Meet The Parents
(fade in): to an establishing helicopter shot of New Rawley, dusk. It’s mid-December and the town looks pretty dead.
Music: Waiting by Greenday
Will (voice over): Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives that we forget about the people who gave us life.
(cut to): Will’s mom’s beauty parlor, from outside. The lights are on and we see some people moving around inside.
(cut to): inside. Will sits in a chair at his mom’s station. His mom and Gwen sit in the waiting area. They’re eating a picnic style lunch, sandwiches, chips, soda. Gwen is looking through a haircut magazine.
Gwen: I just don’t know. I like it short, but I’ll probably just wait until after Christmas before I get it cut again.
Susan: Well, it looks really cute short…fits your features well. However, I think you look beautiful either way.
Will: I second that.
Gwen: Well, thank you both.
Will swivels the chair slightly from side to side as he takes a bite of his sandwich.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: My mom is the one person I’m sure I can count on to love me unconditionally.
Gwen cont’d: I’m afraid my father won’t like it short and since I’m spending my entire winter vacation with him and my step-mother in New York…
Susan: “Don’t rock the boat.” That’s my philosophy.
Will: Is that why we’re having dinner here instead of at the house?
Will (v.o.) cont’d: I’ve had first hand experience that every parent is not like my mom.
Susan: I just thought it would be—
Will: …nice. Yeah, I know.
Gwen notices the tension.
Gwen: So, are you glad to be through with your finals, Will?
Will: I guess. When do you leave for New York?
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Dealing with your own parents, though, comes with the territory of being someone’s child
Gwen: My dad is picking me up the day after tomorrow.
Will: He’s coming here?
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Dealing with someone else’s parents…now that’s a whole different challenge.
Will: You didn’t tell me that before.
Gwen: I guess I was focusing on studying all week.
Will: Oh, well, anyway…I can’t wait to meet him.
Gwen looks a little unsettled by that idea. She forces a smile. Will doesn’t notice, but Susan does. Will takes another bite of his sandwich and smiles at Gwen.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Nothing seems more important than making a good impression on the people who brought you the person you care about…the person you find yourself falling for more and more every day…
Gwen’s smiles changes into a genuine one as she glances up from the magazine and notices Will smiling at her.
(fade in): to Rawley Academy, the next day.
Music: Give Me One Good Reason by Blink 182
(cut to): Scout and Will’s room.
Scout: So, you are going home for Christmas?
Scout: You’re not staying in the dorms?
Will: For a few more days, but…I will be at home for Christmas.
Scout: You swear?
Will: Well, unless things go really well with Gwen’s dad.
Scout: What do you mean?
Will: He’s coming to pick her up tomorrow. She’s going to be in New York until classes start again so…I was thinking maybe I’d spend a few days there at some point too. And, if things go well with her dad, maybe I could surprise her on Christmas.
Scout: You’re looking forward to meeting Alexander Vaughn? Oh…good.
Will: What does that mean?
Scout: I still can’t believe that guy is Ryder’s step-dad. No wonder he was such a jerk.
Will: What are you talking about?
Scout: I don’t actually know that much about him. He tried to bribe my dad once.
Will: For what?
Scout: He holds stock in this company that…look, it’s complicated.
Will: So…he’s a jerk?
Scout: First of all, look at his daughter…of course he’s a jerk.
Scout: I just mean that…you don’t really think she’s into school because she sincerely likes it, do you? I’m sure a guy like that…he’s really into perfection. And, I don’t mean in a good, pure kind of way. It’s such a surface kind of thing. Making sure everything looks ideal…no matter how screwed up it really is.
Will: Don’t you think you’re being a little…
Scout: Look…he’s rich and…he’s powerful and…he’s not the kind of guy that you can…invite to a barbecue, you know?
Will sits on his bed.
Will: Wow…he sounds like…the evil villain on a soap opera.
Scout: Well, hey, if Gwen wants you to meet him then…I’m sure it’ll go well.
Scout knows he should say something more comforting, but Dexter comes in the room from the bathroom.
Dexter: Hey guys…just wanted to say bye and have a nice break.
Will: Thanks, Dex.
Scout: You too.
Woman (from other room): Dexter, Dear, we’d like to meet your suitemates.
Dexter: No, Mom…let’s just go…
But, it’s too late, his mother and father walk into Scout and Will’s room. Will and Scout look at each other then at them.
Scout: Hello, Mr. And Mrs. Darcy. I’m Scout Calhoun.
Dennis: The Senator’s son, huh?
Scout: Yes, sir…but don’t hold that against me.
Mr. and Mrs. Darcy laugh. Will and Dexter trade a look.
Will: Um, and I’m Will Krudski.
Doris: You’re the smart one.
Will: Well…I don’t know about that…
Dennis: So, what do you boys do for fun?
Dexter: Dad, don’t we need to hit the road.
Mr. Darcy looks at his watch.
Dennis: I guess you’re right. Boys, nice to meet you.
He shakes each of their hands. Mrs. Darcy smiles and waves as Dexter escorts them from the room. When they’re gone:
Scout: Man, I wanted to ask him about the C.I.A.
(cut to): Dexter’s room. Hamilton walks in.
Dexter: Hey, Hamilton…these are my parents.
Hamilton: Cool. I’m Hamilton…Fleming.
He shakes each of their hands.
Doris: I’m glad you’re neat.
Doris: Well, Dear…did you see those other boys’ room?
Hamilton: Will and Scout? Yeah…their room is a wreck.
Dexter: Okay, we have to go. Hamilton, I will see you next year.
Hamilton: Wh…oh, right…funny joke, Dexter.
Dennis: I taught him that one when he was a kid. When I worked the night shift on New Years’ Eve I’d say “see you next year.” Confused the heck out of him every time.
Hamilton smiles, humoring the guy.
Dennis cont’d: I work at the CIA, you see.
Hamilton: I heard that.
Dennis: Did Dexter tell you I’m a spy?
Hamilton: I think he did.
Dex’s mom laughs.
Doris: We love that joke.
Hamilton laughs, still humoring them. Dexter gives him an apologetic look.
Hamilton: Well, I don’t want to hold you guys up. It was nice to meet you. Can I help you carry anything?
Dexter puts on his backpack and picks up his suitcase. Hamilton looks over at his desk…his laptop.
Hamilton: Aren’t you going to need your hardware?
He nods over to the computer. Dexter’s eyes widen a little.
Dexter: Oh, that? Nah…I hardly ever use it anyway…
Hamilton looks confused, but gets that he shouldn’t ask any more.
Dennis: I can never get Dex on a computer. He just doesn’t love it like I do.
Hamilton raises his eyebrows at Dexter who shrugs it off.
Hamilton: You have a good vacation, Dexter.
Dexter: Thanks, Hamilton.
They leave. Hamilton shakes his head.
Music: Get is Together by Midtown
(cut to): Johanna’s house, the living room. There are several boxes around the living room. Finn walks in carrying another one as Johanna walks down the stairs.
Johanna: You meant it when you said one box at a time, huh?
Johanna cont’d: So, how’d the dean take the news?
Finn: Well, he doesn’t like me that much so the fact that I’m spending less time on campus gave him a little extra Christmas cheer.
Finn cont’d: Actually, I think he’s been wanting to start an RA program for awhile.
Johanna: Oh, that’ll be…interesting.
Finn: Teenage boys…supervised by…teenage boys.
Finn cont’d: We’ll see.
A beat as Johanna takes the box from him and sets it with the others.
Johanna: So, I was talking to my mom today.
Finn: Uh huh…did you tell her?
Johanna: No, but I did invite her and my dad to dinner tomorrow night.
Finn: Why is it that they live in town yet I haven’t I met them for more than a few minutes at a time?
Johanna: Because…they’re crazy.
Finn: All parents are crazy.
Johanna: Yeah, I guess it’s a good thing yours are dead.
Finn gives her a weird look…then he gets it…she knows.
Johanna cont’d: Dead, Finn?
Finn: Well…they’re so boring they’re practically dead.
Johanna: I was talking to my mom and I said something about it being too bad your parents had passed away and Mom was totally horrified because she’d just called your mother in Boston about a week ago for her famous quiche recipe.
Finn: Oh…she knows my parents…
Finn cont’d: Look, I’m sorry. It’s not like…it’s not like I didn’t want them to know about you or anything. They know about you.
Johanna: Yeah, I know…after she gave my mom the recipe, your mom asked her about me and about the baby.
Finn: I…I was going to tell you…
Johanna: …that they aren’t dead?
Finn: I’m sorry.
Johanna: It’s fine. Anyway, I got their number from my mom, called up, talked to your dad for a bit…then invited them to dinner tomorrow night.
Finn: You did what? Okay…they…they don’t know I’m moving in here yet…or that…we’re…engaged.
Johanna: Well, neither do my parents.
Finn sighs, submitting.
Finn: Okay, you’re right. Sounds like a good idea.
Finn turns to the boxes of his stuff.
Johanna: I can’t believe you said they were dead…
Finn just looks worried about the next night.
(fade in): to Jake in her room. She’s got a suitcase opened on her bed and is working on packing it. It’s still fairly early so she’s got on pajama pants and a tank top. There’s a knock at the door. She looks over at it like she hopes it’s someone who can see her like she is.
Music: When I’m With You, I’m OK by Ultimate Fakebook
Jake: Uh, yeah? Who is it?
Hamilton: The police.
Jake smiles and walks over, carefully letting him in.
Jake: Did you bring Sting too?
Hamilton doesn’t get it at first, but then he rolls his eyes and leans back against the door.
Hamilton: You need to work on your comedic skills.
He checks out her outfit.
Hamilton cont’d: And, you look adorable, by the way.
Jake: Thanks; these are your pants. And, by the way, you need to work on your “hiding the fact that Jake’s a girl” skills.
Hamilton: What are you talking about?
Jake: You…out in the hall…talking to my door…with what is unmistakably an “I want to jump you” tone…
Hamilton can’t help smirking.
Hamilton (suggestively): Well…
She leans toward him with a smile.
Hamilton cont’d: …I did already manage to get you in my pants…
Jake: Ha, ha, ha…I’m not the only one who needs to work on his jokes.
Hamilton: Anyway, getting back to my lack of discretion…there’s hardly anyone left.
Jake: Did Dexter’s parents come already?
Hamilton: Yes and he was so weird around them. He acted so embarrassed and…believe me, they were mild as far as parents go. It’s always strange to meet people’s parents…
Jake: They’re never quite how you think they’ll be.
Hamilton: Oh! I forgot why I was here in the first place. I have for you…a special delivery.
It’s Jake’s turn to smirk.
Hamilton cont’d: God, you’re cute when you think dirty.
He’s managed to embarrass her slightly and he enjoys this.
Hamilton cont’d: …but…I meant this.
He pulls out a letter from his pocket and hands it to her.
Hamilton cont’d: My mom intercepted it.
She takes the letter and looks at it.
Hamilton: So…do I get a tip?
Jake smiles, but is distracted by the letter. She walks over to the bed with it. Hamilton looks at her with curiosity.
Hamilton: Who’s it from?
Jake sits down.
Jake: I don’t know…it’s weird…it says “Frank Mann.”
Hamilton: Who’s that?
He walks over to her and sits down.
Jake: Well…he’s this…Broadway actor…
Hamilton leans over to her and starts kissing her neck, but she’s still concentrating on the letter. She opens it and starts to read it. Hamilton works his way down to her shoulder, but she gently pushes him away.
Jake: Just…can you…hang on?
She looks over at him with sincerity.
Jake: It’s okay…just let me read this…then whatever you want, okay?
Hamilton lies back on the bed.
Hamilton: Whatever I want…
She reads the letter as Hamilton closes his eyes. Her expression changes from blank to curious to…upset.
Jake: Oh my God…
Hamilton opens his eyes and looks up at her.
She doesn’t say anything; she can’t say anything. Hamilton sits up. She looks away, shaking her head in disbelief. Hamilton starts to look really concerned.
Hamilton cont’d: Jake?
She hands him the letter, but continues to look away. He takes it, still looking at her. After a moment, he begins to read:
Hamilton (reading): Dear Jacqueline, You may know me from my work as an actor on Broadway. In fact, I’m sure you do. There are a few other important details you should know about me. Eighteen years ago I worked on a play with your mother. I was married, but I couldn’t ignore…
Hamilton looks up at Jake. He realizes she’s trying really hard not to cry. She looks back at him like he should continue reading. He wraps an arm around her and continues.
Hamilton: Um… (reading) I couldn’t ignore the enormous attraction I began to feel for her. We began a year-long…love affair and, to be honest, it was one of the most amazing times in my life. If the ending isn’t obvious yet, allow me to cut to the chase. I am…
Hamilton stops reading.
Hamilton cont’d: Oh my God…
Hamilton: Your father.
He looks at her, but she can’t quite look at him right now. She takes the letter, gets up and walks toward the window.
Jake cont’d: Basically it goes on to say that he knows all about me…that my mom has kept him “informed…”
Hamilton: Why hasn’t he—
Jake: …and he couldn’t meet me before because…he was married…then he was getting divorced…
Hamilton: And now he wants to meet you?
Hamilton cont’d: What…what are you going to do?
Jake shakes her head. Her back is still to him.
Jake: I…I don’t…
He looks a little freaked out and like he doesn’t know what to do, but he gets up and walks over to her. She looks back at him as he stands behind her and wraps his arms around her.
