“BETWEEN THE LINES” ©
Inspired by a True Story:
Synopsis / Treatment
Created and Written by:
Bridgette is born with some very serious health issues. Rather than dealing with these issues, her mother abandons her daughter and husband, leaving the raising of their child to her husband Bob.
Although devastated that his wife has made the decision she has, Bob knows that this will be an incredible opportunity to be a full-time parent to his young daughter, after losing his two older daughters many years ago.
Bob is now at the hospital visiting his newborn daughter whom he names Bridgette. After visiting his daughter, he decides to drive down to the seashore to clear his head and begin to come to grips with the awesome responsibility he will soon face.
While he is walking along the seashore, he says hello to a woman he occasionally sees walking her dog on the beach. Her name is Jeni. He tells Jeni that he is a new father and the woman is thrilled for Bob.
After further conversation with Jeni, Bob learns that Jeni recently lost her husband and is currently unemployed. He tells Jeni that he and his partner Craig, are making some changes in the office, and asks Jeni if she might be interested in talking with them about a position in the office.
Bob tells Jeni that his first responsibility will be the raising of his daughter as a single father. Jeni is immediately impressed with Bob’s commitment to his infant daughter.
Bob and Jeni begin to form a warm friendship and Jeni becomes a great source of strength for Bob. Bob frequently brings his daughter to his office with him, and more often than not, Bridgette will walk over to Jeni’s desk and just hang out with her.
Bridgette has a very difficult childhood. She deals with not only the issue of abandonment by her birth mother, but in school, because of her health issues, she is intellectually slower than other kids her own age.
Bridgette develops a huge inferiority complex which the kids pick up on and take advantage of.
Not knowing any better, kids begin to bully and harass Bridgette. The issue of abandonment by her mother, and the verbal abuse by some of her classmates, leave a permanent scar on Bridgette’s heart.
Recognizing that Bridgette is struggling both in school and with the issue of abandonment by her mother, Jeni suggests to Bob that perhaps he find a sport or activity which Bridgette can wrap her arms around.
Jeni believes that by doing this, it will help neutralize the challenges that Bridgette deals with as she is growing up. Jeni tells Bob that in school she participated in the Olympic sport of Girls-Fast Pitch Softball. And currently in Jeni’s spare time, Jeni is a pitching instructor in the sport.
Jeni asks Bob if she might take Bridgette over to local ball field and throw the ball around a bit. Bob appreciates Jeni’s thoughtful gesture and agrees. Right away, Jeni sees that Bridgette is a natural athlete.
Jeni comments to Bob that if one didn’t know any better, one would think Bridgette has been playing sports all her life.
Jeni and Bridgette quickly begin to develop a warm and loving bond between them. In many ways, Bridgette begins to look at Jeni as the mother figure that she never had while growing up.
Bridgette, Jeni, and Bob are now in Bob’s office talking. Bridgette decides that now is as good a time as any to start a conversation about her dad’s relationship with Jeni. Bridgette feels that the status quo between her father and Jeni has been going on long enough. That it’s time to move the relationship forward.
Bridgette begins the conversation by reminding her dad that Jeni has always been there for her and her dad. That through Jeni’s actions, Jeni has always expressed her love for both of them. And that whenever challenges Bridgette goes through, it is Jeni who is always there for her. Jeni enjoys watching the interaction between Bob and his daughter.
As Bob listens to his daughter, he realizes it’s time to get off the dime and show Jeni how grateful he is for everything that she has done for both he and his daughter.
Jeni tells Bob that she has loved him from the moment they first met. That what sealed the deal for Jeni was when Bob stepped up to the plate and assumed his parental responsibility with his daughter when Bridgette and her dad were abandoned by Bob’s wife.
Bob apologizes to Jeni for not recognizing sooner, everything that she has done for both Bridgette and Bob. He tells Jeni that he too, has loved Jeni for a long time. Bob asks Jeni to marry him.
