(fade in): to an establishing shot of New Rawley, dusk.
Music: Nothing’s Changed by The Calling
(cut to): Will riding his bike past the gas station and Friendly’s. He gets to the town square (or circle, as it is). He stops momentarily, looking around.
Will (voice over): Choices give life variety.
He chooses a way to go and pedals off.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Decisions give life motion.
(cut to): Scout and Jill holding hands as they enter the Edmund High auditorium, Sean is on stage welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: The right decision can give life meaning.
(cut to): Bella as she stands off stage with the other girls.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: And the wrong decision? Well, the problem with the wrong decision is that you always think it’s the right one… until the point when you realize that you’ve made a huge mistake.
(cut to): Will as he rides up, hops off his bike and tosses it down next to the bike racks. He hurries up the steps…
Will (v.o.) cont’d: …until it’s too late…
Will enters the building. The door falls shut behind him.
(fade in): to backstage. Bella is still standing with the other girls. Sean is onstage talking.
Music: Spotlight by Dexter Freebish
Sean: And now, your Miss Edmund High pageant contestants…
He motions off stage and the girls begin to walk out. Sean reads a little bio on each one as she walks across the stage. Bella is last in line.
(cut to): Jill and Scout. Will steps over a few people and takes an empty seat next to Jill.
Jill: You just got here?
Will looks at her like “obviously…” She turns away from him and toward the stage.
(pan to): a few rows back and over. Gwen and Ryder sit together. Sean is onstage explaining how the current contestant enjoys reading and helping the poor…
Ryder: Christ…was it my idea to come here?
Gwen: So, which of these girls is Will’s girlfriend?
(cut to): the stage. There are five contestants on stage. Bella is the sixth. She walks out.
(cut to): Gwen and Ryder.
Ryder: …as if on cue.
Gwen: That’s her?
Ryder: Yeah…prettier than you’d think, huh? Krudski sure lucked out on that one.
(cut to): the stage. Bella walks further out. She smiles like she should.
Sean: Bella Banks is a sophomore. She helps run her family business along with maintaining a 3 point 8 grade point average. She enjoys baseball and rarely misses a Wildcat game.
Bella looks up at Sean who smiles.
Sean cont’d: Her personal philosophy is “never give up.”
(cut to): Steven, Hamilton, Jake and Kate (in that order).
Steven (to Hamilton): That is the girl that is your “friend?”
Hamilton doesn’t look over, but Jake listens in.
Steven: Is she your…girlfriend?
Hamilton turns to his dad.
Hamilton: What? No.
Steve turns back to the stage. The curtains have closed as the contestants do a wardrobe change.
He looks over at Jake for a moment then looks down. Kate leans over to Jake.
Kate: This must feel a little awkward to you.
Jake: A little.
Kate: I’m sorry we haven’t spoken much lately.
Jake: It’s ok. I’m glad things have gone well for you and Hamilton’s dad.
Kate: I wish things were easy for you and Hamilton.
Hamilton looks over when she says his name. They look over at him.
Jake: Hey, don’t you have to be backstage?
Hamilton reaches over and lifts up Jake’s wrist so he can read her watch. He looks at Jake who gives him an assuring look. He leans over Jake to kiss his mom. Then whispers to Jake:
Hamilton: Meet me after?
She nods. He gets up to go.
(pan to): A few rows behind them. Finn sits with Meagan. Meagan looks at Finn as he looks at Steve and Kate. Kate glances back and Finn quickly looks away.
Music: How Do You Tell Someone by Cowboy Mouth
Meagan: Who’s that?
Meagan: Those people…who are they?
She points to Steve, Kate, Jake and Hamilton who is leaving.
Finn: The kids are a couple of my students. That man is my boss.
Meagan: The principal?
Finn: We say “dean,” but…yeah…
Meagan: And that’s his wife?
Finn: She’s an art teacher.
Finn: Nice lady.
Meagan looks at her then back at Finn.
Meagan: You know, I get what you were trying to say about you and my mom.
(cut to): Bella backstage. She’s changed into a different outfit. Sean is now onstage explaining that each contestant will come on stage an explain how she would be the best Miss Edmund High. Will walks up to Bella.
Bella: Will? What are you doing back here?
Will: We have to talk…we have to.
Bella: No kidding, but…now’s not exactly the best time.
Will: It…it won’t take that long.
Bella looks at him for a moment.
(cut to): Gwen in the girls’ bathroom. She finishes washing her hands and starts to leave. Before she gets all the way out, she hears Bella and Will out in the hall. She stops inside the bathroom and listens.
(cut to): The hall where Bella and Will are talking.
Bella: What was so important that it couldn’t wait?
Will looks down, guilty.
Will: It was a mistake
Bella: What was?
Will: Us…and everything else.
Bella doesn’t know what to say.
(cut to): Gwen in the bathroom who listens intently.
(cut to): Will and Bella in the hall.
Sean (off screen): And now, Bella Banks…
Will looks up. Bella closes her eyes for a moment.
Bella: I guess I’m on…
Hamilton walks up carrying his guitar case.
Hamilton: Hey guys. Bella, didn’t Sean just call your name?
Sean (off screen and louder): Contestant number four…Bella Banks…
Bella looks at Will then runs toward the stage. As Will and Hamilton talk we hear Bella give a speech about using her position to assist student government initiate all of it’s president’s great ideas.
Hamilton: You look sick. Are you okay?
Hamilton: You weren’t just now talking to her about what happened?
Will doesn’t say anything.
Hamilton cont’d: Are you kidding? Nice timing, Will.
Will: It’s not like Bella cares about this thing…
Hamilton: Maybe she cares more than she lets on.
Will: Mind your own business.
He walks away.
Hamilton: Yeah…you’re not the one that has to play with her in a few minutes.
Will has gone.
Hamilton cont’d: …in front of…all those people…
Hamilton looks threw the stage door. He can see Bella on stage and the audience.
(cut to): Gwen in the bathroom. She walks out quietly. Hamilton stands staring at the people, mumbling to himself.
Music: Better off Dead by New Found Glory
Like the Little Engine That Could…I Think I Can…I Think I Can. Lame.
Throw Caution to the Wind. I can
do that; I’ve done that. I kissed
Jake…that was bold…that was brave. This
is a million times easier.
He looks around the audience one more time.
Hamilton: Oh, man…I can’t do this…
He turns around. He sees Gwen.
Hamilton: How long have you been standing there?
Gwen: Too long, I think.
Hamilton: Just forget whatever you heard.
Gwen: You playing guitar or something?
Hamilton: Yeah…I mean, I’m supposed to, but…
Gwen: Stage fright?
(cut to): the stage, Bella has finished her speech and walked off to the other side.
(cut to): Gwen and Hamilton.
Hamilton: What are you even doing here?
Gwen: I’m here with Ryder.
Hamilton: That figures.
He turns back to the stage.
Gwen: I won’t mention what I just heard you say about Jake if you stop hating me because I don’t hate Ryder.
Hamilton turns around.
Hamilton: I don’t hate you.
Gwen: Just Ryder?
Hamilton doesn’t answer.
Gwen cont’d: So, stage fright, huh?
Gwen cont’d: I don’t think reciting The Little Engine That Could is going to help.
Hamilton: Oh, and what do you suggest?
Gwen: I don’t know…how about FDR? “The only thing we have to fee-air is fee-air itself…”
Hamilton smiles, but shakes his head.
Gwen cont’d: Picturing the audience naked?
Hamilton: Oh my God, my parents are out there.
Gwen: Well, you better get out of here now if you’re going.
Hamilton: Do you have any real advice?
Gwen: Well…when I have to be in front of an audience I just decide that I’m in control…not them. I mean, I’m the important one…I’m the one on stage. No matter what they think about what I say while I’m up there…I’m still the one in charge. I’ve got their time and their attention until I decide to leave the stage. It’s a power struggle.
Gwen: Anyway, I better get back before Ryder takes off without me. He’ll be out there in the audience…under your control…good luck…
She walks off.
(cut to): Will. He leans against the wall next to the door leading into the seats. Jake walks out the door.
Jake: Hey, you’re missing the whole thing. I think the talent portion is up next.
Will: Big deal…and aren’t you missing it too?
Jake: Well, I’m just going to make sure Hamilton is okay and besides…I was sitting with his parents. You have never felt awkward until your boyfriend’s dad gives you the third degree about whether his son has a thing going with the cute girl in the pageant.
With effort, Will manages to smile.
Jake: Hey…things’ll work out how they’re supposed to, okay?
Will: The Zen of the cross-dresser…
She pats him on the shoulder and walks off.
Commercial Break: So being back at school made Estee think of all the hard work she put into her computer science 102 project. I guess it should be updated to reflect Ben’s recent venture into rehab. Come on, you know you want to say it…”aw…poor Ben…”
(fade in): to Bella as she stands outside of a stage door. Gwen walks by. She thinks twice before stopping.
Music: Could it be Any Harder by the Calling
Gwen: Are you…okay?