Hamilton: Whatever you need from me…
Jake: Just…don’t move.
He nods placing his head on her shoulder and pulling her closer to him.
Music: Virus of the Mind by Heather Nova
(cut to): Jill and Gwen’s room. Gwen is placing her textbooks on her shelf and straightening up her desk. Jill is lying on her bed.
Jill: So…how are you going to tell him?
Gwen: I don’t know.
Jill: Maybe you should just introduce them.
Gwen: No. My dad…he just wouldn’t approve.
Jill: He doesn’t know you date?
Gwen: He’s never really asked…which is fine because, before now, there’s been nothing to tell…
Jill: Well, I’m sure he’ll be cool with it.
Gwen: He’s not going to care that I’m dating a guy. That wouldn’t be the issue. He cares about me making good grades…working toward a future goal…and…he’d just point out that Will is an obstacle to that goal.
Jill sits up.
Jill: But…Will’s the greatest guy. He’s an upstanding citizen…makes good grades…editor of the school paper…
Gwen: …here on a scholarship.
Jill: Don’t be shallow.
Gwen: You think I care about that?
Jill: I don’t know…you’re sure acting like it.
Gwen: But…it’s my dad—
Jill: Whatever. Stand up to him.
Gwen: You don’t know my dad…
Jill: Yeah…I don’t think you want me to meet him either.
Gwen looks worried by that statement.
Jill cont’d: I mean, this is a pattern for you, Gwen. First, it was Ryder walking all over you and now…you’re telling me you can’t stand up to your dad.
Gwen: Jill, please…give me a little credit, okay? I don’t want Will to meet my dad and it’s not because I care about disappointing him…I don’t want him to hurt Will. And, even if I “stand up” to him…Will’s still going to be hurt.
Jill: I guess that does make sense…
Gwen: What can I tell Will?
Jill: God, I don’t know…why’d you even tell Will he was coming in the first place?
Gwen sits down at her desk, looking miserable about the whole thing.
(cut to): the Fleming house, Hamilton’s parents bedroom. Kate is helping Steven pack.
Steven: You’re sure it’s okay for me to go? I mean, Finn’s moving out…there are still kids here…
Kate: They’ll all be gone by tomorrow. It’ll be fine. When the Board of Trustees invites you skiing, you don’t say “no.”
Steven: I wish you were coming with me.
He wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her over to him. He’s a little out of character and it makes Kate smile.
Kate: Me too, but…someone has to stay home and hold down the fort.
Steven gets an idea.
Steven: When I get back, we’ll do something as a family, okay? Even if it’s just renting movies and having dinner.
Kate: That sounds really nice, Steven.
(cut to): Jake’s room. She and Hamilton sit together on the bed. She’s holding her cell phone.
Hamilton: You know…this is like really big news and…it happened kind of fast.
Jake: I know.
Hamilton: What I’m saying is maybe you shouldn’t call him today.
Jake: I want to get it over with, Hamilton.
Hamilton: I know you do…
He wraps his arm around her, placing his hand on her shoulder.
Hamilton cont’d: …but…maybe you should talk to your mom first.
Jake: I’m not telling my mom about this.
He looks over at her, not approving, but he doesn’t challenge her.
Hamilton: Well…maybe Jill then? Or…maybe my mom?
Jake: I don’t want anyone to know about this.
Hamilton looks down.
Hamilton: But, you told me.
She looks over at him.
Jake: That’s because I don’t trust anyone the way I trust you.
This touches Hamilton because he knows it’s a big deal for her to say something like that.
Hamilton: I’m afraid that I won’t be able to say the right things.
Jake: You don’t have to say anything.
She holds out her hand to him and he takes it. She looks over at the letter which is sitting next to her. She dials the phone. Hamilton looks worried for her.
(fade in): to Rawley Academy, the next day at about eight a.m.
Music: Cry in the Sun by Better Than Ezra
(cut to): Hamilton’s house.
(cut to): the kitchen. Kate is in her robe, making toast. Hamilton walks in the back door and looks at her hesitantly.
Kate: Morning, Sweetheart. You’re up early.
Hamilton: I’m…going to New York today…with Jake.
Kate: Excuse me?
Hamilton: Please don’t say no.
Kate: Are you even asking?
Hamilton looks at her.
Hamilton: Mom, it’s really important, okay? Jacqueline needs me today and I can’t exactly tell you everything, but…she has to do something important and I have to be there to support her.
Kate looks at him like he’s making no sense.
Kate: That explanation isn’t going to cut it, Hamilton.
Hamilton: It’s…it’s a family thing.
Kate: What about your family?
Hamilton: Mom, I love you and I know that I make you so stressed out…
Kate: Yes, you do.
Hamilton: but…you have to learn to trust me. I would never ever ever make a decision that you wouldn’t be proud of.
Kate: What makes you think you haven’t already?
Hamilton looks at her, hurt by the comment.
Hamilton: Wow…okay…I’ll see ya when I see ya….
He heads toward the back door.
Kate: Hamilton, wait.
Hamilton: Forget it…
Kate: Please, just tell me—
Hamilton turns back around.
Hamilton: Okay, fine. You want to know the big secret? Jake got a letter from her father yesterday. She didn’t even know her mom knew who he was and, all of a sudden, he writes and says he knows all about her and that he wants to talk to her—to meet her. So, she calls him up and he invites her to stop by when she’s back in the city. That’s where he lives, by the way, New York…like twelve blocks from Jake’s house. Anyway, her mom isn’t expecting her home until tonight so…we’re going to get in town early and stop by her dad’s. She didn’t want anyone to know…including her mom…including Jill…including you. And I’ve just broken a huge promise to her by telling you. So, how about it, Mom? Are you happy now? Does that put a little more of your faith back in me? Or am I just making another decision that you’re not proud of?
His speech does what he wants: makes Kate feel bad. She closes her eyes.
Hamilton: Save it. See ya later.
He walks out of the door, angry with her.
(cut to): Jake’s room. Jill is sitting in her desk. Jake’s dressed in her boy gear and sitting on her bed, waiting for Hamilton.
Jill: I can’t believe you won’t just wait until tonight.
Jill: You know, really it’s not that. I can’t believe you won’t let me go now.
Jill: I mean, hello…you and Hamilton…sneaking back early…telling me specifically that I can’t go. That’s not fair.
Jake sighs, looking stressed.
Jake: I shouldn’t have even told you I was leaving.
Jill: Are you guys eloping or something?
Jake: No. I just have to take care of something and…I asked Hamilton to be there with me.
Jill: What the hell? You know, you’re making it sound like you got knocked up and now that you’re “in trouble,” you have to get your skeazy boyfriend to take you into the big city to some seedy abortion clinic where—
Jake: Jill, shut up.
Jill: Come on, Jacqueline…what gives?
Jake sighs. She doesn’t want to explain this.
Jake: Look, I wasn’t going to tell you, but…I got a letter yesterday…from my father.
Jill: Oh my God.
Jake: Yeah…and, he lives in New York.
Jill cont’d: Whoa.
A beat as Jake looks down.
Jill: So, you’re going to see him?
Jill cont’d: And you weren’t going to tell me?
Jake: Well…only because I don’t know how it’ll go. I may end up never seeing him again after today and…I’d just feel dumb if I told everyone and—
Jill: What’d your mom say?
Jake: She doesn’t know…and I don’t want her to know, okay?
Jill: Well, I’m coming too.
Jake: I would really rather you didn’t.
This takes Jill off guard.
Jill: Right…you’ve got Hamilton. Who needs Jill?
She gets up.
Jill: It’s okay; I get it. This isn’t a fight…it’s fine.
Jake looks at her, apologetically, which makes Jill feel bad.
Jill cont’d: God, come here…
She opens her arms for a hug and Jake walks over to comply.
Jill cont’d: I’m so stupid. I’m whining about my jealousy issues when you have a million other things to think about.
Jake: It’s okay. And…I don’t mean to make you feel like I’m picking him over—
Jill: Shut up…
Jill steps back and smiles.
Jill cont’d: …of course you’re picking him over me.
Jake doesn’t know what to make of this.
Jill cont’d: …and I should have long since stopped trying to figure out the power of the connection between you two. I mean, if you guys were on Roswell, you’d totally have a fan following. And people on the internet who were “Jake and Hamilton” ‘shippers would make up some cheesy name for themselves like, maybe…jacqhammers or…even better…jahammers. Yep…there’d be a website…a mailing list…ooh, and fanfiction…lots of—
Jake: Jill. Ew. Stop.
Jill smiles. A beat.
Jill: Hey…good luck today.
Jake: Thank you.
Jill: And…I’ll be around all Christmas break so you can tell me as much, or as little, as you want to.
Jake nods. There’s a knock at the door then Hamilton walks in, still looking upset.
Jill: I’m…gonna go…
Hamilton smiles at Jill as she walks by and pats him on the shoulder then exits.
Jake: I ended up having to tell her. Just the basics.
Hamilton: I just had a huge fight with my mom. I ended up having to tell her where we were going today.
Hamilton cont’d: And I thought we were supposed to be good at keeping secrets.
Jake: Tell me about it.
A quick beat.
Jake: But, wait…you had a huge fight?
Hamilton: Not really…it was nothing…let’s go.
Jake: You’re not taking anything? Toothbrush?
Hamilton: I think I should come back tonight.
Jake: Good, then you can help carry my stuff.
She picks up her suitcase and hands it to him.
Music: Will I Find You by Jeremy Toback
(cut to): Gwen shutting her suitcase. The door is open. She puts her hands on her hips and looks around the room as the door opens slightly. She looks up as Will walks in.
Will: Good morning.
She looks at her watch.
Gwen cont’d: …um, what are you doing here?
Will’s face falls a little.
Will: I…wanted to meet your dad.
Gwen: Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go back to sleep
Gwen: Well, actually…he’s not going to be here for awhile…
Will gives her a weird look.
Will: Well…I’ve never minded a few minutes alone with you.
Gwen: I don’t want you to meet my dad.
Will stops and steps back. It was hard for her to say and she still looks hesitant, awaiting a reaction.
He looks down and puts his hands in his pocket. A beat.
Will cont’d: Scout told me about him.
Will looks up at her.
Will cont’d: And I still came.
Gwen: Will…he’s not going to be nice and—
Will: Remember a couple of weeks ago when we stopped by my house and I introduced you to my dad? Was he nice?
Gwen: Actually…he was.
Will: Exactly. And, he’s not…he’s not nice, but…I still wanted you to meet him because you’re a part of my life and…I wanted him to know that.
Gwen looks down.
Will cont’d: I guess…you’re not quite as proud of me, huh?
She looks back up at him, but doesn’t say anything.
Will cont’d: Right…
He turns around and goes. Gwen looks regretful, but like there’s nothing she plans to do about it.
(fade in): to the garage, it’s now around ten. Bella is working on a car. She looks cold.
Music: Is Anybody Home by Our Lady Peace
Scout walks across the street, in his Friendly’s uniform, carrying two cups. Bella smiles.
Scout: I think this only works as a summer job.
He nods toward the car. She laughs.
Bella: Tell me about it.
He holds out one cup.
Bella thinks about it.
Bella: No, thanks.
He holds out the other cup.
Scout: Hot chocolate?
She smiles and takes the cup.
Bella: So, why aren’t you back in the mansion in front of a fire?
Scout: I’ve been left to my own devices. My parents left for Aspen yesterday.
Bella looks concerned.
Scout: Don’t worry…I’m flying out to meet them tomorrow.
Bella: Of course…the Calhouns would never abandon their son for Christmas
Scout: Yeah, only the other three hundred sixty-four days of the year.
Bella: Yeah, you got it pretty rough, Billy Madison.
Scout: Anyway…what about you? What are your plans for Christmas?
Bella: You’re looking at it.
Scout: Have you thought about…seeing your mom again?
Bella: Thought about it? Yeah. Thought about actually doing it? No.
Scout: You should.
Bella: Where’s this coming from, Scout?
Scout: I don’t know…seems like you’ve been solo a lot lately.
Bella: Well, thanks for your concern, but I’ve got all the parents I need.
Charlie walks out of the garage.
Charlie: Hey, baby, why don’t you come inside…Mr. Closky can wait until it warms up to get that gasket replaced.
Bella: No arguments here.
Charlie: Scout, how have you been?
Scout: Good, thank you, Sir.
He smiles at Bella and goes back inside.
Bella: See what I mean?
Scout: Well, before you go in…
He steps toward her.
Scout cont’d: Merry Christmas.
He gives her a hug which she returns.
Bella: You too.
The shot gets wider then turns across the street as Jill walks up to Friendly’s. She pauses to look across the street then opts not to go into Friendly’s.
Music: Captain by Kasey Chambers
(cut to): a video store further down the street. A truck pulls up in front of the store and Sean hops out and heads for the store. Jill walks up, but Sean doesn’t notice.
Jill: Hey, Sean.
He turns back.
Sean: Jill…hey. What are you doing on this side of town?
Jill: Uh oh…is this like…the wrong side of the tracks?
Sean: Well, this is the side of town I live on…so take that to mean what you want.
Jill: Well…I’m just looking for a way to spend the day.
Sean raises his eyebrows.
Jill cont’d: I’m going home tonight and I thought I’d work on a painting or something…I haven’t been able to motivate myself in that direction lately—
Sean: Painter’s block?
