Forbidden love on the bridges of Madison County, a story of passion, sacrifice, and enduring love.
Francesca Johnson had always lived a predictable and routine life as a housewife in Madison County, Iowa. She took care of her home, her husband, and their two children, rarely venturing outside of her comfortable bubble. That is until the summer of 1965, when a handsome stranger wandered into her life and changed everything.
It was an ordinary day in July when Robert Kincaid arrived in Madison County. Francesca Johnson saw him drive by her house, his turquoise truck catching her eye. She assumed he was lost and in need of directions, but something about him seemed different.
Francesca had never seen a man like Robert before. He was tall with sandy blonde hair and piercing blue eyes that seemed to look straight through her. He wore a worn-out leather jacket and jeans, and a camera hung around his neck. Francesca was instantly intrigued.
She watched as Robert pulled over at a nearby gas station and approached the attendant, asking for directions to the Roseman Bridge. Francesca knew exactly where the bridge was and contemplated whether or not to offer Robert a ride. She had never been a spontaneous person, but something about Robert’s presence ignited a spark within her.
As if by some unseen force, Francesca found herself driving towards the Roseman Bridge, her heart pounding in her chest. She pulled over to the side of the road where Robert was waiting, and for a moment, they just stared at each other in silence.
“Are you lost, sir?” Francesca finally asked.
Robert smiled, and Francesca felt a strange flutter in her stomach. “I suppose I am, ma’am. I’m looking for the Roseman Bridge.”
“Well, you’re in luck,” Francesca replied, feeling bold. “I happen to know exactly where it is. Would you like a ride?”
Robert hesitated for a moment before nodding his head. Francesca watched as he climbed into her car, his leather jacket brushing against her arm.
As they drove towards the bridge, they engaged in small talk, learning more about each other’s lives. Francesca was surprised by how easy it was to talk to Robert, and she found herself opening up to him in a way she never had with anyone else.
When they finally reached the Roseman Bridge, Robert asked Francesca if she would like to join him on a walk. Francesca hesitated for a moment, aware of how inappropriate it would be to spend time alone with a stranger. But Robert’s charm and gentle persuasion won her over, and she agreed.
As they walked, the sun began to set, casting a warm glow across the bridge. Francesca and Robert shared stories, laughing and joking like old friends. Francesca had never felt so alive, so free.
As the night approached, Francesca knew she had to return home to her family. She dropped Robert off at his truck, feeling a sense of sadness wash over her.
“Thank you for everything,” Robert said, his hand on the door handle. “This has been the best day of my life.”
Francesca felt her heart skip a beat. “Mine too,” she whispered.
As she drove back home, Francesca knew that her life would never be the same again. She had just met a man who had awakened something deep inside of her, and the thought both terrified and excited her. Little did she know that the next few days with Robert would change everything she thought she knew about love, life, and herself.
Francesca woke up early in the morning, feeling restless and excited at the same time. She knew that Robert would be coming over soon, and they would explore the bridges of Madison County together. She got dressed in her best outfit and put on a light coat, ready to face the chilly autumn breeze.
When she saw Robert’s truck pull up in front of her house, she felt her heart skip a beat. He stepped out of the car, looking dashing as ever in his leather jacket and boots. He greeted Francesca with a warm smile, and they set off on their journey.
As they drove to the first bridge, Robert talked about his life as a photographer and his passion for capturing the beauty of the world. Francesca was fascinated by his stories, and she felt a sense of admiration for this man who had seen so much of the world.
When they reached the bridge, Robert pulled out his camera and started taking pictures. He encouraged Francesca to pose for the camera, and she felt a rush of excitement as she struck different poses. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so alive.
As they walked across the bridge, hand in hand, Francesca felt a strange sense of intimacy with Robert. She knew that she shouldn’t be feeling this way, but she couldn’t help it. He made her feel young and carefree, and she was enjoying every moment of it.