Bella: Oh, fine thanks.
Gwen: You look a little upset.
Bella: Do I know you?
Gwen: I don’t think so. I’m Gwen Vaughn.
Bella shakes her hand.
Bella: Bella Banks.
Gwen: You’re Will’s girlfriend, right? I’m—
Bella: Gwen…Jill’s roommate…Ryder’s sister.
Gwen: Step-sister actually. So, are you nervous about your talent? What is it?
Bella: Singing. I’m not that nervous. Crowds don’t scare me…it’s more like individuals.
Bella cont’d: So, I heard all you do is study…what are you doing here?
Gwen: Most rumors tend to be exaggerations. Studying isn’t all I do.
Bella: Well, thanks for coming. Talking to you has kept my mind of off stuff…stuff I’d rather not think of right now. Now, I have to go sing…and make sure my guitarist hasn’t chickened out.
Gwen: Hamilton? He can handle it.
Bella: I hope so…
(cut to): Hamilton as he gets a drink of water. Jake walks up. He stands all the way up.
Hamilton: Hey. What are you doing back here?
Jake: Just coming to check on you.
Hamilton: I’m not going to take off, if that’s what you’re thinking.
Jake: Good. I also kind of needed a break from your dad.
Hamilton: Oh no…
Jake: He’s grilling me about your love life…what’s up with that?
Hamilton: I don’t know…I’m sorry…
Jake: Not your fault.
Hamilton: Someday it’ll be completely different.
Jake: Yeah…he’ll hate me for screwing up his son.
Hamilton: We could always tell him we’re gay.
Jake: Sounds like the plot to a bad TV movie.
Hamilton: ….starring…Tiffany Amber Thiesen.
Jake: I think that’s the most redundant thing I’ve ever heard: “Bad TV movie starring Tiffany Amber Thiesen.”
Hamilton: No kidding.
Jake: So, why are you so calm anyway?
Hamilton: I talked to Gwen…she had some good advice.
Jake: Gwen? Ryder’s Gwen? You?
Hamilton: She’s not Ryder’s…and she’s actually pretty cool.
Hamilton: Anyway, I have to go find Bella. Thanks for coming back here.
He looks around before kissing her. She watches him walk through the stage door. She looks a little jealous that she wasn’t the one who made him less afraid.
(cut to): Gwen as she sits back down with Ryder.
Ryder: Took you long enough. I thought some townies had jumped you in the bathroom and stolen your shoes.
Gwen: Could you be more of a snob?
Ryder: Don’t tell me you actually like them.
Gwen: I met Bella…she was nice.
Ryder: Of course she was nice…she works in the customer service industry. People like her pump gas for people like us. Don’t try to take them in as pets.
Gwen: Don’t be such an elitist…you’re not that great.
Ryder smirks and turns back to the stage.
(cut to): to Johanna talking on a headset.
Johanna: Okay, I think they’re all ready. Curtain up.
Finn walks up behind her.
Finn: Going okay?
Johanna is slightly startled, but turns around. She flips the headset away from her mouth.
Johanna: I think so. Where’s Meagan?
Finn: In her seat. She said she understands about us.
Johanna: Now’s not really a good time to discuss this, Finn. Not that there’s anything to discuss…I just…
Finn: You’re busy. I know. I just wanted to make sure everything was running smoothly.
Johanna: I think so. If we get through the talent portion without Becky burning the place down…all should be well.
(cut to): the makeshift dressing room. Becky is looking in the mirror, holding her batons. Bella is sitting in her seat. Grace sits on the floor and leans against her chair as Will’s mom takes her hair down. Hamilton walks in. Some of the girls complain that there’s a guy back there. Becky, looking annoyed, walks over.
Becky: You can’t have visitors like this, Bella.
Hamilton: Hi…I’m Hamilton. I saw you twirling at rehearsals…fantastic work.
Becky smiles then turns to Bella.
Becky: He can stay.
She walks off.
Hamilton (mumbled): Thus spake Becky the baton girl…
Bella: So…you came. Plan on staying?
Hamilton: Of course.
Susan: Okay, sweetie, that about does it. (to Grace): why don’t we find some seats and watch?
Grace gets up and they exit. Hamilton pulls up a chair next to Bella.
Hamilton: Look, Will’s an idiot.
Bella looks over at him.
Hamilton cont’d: I just wanted to make my position on that clear. He thinks this is like no big deal to you—
Bella: It’s not…
Hamilton: And he’s blind enough to believe you when you say stuff like that.
She looks down.
Hamilton: You’ve done really well so far, okay? Don’t let Will get you down. I mean, I know the pageant and Will are completely different and unrelated…but if you’re thinking about that when you should be concentrating on this…
Hamilton: Don’t thank me yet…the exit sign still looks really inviting.
Bella rolls her eyes, but seems to be in a better mood. Johanna walks in with the headset on and a clipboard in her hand.
Johanna: Becky, you’re on. Good luck.
Becky grabs her batons and heads for the stage. Hamilton and Bella exchange amused looks.
(dissolve to): Will sitting on the steps outside. Jill walks out the door.
Music: What A Mess by SR-71
Jill: Hey, Krudski…get your ass inside. Some chick is tossing around fire sticks. It can’t be too long before Bella is on.
Will: Can no one just mind their own business?
Jill walks over and sits down next to him.
Jill: If by mind my own business you mean let you to go into self-destruct mode then no, I can’t. I mean…drop the drama, Will. Nothing could be that momentous.
Will: How would you know?
Jill: What’s your deal? The other day you’re telling me you’ve wrecked your relationship with Bella—
Will: I have.
Jill: …but you won’t talk about it?
Will: No. I mean, not with you…
Will looks at her. He appreciates her efforts.
Will: It’s not that I don’t appreciate the offer. It’s just…I have to talk to Bella. Only Bella. She’s the only person I have anything to say to right now.
Jill: If you cared anything about her—
Will: I care everything about her.
Jill: Then stop being so stubborn and selfish and come inside to watch her sing.
Will looks at her, considering her proposal.
(cut to): backstage. Johanna walks through again.
Johanna: Bella, you’re on.
Bella stands up.
Johanna: Hamilton, you okay this time?
Hamilton looks at her blankly for a second.
Bella: He’s fine. You’re fine, right?
Hamilton: Yes, I’m fine.
He takes his guitar out of the case.
(cut to): the stage. Sean stands over to the side, as in the tradition with emcees.
Sean: And now, Bella Banks will sing. She’s accompanied by Hamilton Fleming on guitar.
(cut to): Jake and Ham’s parents, looking on anxiously.
(cut to): the stage. No one comes on.
(cut to): Jake looking nervous.
(cut to): the stage as Bella walks out. Hamilton walks out behind her carrying the guitar. He plugs it in using the chord provided and sits down on the stool that has been placed for him. He reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a pick. Bella looks at him. He nods indicating he’s ready. She now looks hesitant. She looks around the audience. We get a quick pan from her point of view. We hear a bang.
(cut to): a door at the top of the stairs as Will and Jill enter through it. Will looks at the stage and Bella.
(cut to): Bella. It’s as if she were waiting for him.
Hamilton (whispered): Ready?
She nods. He starts to play. Where he stopped before, he keeps going now. He takes a deep breath as he continues to play. He looks up to where Jake is sitting and smiles.
(cut to): Jake and his parents. They look on proudly. Jake looks especially happy for him.
(cut to): Bella. She begins singing. The song? Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. Like she said, it fits her mood right now. She looks at Will, who is now sitting with Jill and Scout, often as she sings. At some point, Will’s mom looks back at him too.
(cut to): Will. Scout looks over at him then up at the stage.
(cut to): Bella. We go through the whole song. Hamilton is surviving nicely as he plays his four chords. The song makes Bella really emotional. By the end, she is practically in tears. Hamilton strums the last few notes. The audience applauds loudly and excitedly. Bella rushes off stage. Hamilton stands there for a moment then exits.
Commercial Break: Rinkworks…the site that brought you this site in “Swedish Chef” dialect. The site specializes in “online entertainment” and there truly are a ton of entertaining things to do there.
(fade in): to Bella as she exits out the stage door. She is out of breath and almost in tears.
Johanna meets her.
Johanna: Bella, that was fantastic. I can’t believe you said you have no talent…
Johanna finally notices Bella’s distress.
Johanna: What’s wrong?
Bella shakes her head as if to say “nothing.” Hamilton walks out the door.
Hamilton: Bella…there you are. The audience loved that. You were even better than when we rehearsed.
He looks at Bella then Johanna who gives him a “take care of her” look. Hamilton nods.
Johanna: I have to go help Becky put out her batons. Get ready for the question round.
Bella nods. Johanna exits through the stage door.
Bella: No more reassuring speeches, okay? I’m not in the mood.
He places a hand on her shoulder.
Hamilton: You rocked. Thanks for letting me share the stage.
She smiles, thankful that he hasn’t brought up Will.
Bella: Thank you for not running away.