Jill: Something like that. Anyway, Gwen’s dad is coming and she doesn’t want Will to meet him ‘cause he’s some kind of first class snob so…I didn’t think she’d like it if I met him because I don’t let people get all elitist like that.
Sean: Of course not. You just don’t want to be on the wrong side of town…
Jill: Shut up. Anyway, there’s more to this saga.
Sean: Okay, but why don’t we go inside…it’s freezing.
Jill nods and they head into the video store.
(cut to): inside. They peruse the new release section.
Sean: Okay, so…what’s the rest of the story?
Jill: Oh, right. So, I go to Jacqueline’s room…my best friend in the whole world…and she’s taking off to New York with Hamilton…and she won’t let me come. She ended up having a pretty decent reason for all of it, but…still. She’s supposed to be my best friend too.
Sean looks at her with raised eyebrows.
Jill cont’d: What?
Sean: You’re so…
Sean: Hm…I was going to say “cute.”
Sean cont’d: …but only because I was trying to be nice.
Jill rolls her eyes.
Jill: Well, alas…there’s still more.
He walks further down and continues to look at movies.
Jill: I thought I’d go hang at Friendly’s. Scout’s working and I thought it would be nice just to chat with him…since everything is finally cool between us.
Jill: Are you even listening?
Sean looks back over at her.
Sean: Undividedly….go on.
Jill: So, I’m about to walk into Friendly’s and I glance across the street and Scout is engaged in some Bella-Christmas love fest and…I just couldn’t handle it.
Sean: Love fest?
Jill: Well…it was more like a hug, but…I started to feel a little ill nonetheless.
Sean nods and looks back at the wall.
Sean: Yeah…I know the feeling.
A quick beat as Jill gives him a curious look and he picks up a movie from the shelf.
Sean cont’d: Have you seen Pearl Harbor?
Jill: Is that an invitation?
She takes the movie from him and flips it over to pretend she’s checking it out. Sean shakes his head. She looks back up.
Jill cont’d: Well?
He narrows his eyes and sighs, but then smiles.
Sean: Do you want to come over and watch a movie with me, Jill?
Jill: Hmm…sure. Sounds fun.
He takes the movie back from her, puts it back and continues looking.
Sean: It’s only like what? Your fourth choice of how to spend the day?
Jill: Well, all the options weren’t presented at once.
She picks up Pearl Harbor again.
Jill: Action and guts for you…Josh Harnett and Ben Affleck for me. It’s perfect.
Sean laughs and takes it from her then walks toward the counter. Jill smiles to herself and follows behind him.
(cut to): Johanna’s house.
(cut to): inside. She sits on the couch, grading papers. Meagan walks in carrying a box.
Meagan: You know, there are child labor laws for a reason.
Finn walks in behind her.
Finn: Just keep moving.
Meagan walks in a little further and puts the box with the others.
Finn cont’d: Are you sure you want to do this parent dinner tonight? We’re in the middle of getting me moved and settled in. Maybe we could just—
Johanna: …wait until they’re all actually dead?
Finn raises his eyebrows like it’s not that bad of an idea. He walks over and sits down next to Johanna. Meagan uses the opportunity to sneak off upstairs.
Johanna cont’d: This is something we should have done a long time ago.
Finn: I know.
Finn looks over at her, but she’s concentrating on the essays.
Finn cont’d: I’m going to head back to my apartment and get the rest of my stuff.
Johanna: Want me to call Meagan back down?
Finn: I think I’ll go by myself. This’ll be the last load.
She nods and he exits.
(cut to): a train traveling down the tracks.
(cut to): aboard the train. Jake and Hamilton sit together. Jake is now Jacqueline. Her head rests on his shoulder and he holds her hand.
Jake: I’m really glad you came.
Hamilton: Think I’d let you do something huge like this without a cheering section?
He looks over with a smile as he kisses her on the head.
Jake: Is your mom going to be totally pissed at both of us?
Hamilton: Screw her.
Jake: You don’t really mean that.
Hamilton: She said she thinks I make stupid decisions. It’s not like I’m a “bad kid” or something…right? I mean…I’m not, right?
Jake sits up and looks over at him.
Jake: Of course, you’re not.
Hamilton: Sure, I’m no angel, but—
Jake: I beg to differ.
He smiles, dropping the whining to kiss his girlfriend.
(cut to): Hamilton’s house. We hear a doorbell ring.
(cut to): the living room as Kate walks through, looking slightly stressed. She reaches the door and opens it. Monica Pratt is standing there.
Kate: Hi…can I help you?
Monica: I hope so…I can’t find my daughter? I went by her dorm room, but…no one was there.
Kate: Hm…did you try asking someone at the dorms? Maybe she was in a friend’s room?
Monica: Yes, I did. Unfortunately, none of the girls I asked even knew her. They must have been freshmen or something.
Kate looks a little incredulous.
Kate cont’d: I can put a call in to the house mother at the dorm.
Monica: That would be great. Thank you.
Kate: Would you like to come in?
(cut to): inside as Kate shows Monica to the couch.
Monica cont’d: Is the dean at home, by chance?
Kate: No…he’s out of town.
Monica: What about Hamilton?
Monica cont’d: Actually, he may know where she is…I should have thought of that sooner. Oh my God, you’re Kate, right? Where’s my head?
Monica stands up again.
Monica cont’d: I’m Monica Pratt…Jacqueline’s mom. I wasn’t even…anyway…hi.
Kate’s surprised, but tries to act normal.
Kate: Nice to meet you.
They shake hands. Monica beams. Kate’s freaked.
(fade in): to Sean’s house as his truck pulls up. It’s now 10:30. The house is two stories. It’s not elaborate, but it’s well kept and looks inviting.
Music: Another Perfect Day by American Hi-Fi
(cut to): his living room as he and Jill walk in the front door. The living room reflects the exterior of the house.
Sean: Mom? I’m back.
Jill looks around and smiles. Sean’s mother, Annette, exits the kitchen. She has on an apron
and has been cooking.
Annette: Hi, Sweetheart.
She glances at Jill.
Sean: Mom, this is Jill Thomas. Jill, this is my Mom, Annette.
Annette: Oh, Jill, of course. I’ve heard about you.
Jill looks at Sean with raised eyebrows.
Sean: Anyway, we got a movie.
Annette: What’d you get?
Sean: Pearl Harbor.
Annette: Cool. Well, I’m making some cookies right now so I’ll bring some in when they’re ready.
Sean: Thanks, Mom.
Annette: Oh, would you guys like some popcorn?
He looks at Jill who shrugs. He hands her the movie.
Sean cont’d: There’s the couch.
He nods over at it then starts to walk toward the kitchen.
Sean cont’d: I’ll make the popcorn and then we can get the party started.
(cut to): Finn’s apartment. He’s sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. All that remains of his belongings are two cardboard boxes. The door is open and Will walks through it.
Finn looks up, looking stressed. Will notices.
Will cont’d: Are you okay?
Finn: Just making my peace with this place.
He stands up.
Finn cont’d: Help me carry this stuff out to the car.
(cut to): the front of the school as Will and Finn carry the two boxes to Johanna’s car. After they get it loaded:
Will: No problem.
Finn: I feel like I’m…going off to college or something.
Will: I guess it’s the same sort of thing…moving up to the next level…from bachelorhood to family man.
Finn: I guess so.
Will: Can I ask for your advice on something?
Finn: Only if I can ask for yours.
Will: Fair enough.
Finn: Okay, you first.
Will: Well, Gwen and I have been seeing each other for a little less than a month now and last week I took her to meet my parents.
Finn: That’s quick.
Will: Yeah, but…I was ready to do it.
Will cont’d: I mean, she’s so awesome.
Finn: So, what’s the problem?
Will: Well, her dad is coming to pick her up…and she doesn’t want me to meet him.
Finn: So you’re afraid she’s not as into the relationship as you?
Finn: Does she say why she doesn’t want you to meet him?
Will: Basically that he isn’t nice…and I think I can deal with that, but she won’t even give me the chance.
Will cont’d: What do you think? I should be pissed, right?
Finn doesn’t think so.
Finn: I don’t know, Will…I think there are probably a million other little things going on. There are always are. If she’s with you, she wants to be with you and…maybe you should give her a little time on the meet the parents situation.
Will doesn’t like this advice at first, but he nods and thinks about it as Finn takes another look at the school.
Finn cont’d: I’m going to miss living here. You know, Will, next semester they’re going to try to have a resident advisor instead of a live-in faculty member…maybe you should apply for the job.
Will: Right, like anyone would want advice from me.
Finn: Oh, which reminds me…
Will: Oh yeah…what do you need advice on again?
Finn: Johanna wants to meet my parents and I’m not really ready for that.
Will: Are you kidding?
Finn shakes his head.
Finn: She invited her parents and my parents over for dinner so we could announce our engagement.
Will: And, you’re not ready to announce it?
Finn: Of course I am.
Will: There are just a million other little things going on, right?
Will cont’d: Maybe you should talk to Ms. Ryan about what those things are.
Finn: Well, if you decide to apply for the R.A. position, you’ve got my recommendation.
Finn: I’ll see you, Will.
Finn pats him on the back and gets in the car, driving away.
(cut to): Hamilton’s house, the living room where Monica is seated alone on the couch. Kate carries in a tray of tea. She sets it on the coffee table and sits on the couch next to Monica.
Kate: So, yes, I’m pretty sure Hamilton said Jay—Jacqueline…
Kate looks up to see if Monica noticed, but she didn’t. She’s actually concentrating on getting just the right amount of milk in her tea.
Kate cont’d: …was leaving this morning for the city.
Monica: Hmm…we must have gotten our wires crossed. I was sure she said she and Jill wouldn’t be leaving until late this afternoon. I guess I should have called. Greg said I shouldn’t come…he’s Jill’s father…and my…boyfriend.
Monica smiles to herself, slightly embarrassed to have a “boyfriend.”
Monica cont’d: So, anyway, I didn’t tell him I was coming either. I planned on spending some time with Hamilton and stopping by to meet his parents so…I guess so far I’ve accomplished about half of what I wanted. Hamilton really is such a wonderful boy.
Kate isn’t in the mood to gush over her son.
(cut to): Friendly’s. Scout is wiping down a counter; the place is deserted. The bell rings as Gwen walks in, looking around.
Music: Colder Than it Oughtta Be by Dashboard Confessional
Gwen: Hi, Scout. You haven’t seen Will, have you?
Scout: Not since before I left for work.
Gwen: We had a fight and…I need to talk to him. I went by the dorms, but he wasn’t in the room.
Scout: Sorry, I don’t know.
Gwen nods and turns to go.
Scout cont’d: Hey?
She turns back.
Scout cont’d: Can I interest you in a free Coke?
(cut to): a few moments later as Gwen sits at the counter sipping a Coke.
Scout: So, when’s your dad getting here?
Gwen: Late this afternoon.
Gwen cont’d: …that’s actually what we got into a fight about.
Gwen: He said you “warned” him about my dad.
Scout looks caught.
Gwen cont’d: It’s okay…I’m sure you didn’t say anything that wasn’t true. Which is why I told Will I didn’t want him to meet my dad at all.
Scout is onto the gist of things.
Scout: So…basically, you can’t bring yourself to tell your dad that your dating a poor kid and…you can’t bear to tell Will that he can’t meet your dad because he’s a poor kid.
Gwen: It’s more complicated than that.
Scout: I know. It is a pretty tough situation. Your dad expects you to be perfect and Will doesn’t exactly fit into his plan for you.
Gwen is surprised.
Gwen: Thank you. Because, I told Jill that…and she said I was being superficial. She said I need to stand up to him.
Scout doesn’t want to talk about Jill.
Scout: Saying “stand up to him” is one thing, but having to be the one to do it…totally difficult.
Gwen: And, like you said, I can’t just tell Will all this. I don’t want to make him feel like that.
Scout: I really wish I knew what to tell you. I wish I could say just avoid the situation and that Will Will get over it and…he probably Will, but…the fact that he wants to meet your dad…I think that’s huge for him.
Gwen: What do you mean?
Scout: Looking at his past relationships, I’d say he’s not really a follow-through kind of guy. For example, he’s not exactly proud of the fact that his house sits in New Rawley. He’s been known to leave out this information when trying to get girls to like him. But, he not only told you, he took you there to meet his parents. And, what about Bella? That relationship turned into a huge mess and he let it happen because he never tied up ends. What do you think this whole meeting your dad thing is an attempt to do?
Gwen looks down then back up at Scout.
Scout: So, I guess my final advice is: make it work, Gwen…you have to.
She takes another sip of her Coke
(fade in): to Hamilton’s house, the living room around 11:30. Monica and Kate are laughing about something.
Music: Anthem Part II by Blink 182
Monica: The two of them really are a little melodramatic.
Kate: You know, I’m really glad to finally meet you and be able to talk about this with someone…um, other than Steven, of course.
Monica: Oh, tell me about it. I’ve been trying to meet you and the dean for ages, but it never seems to work out. I should have made more of an effort. I mean, when your kids are practically sleeping together…you should have probably met at least once or twice.
Monica laughs; Kate isn’t amused.
Monica cont’d: Oh, you don’t think they are having sex, do you? I’ve interrogated Jacqueline and she swears up and down that they aren’t.
Kate: I get the same thing from Hamilton, actually.
