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Episode 52

"Endless Sky"


*Eve was worried sick when the family got an invitation to Gary's video will  reading, fearing her dark secret about Melissa and Cassie would be revealed.

*Gabi continued to be in the dark that Todd was gay.

*Tara broke down and admitted to Derek that she had an affair with Tom. Derek was completely devastated and left the house.



The hot sun burns against Gabi’s skin as she makes her way to the clearing that Todd insisted she meet him at. Millions of thoughts rush in her mind: mainly questions. As she sees Todd sitting at a picnic table up ahead, her pulse quickens. Why is she so nervous about what Todd has to tell her?

Todd’s eyes lock with hers and a knot forms in the pit of his stomach. He thought he had gathered all the courage to confess everything he planned to. However, with his eyes on Gabi’s growing stomach, he can’t fathom why he ever thought he was prepared to do this.

Gabi pulls the hair behind her ear that keeps blowing in her eyes. "So, I’m here, spill it. Give me the bad news. I can tell there’s going to be nothing positive said here."

Todd is ready for a rebuttal but quickly restrains himself, wearing a grim expression. He doesn’t want to give Gabi a sense of false hope. As a matter of fact, he is strangely relieved that she is already prepared to hear something unpleasant. "Gabi, I think you should have a seat."

"No, Todd, I’m very happy with standing, thank you very much."

Todd swallows, "OK, whatever makes you feel comfortable. You just have to understand how hard it is to tell you what I’m going to."

"Just spit it out, already! Do you think I have patience left? I have no patience, Todd. Just tell me right now."

Todd is ready to open his mouth to come clean when a basketball flies out of nowhere and slams the left side of his head. He quickly turns around, armed with an angry glare.

Gabi snickers as she sees him rubbing his head.

"Sorry, man!" yells a young man as he rushes toward Todd. Suddenly familiarity registers in the younger man’s eyes. "Wait a damn second, aren’t you that gay guy that was exposed at that big party?! Evan, get over here! Look at who we slammed in the head with our ball!"

Gabi’s eyes almost fall out of their sockets as she grabs Todd’s arm, "Did I hear him right? Gay guy exposed at the party?!"

Todd’s eyes fill to the brim with fear and he stutters as he tries to manage a cohesive sentence, "Gabi... you weren’t supposed..to..to find out this way." He turns his attention towards another teenager running from the distance. The young guy and Evan start to laugh loudly, happy that they spotted the man they caught earlier on the TV news.

Todd breathes in deeply and tries to keep a strong face. He looks Gabi straight in the eyes, "Gabi, that is what I brought you here to tell you. I’m gay. Pretty much half the world knows it now..."

Gabi shoos him away from her as she quickly walks in the opposite direction, "No, just no. This can’t be happening! I must be stuck in some nightmare."

Todd approaches her, "This isn’t a nightmare. It’s real."

"Get away from me, OK?! I need some damn breathing room to sort this out."

Todd slowly nods and backs away. He is relieved when he notices that the two young men are now off in the distance playing basketball again.

Trying to maintain a calm composure, Gabi breathes in and out deeply. She glances at Todd from the corner of her eyes. What in the hell am I supposed to do??! I slept with a fucking gay guy and now I’m pregnant. Todd is gay. No, there’s no way this is true. I’m going to marry that man some day. Wait, if he had sex with me, how in the hell is he gay? Wait, maybe I can stop this nonsense. Just be cool, Gabi. There’s nothing wrong. Todd is just confused. Now let’s go talk some damn sense into him!

Todd notices her coming nearer, "Are you ready to talk about this?"

Gabi slowly nods, "Yes, Todd. Though there really isn’t too much to talk about being that you’re not really gay."

Todd rolls his eyes, taking in a deep breath. "Gabi, I am gay. There is absolutely no getting around it. Also, this may come as a big shock, but Luke is my boyfriend."

Gabi steps back, her eyes widen.


Derek paces back and forth across the maroon carpet of his hotel room. His eyes are puffy and red. This morning he found himself with a fresh source of anger. Anger directed at Tom Hetricke.

Derek checks his watch for the umpteenth time, "He should have been here by now." He quickly walks over to the window that gives a landscape view of the parking lot below. A fresh burst of rage fills him as he spots Tom’s car. "Any moment." Taking in a deep breath, Derek closes his eyes. The image of Tom and Tara entwined in the heat of passion has been haunting him.

A ring tone of Fallout Boys’ "Dance Dance" emerges from his cell phone for what Derek swears is the tenth time today. He quickly pushes the silence button. There’s no way in hell he can talk to Tara right now without completely flipping out. No, he’ll save all of that for Tom.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Derek feels his heart beat start to pound at warp speed. As he slowly makes his way to the door he realizes there is no turning back now. Part of him realizes that this may end up bad and that a hotel room wasn't the best place to meet with Tom. However, a bigger part of him doesn’t give a damn. He wants answers and he wants them now.

Derek quickly swings the door open and looks Tom directly in the eye. Derek tries to read what Tom is thinking, hoping to find pure fear.

"Get in here now. You and I are going to have a talk."