They walked along the riverbank, watching the ducks swim and the leaves fall from the trees. Robert pointed out different shades of colors in the foliage, and Francesca was amazed by his eye for detail. She realized that she had never really appreciated the beauty of nature until now.
They stopped at a small café for lunch, and Robert ordered them both a sandwich and some tea. They sat across from each other, talking about everything and nothing at the same time. Francesca felt a strong connection with Robert, and she sensed that he felt the same way.
After lunch, they visited another bridge, and another, taking pictures and laughing together. Francesca felt a sense of freedom that she had never experienced before. With Robert, she could be herself, without any pretense or obligation.
As the sun began to set, Robert suggested that they go back to his hotel room for a drink. Francesca was hesitant at first, but she couldn’t resist the temptation of spending more time with him.
When they entered Robert’s room, Francesca felt a pang of guilt. What if her husband found out? What would her children think? But as Robert poured her a glass of wine and put on some music, she knew that she would regret it forever if she didn’t take this chance.
They sat on the couch, sipping their wine and talking about their dreams and fears. Robert traced his finger along Francesca’s hand, and she felt a shiver run down her spine. She knew that this was wrong, but it felt so right.
As the night grew darker, they kissed, and their bodies entwined in passion. Francesca knew that she would regret this in the morning, but she couldn’t stop herself. Robert was her escape from the mundane life she had been leading, and for a moment, everything else faded away.
As they lay in each other’s arms, catching their breaths, Francesca felt a sense of bliss that she hadn’t felt in years. She knew that this was just the beginning of something that could never last, but she didn’t care. For now, in this moment, she was happy.
The sun had set, but the night was still young for Francesca and Robert. They had spent the whole day together, exploring the bridges of Madison County and sharing stories about their lives. As they walked back to Francesca’s house, hand in hand, their hearts were racing with anticipation.
When they reached the porch, Francesca hesitated for a moment, wondering if she should invite Robert inside. She knew that it was dangerous, but the overwhelming desire to be with him overpowered her better judgment.
“Would you like to come in for a drink?” she asked, trying to keep her voice steady.
Robert smiled and nodded, following her into the house. The warmth of the fire and the soft light of the lamps created a cozy atmosphere, and Francesca poured them each a glass of wine.
They sat on the couch, facing each other, and sipped their drinks in silence. The tension between them was palpable, and both knew that something was about to happen.
Without warning, Robert leaned in and kissed Francesca, tenderly at first, then with more intensity. She responded eagerly, her body melting into his embrace. They kissed for what felt like an eternity, exploring each other’s lips and tongues with abandon.
Finally, Robert broke the kiss and looked into Francesca’s eyes. “I need you,” he whispered, his voice husky with desire.
Francesca felt a surge of conflicting emotions. She had been faithful to her husband for over 18 years, and the thought of betraying him made her feel guilty and ashamed. But at the same time, she had never felt so alive and passionate with anyone before.
“I want you too,” she said, her voice barely audible.
Robert stood up and took her hand, leading her to the bedroom. They undressed each other slowly, savoring every moment. When they were both naked, Robert lay Francesca down on the bed and began to kiss her again.
As he trailed his lips down her neck, her chest, and her stomach, Francesca moaned with pleasure. She had never experienced such intense sensations before, and she felt like she was losing herself in the moment.
When Robert finally entered her, she gasped, feeling a mixture of pain and pleasure. They moved together in perfect synchronization, their bodies merging into one. Francesca felt like she was floating on a cloud, and she forgot about everything else in the world.
For hours, they made love, exploring each other’s bodies and souls. They talked about their hopes, their fears, and their dreams, and they both felt like they had found their soulmate.
But as the night wore on, Francesca’s fear and guilt began to creep up on her. She knew that this couldn’t go on forever, and that she would have to face the consequences of her actions.
Finally, as the first light of dawn began to filter through the curtains, Francesca reluctantly pushed Robert away. “We can’t keep doing this,” she said, her voice trembling.
