This is the missing scene from when Starr took Hope to visit Cole in jail for Christmas. Enjoy!
He was sitting in his cell thinking about everything that he was missing today. His mom was there to visit him just a little bit ago. She gave him some presents, mostly keepsakes to remind him that he has a lot to live for. This makes his mind drift to the two people he misses the most in this world, the woman he loves and their baby girl. He remembers last year's Christmas when he asked Starr to stay the night at his place so they could wake up together as a family and open gifts first thing in the morning. It was one of the greatest days of his life, just spending it with his girls. It's amazing how so much can change in a year, he thinks to himself. Just then he hears a guard call out his name, "Thornhart, you got another visitor."
Cole looks at the guard perplexed, "Who?"
The guard looks down at his sheet, "A Starr and Hope Manning."
She sat in the visiting room at Statesville with her little girl in her arms. She wasn't sure if this was the best idea ever but she knew that she had to see him today and so did their daughter. She had a bag full of presents beside her. Each one had been ripped opened before she was able to bring them into the room, which made her upset because then he wouldn't get to experience the thrill of unwrapping them. There were presents from her, Jack and Sam, Blair, Langston, and of course their precious baby girl. She wanted him to know how much he was loved and missed, especially today of all days.
She heard the door unlock and looked up. It opened slowly, so slow that it felt like it was taken forever to her. Finally, the door was opened wide and in walked the love of her life. She could see his face light up as soon as he laid eyes on them. Then she felt the weight leave her lap and before she knew it her little girl was running straight towards the man who had just walked in, "DADDY!"
Cole bent down and scooped the little girl up into his arms, holding her so tight that he could have crushed her. He closed is eyes and just took in this moment, holding his baby girl in his arms. He wasn't sure the next time he was going to be able to do this.
Starr watched as Cole and Hope held on to each other for dear life. She wanted nothing more than to go up and give Cole a hug but decided that they needed this moment together.
Finally Cole loosened his grip on Hope and pulled back to look at the precious girl in his arms, "I've miss you so much, baby girl."
The little girl just smiled at him and said, "Daddy!"
"Yeah, daddy's here." He pulled her into a hug again and then looked across the room at the mother of his child standing there with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.
Starr walked up to them and Cole reached out with the arm that wasn't hold Hope and pulled Starr into an embrace. He stood there standing with his two girls in his arms and suddenly the day just seemed so much better.
After a few moments, Starr pulled back and looked up at Cole with a smile on her face, as he tucked her hair behind her ear, she whispered, "Merry Christmas."
He smiled, "Merry Christmas." He looked at Hope then back at Starr, "This is the best Christmas present I could have asked for, thank you."
"Well this isn't it, we got a ton more, don't we Hope?" She said looking at her daughter.
"Really?" Cole said giving a mischievous look at Hope, who just smiled and nodded in return to both her parents.
"Come on, come sit down." Starr said as she walked back towards the chairs. She sat down in one, while Cole sat in the one right next to her and placed Hope on his lap.
Starr reaches for the bag with all the gifts and then looks up at Cole with somewhat of a sad smile, "I'm really sorry but the guards tore everything opened before we came in, so nothing is wrapped."
Cole takes her hand, "Hey it's okay. Like already said, you two just being here is enough for me."
Starr's smile grows bigger at his words. "Okay, well first up, Jack and Sam wanted to get you a little something. The first thing is this…"
Starr pulls a book out of the bag, Cole reads the cover, "The 100 Best Poems Of All Time."
"Sam thought that you'd like it, since you use to read him poems when he was little. He said that with 100 poems, there is no way you could ever be bored."
Cole chuckles at this.
"Then Jack wanted me to give you this." She pulls out a little stuffed yellow bird. Cole looked perplexed by the stuffed animal, which Hope takes from her mom right away. "He said that a couple years ago, you were joking around and had asked if you could have his yellow bird toy?"
Realization comes over Cole's face, "Oh man, yeah, I remember. It was when your father won custody of Sam. He said he was going to give him Yellow Bird but I asked if I could have him instead." He finishes with a laugh. "I can't believe he remembered that."
"That's Jack for you."
Cole looks down at hope playing with the toy, "I think I'm going to let Hope keep that one."
Starr giggles, "Yeah, good idea." She reaches into the bag to pull out another book and hands it to Cole, "This is from Langston."
Cole takes it and looks at the book. It is a hard bound cover of 'Starr X'd Lovers'. He opens up to the first page and reads the message Langston had written:
Cole, I know things must be tough for you every single day, but I hope this gift brings you joy. If you are having a hard day just take this and use it to escape. Remember the amazing story and how much you and Starr love each other. Remember how much you've both been through and made it through and let this story remind you everyday that you will be able to make it through this. Merry Christmas. Miss you, Langston.
As he finishes reading the message, Starr can see that he is beginning to get teary eyed. "She wasn't sure if she should give it to you. If you don't want it I can always take it…"
"No. I love it." He looks up at Starr, "It's our story, how can I not?"
Starr gives him a small pained smile. Yes it is their story, she just hopes that they are able to get that happy ending.
"This is from my mom," she says as she hands him a CD. "You know her and music, she says all the songs on there will help 'sooth' you, or something."
Cole laughs and gives Starr a confused look, "Um okay." Cole takes the CD and sets it down on the seat next to him with everything else.
"And this… is from this little one." She hands Hope her present, "Hope you want to give your present to daddy?"
Hope takes her gift from Starr and hands it to Cole, "I make."
Cole takes the gift and examines it. It is a plate with two eyes, that are completely uneven, a crooked smile drawn on and a red fuzzy thing in the center of the plate. It also has brown things on the top which look like traced hands. Cole looks at Hope, "Is this Rudolf?"
Hope nods, and points to the red ball, "Red nose!"
