(cut to): Bella at the gas station. She’s washing the outside windows of the office. Sean pulls up on his bike. He’s wearing a baseball outfit and has his glove hanging on his handlebars.
Sean: Hey Bella.
Bella turns around.
Bella: Sean, what’s up? How was practice?
Sean: Coach says my commitment to the team has been improving along with my curve ball…I’m starting the next game.
Bella: Sean, that’s great! Congratulations.
Sean: Thanks, but…that’s not why I’m here.
Bella sets down the window cleaner and paper towels. She sits down on the bench.
Bella: Okay, what’s up?
Sean: Well, I had to leave the meeting early, but they’re thinking of not having the Miss Edmund High pageant.
Bella (sarcastic): Oh my God, Sean, what a tragedy…
Sean: There aren’t enough girls competing…
Bella: Maybe they should have a Mister—
Sean: I know it’s a dumb tradition and totally sexist and all that stuff. But…student government puts it on and it’s one of the biggest revenue makers we have. All the businesses in town advertise in the program.
Bella: What does this have to do with me? Do you need someone for a committee or something?
Sean: I need a contestant.
Bella: What? No way. Maybe you should talk to Grace…
Sean: Sophomores and up.
Bella: Sean, it’s not my thing…
Sean: Well, think about it at least? There’re only like three girls signed up right now and one of them is Becky Johnson. If we don’t get more girls, then no one is going to advertise and we’re going to lose money that we really need right now.
Bella: It’s not like anyone is going to beat Becky anyway…
Will (voice over): Confidence.
Sean: Are you kidding me? Bella…you have her in every category.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: It’s not enough for other people to believe in you. You’ve got to believe in yourself.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: But belief in self isn’t always something that comes naturally.
Bella looks over toward Friendly’s. Will is wiping down the counter.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: And you need other people to have faith in you…to believe in you...to love you.
Sean: Will would agree. And, I bet he’d want you to do it.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: And when those people screw up and forget how much you need them…it’s hard.
Bella: I’ll think about it; that’s all I can give you.
Sean: Really? Excellent. Thanks, Bella…
Sean hops on his bike.
Sean: I have to run, but…seriously consider it…
Sean rides away and Bella turns back to the windows.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: The people who it seems would easily have confidence so often have little.
We get kind of a cool shot behind her shoulder which includes her reflection. She’s, of course, got some grease on her face.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: And people who need confidence, often have trouble finding it.
She sprays the reflections and smiles to herself, shaking her head at the ridiculousness of Sean’s suggestion.
(fade in): To Jill’s room. Jill is painting. Scout’s sitting on her bed, watching her. He gets up and, standing behind Jill, looks at the painting. She stops and looks annoyed. She turns around.
Music: You Say by Vertical Horizon
Jill: Can I help you?
Scout: You’re really good, Jill. You could do this.
Jill: Okay, this…
She indicates the painting.
Jill cont’d: …sucks.
Scout: Well, I like it.
Jill: Get out.
Scout: What? But I—
Jill: I’m trying to concentrate and…you’re throwing me off.
Scout looks a little hurt.
Scout: Okay…I’ll see ya…
He turns around and exits. Jill rolls her eyes and turns back to her painting.
(cut to): to Will at Friendly’s. Several hours after Sean and Bella spoke. Will has just delivered an order and walks back behind the counter as Bella enters. Despite the pleasant conversation, there is an awkwardness about it.
Music: Believe in You by Collapsis
Will: Hey, you.
Bella smiles. She walks over and leans on the counter.
Bella: Get a thirsty townie something to drink?
Will: I’m sorry, we don’t serve your kind here.
Bella: And what kind would that be?
Will: Beautiful, smart, charming…that kind.
Bella sits down and looks deep in thought.
Will cont’d: What?
Bella: How true is that stuff you just said?
Will: Whoa, what’s with the self-esteem crisis?
Bella: Sean asked me to be in the Miss Edmund High pageant.
Bella: I know. I wouldn’t have a chance.
Will: Are you kidding? You’d have more than a chance. It’s just that you’re kind of above all that superficial crap.
Bella smiles and looks down.
Bella: Sean wants me to do it a favor. They need more people or they won’t be able to have it and they need to have it to raise money.
Will: Maybe he should enter himself as a contestant.
They both laugh at the thought.
Will cont’d: You know, Pacey was in a pageant once. He wasn’t even a runner up.
Will cont’d: Or, hey…Scout looks pretty good in a dress, right?
Bella laughs again.
Bella: He doesn’t go to Edmund, though.
Will laughs and takes out a glass. He fills it with ice.
Will: You know, maybe you should do it. I bet Becky Johnson is a contestant and she’s got absolutely nothing on you.
Will fills the glass with Coke and gives it to Bella. She holds out her hand and he reaches in his pocket, pulling out a straw for her.
Bella: Plus, it is for Sean.
Will: Maybe it would actually be fun or at least…
Will and Bella: …different.
Bella takes a sip of her Coke and shrugs.
Will: So, listen, next week, I only work Monday.
Bella: Oh…what? Is counter jockey Scout finally coming back to the job?
Will: Actually, he is, but…only because I asked him to. I’ve been wanting to spend time with you…and talk to you.
Bella: I know. I mean, I want to talk to you too.
They both look down.
Will: It’s just that…we both keep pretending that it didn’t happen or something and…
Bella: It did.
As she is saying this, Sean walks in.
Sean: What did?
Will and Bella: Nothing.
Will: How’s it going anyway, man? I haven’t seen you in awhile.
Sean: It’d be going a lot better if you’d convince this girlfriend of yours to enter Miss Edmund High.
Bella: Well, first I’d like to say that I think “pageants” are a completely antiquated tradition consisting mostly of forcing girls to dress up and parade around for the singular purpose of being looked at. They promote low self-esteem for everyone involved except she who is ill-fated enough to be crowned the “winner.” By participating I’d be sacrificing my integrity to that institution which is ever so oppressive and demeaning.
Sean and Will look at one another.
Will: I think what she means by that is, she’ll do it.
Sean: Bella, thank you. Rehearsals start next week.
Bella: Next week?
She looks over at Will. He looks concerned.
Will: Perfect. She’ll be there.
Bella looks at Will; he nods and smiles.
Bella: I’ll be there.
Sean hugs Bella.
Sean: Thank you. You’ll do great, Bella.
Will smiles weakly.
(cut to): Ham and Jake sitting Indian style on Jake’s bed, facing each other. The cat is between them, asleep. It’s gotten a little bigger and is starting to look less like a kitten and more like a cat.
Music: I Owe You One Galaxy by the Ataris
Jake: Okay, Hamilton…the cat isn’t going to name itself.
Hamilton: I know, but…I just have no idea.
Jake: Just call him Tiger. He’s kind of tiger-ish.
Hamilton: That’s so unoriginal, though.
Jake: Oh, well, thanks.
Hamilton: I guess this settles it.
Hamilton: We could never have kids together.
Jake: They’d be like two and we’d be calling them “hey, you.”
Hamilton laughs. He looks at Jake for a moment then leans toward her and kisses her. The cat stirs and meows. They stop kissing and look down.
Jake: Another reason not to have kids.
The cat meows again. There is a knock at the door. Jake and Hamilton look at one another. Jake gets up and opens the door. Scout is standing there. He walks in.
Scout: Hey, guys, what’s up?
Hamilton: Not much, just hanging out.
Scout looks at the cat.
Scout: Your cat’s getting big, Hamilton. What’s his name again?
Hamilton: What would you call him?
Scout: You haven’t named him yet? That’s pathetic dude.
Scout walks further into the room. He sits down in Jake’s chair.
Jake: Did you need something?
Scout: Not really. I just thought we could hang out. I mean, everyone’s all coupled off and we don’t ever just hang out anymore. We just do our couple stuff.
Ham and Jake look at each other.
Jake: So, Jill told you to get lost?
Scout: …basically. She’s working on a new piece. She’s gotta concentrate.
Jake: Don’t take it personally. It’s like every once in awhile, she gets into this zone and you can’t bug her while she’s painting. She does her best stuff during these times. Of course she always thinks whatever she does is crap.
Hamilton: Really? My mom thinks she’s great.
Jake: She is great.
Scout: Well, now I’m stuck with nothing to do.
Hamilton: Well, hey, feel free to hang out in here as long as you want.
Hamilton gets up and picks up his cat.
Jake: Where are you going?
Hamilton: Home for dinner.
He smiles. Jake rolls her eyes. He kisses her briefly and exits.
Jake: You know how I said not to take it personally?
Jake: You are, aren’t you?
Jake: Maybe you should get a hobby of your own, you know?
Scout: You’re kicking me out too?
Scout: I did have this idea to build something.
Jake: There you go.
Scout: Do you have like…a hammer and—
Scout laughs. He hops up.
Scout: To the hardware store it is. Want to join me?
Jake: Sure, why not?