Monica: I know they’re young, but I wouldn’t be entirely against it if they went ahead and did it already.
Monica: Well, what’s the big deal?
Kate doesn’t have an answer.
Monica cont’d: And, they are so good for each other. You can’t imagine the change I’ve noticed in Jacqueline since she’s been with him. She’s happy and upbeat…and, believe me, those things Jacqueline Pratt has never been. If you ask me, he’s been such a perfect addition to…her life.
Kate thinks for a moment.
Kate: Knowing her has made Hamilton a strong person, I think. He used to be a little unsure of himself and now…everything is impassioned.
(dissolve to): New York City, noon.
(cut to): a street somewhere as Jake and Hamilton get out of a cab. Her bag is still in the cab.
Jake (to the cabbie): Hang on like two seconds.
She looks at a piece of paper then up at the address of the building.
Jake: Okay, this is it.
Hamilton: I really think I should come in with you.
Jake: I appreciate that, but I want to do it by myself.
Hamilton: Well, then I’ll sit on the steps or something.
She takes her keys from her pocket and gives them to Hamilton.
Jake cont’d: Just go to my house. My mom isn’t back from L.A. until tomorrow and the entire staff is off until after Christmas.
He looks down at the keys, not taking them.
Hamilton: I don’t feel comfortable just leaving you like this.
Jake pulls out her cell phone from her back pocket.
Jake: I’ll call you if I need you.
Hamilton doesn’t like this, but he realizes Jake isn’t giving in.
Hamilton: Okay…what else can I say? Okay.
She takes a deep breath and looks up at the apartment again.
She looks at him.
Hamilton cont’d: …good luck.
She nods. He presses his forehead to hers.
Hamilton cont’d: I love you.
Jake: Thank you.
They kiss briefly.
Hamilton: You’re so strong…you can totally do this.
She smiles and kisses him again then steps back.
Jake: I’ll see you later.
Hamilton: What’s there to do at your house?
Jake: I don’t know…there’s a Play Station in the den. You know…you could always cook me dinner.
He smiles…and makes it reassuring.
Hamilton: I’ll see you later.
She nods and turns to the apartment, heading in. He watches a second then gets back in the cab.
(cut to): Johanna’s house.
Music: Stupid by Toad the Wet Sprocket
(cut to): the living room. She’s curled up on the couch, still grading the essays. Finn walks in with his last box and joins her on the couch. She smiles, but then looks back at the paper in her hands and continues to read. She adds a comma and circles it. Finn watches her.
Finn: My mom was a teacher.
Johanna looks up at him.
Finn cont’d: She gave it up when I was born and never went back to it.
He looks away.
Finn cont’d: I always felt kind of guilty about that.
Johanna reaches out and runs her hand through his hair, offering a little comfort. He looks back at her.
Finn: My father was in the military then settled down here and got a job at a factory. He worked there for twenty-five years and…it was always enough for him.
Johanna abandons the grading to give him her undivided attention.
Finn cont’d: When I was a kid, I was afraid to think beyond this town. We appreciated what we had and…we weren’t supposed to want more. But I…wanted more. When I was seventeen years old, I went to my dad and told I was going to leave this town, go to college and become a writer.
Finn cont’d: And, you know what he said to me? “You think you’re better then this town…better than my life…better than me?” That made me so mad. I wanted to say, “yes, Sir…all of the above.” Then he said, “Talk to me in twenty years when you’re back in this town, living this life, no better than me.”
Finn leans back against the couch as he has a realization.
Finn cont’d: God…and here I am.
Johanna: I’m sorry.
He looks back over at her.
Finn: Oh…no…don’t say that. I didn’t mean it like that. I don’t want to be anywhere except here with you…and with Meagan and…
He places a hand gently on Johanna’s stomach.
Finn cont’d: …this. This will not be anything like my father and me.
She puts her hand on top of his. A beat.
Finn cont’d: So…what’s the deal with your parents? Why are they “crazy?”
Johanna: They’re not really. They’re actually incredibly boring.
He looks at her inquiringly
Johanna: You’ll see.
(cut to): Sean’s house, the living room. Sean and Jill sit on the couch, watching the movie. They are sharing a bowl of popcorn.
Jill: Sean, your mom is like June Cleaver or something.
Sean (in a lowered voice): She got laid off from her job last year and she’s been making the most of the stay-at-home mom thing until she can find something else.
Jill: Wow…that sucks.
Sean: She’s a positive person. Lemons into Lemonade is her specialty.
Jill: What’s your dad like?
Sean: Well, he’s the manager over at the Coca-Cola bottling factory at the edge of town. Personality-wise…people say I’m like him a lot…I don’t know.
Sean looks at his watch.
Sean: He’ll be home any minute…you can see for yourself.
Jill: It’s weird. People’s parents are never quite how you pictured, but…exactly how you should have.
Sean: That makes no sense.
Jill gives him a playfully dirty look and tosses a piece of popcorn at him.
Sean cont’d: Hey, hey…don’t waste that…I slaved over a microwave for three and a half minutes to get that popped just right for you.
Jill looks back at the screen, rolling her eyes, but smiling.
Music: This Time of Year by Better Than Ezra
(cut to): in town, the beauty parlor. Gwen walks in. Susan is sweeping around her chair. There are several customers with other hair dressers. Susan glances up and smiles when she sees Gwen.
Susan: Hey, Sweetie.
Gwen: I want to get my hair cut again.
She looks at her watch.
Susan cont’d: I’ve got about a half an hour until my next customer. Come on over.
(cut to): a few minutes later as Gwen sits in the chair with wet hair. Susan pulls the top part of her hair up and starts the haircut.
Susan: What made you change your mind?
Susan: About the haircut?
Gwen: I got into a fight with Will.
Susan: About what…if it’s okay to ask.
Gwen: I told him I didn’t want him to meet my dad right now.
Susan nods again, working on the hair.
Susan: I’m sure he didn’t take that too well.
Gwen: Not at all.
Gwen starts to look down, but Susan needs her head tilted up so she nudges her chin up.
Gwen: I want to let him into my life, but…my dad’s not exactly the best entry point. I mean, my mom, now that would be something completely different. She’s so much more…normal.
Susan: Where is she again? Europe?
Gwen: Yes. England. She loves it there. She claims that she’ll never return to the States. I don’t think she’s really over my dad leaving her. I would probably be there with her now, but I wanted to go to school here so…here I am.
Susan: Something I’m sure my son appreciates.
Gwen: Maybe not right now.
Susan: It will all work out, Darlin’.
Gwen: I just want to do the right thing.
Susan: Maybe there isn’t a right thing. Maybe it’s about fixing things with Will while doing the least damage…elsewhere.
Gwen looks at Susan in the mirror.
Susan cont’d: And, don’t worry so much about Will. He likes you a whole lot and…I think he can deal with this…and much more.
Gwen smiles as Susan goes back to concentrating on the haircut.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of New York City just past noon. This is the first time we’ve had to look at the city post September 11th. Somehow, though, it’s back to normal: big and impersonal…
Music: Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers
(cut to): the building where Jake and Hamilton were earlier, Jake’s father’s building.
(cut to): inside, the apartment. We see a big, empty foyer surrounded by an elaborate and expensively decorated apartment.
(cut to): a den/office. Jake sits alone in a big chair facing the desk. She’s been alone for awhile and is anxious and fidgety. The door opens and Jake looks back, but looks disappointed as a young woman of about 25, Linda, walks in. She’s carrying a black appointment book as she walks over to the desk and leans against it.
Linda: Okay…I checked Mr. Mann’s schedule and I didn’t see your appointment.
Jake closes her eyes, finding this whole situation not what she wants to deal with. When she does speak, it’s slowly so that this chick will get the point:
Jake: I told you, I don’t have an appointment. I talked to him yesterday and he said stop by anytime and that he’d be home all day.
Linda opens the planner. She runs her finger over the day’s schedule.
Linda cont’d: He really is booked up…
Jake: Is he here right now?
Linda looks up at her smugly…she knows but isn’t going to tell.
Linda: Are you…doing an interview for a school paper or something?
Jake: I would appreciate it if you told him that I’m here…my name is Jacqueline.
Linda: Listen, Sweetie, all people who meet with Mr. Mann go through me first. That’s to ensure that little high school girls with a crush who are clever enough to figure out where he lives don’t—
Jake: Fine, I’ll wait.
She sits back down. She’s pissed and she really wants to tell off Linda and clue her in, but she leans her head against her hand and looks away.
Jake cont’d: When you get some time, please tell him that Jacqueline is here.
(cut to): to Sean’s house, the dining room. Sean and Jill sit at the table across from each other. The table is fully set and a rather large lunch is laid out as well. Annette walks in carrying one last dish. Just as she sets it down, a man, Sean’s father, walks in the front door. This is Colin. He makes his way to the dining room. Jill smiles when she sees him. He looks like Sean and has that whole blue-collar sexy thing too. He sees Jill.
Colin: Hi there.
Jill: Hi, I’m Jill.
Colin looks at Sean like he’s got some dirt on him.
Colin: I’ll spare my son the embarrassment of saying he’s mentioned you once or twice.
Annette: Oh, Colin…don’t torture him.
Colin smiles at his wife and makes his way over to kiss her hello.
Colin: Is there anything I can help you with?
She smiles and shakes her head then makes her way to her own seat. Colin sits down. Jill looks over at Sean with a smile. He shrugs and smiles back.
Colin: So, Jill, do you enjoy going to school at Rawley?
Jill: I don’t enjoy going to school anywhere, but…it’s not bad, I guess. Great location.
She glances up at Sean.
Colin: Sean tells us you broke up with Scout…
Sean is totally embarrassed. Colin speaks to Jill:
Colin: He tells us about all his friends…he just never invites them over.
Sean: I wonder why…
Jill: I’m like that with my dad too. I tell him everything. And…he always uses it against me.
Jill smiles again at Sean who is a little more at ease after hearing this.
(cut to): the girls dorm, later.
(cut to): the hall in front of Jill and Gwen’s room. There are still a few girls around. Will walks up, tentatively, looking at his watch. He knocks, but no one answers. He leans against the door a moment, closing his eyes.
Music: Virus of the Mind by Heather Nova (again)
Gwen: Fancy meeting you here…
Will opens his eyes again as Gwen walks up to meet him.
Will: Your dad…he’s not here yet, right? I was just hoping to catch you a minute before—
Gwen: He’ll be here in…
She looks at her watch.
Gwen cont’d: …a few minutes.
Will: Oh, okay. Well…I just wanted to tell you…
He looks at her a little more closely.
Will cont’d: …hey…your hair…
Gwen: Yes. I decided to take the leap and get it cut again.
Will: Well, you look beautiful.
Gwen looks down with a slight smile.
Gwen: Thank you.
She looks back up at him.
Gwen cont’d: You just wanted to tell me…?
Will: Oh, um…just that I’m going to miss you and I hope you have a nice Christmas. And then…I was going to kiss you on the cheek and walk away, hopefully feeling okay with everything.
Gwen: Mind if I do a slight re-write?
Will: Sure, why not…
He smiles. She leans toward him.
Gwen: I’m sorry…my anxieties about this situation have nothing to do with you and me.
Will nods and leans closer to her.
Will: I know…and I should have understood that before.
Just before they kiss:
Gwen: So…we’re going to be okay?
Will: You’re in charge here…you tell me.
She kisses him and it breaks any of the remaining tension and anxiety between them. Neither of them is quick to give up this kiss until…
They break apart to reveal Alexander Vaughn walking down the hall. He’s wearing a suit and is well put together. Gwen turns red as does Will. She closes her eyes…with the hopes of disappearing. Alexander ignores Will and looks at his daughter.
Alexander: Are you ready to go?
Gwen: Uh…yeah, I think so…
He raises his eyebrows disapprovingly. Gwen takes a breath and gets it together.
Gwen cont’d: Yes, sir.
A woman comes around the corner. This is Ryder’s mother, Mara. She’s wealthy and displays it in dress and jewelry.
Mara: Alex, it was too cold in the car—who’s this?
She looks at Will like she already knows the answer.
Gwen: This is Will Krudski. He’s—
Alexander: …that’s quite enough information.
Mara: Oh, Alex, your daughter is allowed to have a little boy toy if she wants.
Will is pretty horrified by this duo.
Mara: Where are you from, Will?
Will is hesitant…he looks over at Gwen.
Gwen: He’s from New Rawley.
Mara: Oh, Gwen, really.
She looks Will up and down.
Alexander: We’ll discuss this in detail on the way to the city…along with this new haircut.
Mara: I didn’t even notice. Although, now that you mention it, I don’t find it very fetching either.
Will doesn’t like this and he’s about to speak, but Gwen touches his arm as if asking him not to.
Alexander: Get your belongings.
Gwen: Yes, sir.
She goes into her room. Her father waits in the hall. Will escapes into the room as well.
(cut to): inside the room. Gwen picks up her suitcase.
Will: I’m sorry.
Gwen: You don’t have anything to apologize for.
Will: I should have just—
Gwen: Will…you’re perfect.
Gwen cont’d: I’ll see you next semester, okay?
Will: Are you going to be okay with him?
Gwen: I’ll distract him with my report card…it’ll be fine.
He doesn’t look convinced.
(cut to): the hall as they walk back out. Alexander takes the suitcase from her and turns to walk back down the hall. Mara follows. Gwen kisses Will one more time and follows behind them. Will looks like he wants to say something, but is afraid to.
