Open Up

a new beginnings special

by Estee and Harmony

 

Typical question: What the heck is this and how does it relate to New Beginnings?  Well, you’re about to find out J.  Basically, we just have the same warning as we had with Fast Forward…this isn’t a crystal ball look into the futures we plan to create for the characters involved…it’s just one possibility.  Not a will be, but a could be.  Another note: the entire fiction is sound-tracked with Third Eye Blind.  All the songs listed are by 3eb.  No particular reason why.  I Am Sam was totally sound-tracked by Beatles covers so…think of it like that.  Also, be prepared, there’s a lot more of John and Sarah than anyone else so…you have to really stretch your level of appreciation for YA and New Beginnings to get something out of this.  If you want to get an idea of the chemistry between Sarah and John, take a look at the Open Up trailer before you read. We hope that you enjoy…

 

Music: Semi-Charmed Life

(fade in): to an establishing shot of a playground somewhere in New York City.  Time is unclear and, at this point, unimportant.  We get no audio from the scene itself.  A girl sits on a swing reading a book.

Sarah (voice over): When I was eight I was at the park.  My mom was off somewhere trying to keep up with my little brother. 

(quick cut to): a few minutes later as two boys are giving her a hard time. 

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: These boys came up to me and were picking on me.  I’ve always been one to stand up for myself and I was just about to when John came over and did it for me. 

(quick cut to): the same scene, but with a 9-year-old  boy now between the girl and the bullies.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: I think that’s when I fell in love with him.

(dissolve to): the same park area, seven years later.  A boy skateboards into frame.  He’s wearing a helmet.  This is John.  He’s sixteen.  We follow him as he skates through the park.

John (voice over): My name is John.  I’ve always wanted to change it.  It’s so boring and not who I am.  I tried to go by Gore for a while because my middle name is Gregory.  My parents are uptight and they wouldn’t adopt it.  I was eight at the time so I didn’t have much lobbying power.  So, I’m stuck with John.  My best friend says it’s simple like me.  I’m a lot more complex than she knows. 

We continue to follow John, but get closer to him.  He looks thoughtful as he skates along.  It seems to be a meditative activity for him.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: Normally, I would never admit even the possibility of being in love with him.  It’s not like we’ve been friends our whole lives even though I think we were probably meant to be.  But we have been friends for about a year and I’m terrified of losing that.  I can’t believe he ever opened up to me.  That’s just not what he does.  He closes people out and he shuts them off, but he never lets them in.  He let me in.  I can’t lose that.

(dissolve to):  an establishing shot of Rawley Academy.  It’s dark, but there’s a spotlight on a banner that says “Good luck class of 2027!”  Amazingly, the school is virtually unchanged on the outside; we recognize it right away.

(cut to): the girls dorm.  Again, we know this because the exterior is exactly as it was.

(cut to): a hallway.  It’s been re-done, but still looks classy.  Several girls who were away from their rooms are headed for their rooms.  After they are all inside, an announcement is made over the intercom.  If we listen carefully, we recognize the voice to be Kate Fleming’s, though she’s about 25 years older than when we knew her.

Kate (speaker): All students, the time is now ten p.m.  Your auto-lock doors will be activated momentarily and anyone locked out of his or her room will receive a demerit unless permission to be away from the room was previously obtained. 

A fifteen-year-old girl, Sarah, comes running down the hall.  He clothes are modern and look like a mix of punk and prep.  She has medium length dark hair that’s cute, but funky.  She reaches her door, but it’s locked.

John (v.o.) cont’d: Her name is Sarah.  She has a boring name too.  She says it’s simple like her. 

Sarah: Shit.

She looks around then reaches into her pocket and pulls out what looks like a calculator.  She attaches it to a metal plate on the door and hits a few buttons.  The door unlocks and opens.

Sarah: Works every time.

John (v.o.) cont’d: Nothing about her is simple.

She enters the room and we get a glimpe…the décor reflects her look.  We also catch sight of a vintage 3eb poster before the door shuts.  Hold on the door.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: I’ve been stupid, though.  I go to boarding school and before I left, I asked him to kiss me.  I made up some stupid story about wanting some experience because I’d never kissed anyone.  Well, I hadn’t ever kissed anyone, but only because he was the only one I’d ever wanted to kiss.  Still, he’s my friend so it was a pretty easy situation for me.  I think it freaked him out a little.

(cut to):  New York City.  There are new buildings, but the skyline is still distinguishable. 

(cut to): a house in New York’s East Side.

(cut to): an upstairs bedroom.  John Gregory Calhoun sits at his desk typing at his computer.  He’s now wearing a sock/ski cap in lieu of the helmet and we can see pieces of his brown hair sticking out.  Even when he’s not on his skateboard, he’s got that general coolness/cuteness about him. 

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: After I left for school, we started talking all the time.  On the phone and with this website I set up. 

John (v.o.) cont’d: I’m actually talking to her via this website she set up a while ago.  It’s like a chat room combined with an instant messenger.  She also designs games and masters a few web pages, but this is my favorite thing she’s done.  I know it’s going to sound lame, but it’s like our own virtual “secret spot.” 

As he continues to type, often pausing to await Sarah’s response, we get to check out his room.  He’s sixteen years old and his room looks like it.  It’s pretty large with an unmade, queen-size bed.  The walls are covered in a dark red wallpaper.  There are several music, skateboard and snowboard posters tacked into the wall.  There are skateboards, roller blades and a snowboard leaning against one wall.  There’s also a large book shelf with an impressive book collection and a big fish tank with tropical fish.  On another wall is an entertainment center with a TV, DVD player, game system and stereo equipment. 

John (v.o.) cont’d: I haven’t seen her in almost a year.  Her idiot parents thought shipping her off to boarding school was a good idea.  My boring parents decided we should go on a cruise at Christmas time.  I went snowboarding for Spring Break.  And now, it’s finally summer. 

(cut to): Sarah in her dorm room as she stands at her desk typing a message. 

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: We’re talking right now about what we’re going to do tomorrow night.  I’m going home and we haven’t seen each other since I left at the beginning of the year.  I actually have plans for tomorrow night, but I don’t want to tell him that yet.

Sarah walks away from the computer and over to her dresser.  She apparently has a single room.  She changes into her pajamas as we listen to John:

John (v.o.) cont’d: The thing is, I don’t really mind not seeing her.  It let’s me concentrate on the fact that we’re friends.  The very last time we saw each other was totally awkward and it took many emails and long distance phone calls to get us straightened out again. 