(fade in) to as establishing shot of the hardware store. The same one Finn tried to go to in Replacement Reaction.
Music: Hanging Around by the Counting Crows.
(cut to): inside. Bella is looking at some wrenches. She looks over to the door.
(cut to): the door as Jake and Scout walk in.
(cut to): a closer shot of Jake and Scout.
Scout: Okay, that was like the coolest thing I’ve ever done. Can I drive back?
Jake: Yeah, right…hey, there’s Bella.
(cut to): Bella. She waves. After a second, Jake and Scout walk up to her.
Scout: Bella, have you ridden on Jake’s bike?
Scout (to Jake): We have to hang out more often.
Jake (to Bella): You know, he’s kind of like a child, but…easier to amuse.
Scout gives her a dirty look.
Bella: So, before you hear it somewhere else, I’ve got big news.
Jake and Scout look at each other then back at Bella.
Bella: I, Bella Banks, am participating in this years’…Miss Edmund High Pageant.
Jake: By your own free will?
Bella: Sean kind of needed it as a favor…it’s a long story.
Jake: Well, I know I’m a little out of practice, but this doesn’t seem like the place to go shopping for the girly stuff one would need for such a pageant.
Bella: Actually, I’m wrench shopping. Then I’m headed over to the drug store to find the perfect shade of nail polish. What are you two doing here?
Jake: Scout needs a hammer.
Scout: And some other stuff. I’m building something.
Bella looks at Jake who shrugs then back at Scout.
Jake: Oh yeah.
Scout: You know what? You two have fun with the wrenches…we’ll meet at the counter in fifteen minutes.
He walks off. Bella and Jake giggle.
(cut to): Jill in the room painting. She looks like she’s concentrating pretty hard. Gwen walks in. Ryder is with her.
Jill: I thought you were studying in the library.
Ryder: Nice to see you too.
Jill: And you brought him back here?
Ryder: What’s your problem, precious? Finally wise up and dump that pathetic loser that you call Scout? Because, you know I’ve always got a free shoulder for you to cry on.
Ryder looks at her smugly. Jill looks over at Ryder. She looks angry.
Ryder: Christ, Gwen, can we just get out of here before She-Hulk here rips my heart out and eats it Hannibal Lector style?
Gwen: That’s imagery. You’ve got it down. One step closer to acing Finn’s next English test.
Jill: You’re helping him study, aren’t you?
Gwen grabs a few books and puts them in her bag.
Gwen: So what?
Jill: I can’t believe that you can’t see that he’s just using you.
Gwen shakes her head and heads out the door.
Gwen: Come on, Ryder.
Ryder: You don’t have to treat her like crap just because she’s helping me.
Jill: That’s right, I’m sure you treat her like crap enough for the both of us.
Ryder: Whatever, Ice Queen…see you later.
Ryder walks out too.
(cut to): Will in the weight room. He’s doing the bench press with free weights. Hamilton walks in.
Music: Strawberry(Don’t Fall Down) by Everclear
Hamilton: Will…what are you doing?
Will: What does it look like?
Will sets the weights on the rack and sits up.
Hamilton: You know you aren’t supposed to do that without someone to spot you. You could hurt yourself.
Will shrugs. Hamilton walks over and sits next to him.
Hamilton: What’s wrong?
Will stands up and moves to the leg press.
Will: Okay. You know that night that you and Jake…
Hamilton: Huh? Oh! We didn’t.
Hamilton: Well, you know, she wasn’t really ready to move to the next level.
Will gives him a suspicious look.
Hamilton: Okay…neither of us was all that ready. So, we didn’t go through with it.
Will looks down. He seems to debate on whether or not to go on. He continues uncertainly:
Will: Well…Bella and I did.
Hamilton: Whoa. Are you serious?
Hamilton: And, you’re upset about this?
Will: I don’t know. I mean, not upset. More like confused. I don’t even know where to go from there.
Hamilton: You know how in romance movies the whole climax of the film is built around when the people finally make love…or kiss if we’re in the romantic comedy genre?
Will gives him a weird look.
Hamilton: And that’s enough for the audience. It pretty much ends there. And they live happily ever after.
Hamilton: But, Will, life’s not a movie.
Will: I think I know that, Ham. What’s your point?
Hamilton: Life is more like…episodic television.
Will raises his eyebrows.
Hamilton cont’d: See, the biggest mistake the writers can make is to have characters have sex. Okay, they hook up…you know, become a couple…fine…relationships can be interesting. But, as much as the audience thinks they want the couple to have sex, once they do…it’s kind of…unfulfilling.
Will: I wouldn’t say it was unfulfilling.
Hamilton: You’re killing the metaphor here. The point is…it’s the build up…the anticipation…that’s the best part. After that you’ve either got to do it again or…stop doing it…a.k.a. break up.
Will: Those are my options?
Hamilton: I guess you could stop doing it and not break up, but…why would you want to do that?
There’s a beat. Will looks around then back at Hamilton.
Will: I want things to be how they were before.
Hamilton: Before, when you weren’t having sex? Or…before, when you were just friends.
There’s another beat. Will laughs and tries to change the subject:
Will: You know, where was all this insight when you were practically in the fetal position because you were petrified of going down the hall and sleeping with your girlfriend?
Hamilton: I wasn’t…I wasn’t petrified.
Hamilton lies down on the bench and gets ready to lift the weights.
Hamilton cont’d: Anyway, come spot me.
Will gets up and walks over.
(cut to): the counter at the hardware store. Scout has his stuff in a bag already and the cashier is ringing up the wrench. Bella pays for it and he puts it in a bag.
Bella: Now…away from the manly and on to the girly.
Jake: Cool, I’m definitely up for that.
They look at Scout.
Scout: Well, I’m thinking that the odds of you letting me take the motorcycle for a ride while you’re there are pretty slim so…I’m in.
(cut to): the drug store. Jake and Bella are looking at the nail polish. Scout stands behind them acting uninterested. Jake picks up a bottle of light pink nail polish and shows it to Bella.
Jake: My personal favorite.
Scout takes it from her.
Scout: Maybeline. Barely Pink. I’ll buy this for you if you let me drive back to school.
Bella takes the nail polish from Scout. Jake turns around to talk to Scout.
Jake: Okay, Scout…let me explain something to you. Hamilton, the love of my life, doesn’t even get to drive my motorcycle.
Scout: Yeah, but, the bike is probably some metaphor for your physical relationship. Therefore, you’ve gotta keep control. But, Jake…we don’t have that problem.
Jake laughs and shakes her head.
Bella: There’s Becky Johnson.
Scout and Jake look over at the door.
(cut to): the door as Becky walks in. She’s tall and blonde and pretty…with big hair. The quintessential small town beauty queen.
Scout: Wow, she’s—
Bella: Do not finish that sentence unless you want to leave this store with Barely Pink shoved up your—
Jake: I’m sensing some animosity.
Bella smiles. Becky walks by.
Bella: Hi, Becky.
Becky: I’m actually going by Rebecca now.
Becky looks back at Jake and Scout.
Becky: Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?
Bella: Oh…uh…Jake Pratt and Scout Calhoun…
She points to each of them.
Bella cont’d: This is Beck—Rebecca Johnson.
Becky: I’ve never seen you guys around.
Scout: We go to Rawley Academy.
Becky: Impressive friends, Bella. Cute, rich boys…not exactly the usual lap dogs you have tagging along. Aren’t you actually dating Will Krudski now?
Bella: Yeah, kind of.
Becky: Well, I’d love to hear about it, but I’ve got to grab some shampoo and run home. I’ll see you at pageant rehearsals next week.
Bella: Word travels fast.
Becky smiles snottily as she walks off.
Jake: Wow, she’s not too nice.
Scout: You’re just mad because she called you a cute, rich boy.
Jake: Actually…that’s exactly the look I’m going for.
Bella: Come on guys…I’ll do this later.
Scout: Actually, can we run back to the hardware store? I forgot the hammer.
Bella and Jake look at one another then back at Scout.
(cut to): In front of the hardware store. Bella and Jake sit on a bench. Jake’s motorcycle is parked in front of them.
Bella: There couldn’t be that many hammers to choose from.
Jake: Scout’s just a freak. Who even knows what he’s building.
Bella: My guess is it’s for Jill. He’s totally in love with her.
Jake: Yeah…it’s pathetic…but sweet.
Jake cont’d: You’re…you’re cool with all that right?
Bella: What? Oh…yeah…of course.
Jake cont’d: I mean you and Will are…good. Right?
Bella looks down at her nails.
Jake cont’d: What happened?
Bella looks over at her. Jake gets it.
Jake: Did you guys…?
Bella closes her eyes.
Jake: Oh, wow, you did. Was it great?
Bella: It was nice.
Bella: Really nice. But now…things between us aren’t so great.
Jake: Was this something you planned?
Bella: No. He just came over one night and no one else was home and…it just kind of happened.
Jake: And now things are weird?
