Redemption Song

After going to Sonny’s house to talk with him about business Jason finds that he is not there and that Sonny has neglected to take his bodyguards with him. Disconcerted Jason begins to ask around, he asks Max, Mike, Carly even Alexis where Sonny has gone.

After an unsuccessful search he goes home and confides in Sam, “Where would Sonny go without telling me?” Jason hasn’t even taken his jacket off, he is still standing beside the desk near the door. He looks at Sam upset and Sam strokes his back.

“Why wouldn’t he take a guard with him? Something’s not right.” says Jason. Just then Jason hears Sonny’s door shut. He walks out across the hall and knocks on Sonny’s door and Sonny answers. Sonny casually gestures for him to come in.

“Hey Sonny. What’s Up?”

“Nothing,” responds Sonny as he saunters towards the bar. “You want a drink?” he offers Jason.

“No thanks. I mean what’s up with you today at 3 o’clock? I came by and no one was here and I noticed you didn’t take a guard with you,” Jason says concerned. He is still standing.

“Oh, that. That was nothing. I just had to go out, you know. Get some fresh air.”

“Yeah, but, you know, that’s not exactly safe,” replies Jason.

“Yes, Jason, that’s true. But sometimes, you know, you gotta do what you gotta do and I needed to get some air without having some grown man walking around with me.” Sonny responds a bit defensively.

“Alright, you know. Just be careful,” Jason says as he walks for the door. “I should go before Sam tries to make dinner.”

“Yeah man, I mean though, Thanks for looking out,” Sonny says as he opens the door. “I appreciate it,” Sonny says genuinely. He closes the door behind Jason and Jason walks back home.

“You guys sort everything out” asks Sam.

“Yeah, it was nothing.” Responds Jason as he hugs her and looks out towards the balcony. Jason still looks concerned.

*** ***

The next day begins as Sonny leaves his home. He walks across the pier and goes towards Kelly’s. Suddenly we see behind Sonny that Jason is trailing him. Sonny enters Kelly’s and walks towards a table. We see Carly eating a meal and reading the paper. Sonny walks over and sits opposite Carly.

“Hey,” she looks up.

“Hey. What are we having?”

“I am having a burger. I don’t know what kind of stuff you want,” she responds shortly.

He grins, putting his dimples on parade. A waitress comes by and Sonny orders the same thing that Carly has. Jason walks in and waves at them as he heads towards the counter within hearing distance. He takes a seat and pretends to read the menu.

“What are you doing here?” Carly finally asks Sonny.

“Same as you, trying to get a meal.” He responds.

“Look around Sonny, there are plenty of tables. What are you doing here?” she asks suspiciously.

“I wanted to talk to you.” He confesses.

“Talk,” she says bluntly.

“Well I know this is a sensitive subject,” he pauses, “but when we were married…” he trails off.

She smiles at him knowingly.

“When we were married,” he looks down at the food the waitress puts in front of him, “We did some pretty stupid things.

Apart, together, and to each other, you know.” He begins poking at the burger.

Carly smiles at him and at his visible discomfort.

“Well,” he says as he looks up “I just wanted you to know,” he pauses, “I never meant to hurt you. You’re a good kid.”

“You’re a good kid?” Carly interjects.

“Yeahhh,” he continues, “And I just wanted you to know that some of that stuff that I said and did, some of it wasn’t even about you. It was just…It had more to do with me and my…stuff” he trails off.

Carly nods her head and smiles, “I know.” She grins hard. “Sonny, I know.”

Sonny looks at her, “I’m serious.”

She stops grinning and she nods her head knowingly, “I know Sonny.” She says again slowly. “I know.”

“Good” he says. “Good. Now, if you don’t mind, you can have this grilled meat that you call food,” He places some money on the table, “while I go get myself a proper meal.”

Carly smiles at Sonny and reaches across the table for his hand as he gets up. “Thanks,” she says cupping his hand in hers, “Thank you.”

Sonny looks at her and leaves. Jason overhearing the conversation gets up and walks over to Carly’s table. He sits down.

“What was all that about?” He says.