Sarah looks in the mirror and pulls most of her hair back into a ponytail.  It makes her look younger.

John (v.o.) cont’d: See, she’s a year younger than me and she wanted some tips for dealing with guys when she went away to school.  I told her “just say no.”  That’s when she looked at me and said, “will you kiss me?”  And the aforementioned awkwardness followed. 

 Sarah walks back over to the computer pulling her socks off and reading the computer screen before typing another message.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: When we do see each other, I have something I want to suggest to him.  It’s a completely unhealthy way of dealing with my feelings for him, but I can’t help it.  Nothing about our relationship is normal right now and this will probably push things over the edge.  Regardless, it’s what I want and I’ve decided to act on it.

(cut to): John who picks up a remote and hits play on his stereo.

Music: Losing a Whole Year

John (v.o.) cont’d: My friend Kevin thinks I’m in love with her.  I always adamantly deny it.  The truth is, though, I’m not sure.  I usually don’t tell people what I’m feeling.  I usually don’t tell people anything.  I tell Sarah everything.

(cut to): John who looks thoughtfully at the screen.

(cut to): the door as his mom, Jill Thomas, walks in.

John: Mom, what are you doing?

She walks over and turns the stereo down.

Jill: Knocking doesn’t work if you have the stereo turned up so loud you don’t hear it.

John: …or maybe it works just the way I want it to.

Jill gives him a warning look, but he smiles.

John cont’d: Come on, I’m just kidding.  What’s up?

Jill: The Flemings are coming over for dinner tomorrow.

John: Okay.

Jill: All of them…

John: That’s great mom, but…I have plans.

Jill: With who?

John: “Whom.”

Jill: Son…you’re going to make me hurt you.

John laughs.

John: So…is the dinner mandatory?

Jill: Of course not.

John: In that case…I might drop by.

Jill: Well, we’ll be so honored.

John laughs and turns back to his computer.

Jill cont’d: You know I don’t like for you to go to chat rooms.

John: It’s not a chat room…

Jill starts to walk over so John closes the window.

John (whiny): Go away.

A phone rings from John’s pocket.  He pulls out a cell phone and looks up at Jill.

John: Bye, Mom.

Jill tilts her head, but John gives her a sweet look as the phone continues to ring.  Jill exits.  John answers the phone.

John: Hello?…hey…yeah, sorry about that…my mom was in here bugging me.  Were you worried about me or something?

(slide to): a split-screen of John and Sarah in her dorm room.  She’s climbing onto her bed with her laptop in her hands and holding her phone with her shoulder.

Sarah: No, I was not worried about you…

John: So, listen…I’m going to have to take a rain check on going out tomorrow night.

Sarah: Me too actually.

He smiles.

John: See my parents are having this family over and they have this lame daughter that my mom is always trying to set me up with. 

Sarah: She sounds like a total loser.

John: Yeah, she pretty much is.

Sarah smiles.

Sarah: Well, I’ll be around for the whole summer.

John: I know…I can’t wait to see you.

Sarah almost blushes.

Sarah: Me too.  Anyway, I gotta finish packing so…

John: ….yeah, talk to you later.

They both hang up and it slides back to just John.  He looks at the phone then sets it down.

(flashback to): the previous August.  John is sitting on the floor in front of his bed playing a snowboarding video game.  He’s wearing a sock cap…it’s his trademark.  Sarah comes in through the open window, but she looks different.  Her hair is long, she has glasses and she just looks preppy. 

John: Thank God for fire escapes.

Sarah: Why are you so afraid to tell your parents that we’re friends?

John: I have my reasons.

She walks over and sits next to him.

Sarah: Yeah…but…this isn’t a casual friendship, John…you’re my best friend.

John cont’d: Well, you’re my best friend too.  I just don’t want my mom involved.  Want to play?

He offers her the controller.  She shakes her head. 

John cont’d: So…boarding school…are you freaked?

She lets him get away with dropping the previous conversation.

Sarah: Totally.

John: You’ll be fine.  It’ll be fun.

Sarah: Can I ask you for some advice?

John: Sure.

Sarah: About guys…

John: Just say no.

Sarah: John, I’m serious.

John: What are you afraid of, huh?  It’s not like anyone’s going to ask you out.

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: God, I hate you.

He finishes his game and sets the controller down.

John: Just don’t be stupid, okay?  Like…don’t have sex on a first date.  Even though guys like that…they don’t really like that.

Sarah: Sex?  God, I wasn’t even thinking that far ahead…

John laughs.

John: Well, like I said, you got nothing to worry about…

Music: Never Let You Go

Sarah: Will you kiss me?

John looks at her.

John: Whoa…what?

Sarah: I’m almost fifteen years old and…I’ve never kissed anyone.

John seriously considers this as she looks at him hopefully.

John: Um…so…just for the sake of giving you a little experience?

She nods. 

John: I don’t know…it’d be weird.

Sarah: Yeah…

She picks up the controller.

John: I just…I like having you as a friend and plus…I kind of feel like you’re my little sister or something, you know?

She nods and looks totally upset and embarrassed.

Sarah: Forget I asked.

After a second:

John: Hey…

He takes a deep breath.

John cont’d: …okay.

She looks at him.

Sarah: Really?!

He nods.

Sarah cont’d: Cool…you’re the best!

He smiles and she hugs him.  A beat as he starts to look nervous, realizing what he’s agreed to.  Lost in his thoughts, his gaze has drifted away from her.  He looks back at her.

Sarah: So…is now okay?

John: Um…sure.

She sits there looking at him for a moment as he smiles to himself not believing what he’s agreed to.

John: Okay…are you ready?

She nods then closes her eyes, waiting for him.  He laughs to himself over the scenario then leans in slowly.

Sarah: Are you going to do it?

John: I’m working up to it…

He gets even closer to her.

John cont’d: Okay…

He kisses her.  It’s not the prettiest kiss ever.  After a couple of seconds, he leans back.  She opens her eyes then laughs.  He blushes, looking down. 

Sarah (matter-of-fact): That was pretty bad.

John: What?  How would you know?

Sarah: Um…because I was there.  How many girls have you kissed like that?

He looks pretty insulted.

John: Enough.

He gets up and walks toward the window.  He climbs out onto the fire escape.  Sarah looks regretful as she gets up and goes over to the window.

