kidding? | Even with Jacey working... mom had to borrow against | the house for him to go to Penn.
So where's Eleanor tonight? | Eleanor's just not here.
- Is she pregnant? | - No. Who said that?
Everyone says something different.
That she got knocked up, | she ran away...
...your old man kicked her out. | Which is it?
- Fuck off. | - Why do you hate me?
Fuck you, asshole.
- You asleep? | - No.
I became a social pariah | after Pam's birthday party.
It was a long, lonely winter.
You okay, Mom?
I'm fine.
You sure?
- You look a little tired. | - It's just a cold.
I do wish Jacey was home for Christmas. | Maybe that's what's wrong with me.
I guess that freelance drafting job | was too good for him to turn down.
I don't think that's why | he didn't come home.
- When did you start drinking beer? | - I bought those for you, honey.
I had them out in the garage all this time. | I keep forgetting to bring them in.
Good heavens, I know you drink beer.
- Have one with me. | - No, no. I bought those for you.
- It's not good to drink alone. | - Don't be silly.
Come on.
Sit down.
Have a beer.
- Merry Christmas. | - Merry Christmas.
Well, it's beer.
Charlie was always trying | to get me to drink beer.
- Why do you always call him Charlie? | - That was his name.
I know. But why don't you | ever say "your father"?
Sometimes I do, don't I?
I don't know. When I think of him, | I just think of Charlie.
Did you ever meet anybody else?
I had a friend. | I used to go see him in Chicago...
...when I went to visit Bea during | summer vacations. Do you remember?
- How long did this go on for? | - Eight years or so.
That's a long time.
- Did you think about marrying him? | - He proposed, but obviously I said no.
- Why? | - Because I'm in love with...
I'm in love with your father...
...with my memory of him.
He was the one for me. | I don't know.
There's different kinds of love. | Some people you love no matter what.
And others you love | if the situation is right.
To me, the best kind of love | is the "no matter what" kind.
Well, I'm a cheap drunk, aren't I?
Mom, what's scenic design? | - In what context?
Wait a minute, it's theater.
"The Howard Lambert Scholarship | in Scenic Design for the Theater. "
It's a full ride. Four years. | It pays everything, almost.
- I could do that. | - Sure, you could.
Once I figure out | what scenic design is.
- Mom? I'll wait for you outside, okay? | - Okay.
Have you got this in pink? I bought | this before. I was very happy with it.
Pamela Louise Abbott.
Daniel G. Holbrook.
Sharon Druck.
Douglas Lee Holt.
David Nabors.
Maxine Tudor.
Helen Schuster.
Mark Murphy.
Meredith Weir.
- Thank you. | - You're welcome.
- Congratulations, Helen. | Thank you, Lloyd. Same to you.
Where is Pam going to school?
Christ, I forgot.
Wait, Bryn Mawr. | I should remember, it costs enough.
She'll do very well there. | She's a very bright girl.
- And Doug's going to...? | - Doug got a scholarship... the University of Pennsylvania | in scenic design. Theater.
- That's the same school as... | - As Jacey.
- Pam's school is right nearby. | - Right.
- Well, congratulations. | - Thank you, Lloyd. Same to you.
It's too hot.
Wanna get some beers | and go to the lake?
No, I don't wanna get some...
Goddamn it.
Listen, I don't want you in Philadelphia.
I don't need you around | to remind me and everybody else...
...that I come from | fucking Hicksville, U.S.A.
So if you're gonna go to Penn, | you're on your own, dipshit.
I don't need you riding my coattails.
Why don't you live your own life | and stop being my fucking shadow?
Screw you.
Jacey, Doug.
Come on, Doug. | I'm just gonna kick your little ass.
What's going on? Who's out here?
Stop that, you two!
Doug, you've been painting | that same spot for five minutes.
- Could I get change for a dollar? | - Just a minute, hon.
When Alice Abbott | filed for a divorce from Peter...
...Jacey wrongly thought she was | escaping more than an unhappy marriage.
He didn't really understand | what mattered to her.
- Can I help you? | - Yes, I need change...
- You don't work here, do you? | - No, no.
I was just thinking about you. | I was gonna call you tonight.
- Why? | - There's a picnic on Sunday... River Point. | I wanted to invite you.
- I couldn't. | - You can bring Susan.
- Kids love picnics. | - I just need change for the meter.
- Thank you. | - How about an iced tea?
My mother's in the car waiting | so we don't get a ticket.