"She really wanted to do it all on her own. I tried to help her with the antlers some though. Turn it over…"
Cole turns it and on the back in crayon and sloppy handwriting it says, Merry Christmas Daddy. I love you and miss you so much. Love, Hope. Cole looks up at Starr with tears in his eyes.
"I took her hand and guided her, but she wrote it."
He looks down at the precious girl in his lap, "Thank you so much baby girl. I love it and I love you." He pulls her in and gives her a thigh squeeze, which causes Starr to smile again. She could watch him with their daughter all day.
"Now we have one more thing. It's my gift to you…" She reaches into the bag, pulls out a photo album and hands it to Cole.
He takes it, opens it up and flips through the first couple pages. He then looks over at Starr with a questioning look, "This is our memory book that we were making."
She smiles, "yup."
"But Starr, don't you want to keep this?"
"I have mine. I made another one just for you, identical to the one I have."
He smiles and turns back to the book, flipping through it more. He gets near the middle of the book and that is where the pages start to be empty, a frown crosses his face. "There are so many empty pages."
"I know. Cole, look at me." He looks up at her, "There my be empty pages now, but I promise you, we will fill that book. Whether it takes 10 years or 100, we will fill it. So when you look through this, and even at the script for the musical, know that it isn't the end of the story. This isn't the end of our story, just of a chapter of it."
Cole smiles and takes his free arm and wraps it around Starr who snuggles up against him. For the second time that day, he felt whole, having both of his girls in his arms.
As the three of them were lost in their moment together, they hear the door open and the guard enters, "Thornhart, you have 5 more minutes." Then the guard turns around and walks back out of the room closing the door behind him.
He can immediately feel Starr tense up and he knows why. As great as it is to see them, it just hurts all over again when they have to say bye. He looks down at Starr, "Just never seems like enough time, does it?"
She looks up at him, "All the time in the world wouldn't be enough."
He pulls her back in and kisses her on her forehead. They sit there in salience for a few moments, the three of them huddled as one.
Then Starr sighs and sits up straight, "Okay well we better get this over with before he comes back in here and kicks us out."
By 'it' he knows she is referring to their goodbyes. "Yeah, we should." He stands up with Hope in his arms, Starr remains seated. "Hey, baby girl. Thank you so much for my present, I love it. I'm going to hang on the wall right next to my bed so it is the first thing I see when I wake up every morning. I want you to know that I love you so much, okay. You and your mommy are the most important things in my life and I think about you every single second of every single day. A day never goes by where I don't wish I was with you. Have a Merry Christmas, Hope, and I hope Santa brings you all the presents you want." He kisses her on her head as Starr stands up from her chair. Cole looks at her, "Thank you so much for coming and for brining her. Thank everyone for my gifts, I love them all."
She smiles at him, "I will."
The guard come in, "Times up."
Cole looks down at Starr and touches her chin with his finger tips, "Merry Christmas, I love you," he then gives her a gentle kiss on her forehead.
Once Cole pulls back, Starr gives him a small smile and touches his cheek with her hand, "I love you too. Merry Christmas."
The guard chimes in, "I really hate to do this but you are already running over in time."
Cole nods to the guard.
She reaches out to take her from Cole, "Come on, Hope."
Hope turns away from Starr and clings on to Cole, "NO! Daddy!."
Starr sighs, "Hope, we need to go home."
Hope looks at Starr, "Daddy too."
Starr looks at Cole, who looks at Hope, "No, baby girl. I can't come home with you."
Hope starts to cry, "DADDY TOO!"
"You need to go home and sleep so Santa can come, okay?"
But she just keeps crying and saying, "Daddy too," while clinging on to Cole.
The guard walks over and picks up Cole's gifts, "Thornhart, I have to take you back to your cell, NOW."
Starr looks at Cole with worried and concerned eyes, Cole just gives her a look that says everything will be okay, "Just take her."
Starr reaches and has to practically rip Hope out of Cole arms, and her crying and screaming increases. She holds on to the little girl for dear life, as she tries to get out of her mother's arms to run to her father.
Cole begins to walk away and tears enter his eyes at the sound of his baby girl's cries. When he gets to the door he turns around and looks at his girls one last time. Starr has tears in her eyes and Hope is crying hysterically and reaching out for him saying, "Daddy too" over and over again.
He mouths, "I love you both," turns around and walks out the door with tears streaming down his face.
Once he gets back to his cell the guard hands him his gifts. He sets them all down on his bed and then takes the photo album Starr had giving him. When he picks it up, a letter falls out that he hadn't seen before. He picks it up and opens it.
As I sit here putting together this album for you I can't help put drift down memory lane. The day you left, you said that you should have left me alone that night we met because all the bad things that have happened in my life since then was because of you. I'm not going to pretend that there haven't been hard times. However, all the tears, heartbreak, and sadness are outweighed by the laughter, happiness and love that we've had for the past four years. If you would have left me alone that night, we wouldn't have had our amazingly beautiful little girl, I wouldn't have known what true love really is and most importantly I would have missed out on knowing the greatest man ever. You may not be perfect Cole, but you are perfect for me and we are perfect together. Look at this album, look at the smiles and the happy memories and know that these past four years have been the best of my life and I wouldn't trade that in for anything. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I love you Cole Thornhart, and nothing and no one will ever change that. Have a Merry Christmas and I'll see you soon.
When he finished reading the letter, he wiped the tears away, moved everything off of his bed and onto the floor, except the letter and Hope's reindeer. He laid down on his stiff bed, help both things close to his heart and closed his eyes. As he drifted off to sleep, the sounds of his daughter's cries began to dissipate and were replaced with the sounds of her laughter, and the image of him and Starr lying in a hammock watching their little girl play on a swing.