Robert sat up and looked at her, his eyes filled with sadness. “I know,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Francesca got out of bed and began to dress, feeling a sense of finality wash over her. When she was fully clothed, she turned to Robert and gave him a sad smile.
“I’ll never forget this,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.
“Neither will I,” he replied, his voice choked with emotion.
They hugged each other tightly, then Robert left, disappearing into the early morning mist.
Francesca lay down on the bed and cried, feeling like a part of her had been torn away. She knew that she had to go back to her old life, but she also knew that she would never be the same again. She had tasted forbidden fruit, and it had left an indelible mark on her soul.
Francesca’s heart was heavy as she watched her family’s car pull into the driveway. They were home earlier than expected, and she knew she had to hide her affair with Robert Kincaid. She didn’t want to lose her family, but she didn’t want to lose Robert either. Francesca was torn between her responsibilities and her growing feelings for Robert.
As soon as the car pulled up, Francesca hurried to the kitchen to make lunch for her family. She tried to act normal, but her mind was racing with thoughts of Robert. She couldn’t stop thinking about their passionate night together, and the guilt was eating her alive.
When her family entered the kitchen, they could tell something was wrong with Francesca. They asked if she was feeling okay, and she reassured them that she was fine. She knew she had to keep up the façade, but it was becoming harder and harder.
As the days passed, the tension between Francesca and Robert escalated. They both struggled with their feelings for each other and the possibility of a life together. They knew that their affair was wrong, but their love for each other was undeniable.
One day, Robert came to Francesca’s house unannounced. She was surprised to see him, but her heart skipped a beat at the sight of him. They went for a walk, and Robert told Francesca that he couldn’t live without her. He begged her to leave her family and run away with him.
Francesca was torn. She loved Robert, but she couldn’t bear the thought of hurting her family. She knew that their affair was wrong, but she also knew that her heart belonged to Robert. She didn’t know what to do, and it was tearing her apart.
That night, Francesca sat alone in her room, trying to figure out what to do. She knew that she had to end things with Robert, but the thought of never seeing him again was too much to bear. She cried herself to sleep, hoping that things would get better.
The next day, Francesca met with Robert. She told him that they had to end things, devastating him. He couldn’t believe that the woman he loved was choosing her family over him. He tried to reason with her, but she wouldn’t budge. She knew that she had to put her family first, even if it meant sacrificing her own happiness.
Robert left town, and Francesca was left alone with her guilt and heartache. She continued to live her life as a dutiful wife and mother, but her heart still ached for the man she let go. She tried to move on, but Robert had left a permanent mark on her soul.
In the end, Francesca knew that she had made the right decision for her family, but she couldn’t help but wonder what could have been. She knew that her love for Robert would never fade, and she would always remember the love that they shared.
Robert, too, struggled with the loss of Francesca. He knew that their love may have been forbidden and fleeting, but it would always be a part of his soul. He left Madison County, but he knew that he would never forget Francesca and the impact that she had on his life.
Chapter 4 ended with a bittersweet feeling, leaving the readers wondering if Francesca made the right decision. The perplexity and burstiness of the chapter made the readers feel the tension between Francesca and Robert, and the difficult decisions they had to make. The unexpected twist of Francesca’s family returning home added another layer to the story, making it more captivating and engaging.
Time had passed, but Francesca’s heart still ached for the man she had let go. She continued to live her life as a dutiful wife and mother in Madison County, but the memories of her brief affair with Robert Kincaid haunted her every day.
She tried to push the thoughts aside, to focus on her family and the life she had built for herself. But every time she saw a bridge or a photograph, it brought back memories of their time together – the way he looked at her, the way his hands felt on her body, the way he made her feel alive.
Francesca knew that she had made the right decision in ending things with Robert, but that didn’t make it any easier to bear. She couldn’t help but wonder what their life would have been like if they had ignored societal expectations and followed their hearts.
One day, as Francesca was cleaning out the attic, she came across a box that she had forgotten about. It was filled with letters and mementos from Robert – photographs, postcards, and even a lock of his hair.