(cut to): the fire escape as Sarah climbs out.

Sarah: I wasn’t trying to make fun of you.

John: Whatever; it’s cool.  You got your experience.  Have a good year.

Sarah: Maybe…maybe we could try it again?

John: Right…

Sarah: I just…I have a suggestion…

John: Oh God…this is not happening…

He puts his face in his hands.

Sarah: I just think…maybe if you didn’t concentrate so much…I know it was a lot of pressure and everything and you were probably thinking about it a lot. 

John: You weren’t?

Sarah: Well, I was, but…I wasn’t concentrating on shoving my tongue down your throat.

John: Okay…I’m throwing myself down into the street now…

He feigns as though he’s going to climb over the rail, but she pulls him back.

Sarah: John…

John: I didn’t agree to this so that Ms. Never Been Kissed could give me a critique.

Sarah: Okay…fine…it’s over.

He takes a deep breath.

John: Maybe I haven’t exactly had the experience that you’re assuming.

He looks out across the city.  She smiles.

Sarah: Really?  You haven’t?

A beat.

John: Maybe we could try again?

She nods.  They turn to face each other.

Sarah: Okay, go.

 John takes a deep breath.  Sarah closes her eyes again as they kiss.  John reaches out and places his hands on her hips as she puts her arms around his neck.  They break apart just slightly, but John leans toward her, continuing the kiss.  After another couple of seconds Sarah pulls back.

Sarah: Um…okay…

John again looks embarrassed as he drops his hands to his side and steps back.

John: Sorry…that was just…

Sarah: …really good.  See what happens when you don’t think?

He laughs and looks down.

(flash forward to): John sitting in his room at his computer, just after he’s talked to Sarah on the phone.  There is another knock at his door. 

Music: Darkness

John: Go away.

It opens and Scout walks in.

Scout: You know, I used to find your sarcasm entertaining, but it’s getting a little annoying.

John: What is this, the parade of parents?  What do you want, Dad?  Mom already invited me to dinner tomorrow night.

Scout: I want to talk to you.

John sighs and gets up from his computer.

John: What?

He walks over and sits on the bed.  Scout joins him.

Scout: You’ve been really secretive lately.

John: So what?

Scout: So what have you been doing?

John: …drugs…but, don’t worry…just hard ones.

Scout begins to look irritated.

John: Look…I just want my own life.  I don’t want what I do to be like related to what you and Mom want or don’t want.  If you could just understand that…

Scout: We don’t want to know just because we like prying into your life…that’s just an added bonus.

John smiles at the lame joke.

Scout cont’d: We’re concerned about you.

John: I know, but…you trust me, right?  I mean…haven’t I always made the right decisions?

Scout: Yes, you have and we’re very proud of you, but…we’re just curious about why you’re shutting us out…

John: I told you—

Scout: Okay.  You’re right.  You’ve given me something to think about and I want to think about it a little more before we continue this conversation. 

John sighs.

John: You know…you’re not supposed to be cool and understanding…you’re supposed to demand to know what’s going on.

Scout: Is that what you want?

John: No…

A beat.

John cont’d: What exactly do you want to know?

Scout: Who are you always on the phone with?

John: Um…different people…my drug dealer Steve…

Scout: What?

John: Kidding, Dad…I don’t have a drug dealer named Steve…his name is Leroy…

Scout: Okay, I get it…you don’t want to tell me.

John looks at Scout.  He loves his dad and appreciates that he’s cool.  He gives in.

John cont’d: Okay.  Um, I guess I do talk on the phone a little too much.  Actually, when I’m not on the phone…I’m usually talking to someone on my computer.

Scout: The same person?

John doesn’t want to give this information up.

John: Yeah…with my best friend.

Scout: Who?  Kevin?

John laughs.

John: Well…no, I see him at school…I don’t need to talk to him on the phone.  He’s not really my best friend anyway…

Scout: I don’t get it.

John: She’s…I really don’t want to tell you about her.  I hope you understand.

Scout: So…you have a girlfriend.

John: No…she’s my best friend, like I said…not my girlfriend, Dad.

Scout: So—

John: Dad…please?  Isn’t that enough bonding for one night?  I have to study some more for my math final.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Okay, fair enough.

John: Thank you.

John lies back on his bed.  Scout looks at him, worried.  He gets up and leaves the room.

(fade out) as the music fades out as well.

(fade in): to a private school, the next day.

Music: Graduate

(cut to): the hallway.  It’s between classes.

(cut to): John at his locker.  He’s wearing a uniform…and still, the sock cap.  He closes his locker as a cute, African American guy walks up to him.  This is Kevin.

Kevin: So are you ready for our final final of the year?

John: Hell yes.  I even studied.

Kevin: You never study for this class and you’ve got a ninety-eight average.

John: I know, but I can’t afford to screw up any of my classes.  My parents don’t have anything to bitch at me about right now so…it’s put me in a total power position.

Kevin: You know…I think your parents are pretty cool.  My parents never ask me about my life. 

John: Last night my dad asked me who I’m always on the phone with.

Kevin: And, let me guess, you didn’t enlighten him on the Sarah saga.

John: Well, of course not.  I felt bad though so…I told him that I’m always talking to my best friend.

Kevin: And he thought you meant me, right?

John nods.

Kevin cont’d: Yeah, he likes me.  And besides, I’m far more deserving of the “best friend” label.  I’m the one who has to put up with hearing about Sarah and what she’s done every second of the previous day.  What’d she have for lunch yesterday, J?

John: She went into town and got a grilled cheese from the diner. 

Kevin: That’s pathetic.

John: We talk a lot, so what?  She is my best friend. 

Kevin: …and you’re in love with her.

John: No, I’m not.

Kevin: Why can’t you just admit it?

John: If I was, I would, okay?  When that whole kiss thing happened before she left…I kind of thought I might be, but we talked and analyzed it for like two weeks and…it was nothing and…we’re just friends.

Kevin: You haven’t seen her in a year, right?

John: Nine and a half months.  So?

Kevin: Well…what if she got hot?

John: She was already hot.

Kevin: Okay, she was cute, but…she wasn’t hot. 

John Okay, so what if she got hot?

Kevin: Well, talking on the phone…the internet…that’s one thing—one weird thing—

but…what if you see her and you’re attracted to her.

John Look…I am attracted to her…she’s amazing, but…I’m not in love with her; she’s just…my—

Kevin: …best friend.  Yeah, you said that already.