Before accepting Bob’s offer of marriage, Jeni decides to give Bob the needle for a while. Observing what is going on, Bridgette cracks up. Jeni eventually accepts Bob’s proposal, and they are married shortly thereafter.
Jeni has been watching Bob’s mannerisms throughout the conversation. She sees that Bob is getting a little overwhelmed. Being the gentle soul she is, Jeni suggests to Bridgette, that perhaps her dad might need a time out for some fresh air.
She suggests to Bridgette, that perhaps they go to the park and work out for a while.
Almost overnight Bridgette grabs ahold of the Olympic sport of Girl’s Fast-Pitch Softball. It’s clear that Bridgette is an incredible talent. Not only does Bridgette quickly become a standout pitcher, but thanks to Jeni, she is beginning to shed the insecurities that have haunted Bridgette throughout her life.
One afternoon, Bridgette is practicing with her teammates at the ball field, when a ball gets loose and runs out into the street. Without thinking, Bridgette chases after the ball. She is hit by an on-coming car and taken to the hospital.
The initial concern is for Bridgette’s life. However, after further examination, it is determined that has suffered severe injuries to her legs, and the prognosis for a full recovery for Bridgette is not favorable.
There is concern that Bridgette might not ever walk again. Bridgette’s parents don’t accept the doctor’s initial prognosis and neither does Bridgette.
Bridgette handles this challenge as she has handled all of her challenges in life. Defeat is not an option. With her dad’s and Jeni’s love and support, Bridgette begins to embark on her long road to recovery.
She wills herself to get better and eventually returns to her team. By overcoming this challenge, Bridgette solidifies her role as the team leader.
The championship game of the season is about to begin, and although Bridgette is being heavily recruited by several college athletic programs, she and her family have yet to make a decision as to where she will be going to college.
As Bob and Jeni sit down before for the start of the game, Bob spots someone on the other side of the ball filed. He excuses himself from Jeni and walks to where the individual is sitting.
During the game, and as she occasionally does, Bridgette looks in the direction of Jeni and her dad. She notices that her dad is not there.
As Bridgette is walking off the mound at the end of the inning she still doesn’t see her father. She now begins to be concerned. After a few minutes she spots her father talking with someone. The conversation appears to be rather animated. Bridgette, however, is greatly relieved.
The game runs to its conclusion. As Bridgette heads towards her to teammates to celebrate her team’s victory, her dad approaches his daughter. Bridgette senses something is wrong. For the moment, Bob can only look at his daughter. “What is it dad, what’s wrong”? Asks Bridgette.
After a long pause, Bob tells his daughter that her mother is here at the ballpark. Bridgette replies by telling her father, that she knows, she saw her mother watching the game with her dad. There is another long pause before Bob tells his daughter, that her birth mother, June came to the game.
Bridgette now has a blank expression on her face. Bob asks Bridgette if she is interested in meeting her birth mother. Bridgette now exhibits a solemn expression. She slowly turns and begins to walk away, but thinks better of it.
Bridgette stares at her father for what seems like an eternity. She is deep in thought. She realizes that the answer she gives her father might change her life forever. Tears are now running down Bridgette’s cheeks.
Bridgette’s glances over to where June is standing. She looks back at her dad. There is a long pause. Finally. “No dad, I’m not. You are married to my mother and she’s standing next to you”.
Bob stares at his daughter for a moment perhaps waiting for a different response from his daughter. After a minute or two, Bridgette puts her arms around Jeni and looks at her, and says, “Jeni is my mother, dad.”
With that, Bridgette excuses herself and begins to walk towards an adjoining field, once again deep in thought. She stops for a moment glancing in the direction of where June is standing watching the festivities.Jeni and Bridgette’s dad now approach Bridgette. They begin to head toward the car. However, as they are walking, Bridgette begins to lag behind.
Bridgette looks in the direction of the first base line. She looks at the ground for a moment. Bridgette is momentarily torn.
"© 2016 By Bob Houseman. All Rights Reserved or similar”.