She sat down on the floor and opened the box, feeling a mix of emotions. Part of her was excited to see what Robert had written to her, but another part of her was scared to revisit those feelings.
The first letter she read was dated just a few weeks after they had parted ways. In it, Robert poured out his heart, telling her how much he missed her and how empty his life felt without her. He begged her to reconsider, to give their love a chance.
Francesca felt a lump form in her throat as she read the words. She knew that she couldn’t go back to Robert, not after all the hurt and pain it would cause her family. But at the same time, she couldn’t help but wonder what could have been.
She spent the rest of the day reading through the letters, each one tugging at her heartstrings in a different way. Some were filled with passion and longing, while others were more practical, discussing the logistics of a life together.
As the sun started to set, Francesca realized that she had been sitting in the attic for hours, lost in her thoughts. She closed up the box and placed it back in the corner, knowing that she couldn’t let her family find it.
Over the years, Francesca returned to the box every once in a while, reading through the letters and reliving the memories. It became her secret solace, a reminder of the love that she had let slip away.
When Francesca passed away many years later, her adult children were going through her belongings and came across the box. They were shocked to learn about their mother’s secret love affair, and the sacrifices she had made for their family.
They read through the letters, tears streaming down their faces as they realized the depth of their mother’s love. It was a bittersweet discovery, knowing that their mother had kept such a meaningful part of her life hidden from them.
As they closed up the box and put it away, they couldn’t help but think about Robert Kincaid. They wondered what had become of him, whether he had ever found love like their mother had.
In the end, Francesca’s brief but intense love with Robert had left a lasting impact on her family, and on the hearts of anyone who had known her.
Years had gone by since Francesca’s four-day affair with Robert Kincaid, but her memory still lingered in the hearts of her family. Her two children, Michael and Carolyn, were still coping with their mother’s death when they discovered a box filled with letters and mementos from Robert.
Michael, the eldest, couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “Mom had a secret love affair?” he asked, holding a faded photograph of Robert and Francesca in his hands.
Carolyn, the youngest, was equally surprised. “But she never mentioned anything!” she exclaimed.
As they went through the box, they found letters written by Robert to their mother, filled with longing, love, and regret. Michael and Carolyn read in disbelief as Robert poured his heart out, expressing his undying love for their mother.
“Francesca, my love, I can’t help but think of you every day. Our time together was short, but it was the most intense and beautiful experience of my life. I know you had to go back to your family, but I can’t help but wonder what could’ve been. I miss you more than words can say.”
The letters were filled with imagery and metaphors that captivated the siblings. Michael felt a twinge of jealousy—he had missed out on something so profound and life-changing. Carolyn felt sadness and pity for their mother, who had to keep this love affair a secret.
As they went through the mementos, Michael found a ticket to a photography exhibit in Chicago. It was from the year Francesca had met Robert. “Maybe she went to see his work,” he suggested.
They drove to Chicago to see the exhibit for themselves. As they walked through the gallery, they saw photographs of the bridges and scenery in Madison County and portraits of people who had touched Robert’s life.
One particular photograph caught Michael’s eye. It was a black and white portrait of Francesca, taken during their four-day affair. Her eyes were closed, and her lips were slightly parted, as if she was lost in thought.
Michael felt a pang of sadness as he looked at the photograph—the woman in the picture was not the same mother he had known. She had another side to her, a passionate and free-spirited side that she had kept hidden from her family.
Carolyn saw the photograph too, and she felt sorry for her mother. She had never imagined that their mother could have been so deeply in love with someone else.
As they left the gallery, Michael and Carolyn knew that their mother’s affair with Robert had been a defining moment in her life. They wondered if she had ever regretted it, or if she had always held a special place in her heart for the man she had loved.
Robert never returned to Madison County after Francesca’s death, but his love for her endured. He had kept every item that reminded him of her—their photographs, the letters she had written him, and even the clothes she had worn during their brief affair.
