Hello guys. I think this film is so beautiful and such a feel good film that it is often ignored and forgotten. I watched it for the first time in years a couple of days ago and have been itching to write something….anything about it. I hope you enjoy this little scene.
Set during the scene in the hospital where Jack is playing cards with his brother
It was late. Heck, it was always late. Time was passing by so fast these days after his brother's accident. It had hardly seemed like yesterday that he'd first laid eyes on that woman who had been curled up on the family couch. He hadn't known what it was at first. That strange feeling you get in your stomach. He'd thought it had been the temperature change having just jumped out of that icy cold death trap of a van and into the warmth of the family home. But after a night's sleep and a brief conversation with her, he had come to realise that Lucy was all he wanted. She was perfect, kind and sweet….and unattainable.
She was engaged to his brother, who now lay before him in a coma after she had saved him. It was dark in the hospital room. Jack looked at Peter. He was asleep. That's how he liked to look at it anyway. Coma meant unbreakable to Jack and he wanted his brother to break free of its hold and be Peter again. The Peter that they all knew and loved. However, the stunned smile that was plastered over his sleeping brother's face didn't signify a kind of relief or contentment, to Jack it oozed smugness. His brother had her….the woman of his dreams. But for all the world he couldn't tell a soul about his feelings for his brother's fiancée. No one would accept it and no one would believe it. Least of all her.
It was dark in the hospital room. When Jack had arrived, he had drawn up a chair to his brother's bed, flicked a light on and for the last half an hour, Jack had sat playing cards on the wheelie hospital table with his brother, just as they had done when they were younger. Only this time, Jack was playing for both of them, almost wishing that Peter could wake up and cheat like he used to. Jack had always been the best at poker. Card games were his forte, or so his dad had said. He could win every hand but make people want to continue playing because it didn't matter that they were losing, they were having a good time. That was his trick. He could always win, but now…the success in a card game meant nothing compared to the pain at loving someone who wouldn't love him back.
Suddenly, Jack heard footsteps. They weren't crisp, hitting the floor so that he could hear each step, but they kind of merged. A movement that was making its way slowly but surely towards his brother's room. Jack wanted this, but didn't turn around just yet. The inevitability of a conversation to disperse the lurid atmosphere was too potent to risk making any noise that might forestall it. At the sound of a familiar voice, Jack finally turned to see Saul standing by the door to Peter's room. Wrapped up in his winter gear, with his hat edged in a light covering of snow, his scarf wound tightly around his old face and his large coat making him look like an Inuit. Jack smirked. Half glad to see his old next door neighbour and his brother's god father.
'Hello m'boy.' Saul said, removing his hat and placing it on the end of the bed. He began to unwind his scarf and undo the buttons on his long brown coat. It was one heck of a cold night. Not for the likes of an ordinary person to want to find themselves out.
'Hey Saul.' Jack finally replied, pushing the cards back into a solitary pile and shuffling like his dad had once taught him. The flutter of the cards satisfying a fancy to not linger in silence as Saul made his entrance. Jack and Saul had always gotten on. Now just felt like a time to break the ice.
'What are you doing here on a perishing evening like this?' The old man, who had now removed his winter gear, asked and pulled up a chair, placing it on the opposite side of the bed to Jack.
'Seeing my brother. Dad wants me to look further into the Van Allen estate tomorrow. I'll be too busy to visit Peter before I head up to see you guys at six for the party.' His dad had always been a hard task master. Even now that Jack ran the business; his father would still crack the whip. No rest for the wicked.
'But its New Year's Eve…'
'I know.' Jack smirked. To be honest, he was actually quite glad that he was being kept busy. Otherwise every thought would turn to her. This way only every other thought would make his mind wander.
'Pah! Your Pop works you too hard, I say.' He said as he resolutely sat down on his chair and held his godson's hand.
'A man's gotta eat, Saul.' Jack joked. 'And I have to keep this business going or I'll be letting him down. If I left like Peter did, he'd have no one. I can't do that to the guy.'