Kevin looks at him suspiciously.

Kevin: I give you a week.

John: What?

Kevin: One week before you’re telling me you’re in love with her and that you have to figure out a way to win her over.

John: You’re on drugs.

Kevin: Only hard ones.

They laugh at a joke they’ve obviously used many times.

Kevin cont’d: Come on, let’s go kill that final.

(dissolve to): later in the day, the Calhoun home.  A van pulls up.

(cut to): inside the front door as Kevin walks in.

John: Hello?  I’m home.

Jill walks out from another room.  She’s wearing a smock and holding a paintbrush.

John: Mom…you always look so cute in your art-gear.

Jill smiles.

Jill: You’re in a good mood.

John shrugs.

John: I guess I’m just glad to be done with school for the year.

Jill: How’d your math test go?

John: It was a piece of cake.

Jill smiles.

John cont’d: I’m going to go out and skate for awhile before dinner.

He starts to head upstairs.

Jill: Will you take your phone?

John: Yup.

Jill: And, wear a helmet.

John: I know

Jill: Thank you…

(dissolve to): the park.  Kevin is holding a video camera filming something off screen.  John skates in and we see that Kevin is recording him.  John stops. 

John: Did you get it?

Kevin: Yep.  That was so kickass, but…you need to lose the helmet.

John: I can’t…I promised my mom. 

Kevin: But…you hate your mom.

John: Hey…don’t ever say anything like that again, okay?

Kevin: I thought you wanted your parents to butt out of your life.

John: Well…I do, but…

Kevin: You make no sense, you know that?  I don’t know how Sarah can stand to listen to you talk for five hours everyday.

John: I only talk to her for like…two hours everyday.

Kevin: Your parents don’t ask about the phone bill?

John: I pay for my own cell phone.

Kevin: With what?  Your allowance?

John: No…I…God, I tutor a couple of people, okay?

Kevin: And you get paid?

John nods.

John: This is why you don’t get the “best friend” label.

Kevin: Whatever.  Just get my next trick on tape.

He hands the camera to John.

John: Okay, but hurry up…I have to be home in like…

He looks at his watch.

John: …damn, like right now…I gotta go.

He hands the camera back.

Kevin: But—

John: Sorry…

He does look apologetic as he turns around to leave.  He tosses his skateboard down, hops on and skates away.  Kevin looks at him, shaking his head.

(cut to): The Calhoun house. 

Music: I Want You

(cut to): inside as John comes in through the front door carrying his helmet and skateboard.  He kicks off his shoes and puts them in the front closet and starts to run upstairs.

Jill (off screen): John…is that you?

John: Yeah, sorry, I’m late…I’m going to go jump in the shower.

Jill: Okay, but be quick.

John’s already up the stairs.

(cut to): the kitchen where Jill and Scout are finishing up cooking dinner.

Scout: We have a cook.

Jill: Uh-huh…

Scout: So why are we cooking?

Jill: Because you work too much and I miss you.

He looks over at her.

Scout: You really think I work too much?

Jill nods.

Jill: Especially lately.

Scout: It’s just that I’m a new partner and…

Jill: …you’ve got to prove yourself.  I know. I just feel like I’m alone a lot.

Scout: Maybe you should go back to the office.  I mean, it was great that you could work at home when John was little, but maybe it’s time you got out of the house.

Jill: Yeah…I’ll bring it up to Jacqueline and Hamilton tonight.

She still looks sad.

Scout: I don’t want to be that guy…

Jill: The workaholic who only sees his family on major holidays?

Scout: Yeah.

Jill: Well, that guy would never agree to come home early to help his wife cook for their best friends. 

Scout smiles.

Jill cont’d: Besides…do you think I would let you become that guy?

Scout kisses her.

Scout: I love you so much.

Jill: I love you too.

She starts to kiss him, but the doorbell rings.  She kisses him anyway.

(cut to): upstairs.  John is in the bathroom.  He’s out of the shower and has a towel around his waist, but his hair has been dried and he has another sock cap on.  He’s brushing his teeth.  When he’s done, he takes another look in the mirror as he adjusts the sock cap a little.  He walks out of the bathroom.

(cut to): his room.  The lights are off as he walks in and flips the stereo on.  The volume of the song we’re already listening to, I Want You, gets turned way up  John  sings along as he walks over to the middle of the room to pull a string that cuts the lights on.  Sarah is sitting in the middle of his bed.  It surprises John, but he doesn’t say anything.

Sarah: Hi.  You finally got some taste in music, huh?

John: Well, normally I’m not into oldies, but this girl I know let me borrow her CD.

Sarah: She has impeccable taste.

He walks over to his stereo and turns it down.  A beat.

John: What are you doing here?

Sarah: Getting even.

John: Oh…right…

Sarah: I mean…you haven’t forgotten?

John shakes his head.

John: Oh, no…I definitely remember.

(flashback to): about a year ago, the Calhoun house as the music fades and changes.

(cut to): inside the front door as John walks in.  He looks around and hears the music from upstairs.  He looks curious as he starts to go upstairs.

(cut to): upstairs.  How’s It Going to Be is playing.  John gets to the top of the stairs and looks around.

John: Hello?

He walks over to the guest bedroom. The door is open slightly and he peaks in.  Sarah is in a bathrobe and has her hair in a towel as she walks around the room, singing along.  John rolls his eyes and starts to walk away, but changes his mind.  He leans against the doorframe as he watches her with a smirk. 

(cut to): Sarah.  She takes her hair down from the towel and dries it a little then throws the towel down.

(cut to): John.  His smirk turns into a genuine smile.

(cut to): Sarah.  She has some clothes laid out on the bed.  She starts to take the robe off.  John clears his throat.  Sarah turns to the door, completely mortified.  John pushes it open and walks in.

John: Hi.

Sarah races over to the stereo and turns it way down.

Sarah: What are you doing here?

John: I live here.  What are you doing here?

Sarah: Cat sitting.

John laughs.

John: Mom was supposed to leave Max and Mike at the vet’s this week.

Sarah: Well, she forgot and so she asked me if I’d stay here and take care of them.  Aren’t you supposed to be on a plane?

John: My flight got delayed like five times then cancelled.  Apparently there’s some hurricane headed to the Bahamas right now so…I’m stuck in New York.  Do you want to put some clothes on?

Sarah looks down at her robe, which is still covering her up, but is a little looser than she’d probably like.  She tightens the belt on it.   John smiles smugly.