- Maybe she'd like an iced tea. | - No.
- No harm asking. | - No. Don't do that.
Why not?
You know why.
Then I'll make you a deal: | Come to the picnic...
...and I'll wait here and let you leave first | so your mother doesn't see me.
I don't care if my mother sees you.
Then you won't mind if I ask her if | she'd like to join us for an iced tea.
No, wait.
I don't know if I can. I'll try. | It just depends.
Sunday, River Point, around noon.
My brother and I had | more in common than we knew.
That summer it seemed for both of us | that all roads led to an Abbott girl.
Is that Pamela Abbott?
That is Pam. Let's pull over here.
Pamela, are you all right?
It's so darn hot that the stupid jack | keeps sinking into the pavement.
Maybe Doug can give you a hand.
Go on, Doug, help her out.
Where's the thing that | goes on the bottom of the jack?
What thing?
The base of the jack. | I didn't see anything.
I thought that was | just the spare-tire holder.
- Read your manual. | - Pam! Can you run Doug home for me?
- I've gotta get to the bank. | - Sure, I'll drive him home.
- Thanks for stopping. | - Okay. Bye-bye.
You think you'll be finished some | time today? I'm getting sunstroke.
- Put the top up. | - Stop acting like Jacey.
What makes you think you're so cool?
I can't even talk to you.
Name one bad thing | I've ever done to you.
- Why? | - Go on. Name one bad thing.
- What's the point? | - You tell me, because I don't get it.
Look, I'm not rich, my father is. | And I didn't pick my father.
If I had a choice between having tons of | money or another father...
...I'd be absolutely delighted to be poor.
But, unfortunately, | life is just not a cafeteria.
- Life is not a cafeteria? | - You know what I mean.
I'm supposed to feel sorry for you | because you're rich?
And I'm supposed to feel sorry for you | because you're so poor?
- No. | - Then just stop it.
- Stop what? | - Stop treating me like an Abbott.
- How else should I treat you? | - Like you used to.
Like just plain Pam.
And you don't have to say you're sorry, | or look like someone ran over your dog.
You make me want to scream sometimes.
What are you looking at?
- Where is everybody? | - Uh.
We are everyone.
- But you said that... | - No, I didn't. I said that...
...there was a picnic.
I didn't say whether or not | anyone else was invited.
- Where are you going? | - I thought...
You came here to see me.
You didn't come here | to see anybody else, did you?
That's why you | didn't bring Susan along.
I'm married.
- I thought you were getting a divorce. | - I am, but it's not final yet.
Besides, I'm two years older than you.
Then, if the cops come...
...we can just tell them | you bought the beer.
Who do you look like, | your mom or dad?
Hell, I don't know.
What'd your father look like?
Like a photograph.
I never knew him. You know he died | a month before I was born?
Jacey probably looks more like him. | You know he's named after him?
That's how he got to be called Jacey, | after his initials. John Charles. J.C.
He died in a car wreck, right?
- You never heard about that? | - About what?
It was sort of a car wreck. | He drowned or froze to death, or both.
- Trying to drive out to Mud Island. | - Mud Island's in the middle of the lake.
It was winter. The lake was froze over.
That's pretty stupid.
- I'm sorry. | - It's all right.
It is stupid. Real stupid.
He did it on a bet.
He bet someone 20 bucks | that he could do it.
He made it all the way out there too.
He went through the ice | on his way back.
Oh, boy.
You know, I think my dad | was like Jacey is.
Some guys are just daredevils.
Once, I dared Jacey to do a back flip | off the roof into a pile of leaves.
And he did it.
Once Eleanor and I snuck out | and ran around the yard naked.
- You did? | - It was sort of a dare too.
She dared me and I dared her, | so we both did it.
You walked around or did you | run from tree to tree?
- We just walked around. | - Front yard or backyard?
- Backyard. Does it matter? | - Yeah.
Backyard nudity's hypocritical. | It's insincere.
People should do and say exactly what | they feel and think and not hide things.
- Hi. | - Hi.
- You look pretty. | - Really?
Where have you been?
Hotel in town, where I got drunk.
Never occurred to you | to let me know where you were?
It occurred to me.
You can't tell anyone | what we're doing.
Promise me you won't tell anyone.
Being reckless | was not a true part of Alice's nature.
Like any trapped animal, | she was capable of almost anything.
Her desperation made her dangerous. | And Jacey's addiction to the Abbotts...