Jake walks up.
Jake: You guys…that was brilliant. And you…
She gives Ham a hug.
Jake cont’d: I’m so proud of you.
She lets go of him, smiling then looks over at Bella.
Jake: What’s wrong? I thought the whole “my world is falling apart” look was part of the act or something…
Bella: Yeah…it…it was. I’ve got to go get ready for the next round…the last round.
Before they can say anything, she exits.
Music: Final Answer by The Calling
Hamilton: She didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Hamilton: Will…her and Will.
Jake: I wonder if they ever talked…she wanted to talk to him.
Hamilton: Oh, he talked to her…like right in the middle of the pageant.
Jake: Nice timing.
Hamilton: That’s what I said.
Jake: Scary what sex can do to a perfectly good relationship.
Hamilton: You knew about that too?
Jake: Bella told me.
Hamilton: Hey…promise we won’t end up like that?
Jake: What? Having s—
Hamilton: Please don’t be sarcastic. I mean, I know you’ve been in that kind of mood lately, but…I need you to be serious for a second.
Jake thinks for a moment. Hamilton looks down.
Jake cont’d: We’re not like Will and Bella…we never will be. They’ve known each other forever. One day, they decided they’d be together. Do you ever remember actually making a decision like that? Like, when did you know you were going to kiss me that first time?
Hamilton: I-I don’t know. When I did it, I think.
Jake: That’s the difference. The difference between deciding to be together and ending up together. Look what happened to us when we started trying to plan things…when we thought we had some kind of choice to make.
Hamilton: And look at what happened to them when they forgot to make a choice.
Jake nods in agreement.
Hamilton cont’d: You’re so smart.
Jake: Well, I am with you…
Hamilton: Uh-uh…that’s not a choice, remember?
Jake: Oh right…I’m stuck with you whether I like it or not.
Hamilton grins. He leans toward her to kiss her.
(cut to): Gwen and Ryder as they walk down the hall.
Gwen: You’re like a five year old…do you really need someone to take you to the bathroom? And, why couldn’t you just use the bathroom in the main lobby?
Ryder: That bathroom was disgusting…if this one isn’t better, we’re leaving.
They turn around the corner, Ryder is first.
(cut to): Jake and Ham kissing by the stage door.
(cut to): Ryder as he turns and doesn’t let Gwen come around the corner. They’re back in the other hallway.
Ryder: I don’t have to go anymore.
She shakes her head and looks around the hall.
(cut to): Jake and Ham. Hamilton is leaning against the wall. He holds onto the bottom of Jake’s shirt as she kisses him.
(cut to): Gwen as she turns back to Ryder. Gwen gives him a questioning look.
Ryder: You shouldn’t have to see that.
Gwen: I think it’s sweet.
Ryder looks disgusted. He then looks past Gwen down the hall in the direction that they just came from. The dean is walking down the hall. Ryder looks a little worried.
Gwen looks over her shoulder. She looks like she is about to say something to the dean, but Ryder beats her to the punch.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton. Jake pulls back when Ryder talks:
Ryder (loudly): Hi Dean Fleming. Looks like you caught us out way past curfew.
(cut to): Ryder, Gwen and the dean.
Steve: Ryder, you asked for permission to leave campus tonight. Besides, you know that rule doesn’t really apply to seniors.
Ryder: Oh, right.
Gwen: I hope you’re not coming back here to use the bathrooms…they are so disgusting.
Ryder: There are some better ones in the main lobby.
Steve: Oh, okay…thanks.
He turns around then turns back around.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton, now listening to the faint conversation.
Steve: Is there something going on here?
(cut to): Ryder. He looks innocent.
Ryder: No, sir. What do you mean?
Steve: You know what? Nevermind…enjoy the rest of the show.
He continues walking off down the hall. Ryder watches him as Gwen looks at Ryder in mild disbelief.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton.
Hamilton: That was close…Ryder’s been so weird lately.
Jake: No kidding.
Hamilton: We should be more careful.
Jake: Hey…you kissed me first. Come on…
Hamilton: Think Gwen saw?
Jake: Who cares?
She tugs on his sleeve. Gwen and Ryder come around the corner.
Gwen: Hey, good job Hamilton.
Hamilton: Thanks…good advice. And…thanks for that with my dad.
Ryder: He didn’t see anything…and neither did she.
Gwen (playing along): What are you talking about?
Ryder: Nothing…come on…
Hamilton looks at Ryder. Jake looks at Gwen then Hamilton. They all move on.
(cut to): Mrs. Kudski as she walks out of a main auditorium door. Will is standing there, leaning against the wall.
Music: Empty Spaces by SR-71
Will: Mom? Hey.
He gives her a quick kiss on her cheek.
Will cont’d: I didn’t know you were here.
She runs her hand through his hair.
Susan: You could use a haircut.
Will: You always think I could use a haircut.
She doesn’t say anything; he feels bad.
Will: I’ll come by the shop in the morning.
Will leans on the wall again.
Susan: Everything okay, sweetie?
Will: Why are you here mom?
Susan: Grace called he and asked me to come down and help out with Bella’s hair. I’m on my way backstage right now. You don’t want me here?
Will: No…I mean, yes I want you here. I just…I don’t like the idea of you and Bella spending a ton of time together.
There is a brief moment of silence; Will looks around awkwardly.
Susan: You know, Will, whenever you used to get in trouble for something you didn’t do, you’d just sit there and let your dad yell at you.
Will: What’s your point?
Susan: My point is when you didn’t feel guilty you just shut all the bad out and you let it go. But…when you were responsible for something, you were mad at everyone. You were mad at daddy and me…all your friends…everyone…except yourself. It was so backwards, Will. It is so backwards.
Susan: Baby, you got nothing to explain to me. I know you’ll do the right thing.
She touches his arm and gives him a reassuring look. She walks away. He sighs and goes back into the auditorium.
(cut to): The stage. Will is walking down the aisle, to sit in the front row.
Sean: And now, we’ll bring each of the contestants out for the final question round.
Pan around the audience. We see everyone: Gwen and Ryder getting back to there seats, Jill and Scout sitting alone and looking cozy, Finn and a tired looking Meagan, Jake and Hamilton and Hamilton’s parents and, finally, Will by himself in the front row.
Sean: Contestant number one, Becky Johnson.
Becky walks out. There is a table with a punch bowl containing the folded up questions. She draws one and hands it to Sean.
Sean: Okay, in regard to the most recent presidential election, which issues were you most interested in…and why?
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton who are sitting between Ham’s parents.
Hamilton: Oh…this should be interesting.
(cut to): the stage. Becky smiles widely.
Becky: Well Sean, I wouldn’t say I was as interested in specific issues as much as the election as a whole…and I don’t mean that silly Florida ballot incident. You see, my mom has been in over two hundred pageants and she gave me many great tips for tonight. I’d give an example, but then I’d be giving away my secrets.
She laughs and the audience takes her cue, chuckling lightly. Sean looks at her, hoping she’ll make a point soon.
Becky: So, I would have voted for George W. Bush because his dad was a great president and probably gave him lots of super tips on how to do the job well.
(cut to): Jill and Scout.
Scout: Now, that’s logic.
Jill shakes her head.
Music: Givin’ Up on You by Lara Fabian (can be found on the second DC soundtrack)
to): the stage. We get a montage of the
other girls answering questions like “Who is your role model?” and “Why is the
position of Miss Edmund High important?”
The montage ends and Bella walks onto the stage. She looks at Sean like “I think you know
which one I’m going to pick.” She takes
the last question from the bowl and hands it to Sean. He takes the card.
Sean: Last question for Bella Banks…
He reads it to himself then looks up at her.
Sean: Um…okay…”what is your biggest regret in so far?”
Bella looks up at him, he breaks eye contact. She looks out in the audience, momentarily thrown by the question. She notices Will in the front row.
Bella: I don’t want this to sound like I’m taking the easy way out of this question, but…I have no regrets.
She maintains eye contact with Will.
Bella cont’d: Even when I realize I’ve probably made the wrong decision, I don’t regret that decision. I don’t wish things had gone differently. In a lot of German philosophy, history is a topic of interest. They have this idea that people are doomed to be frozen and looking back instead of looking forward and moving on. Life should have constant motion and regretting is like putting on the brakes or worse…going in reverse. So, things happened…choices were made…but, I have no regrets. Thank you.
After a moment, the audience applauds. The judges nod and write down their scores.
Commercial Break: I’m not sure of the validity of those pageant questions, but Bush does suck so much. Here’s another satiric Bush-related site called Bushlog.
Outside on the auditorium steps, Bella is standing with the crown on and a bouquet of flowers. Jake, Hamilton, Jill and Scout are standing around her. Gwen and Ryder are nearby and watching. Will is not there. They are all congratulating her.
Hamilton: So, how’s it feel to be crowned Miss Edmund High?
Bella: Not terrible.
Sean walks up. He’s trying to loosen his bow tie.
Sean: So, aren’t you glad I convinced you to enter?