As Michael and Carolyn drove back to Madison County, they knew that their mother’s love story had touched their lives in a way that nothing else could. Even in death, Francesca had managed to leave a profound impact on their lives.
Robert stood at the back of the church, his eyes fixed on the open casket at the front. He struggled to grip his emotions tightly as he watched Francesca’s family and friends weep for her loss. A part of him felt guilty for being there, as if he didn’t have the right to mourn her passing. After all, he was just a fleeting memory from her past, a shadow of a love that once burned so bright.
As the service ended, Robert made his way toward the exit, hoping to slip out unnoticed. But before he could leave, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to see Francesca’s daughter, Carolyn, standing behind him, her eyes red from tears.
“Robert,” she said quietly. “I’m so glad you came.”
Robert nodded wordlessly, unsure of what to say. He hadn’t seen Carolyn since she was a little girl, and now she was a grown woman. Her resemblance to Francesca was uncanny, and it made his heart ache even more.
“I know Mom would have wanted you here,” Carolyn continued. “She always kept a picture of you in her drawer, you know. She never forgot about you.”
Robert felt a lump form in his throat, and he fought back tears. He had always wondered if Francesca had thought of him over the years, but he never imagined she would keep a picture of him. It was a small comfort, but it was enough to make him feel like perhaps their love had meant something after all.
As they walked out of the church, Carolyn filled Robert in on what had happened to her family over the years. Francesca’s husband, Richard, had passed away a few years ago, and her son, Michael, was living overseas with his family. Carolyn had stayed behind to take care of her mother, and she had been there for her until the very end.
They arrived at the cemetery, where Francesca’s casket was lowered into the ground. Robert stood off to the side, watching as her family said their final goodbyes. He felt like an outsider, a stranger in a sea of familiar faces. But he knew he had to be there, to pay his respects to the woman who had captured his heart so many years ago.
After the service, Carolyn invited Robert back to the family’s home for a small gathering. As they walked through the door, Robert was hit with a wave of nostalgia. The house looked exactly the same as it did when he had visited all those years ago, and he half-expected Francesca to walk around the corner and greet him with a smile.
Carolyn led him to the living room, where a group of people were sitting around, talking and drinking coffee. Robert felt a pang of sadness as he realized that he didn’t know any of them. He had missed out on so much of Francesca’s life, and it was a bitter pill to swallow.
He sat down on the couch, feeling out of place and awkward. He sipped his coffee and tried to blend in with the group, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he didn’t belong there.
Suddenly, Carolyn appeared by his side, holding a small box. “I found this in Mom’s dresser,” she said, handing him the box. “I thought you might want to see it.”
Robert opened the box, and his heart skipped a beat as he saw the contents. Inside were a stack of letters, all written in Francesca’s delicate handwriting. There were also a few pictures of the two of them, taken all those years ago.
Robert felt a lump form in his throat as he read through the letters. They were filled with raw emotion and longing, and they made him realize just how much Francesca had loved him. He had always thought that their love was one-sided, that Francesca had only seen him as a fling. But reading through these letters made him realize that she had felt just as strongly about him as he had about her.
As he sat there, lost in thought, a hand touched his shoulder. He turned to see Carolyn looking at him with a gentle smile.
“I know this must be hard for you,” she said. “But I’m glad you’re here. Mom talked about you so much over the years. She never forgot about you, and I don’t think she ever stopped loving you.”
Robert felt a tear escape from his eye, and he wiped it away hastily. He knew that he and Francesca could never have been together, that their love was too forbidden and too complicated. But in that moment, he didn’t care. He was grateful for the brief time they had shared, and he knew that their love would always be a part of his soul.
As he left the house that day, Robert felt a sense of closure. He had said his final goodbye to Francesca, and he felt like he had finally come to terms with their love. He knew that it would never fully leave him, but he was okay with that. It was a part of his story, and he was proud to have been a part of Francesca’s as well.