Sarah: Just…get out.  I’ll pack my stuff and go home.

John: Your parents are gone too, right?

Sarah: Duh, yes.

John: Well…I mean, you could stay. 

Sarah: Why?  Aren’t you forgetting that you hate me?

John sighs.

John: I don’t hate you.

Sarah: Right…then why is this the longest conversation we’ve ever had?

John shrugs.

John: I guess I thought you were boring, but…maybe I was wrong…maybe we could hang out this week.

Sarah (sarcastic): Oh…wow…really?

John: Whatever…forget it…

He starts to walk away.

Sarah: I guess it could be fun.

John smiles, but drops it as her turns back around to face her.

John: You’re going to have to stop being such a snotty bitch.

Sarah: Only if you stop being such an arrogant prick.

John breaks into a smile and Sarah does the same.

John: Seriously…stop trying to flash me.

This makes Sarah blush as she tightens the belt on the robe again.  John walks out.

(flash forward to): John’s room.

Sarah: You were so smug and arrogant back then…what’s happened to you?

She gets up from the bed and stands in front of him.  He’s trying really hard not to check her out, though he obviously thinks she “got hot.”

John: What happened to your hair?  It looks like it got stuck in a blender.

Sarah: Hm…I thought you’d like it.

She looks around the room.

John: You know…I have to get dressed.

Sarah shrugs and looks down at the towel then back up at him.

Sarah: So?

He pushes her out into the hall.

John: Stop trying to be sexy and wait here for a second.

He closes the door. 

(cut to): inside the door.  John goes over to his cell phone and dials.

John (whispered):  Kevin?  It’s me…she’s here.  She got hot…her hair…it’s like…it’s so cute…she’s so cute…what am I going to do.  Huh?…I don’t know; she was being all flirty…I think she was screwing with me….Screw with her back?  No way.  I just…okay…yeah…bye.

He tosses the phone down and pulls a shirt and some slacks out of his drawer.

Music: Anything  

(cut to): out in the hall.  Sarah is sitting on the floor across from his room.  The door opens and John walks out.

Sarah: I wasn’t trying to be sexy.  I was just screwing with you.

John: I know. 

Sarah: It’s really good to see you.

She stands up.

John: Yeah…you too.

He pulls her into a hug then steps back and looks at her.

John cont’d: I like your hair.

Sarah: Yeah…I thought you would.

John: Anyway, I kind of have to get downstairs.

Sarah: Go ahead.

He smiles.

John: See you later…

He walks off down the hall.

(cut to): downstairs, the living room.  John walks in and checks out the scene.  Hamilton and VERY PREGNANT Jake sit on the couch.  Emily and Oliver Fleming sit on the floor trying to get the attention of Max the cat.  Oliver is eleven and Emily is six. 

Jake: Just leave the cat alone.

Oliver reaches out for it and it runs away.

Emily: You scared it!

Oliver: You scared it.

Emily: Daddy…

Hamilton: Guys…chill out please…we’re in public.

He looks up.

Hamilton: How you doing, John?

John: Um, I’m good. 

John walks in and sits in a chair.

Jake: How’s school?

John: It’s fine.

Emily gets up and walks over to him.

Emily: Can you please ask your cats to play with me?

John: They don’t really like kids.

Sarah: Sure they do…

She walks in carrying Mike.  She tosses John a smirk as she lets Emily and Oliver pet the cat.  John tries really hard to ignore the whole scene, but he can’t help glance at Sarah every once in awhile.  She leaves the cat with the kids and joins Jake and Ham on the couch.

Hamilton: Next time, please tell us if you’re going to come home with a new haircut.

Sarah: Dad…

Jake: I think it looks really cute, Sweetie.

Sarah: Thank you, Mom.

So, if we didn’t know…it now becomes clear that Sarah is the oldest Fleming child.  John is now staring at her, but he snaps out of it before anyone notices.

John: I’m going to…go see if my parents need any help.

He gets up and goes.  Sarah shakes her head.

Jake: God, that kid…

Hamilton: He’s such a little punk.

Jake: Well, it’s not that so much as…he just shuts everyone out.

Sarah: I bet he lets some people in.

Hamilton looks at her suspiciously.

Jake: Well, Jill’s really worried about him.

Sarah: Doesn’t he get like straight A’s?  Never gets in trouble?  Never breaks any rules?  Why would she be worried about him?

Hamilton: Believe it or not, some parents actually like their kids to tell them what’s going on in their lives every now and then.

Sarah: Believe me…I know all about nosey parents…
Jake: Hey…

Hamilton: We’re not nosey…

Jake: …just interested.

Sarah laughs.  A beat.

Hamilton: You guys never hung out at school or anything, huh?

Sarah: Um…no, not really.

Hamilton: Well, I didn’t like the way he was looking at you.

Sarah: Dad please…he has absolutely no interest in me…

She looks out the door.

Sarah cont’d: …bu….what do you mean?

Jake: He means he was looking at you like you two are having some secret affair.

Jake laughs like she didn’t mean it, but Sarah doesn’t get that.
Sarah: Wh-what?  Mom…God…I don’t even know him.

Sarah escapes to the floor with the kids and the cat.  Jake looks at Hamilton.

Jake: I’ve used that line, you know.

Hamilton smiles.

Jake cont’d: I seriously do wish they would have become friends at some point.

Hamilton: Yeah…

Hamilton looks at Sarah suspiciously.

(dissolve to): the dining room table.  Scout and Jill are at opposite ends.  Jake, Ham and John sit on one side.  Oliver, Emily and Sarah sit on the other side.  Sarah and John are directly across from each other.  They do a good job of ignoring each other.

Jill: So, Scout and I were talking about me moving back to the office.

Jake: Seriously? 

Jill nods.

John: You’re going back to work?

Jill: Well…it’s not like I haven’t been working.

John: Exactly.  Why can’t you just work here?

Jill: What do you care?  It’s not like you’re ever home…

John: Yes, I am.

Jill: Well, if you are…you’re locked up in your room.

John: Well, still, it’s nice having you at home.

Scout and Jill look at each other…they don’t get it.

Oliver: Mom…Emily is kicking me under the table.

Emily: He kicked me first.

Oliver: It was an accident.

Emily: No it wasn’t, Mommy…

Jake takes a deep breath.  Hamilton looks over at her then back at the kids.

Hamilton: Oliver, get up.