Bella: It’s like we don’t even talk about it.
Jake nods and looks at her sympathetically. Scout walks out.
Jake: I’m sure it’ll all work out, Bella.
Scout: What? The pageant? You’ve gotta beat that Becky chick…what a number.
They get up.
Jake: It’s Rebecca, remember?
Bella: What took you so long?
Scout: There’re more types of hammers than you’d imagine.
Jake: Yeah, whatever…just get on the bike so we can get back to campus.
Scout: Still no shot at driving?
Scout walks over to the bike.
Jake: We’ll talk some more later, okay Bella?
Bella smiles and nods.
Bella: See you guys later.
Jake and Scout drive away.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley. It’s the next week.
Music: All About It by The Getaway People
(cut to): Jake, Will and Ham sitting around Will’s room. Will is on his own bed. Jake and Hamilton are sitting at the end of Scout’s bed. Jake’s, of course, in her standard boy gear. They are all looking in one direction.
(cut to): A reverse shot of the group. We can see that they are all watching Scout as he is working on…whatever it is he’s building. He’s got a pile of wood (2 x 4’s, etc). He’s currently hammering a nail into two small pieces of wood.
Will: When are you going to tell us what this is?
Scout: You’ll know when I’m done. Don’t you people have anything better to do?
Jake: Oh, no…this is highly entertaining.
Scout continues to hammer. Hamilton puts his head down on Jake’s shoulder. She smiles at him and takes his hand. Will looks at them a little jealously…his girlfriend is off at pageant rehearsal after all. Scout’s still hammering, but there’s another knocking sound.
Will: Hey, Scout, cool it for a second.
The knock, which is coming from the door, continues. Will gets up to get it; Ham keeps his head on Jake’s shoulder.
Will: Hey guys, wanna break it up?
He smiles and lifts his head; Jake lets go of his hand. Will is now about to open the door. He opens it a little.
Will: Dean Fleming. What can I do for you?
Hamilton hops up and sits on Will’s bed, trying to look nonchalant.
Steve: What’s going on in here?
Will: Oh, um…
He opens the door all the way, allowing the dean to enter. He sees Scout first then looks over at Ham and Jake.
Steve: Hamilton, don’t you have some homework you should be doing?
Hamilton: Not really, I finished…
His dad gives him a “oh, yes you do” look.
Hamilton cont’d: Oh, I mean, I’ll get right on that. Jake, don’t you have some stuff to do too?
Jake looks up at Hamilton then over at the dean for approval. He nods. Ham and Jake exit.
Steve: Now, Mr. Calhoun. What, pray tell, are you doing?
Scout: Oh, well, I’m constructing a piece of furniture. See, I designed it and I think it’ll work out really nicely. I need some hinges or something like that. Maybe—
Steve: Perhaps what I really meant to ask was, “why are you doing this in your room?”
Scout: Oh…building stuff in the dorms…yet another of the many rules I’ve succeeded in breaking this year.
Steve: You’re disturbing your fellow residents. You’re going to have to move all of this outside.
Scout looks at him for a moment before reluctantly nodding.
Scout: Yes, sir.
Steve gives him one final authoritarian look before exiting.
Scout: Man, that guy hates me.
Will: You have to admit this is pretty absurd…even for you.
Scout: What does that mean?
Scout: Come on…I want to hear this.
Will: Okay…you know, when I first met you, you came across as…I don’t know…well, kind of like your dad, I guess. Nice and good-natured, but most of all confident.
Scout: And now?
Will: And now…you’re kind of a spaz.
Will cont’d: In the best sense of the word.
Scout looks out the window.
Scout: You know, for so long I just wanted to prove myself to everyone like “I’m John Calhoun’s son and I’m strong…and confident just like him.” Then I realized that maybe I don’t necessarily want to be like him.
Will: I didn’t mean that you should be—
Scout: I know, but…the minute I stop trying to be him and start trying to…find myself…look what happens. Everyone thinks I’m “a spaz” Barney Fifing my way around Rawley Academy.
Will: And you want to be Andy Griffith…
Scout smiles, but still looks upset. He looks over at the building materials.
Scout: You know what I’m building? An easel for Jill. And, I suddenly realize how completely ridiculous that is. If I want to give her one, I could just buy her one.
Will: Hey, come on, that’s actually a really sweet gesture.
Scout: No…it’s actually really stupid.
He picks up the hammer and looks at it.
Scout cont’d: Totally stupid.
He throws the hammer into the trash can and exits.
Music: Camera One by the Josh Joplin group.
(cut to): The common room at the boys’ school. Ryder and Gwen sit on a couch. Several books are opened on the table in front of them. Ryder is looking in one book and writing something down.
Gwen: Why are you trying so hard, anyway?
Ryder: Do you think I shouldn’t?
Gwen: No. I mean, I think you should, but—
Ryder: Well, I considered paying off the teachers…or maybe even the dean, but I figure they’re a little too decent for that. Then of course, there’s paying people to let you cheat off them…or just doing it the old fashion way, but…there’s the risk of being caught by the virtuous teachers, not to mention the potential moron you could be stuck cheating off of. I explored buying copies of the finals off the internet, but the only one they really have is the entrance exam.
Ryder nods. After a beat:
Gwen cont’d: I’m really proud of you.
Ryder: For researching the cheating options?
Gwen: For not giving up on yourself…that’s why I’m proud of you.
Ryder: Yeah, well…don’t be. It’s just part of the big ploy to get out of this school…Hell, this country. Of course, it’d seem a lot more attainable had I paid some attention in my classes during the first part of this year.
Gwen: You’re smart, Ryder. Why do you doubt yourself?
Ryder: Oh God…can we get back on track here?
Gwen shakes her head, smiles and tosses a book at him.
(cut to): an auditorium. It looks a little run down. There are several girls standing around. Bella sits alone on the edge of the stage. Johanna walks out from backstage.
Johanna: Okay, I need to know everyone’s talent.
The girls get up and gather around her. Bella reluctantly gets up and goes over.
Johanna cont’d: And please…no one say “twirling fire batons.”
Becky: Yeah, because that’s totally my talent…and you wouldn’t have a chance against me.
Johanna: You’re not serious.
Bella: I think you can be assured that she is.
Becky: Of course I’m serious.
Johanna: Okay…um…Bella, talent?
Bella: Can you forfeit that round because I’m pretty…telentless.
Johanna: I’m sure you can think of something.
Bella: Yeah right…like readjusting the torque converter before any of the other contestants even figure out what that means…and that I made it up.
Finn: Maybe you should try stand-up…
(cut to): Finn as he walks down the aisle toward the stage. He’s accompanied by Meagan who still wears her bookbag.
(cut to): Johanna and the girls.
Johanna: Why don’t we call it a day, ladies?
Everyone walks off. Finn and Meagan walk up to the stage.
Finn: I picked this up over at the elementary school. Does it belong to you?
Johanna: Fortunately, yes.
Finn picks Meagan up to get her feet onto the stage; Johanna takes her hands and pulls her the rest of the way up.
Meagan: So, Mom…how’d you get roped into this anyway? I mean, you’ve never been in a pageant in your life.
Finn looks up at her with raised eyebrows.
Finn: Oh…you haven’t?
Johanna: Okay, all of the random stalker knowledge you have from high school cannot be used against me.
(cut to): Bella walking out of Edmund High. Will rides up on his bike.
Bella: Will. Hi.
He gets off his bike and throws it down, walking over to her. He tries to kiss her, but she wraps her arms around him, hugging him.
Will: You okay?
Bella: I can’t do this…
Bella: This stupid pageant. I have to have a talent. But, I don’t have a talent.
Will steps back.
Will: Bella, that’s crazy. You have a million talents.
Bella: Right. Name one.
Will: Okay…you can sing.
Bella rolls her eyes.
Will: Bella…you can.
(cut to): Bella. She looks at Will, uncertain.
(cut to): Friendly’s. Jake, Ham and Sean sit at a booth together. Jake is still in her boy gear, of course. Sean’s in his baseball uniform. Jake and Ham sit next to each other on one side; Sean sits on the other side.
Hamilton: Well, it sounds like the game was awesome. Invite us next time.
Sean: Next game is Friday.
Will and Bella walk in. They all say hello. Bella sits down in the booth; Will pulls up a chair. Will looks from Jake and Ham over to Sean.
Will: Tell me how this happened.
He indicated the three of them…an odd pairing from Will’s point of view.
Jake: We came here when Ham’s dad told us to get lost.
Hamilton: Then Sean came in after his game…
Jake: …which he won.
Sean: Seven to zip. I stayed in the whole game.
Will: Shut out? Excellent!
Bella: You didn’t tell me the game was today.
Sean: Not like you could have come.
Will: I could have.
Hamilton: We weren’t invited either.
Sean: The next game is Friday. I’m starting again. And, you’re all invited. I just…I didn’t want to jinx it, you know? Anyway…
Bella: Yeah, anyway, I can’t believe you forced me into this pageant thing.