...made him desperate to possess her.
- Eleanor's living in Chicago. | - She is?
- She's going to stewardess school. | - What do they teach her there?
I don't know. | How to wiggle your bottom.
Really? Maybe you should go there | instead of Bryn Mawr.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
- Did it hurt? It was an accident. | - Be careful with your big feet.
Come here.
- Wanna go upstairs? | - No.
- Maybe you're tired of just kissing? | - No. Are you?
- No, but touching is nice. | - We are touching.
I know. I'd just like to see what | you look like without any clothes on.
What? Aren't you curious?
I know what I look like without | any clothes on. I look naked.
Can I touch your breasts? | Just on the outside?
You can kiss me.
I like lips.
- You like lips? | - I like your lips, blockhead.
I like being here like this.
But we're not going upstairs, | because you know what we'll do then.
I don't want to be like my sisters.
Not if I can help it.
Shit. My brother just went | into the garage with your sister.
- With Eleanor? | - Alice.
- Pam, hold up. | - Why didn't you tell me?
- I didn't know. What's this have to do...? | - What is she doing?
Why can we sneak around, | but not Alice and Jacey?
Because it's different. I'm not Alice. | Alice is like my mother.
They get hurt easy, | like turtles without shells.
- Come on, take it easy. | - You don't know my dad.
He blames Jacey for everything | that happened with Eleanor.
It's not Jacey's fault | your dad kicked her out.
He didn't kick her out. | He sent her off to a goddamn nut house.
He just up and shipped her off | to some clinic in Wisconsin.
- I thought you said she's in Chicago. | - She is. They let her out a month ago.
- Oh, shit. | - Yeah, shit.
Who's upstairs with Jacey?
Alice Abbott.
How long is she likely to stay?
I don't know, | but I wouldn't hold up dinner.
Do you want dinner?
- No, thanks. | - Don't sit on that.
- Doug just painted it. | - I know.
I had to bring her here today. | There's nowhere else we can go.
- I appreciate that, but... | - I love her.
- And I am gonna marry her. | - Do her parents know about this?
- Of course not. | - Shouldn't they?
I don't give a damn about them.
Does Alice feel the same way you do?
She loves me.
And she's agreed to marry you?
She will.
She needs time. She's frightened. | This isn't easy for her.
- How does hiding it make it easier? | - We don't really have any choice, do we?
Alice is a grown woman. | She has a child. If she loves you...
I've gotta get her away | from her parents...
I can't be a party to that, Jacey.
I don't need your help.
And I'm not asking for it.
Find somewhere else to take Alice. | I can't have you bringing her here.
I'm sorry.
Jacey pretended | to care for Alice so well...
...the illusion became so complete, | that even he was fooled.
Marry me.
Nothing's impossible.
What do you mean? | That's not the way it is.
Go away!
Doesn't it mean anything to you? | It's screwing.
No. It's more than that.
Don't! | Don't what?
Yes, Daddy?
Who are you talking to?
She's talking to me, Daddy.
Just a little girl talk.
Well, you can talk inside. It's late.
Jacey didn't hear | from Alice for several days.
And then, finally, | Pam arrived with a message.
How is she?
She's at the boathouse.
What's going on?
Tell Jacey I'm sorry.
I have plans | for my daughters, Mr. Holt...
...and they don't include you.
I know you.
I know you better than you know me.
I know all there is to know about | screwing your way into a wealthy family.
And I'll never let you | screw your way into mine.
- Where is she? | - Who do you think you are?
- Goddamn it, where is she! | - Get out! Get out of here!
Call the police, Joan.
You son of a bitch.
Where is she?
Tell me where she is.
Behind you, Mr. Holt.
Hey, baby.
Come on.
Come with me right now.
Now get the hell out of here, | you runt stud...
...and keep your poor-boy dick | out of my daughters.
- Hey. | - Hi.
What's up?
I've been thinking that maybe | we shouldn't see each other right now.
I'll see you around.
Why spend all night in Chicago | waiting for the Philadelphia bus?
Why not just wait until the morning?
Because the sooner I get out | of this fucking town, the better.
Suit yourself.
I don't know why | he couldn't just forget about them.
Who? | The Abbotts.
There's no end of Abbotts | in this world, if that's what you need.
He just needs that somehow.
Actually, I know how.
What do you mean? | How do you know?
I was just a wreck when Charlie died.
Jacey was almost 2 and | I was eight months pregnant with you.
And, well...