He switches his plate with Oliver’s and gets up.

Jake: Thanks.

Hamilton kisses her on her head as he gets up and switches places with Oliver.

(dissolve to): later as everyone sits around the living room.  The adults are drinking coffee.  Oliver and Emily are playing a game of checkers.  Sarah sits in a chair.  John is already upstairs.

Jill: I’m sorry about John…he’s gotten so anti-social.

Sarah: Um…I’m going to…go use the restroom.

Everyone looks at her like “why are you telling us this?”

Music: New Girl

(cut to): John in his room.  He’s adjusting something on his skateboard.

Sarah: Why’d you take off like that?

Sarah walks in closing the door behind her.

John: Because I wanted to talk to you.

Sarah: Well…you could have just talked to me down there.

John: Come on, Sarah…we’ve talked about this.  If my mom knew we were friends…I mean…she’d be pushing us to hook up even more than she already does…and then if we did and we broke up…she’d want to know everything…I mean, not that we would hook up…I just…

Sarah: Yeah, I know…you’re messed up…fine.

John: Come on…it’s not that weird.

Sarah: Oh…it is, but…we’ll talk about that another time.

John: Okay, but…it’s not like we have much else to talk about.  I mean, that’s all we’ve done for the past year.

Sarah: Nine and a half months.

John laughs.

John: Well, whatever…but, we have talked about everything.

Sarah cont’d: Actually…there is one thing I wanted to talk to you about that we haven’t talked about.

John: What?

Sarah: Well, there’s this guy at school and…I’ll probably end up dating him next year.

John: Oh yeah?  You never told me you liked anyone.

Sarah: I know…because I didn’t know if it’d be like…weird.

John: What?  I told you about every girl that—

Sarah: …yeah, John, I know…and it was weird.

John: You never told me that.

Sarah sighs.

Sarah: Anyway…I like this guy and he’ll be a senior next year and…he probably expects certain stuff from a girl and…

John: Ah, now you want sex advice.  Okay…remember to just say no.

Sarah: What if I don’t want to say no?

John raises his eyebrows.

John: Um…wow…really?

She nods.

John cont’d: I don’t know…

Sarah: You remember the kiss?

John: Kiss?  No…

He smiles.

Sarah: And you remember how we talked about it and figured out how to make it better?

John: Nope.

Sarah: And when we tried again it was good because we’re friends and we were just honest about it.

John: You were brutal.

Sarah: I’m sorry, but…you gotta admit…it was better when you did what I said.

John: Where are you going with this, Sarah?

Sarah: Well, I was thinking that maybe we could—

John: What?  Have sex?

He laughs; she doesn’t.

John cont’d: Oh my God…no, okay?  Absolutely not.  No…

He gets up and puts his skateboard back against the wall.

Sarah: It would be completely instructional.

John: My ego is not ready for that.

Sarah: John…please?

He turns around and looks at her.  She gives him a pleading/teasing look without really meaning to.

John: Stop looking at me like that.

Sarah (honest): Like what?

He looks at her suspiciously, questioning her sincerity.

John: Is that why you stayed that day and made friends with me?  Huh?  So you could toy with my hormones?  I mean, you’re beautiful and you’re offering me sex.  I should be undressed by now. 

Sarah: So…why aren’t you?

John: God…because I like you too much.  I don’t want to just sleep with you for the sake of sleeping with you…so that you’ll have a little experience when you sleep with Mr. Hot Shot Senior next year…and so that you can criticize every move I make…

Sarah: Then…I won’t say a word, but…I want you to tell me what you like or—

John: Shut up, it’s not happening.  It’d be too weird.  We’re just…too close now.  I don’t want to sleep with my best friend. 

Sarah takes a deep breath and nods.

Sarah: Well…never hurts to ask.  Want to do some virtual snowboarding?

John laughs and looks at her, not really believing the conversation they just had.  He shakes his head, wondering if it really did just happen.

Sarah: What?

He smiles.

John: You’ve got to be my favorite person on the planet.

Sarah: There are a lot of people on the planet.

John: I know…but not many could ask me for sex and to play my new video game in the same breath.

Sarah laughs.  Hamilton walks into the doorway.

Hamilton: Kids…what’s up?

Music: Jumper

Sarah: Dad…I was just…

She stands up.

Hamilton: …looking for the bathroom?

Sarah: Uh…yeah…

John: Down the hall and to the left.

They both look confused.

John cont’d: …the bathroom.

Sarah: Oh, right…thanks.

Hamilton: John…mind if Sarah and I borrow your room for a minute?

He does, but he complies.  He gets up and walks out.  Hamilton closes the door.

Hamilton: So…how long have you two been…

Sarah: …been what, Dad?

Hamilton: …been…whatever you are?

Sarah: Well…we’ve been friends since last summer.  When you and mom and Jill and Scout went up to the lake and Oliver and Em were at Grandma and Grandpa’s…John came home early and…I stayed anyway and…he turned out not to be the jerk he pretends to be around us so…we’ve been friends ever since.

Hamilton: And why don’t Mom and I know that already?

Sarah: …because he doesn’t want anyone to know.

Hamilton: And you think that’s okay?

Sarah: No, but…he’s my best friend and—

Hamilton:best friend?

She nods.

Sarah: I know, it’s weird…we just happen to…

Hamilton: …click?

Sarah smiles.

Sarah: Yeah.  That’s a good way of putting it.

Hamilton: He’s who you were on the phone with all semester?

Sarah: What?

Hamilton: Grandma said every time she came by the dorms…you were on the phone or the computer talking to “a friend.”

Sarah: Well, actually, Grandma knows everything about me and John now.

Hamilton: Damn her…she’s always in on the secret.

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: Like with you and Mom…

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: So…that’s it?  Full story: he’s your best friend, but he’s afraid of the expectations that come with that role…especially about how his mom would react.

Sarah: That’s a majority of the story anyway.

Hamilton: Well…what’s the rest?

Sarah: How much do you want to know?

Hamilton: Everything.

She looks at him like “you asked for it.”

Sarah: I asked him to kiss me right before I left for school and he didn’t want to, but I finally convinced him and…he was the first guy I ever kissed…well, like really kissed—

Hamilton: Maybe “everything” was a slight overstatement.

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: Well…don’t worry.  I meant it before when I said he has absolutely no interest in me.  It’s like he thinks of me as a kid sister or something.

Hamilton: Well, as you father…I’m glad to hear that.