Sean: What? Come on…I didn’t force you.
Bella: You’re right…more like guilt tripped.
Sean: Well, there’re actually enough girls…if you want to drop out.
Bella: And make Becky Johnson’s day?
Jake: Isn’t she going by Rebecca now?
Bella: She switched back. She’s registered for the pageant under “Becky,” and it was causing too much confusion.
Will: Well, at least I finally convinced you that singing is a valid talent and…one that you possess.
Sean: Yeah, Bella…you’ve got a great voice.
Hamilton: You do?
Bella: No, but…I’m singing in the pageant. No one’s invited, by the way.
Jake: We’ll be there. Do you know what you’re going to sing yet?
Bella: Um…well, I had this one thought, but it’d be too lame unless I had like someone on piano or like guitar. So, I don’t know.
Hamilton looks over at Jake who is about to speak. He wants to stop her, but it’s too late:
Jake: Hamilton could do it.
Jake looks over at him.
Jake (to Ham): You play the guitar. (to Bella): He plays the guitar.
Hamilton offers a false smile.
Hamilton: I like have a guitar, but—
Bella: Could you do it?
Hamilton looks at her reluctantly. He smiles hesitantly.
Bella cont’d: If you don’t want to or something…
Jake: Of course he does.
Hamilton: It’s not that I don’t want to help you out, Bella. I’m just…not that good.
Jake: Yes you are.
Sean: What’s the problem then, Ham?
Hamilton: No problem. I’ll do it.
Bella: Thank you.
Sean: Okay…so onto the game.
The camera pulls out as Sean starts to give the play-by-play of the game.
Commercial Break: I’m sure you’ve been to Nelle’s Kate and Ian site, but if not…check it out! Immediately J.
(fade in): to Hamilton and Jake walking through New Rawley.
Music: Over Your Head by Marvelous 3
Hamilton: How? How could you do that to me?
Jake: Hamilton, if you don’t think you’re good—
Hamilton: It’s…it’s not really that. It’s just…
Hamilton: Okay…playing for you is one thing. I mean, I could do anything with you, you know? Even as nervous as you make me sometimes…
Jake: I make you nervous?
Hamilton: Um, anyway…
Jake: Like now?
Jake smiles. Hamilton looks down, smiling.
Hamilton: Stop…I’m trying to get to the stage fright thing…
Jake: Stage fright?
Hamilton: …performance fright…whatever you want to call it. I mean, don’t you think there’s a reason that those people, who are all fairly good friends of mine, don’t know that I play the guitar.
Jake: You should have said something.
Hamilton: Yeah, well, I tried. But then someone was there saying, “no, no…he’ll do it.”
Jake: I’m sorry.
Hamilton: And now…I’m going to have to do it. I mean Bella seems a little on edge about this pageant stuff anyway. If I pulled out, it could push her over, you know? And, honestly…I don’t want to piss her off. Have you seen that girl change a flat tire?
Hamilton: Hey, I’m serious.
Hamilton cont’d: Seriously, though, this is going to be a disaster. I took piano lessons when I was a little kid. I was great during the lessons. Then, I had my first recital. I froze. I mean I literally could not play a note.
Jake and Ham reach a music store.
Hamilton cont’d: And now, to buy the music that will lead to my demise.
Jake: Drama queen.
Jake laughs as they walk inside.
(cut to): Jill as she is still painting. There is a knock. She puts down the paintbrush and rolls her eyes. She walks over to the door and opens it. Scout’s there. He has one hand behind his back.
Jill: Hi, Sweetie.
He pulls a bouquet of roses from behind his back.
Scout: I just wanted to bring you these.
He hands them to her. She smiles.
Jill: Thank you.
Scout: I’m going to go now. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I’m okay with this whole painting thing.
Scout smiles. Jill catches on that something may be wrong.
Scout: Okay, so…bye then.
He turns to leave. She takes his arm.
Jill: You know what? Why don’t you come on in?
Scout: Oh, I don’t want to bother you.
Jill: Um, yeah…come in now.
Scout walks in.
Jill: So…what have you been doing all week?
Scout: I don’t know. Not much. I’ve been thinking about the future a little.
Jill: Was I there?
Scout: I guess…
He sits down on her bed. She watches him carefully.
Scout cont’d: I’ve also been thinking about the whole law practice thing. I mean I could be interested in that.
Jill: Which of us are you trying to convince?
Scout: It’s a solid career and, in the long run, a law degree is a great investment.
Jill: Are you pissed at me for last week? Because, I figured you would just go to Jacqueline and she would tell you that I just get like this sometimes. And then you’d smile and understand. Maybe find something constructive to do with your time.
Scout: Well, guess that shows how little you know about me.
Jill turns back to her painting.
Jill: And, maybe you were right the first time…you should go.
Scout: I didn’t mean to upset you.
Jill: Too late, okay?
Scout: We’ll discuss this when you’re not so involved with your painting.
He walks out. Jill totally doesn’t get it.
(cut to): Johanna and Finn walking as they reach Johanna’s house. Meagan is there sitting on the steps.
Meagan: You guys are so slow.
Finn: We’re old.
Meagan: Yeah. Practically geriatric.
Finn (to Johanna): Can I suggest not reading her the SAT preparation guide as a bedtime story?
Johanna: So listen, want to join us for dinner?
Meagan: We’re having spaghetti. Mom makes the best spaghetti.
Finn: I really can’t…
Meagan: Why? Papers to grade? Mom had that problem too until she realized that the amount of work you have to grade directly corresponds to how much you assign.
Finn: Good point, but…in the mean time…
Finn backs away.
Meagan: Are you getting me from school again tomorrow?
Finn looks at Johanna and shrugs.
Johanna: Why don’t I call you later and let you know?
Finn nods. He turns around and walks away.
(cut to): The inside of Johanna’s house as Johanna and Meagan walk in. Meagan starts to head upstairs.
Johanna: Meag, can I talk to you for a second?
Meagan turns around on the stairs.
Meagan: What, Mom?
Johanna: You like Finn, huh?
Meagan: He’s nice. I mean, there are a lot worse people in this town for you to be going out with.
Johanna: Sweetheart, I’ve told you that Finn and I are—
Meagan: “just friends.” I know, Mom. But, I’m ten…not stupid. I can handle it if you’re seeing somebody. Dad has a new girlfriend every time I go to Boston.
Johanna: I appreciate your support, but…Finn and I really are just friends.
Meagan walks back down the stairs so that she’s standing eye level with Johanna.
Meagan: Well, I would like to point out how nonsensical that is. I mean, hello…you obviously like him. And, he’s so totally in love with you.
Johanna: Okay, you’re way off. And, no more Jane Austen for you.
Meagan: Uh-huh…Finn and Mom sitting in a tree…
Meagan turns to go upstairs.
Johanna: Knock it off.
Meagan turns back around.
Meagan: Only if you tell me about this pageant to which Finn was alluding earlier.
Johanna: Okay, that’s it…
She runs up the stairs. Meagan screams and takes off up the stairs, giggling.
(cut to): Friendly’s. Sean, Bella and Will are still at the booth. Will has moved to where Jake and Ham were sitting. Bella is still next to Sean.
Sean: Well, guys, I should head home. I’ll see you Friday at the game.
Will: See ya later, buddy.
Bella gets up to let Sean out.
Bella: Bye Sean.
Will: Man, I thought he’d never leave.
Bella: I know what you mean.
Will: Not that I don’t like spending time with him, but…you know…
Bella: We need to talk.
Will: Yeah. About that…
There is a knocking on glass; Will and Bella turn around.
(cut to): The front window. Finn is standing there knocking.
Will: What’s he doing here.
Finn walks in.
Finn: Mr. Krudski…Bella.
She waves hello, looking a little bothered by his presence.
Finn: I know you want to walk back with me. It’s almost eight anyway…you know the dean’s policy.
He gives Bella an apologetic look.
Bella: It’s okay. We’ll talk eventually. You can always call me.
Will nods. He gets up and walks out with Finn.
(dissolve to): Will and Scout’s room. Scout is there. He sits in a chair with his feet propped up, reading a book. Will walks in.
Music: Digital On by Neve
Scout looks up.
Scout: Oh, hi. How’s it going?
Will: You know…comme ci comme ça…
Scout: Oh…Parler vouz Français?
Will: No, not really.
Will cont’d: Are you okay? I didn’t mean to upset you earlier.
Will sits in another chair.
Scout: Of course I’m okay.
Scout looks back into his book.
Scout: Oh, I think Jill dumped me.
Scout: She didn’t say explicitly, but…I think the implication may have been there.
Will: That’s awful…I’m sorry.
Will cont’d: I can’t believe you’re so…calm about this.
Will cont’d: You didn’t go over there and tell her all that stuff you said earlier did you?
Scout: Not really. I went to see her, take her flowers and tell her that I was cool with letting her have time to paint.