“I don’t know Jason. But it’s about time he said it.” She gets her coat and puts some money on the table. “I gotta get to work. I’ll see you later ok.”

“Ok,” responds Jason looking distracted.

Carly leaves the diner while Jason stares off in the distance.

*** ***

Later we see Sonny playing in the penthouse with the kids. Sam comes by and lets herself in.

“Hey you guys.” She says as she puts some papers onto Sonny’s desk.

“Hey Sam.” Says Sonny as he waves Morgan’s hand at Sam.

“You guys look like you’re having fun.”

“We are” says Michael.

“Sonny, these are the financial papers for the last three shipments that came in. I gotta get down to the hospital. Call me if things get out of control here.” She smiles and begins to leave.

“Thanks for getting those back so fast. Hey, how is that physical therapy job going? Anyone giving you a hard time yet?”

“No. Everything’s good. I’m only working with water rehab patients because of my diving background but all my patients seem pretty committed.”

“That’s good to hear.” Sonny says still on the floor with the kids.

“How’s everything else going? Jason treating you right? Need me to come over there and straighten him out?”

Sam laughs. “No, Jason, he’s been good to me. He’s been real good.”

“He better be,” smiles Sonny semi-seriously.

She smiles at him sweetly. “Thanks for caring Sonny. Oh, and speaking of caring. Jason was worried about you yesterday. He came by and couldn’t find you. You should talk to him.”

“Yeah, I did. Do me a favor ok; tell him not to worry so much.”

“I’ll try.” She says and she begins to leave. “Take me up on that offer to help anytime.”

“Ok, Bye.” Says Sonny as he looks down at Morgan. “Everyone say Bye.”

Sam leaves and pauses in the hallway, she looks back at Sonny’s door and smiles. “I wonder what’s gotten into him,” she says aloud and then she gets into the elevator as the doors close behind her.

*** ***

Later on that evening Jason comes home to Sam and he is still upset. Sam has ordered takeout and she is sitting on the couch in front of the television. She turns it off when Jason comes in. Jason sits down on the couch, kisses her, and breathes heavily as he takes his jacket off.

“Long day?” she asks.

“No.” He sighs and grabs some takeout.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. I still can’t figure out what’s going on with Sonny. He’s not acting like himself. Something’s wrong, you know, and he won’t tell me-- what it is.” He explains.

“I went by there today and he seemed pretty happy, Jason. He also told me, to tell you, not to worry so much about him. Maybe whatever is happening is for the good, you know, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it.”

“No Sam. You don’t get it. If it was for the good then why would he be so secretive about it?”

“Hey, hey, hey, ok. Sonny isn’t your problem to solve.” Sam says as she takes the food out of his hands and begins to climb atop of him. “Sonny is a grown man, taking care of his kids, taking care of his business and loving his family. He’s ok. Let’s talk about our family right now, and that consists of me, you and that bedroom ok.”

Jason smiles at her and they begin to kiss.

“Yes ma’am” he lifts her up and they head towards the bedroom.

*** ***

We see Jason checking his watch and it’s three o’clock. He sees Sonny leave the penthouse and go outside. He follows Sonny carefully, not to be seen. Sonny leisurely walks downtown, walks into a building, waves to the man at the check-in desk and gets in the elevator.

Jason stands outside the glass doors to see where the elevator stops at. He sees floor number 18 and walks into the building and straight for the elevator he pushes the elevator button for the same floor. The doorman yells out to him and Jason ignores him as he goes up.

When Jason reaches the 18th floor he sees an office and walks up to the receptionist. Jason glances at the office door and sees the name of “Dr. Thompson”. “Hey, did a man just walk in here? About this tall? Dark hair?” Jason gestures at the receptionist.

“Who are you?” he asks.

“Never mind,” Jason responds, “What kind of Doctor is this Dr. Thompson?”

Just as the receptionist is about to answer the elevator doors open again and two security officers step forward.

“Excuse me sir, do you have an appointment here? If so, it is necessary to check in at the front desk.” One of the officers says.

“No, I don’t have an appointment.” Jason responds calmly.

“Then we gotta go.” One of the guards gestures and takes Jason’s arm.

“Get off of me you toy cop.” Jason sneers.