Some mornings I'd be crying | before I even woke up.
Then you were born.
And Jacey just got lost in there.
I didn't have anything for him.
I should've taken us away from here...
...gone somewhere else. | - Why?
After Charlie died...
...Lloyd Abbott started dropping by | on his way home from work.
He felt so bad about that bet that | Charlie had made with him at the lake.
That foolish...
...idiotic bet.
Poor Lloyd. I felt sorry for him.
But he started dropping by so often | that people began to talk.
One day, I was in Woolworth's. | I was having lunch at the counter.
Suddenly, there was Joan Abbott...
...screaming at me to stop sleeping | with her husband, with Lloyd.
I was speechless.
She was gone | before I could find my tongue.
I went to see Joan. I wanted to put | her mind at rest. I wanted to tell her...
But why? Why'd everyone in town | believe Joan Abbott?
Because she's Joan Abbott.
I hate this town.
I hate the Abbotts.
- Maybe I shouldn't have told you. | - I already knew.
People still talk about it?
I never heard anyone talk about it. | Not to me, at least.
- Well, then how did...? | - Jacey.
Oh, Lord.
- Jacey knows too. | - Yeah, but...
He thinks it really happened.
For the first time in my life | that I could remember...
...I saw my mother cry. | I felt sad leaving Haley for college...
...sad for my mother, | because she had been left behind.
First by my father, | then by my brother...
...and now by me.
The only part of my past in Haley | that I never stopped thinking about...
...not for a day, was Pam.
Then, that spring, | my past caught up with me.
- Pam? | - Doug?
- Hi. | - Hi.
- What are you up to? | - I come down to use the library.
How's Bryn Mawr?
Very Bryn. | Do you like it here?
Yeah. It's fine.
I just have to drop off these set designs. | Do you wanna get something to eat?
I can't, sorry. | I gotta get the bus back.
You seem taller.
And you seem...
...not so plain.
Maybe another time, okay?
- Yeah. | - Really, I mean it.
Just call me. I'm at Reed Hall.
- Okay. | - Okay. Bye.
Hey, Holt, you've got a visitor.
Who's here?
Did you miss the bus?
Are you drunk? | Oh, Christ.
I better get you out of here | before the Puritans tar and feather you.
Stand up. Can you walk?
- Let's dance. | - No, no, no.
Go out the front door, make a right | and go around the building.
Wait for me by the fire escape, okay? | Just wait for me.
- Doug? | - Watch out for the ladder.
Come on, up we go.
Oh, Jesus.
It's Pam.
Thank you.
If you feel like you're gonna puke, | use the wastebasket over there.
I'm sorry.
I was embarrassed. I woke up | and didn't know where I was.
And I felt like I was dying, so I just...
I don't know. I was blotto. | I mean, I was so happy to see you.
But then I just got sad.
Sad and stupid. | It happens sometimes, you know?
- You wanna see something? | - What?
I wanna show you something. | Come on.
- What are we doing here? | - I wanna show you something.
Wait. | Stand right here.
Close your eyes.
It's beautiful.
The senior acting class | does scenes from different plays.
They invite everybody. | It's really a big deal.
There's this competition amongst all | the design students to do the sets...
...and I'm the one | whose design got picked.
What scene is it for, what play?
Romeo and Juliet. But it's | something different, you know?
You're really good at this.
It's like making models | when I was a kid.
It's fun. | It's make-believe.
Does it remind you of anything?
They tore that old barn down.
Did they?
They always tear down the wrong stuff.
I've missed you.
What's the matter?
- Do you have a boyfriend? | - No.
Then what's the problem?
- I can't do this. | - Why not?
It's okay. We don't have to go so fast.
- I have to be back at the dorm by 10. | - Wait. What about tomorrow afternoon?
It's just too late now.
Everything's just too screwed up.
It's not too late.
Pam had been walking | in and out of my life...
...for as long as I could remember.
Now, far from Haley, I believed | it would finally be different...
...that the past could be | left behind us.
What's wrong with you?
I'll get it.
Hi! | - Hi.
Come in.
How'd you know I was here?
I didn't.
- I came to talk to Jacey. | - Why?
You want another cup of coffee?
There's something that | I need to tell you.
Well, I didn't expect to see you again.
Shouldn't you have called?
Well, you wanna fuck? | I guess that's why you came over.
You bastard.
Fuck you.
- I didn't know. | - You didn't know what?
How you felt about Pam.
Fuck you.