Sarah: But?

Hamilton: Well, I mean…do you like him?

Sarah: No.

He looks at her suspiciously.

Sarah: I don’t.

She gets up and goes to walk out of the room.

Sarah cont’d: And…can we not mention this to mom?

Hamilton: I think one of us needs to mention it to her.

Sarah: Well…give me until the end of the summer?

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: Okay…it’s a deal.

Sarah: Thanks, Dad.

She hugs him as she opens the door and walks out.  Hamilton stands there a minute then exits too.

(cut to): the hall where John is leaning against the wall.  He has his typical punk front up.  He looks away when Hamilton walks by.

Hamilton: You know…I don’t think you give them enough credit.

John: Who?

Hamilton: Your parents. 

John: So…she told you.

Hamilton: Yeah, but…I’m a Swiss vault.

Hamilton smiles then walks starts to walk away.  John looks at him, surprised.  Hamilton changes his mind and turns around.

Hamilton cont’d: You know, I’m trying really hard not to give you the “touch my daughter and die” speech.

John: We’re…we’re just friends.

Hamilton: So, you don’t think she’s…pretty?

John: Is that a trick question?

Hamilton shrugs.

John cont’d: I think she’s totally pretty…

John hesitates.

John cont’d: …but…we’re still just friends. 

Hamilton looks at him warningly.

Hamilton: Just…don’t hurt her, okay?

John: Come on, that’s not even an option.

Hamilton smiles.

Hamilton: Good answer.

Ham pats him on the shoulder then walks away.  John leans his head back against the wall and sighs with relief.

(dissolve to): The Fleming house, much later that night.

Music: Camouflage

(cut to): the living room.  Sarah sits on the couch with her laptop.  Emily and Oliver are on either side of her.

Sarah: See, so all we have to do is save this game onto a two-thousand twenty-five disk and you’ll be able to play it on your hand-helds.

She picks up a small external drive that is connected to her computer.  She ejects a disk that looks like a gameboy game and hands it to Oliver.

Oliver: Cool, I’m the star of my own video game.  Is it okay if I go try it?

She nods.  He gets up and leaves with the game.  Sarah turns to Emily who is waiting patiently. 

Sarah: You want one, right?

Emily: Sure, but…can you show me how to make it?

Sarah: Sure, Em.  Come here.

She puts the laptop down then pulls Emily into her lap.  She then picks up the laptop and balances it on Emily’s lap.

(cut to): the doorway where Hamilton is walking by.  He looks in and then stops a moment, smiling.  Jake follows behind him and stops as well.  They look at each other and smile.

(cut to): the stairs as they’re about to head up.  Hamilton turns instead to face Jake.

Hamilton: Looks like our girls take after their mother.

She smiles at him, so in love with her life.

Hamilton cont’d: I can’t believe we’re having another one.

Music: Ten Days Late

He glances down at her stomach.  Jake carefully takes a seat on the stairs.

Jake: Me either.

He sits down next to her and picks up her hand, kissing it.

Hamilton: Thanks for doing it one more time.

She looks over at him.

Jake: You know, when we had Sarah, I was so freaked out.  All I was worried about was the fact that I would be in so much pain.

Hamilton: You never said that.

Jake: When it was actually happening, though, all I could think about was her…all I wanted to do was make sure that she was okay.  And, you held her before I did.

Hamilton, still holding Jake’s hand, looks worried about this fact.  She notices.

Jake cont’d: No…it was okay.  I don’t know, it was bizarre…we stopped being “Jake and Hamilton” at that moment and…we were the Flemings…which is still so weird to me in one way…and so perfect in another. 

He smiles at her now.  He can’t believe what they’ve become…and how much he loves it. 

Jake cont’d: And, seeing you hold her…watching you keep her safe…that was trust that couldn’t come from anywhere else.

Hamilton: That’s what being a family is, I guess.  A whole lot of trust.

Jake: Which is why I would have a million kids with you if that’s what you wanted.

He kisses her first on the cheek then on her lips.  Oliver comes walking down the stairs.

Oliver: Excuse me.

Hamilton leans back so that Oliver can walk by, but before he gets through Hamilton pulls him down in between them. 

Jake: Your sister made you a video game?

Oliver: Yeah, it’s so cool...wanna play?

He offers the game to her.

Hamilton: You know, when I was a kid…you bought your games at the store.

Oliver laughs.

Oliver: You’re so old, Dad.

Hamilton: Did you hear that, Mom?  He called us old.

Jake: No, he called you old.

Oliver cracks up.

Hamilton: Oh, that’s funny to you?  I’ll show you funny.

Hamilton starts to tickle him and he cracks up even more.  Emily and Sarah walk out.

Sarah: What’s going on out here?

She sees and laughs.

Sarah cont’d: I’m so glad I paid my dues already.

Hamilton: What?  You think you’re too old to be tickled?

Hamilton stands up.  Sarah smiles.  He starts to walk over to her.

Sarah: No, I’m just old enough to know to tickle back…come on, Emily.

They charge Hamilton and get him down on the ground.  Oliver joins in.  Jake laughs at the whole scene.

Hamilton: Three on one…no fair…

He looks up at Jake who mouths “I love you” to him.  He smiles and enjoys the attack…the moment…the life.

(dissolve to): the same area in front of the stairs, several hours later.  Hamilton walks downstairs as Jake starts to walk upstairs.

Hamilton: We keep meeting here.

She smiles.

Jake: Did Em finally fall asleep?

Hamilton: Yeah…I think we had a little too much excitement a little too close to bedtime.

Jake: I wonder whose fault that was, tickle monster.

She reaches out and grabs his side playfully.  A beat as he moves in to kiss her.

Hamilton: Oh!  I was going to ask you a favor…or suggest something really.

Jake: Okay…

Hamilton: Talk to Sarah…about guys…about sex.

Jake: I have.

Hamilton: At a time when she was actually planning on…having it?

Jake: Do you know something I don’t?

Hamilton: She’s not telling us everything and…I don’t like that.

Jake: You are such a cute dad.

He smiles.

Hamilton: So…you’ll do it?

Jake: At the risk of turning into my prying mother…yes, I’ll do it.

Hamilton: Awesome…you’re such a good mom.

She smiles.

Jake: I take your advice and I’m a good mom?

Hamilton nods.

Jake cont’d: Yeah…you’re probably right.

Hamilton: Now that that’s settled…let’s get you and our soon to be daughter to bed.