Jason and the guards start getting loud and arguing.

We see a shot of Sonny seated on a couch drinking coffee. He turns when he hears the commotion on the other side of the door. He looks up to the person seated opposite him, and we can only see the person’s back. It is the back of a woman’s silhouette. Sonny gets up and walks to the door and as he opens it he sees the guards struggling with Jason. The receptionist is standing up afraid.

“Let him go.” Sonny says sternly.

Jason turns and looks up at him.

The woman from the office steps out from the doorway.

“Let him go guys.” She says. The guards let Jason go.

“Is this a patient of yours Dr. Thompson?” questions the guards.

“No, but apparently he’s the friend of a patient.”

“Just have him check in at the front next time, ok.” The guards eye Jason as they head towards the elevator.

“Will do boys. Thank you again.” “Would you two like to step into my office?” says the professionally dressed African American woman whom we can assume is Dr. Thompson.

Jason looks at the woman and then looks at Sonny suspiciously as he follows her inside. Sonny comes in after him.

“Sonny, you two can use this office free of charge. I’m going to go down the hall and check my messages in my other office. You can call me when you’re done or if you want to finish the session.” She gestures for them to sit down. She extends her hand to Jason. “Nice to meet you.”

Jason shakes her hand but doesn’t reply he just stares at her suspiciously. Dr. Thompson leaves the office and closes the door behind her.

“What is going on Sonny?” Jason asks still standing staring at the back of the door. “Who is she? What are you doing here?”

“Calm down Jason.” Sonny smiles and walks towards the counter and pours himself another cup of coffee.

“Not until you tell me what’s going on!”

“Ok ok.” Sonny says as he sits down and cradles his mug. “If you lower your voice I’ll tell you what’s going on.”

“Fine.” Jason says still visibly upset.

“Dr. Thompson is a psychiatrist.”

Jason looks confused as he sits down and looks over at Sonny. “That means…”

“I started therapy.”

Jason sits back in his chair a little flustered. “Wow. Uh…when did this start?”

“A couple of months ago.” Sonny pauses. “One hour sessions, five days a week.” Sonny says and takes a sip from his mug calmly.

“Let me guess,” sighs Jason putting the pieces together, “at three o’clock.”

“Yup,” Sonny smiles.

Jason breathes deeply. “Well man, you know I’m sorry. I just, I just didn’t know what to think.”

“Yeah, and you let your imagination run wild.”

“Yeah well. You know I’ve never seen you this secretive since we’ve been in business together and you’re walking all over town being especially nice to people, and I just I didn’t know what was going on.”

“Well now that you know, you can relax.”

“Yeah, man. Well, you know, you can finish your session if you want. I’ll just let myself out.”

“No, its ok we just started. Could you do me a favor though?”

“Yeah, what is it?”

“Could you not mention this to anyone, you know, until I’m ready to tell them myself.”

“No problem. But could I ask you a question man?”

“Sure.” Says Sonny.

“What made you start?” Jason asks.

“You know, it was something Carly said to me, when we split up, when I was with Sam,” Jason cringes and Sonny continues, “She said that I was broken in ways that no woman could ever fix. So I figured, maybe there’s something to that. Or maybe I just needed a professional woman to fix it.” Sonny says and smiles.

“Alright, I’ll see you later.” Jason gets up and leaves.

He gets to the elevator and shakes his head.

*** ***

We now go back to Sonny’s session.

Dr. Thompson is sitting on her chair and Sonny is sitting forward in his couch with his hands on his chin listening attentively.

“So Sonny”, Dr. Thompson begins, “the bulk of our sessions have comprised of talks about your childhood and how it relates to your current problems. We’ve discussed Deke, Adelle and Mike and how they relate to Carly, Alexis, Sam and Lily. We also discussed how these relationship patterns play themselves out with your two siblings and with your issues with trust and ownership. But there is always a chunk of your life that we skip over. This is not bad in any way, but this just indicates a time of your life that you don’t feel the need to readdress, a time in your life where you don’t feel guilty. And maybe there is something to that. Could you tell me a little about Sonny in his 20’s?”