She smiles and gives him a hug, then helps him with his bow tie.
Sean: Thank you.
Scout: I think the question round won it for you…that was a good answer.
Jill: Yeah…and way better than Miss “well, my mom has been in over two hundred beauty pageants…”
Jake: Where is Rebecca Johnson, second runner up?
Bella: I think her mom is trying to get her out of the bathroom…she locked herself in.
Gwen leaves Ryder for a moment and walks up to the group.
Gwen: Hi, um…congratulations.
Bella: Thank you.
Gwen starts to walk away.
Bella: It was nice to meet you tonight.
Gwen: You too.
Gwen walks off with Ryder.
Scout: Who let her out?
Jill: I don’t know…it’s pretty weird.
Jake: She didn’t even bring her usual stack of books.
Hamilton: Hey guys, lay off…she’s pretty cool.
Everyone looks at him.
Bella: She was a lot more normal than you guys described.
Sean: She seemed nice…and a lot hotter than anyone told me.
Sean cont’d: Anyway, where’s Will?
No one says anything.
Scout: Um, Bella…he wants you to meet him somewhere.
Jill: He just said “the spot” like you’d know or something.
Hamilton: So, while the newly crowned Miss Edmund High runs off for a late night rendezvous…who wants to get food?
(dissolve to): The spot in the woods. There is a lantern set up. Will’s bike is laying on the ground. Close to the bog tree, a blanket is spread out. Will sits on it and leans against the tree. His shirt is un-tucked. A light is moving toward Will.
Music: Somewhere in Between by Lifehouse
Bella walks up, holding a flashlight.
Bella: Will…have you lost it? Couldn’t we have talked somewhere…less in the middle of the woods.
Will: It has to be here.
Bella, still in her dress, walks up to the blanket. She looks down at it. Will looks up at her. She doesn’t sit down.
Will: I want to break up with you.
Bella: Yeah…I kind of figured that much out already.
Will: We’re just…better as friends.
Bella stares down at him, then looks up. He doesn’t look at her now.
Bella: I don’t know what you want me to say, Will. “You’re right…we are better as friends. Oh, and by the way, pal, mind if I cry on your shoulder over this jerk who…had his way with me…
Will looks up at this.
Bella cont’d: …and then dumped me.”
Will looks down again and speaks matter-of-factly:
Will: This is the right decision. It’s better this way.
Bella: It’s better for who? Huh? You? Because you can’t live with the fact that you totally used me?
Will: I…I did not use you.
Bella: You used me to deal with whatever problems you were having.
Will looks down, shaking his head.
Bella cont’d: And you know what really kills me? The complete opposite reaction we had to the exact same experience. Will…sharing my first time with you…that was…the single most emotion-filled experience of my life…and look at you, sitting there with…no emotions. To me, it was like finding the secret ingredient, you know? Like, it made everything feel like it was finally working right. To you, it ruined us. That night…I could have held onto you forever, but what did you do?
He stares at her.
Bella cont’d: You ran.
Will: Charlie and Grace were coming home soon, you know that…
Bella: No, Will…you ran from me…back to your stupid dorm room.
Will takes a moment before speaking:
Will: It has to be over.
Bella: I wasn’t arguing that point, Will. And, don’t worry, it is over…it is so over…
She turns her flashlight on. She looks at him as if to give him a final opportunity to speak. He doesn’t take it. She walks away. He watches the light move further away. Will closes his eyes and takes a quick breath. He starts to cry. He draws his knees close to his chest. Bella walks up quietly. Her flashlight is not on. She watches him for a moment, understanding how much of an act he had been putting on. She clears her throat. He looks up, quickly wiping the tears away.
Bella: My flashlight died.
Will: I…I didn’t go back to the dorms that night.
Bella steps closer, more into the light.
Will cont’d: I came here.
Bella walks over and sits down this time, next to him.
Will: And I thought about how I sat here with you…just like this with my arm around you…
Bella puts her arm around him.
Will cont’d: …and lied to you.
Bella looks at him questioningly.
Will cont’d: I told you that even though life was changing and unstable, I’d be a constant. I said I’d always be a friend to you. Look at how badly I screwed up that promise…
Will: Not only that, but…I did use you…to bring stability to my own stupid, tumultuous existence… and…I knew it before I did it, but…I-I never wanted to hurt you like I have…
He is crying now, and so is Bella. Her arm is still around him; he leans on her shoulder.
Will: I’m so sorry…
Bella: It’s okay.
She pushes his hair off his forehead.
Will: It’s not okay. I said stuff that I didn’t mean. It’s just…not okay.
Bella: Then it’ll be okay. No regrets, remember?
Will: How can I not have regrets? You were my best friend, Bella. I wrecked our friendship. I hurt you. I initiated things that…that we can never take back.
Bella: Things that I don’t want to take back.
Will: I want you to know that…it was special for me too…and completely overwhelming and wonderful and…emotional. I can’t imagine wanting to share that with anyone else other than you, but—
Bella: It still needs to be over. I agree completely. It was kind of over a long time ago anyway…all the pretending to be busy…
Will: We could have made time if we’d really wanted…
Bella: We’ve probably both been operating in self-destruct mode for awhile.
Will looks down. A beat.
Will: We always said this wouldn’t ruin our friendship…were we right?
Bella: I hope so.
She stands up. Will looks up at her before doing the same. They shake out the blanket and fold it up.
Will: I’m sorry I’ve been such a complete jerk.
Bella: You should be.
Will: But, hey…you still won the crown.
Will cont’d: You were wonderful.
Bella: Come on…I’m tired of being in the woods…and in this stupid dress.
She looks down at the bike.
Bella cont’d: Give me a ride?
Will smiles and nods.
Commercial Break: I know a lot of people were sick of Will and Bella or thought they were getting boring. I do think that some of you, though, really appreciated them together. We just felt like this was the natural progression/domino effect that their relationship would eventually lead to. This commercial break is dedicated to a brief reflection on the Will/Bella relationship…
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Friendly’s. It’s kind of crowded. Jill, Scout, Sean, Jake and Hamilton are there eating at the big booth. Hamilton and Jake have pulled chairs up and are facing the window.
Music: Out of my Head by Fastball
Sean: So, Hamilton…I didn’t know you played the guitar.
Hamilton: I play the guitar.
Jill (to Sean): I didn’t know you had such great public speaking abilities.
Sean: I get by.
Jill smiles. Scout picks up one of her fries and taps her on the shoulder.
Scout: Hey, hey…stop flirting…eat your food.
He puts the fry in her mouth. Chewing, she tries to kiss him. He leans back.
Scout cont’d: Oh…that is so gross.
Jill turns away from him and takes a sip of her Coke.
Jill: I would also like to commend Hamilton on a job well done. Your beauty pageant debut was surprisingly good.
Jake looks out the window and nods so that Hamilton looks too.
(cut to): a shot from their point of view. Will pulls up on his bike with Bella on the handle bars.
(cut to): inside Friendly’s.
Jake (whispered to Hamilton): Check that out.
Hamilton (whispered to Jake): Yeah, guess they made up.
(cut to): another shot from their point of view. Bella hops off and stands talking with Will for a moment. The shot is still from across the street so we don’t hear what they are saying at first.
(cut to): across the street at the gas station.
Bella: So…this is it.
She sticks out her hand; Will shakes it.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton watching.
Jake (whispered to Hamilton): What’s up with that?
(cut to): Will and Bella. She looks over and sees Jake and Hamilton watching. They look away.
Bella: So…what do we tell everyone?
Will looks over at Friendly’s and sees everyone there in the window. Sean happens to look up and see them. He waves, trying to get them to come over.
Will: I guess we just…tell them.
Bella: And I thought telling everyone we were together was tough.
Will: Let’s just go announce it like it’s no big deal…
Bella: But it—
Will: I know…it’s a huge deal.
Bella looks back across the street. Sean is still trying to get them to come over.
Will cont’d: Okay, you know what? Maybe we can leave them wondering tonight.
Bella looks relieved.
Bella: And then?
Will: And then…I don’t know.
They laugh awkwardly.
Bella: Does this seem too easy?
Will: Yes…and it probably won’t be.
Bella: Ever the optimist, huh Mr. Krudski?
He chuckles as she opens her door and goes inside. Will takes a deep breath then gets on his bike and rides off.
(cut to): Friendly’s.
Sean: They didn’t even come over.
She looks at Hamilton. Scout looks at them like they know something, but doesn’t give it too much thought.
Jill: That’s okay…we don’t need the winner…we’ve got the star of the show right here.
She looks at Sean. He smiles.
Sean: You should see me at student council meetings.
Scout: Okay, okay…that’s enough.
Sean laughs and shakes his head. Jill takes Scout’s hand under the table. He looks comforted.
Hamilton: I think we’re going to call it a night.
Jill: Yeah, I’m ready to go.
She takes the last bite of her burger and a big sip of Coke.