'You're a good boy, Jack.' Saul reached over the bed and patted him on the shoulder. It was appreciated, but it wasn't enough to console him. Jack had wanted to leave the family business for years, but because his brother had aired his disapproval of the trade first, he had gotten out and had become a lawyer, leaving Jack lugging furniture across states. Come to think of it, Peter had always gotten the better deal. In life and in love. Jack looked at Peter enviously. He tried to look away quickly, concentrate back on his cards or something, but he knew that Saul had seen him. 'What's wrong, Jack?'
'Wrong? Nothing's wrong.' Jack affirmed quickly. Trying to think of something to say. 'The doctor's say Peter will make a full recovery in time. That's great. Then he can get married and have a wonderful life with Lucy. How could anything be wrong?' He was toying with his own hopes here, he thought. Saying everything he wanted not to be true only for it to hurt as the words ran out of his mouth.
'Now Jack. I know I'm an old man but I'm not a putz. You can tell me. Promise. I won't breathe a word.' Saul's kindly old eyes bore into Jack's mind. They were so true and he knew that he could trust his old next door neighbour. Jack stopped shuffling the deck of cards and placed them on the small hospital table. He looked down, allowing his hair to flop over his eyes so that he couldn't see his brother. He sighed, his eyes down at his own feet.
'Have you ever been in a situation where…where your heart is crying out for you to do something because there's the slightest possibility that things might turn out alright, only for your head to step in and stop you because whatever it is you have to say… might cause more problems?' He looked up into Saul's eyes. His last syllable drifted around the small hospital room and into nothing. There was a long silence. Too long a silence for Jack to expect a favourable reply. He returned his gaze to his feet and went to reshuffle the cards. But before he could reach them, a reassuring hand was placed once again on his shoulder. Saul looked sincerely at the younger man.
'I know exactly what you mean, my boy.' Jack's eyes flashed up to his old friend's. A shared understanding? Jack knew he would never be the only one to feel like this…but it was the confirmation that made it all seem reasonable. 'And I think…I know who your intentions are aimed at.' Jack's heart sank. Was it really that obvious? 'I won't say her name due to…er…present company, but you're not alone.' Saul joked. His eyes wandered to the sleeping man in the bed. Jack flicked his hair from his eyes. There he was. The man who stood in his way and yet the man he could never hurt or wish bad things upon. A man he was proud to call his brother. Jack sighed loudly, partly out of self-hatred and partly from frustration.
'What should I do, Saul?' Jack wasn't a begging man. He had never wanted or needed any form of help like this before, but then again, he had never felt like this before about anybody.
'Me? Personally, I would tell her. I had doubts about telling my beloved how I felt when I first met her. Took me two years to finally say anything and you know what? I regretted those two years for the rest of my life. Still do.' Saul knew the truth, He knew that Lucy wasn't really engaged to Peter and never had been. He had promised her that he would tell the family. Up until now he hadn't dared. It was too hard a topic. Maybe this was his way of sorting things out. Making things right. 'Now, I understand the apprehension you might have because of the current situation, but whatever your heart says, your body should follow, right? Or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.' Saul had spoken truth. Jack beamed. Finally, a consul to his dreams. To leave 'Callaghan & Son' and start up his own little business and marry Lucy. All of sudden, by the side of his brother's bed, it all seemed possible. Saul withdrew his reassuring arm and stood. He kissed his godson's forehead and walked to the edge of the bed. Jack was clearing away his cards, a sudden feeling of elation and chance filling his weary soul. His next door neighbour wrapped himself back up in his coat, hat and scarf and walked to the door which led into the hospital and out into the rest of the world.
'The truth of the matter is that you have to question yourself and your motives. How much do you love her and how much do you want your brother to be happy with her? Your choice.' And with that, Saul left the hospital room and walked to the lift, disappearing down the narrow chute and into the real world where nothing was as simple as it should be. Jack watched as the old man left him behind with his brother. Jack's gaze jumped between the way out and his brother. Why were decisions so hard? What would it take for happiness to be had by both sides? All Jack knew was that whatever he did would change their lives for ever. The only real question was…what to do?
I hope you enjoyed this little scene. I do love this film and I do hope that this has added a little extra something to it. Thank you for reading and take care. xxx