Nancy Lee Grahn: Woman Extraordinaire

Best Friends
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Best Friends

Chloe's hospital room. Chloe is sitting in bed, looking through a fashion magazine titled "Smarm." She start flipping angrily through the pages, and finally snatches up the magazine, flinging it across the room. It hits the wall beside the door just as Alexis opens the door to come in. Alexis jumps as it hits the wall.

Chloe: Oh --

Alexis: (laughing) "Go away" would work just as well.

Chloe: (concerned) Are you okay? I'm so sorry.

Alexis: (still laughing) I'm fine.

Alexis comes into the room, closing the door behind her. She is carrying a brown paper bag.

Alexis: Did you read something you didn't like?

She stops to pick up the magazine.

Chloe: I was looking at evening wear. Two years ago I would have been the designer.

Alexis hands her the magazine and leans over, kissing her cheek.

Chloe: (frustrated, takes the magazine) I've got to get out of here and get back to work, Alexis.

Alexis: (sits down on the bed beside Chloe) This should never have happened.

Chloe: It was an accident. Your brother pulled me, I pulled away, I fell down. (shaking her head) It was not Stefan's fault.

Alexis: So you forgive him?

Chloe: Let's just say I'm trying not to think about it.

Chloe looks interested, smiling, as Alexis plays with the bag.

Chloe: What have you got in the bag?

Alexis: (opens the bag, leaning it towards Chloe) Key lime pie. (Chloe laughs) In case you wanted to swear off men again.

Chloe: Well, who should I banish first? Stefan or Jax?

{Next Scene}

Chloe: (pauses as she takes a bite of pie) I was really mad at Jax when he first came back. And then I realized that he is still Jax. (shakes her head) He's still the same person, the same wonderful person that I fell in love with. And he deserves all the happiness in the world, and I'm sure he will find it. (Alexis smiles) For whatever reason, it just won't be with me. I wish I could say the same thing about Stefan.

Alexis: That he'll be happy, or that he'll be happy with you?

Chloe: (shakes her head) Stefan and I could never be together. I mean, he's fixated on the idea that I can fix him. But I can't, (shrugs) and if I tried I would just wind up hurting us both.

Alexis: (shakes her head, laughs) I'm not sure Stefan's going to understand that.

Chloe: I know. I know he's lived a nightmare of a life. I just don't know if he'll ever get past the ways it's damaged him.

{Next Scene}

Alexis holds the pie container out to Chloe.

Alexis: Last bite.

Chloe: Take it.

Alexis: No, you're the one with the owwy on your head.

She feeds the last bite to Chloe then puts the container down.

Chloe: Uh-huh, mm-hmm. You know what kills me, Alexis? Even a man that I barely know told me that Stefan was not trustworthy. (shrugs) I mean, this guy had nothing to gain. Why didn't I believe him?

Alexis: Who told you that?

Chloe: No, it's just -- it was nobody. A financier I met at the hospital. It doesn't matter. The point is I think I felt like I could somehow make Stefan different. Florence Nightingale complex, I think they call it.

Alexis: (nods) I happen to know that my brother has several redeeming qualities. You didn't imagine that.

Chloe: (shakes her head) No, and I also didn't imagine the lies, the kidnapping, the 150 other ways that he wreaked havoc on my life. I may -- (nods) I do care about Stefan. (shakes her head slowly) But I could never feel safe with him.

{Next Scene}

Alexis: (holds up a finger) I'm going to admit that after I got past the part of Stefan hurting you, or worrying about that, I was secretly hoping the two of you would get together because I thought I would just love to have you as my sister-in-law.

Chloe: (smiles) Does best friends count?

Alexis: Absolutely.

Chloe: Good. And I will tell you when I'm leaving for Milan, and we'll all go out to dinner -- you, me, Ned, (shrugs) Jax. We'll all go dancing and maybe I'll break a heel and (Alexis laughs) -- for old times' sake. It'll be great. And you have to promise to come see me in Milan.

Alexis: Are you kidding me? You're going to take me shopping so that I can dazzle the courtroom in my custom-made European pinstripes.

Chloe: Of course.

They hug.

Alexis: You take care.

Chloe: You, too.

Alexis: I love you.

Chloe: I love you, too.

Footsteps approach the door.

Chloe: Oh.

Alexis turns to see Stefan at the door.

Stefan: May I come in?

Alexis: (unsure) She's supposed to be resting.

Chloe: (puts a hand on her arm) It's okay, it's okay.

Alexis looks at Stefan briefly then back at Chloe, then picks up her purse.

Alexis: (blows Chloe a kiss) I'll see you later.

Chloe: Okay.

She leaves, pulling the door shut behind her.

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