I'm sorry.
Apologize to her, asshole.
I did.
It just... | I ran into her at some party...
...and she was drinking, | I was drinking. It was easy.
She felt guilty about telling | her father about me and Alice.
Actually, I made her feel guilty.
I made her feel like she had | betrayed Alice.
What the hell did Pam ever do | to deserve your revenge? What?
Is it just your way of evening | the score with Lloyd Abbott?
I don't know you!
I don't know who the fuck you are!
You fuck everything... | You fuck everything up!
Why Pam?
Why Pam too?
When I went to Bryn | Mawr to find Pam, she had disappeared.
I tried every way I could to locate her. | I even called my mother... see if she had gone back | to Haley. But she wasn't there.
That's a lovely fish, honey. | Keep your glue on the paper.
Look at that, almost done. | That's very pretty.
You're doing a wonderful job. | That's great.
Lillian, Jack, Sam, | back to your seats, please.
Boys and girls! Did you hear me? | Get back to your seats right now!
That's a good job, boys and girls. | Good job.
Although she seemed | unique to me then...
...I now know that the world | is filled with working women...
...raising children by themselves.
There was nothing especially | original about my mother.
Not even in the way she finally | brought her sons back together again.
What do you want?
It's Mom.
Hi, Doug!
How's your chin? | You remember, the pencil?
Yeah. I have a little scar.
Are you going home? | Back down on the ground to Illinois?
My mother died.
I'm sorry.
I just saw her over Christmas.
She seemed fine. | She was a little tired.
I thought it was the flu or something.
She didn't even tell us. The hospital | told Jacey when they called him.
How's Jacey?
He had to stay to take | his state board exams.
He's coming back tomorrow.
I'm really sorry.
I was wondering | if you knew where Pam was.
No, I don't.
I gotta go. | I'll miss my ride to the hotel.
Tell her I love her.
Just tell her that, okay?
My mother's life | had been damaged by a lie.
And my brother was forever lost in | a maze of illusions that lie had created.
And I had followed him there.
Jacey would never find his way out...
...but I had to.
And the only way I could do that...
...was to forgive | what I could never forget.
Do you wanna get something to eat?
You know... were right.
About what?
I should live my own life, | stop being your shadow.
I'm not like you, Jacey.
And I don't wanna be.
I'm sorry.
I know you are.
Did you have to get stitches?
I found this... one of the boxes in the garage.
It's a letter of agreement | between Lloyd Abbott and Dad.
Dad sold him the file-drawer patent, | not Mom.
- A car? | - Yeah.
Jesus Christ...
He sold the patent for a used car?
I don't know.
I guess Dad needed a car...
...and he figured who the hell | needed a full-suspension file drawer?
A 1937 DeSoto coupe convertible... is.
I wonder what ever happened to it?
He parked it at the bottom of a lake.
The truth about our | mother and Lloyd didn't comfort Jacey...
...because the truth seemed to him as | unfair as the lie he'd always believed in.
Do me a favor.
Don't stand here and wave goodbye.
It makes me think of Mom.
I'll see you.
My mother was right.
If the Abbotts didn't exist, | Jacey would've had to invent them.
But inventing the Abbotts was something | almost everyone in Haley did...
...and still do.
Alice reunited with Peter. Lived out the | same lie of a happy marriage...
...that her mother and father had lived.
And a new generation | of Abbott parties began.
What do you want?
I want to talk to you.
Shut the door.
- Have a seat. | - I don't wanna sit down.
Then don't.
I'm sorry about your mother.
You're sorry?
You didn't know your mother at all, if | you think I ever stood a chance with her.
That's what Jacey thinks. | I can tell by the way he looks at me.
Since he was a boy, he's looked at me | like I owed him. But he's wrong.
That bet was your father's idea.
And I never meant | your mother any harm.
I would've done anything for her. | Anything.
I loved her.
...what do you want?
I wanna find Pam.
I want you to tell me where she is.
How can you ever forgive me?
You always loved me | no matter what I did, right?
- Yeah. | - Maybe that's how I love you.
No matter what. | It's the best kind of love, you know.
But how can we | just start all over again?
You see there?
We're doing it.
...what are you doing tonight?
- Do you wanna go out? | - You're crazy.
Some people never change.
- Hi. | - Hi.
A year later, | the impossible finally happened.
One of the Holt boys | married one of the Abbott girls.
We had two daughters. | Named the youngest Helen...
...after my mom.