Sonny smiles and begins to talk as we zoom in on his face. “Uhhhh,” he sighs, “I was a punk, you know. I knew it all. I had nothing to loose and I was out to prove myself, uh, prove myself to the world. I wanted it all, and I thought I could get it all until this petite person came up to me with her nose stuck way up in the air and showed me that I didn’t have a clue. She showed me that there was a difference between a Porsche and a Mustang. She showed me there was a world out there that I didn’t have a clue about. She was apart of that world and I wanted it and her equally as bad.”

*** ****

We come back to Sonny in his therapy session. We see Sonny over his therapists shoulder and the room is dark.

“You were saying about this girl.”

“Yeah, you know, she’s, she’s really symbolic of that time. But I don’t really want to talk about her doc.”

“Why’s that?”

“Uh, because everyone in my life takes that relationship and makes it into something it isn’t. They blame it for everything that goes wrong, makes it bigger than it was, it’s always treated as this symbol for something else, my greed, my ambition, my weakness, my habits with women. And the truth is no one knows what happened but me and her. The story has become more and more polluted the more it’s been passed around.”

“Alright, well straight from the horse’s mouth, you said she was symbolic of that time. You don’t have to tell me what happened in the relationship, but what did you mean by that?”

“Let’s see, in my 20’s everything was so simple, you know, uncomplicated. No custody suits, no battles, no divorces, sure there was the occasional attempt on my life,” Sonny chuckles, “But nothing like now. I was never this conflicted with who I am or what I want, even, you know, what I believe. It was easy, you know, wake up, love her, and at the end of the day if she was in my arms in my bed, then, you know, it was a good day. There was nothing else, really, but to love her.”

**** ***

We come back to Sonny’s session. He adjusts himself in his seat as he settles in.

“Can I, Can I tell you the secret of a good nights sleep? You see, you have everything you need between your arms and that’s it. Not houses, no cars, not money, not clothes, no, whatever you need fits right here and right here.” Sonny gestures to his left arm and his right.

“I’m not saying, I’m not saying I don’t have that now, I love my kids. I love all of them. And if everything I went through led me to here so I could have them, then, then, it was worth it. Just at that time, you know I went to bed knowing who I was and I woke up knowing who was with me.”

“Sonny” interrupts Dr. Thompson, “you don’t have to make excuses for who you were then because of who you have now. 20 –year-old Sonny was a different person than Sonny now. Let’s talk about him as an individual and not with your current status as a father or ex-husband. Let’s only talk about him with the new insight you have learned over these years.”

“I’ll try,” Sonny breathed uneasily, “I’m not saying Brenda didn’t have her problems.”

“Brenda? So that’s her name.”

Sonny smiles widely. “Yeah, Brenda. She had her own set of baggage. And when I say baggage she had about fifty suitcases worth of it and they were all Louis Vuitton.” He laughs at his joke. “I’m not saying she was materialistic, um, I’m not saying she was completely materialistic, um, she was…one of the kindest most sincere people, I knew uh I mean, I know. She had a penchant for the finer things in life, you know, but she had a weakness when it came to me,” Sonny smiles as he gets lost in a silent reverie.

“Oh, Sonny.” Dr. Thompson looks at her watch, “I apologize but I have totally lost track of the time. We have gone 15 minutes over session due to the disruption. I’m going to have to finish now; I’ve got another client coming.”

“No problem, doc. I’ll see you tomorrow?” Sonny sits up and begins to grab his coat.

“Sure thing.” Dr Thompson rises with him. “And remember Sonny, the Sonny then is different from Sonny now, the only thing you can give to that old Sonny is the perspective and insight that you’ve gained since then.”

“Thanks Doc. I’ll try.”

Sonny leaves the office and goes home.

*** ***

Sonny walks into his apartment to find Alexis and Kristina in the living room.

“Hey Kristina,” he waves as he puts his coat down.

“Max let me in.” says Alexis.

Sonny doesn’t speak to Alexis but he kneels down and starts talking to Kristina.

“Why do these encounters have to be so hard?” Alexis says disappointed.

“Oh, I’m sure you know where the door is.” Sonny says barely glancing at Alexis.