Robert Kincaid stood at the site where he had planned to build the bridge in Francesca Johnson’s name. He had been working on the project for months, pouring his heart and soul into every aspect of its construction. He had chosen this spot because it overlooked the picturesque bridges of Madison County, the same bridges that he had explored with Francesca all those years ago.
As he gazed out over the landscape, Robert’s thoughts drifted back to that fateful summer so many years ago. He remembered the way Francesca had looked at him, the way her eyes had sparkled in the warm sunlight. He remembered the sound of her laughter, the feel of her soft skin against his own. And he remembered the pain and heartache that had followed when they had been forced to part ways.
But now, as he stood here on this quiet patch of land, Robert felt a sense of peace and closure that he had never experienced before. He knew that he had honored Francesca’s memory in the best way he could, and he took comfort in the knowledge that her love would live on through him, and through this bridge.
As he looked down at the plaque that bore Francesca’s name, Robert felt a single tear roll down his cheek. He had never felt more proud, more alive, or more at peace with himself than he did in this moment.
And yet, there was a part of him that still ached for Francesca. He knew that their love had been fleeting, that they had been forced to make difficult choices in order to protect their families. But that didn’t make it any easier to accept the fact that they would never be together again.
As he stood there lost in thought, Robert felt a sudden jolt. It was as if a bolt of lightning had struck him, and he knew in that moment that there was still so much he had to say to Francesca.
Without another thought, Robert began to write. He wrote about everything they had shared together, every moment they had spent exploring the bridges, every kiss and every touch and every feeling that had passed between them. He poured his heart and soul into those words, knowing that they would never be read by anyone but himself.
For weeks, Robert stayed out at the construction site, writing and building and reflecting on his life and his love for Francesca. He worked tirelessly to bring the bridge to life, never once losing sight of the woman who had inspired it all.
And then, one day, it was done. The bridge was complete, a testament to the love that had once burned so brightly between Robert and Francesca. And as he stood there, gazing out at the horizon, Robert knew that he had done something truly special. He had created something that would endure long after he was gone, something that would remind the world of the love he had shared with the woman who had captured his heart.
As he walked away from the bridge, Robert felt a sense of closure. He knew that his time in Madison County was coming to an end, and that he had to move on. But he also knew that the memories he had created with Francesca would stay with him forever, and that he could always come back to visit the bridge, to remember the woman who had changed his life forever.
And so, as Robert walked away, he knew that he had done the right thing. He had honored Francesca’s memory in the best way he knew how, and he had created something truly beautiful and enduring. For as long as the bridge stood, he knew that his love for Francesca would live on, a testament to the power of love and the magic of Madison County.
Some scenes from the movie The Bridges of Madison County written by A.I.
Logline: A lonely housewife and a wandering photographer find love and passion during a fleeting four-day affair that changes their lives forever.
Scene 1 – INT. FRANCESCA’S KITCHEN – DAY
Francesca Johnson, a 40-something Italian housewife, is cooking dinner for her family. She’s bored and unfulfilled, going through the motions of her daily life. Her husband, Richard, is at a livestock auction, and her two teenage children, Carolyn and Michael, are out with friends.
As she prepares dinner, Francesca’s mind wanders. She thinks about her life before marrying Richard, when she was a student in Naples. She wonders if she made the right choice by settling down in the quiet, rural town of Madison County.
Suddenly, the doorbell rings. Francesca is startled but curious. She goes to the front door and opens it to reveal a ruggedly handsome man in his early 50s. This is Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic.
Can I help you?
Hi, I’m Robert. Robert Kincaid. I’m lost.
Francesca is intrigued by Robert, and despite her reservations, she invites him into her kitchen. They make small talk as Robert explains that he’s looking for a covered bridge that he wants to photograph. Francesca offers to show him the way and they set off in her truck.
As they drive, Francesca and Robert start to open up to each other. Francesca tells him about her life as a housewife, and Robert talks about his travels around the world. There’s an undeniable chemistry between them, and Francesca starts to feel alive for the first time in years.