Sean: Well, I’ll see you all later…and thanks for coming out tonight…and buying tickets.
They all toss down some cash for the bill and exit.
(cut to): Finn and Johanna as they get out of Johanna’s car in her driveway. Finn’s bike is noticeably parked in front of the porch.
Music: You Say by Vertical Horizon
Johanna: Thanks for all your help tonight.
Finn: Want me to get her?
(cut to): Finn and Johanna putting Meagan into her bed.
(cut to): Outside Meagan’s room.
Johanna: Thank you.
Johanna: Careful…I may take you up on that.
Johanna: And thanks for talking to her by the way. She’s dropped the whole “Finn and Johanna sitting in a tree” routine.
Finn: I didn’t even know there was such a routine.
Johanna: Oh, was there ever.
Finn looks at her contemplatively.
Johanna cont’d: What?
Johanna: You just look like you have something to say.
Finn thinks about telling her what Meagan has told him.
Finn: Um…maybe it was that…you’re a good mom and…you should know that.
She looks at him. It’s kind of a distinct moment…the kind of moment that romantic dramedies are built on.
Finn: Okay…I have to go now.
Johanna: Can you lock the door behind you?
He walks off down the stairs. She looks at him then back at Meagan’s door. She sighs then walks off down the hall.
(cut to): Jake and Hamilton as they walk down the dorm hall toward Jake’s room.
Hamilton: I still have like a half an hour before I have to be home.
Music: Kick Some Ass by Stroke 9
They stop at Jake’s door as she unlocks it. Ryder comes down the hall.
They turn to look at him.
Ryder: I…I just want you to know that I’m not…getting a conscience or anything. I didn’t think that was such a great way for your dad to find out about you two, that’s all. So…don’t go around looking at me like…like you’re looking at me now, Jacqueline.
Hamilton looks over at her. She recovers from the troubled look she had. Ryder raises his eyebrows.
Ryder: Got it?
Hamilton: Yes…go away.
Ryder shakes his head then walks off. Jake and Hamilton enter Jake’s room.
(cut to): inside her room as they enter.
Hamilton (faked British accent): “Don’t go around looking at me like you’re looking at me know, Jacqueline…” Who the hell does he think he is anyway?
Jake: Thanks for not punching him or something. I personally find humanity far more appealing than violence.
Hamilton: Thanks for the tip…
He moves closer to her.
Jake: So, half an hour, huh?
Hamilton picks up Jake’s wrist and looks at her watch again.
Hamilton: Twenty-four minutes…
Jake kisses him.
(cut to): Will and Scout’s room. Will is sitting at his desk with a few books opened. He looks tired. He looks over at a clock that reads about 9:40. Scout and Jill enter, mid conversation.
Scout: You were totally flirting with him.
Jill: Okay…if it’ll make you feel better, next time, you can flirt with him.
Will looks up.
Jill: Hey, Will…get everything all straightened out with Bella?
Will: Uh…yeah, I think so…
Scout: Glad to hear that.
Will: Sorry we didn’t stop by…Bella was just tired after the pageant and I…
Jill: Had to study?
Will looks over at his books like “good answer.”
Jill: Okay…I have to get back to the room.
Jill mouths “talk to him” to Scout after she quickly kisses him on the cheek. Scout nods.
Jill: Night, Will.
He waves; she exits.
Scout: So…you and Bella good?
Will: Yeah…I think so.
Scout: That’s the second time you’ve said…you okay?
Will: We decided to, um, break up.
Will: It feels like such a big deal.
Scout: Well, I guess so.
Will: But not because the relationship is gone.
Scout: Oh, right…who would care about that?
Will: It’s like…we get to have our friendship back, you know? Like we’ve made the decision to be friends and now we have to build that again. It’s kind of like the reverse of deciding to be together.
Scout: That’s over my head…but it sounds like you’ve got it covered so…
Will: Don’t say anything to anyone yet…we’re not exactly telling people.
Scout: That you’ve decided to be friends?
Will: I know it sounds weird—
Scout: No…no…as long as you’re both cool with it…
Will: Oh, absolutely.
(cut to): Bella as she gets ready for bed. She has already changed into her pajamas. She picks up the locket Will gave her for Christmas. She opens it and looks at the little picture of them when they were younger. On the other side is a more recent picture of the two of them. She touches each picture then puts the locket down, still opened. The camera zooms in on it…it represents two different stages of relationship for Will and Bella. The camera gets close then…
Commercial Break: Though we’ve never actually purchased anything from ebay it still seems like a decent idea to promote it as a commercial break. Why? Because we always want to buy stuff from there.
(fade in): to Hamilton in bed.
Music: Emergency, Emergency by New Found Glory
He’s on top of the covers and in the same clothes. The camera zooms out slowly and we realize he is asleep on Jake’s bed. He’s still got his shoes on (implying nothing too serious has gone on to put them in this situation). Jake’s in her pajamas and is under the covers. She wakes up and looks over at Hamilton.
He rolls over sleepily and looks up at her. He smiles then looks worried.
Hamilton: Oh, man…what time is it?
He reaches over and picks up her wrist, but she’s taken her watch off. She picks it up off the table next to the bed and hands it to him.
He gets up.
Hamilton cont’d: I’m so dead.
Jake: The last thing I remember is you saying you were getting up to leave in a minute.
Hamilton: Yeah, me too.
Jake sits up in bed.
Jake: Is your dad going to kill you?
Hamilton: Try my mom.
There is a knock at the door.
Hamilton: Who is it?
Hamilton closes his eyes.
Jake: He can’t see me like this.
Hamilton: Well…get in the closet.
Jake looks at him like “what?” He looks at her like “go on.” She walks over to the closet as Hamilton goes to the door. When she is safely inside he opens the door.
Hamilton: Dad, I’m so sorry. I fell asleep over here and—
Steve: That’s what I assumed, but, of course, your mother was worried.
Hamilton nods, surprised that he’s getting off so easily. Steve looks in the room.
Steve cont’d: Where’s Jake?
Hamilton: Oh…he, uh…went to take a shower.
Steve: Your mom worries…a lot more these days. Don’t do that to her.
Hamilton: I didn’t mean to.
Steve: I know…it’s not some choice you made…in this case.
Hamilton: You surprise me, Dad…a lot more these days.
Steve: Go home and make sure your mom still knows you’re alive. Okay?
Steve exits. Hamilton closes the door. He walks over to the closet and opens the door. He takes her by the hand and pulls her out.
Hamilton: You can come out of the closet now.
Jake: Are we back to the Tiffany Amber Thiessen movie again?
Hamilton: Anyway, I’d better get home.
Jake: Okay…if you want…
She kisses him.
Hamilton: You’re such a bad influence…
He kisses her back.
(cut to): Bella as she sits in front of her mirror brushing her hair. She pulls it back into a ponytail. She glances down again at the locket. Grace comes in.
Grace: Thanks for taking off and not telling me last night, geez…I had to get a ride home from Ryder and that chick.
Bella: I’m sorry Gracie…I had stuff to do.
Grace: God, like what? Make out with your perfect boyfriend after winning a beauty pageant.
Bella: No, like having Will dump me.
Grace: What? Jerk.
Bella: Listen, don’t say anything to Sean.
Grace: Déjà vu. Didn’t you tell me the same thing when you guys hooked up?
Bella: Just keep your mouth shut.
Grace: Why? Think Sean’s going to hit on you again?
Bella: No, it’s not like that…we’re just not telling anyone.
Grace: That sounds stupid, but…whatever…I won’t say anything.
(cut to): Will as he pulls a shirt on. He’s dressed other than that. Scout’s still asleep. There is a knock on the door. Scout stirs. Will opens the door to find Finn standing there.
Finn: Morning, Mr. Krudski.
Will: Morning. What’s up?
Finn: I’m calling a practice.
Scout: Right now?
Hamilton, who was walking by, sticks his head in.
Hamilton: What’s going on?
Finn: Crew practice…be at the dock in 20 minutes.
Hamilton: What? No way…I’m tired, man. You can’t just call practice on a Sunday.
Scout sits up in the bed.
Scout: I think he can.
Finn: Hey, Hamilton, it’s completely voluntary, okay?
Hamilton gives him a “yeah, whatever” look. Finn exits.
Scout: Hey, Ham…weren’t you wearing that last night?
Hamilton looks down at his outfit and shrugs.
Will: I am really not in the mood for practice this morning.
Hamilton: Don’t go…let’s boycott.
Scout lays back down in bed and closes his eyes.
Scout: I’m in.
Will: No, we have go.
Hamilton: Why? Because Finn said? My dad is the dean.
Will: When are you going to move on?
Hamilton looks at him in disbelief.
Hamilton: You know what? Go to his dumb practice. I’m going home.
Hamilton exits. Scout looks over at him.
Scout: You should have cut him some slack
Will: He needs to get over that.
Scout: And if Finn slept with your mom…you’d just get over it, right?
Will considers this.
Will: Maybe I should go apologize.
(cut to): Hamilton exiting the dorm. Will comes out after him.