She laughs with contempt and begins to walk out.

Sonny continues to talk quietly to Kristina.

Alexis turns and looks at the two of them together she breathes heavily and resumes walking to the door.

“Tell Mommy bye-bye Kristina.”

Alexis turns around.

“Say Bye-bye.” Sonny says again looking at Alexis. “Say I’ll miss you Mommy.”

“Bye-bye sweetie,” Alexis replies and she mouths the words “Thank you” to Sonny.

Alexis turns and leaves and Sonny begins to talk excitedly to Kristina.

“What are we having for dinner hmmm? What are we having for dinner?”

**** ****

We see Sonny in his bedroom later in the evening. He is staring at a phone on his desk and he looks perplexed. With a bit of hesitation he finally picks up the phone decisively and dials a long number, pausing before punching every key. He breathes deeply and puts his ear to the phone.

He waits a bit and then sighs as his head falls in disappointment and he sits on the end of his bed.

“Hey Brenda” he pauses “It’s Sonny.” He coughs. The “Sonny and Brenda theme” begins to play softly. “Or Michael if you prefer, I, uh, I’m sorry I tracked you down. I know, I know the last thing you want to do is, uh, is to hear from me right?” He coughs nervously again. “Didn’t get off to a good start did we, when you came back that is. Anyways, I was thinking…”

Kristina walks into the room and interrupts, “Daddy.”

Sonny hangs up the phone immediately and walks over to her, “What’s wrong? You have a bad dream?” She nods her head and he breathes deeply. “Ok, I’ll take you back to bed.” He picks her up and exits the room and we zoom in on the telephone on the bed.

*** ***

It’s the morning and Sonny is having coffee while Kristina is in her high chair eating cereal. We see Jason come in.

“Hi Kristina.”

“Hi Jason.” She murmurs.

“Hey Sonny. Long night?”

Sonny yawns. “Hey man. Yeah, we had nightmares again.”

“Oh man. Sorry about that.”

“Yeah, would you do a favor for me? Would you, would you watch Kristina while I go and make a phone call?”

“Yeah, sure. No problem.”

Sonny gets to the top of the stairs and looks back at Jason playing with Kristina. He goes back to his bedroom and picks up the phone.

He repeats the same routine from the night before hesitantly calling and then a wave of disappointment as we assume no one answers.

“Hey Brenda, Sonny again. Yeah I’m sorry I got disconnected from you last night. Might not have been such a bad thing, I was rambling a bit, um, I’m kinda getting used to talking to your answering machine, though” Sonny smiles, “maybe it will make what I have to say a lot easier. I dunno.”

“Hello?” Someone says on the other line in a British accent.

“Hello?” He pauses “Brenda?”

“No, this is her assistant. I just wanted to save you the breath. Brenda’s not here right now and if you want to say something important to her I suggest you try back tomorrow when she gets back from her trip.”

“Trip?”

“Yes, she’s on holiday, she went to St. Tropez.”

“Really?” He pauses “Alone?”

“I don’t think I should be divulging that kind of information. Whom may I tell her called?”

“Tell her a friend. Yeah, just tell her a friend, you know, called from the States, wanted to tell her hi.”

“Will do. Bye.” Then there is dial tone.

Sonny stares at the phone. Puts it back in the cradle and jogs back downstairs.

*** ***

We see Sonny at another session with Dr. Thomspon.

“I tried to call her last night.”

“Who? Brenda?”

“Yeah. Talking about her yesterday, you know, made me think. I made up hundreds of, of excuses, you know, why I was calling. I was going to ask her, you know, what she thought of me or, you know, how she saw the relationship, just so I had a clearer picture in my head.”

“Well, you know, these sessions aren’t for her. They are for you.”

“Yeah, I know, but uh, I think those were excuses, anyway, you know, I just wanted to hear her voice. People say I have this habit of making her into this unattainable thing and when she screams at me or tells me to shut up, you know, she becomes real again and it all comes back to me.” He says and smiles. “I like the real her more than the vision of her you know.” He nods his head smiling and you can tell his mind is no longer in the room.