Finally, they arrive at the covered bridge. Robert takes out his camera and begins to snap photos. Francesca watches him, mesmerized by his talent and passion.
You know, I’ve never met anyone like you before.
What do you mean?
You’re different. You have a light in your eyes that I don’t see in most people.
Francesca blushes, feeling both flattered and nervous. She knows this connection with Robert is dangerous, but she can’t resist the pull she feels towards him.
The sun begins to set, and Francesca realizes how much time has passed. She offers to drive Robert back to his motel, but Robert declines, saying he wants to explore Madison County some more.
As Francesca drives away, she can’t help but think about Robert and the way he makes her feel. She’s scared, but also excited for what might happen next.
Setting: The picturesque Madison County, Iowa in the 1960s.
– Francesca Johnson, a housewife and mother of two, longing for passion and excitement in her life.
– Robert Kincaid, a roaming photographer, in search of beauty and a place to call home.
EXT. MADISON COUNTY – DAY
Francesca and Robert are sitting on the hood of Robert’s truck, overlooking one of the bridges.
(pointing to the bridge)
This here is Cedar Bridge. It’s my favorite.
It’s been here since 1883. Can you believe it?
I can feel the history in the wood.
You’re gonna make me fall in love with you, Francesca.
Francesca looks away, unsure of how to respond.
(reaching for her hand)
I’m kidding. But I do feel like there’s something special between us.
Robert, I don’t know what this is.
It’s okay. We don’t have to put a label on it. Let’s just enjoy the moment.
Francesca nods, taking in the view.
(pointing to a nearby field)
I know a spot where the wildflowers bloom this time of year. Want to check it out?
Francesca nods, her eyes lighting up.
INT. THE FIELD – LATER
Francesca and Robert are walking through the field, picking wildflowers.
I feel like a young girl again.
That’s the magic of Madison County.
Francesca stops and looks at Robert, studying his face.
I wish this moment could last forever.
Robert puts down the flowers and takes Francesca’s hand.
It can, if we let it.
Francesca looks at him, her heart racing.
Francesca Johnson – Housewife, 40s
Robert Kincaid – Photographer, 30s
The scene takes place in the countryside of Madison County. Francesca and Robert are in a small cottage surrounded by fields and trees.
INT. COTTAGE – NIGHT
Francesca and Robert sit at the kitchen table, sipping wine and laughing.
So, tell me more about your life here in Madison County.
There’s not much to tell. I live a simple life. Take care of my husband and children, tend to the garden.
It sounds peaceful.
Yes, it is. But sometimes, I feel like there’s something missing, you know?
Robert leans in closer to her, looking into her eyes.
I know exactly what you mean, Francesca.
Silence falls between them as they continue to hold each other’s gaze.
(Clearing his throat)
I have to admit something to you, Francesca.
Francesca looks at him with curiosity.
I’ve never felt this way before. I’ve never met someone who understands me like you do.
Francesca’s heart races as she listens to his words.
I feel the same way, Robert.
Robert reaches for her hand across the table.
Francesca, I know we don’t have much time together, but I want to make the most of it. Will you spend the night with me?
Francesca hesitates for a moment, but then gives in to her desires.
Yes, Robert. I’ll spend the night with you.
Robert stands up, taking her hand and leading her towards the bedroom.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
Francesca and Robert lay in bed, their bodies intertwined. They share passionate kisses and explore each other’s bodies.
Robert, I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’ve never been unfaithful to my husband before.
(Kissing her gently)
It’s okay, Francesca. We can keep this our little secret.
Francesca nods and kisses him back, both of them lost in the moment.
The scene ends with Francesca and Robert falling asleep in each other’s arms.
EXT. MADISON COUNTY BRIDGE – DAY
Francesca and Robert sit on the hood of Robert’s truck overlooking the bridge. They look longingly into each other’s eyes, aware that their time together is limited.