Tom simply nods and slowly makes his way in. "So what exactly did you bring me over here to discuss?"

"Don’t fucking play dumb with me, Tom."

Tom nods faintly, realizing how stupid his plan was to feign ignorance. He watches Derek shut and lock the hotel room door. The walls seem like they are starting to close in.

Derek turns around and looks Tom directly in the eye, "Why did you do it? Why the hell did you sleep with Tara?"

"Look, Derek, this probably wasn’t a good idea. You are really angry and need time to calm down. We should talk then." He begins stepping towards the door.

Derek quickly jumps in Tom’s path, clenching his fists tightly. "No, Tom, we are gonna discuss this right here, right now! Now answer my damn question: how the hell could you betray me like that?! What made you even consider sleeping with Tara?"

Tom swallows hard, his eyes dart to the carpet below. "I’m sorry, Derek. I’m ashamed of what I did and all I can say is I’m sorry. We were both foolish to do what we did."

"Don’t fucking speak for Tara, I’m talking to you now. Do you know how painful it was to hear Tara confess to sleeping with a man I thought was my best friend? It sickens me! You sicken me! "

"I don’t know what else to say but I’m sorry, Derek! Please, believe me. If I could go back in time and change this I would but that’s never going to happen!"

Derek studies Tom’s demeanor and notices something: he doesn’t feel Tom’s apology at all. To Derek, Tom has just uttered lines he practiced for an upcoming play. There’s not even a hint in Tom’s tone of voice that makes him seem truly sorry for what he’s done.

Tom can’t stand Derek’s persistant stares, "What else do you want me to say, Derek?! Look, I promise this will never happen again. Tara and I sleeping together was a huge mistake. I don’t know what possessed me to do it. I was just overcome by the moment, we both were!"

Before Tom can utter another word, Derek’s fist goes flying in his face. He falls to the ground, blood seeping from his nose. Tom wipes it and looks up at Derek with anger, "What the hell was that for? I was in the middle of apologizing for what I did!"

"Let’s just say I got caught up in the moment." spits Derek.


Creg intensely studies each person as they enter the room. He reserves to view each of these people as an enemy. They’re an enemy to the assets that his father is going to be leaving. After all, why would Gary Jackson have anything to leave to the Jones family? Besides for the illicit affair he had with Eve years back, what would be the need of inviting them to the will reading?

He suddenly feels someone touching his shoulder. He turns around and realizes it belongs to his mother. Melancholy decorates her expression, "Honey, how are you holding up today? Do you think you’re going to be able to make it through this reading?"

"Mother, you obviously don’t know who you are speaking to. In fact, I’ve been looking forward to this reading. It’s time for me to claim what is rightfully mine. I have almost no doubt in my mind that Father is going to leave me most of his fortune."

Elaine is overcome with disappointment as she shakes her head, "I feel so guilty for what money has done to you, Creg. You’ve turned into some kind of monster. You sound like you aren’t even mourning the death of your father. I just can’t believe you would be thinking of money and power at a time like this."

Creg shrugs his shoulders, "Hey, we all value different things, Mother. Don’t take it as a personal jab at your parenting skills because I ended up as a heartless and cold bastard. Shit happens, you know?" At that, he gives his mother a quick kiss on the cheek and heads over to where a tray of iced scotch is prepared.

She puts her fingers against where Creg kissed her as tears begin to emerge from her eyes. "Where did I go wrong with him?"


Across the room, Eve nervously takes a seat by Carl. Eve tried her hardest toconvince Carl that there was no need to come to this will reading but to no avail. Carl insisted that whatever reasons Gary had for requesting their presence they should respect those reasons. Eve was very surprised that Carl would say such a thing about a man he used to loathe. However, who can blame a husband for hating the man who had an affair with his own wife? Being it’s been so many years later the wound has obviously healed.

Eve studies her husband’s facial features very meticulously. Each small wrinkle and imperfection in his skin, the way his eyes are always emitting warmth as though he were an infinite source of care and love, the way his expression always seems as though he’s ready to learn something new. She will never love anybody like she loves him and has regretted every day since the affair, wanting to make up for her betrayal by being the most dedicated wife a man could ask for.

Carl notices Eve’s staring, "Eve, are you OK? You seem so engrossed."

"Oh, sorry, I was just thinking."

"Thinking? Thinking about what?"

Eve forces a wide smile, "About how I never want to lost you. You are all I could ever want in someone. I’m the luckiest woman in the world and I mean that, Carl."

Carl lets out a faint laugh, "Wow, of all places to think of something like that."

"I always think of that, Carl. It doesn’t matter where I am."

Carl reaches over and gently touches her cheek, "You are so sweet." He pulls her into a tight hug.

Brice Jackson enters the room and notices Carl and Eve’s loving embrace. Eve looks at Brice while he gives her a knowing glance. Fear creeps into her expression as she remembers Brice’s odd comment to her about Gary. He knows, Eve. Heaven help me, he knows my secret. She slowly breaks her and Carl’s hug, her focus now on Gary’s younger brother. Horrifying thoughts creep back into her mind: It’s only a matter of time before everyone knows the truth. Today I’m going to have to face the music. I’m going to lose Carl forever and my daughters will hate me.

