Mike Remembers Sonny’s Birthday
General Hospital. April 20, 2000. It’s Sonny’s birthday and Mike arrives at the Penthouse with a present for him. Sonny is upstairs, so Mike talks briefly to Carly as she’s heading out the door. (All words in CAPS indicate how the original General Hospital script describes each scene).
CARLY PULLS ON HER COAT, FINDS HER PURSE, HEADS FOR THE DOOR, YANKS IT OPEN, FINDS MIKE THERE. AD-LIB GREETINGS.
Mike: Oh. Bad time?
Carly: About average.
Mike: Oh, okay.
Carly: Mike, I have been meaning to send you a thank-you card. I'm really sorry. That rocker was so beautiful.
Mike: Hey, I’m glad you like it.
AN AWKWARD BEAT. MIKE WANTS TO GET ALONG WITH THIS WOMAN, CAN FEEL HIMSELF STEPPING IN IT.
Carly: Is that for me? (Mike’s carrying a gift) You trying to butter me up? I have to tell you, it's working.
Mike: Look, actually, it's for Michael. Michael, my son . . . Sonny. It's his birthday.
Carly: (Surprised) He didn't mention it.
Mike: Well, he never does. And he probably doesn't think that I remember, and . . . look, I would appreciate it if you didn't say anything.
Carly: Oh, that's no problem. In this house, I’m supposed to be seen and not heard. Have fun.
CARLY LEAVES. MIKE LOOKS AFTER HER, STILL NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT SONNY HAS GOTTEN HIMSELF INTO. SONNY DESCENDS THE STAIRS. SURPRISED TO SEE MIKE.
Sonny: Mike. What are you doing here?
Mike: Oh. Just visiting. Everything all right with you and Carly?
Sonny: No. She wants to help me run the coffee warehouse, and she thinks we're business partners. Do you . . . can you tell me, where does she get all this stuff?
Mike: Well, maybe she assumes that you like her more than you used to, considering the fact that you asked her to marry you.
THIS IRRITATES SONNY EVEN MORE. HE’LL BE DAMNED IF HE’LL ADMIT HE LIKES CARLY AND HE HATES IT THAT SHE STILL HASN’T AGREED TO MARRY HIM.
Sonny: Mike, Carly knows exactly why I want to marry her. What are you doing here?
Mike: To wish you a Happy Birthday.
MIKE OFFERS THE PRESENT
ON SONNY, BLINDSIDED.
SONNY SHUTS DOWN. THE FIRST BEATING HE EVER GOT FROM DEKE WAS ON HIS BIRTHDAY. HE CAN’T THINK OF THE DAY WITHOUT THE FEAR AND PAIN AND HATRED COMING BACK. MIKE DOESN’T KNOW. HE ASSUMES THE EMOTION SONNY IS FIGHTING IS ANGER, AIMED AT HIM FOR EVERY BIRTHDAY HE MISSED.
Mike: Do I get credit for remembering the day?
SONNY FORCES HIMSELF TO TAKE THE GIFT.
Sonny: Sure thing.
HE SETS THE PRESENT ASIDE. MIKE CAN FEEL THIS GOING WRONG, BUT CAN’T STOP HIMSELF.
Mike: You're not going to open it?
Sonny: (Getting upset) I got to make a ton of calls. I'll open it later.
Mike: Hey, come on. It'll take, what, five seconds?
THIS IS A HUGE STRUGGLE FOR SONNY. MEMORIES OF DEKE ARE FLOODING BACK, ALONG WITH OLD ANGER AT MIKE FOR NOT BEING THERE, NOT SAVING SONNY AND HIS MOTHER.
Sonny: Why is it so important to you, Mike?
Mike: You're my son. It's your birthday and I gave you a present. I mean, would it kill you to open it?
Sonny: SONNY TEARS THE WRAPPING PAPER OFF THE PRESENT, OPENS THE BOX TO REVEAL A SMALL, ELEGANT SILVER FRAME.
Mike: It's for the baby's picture. See, you can have his initials or her initials engraved once you decide on a name.
Sonny: (Flatly) It's very nice.
Mike: You hate it.
Sonny: (Emotion in his voice) No, it's a frame, Mike. When the baby's . . . I'll put the baby's picture in here someday. (He walks away from Mike again).
MIKE CAN FEEL SONNY SHUTTING HIM OUT, IT TRIGGERS ALL HIS OLD GUILT
Mike: (Puts his head down in disappointment and Sonny’s reaction. Then looks at Sonny with emotion). Look, Sonny, are we . . . are we ever going to get past this? I mean, I was not around for most of your birthdays and the ones that I did show up for I never had a present. I have one now and it really isn't much, but it's about your kid because, you see, I plan on being a hell of a lot better grandfather than I ever was a father to you. If you’ll let me.
Sonny: (Angry) How often have you followed through on your plans, Mike? You want to be around, you want to love my kid, knock yourself out. But don't expect me to tell him to count on you. SONNY’S THINKING OF HIS CHILDHOOD NOW. When you're on your own, that's one thing. But when you expect somebody to be there and you wake up one day and they're gone, it rips a hole in you. And I’m not setting my child up for that kind of pain.
Mike: (Exasperation) Where do you think I’m going?
Sonny: Who knows? I mean, you know, Florida? Vegas? Anywhere there's a poker table.
Mike: BEYOND FRUSTRATED. Look, why would I leave now after all these years of facing your anger, living with your attitude, your absolute inability to forgive? I screwed up, and I disappointed you. And so will your child if you don't . . .
SONNY IS NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO MIKE TELL HIM HOW HE’S GOING TO MESS UP HIS CHILD.
Sonny: No, Mike, SONNY PULLS HIMSELF IN. HE KNOWS HE’S NOT BEING FAIR. I don't want to fight. I don't want to fight over this thing. You know what I’m saying? I mean, we've gone over this over, over, over . . . I mean, it's been finished for years.
Sonny: Thanks for the present.
THEY’RE BOTH AWARE THIS WENT HORRIBLY WRONG AND EQUALLY UNABLE TO FIX IT.
Mike: Happy Birthday.
MIKE GOES. TAKE SONNY, KNOWING HE BLEW IT, FURIOUS AT HIMSELF. HE GRABS THE FRAME, WOULD FLING IT ACROSS THE ROOM BUT HE STOPS HIMSELF, GOES TO THE DESK AND LOCKS THE FRAME INSIDE, INSTEAD. ON SONNY, NONE OF THIS IS EASY.