Will: And did you say it with the same condescending tone you’ve been using with me since I walked in here?
Will: Look, I should have never said what I said earlier. You’re not a spaz, okay?
Scout: Will, you were right…and, I’ve decided to stop being a big joke.
Will gets up and walks out. Scout shakes his head and goes back to reading.
Commercial Break: So, Blink 182 has a new album and their site is re-designed to go along with it. Mark, Tom and Travis are some cute boys so check out the new design.
Jill and Gwen’s room. Jill is sitting on the floor looking up at the painting. Gwen is at her desk working on homework. She turns around and looks at Jill.
Music: Lost in Space by Fountains of Wayne
Gwen: You’ve been down there for approximately an hour. I don’t think it’s helping your work.
Jill: I’m thinking, okay?
Jill closes her eyes.
Gwen cont’d: Do you…want to talk?
Jill shakes her head. There’s a knock.
Jill: Get lost.
Will opens the door and peaks his head inside. He sees Gwen and doesn’t want to disturb her.
Will: Jill…come walk with me?
Jill: No thanks, Will.
Will steps inside.
Will: Please? I think…I mean, whatever he said…I think it was my fault.
Jill looks at him doubtfully.
Will cont’d: Just come walk with me…
Jill reluctantly gets up.
(cut to): Down by the lake. Jill and Will are walking. They reach a picnic table and stop, sitting on top of the table, with their feet on a bench.
Jill: So tell me how that was your fault?
Will: He was building something for you in our room…and the dean came in and told him to move it outside. We were kind of talking and I mentioned that he’s changed and that he’s…different from the John Calhoun clone that I first met when I came to Rawley…
Jill: That doesn’t sound like such an insult
Will: I also kind of said that he’s a spaz.
Jill: So what? He is a spaz. So am I. It’s why we click.
Will: Anyway, Scout apparently decided to drop the search for self and revert back to the old Scout.
Jill: Well, the old Scout is a dick.
Will: The thing is…he wasn’t. He was pretty much like new Scout…maybe a little more serious and a little less nervous.
Jill: Well, you didn’t hear the crap he said to me.
Will: That’s the thing…he’s over-corrected or something. That’s not who he really is.
Jill: That’s good, because otherwise, who he really is…is a jerk.
Will: After he met you, he tried so hard to impress you. It was all, “how are my clothes? Should I high light my hair?”
Jill: No way.
Will: It was bad. But…it hasn’t been like that for awhile.
Jill: All I would ever want him to be is himself…
Will: He knows that. He knew that. I think he was trying really hard not to put up any pretense and to just be himself. And…when I implied that he was a joke…it really got to him. Which is why I came to see you and tell your dumping was un-merited and…thus, all my fault.
Jill: I didn’t dump him. I did tell him to get lost.
Will: Well…I just wanted to make sure you knew the whole story. There’s no reason for me to be the single break-up causing factor in more that one relationship.
Jill: Oh no…
Will: I gotta get back to the dorms.
Will: I don’t want to talk about it…
Jill: Hey…fine with me.
Will nods and starts to go.
Jill: Thanks, Will.
He nods and jogs off. Jill thinks before getting up and walking away.
(cut to): Jake’s room. Hamilton’s sitting in Jake’s desk chair with his guitar. Jake’s sitting on her bed. Hamilton is fooling around with a couple of chords, not quite giving away the song. There’s a knock.
Jake: Come in.
Ryder walks in. He sees Hamilton with the guitar.
Ryder: All right, Ham…you have a home of your own. Why don’t you utilize it?
Will passes by in the hall and looks in the room, curiously.
Hamilton: Why don’t you mind your own business?
Ryder: Well, I was…(sarcastic) until that lovely little melody you were playing drifted into my room.
Will: Why don’t you go back to your room and turn up some of your own music.
Ryder turns to the doorway to see Will.
Ryder: William…joining the party, are you?
Ryder: Well, if you could just unplug the amp, Ham…I’d really appreciate it.
Jake: Why the sudden need for quiet?
Ryder: I’m…I’m trying to study, okay? And I don’t need anything distracting…
Will and Hamilton exchange perplexed glances.
Will: You’re studying?
He glances over at Ham and Jake.
Will: I don’t get it…
Hamilton: Okay…first, he’s telling me and Jake that he’s happy for us…
Will: Now, he’s studying…
Hamilton: Who broke Ryder?
Ryder: Very funny…
Ryder shakes his head and starts to leave.
Ryder: Try and keep it down, all right?
Will: Especially considering he was just going to leave…minus the diploma.
Hamilton: And someone stopped him…bummer.
Hamilton: What? Don’t start doing that thing where you defend that guy, okay? That really bugs me.
Will: Well, I think that’s my cue. See you two later…
Will leaves, shutting the door behind him.
Jake: Look, I’m not taking his side.
Hamilton: I know.
Jake: I do think that if he’s being civil…maybe we should just go with it. Why ask him to be a jerk?
Hamilton: You have a point.
Jake: I know.
Hamilton strums the guitar; the amp is still on. He bends over and turns it off.
Hamilton: Besides…if he could hear me…everyone probably could. I don’t know how I’m going to pull this off…
Jake: I have faith in you.
Hamilton: Maybe I could teach you to play. There’re really only a few chords. I’m thinking of doing it in this acoustic style. I might even dig out my acoustic guitar.
Jake: I think you’ve got it under control.
(cut to): Johanna as she dials the phone in her kitchen.
Music: Gone to The Movies by Semisonic
(cut to): Finn’s apartment. He’s sitting on the couch grading essays. He looks at the phone and lets it ring once more before picking it up.
Finn: This is Finn.
(swipe to): A split screen with Johanna in her Kitchen and Finn in his apartment.
Johanna: That’s an interesting way to answer the phone.
Johanna: That’s more conventional.
The camera pulls out a little as Johanna puts the phone between her ear and shoulder and we see that she is starting to do dishes.
Finn: How’s the pageant planning going?
Johanna: Well, I didn’t even get everyone’s talent…and we’re supposed to start rehearsing talents tomorrow. I just got done calling everyone to tell them to bring their stuff for their talents. I swear, I don’t know how I’m pulling this off…
Finn: You’ve had practice.
Johanna: What did we talk about earlier?
Finn: Okay…my lips are sealed.
Finn cont’d: So, did you want me to collect Meagan after school tomorrow?
Johanna: I don’t know.
Finn: Well, thanks for clearing that up.
Johanna: I’ve explained to her that we’re not together, but…
Finn: …she wants us to be?
Johanna: Actually…I think she thinks I’m lying to her.
Finn laughs. A beat.
Johanna cont’d: Anyway, I just wouldn’t want her to get the wrong idea about us.
Finn: You and me?
Finn: Well…why don’t you let me pick her up tomorrow and…I’ll talk to her too.
Johanna: You don’t have to do that…
Finn: It’ll be good.
Johanna: Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow then.
Finn: Yeah…good night.
Johanna: Good night…
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Edmond High.
Music: Over My Head by Lit
(cut to): the auditorium. Hamilton is sitting in the audience section with his guitar case. Bella comes up and sits next to him.
Bella: Thanks so much for doing this, Hamilton.
Hamilton: No sweat.
Johanna is seated a few rows in from of them.
Johanna: Okay, Becky, you’re up. No need to light those batons, though.
Becky walks out on stage with her batons. Some circus type music starts playing as Becky begins her routine.
(cut to): a closer shot of Ham and Bella.
Hamilton: Such a pretty girl…such a lame talent.
Bella: It’s the kind of talent that wins beauty pageants…just ask her.
Hamilton: Well, I didn’t even know you could sing, but…I think your kind of talent is the kind that wins pageants. You’re really good.
Bella: I think it’s the song. It kind of speaks to me right now. You know, I didn’t even know you played the guitar, but I really like what you came up with for this. I’m glad Jake volunteered you.
Hamilton: Well, I wasn’t too thrilled with her about that. Nothing personal…I just…
Johanna: Okay, Becky…I think that’s enough.
The music keeps playing and Becky keeps twirling.
Johanna cont’d: Becky!
Johanna: That’s sufficient for today. Bella, are you ready?
Bella: I think so.
She looks over at Hamilton. He walks with her up to the stage, carrying his guitar. He looks a little nervous.
(cut to): A closer shot of the stage as Hamilton takes his guitar out and sits on a stool that is placed on the stage.
Johanna: Whenever you’re ready.
Bella nods and looks over to Hamilton. He pulls a pick from his pocket and strums the first chord. All the girls have sort of gathered in the wings and look on. Hamilton looks over at them. Some of them giggle or whisper to each other. Hamilton starts to play the first chord/rhythm. He stops. Bella looks back at him.
Bella: What’s wrong?
He gets up and puts his guitar in the case.
Hamilton cont’d: I can’t do this…I’m sorry, Bella…
He hops off the stage and exits, leaving Bella watching.