She watches as Barbara, Nicholas, Cynthia, Luke, Melissa, and Cassie file into the room. Melissa gives her mom a quick smile as she sits on the opposite side of her. Cassie doesn’t really seem to be paying attention to anything in particular. Eve doesn’t note the expression on anybody else’s face. She’s only focused on how this may be the last time all her family members are gathered around her in the same room.


Gabi swallows hard, "Whoa, back it up! Back it up! Did you just say that Luke as in Luke Jackson is your boyfriend?! Holy hell, I really need to sit down. This is way too damn much for a pregnant woman like me to handle. There’s no way in hell. Todd, come on and be honest with me, is this just some big practical joke you decided to play?" She begins to study the trees and tables around her for a small recording device. "Am I on candid camera or something because this is getting ridiculous! Wait, those boys that slammed you in the head with ball earlier are in on this too, aren’t they?!"

Todd approaches her slowly and begins to speak but pauses, appearing to be gathering the perfect thing to say to her. After a moment he talks once again: "Gabi, this isn’t a joke. I would never do that to you. This is the truth and you are going to have to find a way to accept it. I am gay and with Luke. There is never going to be a chance for me and you. I’m so sorry."

Gabi’s face is filled with confusion, "Wait, let me get this right, you decided to come out to everybody at some party? How long were you going to wait to tell me the fucking truth? I’m the one pregnant with your baby and you just decide to hide this from me? What the hell gives? Why’d you take so long to tell me?"

Todd briefly closes his eyes as he momentarily relives the horror of seeing him and Luke’s make out session being broadcast to everyone at the party. Goose bumps form all over his skin. "Gabi, I never intended for everyone to find out and that is cowardly. Well, I take that back, I never intended for this to get out how it did. Not in a million years would I think everyone would learn the truth the way they did."

Gabi crosses her arms, "How did they learn exactly? Todd, just tell me how everybody else in the damn world knew about you except me!"

Todd looks her directly in the eyes, "If you really want to know, it was Creg. Creg decided that it would be fun to show a little video at his father’s charity party. To make a long story short he showed a video he secretly recorded of Luke and me in the middle of a...well...in a private moment you could say."

She holds her hands up in disgust, "Don’t tell me another detail! I can’t stand to hear anymore actually. I don’t know why Creg would choose to do this to you but I gave up on understanding him a long damn time ago. Anyway, I just honestly can’t look you in the face anymore Todd. I have to go. I have to think. I have to think of how I’m going to be able to have a fatherless baby and–"

"–Hold up just one minute! I never said a thing about abandoning that baby if it was mine! Just because you and I can’t be together doesn’t mean I don’t want to be part of the child’s life! Actually, even if it’s Creg’s, I want to be the father. Nobody deserves the fate of calling him their dad. Either way, I guarantee that child is going to get all the love it needs and then some."

Gabi’s eyes well up with tears and start to flow uncontrollably, stinging her cheeks. "Todd, just stop. I have to go home. I can’t bring myself to talk about this. I just have to go home." She wipes her eyes quickly and starts walking in the other direction.

"Please call me when you are ready to talk about this." Todd states it just loud enough so she can hear. He takes in a deep breath, the scent of cut grass filling his senses. He looks up into the blue sky for a moment, getting lost in how endless it is. Nobody knows if the sky even has an end. He then compares it to the situation he’s in right now: uncertainty and no end in sight.


Tom slowly lifts himself from the ground as he holds his bloody nose, "I guess I deserved that."

Derek glares at him, "You guess?! Tom, don’t insult me. Maybe you should just leave before you piss me off even more."

Tom slowly nods as he walks toward the door, "So I can leave now? Look, Derek, it’s not like I don’t feel bad about what I did. It’s more like I don’t have a damn idea how in the hell I’m ever going to make it up to you. Much less how I’m ever going to be able to approach Melissa and come clean. She doesn’t deserve this. I’m such an asshole!"

Derek swallows hard, trying to fight his urge to lay into Tom for another round. However, he wants to be better than that. He wants to try to be more reasonable. Well, as reasonable as anyone would be to the man who he thought was his good friend. Suddenly Derek wonders if he is being too kind.

Tom reaches for the doorknob but before he turns it he looks at Derek, "Please promise me that you won’t tell Melissa. She just learned she was pregnant and I just...I just can’t believe how I could do something like this to her. She’d be completely devastated and she doesn’t need this stress."

Derek sighs deeply before responding, "Melissa would rather know the fucking truth, Tom. Don’t add to your list of betrayals by lying to your wife. Besides, that’s the least of your problems. Just leave, Tom. Please. I need time to think about all of this."

Tom slowly nods before finally opening the door and making his way out. He clicks the door shut.

Derek walks over to the bed and lands on it with force. Closing his eyes, the image of Tara bounces back and forth in his mind. Feeling the vibration of the silenced phone in his pocket, he pulls it out, reads her name on the screen and proceeds to push the power button. Talking will not even get close to relieving the amount of hurt that has built inside of him.