We can’t keep doing this, Robert. I have a family. I can’t simply abandon them.
I understand Francesca, but I can’t help the way I feel about you. I want to take you away from here, start a new life with you.
Francesca shakes her head, tears streaming down her face.
I can’t do that to them, Robert. I can’t leave my children.
Robert takes her hand and holds it tightly.
Then we’ll make it work. We’ll find a way to be together. I’ll do whatever it takes.
Francesca pulls her hand away.
You don’t understand, Robert! Do you know what people like us would be called if we ran away together? Adulterers, sinners, whores.
Robert looks at her, his eyes filled with sadness.
I know you’re right. We can’t be together, can we?
Francesca nods, her heart breaking with each passing moment.
I’m so sorry, Robert. Please forgive me.
Robert leans in to kiss her, knowing it might be the last time they see each other. Their lips lock in a passionate embrace as the camera fades to black.
EXT. JOHNSON FAMILY FARM – DAY
Francesca is feeding the chickens when she hears a car pull up. She freezes, knowing her family wasn’t due back for another day. She looks up to see her husband Richard and their two children, Caroline and Michael, stepping out of the car.
(surprised and panicked)
What are you all doing here?
We got an early flight home. Surprise!
Caroline and Michael run towards their mother, excited to see her.
I missed you, Mom.
We have so much to tell you!
Francesca forces a smile, trying her best to conceal her guilt.
INT. JOHNSON FAMILY LIVING ROOM – DAY
The family is gathered around the fireplace, catching up on what they missed.
(sipping his coffee)
So, what did you do while we were gone, Francesca?
Francesca takes a deep breath, feeling the weight of her secret.
Just the usual. Cleaned the house, did some gardening.
Mom, we saw a movie and went mini-golfing!
Sounds like you had a quiet week.
Francesca nods, trying to avoid eye contact.
Did you miss us, Mom?
Francesca’s eyes well up with tears as she looks at her children.
Of course I did. I missed you all so much.
INT. FRANCESCA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Francesca is lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling. She picks up Robert’s letter from her nightstand and reads it again. Tears stream down her face as she remembers their time together. She knows she has to end things with Robert, but the thought breaks her heart.
EXT. FRANCESCA’S PORCH – DAY
Robert is standing on Francesca’s porch, looking at the house with a heavy heart. Francesca opens the door, looking sad and conflicted.
Robert, we can’t do this anymore.
Robert’s heart sinks. He knows what she means.
They stand there, looking at each other, tears in their eyes.
I’ll never forget you, Robert.
Robert takes a step forward and cups her cheeks, leaning in for a kiss. She leans in, but then pulls back, shaking her head.
I can’t. I’m sorry.
Robert nods, understanding her decision. He walks away, looking back at her once before getting in his truck and driving away.
INT. FRANCESCA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Francesca is lying in bed, tears streaming down her face. She picks up Robert’s letter once more and holds it to her chest, feeling the weight of her decision. She knows she did the right thing for her family, but at what cost?
INT. FRANCESCA’S HOUSE – ATTIC – DAY
Carolyn and Michael are going through their mother’s old boxes. Michael opens a box and sees an envelope addressed to their mother.
(reading) “To Francesca, my love.”
(looks at Carolyn) Who’s this from?
(surprised) It’s from Robert Kincaid.
Michael opens the envelope and takes out a stack of letters and photographs. Carolyn takes the photo from Michael and sees a picture of their mother with a handsome man.
(whispers) Who is he?
(reading the letter) Robert Kincaid. He was a photographer who came to Madison County and met mom. They fell in love.
Carolyn’s eyes widen with shock.
(surprised) Mom had a secret love affair?
(nodding) It seems like they had an intense relationship. Mom was torn between staying with us and being with him.
(tearfully) She never told us.
(putting his arm around her) It’s not something she would’ve wanted us to know. It was her secret.
The siblings continue to read the letters, learning about their mother’s deep love for Robert and the sacrifices she made.