Will: Hey, Ham…
Hamilton turns around.
Will cont’d: Sorry.
Will: Maybe we should both stop brooding about our respective “issues.”
Hamilton: You know, I forgot to ask about you and Bella…
Will: Well, I wasn’t exactly hoping you would so—
Hamilton: Okay, that’s cool. I’m going to run home and see my mom—
Will: Did you stay in the dorms last night?
Hamilton: Maybe…I’ll see you at practice.
He turns around and jogs away.
(cut to): Gwen as she sits reading on her bed. She’s been up for awhile and is dressed. Jill walks out of the bathroom with a bathrobe on and a towel on her head.
Music: Steal My Sunshine by Len
Jill: Nice to see you’re back to normal.
Jill: You know, doing homework.
Gwen: Oh, no…this is pleasure reading.
Jill (same tone): Oh no…there’s no such thing.
Gwen shrugs then goes back to reading. Jill flips her head over and dries her hair with the towel.
Gwen: How long does it take to get to Boston?
Jill: I dunno…by train about…an hour or so.
Gwen: What are you doing today?
Jill: I don’t know…why?
Gwen: Why don’t we take the train to Boston and do some girl stuff…I’m so sick of hanging out with Ryder…and I’m sure you must be just a little tired of Scout.
Jill: Not that tired, but…I could be into shopping.
Gwen: And I was thinking we could take Bella Banks…she’s a friend of yours, right?
Jill: Sure. And I’ll ask…oh, nevermind…girls only, right?
Gwen: Who were you going to say?
Jill: Oh…no one…
Jill: Yeah…he, um…likes to shop.
Gwen kind of shakes her head to herself.
Gwen: Well Jake and Bella are pretty good friends too, right?
Jill: Yeah, pretty much.
Gwen: Invite him then…we’ll have a good time.
(cut to): Hamilton as he walks into his kitchen. His mom is sitting at the table drinking coffee.
Kate (with relief): There you are.
Hamilton: I’m fine Mom. I just fell asleep over at…the dorms and—
Kate: At Jake’s?
Hamilton just looks at her, not speaking.
Kate: Do you go out of your way to remind me what a bad parenting job I’m doing?
Hamilton: What? Mom…
He sits down next to her.
Hamilton cont’d: You’re not a bad parent…not even close.
Kate: I let you lie to your father so you can sleep over at your girlfriend’s—
Hamilton: Mom, I wasn’t sleeping over…I was just sleeping…that’s all.
Kate: And when that’s not true? When you’re not just sleeping?
Kate: I just want to establish an open and honest forum with you, Sweetie.
Hamilton: Okay…you have…now, I have to get to Crew practice.
Kate: On a Sunday morning?
Hamilton: Tell me about it…Finn’s such a jerk.
Kate looks down into her coffee. Hamilton shakes his head and runs upstairs to change.
(cut to): Jake’s room. She’s dressed and has her phone in her hand. She dials a number.
Jake (into phone): Bella? Oh, hey Grace…can I talk to Bella? Thanks…
There is a knock at Jake’s door. She walks over as she waits on the phone. She opens the door to find Jill and Gwen standing there. She nods.
Jake: Hey, what’s up?
Jill: Whose on the phone?
starts to speak when Bella finally comes on the phone.
Jake: Bella, hey…it’s Jake. I was just calling to say congratulations again on the whole pageant thing…
Jill: Hey, let me talk to her for a second.
Jake: Okay…Bella…madwoman Jill just got here and she wants to talk to you…I don’t know…okay….here she is.
Jake hands the phone to Jill.
Jill: Bella…we’re going to take a train into Boston and hit a few shoppes…interested?…Oh, me, Gwen and Jake…well, I haven’t asked Jake, but I’m sure he’ll come…I know…I agree…okay…okay…we’ll be by in a few.
Jill hangs up.
Jake: Are we allowed to go to Boston?
Jill: If we aren’t, we will be…my dad can call.
Jake: So, we’re going to ask the dean?
Jill: We’ll head over there then go into town to catch the train.
Jake: If you guys don’t mind—
Jill: Oh no…you’re going over there with us.
Jake looks at her and closes her eye.
Jake: Fine…but you’re totally using me.
Jake looks over at her, remembering her presence.
Jake: Come on, let’s go.
Commercial Break: Okay, so Estee doesn’t officially read fanfic, but the writing on Giselle’s Death’s Advocate is pretty stellar. Check it out, dude. Also, in completely unrelated notes…the spelling of shoppes is kind an homage to Kevin Smith “Shoppy? What the fuck’s a shoppy?” Anyway, back to the show…
(cut to): Kate doing dishes in the kitchen. She’s dressed now. Steve walks in the back door.
Steven: Did Hamilton come home?
Kate: Briefly…he had crew practice.
Steven: On Sunday?
Neither want the conversation to turn to Finn.
Kate: Thanks for going over there…I know you think I worry too much.
Steven: It’s actually something that’s developed recently…anything you want to tell me about?
Kate: He’s just growing up…faster than we realize.
Steven: He stayed with his friend in the dorms…he was out at a party or off with some girl…
Kate looks at him with a pained expression.
The doorbell chimes. Kate and Steve exchange glances.
(cut to): Jake, Jill and Gwen outside the door. It opens and Kate and the dean are standing there. None of the kids say anything.
Steven: Can we help you?
Jill: We’re going to Boston for the day.
Steven: I don’t think—
Jill: We’re just going shopping.
The dean looks at Jake. She clears her throat.
Jake: Um…we’re taking the train.
Steve considers this.
Gwen: We just wanted to clear this with you, sir.
Steve looks like he’s going to say no.
Kate: Maybe with a chaperone.
Kate: I could use a few things…if that’s okay with you kids, of course.
Jill: That’s cool.
(cut to): The docks. The boys are sitting around, looking tired. Some are lying down.
Music: The Space Between by Dave Matthews band.
Finn: Decisions, men. You make thousands everyday. You decided to come to this practice.
He looks at Hamilton who just looks off.
Finn: I was reading an essay that someone wrote for one of my classes and it really made me think.
(cut to): Will who recalls Ryder’s essay.
Finn: Decisions are never independent. Anyone know what I mean by that?
Scout: That it’s Sunday and you’re in the mood to do your best Aristotle impression?
Finn: Get in the water.
Finn: Hop in and tread…it’ll be more difficult for you to speak.
Scout gets and “oh man” look, but kicks off his shoes, takes off his shirt to reveal a white t-shirt then hops in. Will snickers.
Finn: Good choice, Mr. Calhoun. Anyone care to contribute to the afore-interrupted discussion.
No one says anything right away…Will looks around then speaks:
Will: I think what you mean is that we make choices based upon what we want to happen. It’s not really like I made the choice to come to this practice based solely on the idea that I wanted to come to this practice. I didn’t want to get kicked off the team. To make sure that didn’t happen, I made the choice to come here.
Hamilton: That’s why nothing can ever be black and white…or…right or wrong. There are so many circumstances surrounding every decision we make.
Will: So maybe…there aren’t wrong choices only bad intentions.
Finn looks around at everyone as they process…many still looks sleepy, but others get it.
Finn: Intellectualism…on the weekend even…beautiful.
(cut to): Scout in the water.
Scout: If you drown because you can’t tread anymore…is that a bad decision or an unexpected consequence of a bad intention?
Finn: Mr. Calhoun, you were paying attention…get out of the water and into the boat…
Scout climbs up onto the dock as everyone else starts to get into the boat.
(dissolve to): An establishing shot of a train moving down the tracks.
(cut to): the interior of the train. Bella, Gwen and Jill are sitting together in a set of four seats that face each other. Jake and Kate are sitting across the aisle from them in a set of two seats.
(cut to): A shot of Jake and Kate.
Kate: So this was a neat idea…I tend to forget how close Boston is sometimes.
Jake: Boston and I don’t really agree with each other…there’s too much history or something.
Kate: New York is always in the present…I get it.
Jake: Something like that.
Kate: So, Hamilton stayed with you last night.
Jake: Hamilton…I didn’t even tell him I was taking off.
Kate: He’s at Crew practice.
Jake: Finn called a practice? On Sunday?
Kate: You know how Finn is…
Jake doesn’t say anything.
Kate cont’d: So, about last night…I don’t mean for all our conversations to revolve around this, but…you know, actually, I retract the but. All we’ve ever talked about is my son. I’ve never asked about you…in relation to something…anything other than Hamilton.
Jake: Well, you know…I like him.
Kate: What else?
Jake: Do I like?
Jake: God, I don’t know.
Kate: Have any hobbies?
Jake: Not really…my mom thinks I need something like that. She doesn’t really believe in hobbies, though…just passions. She liked Hamilton’s photography…or the idea of it. She’d probably like that he plays the guitar…and writes songs.
Kate: He writes songs?
Jake: We weren’t supposed to be talking about him, right?