(cut to): Rawley Academy.
Music: Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton
(cut to): the hall between the art room and dark room.
Kate: He really has some beautiful shots.
Monica: I always tell him to send me some…I know Peter Beard.
Kate: He’s mentioned that to me. Beard’s photographs of Kenya are just amazing.
Monica: What is Hamilton most interested in photographing?
Kate: I don’t think he’s figured it out yet.
They reach the dark room and Kate pulls out a key to unlock it.
Kate cont’d: His shots of the lake are good…I’ve encouraged him to pursue nature photography, but I think he prefers to photograph something whose heart and soul is a little easier to find and capture.
She opens the door and does a quick look around at the pictures he has up. None of “Jake.” Both women enter. There are several pictures that Hamilton hung to dry, but never took down and others h’se put up. There is one of the lake taken recently: many of the trees are dead and the lake is empty. He’s stuck another, older picture from the summer next to it. Monica is looking at these pictures.
Monica: This is an interesting contrast.
Kate smiles to herself.
Kate: I think he’s into that at the moment.
Monica looks further and notices two pictures of Jake. In the first, she’s definitely doing the Jake thing, but the picture is up close. In the next picture she has on make-up and her hair is different…very much Jacqueline. Monica doesn’t say anything about these pictures, but seems to enjoy them.
Kate: I’ve never seen these…
She points toward the last two pictures. It’s Jake (Jacqueline) and Hamilton in her room at the foot of the bed. It’s very posed. Hamilton has his arm around Jake and they are both smiling.
Kate cont’d: He must have used the timer.
Monica: Looks like a Christmas card…
The next picture seems to be candid. Jake has her chin on his shoulder and looks up at him. He looks down at her, smiling.
Monica: Hmm…I think I want to see the rest in this series.
Kate laughs, but continues to look at the picture…she gets it now, more than she ever has before. Monica is talking about sex, but Kate sees that it isn’t about that. He’s there for her like no one else is…not her mother…or Jill…or anyone. She regrets criticizing his decisions.
Monica: Still think they aren’t sleeping together?
Kate looks over at her, as her train of thought was interrupted.
Kate: I don’t think it matters.
Monica: I agree.
She smiles and continues to look at the pictures. A beat.
(fade in): to Jake sitting in the same chair. It’s around 1:30. She looks bored and generally pissed off. The door opens again. Linda walks in.
Music: Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers (call it a theme song)
Linda: Oh, you’re still here.
Jake isn’t going to take this anymore. She gets up with the intention of leaving.
Frank: Linda, where are my…
He pauses as he enters and notices Jake. She knows who he is: Frank Mann. She freezes. He speaks to Linda, but continues to look at Jake.
Frank cont’d: Why didn’t you tell me Miss Pratt was here?
Linda: Pratt? Oh, I didn’t realize…Monica Pratt’s daughter?
Linda: Frank, I’m so sorry…I thought she was just a kid who wanted an autograph or something…you didn’t mention that Monica’s daughter would be stopping by.
Frank: I’m sorry…are you blaming your oversight on me?
Linda: Of course not.
Frank: Just, leave us alone, okay? And, clear my schedule for the afternoon.
Linda: You don’t actually have anything sch—
Frank: Just do it.
Linda: Yes, sir. Of course.
She exits quickly. Frank turns his attention back to Jake.
Frank: She’s an idiot. I’m so sorry you had to wait, Jacqueline.
Jake: No problem…
She’s nervous and uncomfortable.
Frank: Why don’t you have a seat?
Jake sits back down as Frank walks over to his desk and takes a seat.
Frank cont’d: How are you today?
Jake: I’m fine.
Frank: I’m sorry this was so long in coming.
Jake: Yeah…me too.
Frank: As I explained in my letter—
Jake: I got it. I mean, I understand…I understood the letter.
Frank: Did you tell your mother you were coming by today?
Jake shakes her head.
Jake: She’s out of town.
Frank: So, your mother tells me—
The phone on his desk rings.
Frank cont’d: Excuse me.
He picks up the phone.
Frank cont’d: Hello, Frank Mann here…oh, hi Meg…yes, of course…
Jake rolls her eyes…who does this remind her of?
(dissolve to): about twenty minutes later. Frank is still on the phone. Jake wanders around the room looking at a book shelf.
Frank: Okay, great. Bye. Merry Christmas to you too.
He hangs up the phone. Jake looks over anxiously.
Frank cont’d: I just need to make one quick call then—
The door opens and a young man walks in. This is Nicholas. He doesn’t notice Jake. He then walks over to Frank’s desk.
Nicholas: Do you have like fifteen or twenty minutes?
Frank: No, I don’t.
Nicholas: Linda said you cleared your schedule and—
Frank: I’m busy.
Nicholas: Okay…(sarcastic) sorry to bother you. I just really need someone to run these lines with me and I thought—
Frank: I can’t right now.
Frank looks up at Jake and Nicholas follows his gaze. He drops his annoyed look and smiles.
Nicholas: Oh, hi.
Frank cont’d: This is Jacqueline.
Nicholas: Oh…my God. Wow.
Jake doesn’t really know what to say or do.
Nicholas cont’d: I didn’t think you would come.
Jake is still confused and Nicholas notices. He looks back over at Frank.
Nicholas: You didn’t get around to explaining this part yet, did you?
Frank: Well, I have now, I suppose. Jacqueline, this is Nicholas. He’s my son.
Jake is taken aback by this news. Nicholas smiles.
Nicholas: I think that was the exact look I had on my face when he told me last week.
Jake smiles…finally someone warm.
Frank: I hate to cut this short, but I was just about to take Jacqueline out for lunch.
Jake looks at him, not wanting this new direction of her visit to be altered.
Frank cont’d: I’ll see you later, Nicky.
Nicholas’s face falls. Jake notices.
Jake: Maybe we could all go.
Frank: Nicholas has other things to do.
Jake looks concerned and Nicholas sees this. He smiles to reassure her that there are no hard feelings…he’s not pissed at HER. He walks toward the door and stops in front of her.
Nicholas: It was nice to meet you.
Jake: Nice to meet you too.
He starts to walk out, but turns around and gives her a quick hug. Once he is gone, Jake doesn’t know what to do. This is a lot.
Frank: So, what’s your favorite restaurant?
(cut to): Johanna’s house.
(cut to): the living room. Johanna is still working on grading papers. Finn is next to her and reading a book. Meagan walks down the stairs.
Meagan: Someone’s here.
The doorbell rings and she goes to answer it.
Finn: How does she do that?
Meagan (yelling, off screen): Finn…your parents…
Finn: Oh…God…why are they here?
Johanna: I guess they’re early.
Finn stands up as Meagan leads an older couple into the living room. These are Finn’s parents: Melinda and Peter.
Music: You’re the One by Sugarcult
(cut to): Hamilton’s house, the kitchen. Kate sits at the table as Monica dials the phone.
Monica: I’ve been having so much fun with you, I’ve forgotten about my child.
Kate smiles. Someone answers where Monica is calling.
Monica cont’d: Yes, hello…who’s this?…Hamilton?
Kate looks up and Monica looks over at her.
Monica cont’d: Sweetheart, what are you doing there?
(cut to): Hamilton. He’s in Jake’s kitchen. We cut back and forth as each of them speaks.
Hamilton: Um…I just thought I’d come for the day. You know, make sure Jacqueline got here okay.
Monica: Okay, well I’ll let you explain that to your mom in a minute, but—
Hamilton: What do you mean?
Monica: Oh, you’re at my house…and…I’m at yours.
Monica: Your mom and I have been having a great time. Anyway, can you put Jacqueline on?
Monica: I’m sorry?
Hamilton: In the shower…she’s in the shower.
Monica: Is everything okay?
Hamilton: Uh-huh. Ms. Pratt, I have to go, but tell my mom I’ll be home tonight. Bye, nice talking to you.
He hangs up.
(cut to): Monica as she looks over at Kate and hangs up the phone.
Monica: That was very strange.
(cut to): Sean’s house, his room. He sits on his bed as Jill looks around. It’s fairly small. There is baseball equipment around. A small TV on a dresser. Very Sean-ish.
Jill: This room…so predictable.
Sean: Wanna redecorate for me?
Jill: I didn’t say it was lacking. It’s very…Sean-ish.
Sean: I never thought in a million years I’d ever end up with you in my room.
Jill ignores the comment.
Sean cont’d: You know, I only flirt because…I know I could never have you.
Jill looks over at him.
Sean cont’d: I’m not saying that I’d even want you…I’m just…saying…
Jill: We should hang out more…
Jill cont’d: …give you the chance to stick your foot in your mouth on a more regular basis.
Sean: You want to, like, go for a walk or something?
(cut to): downstairs. Sean and Jill walk down the stairs. Annette is dusting.
Sean: Mom, I don’t think that much dust has accumulated since yesterday. Why don’t you take a break…watch a soap or something?
Jill: Okay, that was like so sexist.
Annette: Thank you, Jill. I’d much rather…see what was on Lifetime.
Sean: We’re going to head back into town and take the movie back.
Annette: I was going to take the car to get groceries…why don’t I give you a ride.
Sean: We’ll walk.
Annette: If you’re walking, make sure you wear your scarf and hat…you don’t want to spend your vacation in bed, sick.
Sean: Good point; I’ll be right back.
Sean runs back upstairs.
Annette: Try to find something for Jill too.
Sean (already upstairs): Okay.
Annette: He’s not allowed to have girls in his room, you know.
Jill can’t quite read the tone until Annette smiles.
Annette cont’d: However, I don’t like the amount of time he’s been spending alone there.
Jill: I’ll be back.
Sean comes back down the stairs wearing a hat and scarf. He has another hat that he pulls down on Jill’s head over her eyes. As she pulls if up, he puts a scarf around her neck.
Annette: Don’t you think you should take the movie?
Sean looks over at her, feigning irritation as he walks over to the TV and picks up the movie.
Sean: Okay…I’ll be home later.
Annette: In time for dinner, please.
Sean: Is it okay if I just get something at Friendly’s?
Sean: Thanks, bye mom.
He walks toward the door.
Jill: It was nice to meet you…and your husband. I’ll see you soon.
Annette smiles and waves. The kids exit, but Annette keeps the smile.
(fade in): to an expensive restaurant in Manhattan. It’s now about 4:00 p.m.
Music: Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers (seriously…a theme, okay?)
(cut to): inside. Jake and her father are seated together. They are near the end of their meal as Frank attempts small talk.
Frank: So, Monica tells me you’ve been dating a boy.
Jake looks up from her plate…Hamilton. She smiles.
Jake: Yeah, Hamilton…he’s—
Frank: Do you have any other hobbies…extra-curricular activities? Have you thought about drama? Acting?
Jake blinks…could this guy be any less interested.
Jake: Yes, yes, no and…I do it all the time.
Frank nods, not asking further.
Frank: Jacqueline…did you tell many people you would be coming here today?
Jake cont’d: You asked me not to.
Frank: But, did you?
Jake: Just Hamilton.
Frank nods, relieved.
Jake cont’d: What are we doing here?
Frank looks around.
Jake cont’d: I mean, why did you write me that letter? Why don’t you just “cut to the chase?”
Frank sighs and looks down.
Frank: Your mother would have never told you…let alone anyone else, but…
Jake is catching on.
Jake: …you wanted to tell me because you didn’t want me to find out some other way and let it “get out” before you had time to do damage control.
Jake: So, essentially, you don’t want me to tell anyone?
Frank: I would appreciate that discretion, yes.
Jake looks away. What a disappointment.
Frank cont’d: I’m willing to compensate you for—
Jake: Are you…are you offering me money?
Frank reaches into his pocket and pulls out a checkbook.
Frank: Ten thousand dollars.
Jake laughs as Frank starts to write the check. He was serious.
Jake: You don’t…I…stop.
He looks up at her.
Jake cont’d: That’s not necessary.
He finishes the check and puts it on the table in front of her.
Frank: Just in case.
He starts to stand up.
Frank cont’d: I have to go, but…you’re welcome to see me anytime. Just call Linda and make an appointment and I’ll be happy to oblige. It was nice to finally meet you.
He holds out his hand across the table; Jake pretends not to notice and focuses her attention on the check.
Jake: Yeah, nice to meet you too. Bye.
Frank nods and exits.
(cut to): Johanna’s house. Johanna, Meagan, Finn and his parents are sitting around the living room. Meagan is next to Finn on the couch and leans against him.
Melinda: Meagan certainly does like you, Peter.
Melinda cont’d: Must be hard for you living all the way on the other side of the lake.
Finn glances over at Johanna. She nods.
Finn: I’m going to move in here. Actually, I finished moving all my stuff today.
Peter: Were you planning on telling us this?
Finn: That’s why you were invited here…so we could tell you, okay?
Melinda: Well, I need your new numbers before we leave.
Finn: Sure, Mom.
Peter: How much of a salary cut are you taking to do this?
Finn: Whatever it is, it’s well worth it.
He pulls Meagan a little closer to him and looks over at Johanna with a smile.
Peter: You seem to be enjoying this life.
Finn closes his eyes…this is the “I told you so.”
Finn: Yes, I am.
Melinda: Well, we think it’s wonderful. Everything.
She smiles at Johanna. Finn can’t wait for the night to be over.