“Yeah,” replies Dr. Thompson getting carried away into Sonny’s stories. She shakes her head. “So tell me about late 20-year-old Sonny. That’s when you first got married isn’t it?”

“Yeah” He says solemnly, “that was complicated, but, you know, we talked about it.”

“Yeah, you felt guilty, over whom I now assume is Brenda, and your feelings for her and Lilly and your first child’s death.”

Sonny nods silently.

“Sonny, remember, I said no guilt, just lessons.”

Sonny nods again.

“I know technically, why you married Lilly, but why, other than the betrayal, and what we have now learned about forgiveness, why did things not work out with Brenda?”

Sonny breathes deeply and leans back as he stares out in contemplation.

*** ***

We see Sonny back at his apartment having a drink.

We see him pick up the phone and dial the numbers again. He waits and begins talking assuredly.

“This is the last time I’m going to call, ok.” He breathes. “Talking on the phone with you is funny…because…with all the things we said and didn’t say or should or shouldn’t have said…the phone doesn’t allow any silences, you know, you gotta say something and you have to say it quickly.”

The shot changes and we now see an answering machine with Sonny’s voice coming from it. The shot pulls back and we see the back of a girl with brunette hair sitting on a chair next to luggage and we zoom in on her bare leg, hanging out from under her, and we see an anklet as “Sonny and Brenda’s theme” begins to play softly in the background.

We go back to a shot of Sonny on the phone sitting down by the fire.

“You were the only woman in my life who knew enough, to expect more of me, you know, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. When I was with you at 20 I didn’t know anything… but I had a vision of myself, you know, the man I wanted to be and you helped make that really clear because you began to dream it for me too. We were kids you and I, you know, we were invincible. What did we know huh? But we had more then with nickels and dimes, then we do now huh? Apart from my beautiful children and what sounds like your successful life.”

We shoot back to the figure as she nods and we can guess she’s smiling.

“Anyways, I know my words aren’t worth much these days. I’ve lied to you, and about you and what we’ve had--over and over, and I’m sure you know that, but there are certain promises I made--and you know what those promises are, that I swear I’ve always kept.” He pauses as we see the girl listening to the machine again. “And that’s what matters right?”

We go back to Sonny. “I hope you know that getting over you, for me at least, means only thinking about you every other second, you know.”

We finally see Brenda’s face and she’s crying as she nods her head.

“It sucks that you had to wait for so long to hear me say those things, you know.”

We go back to Sonny.

“I regret that, you know I regret it, but I don’t regret you though. I don’t regret you and that’s the biggest thing.”

We go back to Brenda listening to Sonny’s voice.

“You’re phenomenal. And I’m gonna die knowing that…you know, knowing you was one of my greatest accomplishments.”

We go back to her hesitantly reaching for the phone.

“But anyways,” he sighs, “I’m sure you’re machine is gonna cut me off.”

We go back to him.

“When it’s all said and done, you know, I just…uh.,” he breathes deeply, “you were the woman of my life, you know.” He hangs up.

She quickly picks up the phone, “Sonny?” There is a dial tone and she slowly drops her hand down and hangs up the phone. More tears fall but she is smiling.

We go back to Sonny in his penthouse staring at the phone. Jason walks in.

“Hey man, you ok.” Jason sits down.

“Yeah, just got off the phone with Brenda.”

“Brenda?” He looks shocked.

“Well, her answering machine.”

“What’d you do that for?”

“Hey, you know, do me a favor and stop treating her like she’s my kryptonite, ok.” Sonny gets up to refill his drink. “It’s ok, I just I just needed to tell her a few things you know.”

“Feel better?” Jason asks trying to be understanding.

“Yup,” he sits back down and breathes deeply. “But you know, my question is,” he pauses, “when did life get so real huh? When did fairytales stop coming true, you know? You meet the person of your life and, you know, you spend your life with that person right?”

Jason is silent.

“Apparently not.” Sonny sighs and takes a drink.

Jason looks over at his friend helplessly.

Sonny raises his glass and shrugs.

*** ***

Many Rivers to Cross plays in the background and we fade to black.

Images of cast members flash and a voice says aloud, “Stay tuned for Scenes from the Next General Hospital.”