Kate: No…no…I changed my mind…
(cut to): Gwen, Jill and Bella. They aren’t saying anything. Bella looks out the window.
Gwen and Bella look at her.
Jill: …this is boring.
Bella: Oh, I wanted to thank you for being so nice at the pageant Gwen…even though I was kind of rude about the whole studying thing.
Jill: Oh, man, this girl is like Will…on Ginkoba and Caffeine.
Bella: Well, she happened to come walking down the hall at the right time…I needed a distraction.
Gwen: You just look so stressed and nervous.
Bella: I was.
Jill: Well, it paid off…
Bella: Define “paid off.” Do you realize all the obligations I now have? Sean brought me a list this morning...I didn’t really even look it over yet. I figured it was all parades and appearances…but, in reality, I’m now a flunky for student government.
Gwen: I could never be in a pageant.
Jill: Me either…but that goes along with my personal desire to avoid walking onto any stage or being in any spotlight.
The following is light with sincere undertones:
Gwen: Yet you’re such a prima dona.
Bella: Don’t forget drama queen.
Jill: Try me onstage…I’d be out of there quicker than…Hamilton.
They all laugh. The scene has been awkward and will end the same. After a beat, Bella looks back out the window and the silence begins again.
(cut to): Hamilton, Scout, Will and the rest of the team as they exit the dock. Finn is standing by as they walk off. He stops Will.
Finn: Mr. Krudski, got a minute?
Will stops as everyone else goes on.
Finn: You look particularly despondent this lovely morning.
Will: Well, you seem unusually…pondent.
Finn: I just wanted to make sure all was going well for you, Will…classes…family…girl.
Will: Classes are great…family is static…
Finn: And girl just got crowned Beauty Queen so…life must be good?
Will doesn’t agree.
Finn: So it’s the girl…
Will: Would you take it personally if I said I didn’t want to talk about it?
Will: We broke up…last night…after the pageant.
Finn: Despondency explained. So…do you want to tell me what happened?
(dissolve to): the dock where Finn and Will sit. Will has been explaining what happened.
Finn: Sounds like you screwed up, but you made a good recovery.
Will: And I just don’t know if this friend thing is going to work out.
Finn: Friendship takes a lot more effort than a relationship.
Will: Uh-huh…so how’s it going with Ms. Ryan?
They both smile.
Finn: It’s going well. She’s really an amazing woman with an amazing child.
Will: Sounds like you’d fit right in.
Finn: I hope so…I hope so…
(cut to): Scout in the Common Room. He is sitting lying on the couch reading a book. Ham walks in the room and looks around. Scout looks up at him.
Music: Trouble With Boys by Loreta
Hamilton: Is Jake in here?
Scout glances around the empty room then back at Ham.
Scout: Are you playing a game of Hide and Seek?
Hamilton, not getting it:
Scout rolls his eyes.
Scout: Well then no.
Hamilton sits down in the chair next to Scout. Scout looks back at his book the glances back at Ham who is just sitting there.
Scout: Dude, if it makes you feel any better, I don’t know where Jill is either.
Hamilton: Think they’re just using us both so that they can be together?
Scout: Okay…I’m gonna go with no.
Hamilton: That would be pretty hot, though.
Scout: You do realize the fundamental problem with lesbianism is that you, as a male, don’t get to participate. It’s not like it is in the movies…you and I would not be involved.
Hamilton: Hmm…You have a point.
Scout: Anyway…Gwen was gone too, maybe there off doing a “girl” thing?
Hamilton: Yeah, but Gwen doesn’t know about Jake.
Scout: Well…now you might be in trouble.
Hamilton: What movies exactly?
Scout gives him an amused/innocent “I don’t know” look.
Commercial Break: The Zone is a cool site where you can play games online. Estee likes checkers.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of a Boston street in the shopping district.
Music: Trouble With Boys by Loreta
(cut to): Interior shot of one of the shoppes. The girls are looking around. Jake is standing off to the side pretending to look uninterested. Bella walks by and Jake grabs her arm.
Jake: We have to tell Gwen!
Bella: What? Tell her what?
Jake: That I’m a girl…she’s a friend now…she deserves to know…you consider her a friend don’t you?
Bella stifles laughter.
Bella: Be strong Jake…Be strong.
Bella walks off with an amused look. Jake picks up a dress off of the rack and walks over to Jill.
Jake: You should get this…you should really get this…it’s perfect for you.
Jill: I don’t really know about the color and this isn’t even my size. This would probably look better on…oh…oh…
Jake looks at her like “duh.” They see Gwen walking over and Jake shoves the dress at Jill. Jill pretends like she won’t take it, but then does.
Gwen: That’s a cool dress, Jill.
Jill smiles. Jake leans against a rack, trying to look cool. The rack is on wheels and starts to move. Jake stands up, trying to recover. Gwen keeps walking.
Jill: Way to be cool, Jake.
Jake pulls the rack back to where it was.
Jake: Shut up.
Jill: You know, I don’t think I’m going to get used to calling you Jake.
(cut to): Will walking quickly down a hall in the dorms. Ryder walks down the stairs at the same time. Some other people are around hanging out in a doorway. Another group of guys walks by tossing a football lightly as they head outside.
Ryder: William…hey, Will…
Ryder: Thanks for proofing my paper. I got an A on it.
Will: Yeah, I guess Finn really liked it. He was talking about it at Crew practice.
Will: Well, you know, he used the topic as the brain warm-up…he didn’t mention you, but I knew that’s what he was talking about.
Will: See what happens when you make an effort?
Ryder: Okay, Krudski, don’t be a teacher.
Will: If you’d apply even 10% of your intelligence…
Will smiles indicating he’s joking.
Ryder: Well, anyway…thanks for your help. It was legitimate this time.
Ryder pats him on the back and walks back up the stairs. Will stands there momentarily then keeps walking.
(cut to): Bella trying on a pair of shoes. Gwen wanders up. She picks up a sandal and puts it on the ground. She kicks off her shoe and tries it on.
Bella: That’s really cute.
Gwen: I don’t know…I’m not really a sandal person.
Bella: They’re cool.
Gwen: So listen…I overhead you and Will at the pageant.
Bella looks at her, but doesn’t quite know what to say.
Gwen cont’d: I don’t mean to be nosey…I mean, I know that sounds lame to say when you’re being nosey, but…he just seemed kind of harsh and…I don’t know, I thought this would be good for you…
Bella: This was your idea?
Gwen: I know I don’t know you that well, but…this seemed like a good distraction.
Bella: Like talking to me at the pageant…because you knew…about me and Will.
Gwen: I know Jill probably thinks I’m some…stick in the mud…and I have a bad rap for…well, because of Ryder. Sometimes it’s just not worth putting forth the effort to make friends. I’m not saying you should feel honored by the fact that I am making an effort, but—
Bella: Well, I do.
Gwen smiles and looks down at her sandals.
Gwen: I think I’m going to get the sandals.
Bella: You should.
(cut to): Scout and Hamilton is Scout’s room. Hamilton has his acoustic guitar and is sitting on Will’s bed. He plays throughout…little pieces of Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Scout is folding laundry.
Scout: Ham, can’t you just go and be alone in your room for awhile? I don’t feel like hanging out with you today. Truth be told, you’re pretty high maintenance.
Hamilton: I don’t really even know what that means…
Scout: It means you’re needy.
Hamilton: No, I’m not…I’ve just been an only child and the youngest kid around this place for too long…I need people…okay, maybe I’m a little needy.
Scout: I guess I should take that as a compliment.
Hamilton: You know…I really have been an outcast around here before you guys…you and Will and Jill and…Jake, of course…not to mention the public school kids. I’ve never really felt like I belonged before.
Scout: First of all…save all the sentimentality for when we graduate in a few years.
Scout cont’d: As far as a sense of belonging, I’ve always felt like I’ve belonged…
Hamilton: Good to know…
Scout: But…I haven’t really…not until now. Without you guys I wouldn’t even know who I was…not to mention where I fit in.
Scout cont’d: You know, before I came here, they called my dad and asked if it was okay if I stayed with the scholarship kid. He asked me if I wanted to and…I almost said no.
Hamilton raises his eyebrows.
Hamilton: Why didn’t you?
Scout: I realized that I had been surrounding myself with people exactly like me…I thought Will would be different so I decided to room with him.
Hamilton: Just think how different things would have been if you’d ended up with, say, Jake.
Scout: Well, I guess all parties are glad that I made the choice that I did. That sounds so…elitist…like “I chose to room with the poor kid.” When we got here, I didn’t want to be like “so, you’re here on a scholarship?” And then his dad was such a jerk…
Hamilton: Stuff like that sucks, you know? Like, when your parents suck, what can you really do? It takes you at least thirteen or fourteen years to even realize how crummy they are.
Scout: Remember that time in Finn’s class when Jake said you couldn’t control who your parents are…that kind of stuck with me. Like, it’s not really a choice you make.
Hamilton: She’s smart.
Scout: How did this conversation snowball from me telling you to get out to this semi-intellectual…thing?