(cut to): Will and Jake at Friendly’s. They’re at a booth. Jake’s eating a Sundae.
Jake: So, it turns out that Hamilton has a pretty bad case of stage fright.
Will: You’re kidding.
Jake shakes her head.
She takes another bite of her Sundae.
Jake cont’d: So, how’s Bella dealing with the whole pageant thing?
Will: She’s just dealing, I guess…waiting for it to be over.
Jake: And how are you dealing…with stuff in general?
Will: What do you mean?
Jake: I don’t know…you seem a little tense lately.
Will: Yeah, well…I am a little tense, but…it’s no big deal.
Jake: That’s cool.
Jake cont’d: So, I was watching the Discovery Channel or some National Geographic special…something like that.
Jake: It was about this one kind of chimpanzee. Well, they weren’t really chimps, but something pretty close.
Will: Are you sure you were watching whatever you were watching?
Jake: Yeah, but…that wasn’t even the important part. These monkeys never fought. They solved all their problems a different way.
Jake: Yeah. See, if someone new came into the group, all he had to do was have sex with a few influential leader-monkeys and he was in. Or, if there was a dispute, they’d just have sex and all would be forgotten.
Will: Make love, not war. Hippie chimps…
Jake: Sort of, yeah.
Jake: I think sometimes people think like that too.
Will: What do you mean?
Jake: They think sex is the answer to all their problems.
Will gives her a suspicious look.
Jake cont’d: For example, you know when all that stuff was going on with Finn and Hamilton’s mom.
Jake: Yeah, well, he was really upset over it all and he came to me one day…he wanted us to sleep together…
Will: Whoa…too much information.
Jake: It was like he thought sex would make all his problems disappear or something.
Will: Did it?
Jake: Do I look that easy?
Jake cont’d: Look, you’re missing the point.
Will: People try and use sex to make their problems go away. Nice revelation. Some people use drugs and alcohol too.
Jake: Sometimes it’s not such an individual thing. Sometimes it’s a couple thing…trying desperately to hold the relationship together.
Will: Hamilton told you about me and Bella…
Jake: Actually, no…Hamilton is like the only person I know who can maintain a secret.
Will: Well, since you know…and you obviously think it was a mistake…what’s your advice?
Jake: Look, I’m not saying it was a mistake. Who am I to judge anyone’s sex life? I do think you need to decide if it was a mistake. Did you do it because you love her and nothing else made sense? Or, did you do it because life tossed you a few curve balls and you wanted to hold onto the best thing you had going?
Will: I care about Bella…
Jake: I know.
Hamilton walks in. He has his guitar.
Jake: Hey…how’d it go?
Hamilton walks over and sits down next to her.
Hamilton: Terrible…Bella’s going to kill me. What are you two talking about?
Hamilton: Without me?
Will: Well, now would be a nice time to change the subject. What’s the deal with this stage fright thing?
Hamilton: You told him?
Jake: I was making small talk.
Bella walks in and sees Hamilton. She walks over.
Bella: Hamilton…what happened?
Hamilton: What…what do you mean?
Bella: You walked out when you were supposed to be playing. What happened?
Hamilton: Well, what’s with this whole rehearsal thing anyway? You and I rehearsed it…it’s so perfect…why ruin it with an audience?
Bella: Well, since there’s going to be an audience on Saturday—
Will: Bella, he’s got stage fright. The man can’t perform.
Hamilton looks up guiltily.
Hamilton: Just a little…
Bella: You should have said something.
Hamilton: Hey…I’m not going to bail on you…I just have to work up to it, that’s all.
Bella looks at him, unsure.
(cut to): an establishing shot of the elementary school.
(cut to): Finn and Meagan walking. Finn stops by a bench.
Music: Heart in Hand by Vertical Horizon
Finn: Can we sit for a minute?
Meagan: Are you tired?
Finn: Yeah…I’m old, remember?
Meagan rolls her eyes and sits down. Finn does the same.
Finn: So…when I was in high school, I had a huge crush on your mom.
Meagan looks over at him.
Meagan: Did she like you back?
Finn: Are you kidding? She didn’t even know I existed.
Meagan: Well, why didn’t you introduce yourself to her?
Finn: She was smart…and beautiful. I was intimidated.
Finn smiles. A beat.
Meagan cont’d: Anyway, now’s perfect to make up for all that lost time.
Finn: It’s also a good time for your mom and I to be friends…which is what we are…which is something that I want to make clear to you.
Meagan: I think that’s stupid.
Finn: Why? I mean most kids of divorced parents are out there scheming to get their parents back together and…here you are trying to set your mom up with some guy that you barely know…that she barely knows.
Meagan: Yeah, well…a lot of kids with divorced parents weren’t sitting in the living room, trying to do their science homework when their drunk dad came in and punched out their mom.
Finn is speechless.
Meagan cont’d: I didn’t know what to say either.
Meagan stands up.
Meagan cont’d: Come on, Finn…
Meagan cont’d: Now it’s your turn to share a story…tell me about this pageant mom was in…
Commercial Break: I know you’re thinking…maybe Johanna would have mentioned this before, right? I know you’re also thinking that you’re really not into any story line involving Finn and some other non-original characters, but…give it a chance. It has promise and…Finn’s actually a pretty neat character once you scratch the surface.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Friendly’s. Will, Bella, Jake and Ham are still in the booth.
Hamilton: Okay, well, we’re going to take off, but…Bella, I promise by Saturday I’ll be stage fright free. I’m sorry I messed you up today…
Bella: No big deal.
Jake and Hamilton get up. Scout walks in with his uniform.
Music: Fragments by Vertical Horizon
Jake: Hey, what’s up builder boy?
Scout ignores her and sits down across from Will and Bella.
Will looks over at Jake and Ham and shakes his head like “he’ll get over it.” They look at each other then exit.
Will: I’ve got to finish that essay for Finn’s class so…I’ll catch up with you guys later.
Bella: Will…I thought we were going to talk.
Will, who is now standing, looks over at Scout who doesn’t realize anything is wrong.
Will: Talk to Scout…I..I have to go.
Scout: Bella…how are you?
Bella (exasperatedly): Couldn’t be better.
Scout: Good to hear.
Bella laughs to herself. She smiles.
Bella: How’s Jill?
Scout: Fine, I guess. We aren’t really talking right now.
Bella looks down.
She looks up.
Scout cont’d: Are you okay?
Scout: You seem…I don’t know…you just seem different.
Bella: Yeah, well, so do you…but, I’ve stopped trying to figure you out.
Bella: Well, first because…you haven’t really been by to visit lately. But, also because ever since I met you, you’ve been changing.
Scout: Into a spaz?
Bella: You’ve had your moments.
Bella cont’d: But…mostly you’ve just been changing as in growing…or maybe…growing up.
Scout considers this.
Scout: Go on…
Bella: See, while the Senator Calhoun wannabe of last summer was charming, it was Scout that I liked. Those moments when you weren’t trying to be anyone or impress anyone or control anyone…
Scout: Go on…
Bella: Okay…when you smiled because you couldn’t help it…when you’d forgot to open the door for me…the look on your face when I recited that stupid letter to you…those are the moments I got a glimpse of who you really were…and of who you’d become.
Scout: But…the rest of the time, did you think I was strong?
Bella: I thought…you were lost.
Scout: That’s it.
Scout: How you look different. You look a little lost too.
Bella: Well, why don’t we make a pact to find ourselves before the end of the upcoming weekend?
Scout smiles and shakes his head. He sticks out his hand.
Scout: It’s a deal.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton as they reach Ham’s house.
Jake: Come over in about an hour…and bring your guitar.
Jake: You are such a baby.
Hamilton opens his door. His cat walks out. He bends down to pick him up.
Hamilton: Hey, man…you’re on my side, right?
The cat meows.
Jake takes the cat.
Jake: Be there in an hour or…
Hamilton: …the cat gets it?
Jake: Okay…no…but, just be there.
Ham nods and goes inside.
(cut to): Ryder sitting in the common room. He’s using a laptop to type. Will walks in. He sees Ryder and squints suspiciously.
Music: Safer on the Outside by American Hi-Fi
Ryder: William, have you finished Finn’s essay yet?
Will: Nope. You?
Ryder: Just about. Think you could proof it for me?
Ryder: I’d get Gwen to do it, but…she hates my writing. Well, this in particular. She told me it was utter crap. I wouldn’t be surprised it actually were crap, of course, but…I’d like a second opinion nonetheless.
Will: What’d you write about?
Ryder: Well, the assignment was to write about what we wish we had more of, right?
Ryder cont’d: Well, I wrote about choices. For example, to get what I want…to graduate and get out of here, I’ve really only got one choice…write this essay. All other options don’t lead me to where I want to go.
Will: So…you wrote the essay about how you didn’t want to write the essay?
Ryder: That’s what Gwen said. She said Finn would probably hate it.
Will: Anyone else and she might have a point…
Ryder: William, is he going to give me a decent grade or not?