Music: Ode to a Friend by Jann Arden
(cut to): a street in New Rawley. Jill and Sean walk together. Sean has the video.
Jill: Okay, your family is, like…perfect.
Sean: No argument here. My parents are great. I’m really lucky.
Jill: So, be one hundred percent honest with me…
Jill: …are you into Bella?
Sean: Are you into random conversation?
Jill: No…just delayed inquisition. I’ve been wanting to ask you since the video store.
Sean: Why would you even think that?
Jill: You said you’d be honest.
Sean: Fine. No, I’m not ”into” Bella. That’s…no, that’s ancient history.
Jill: When I first heard about you, you were “Bella’s boyfriend Sean.”
Sean: Yeah, well, you were that “cute, available girl Jill.”
She smiles, but looks down.
Jill: See how things have come full circle.
Sean: Just…don’t go there, please. I know you’re not into Scout and Bella spending time together and…I’ve been there, but…don’t try to—
Sean: I mean, I’m here if you want to talk about it—
Jill: I know.
Sean: I thought you were cool with—
Jill: I am. I am. I just…I needed someone today who I could talk to…and…
Sean: You wanted Scout.
She doesn’t answer at first, then:
Jill: Is that weird? Like, I think other than Jacqueline…he’s the only person who really knows me around here.
Sean: Well…he doesn’t have to be.
Jill: Was that more flirting?
Sean: Oh yeah…
Sean cont’d: Seriously, though…this could be cool.
Jill: Yes, it could be…
She puts her arm through his as they continue to walk.
Jill cont’d: Do we have to go to Friendly’s for dinner?
Sean: Where else is there?
Jill: Good point.
(cut to): Jacqueline’s house.
(cut to): the kitchen. Hamilton has the oven open and is pulling out a pizza. The phone rings. He looks at it, unsure of whether he should answer again. He closes the oven and picks up the phone with his free hand, still holding the pizza with his other.
Hamilton: Pratt residence.
Hamilton cont’d: Jake? Hey. Guess what I’m doing?
He walks over to the table as he listens to her. He sets the pizza down on the kitchen table. The table is set for a romantic dinner for two…or Hamilton’s version, now complete with a bottle of Coke and a frozen pizza…it’s very sweet.
Hamilton cont’d: Wait…slow down and calm down…okay, but I was hoping you could take a cab because I—…whoa, okay…hey, I’ll be right there; I’m out the door…I love you…bye.
Music: Heart and Shoulder by Heather Nova
(cut to): the restaurant in Manhattan. There is a patio area which is closed for the winter, but a few chairs remain and Jake is sitting in one. She has her knees drawn up and her head down. It has started to drizzle, but Jake doesn’t move. A cab pulls up and Hamilton hops out and jogs over to her. He’s worried.
She looks up at him. She’s been crying. He crouches down and wraps an arm around her, but she stands up. He’s even more concerned. He stands up too as she walks off. He follows behind her.
Hamilton: Want to tell me what happened?
She turns back to face him, on the verge of tears again.
Jake: It’s not fair.
Jake: I don’t know…my life? I deserve to have at least one good parent.
Hamilton: Yes, you do.
He walks toward her, with the intention of embracing her, but she’s pretty worked up and she walks off again then turns back to him.
Jake: He, like, paid me off so I wouldn’t tell everyone that he’s my father.
Hamilton: Paid you off?
She pulls the check out of her pocket and hands it to him. He looks at it then back up at her. She’s sort of pacing around, getting more angry.
Hamilton cont’d: Oh my God, Jake, this check is for ten thousand dollars.
Jake (sarcastic): Really, Hamilton?
Hamilton: You know what we could do with ten thousand dollars? Let’s go to Vegas and get married…and never come back.
She looks at him. She wasn’t paying close attention and she wonders if he really just said what she thinks he said.
Hamilton cont’d: Or, you know, you could save it for college.
Jake: I don’t want this money.
She takes the check and balls it up then hands it back to him. She’s pissed off and is getting more worked up.
Jake cont’d: It’s like…why do people do this to me? Who the hell do they think they are? Toys…money…that’s not a filler for lack of human contact…for love.
Hamilton just lets her talk.
Jake cont’d: I just wanted him to be different from her. I wanted him to see me and I wanted him to care about who he saw. All he cares about is maintaining his reputation. And, that’s not okay. But, do you think I said that to him? I let him walk all over me. I let him get away with it and I let him feel okay. And, that’s not fair either…because I am not okay. I am not okay.
She’s started to cry again and she struggles to wipe the tears away. Hamilton wraps his arms around her. She puts her head on his shoulder and continues to cry.
Hamilton: You’re okay now. I promise.
After another few seconds, Jake steps back from him again, trying to pull herself together.
Jake: No one gets to make me feel like this. I don’t cry…I don’t do this. I’m stronger than this.
She takes a deep breath. She doesn’t do this and it’s making Hamilton look increasingly worried about her. She takes note of his concern.
Jake cont’d: I’m sorry.
Hamilton: For what? Don’t be sorry. I’m sorry for not knowing what to say…for not being able to make it all better.
He wipes the tears from her cheeks. She looks at him. He’s so sincerely concerned. Jake smiles.
Jake: You know what? You do.
Jake: You make it all better.
She’s not angry anymore. She’s vented and now she’s ready to just be with Hamilton.
Hamilton: Aw, come here.
He pulls her to him and hugs her.
Commercial Break: Feel in the mood to be quizzed? Try out emode.com. You’ll find out more about yourself than you ever wanted to know.
(fade in): to Friendly’s. It’s close to 5:30. Scout is behind the counter. Bella walks in.
Music: Always Getting Over You by Angela Ammons
Bella: You’re still here? I thought you’d be on the road to Greenwich by now.
Scout: I’m pulling a double shift.
Bella: Last minute Christmas money?
Scout smiles and nods.
Scout: You want some coffee?
Bella cont’d: No thanks. Yeah, I guess you need some change to give to those Santas with bells.
Scout: You’re so mean to me.
Scout cont’d: You’re not mean to anyone else. Hell, you wrote a song for Will.
Bella: I never did get the official Calhoun critique of that.
Scout: You’re the next Britney Spears.
Bella: Bite your tongue.
Scout: I don’t think it’d be so bad. See-through and sequins…it’s a good combination for anyone.
Scout cont’d: Seriously, though, the song was awesome…when do we hear back on that?
Bella: Sometime after the New Year, I think. I’m not expecting anything to come from it. It was more for me.
Scout: Well, it was awesome…whatever…whoever it was for.
(cut to): the door as Sean and Jill walk in, laughing about whatever they were talking about. They stop as Scout and Bella look up. It’s an awkward moment for all four of them.
Jill: You’re still here?
Scout: I keep getting that.
He looks over at Bella with a smile then back at Jill.
Scout cont’d: I’m working a double.
Jill: Oh, cool.
(cut to): a few moments later as Jill and Sean sit down. Scout hands them some menus.
Scout: What can I get you two to drink?
Jill: Got any coffee?
Bella looks over at this. Scout smiles to himself, a little sadly.
Jill: Can I get a cup?
He nods and walks away.
Sean: Hey…what about me?
Scout turns back around.
Scout: Coke, right?
Sean: You know me too well.
Scout: Well, we are friends.
A beat as everyone gets the point of the comment.
Scout cont’d: Coffee and a Coke coming right up.
Bella: Well, I’m going to go. Sean, do you want to come get that thing you left?
She gives him an urging look. He looks over at Jill and shrugs.
Sean cont’d: I’ll be right back.
Bella speaks to Scout and Bella.
Bella: Merry Christmas you guys.
(cut to): outside. Bella and Sean walk across the street.
Music: Always Getting Over You by Angela Ammons (yeah, still)
Sean: What’s the deal, Bella?
Bella turns to him as they reach the garage.
Bella: What was that?
Bella: Bringing her in there like that.
Sean: Oh, man, don’t even start this with me.
Bella: I just think you should be careful…that’s all I’m saying.
Sean: That’s the second time you’ve said that to me.
Bella: Well…you should…when it come to her. Scout’s supposed to be your friend.
Bella cont’d: What?
Sean: Wake up, Bella.
Bella doesn’t get it.
Sean cont’d: I don’t know what’s going on with you and Scout, but—
Bella: …nothing’s going on between us.
Sean: Jill saw your little Scout lovefest today.
Bella cont’d: …oh my God, that was just a hug…
Sean: You should be careful…that’s all I’m saying.
Bella: Don’t be a jerk.
Sean: Don’t preach to me about Scout and his delicate state. The two of them are supposed to be friends. Like you and Scout…like me and Scout…like me and Jill. No one should be feeling jealous because of how we spend time with each other.
Bella: Well, she’s obviously not over him if she ran to the first available guy she could find and whined about how her “friend” was hugging another girl.
Sean: Is that what you think I am? The first available guy? The alternate to what she really wants?
Bella: I didn’t mean—
Sean: Is that what I was to you?
Bella: Of course not…
Sean: Whatever…I’m going back.
Bella: Sean, wait…
He raises his eyebrows.
Bella: Are you into her?
Sean: Listen to me, Bella. One of my best friends ditched me a long time ago for a school across the lake. The other one thinks of me as a loser—
Bella: Sean, that’s not true.
Sean: God forbid, I find someone who has the time to be my friend…and who actually has a little respect for me. Am I “into” Jill? Do I pine after her like I spent so much time pining after you? No. Am I going to continue to hang out with her despite what Scout thinks or feels about it? Yes. And that’s how things are going to be from now on. One-sided friendships are over. And right now…that only leaves her.
Bella: I didn’t know you were so…unhappy with everyone.
Sean takes a deep breath.
Sean: Yeah…me either.
Sean cont’d: Look, I’ll see you, Bella.
He turns and walks across the street.
(cut to): Jill and Scout in Friendly’s. Scout sits next to Jill in the booth as they watch what’s happening outside.
Scout: Man, he looks mad.
Jill: Wonder what she said to him.
Scout: I don’t know, but if you find out, will you tell me?
Scout looks over at Jill. She looks at him. They laugh.
Jill: Could we be nosier?
Scout: I’ll give it a try. Are you two on a date?
Jill: Nope. Why were you hugging Bella earlier?
Scout: It was supposed to be “Merry Christmas; see you next year.”
Scout stands up as Sean gets closer to the door.
Scout cont’d: We should do this more often.
Jill: Clarify the causes of jealousy that shouldn’t even be there anymore?
Jill cont’d: Yeah, okay.
Scout smiles as Sean walks back in.
Sean: I’m going to take a rain check on this meal, okay?
Jill: Everything okay?
Sean: Fine…I just want to spend some time with my parents while I’m out of school.
Jill: I don’t blame you.
Sean: Okay, well, Merry Christmas…
Jill stands up and gives him a hug.
Jill: See you next year.
Scout smiles at the exchange. Sean notices this.
Scout: Merry Christmas.
Sean smiles and starts to exit.
Jill: Hang on.
She walks over to the counter and picks up a pen from next to the register then writes on a napkin. She walks back over to Sean and points to each of three telephone numbers.
Jill: Dorm room, cell phone, New York.
Sean nods, taking the napkin. She gives him a “you okay look?” He nods and exits. Jill looks at Scout, shrugging.
(cut to): Johanna’s house.
(cut to): the kitchen. Johanna and Melinda are cooking together.
Music: Have it All by Jeremy Kay
Johanna: You really don’t have to do this…I mean, I didn’t invite you over to put you to work.
Melinda: Believe me, it’s more fun than talking to my husband and my son.
Johanna: I guess they’re pretty different.
Melinda: Are you kidding? They are exactly alike.
Johanna considers this.
Melinda cont’d: They both think they hold the secret to happiness.
Melinda cont’d: And what they don’t realize is…they both do.
Johanna: I’m…really glad to finally meet you.
Melinda: Likewise, my dear.
The backdoor opens as another older couple enters: Sally and Bruce Ryan.
Johanna: Hey guys.
Melinda: Sally! Bruce! I haven’t seen you in ages.
Sally: Melinda, you look great.
Meagan enters the kitchen.
Meagan: Mom, Finn’s dad is telling me the best story—Grandpa…Grandma…hey!
(cut to): the living room. Finn and his dad sit, not saying anything.
Finn: You know, you never told me any stories when I was little.
Peter: You wrote your own stories, Son.
Finn: Because you didn’t tell me any.
Peter: Well, I guess it’s my fault you wanted to be a writer.
Finn: Do you need to hear it?
Finn: That you were right? I’m here…living the same life that you did. One that you never could make me respect as much as you wanted.
Peter: You think this is the same as my life? You really do have one hell of an imagination.
Finn doesn’t get it. Meagan comes in followed by her grandparents.
Meagan: And that’s Finn’s dad Peter. These are my grandparents.
The conversation is cut short as various introductions take place.
(fade in): to Will in his room. It’s 6:00. Will’s reading a book. There’s a knock at his door. He stands up, but before he reaches it, Gwen walks in.
Music: Big Girl by Angela Ammons
Will: What the hell?
She smiles and walks over to him, pulling him into a kiss. He wasn’t expecting her or this kiss and both are a nice surprise. She leans back, still holding onto his shirt.
Gwen: I’ve been sitting in a car thinking about doing that for like two hours.
He smiles as she takes a step back from him.
Will: Not that I’m complaining, but what are you doing back?
Gwen: I told my dad I forgot my report card…the only thing for which he would ever come back. I told him I had to pick it up from the dean over here.