Hamilton: I don’t know…
Will walks in. Hamilton is still fooling around with the guitar. Will assesses the picture.
Will: Okay…this is depressing.
Hamilton looks up as he plays some more.
Will: Could you pick a more depressing song?
Ham looks at him like “yep…” He starts to play Torn.
Will: Point taken…
Will turns around and walks back out.
Commercial Break: Did you like this site in Swedish Chef? You can convert any site or even this episode into a number of silly languages with the Dialectizer.
(fade in): to the shoppe in Boston. Jill is checking out and Jake is with her.
Music: I’m No Ordinary Girl by Anika Paris
Jake: You are officially my favorite person now.
Jill: Is there a cash prize to go along with this honor?
Jake reaches into her pocket and pulls out some cash, handing it to Jill.
Jill: Whoa, seriously?
Jake: It’s for the dress, space cadet.
(cut to): Gwen and Bella. They are sitting on a bench in front of the store.
Gwen: So, you know Jake pretty well?
Bella: Yeah…I’d say so.
Gwen: He’s kind of…different.
Bella: Jake’s, um, someone you have to really get to know before you can…appreciate him.
Gwen: I just don’t get Ryder’s fascination with him.
Bella raises her eyebrows.
Bella: Really? Fascination?
Gwen: Yeah, like he thinks of him as some big mystery…
Bella: I could see that.
Gwen looks back as Jill finishes checking out. Jake’s leaning against the counter.
Gwen: I don’t see it…but maybe I’m missing something.
Bella shrugs. Jill and Jake walk out.
Jake: Where’s Kate?
Gwen: In that shop across the street.
Bella: We decided to pass on the store specializing in silverware.
Jake: Hey, who couldn’t use some knives and forks?
Jill: Let’s just wait out here…I might find some that I like and then I’d have to get married so I could register there…
Jake: Okay…you would get married so you could have the silverware you wanted? You’re crazy…oh, but wait…I already knew that.
A beat. Gwen looks at Jake and Jill, squinting.
Gwen: Have you two ever dated?
Jill almost chokes.
Jill: Excuse me?
Jake: Jill’s not really my…type.
Jake: What? You’re not.
Bella: Guys…here comes Mrs. Fleming.
Kate walks up.
Kate: Okay, I’m up for a few more stores…anyone else?
They agree. They turn and walk off down the road.
(cut to): Will as he walks down the road to New Rawley. Sean rides up on his bike.
Sean: Will…I was just coming out to see you…actually, to look for Bella. Where is she?
Will: I…I don’t know.
Sean: Hmm…that’s weird. She was supposed to have a brunch today with some kind of important student council people.
Will: It’s hardly like Bella to not be dependable, but…I have no idea where she is.
Sean: So, what are you doing?
Will: I don’t know…wandering?
Sean: Well, I hear a bunch of people are hanging out at the lake at this sort of community picnic thing…if you want to go. I rode by earlier and I saw your favorite female English teacher.
Will: Was Finn there?
Sean: I don’t know…did they hook up or something? I saw him with Meagan at the pageant.
Will: They’re friends…according to Finn anyway.
Sean: Just friends? Right…like that happens.
Will fakes a smile.
Will: Yeah…so, they do they have free food at this picnic?
Sean smiles and turns his bike toward town.
Sean: Come on…
Will walks as Sean rides.
(cut to): the picnic Sean was referring to. We see a few cuts of people hanging out, eating, playing Frisbee…whatever happens at a picnic.
(cut to): Will and Sean as they walk up.
Will: I haven’t been to one of these is forever.
Sean: You’ve been missing out…
Meagan comes up to them.
Meagan: Hey Will…Hi Sean.
Sean: Hey, Meag…what’s up?
Meagan holds out both her hands that are closed.
Meagan: Choose one.
Sean looks over at Will for a quick consultation before pointing to her left hand. She opens it revealing a plastic ring.
Meagan cont’d: Here you go.
She hands it to him. He smiles.
Sean: Thank you…
Meagan: You’re welcome…
She runs off.
Will: Well…she’s only like six years younger than you…
Will: No, seriously…that could turn into something in, say, ten years.
Sean shakes his head.
Sean: Anyway…let’s get something to eat.
Will: Oh, yeah…definitely.
(dissolve to): about four hours later. Kate pulls up in front of the gas station. Bella gets out. She’s carrying a small bag.
Music: The Passion by the Nixons
Bella: Thanks…see you later.
She talks to Gwen who is sitting in the backseat.
Bella cont’d: Thanks so much for suggesting this…it was really fun.
Gwen: If you’re ever in the mood for a good time surrounded in an air of pretension…stop by Rawley Girls.
As the girls talk, Kate looks across the street to Friendly’s.
(cut to): a shot from Kate’s point of view. Finn’s holding the door for Meagan and Johanna as they exit.
(cut to): Kate…her interest is peaked.
(cut to): the other side of the street. Johanna puts her arm around Finn’s back in a friendly gesture.
(cut to): Kate. Bella has gone inside. The girls are sitting there waiting for her to go.
Jake looks over and sees Finn. Kate looks back at them.
Kate (slightly unnerved): Everyone ready?
They nod. Kate pulls away.
(cut to): inside Bella’s house. Grace is sitting at the table.
Grace: Hello? Where have you been?
Bella: I took the train to Boston with some friends…why?
Grace: Sean was here like three different times looking for you. You were supposed to go to some brunch and then some picnic.
Bella: Oh man….
Grace: Yeah, no kidding. I mean, Sean’s cute and all…but no one is cute enough to ring the doorbell and wake me up.
Bella: Okay, it was like eleven when I left, it couldn’t have been that early.
Grace: Well, I was asleep and then I had to go to the door when I looked like total crap.
Bella: If you didn’t sleep in your make-up you wouldn’t look so scary in the morning.
She gets up and walks out.
(cut to): Scout, Will, Hamilton and Sean hanging out on the quad. Sean and Hamilton are tossing a football back and forth.
Music: My Baby and Me by Nick Garrisi
Scout and Will are sitting on the grass.
Scout: So, how are you doing?
Will: I feel completely horrible…but other than that, fine.
Will: Because everything that happened could have been prevented. Bella and I should have never been together.
Scout: Do you really believe that?
Will looks down.
Scout cont’d: Because when I said that a long time ago…you didn’t believe me.
Will: Is that your way of saying “I told you so?”
Scout: No. Will, you’re taking an awful lot of credit for the destruction of this relationship.
Will: That’s because I feel like I made a series of bad decisions…culminating with probably the worst decision I’ve ever made in my whole life…
Scout: Well, whatever happened…it was meant to be…
Will: Fate? I thought you wanted to control your own destiny.
Scout: Well…you’d be surprised what happens when you stop concentrating so hard on making the right decision.
Will: What happens?
Scout: You figure out that you are.
Will: Making the right choices?
Will: How do you know? I’ve been struggling with that question.
Scout looks up for a minute.
(cut to): a shot from Will’s point of view. Gwen, Jake and Jill are approaching the guys from the direction of Hamilton’s house.
Scout: I don’t know…you just do.
He smiles and gets up walking over to Jill.
Will: Well, thanks…that’s definitive.
Will looks on as Scout talks to her, but we can’t hear what he says. Jake looks over at Hamilton and Sean tossing the football. Hamilton sees her. He tosses the football to Sean one more time then indicates for him to hold up. He jogs over to where Scout and the girls are standing. He takes note of Gwen’s presence then talks to Jake:
Hamilton: Dude…I’ve been looking for you like all day.
Jake: We went shopping…with your mom.
Jake: She said your laptop wasn’t working…
Hamilton: It’s not?
Jake tries to get him to play along.
Hamilton: Oh yeah…I think there’s a problem with the, um…hard drive.
Jake: Let’s go take a look.
Jill: Hey…I’m glad you came Jake. And…you have to come check out my new dress later.
Jake: Oh…don’t worry, I will.
Hamilton looks over at Scout with raised eyebrows and an “I told you so” look. Scout shakes his head. Hamilton walks off with Jake. Sean and Will start tossing the football. Gwen, Jill and Scout stand talking.
Commercial Break: Well, Eve 6 is a totally rockin’ band and their website has a ton of fun stuff too. And, now…the end of the episode…
(fade in): to Will riding his bike through town. The time is uncertain.
Music: Nothing’s Changed by the Calling
Will (voice over): Some people want more choices…but me? I just want to right one.
He reaches the center of town. He stops on his bike and looks around.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: I want to be able to look at my options and confidently pick the right path.
He gets off his bike and tosses it down. He sits by the flag pole.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: I want to just know, like Scout. And I want to know so well that I forget I’m making a decision.
Will sits there. He looks over toward the garage.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Most of all, though, I don’t want to feel like this. Like I’ve struggled to do the right thing, to make the right choice…only to feel like I’m stuck right here—exactly where I started, yet someplace completely different—with no options left.
Will remains sitting, looking a little lost, but not completely without hope.