Will: If you expressed this idea with even a little articulateness, then…yes, I think he’ll like it.
Ryder hands him the laptop and gets up.
Ryder: Read it and find out for me…I need a cigarette.
Will: I thought you quit smoking.
Ryder: Judge the essay, not me.
(dissolve to): Jake in her room as she walks across to open the door. Ham stands there with his guitar in one hand. Jake smiles.
Hamilton (hesitantly): Hi.
Jake opens the door all the way and Ham looks in.
Hamilton: Oh…man…no way…
(cut to): a shot of Jake’s bed from Hamilton’s point of view. There are several stuffed animals placed leaning up against pillows. The cat sits in the middle. Jill is sitting on the floor leaning against the bed.
(cut to): Ham.
Hamilton: This is beyond ridiculous.
Jake: So’s stage fright.
Hamilton: That’s not fair.
Jake shrugs. Hamilton takes a deep breath and shuts the door behind him.
Jill: So, is there going to be a concert or not?
Hamilton glances over at a chair that’s been set up for him. Jake takes a seat on the floor next to Jill. Hamilton walks over and sits in the chair. He sets the guitar on one knee and pulls out a pick from his pocket. He starts to play. This might give the song away if you’re familiar with the acoustic version, but…we’ll leave that for later. Ham continues to play as he talks. There’s not much too it, but it sounds good.
Hamilton: I’ve gotta say that the stuffed animals are less than intimidating.
Jake: What about the cat?
Jill: The amazing audience cat.
She reaches back and pets him.
Jake: Hey, Audience Cat…you could call him A.C.
Ham stops playing.
Hamilton: My cat will not be named after a character from Saved by the Bell.
Jill: What about…Audience Cat Extraordinaire…ACE.
Hamilton: No, I’m sorry…that’s lame.
Jill: Well, so are you…it’s a perfect fit.
Hamilton smiles and starts to play again. He stops.
Hamilton: How about…Audi?
Jill: Like the car?
Hamilton: Like short for audience.
Jake: You can do better.
Hamilton: Oh, so now Ms. Just-call-him-tiger is getting picky about the name.
Jake: Anyway, are you cured or what?
Hamilton looks down then back up.
Hamilton: While I appreciate the effort…
Jill stands up.
Jill: Well, since you seem hopeless…and I don’t blame you at all…being on stage…ick…
Jill: Anyway…I’m going to go. I’ll leave my friends for now.
She indicated the stuffed animal audience.
She exits. Jake moves from the floor up to the bed and looks at Hamilton. Neither of them speaks for a moment. Hamilton sets the guitar down and sits next to Jake. He looks down.
Jake: So, what’s it feel like?
Hamilton looks over at her.
Jake: The whole stage fright thing.
Hamilton pauses for a moment. He tries to think of how to explain it.
Music: But I Do Love You by Leann Rimes
Hamilton: Take off your shirt.
Jake: Excuse me?
Hamilton: Do you want to know how it feels or not?
Jake: Sure…no big deal.
She unbuttons her shirt and takes it off. She’s still got a tank top underneath.
Hamilton: Keep going…
Jake shakes her head and rolls her eyes, pulling the tank top off. She’s, of course, still got the corset on. He looks down at it and nods indicating for her to go on.
Jake: You know I’m only shedding so many layers.
She gets up to unfasten it. Hamilton stands up too. She finished taking it off and hands it to him. He tosses it on the bed. The cat looks at it and then up at them, watching all the time.
Hamilton: Now…kiss me.
Jake smiles. She starts to lean toward him. He lets her get really close before he stops her:
Hamilton cont’d: No, no, no…not in here.
She pulls back and looks at him questioningly.
Hamilton cont’d: Out there…
He gestures over to the door which is closed. She looks at him for a moment then over to the door. She barely nods, understanding, as she looks over at the door.
Hamilton cont’d: That is how it feels.
He reaches down and gets her tank top off the bed and hands it to her. She puts it on as he sits down on the bed. He looks up at her. The cat climbs into his lap.
Hamilton cont’d: Not just that judgments are being made, but that I am knowingly putting myself out there for judgment. Things are how they are; life is how it is. But, if we walked out in the hall like this and…you kissed me…I mean…why make them judge…why ask for their approval or rejection? Why not just do our own thing and not worry about them?
Jake sits down next to him.
Jake: I get what you’re saying, I do.
Hamilton: Did I illustrate how it feels pretty well?
Jake: Oh, yeah…and you didn’t rip off Coyote Ugly nearly as much as I set you up for, but…I’ve got about, oh, five words for you to consider.
Jake: Throw caution to the wind.
He looks down, takes a deep breath and nods slowly. He sets the cat down on the floor and leans a little closer to her.
Hamilton: Yeah, you’re right…that worked out pretty well the first time.
She smiles as they kiss.
Commercial Break: Are you going, “oh my God…Leann Rimes?” Then, you obviously haven’t seen Coyote Ugly and…you definitely need to. Go to Blockbuster and rent it because it’s a must see in the romantic comedy genre.
(fade in): to as establishing shot of New Rawley. It’s Thursday afternoon: time for the baseball game.
(cut to): Bella, Will, Scout, Jake, Hamilton and Jill walking together on a street in New Rawley. Jake is in boy gear. Will and Bella hold hands, but make no effort to communicate beyond that. Scout and Jill are on opposite sides of the group.
Hamilton: We should all get together like this more often.
Everyone agrees then there is a pause.
Jill: So…Bella…are you ready for this pageant thing?
Bella: I think so. As ready as I’m going to be, I guess.
Jill: What about you, Ham?
Hamilton glances at Jake, then speaks:
They get to the baseball field. Sean’s team is on the field warming up. Sean, who’s on the pitcher’s mound, sees them walk up and waves.
(cut to): The bleachers where Johanna and Meagan are sitting. Finn walks up with some sodas and hot dogs.
Meagan: Finally…I’m starving.
Finn: Kids is third world nations are starving…you are not starving.
Finn hands her a hot dog and a Coke.
Finn gives Johanna a hot dog and Coke too as he speaks to her:
Finn: So, is this McGrail kid any good?
Meagan: Good? Sean is the best. Last game, he pitched a shut out and only had three hits against him. Not to mention his killer fastball. His curve ball was a little shaky for a while, but he’s got it under control now. He’s also a decent hitter…his batting average is three twenty-five.
Finn: What is she? A scout?
Johanna: She just loves the game.
Sean walks by and waves at Johanna and Meagan.
Meagan: Plus, he’s way hot.
Finn and Johanna look at each other, amused.
Music: Every Other Time by LFO
(cut to): The gang on the bleachers. The girls are sitting together as are the boys. Jake is with the girls despite her boy gear. The camera zooms in slightly so that we are with the girls. Bella looks at Jill who is pretending to watch the guys on the field warming up.
Bella: So, is everything okay between you and Scout?
Jill glances over at Scout then back at Bella.
Jill: We kind of had a fight.
Bella: Yeah, I saw Scout yesterday at Friendly’s and he seemed a little…I think the word I used was “lost.”
Jill: If you used it in conjunction with “his mind,” then it was probably appropriate.
Jake and Bella laugh.
Jake: Anyway, Bella, did you tell him to snap out?
Bella: I told him to have a little more confidence in finding himself because the track he’s been on is a pretty good one.
Jill: I like that advice.
Jill glances over at Scout again. The camera pans over following her glance and now zooms in on the boys who are mid-conversation.
Hamilton: So, think Sean can pull this off?
Will: I don’t know. This team was number one in our division last year. In fact, they’ve been pretty much unbeatable for the last three years.
Hamilton: Well, Sean’s pretty much perfected his curve ball and his fastball is un-hittable.
Will: Scout, what do you think?
Scout isn’t paying attention and he doesn’t respond.
Will: Breaker nine, come in Scout…this is Will…Roger.
Scout: Huh? What?
Will: We’re trying to talk sports and you’re obsessing over your girlfriend who is probably sitting over there hoping that you’ll go talk to her.
Scout: So, is this team any good?
Hamilton and Will look at each other and roll their eyes.
Music: Superman by Goldfinger
The game starts. We get a montage of the game. We see several scenes: Sean pitching a strike out, the crowd cheering, one of Sean’s teammates sliding home as Sean makes it to second base, Sean pitching then catching the ball as it is popped back to him, the team lifting Sean up onto their shoulders after the game. The montage ends.
(cut to): Sean as he runs up to the gang after the game.
Sean: Thanks for coming guys.
Jill: That was amazing.
Everyone agrees. Finn, Johanna and Meagan walk up.
Meagan: Wow, Sean, you were awesome.
Johanna: So, Sean…we’re still on for Saturday, right?
Bella (to the group): He’s emceeing the pageant.
Sean (to Johanna): Absolutely.
Bella: The new starring pitcher will probably draw a bigger crowd than…Rebecca Johnson.