Will: You lied so you could come back and kiss me?
Gwen: Actually, I’ve been making a list of things I need to say to you…things that can’t wait.
Will raises his eyebrows.
Gwen cont’d: First…I’m sorry. I should have told my dad about you before. I hate the way he treated you—
Will: I shouldn’t have kissed you out in the hall like that knowing he would be coming soon.
Gwen: Shut up, Will. I kissed you…and I knew exactly when he’d be coming.
Will smiles slightly.
Gwen cont’d: Anyway, number two is thank you…for not blowing up at him…or Mara.
Will: You know, I can take a lot, but…I hated the way he treated you, Gwen.
Gwen: I know and…I know I didn’t exactly stand up to him in the way that Jill suggested, but believe me…today was a huge confrontation. And, we actually talked a little in the car and…he didn’t forbid me to see you or anything.
Will (sarcastic): Oh, well, that was nice of him.
Gwen: I make my own decisions and he does allow that…it’s just that I used to be a lot more influenced by his disapproval. Right now…for you…I say, “screw him.”
Will: He doesn’t like that I’m from town, right?
Gwen looks down.
Gwen: I was really worried about that and…Jill said I was being shallow. She was right.
Gwen: Yes. See, but…it doesn’t matter. He would have found something to disapprove of. I make straight A’s and he asks me what my averages were. “Oh, a ninety-six in physics? That’s not exactly the best you can do, is it?” I realize that it’ll never be good enough. Nothing Will. This is all new to me, you know? I never saw the big picture like this. I never really thought about it. I just assumed he was right and…I don’t know what I’m trying to say…I guess I realized that parents don’t have to be right. I can make choices that are right for me and that my dad Will disapprove of and…they’re still right.
Will stands there listening, liking her more with each incoherent thought.
Gwen cont’d: What?
Will: Nothing. What’s next on the list of things you wanted to say?
Gwen: There’s only one more thing.
Gwen takes a deep breath and looks at him with a smile.
Gwen: Will…I know this quick and I don’t expect you to say it back, but…I found out…I figured out today that…I love you.
This hits him hard. He wasn’t expecting it. He smiles then looks down shyly. She can’t believe she actually managed to get it out.
Gwen cont’d: Okay…that about covers it so now I have to go, but…I’ll call you sometime soon.
He looks back up at her then takes a step toward her. She looks at him then down. He traces her jaw and tilts her chin up. He kisses her, throwing everything into the kiss. When they part, Will is sure to stay close to her. He waits until she looks him in the eye:
Will: I love you back and…I’m not saying that because I have to…or because I don’t have to…I’m saying it because I do. I also love that you can grow more in a day than I’ll probably manage to do in a lifetime.
He kisses her briefly.
Will cont’d: I love who you were and I love who you’re becoming.
Will cont’d: Okay…now you can go.
Gwen: Well, now I don’t want to.
She kisses him again.
(cut to): Johanna’s house.
(cut to): the rarely seen dining room. Everyone is seated around the table, eating. There are several conversations going on. Meagan talks excitedly to her grandpa and Finn’s dad. Finn talks to Johanna’s mom and she talks to his. Finn glances over at her and she shrugs like she told him it would be okay. He smiles as he continues listening to her mom. A break in her conversation with Finn’s mom gives her the chance she’s been waiting for.
Johanna: Excuse me everyone…excuse me…
Finn looks over at her as everyone quiets down.
Johanna: Um…okay…Finn and I just have a few announcements for everyone.
Sally: We all know you’re having a baby, Dear.
Bruce: And, we’re thrilled. You forgot to say that part.
Sally: Well, of course we’re thrilled.
Finn: It gets better. I’m moving in.
Johanna looks over at him.
Johanna: He actually finished moving in this afternoon.
Finn: Oh yeah…I guess the correct announcement would be that I’m living here.
Johanna (playfully): Is that everything?
Everyone looks at Meagan. Meagan looks at her mom.
Finn: Maybe we should let her tell.
Johanna nods and smiles at Meagan.
Meagan: Okay, sure…they’re getting married.
Everyone is quite for a moment then start congratulating. Finn and his dad share a look across the counter. Finn shrugs again conceding that his dad was right.
(dissolve to): several hours later, around 9:00 as Finn and Johanna escort both sets of parents out the door. Everyone gets out onto the porch except Peter and Finn.
Peter: I never told you stories because I wanted you to be able to do this…take charge of your life and get what you want. People don’t have parents to help guide them through life. They have parents so that they have something to overcome in life. I just always wanted you to appreciate me and my life…and you never could.
Finn: That’s all I want from you.
Peter smiles and hugs his son.
Peter: Well, I am proud of you and I do appreciate your life.
Johanna walks back in, seeing the hug. They part. Peter smiles at Johanna as he heads for the door.
Peter: You’re welcome to visit us in Boston anytime.
She smiles and offers him a hug which he takes.
(cut to): Jake’s house in New York.
(cut to): the kitchen. The pizza is missing a few slices and the Coke has been opened. Jake and Hamilton’s coats are laying on one of the kitchen chairs and their shoes and socks are on the ground…drying out.
Music: London Rain by Heather Nova.
(cut to): Jake’s room. She lies in bed in her pajamas (tank top, pajama bottoms) and is under the covers. Hamilton sits up, next to her, with one foot on the floor. He’s kind of holding her as she half-lies on him.
Hamilton: The last train is at like ten-thirty, right? I should probably get going.
Jake looks up at him as he tries to sit up all the way.
Jake: Please don’t.
He looks down at her, concerned. She never sounds like this…like she literally couldn’t be without him. She continues to look at him, pleading with him to stay for the night. He nods and kisses her on top of her head. He slides down a little more on the bed and picks his other leg up so that he’s lying down and facing her. He runs his hand through her hair then lets it rest on her neck.
Hamilton: I’ll stay in here until you fall asleep and then I’ll move over to the guest room.
Jake: You can just stay in here.
She puts her hand on top of his.
Hamilton: What about when your mom gets home in the morning? It’d probably look…
But the look on her face stops him…like he’s rejecting her. He forces a laugh.
Hamilton cont’d: You know, what am I talking about? That’s why they put locks on doors, right? Just like at the dorms…
He stands up and walks over to the door. Jake sits up in bed and watches as Hamilton pushes the door shut all the way and locks it. He also flips the light switch off so that now the only lighting is the lamp by Jake’s bed (but thanks to the magic of television, we can still see pretty well). He takes off his sweater as he walks over to the bed. Jake stands on her knees in the bed so that she’s at eye level with him. He smiles as she kisses him. He pulls her a little closer as they continue to kiss. She pulls away for a second and Hamilton stares at her like…the kiss was really good or something. She begins to lift his shirt up. She leans toward him and kisses his chest as she pushes the shirt up more. He lifts his arms and helps her get the shirt all the way off. She continues kissing his neck. He closes his eyes a moment to enjoy this. Jake unbuttons and unzips his jeans then pauses as he pushes then kicks them off. They make eye contact, as if consenting to go further with this. Hamilton starts kissing her again as she pulls him down onto the bed. Jake lies back all the way and Hamilton leans over her, still kissing her. He moves down to kiss her neck then moves further down kissing her collarbone. She closes her eyes a moment, taking a breath.
He moves up so that his lips are nearly touching hers. This distracts her slightly. He raises his eyebrows.
Hamilton cont’d: …yes?
Jake: I love you.
Hamilton: I love you too.
He waits…was there something else? She decides to say it:
Jake: I want to be with you, Hamilton.
He takes a deep breath, making an effort not to kiss her so that they can talk.
Jake cont’d: I want us…to be…together…
He nods slightly.
Hamilton: Me too…I—
She kisses him and he can’t help return the kiss. He pulls back slightly.
Hamilton cont’d: …I really, really want this.
They kiss again.
Commercial Break: Uh…well…we’ve got nothing to say J.
(fade in): to Hamilton’s house, a little after 9:00.
(cut to): the kitchen, by the backdoor. Monica is about to leave.
Monica: I can’t believe I spent the whole day here. You must be so glad to get rid of me.
Kate: Believe me…today was great. You should…we should meet up again.
Monica: You’ve got my cell number so…call anytime.
Kate: I Will.
Monica: Okay, see you later.
Kate: And, Hamilton said he would be back tonight, right?
Kate: Good. I really need to talk to him.
Monica: Don’t be too hard on him.
Kate: Oh, no…I have nothing but good things and apologies to throw at him.
(cut to): Friendly’s. Scout is wiping down tables and Jill is sitting at the counter.
Music: Extra Ordinary by Better Than Ezra
Jill: So, seriously, why have you been here all day?
Scout: Normally my dad would have picked me up today.
Jill: They’re in Aspen, right? Your parents?
Jill: You can get on a plane by yourself tomorrow and fly out to meet them…you’re an independent kid.
Scout: Not at Christmas. I can’t believe they scheduled things like this.
Jill remembers something.
Jill: Oh no…oh God…what time is it?
They both look at their watches.
Scout: Almost nine thirty.
Jill: Crap. The last train was at like nine. I’ll have to catch one in the morning.
Scout: How come your dad isn’t coming?
Jill: Are you kidding? I like being an independent kid…even at Christmas.
Scout: It was nice hanging out with you tonight. You’re probably the only person around here who really knows me…and gets me.
Jill smiles, a little sad.
Jill: Well…I don’t have to be.
Scout: Good point.
Scout cont’d: So…what were Sean’s parents like?
(cut to): Sean’s house.
(cut to): the living room where Sean and his parents sit around the living room, talking.
Sean: Anyway, I just wanted to make it clear to you guys that Jill’s just a friend.
Colin: We know, Son…we just like giving you a hard time.
Annette: She is a nice girl, though.
Colin: I’m sorry to hear you and Bella got into a fight.
Sean: It wasn’t a fight…more like a reality check.
(cut to): Bella’s house.
(cut to): the living room. Bella has taken a moment to talk to her dad.
Bella: He was, like, really harsh.
Charlie: I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.
Bella: I think that is exactly what he was going for.
Charlie: Have you been neglecting his friendship?
Bella: I don’t know…
Charlie smiles. A beat.
Charlie: Should we put up the tree? Would that make you feel better?
Bella: I don’t know…it’s a few days early.
Charlie: You get Grace; I’ll get the tree down from the attic.
(cut to): Monica’s car driving down a road between New Rawley and New York.
(cut to): inside the car. Monica is on the phone.
Monica: I know, but you’re wrong because going there wasn’t a bad idea at all…well, no, she wasn’t there so that plan fell through, but I spent the whole day with Kate Fleming and, Gregory, it was delightful…No, she was really wonderful. I found her company quite pleasant…the Dean? No, he was out of town…why is that good? Greg, hang on a minute, okay? Call waiting. What?…Oh, okay. Goodnight then. I’ll see you sometime tomorrow…I love you too though I don’t think I’ll ever get used to saying that over my cell phone…goodnight.
She takes the cell phone down and hits the button to switch to the other line.
Monica cont’d: Monica Pratt…Frank? Hi, how are you?…No, I’m not in the city…
Monica listens for a few moments and looks slightly upset and angry.
Monica cont’d: Frank Mann, I cannot believe you. You had no right—…No, that does not give you the right to traumatize my daughter. I mean, I’ve tried to keep you updated and you haven’t been that interested. I’m not even there to…excuse me?…Oh, go to Hell, Frank and I hope she told you the same…no, this conversation is over…oh, believe me, I don’t want this going public either. Goodbye.
She hangs up the phone and throws it down on the passenger’s seat. She concentrates on the road, looking worried and angry.
(cut to): Jake’s house.
Music: Breathing by Lifehouse
(cut to): the bedroom. Jake is now on top of Hamilton, kissing him. The sheets and blanket have been pulled back. Jake still has her clothes on so…we haven’t missed too much. He runs his hands up her back, under her shirt as he pulls her closer. Finally she breaks the kiss as she sits up and starts to take her shirt off. Hamilton watches her, out of breath. She lifts it up slightly and he reaches out with the intention of taking it off himself. He lifts it a little higher and looks up at her with hesitation.
Jake: Why are you looking at me like that?
Hamilton: I…like what?
Jake: Like you’re having some kind of moral dilemma with this.
He sighs as he fiddles with the bottom of her shirt for a moment then finally pulls it back down. He smiles apologetically and starts to sits up. She moves so he can get up. Hamilton pulls the blanket up and covers up as he sits Indian style across from Jake who draws her knees up to her chest. He reaches out and traces her leg with his finger, but she leans back slightly. He pulls his arm back. She puts her chin against her knee and looks at him.
Hamilton: I’m sorry.
Jake: It’s no big deal…
Hamilton: You know that I love you?
She shrugs slightly and looks away. He knows she knows.
Hamilton cont’d: Jake…
Jake: Yes, I do know.
Hamilton: And I want you…
She gives him a “yeah, right look.”
Hamilton cont’d: …and I want to be with you…
Jake (sarcastic): Yeah, obviously…
Hamilton: Yes. “Obviously.” I mean…clearly…
He turns red and, with attempted nonchalance, pulls a pillow into his already blanket-covered lap. Jake smiles at the innuendo. After a beat, he recovers from his embarrassment and reaches out again to touch her leg, she doesn’t pull back this time.
Hamilton cont’d: I want…to make love to you.
Jake: So, what’s the problem?