Sean blushes at that and all the attention.
Sean: Okay…I’ve got to go, but…I’m glad you all came. See ya.
He runs off.
(dissolve to): Bella as she gets home. She enters through the kitchen. Grace and Charlie are there eating dinner.
Bella: Sorry I’m late. I was at the baseball game.
Grace: You went to a baseball game?
Bella: Sean invited me.
Grace: He didn’t invite me.
Bella sits down at the table where there is a plate waiting.
Bella: You can come see him on Saturday.
Bella: At the pageant. You’re both invited.
Charlie: Well, I never thought I’d live to see the day Bella Banks was in a beauty pageant.
Grace: Tell me about it.
Bella: Well, it was a surprise to me too, believe me.
Charlie: You’ll do great, baby.
Bella: Doubtful, but…you’re still invited to watch as I struggle through while trying not to blow it by falling flat on my face.
Grace: I’ll be there.
Bella: Um…actually…do you think you could help me backstage. Like with make-up and stuff?
Charlie smiles at the potential bonding.
Bella: I’d really appreciate.
Grace: Well, I guess I don’t have anything better to do. So…I’ll be there.
(cut to): Hamilton as he walks in to his kitchen. His mom is making dinner.
Kate: How was the baseball game, Munchie?
Hamilton shakes his head disapproving of the nickname, but he doesn’t correct her.
Hamilton: Edmund High won.
Kate: Oh, good.
Hamilton: What’s for dinner?
Hamilton: Did Dad help?
Kate: No. Why?
Hamilton: Oh…no reason.
His dad walks in the back door.
Hamilton cont’d: Mom is making spaghetti for dinner…all by herself.
His dad gives Hamilton a worried, but playful look.
Hamilton: Now that you’re both here, I want to invite you to this thing tomorrow.
Steven: This thing…he’s so specific.
Hamilton: Well, it’s actually this pageant that Bella is in. I’m playing guitar for her. Her talent is singing.
Kate: You’re playing…in front of an audience? I thought you didn’t do that.
Hamilton: I don’t, but…I am.
Steven: Well, I certainly don’t think we’d want to miss that.
(cut to): Will, Scout as they get to their dorm room. Scout looks over at the trashcan.
Scout: I guess they picked up the trash?
Scout: Sorry if I was a jerk the other day.
Will: I’m used to it by now.
Will cont’d: Oh, about the trash…I saved your stuff. Will pulls a box from under his bed and hands it to Scout who sets it on his bed.
Scout: Thanks, Will.
Will: No problem. You should talk to Jill.
Scout: I will.
Will: She’s crazy about you…don’t screw it up.
Scout: I know.
Scout cont’d: So…everything okay with you and Bella.
Scout: I don’t know. The other day…and today…she seemed…
Will is getting stuff together for a shower.
Scout: Did you guys have some huge fight?
Will: No…kind of the opposite.
Will looks like he regrets the comment. Scout takes a second to process this. He doesn’t say anything. He looks over at the box and pulls out a few things, including the hammer.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Edmund High.
(cut to): the auditorium, backstage. Bella is sitting in front of a mirror. Several little areas like this have been set up for each girl. Grace walks in carrying Bella’s dress bag and a make-up case.
Bella: You’re late. I thought you weren’t going to show.
Grace: God, have some confidence in your little sister, would ya?
Bella: …thanks for coming to help me, Grace. It’s a big deal to have you here.
Grace: No sweat. Ready for your make-over? Oh, and…I called in for back up in the hair department. She should be here any second.
(cut to): Scout near the lake.
Music: I’m a Fool by American Hi-Fi
This is the same place where Scout and Jill kissed for the first time. Scout has a tarp laid out on the ground and a little work area set up. He is using a screw driver to tighten screws that hold a handle on a box. He finishes just as Jill walks up.
Jill: Hey stranger.
Scout: You came…I thought you might not.
Jill: So did I.
Scout: I’m sorry I was a jerk.
Jill: You should be.
Scout: Well, I am—
Jill: Scout, we need to talk. Actually, I need to talk and you need to listen.
He looks down.
Jill: Not like that.
He looks back up.
Jill cont’d: I just need you to understand something that maybe I haven’t made clear to you.
Jill: You are so amazing. I love everything about you. Well except…no, no I even love the self-doubt that has been overwhelming you lately.
Scout: You noticed that, huh?
Jill: Yes and I think it means that you’re thinking about yourself and who you really are. It’s like you just realized you’re on this huge journey to self-discovery.
Scout: I did. I mean…I guess I never thought about it before.
Jill: Well, see what you get when you start thinking?
Scout smiles. He raises his eyebrows.
Scout: So I wanted to build you something. I started a few things and this
He picks up the box and hold it out to her.
Scout cont’d: …is what I actually finished.
Jill looks it then at Scout as he struggles to unhook a latch that is holding it closed. She reaches out and gets it for him. He opens the box, using the handle he was just tightening.
Scout: I got this off my dresser.
Jill: You’re not much of a long-term thinker, are you?
Scout: Oh…but I am.
She smiles and looks inside the box. It’s designed like a standard paint box with places for brushes, etc. On the underside of the lid there is a picture taped up. Jill touches the picture.
(cut to): a closer shot of the picture. It’s of Jill and Scout at Jake’s New Years’ party.
(cut to): a wider shot that includes Jill and Scout. She looks at Scout.
Scout: So, I didn’t paint it or anything because I figured that was your department.
Jill: You didn’t have to do this…spend so much time on something for me.
Jill: But…I’m glad you did.
Scout: Me too. I think it turned out really well.
Jill looks at it and the picture one more time before Scout closes it and hands it to her.
Jill: Yeah…it did turn out well.
(cut to): Ryder as he knocks on Gwen’s door. Gwen opens the door.
Ryder: Entertain me?
Gwen: Sorry, I didn’t pack my tap shoes when I came here.
Ryder: Come to town with me then?
Gwen: Town? Why?
Ryder: I’m shocked at the absence of a flat-out refusal in your initial response.
Gwen: I just finished the last of my final projects slash essays.
Ryder: And now…I officially hate you.
Gwen: Anyway, why the desire to venture into town? Interested in checking out the Townie Beauty Contest?
Ryder: Think that’s the official name?
Ryder cont’d: How’d you hear about it?
Gwen: Jill went to see Ham play his guitar with some girl she knows.
Ryder: Will’s girl, to be exact.
Gwen: The infamous Bella…
Ryder: Queen Townie.
Gwen: Okay…let’s do it.
(cut to): Hamilton and Jake walking through town.
Jake: So, you’re completely confident, right? You can do this?
Hamilton: I think I can.
Jake: …said the Little Engine That Could…
Hamilton: I’ve just been reduced to the Little Engine That Could. I’m devastated.
Jake: Well, I think you’re going to pull it off…and hopefully help Bella beat—
Hamilton: Becky Johnson? That girl is a one woman freakshow. She twirls fire batons. That’s not natural.
The begin to walk again.
(cut to): Bella in the dressing room. She has on her dress and is sitting in front of the mirror. Grace is kneeling in front of her, putting lip gloss on her. Mrs. Krudski, the hair back-up, is standing behind her adding the finishing touches to her hair which is pulled up and curled. She looks nice, but very un-Bella-ish. Not like when she went to the Cotillion. Instead, she looks very made-up. Johanna rushes through.
Johanna: Everyone almost ready? We’ve got about 15 minutes?
Bella: Thanks for coming Mrs. Krudski.
Susan: Of course, sweetie.
Sean walks up. He’s wearing a tux.
Sean: Where’s Will?
Susan: I haven’t seen him yet.
Grace: He should be back here for moral support. What kind of boyfriend is he anyway?
No one says anything.
Commercial Break: Just a friendly reminder…this is the first of a two-part episode and this is the last commercial break. The episode will be ending in…five…four…three…two…
(fade in) to black.
(dissolve to): Will. He’s sitting under the tree at The Spot (see Young American Beauty). He dressed a little better than typical Will. Maybe a non-Friendly’s polo shirt and khakis.
Will (voice over): Confidence.
(cut to): A shot of Gwen and Ryder getting into Ryder’s car.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Confidence in our friends…
(cut to): Johanna as she peaks from backstage and waves to Finn who is sitting next to Meagan in the audience.
(cut to): Scout and Jill as they enter the auditorium and take two seats near the front.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Confidence in our relationships…
(cut to): Hamilton and Jake as they reach a door that leads to backstage. Jake looks around before giving him a brief kiss. He grips the handle of his guitar case tightly before going through the door
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Confidence in ourselves and…
(cut to) Will as the camera spins while staying on Will.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: …in our decisions.
He closes his eyes for a moment then opens them. He looks at his watch then stands up. He walks away from the spot, looking resolute in his decision.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: It’s all something I want more of…something I desperately need more of…and something I’m afraid I’ll have trouble finding when I need it most.
The camera stays on the tree, on the spot for a moment.