Hamilton: It just…doesn’t feel like the right time.
Jake: Feels like the right time to me.
Hamilton: So, what does that mean? Now or never?
Jake looks down.
Jake: Of course not.
Hamilton: I just don’t want you to look back on everything that happened today and associate it with…our first time. I want us being together like that to be…a stand-alone event, you know? Not the thing you did to make yourself feel better after a no good day.
She looks at him, amazed how he really does get her.
Jake: I really, really need to feel better.
Hamilton: Believe me, I know all about it, okay? Like, when we broke up…
He doesn’t like talking about this, but he makes himself:
Hamilton cont’d: When I found out about my mom and Finn, I felt so sad and so…betrayed. I came to you that day because…I think…I think I just wanted to get closer to you, you know? You were, like, the only person I could—
Hamilton: …the only one I wanted to trust. And, I thought, you know, I’ll just walk in there and have sex with my girlfriend and I won’t have to think about Mom and Finn and she’ll understand…because she understands me. And, you know what? You understood me a little too well. And…you didn’t let me get away with it. And, you tried to get me talk to you…and I was a total jackass.
Jake: So, what you’re saying is…I’m being a total jackass.
He stops when he sees that she was only kidding. He smiles at her.
Hamilton cont’d: I’m saying I love you too much to
give you sympathy sex.
Jake: Well, thank you very much…I think.
She climbs over next to him and gives him a quick kiss on the cheek then takes the pillow from him as she lies down and puts her head on it.
Hamilton: Want me to go to the guest room?
Jake: I don’t even get sympathy spooning?
Hamilton: Well, I guess that’d be okay.
He slips down further under the covers and tosses some over her so that she is covered too. She turns away from him. He wraps an arm around her and pulls her closer to him. She kisses his arm then closes her eyes. He kisses her shoulder.
Hamilton cont’d: You know…if you had said “now or never”…I would have been all over you.
Jake: Goodnight, Hamilton.
Hamilton kisses the back of her head and reaches over to turn the light off.
(fade in): to a shot of Jake and Hamilton asleep together in her bed, it’s well after midnight now.
Music: She Says by Howie Day
(cut to): downstairs. Monica sits at the kitchen table, holding the letter. The check also sits (still balled up) in front of her. She’s drinking a glass of Coke. She takes a sip and gets up.
(cut to): several minutes later in Jake’s room. They are still asleep, but the door first unlocks then opens, casting light into the darkened room. Monica pauses a moment as she realizes Hamilton is in there. She looks back at the door then at the kids. She walks over to Jake’s side of the bed and sits down, watching her sleep. She brushes a few small strands of hair off her forehead.
Jake opens her eyes, not fully awake.
Monica: Sweetheart, I know what happened today and—
Jake: What are you talking about…
Jake blinks again, waking up more.
Jake: How’d you even get in here? Hamilton locked the—
Jake stops, looking busted. She starts to sit up, which makes Hamilton stir slightly.
Jake cont’d: This…isn’t what it looks like…
Monica: I sincerely hope it’s exactly what it looks like.
(cut to): downstairs at the kitchen table, several minutes later. Jake is sitting, sipping a glass of Coke. She picks up a piece of the pizza and takes a bite then tosses it down, taking another sip.
Monica: You could have told me.
Jake looks at her, but doesn’t really know what to say.
Monica: It’s okay that you didn’t. You have the option to make your own decisions.
Jake: I think I should have asked for your opinion on this one.
Monica: You want to talk?
Jake laughs slightly. Monica smiles.
(dissolve to): The next morning, Hamilton’s house, the kitchen. Kate is sitting up at the table. She’s wearing a robe, but we’re not sure if she’s up or she never went to sleep. She’s reading a novel. The back door opens and Kate looks up. Hamilton walks in. He looks sorry when he sees her.
Hamilton: I’m totally sorry. I was going to come home last night, but—
Kate: She needed you?
Hamilton: She needed me.
Kate: Her mom was…interesting.
He sits across from her.
Hamilton cont’d: You know, I slept with her…next to her…Jake, that is…Jacqueline…
Kate: Your life is confusing.
Hamilton: Only in words. Anyway, this morning, her mom didn’t say anything other than “it’s nice to see you again, Hamilton” and “Do you want some juice?” and I thought…if this had been my mother…
Kate: …you’d be grounded. You are grounded, by the way.
Hamilton: I don’t even live here.
Kate looks down.
Kate: I have absolutely no control, do I?
Hamilton: I didn’t mean to be a jerk to you…I don’t mean to be…I know you’re just trying to protect me and help me make the right choices, but, Mom…I think I’m doing a pretty good job in the choice department. Maybe my life is confusing, but…it makes me so happy.
Kate looks at him. She loves this kid and his sincerity.
Kate: Okay…I’m officially…butting out.
Hamilton: Mom…mom…I…I don’t want that…
He gets up and pulls his chair right next to her. He hugs her suddenly.
Hamilton cont’d: I just hate that I disappoint you.
Kate: Hamilton…that isn’t even possible.
They continue the hug.
(cut to): the dorms.
(cut to): Will and Scout’s room. Will has his bag packed and Scout is just getting out of bed.
Music: Grown Up by 2 Skinny J’s
Will: I can’t believe I’m going home before you. That seems weird.
Scout sits up in bed.
Will: You are going home, right?
Scout: To Aspen.
Will: But, to be with your parents?
Will: So…are you going to be okay here by yourself?
Scout: Do I look five?
Scout cont’d: Hey…did you end up meeting Gwen’s dad?
Will: Yeah…he was pretty much like you said.
Scout: Will, I’m sorry.
Will: Ah, don’t be. She came back like hours later like…just to kiss me and…to say she loves me.
Will: I know…it’s like…life is good…
Scout: I’m glad, Will.
Will looks a little sorry for Scout.
Will: Anything new on the Jill front?
Scout: She has a new…friend.
Scout stands up and walks over to his closet.
Scout: Just this guy…named Sean.
Will: Sean Sean?
Will: You want me to talk to him?
Scout: I’m actually pretty okay with the whole thing.
Will: What’s really scary is…that was pretty convincing.
Scout walks back toward Will and the door with his shower stuff.
Scout: It’s pretty true.
A slight beat as Will gauges his sincerity.
Scout cont’d: I admit it took me a little too long to get over her…I mean, we broke up months ago and I’m still standing here talking about her like…
Will: …she broke your heart or something?
Scout looks down.
Scout: You know, when she walked in with Sean it was like…I should have felt jealous…and I was a little curious, but…I dunno…it was like “better Sean than some loser.”
Will: So…were they on a date?
Scout: Jill says no and, actually, Sean got into a fight with Bella and then went home.
Scout: Yeah, they were outside. He seemed pretty upset. So, yeah, Jill and I hung out for the rest of the night and, you know, it was nice. I don’t need her to be my girlfriend…I’ve moved past that, but…I definitely need her in my life.
Will looks a little more concerned.
Will: Are you sure you don’t want me to hang out here until you leave?
Scout: Go home, Will.
Will: All right, man…
He opens his arms and Scout gives him a quick hug.
Scout: Merry Christmas.
Will picks up a bag from his bed and heads out. As the door closes, Scout sits back on his bed.
(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house J.
(cut to): the bedroom. Finn and Johanna lie in bed, awake, talking.
Johanna: I just want you to admit that I was right.
Finn: I already said it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Johanna gives him a dirty look and he catches it.
Finn cont’d: Baby, you were so right.
She smiles as he turns to his side and leans over to kiss her.
Johanna: You’re learning.
Finn: Just trying out for the submissive husband act.
Johanna: You’re hired.
He kisses her again. There’s a knock at the door. Finn leans back and lies on his back again as Meagan, still in her pajamas, opens the door and walks in.
Meagan: You should start locking that.
Finn (to Johanna): Remember that.
Meagan: Or, you could get one of those “do not disturb” signs.
She climbs in between them and reaches over Finn to get the television remote from the nightstand on Finn’s side of the bed.
Finn (to Johanna): What’s she doing?
Meagan: This is what we do when we don’t have school. We watch morning talk shows.
He glances over at Johanna who nods.
Finn: Why don’t I…tell you a story instead?
Meagan: Yeah, um, that’s really sweet and I know having your dad here yesterday probably made you want to make up for everything he didn’t do, but…Sally is starting soon and it’s cross-dresser make-overs so…can we save the story-telling for another time?
Finn laughs and puts his head back down on the pillow. Meagan punches in the desired channel.
(cut to): the TV as the an episode of Sally, the talk show, begins.
(dissolve to): another TV as the closing credits of the show come up.
(cut to): a wide shot of the common room as we realize it’s Scout who’s watching. Hamilton walks in looking first at the TV then at Scout.
Music: Wasted and Ready by Ben Kweller
Hamilton: Dude, shouldn’t you be on a mountain in Colorado by now?
Scout looks back at the door then flips the TV off.
Scout: On Sally, they were making over cross-dressers as their actual sex.
Hamilton walks in and sits on a couch.
Scout: Jake’s totally cute, you know.
Hamilton: Yeah, I’ve noticed.
Scout: I guess it’s a good thing we’re the only people left around here because otherwise that would have sounded totally…
Hamilton: …what? Gay?
Scout shrugs. A beat.
Scout: They were doing it for their parents.
Scout: The cross-dressers. Why is it that parents always want you to be something different than you are?
Hamilton: Well, maybe it’s not that they want you to be different from what you are…maybe it’s more like they don’t want you to be different at all, you know? Just…normal. Like, people who cross-dress have pretty complicated lives and they probably get treated like crap by other people. You don’t want that for your kid…I guess.
Scout: Kind of like, your mom doesn’t exactly like your situation with…dating a cross-dresser.
Hamilton: You didn’t have to point that out.
Scout: My parents don’t want me to be normal. They want me to be them. Except, my dad pretends to be understanding about my choices, but he doesn’t want to explain to his friends why I signed up for an art class next semester and why I’m not taking debate so…he didn’t invite me to Aspen for Christmas.
Hamilton: You weren’t invited?
Scout shakes his head.
Scout: I just told everyone that I was going because I knew they’d freak if I told them my real plan was to spend the next two weeks alone in Greenwich.
Hamilton: You can stay at my house, if you want.
Scout shakes his head and stands up.
Scout: I’m going to pack and head home.
Hamilton nods. Just before Scout gets out the door:
Hamilton: Your dad’s not the worst one out there, you know?
Scout: I know, your dad: the dean.
Hamilton: Actually, my dad is Ozzie Nelson…comparatively.
Scout doesn’t know what he’s talking about beyond the obvious “your dad’s not the worst” message.
Scout: Well, I’m out of here. Try to have a better Christmas than me.
Hamilton: If you get bored or lonely…you know where to find me.
Scout: Another statement I’m glad no one else was around to hear.
Hamilton laughs as Scout walks out. Ham looks back at the empty TV. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath…taking a moment to be alone. He gets up and turns to leave. His dad is standing at the door.
(fade in): to the dean’s office. He sits at his desk as Hamilton sits in a chair.
Music: Thank You by Good Charlotte
Steven: Your mother tells me you went to New York without permission.
Hamilton: Is that why we’re in your office? So you can write me up?
Steven: She said you went to help out a friend.
Hamilton looks down.
Steven cont’d: Hamilton, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that I’m proud of the person you’re becoming.
Hamilton looks up.
Steven cont’d: You’re intelligent and considerate and caring in ways that I’m sure I didn’t teach you to be.
Hamilton is surprised to hear this. He smiles slightly.
Steven cont’d: I’m proud of you.
(cut to): Will’s house.
(cut to): His kitchen. He’s eating a bowl of cereal and his dad walks in.
Brian: What are you doing here?
Will (voice over): Parents, they never cease to amaze…and disappoint you.
Will: Christmas break?
Brian: I thought you’d be going to New York with that little girlfriend of yours.
Will: Ironically, it turns out that…her dad’s a jerk.
Brian doesn’t pick up on the dig.
Brian: She’s real sweet, though.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: …not to mention surprise the hell out of you.
Will: Yeah…she is.
(cut to): Scout’s house.
(cut to): the front door as he walks into the big, empty house, all alone. He looks around.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Parents can hurt us without realizing how much.
(cut to): Sean’s house. He and his parents sit at the dining room table, eating breakfast.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of their support and love.
(cut to): Hamilton’s house, the kitchen. The dean and Hamilton walk in from outside at the same time Kate walks in from another room.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Worse is when they don’t realize the importance of those things.
(cut to): Jake’s house in New York. Jake and her mom are sitting at the table. Jake is talking emphatically and Monica is listening patiently.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: But, that doesn’t mean they can’t make up for it.
(cut to): Bella’s house. She, Grace and Charlie are decorating the fake, plastic tree. They’re all having a good time.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Parents are our greatest example of how to be.
(cut to): Gwen’s dad’s loft apartment in NYC. She’s sitting on the couch reading and he’s at the table, dressed in a suit, sipping coffee and reading The Wall Street Journal.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Maybe we’re not like them because we strive not to be.
(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house. The trio, in bed, watching talk shows.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: Or, maybe we’re like them, though we’ve tried not to be.
(cut to): Will’s house as his dad joins him at the table. His mom walks in and takes notice of the scene. She smiles.
Will (v.o.) cont’d: So, while meeting someone else’s parents is a pretty common tradition. Getting to know your own is a practice often overlooked.