He takes her hand and helps her up the stairs.

(fade out)

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Central Park, later in the week.

Music: Wounded

(cut to): in the park.  Sarah is holding the video camera as John and Kevin skate into frame from opposite directions and do some trick at the same time.

Sarah: Oh man…that was so cool.

They skate up to her.

Kevin: You got it on tape, right?

Sarah: Yeah…why are you so obsessed?

She hands him the camera.

Kevin: I’m making a documentary…The Return of Skate.

Sarah: Hm…sounds pretty cool.

Kevin looks at her like she totally doesn’t “get it” as he walks off to check out the footage.  John shrugs.

Sarah: Hey…teach me a trick.

Kevin raises his eyebrows.

Sarah cont’d: …on this.

She takes the skateboard and drops it.

Kevin: Hey…be careful with that.

Sarah stands on the skateboard, which puts her at eye level with John.

Kevin cont’d: Be careful, okay?  Since when are you interested in this stuff anyway?

Sarah ignores him.  She shifts her weight and tilts one end of the skateboard up.  It throws her off balance.  John reaches out and keeps her from falling. 

John: Okay, get off…you don’t even have a helmet on.

She takes one foot off.

John cont’d: Thank you.

She turns and pushes off with her foot.

John cont’d: Hey…

He jogs after her.

Sarah: Check this out…and I always thought you were so cool…

John: Please stop, you’re going to—

But, it’s too late.  She hits the pavement. 

John cont’d: Shit, Sarah…are you okay?

He rushes over to her.

(cut to): Sarah as she sits up.

Sarah: I’m fine.

John kneels down with her.

John: You don’t get on a skateboard without a helmet, okay?

He puts his hand on top of her head.

John cont’d: Please think.

She pushes his hand away and starts to stand up.  He pulls her back down.

John cont’d: God, what is with you?

Sarah: My knee hurts.

She flips the skateboard over and sits on it.  John looks at her knee.  Blood is coming through her jeans. 

John: Oh, man…does it hurt?

Sarah rolls her eyes.

Sarah: No, feels great.

He gives her a sarcastic look as he begins to roll up her jeans.

Sarah cont’d: What do you think you’re doing?

John: You know, I don’t get you at all.

He gets the jeans rolled up to the knee.  It doesn’t look that bad, but it is bleeding.

John cont’d: I mean, are you still pissed that I wouldn’t…

He looks over at Kevin who is watching a replay.

John cont’d: …sleep with you?

Sarah: Get over yourself.

He pulls out a small bag from one of the pockets of his pants.  He dumps the contents out and looks through it.  He picks up a small packet.  He opens it and pulls out a small cloth.  He uses it to wipe off the cut.

Sarah: That stings.

John: Look, I thought we were cool…

He opens a small tube of anti-bacterial cream and puts some on the scrape.

Sarah: We are cool…it’s this situation…

He opens a band-aid.

Sarah cont’d: …it’s beyond strange and…sometimes it gets to me.

He puts the band-aid on.

Sarah cont’d: And then you go and do something completely nice…and normal…well, I don’t know how normal that is…

She indicates the first aid kit as he puts everything back in the bag.

Sarah cont’d: What’s with that anyway?

John: My mom gave it to me.

Sarah smiles as she unrolls her pant leg.

Sarah: You are action packed with issues, John Calhoun.

She puts her hands on his shoulders and gets up.  He stands up too.

Sarah cont’d: It can’t be like this forever.  You’ve got until the end of the summer.

John: Or what?

Sarah: I go back to Rawley and it’s over.

John: Our friendship?

She nods.

Sarah: No late night phone calls about the minute details of my day.  No instant messages about your newest trick.  Nothing, John.  You find a way to tell them or…I’m taking away what we’re hiding.

John: But—

Sarah shrugs and walks off.

Sarah: I really have to go…my mom made me promise to come home for lunch.  I’ll see you later…

John watches her walk away.  Kevin walks up to him.

Kevin: That sounded like an ultimatum.

John: She would never do that…

John looks over at Kevin.

John cont’d: …would she?

Kevin: I don’t know, I think she meant it.

John looks down.

Kevin: Want an instant replay?

Kevin opens the camera and hits rewind, but John walks off.

(cut to): The Fleming House, the kitchen.  Jake is sitting at the kitchen table. Sarah walks in.

Sarah: Hey, Mom.

Jake: Hi…where have you been?

Sarah: At the park…with some friends, but I’m back for lunch as promised…where is everyone?

Jake: Dad took Oliver and Em to a movie.  I want to talk to you.

Sarah: About what?

Sarah sits down.  Jake takes a deep breath.

Jake: I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but…sex.

Sarah: Wh-what?

Jake: Your dad suggested it…which makes me wonder if he knows something I don’t.
Sarah looks down.

Sarah: Well, I’m not having sex if that’s what you’re worried about.

Jake: Glad to hear it…are you planning to?

Sarah: …haven’t we had this talk already?

Jake: Not in this context…so…are you planning to—

Sarah: Tomorrow?

Jake: Tomorrow…this week…this summer…next—

Sarah: Mom…

Sarah is now red and looking down.

Sarah cont’d: Okay, yes…at some point in my life, yes…I plan to…have…sex…

She looks up again.

Jake: Okay…

(cut to): the park.  Kevin and John are walking together.

Music: Burning Man

Kevin: So, what’s the deal with you and Sarah?

John: There’s no deal.

Kevin stops walking.  John sighs and stops too.

Kevin: Tell me everything.

John hesitates.

Kevin cont’d: Come on, you’ve only got the rest of the summer to get me up to speed on this whole best friend thing.

John: That’s not funny.

Kevin: Who’s laughing?

John: Okay…well…the other night she…she asked if I’d…

Kevin: What?

John: Sex…she wanted to…have it…

Kevin: With you?

John nods.

Kevin cont’d: Oh…no way. 

John nods again.

Kevin cont’d: So…you two—

John: No.

Kevin: So…she backed out?

John looks down.

John: Well…

Kevin: John.  Tell me you’re joking.

John: It wouldn’t have been right.

Kevin: How could it have been wrong?

John: Well…she’s not in love with me.

Kevin: So?

John: There’s this guy she wants to sleep with next year and—

Kevin: …she wanted practice?

John: Yeah…pretty much.

Kevin: Hm…fifty bucks says…there is no guy.

John hasn’t thought of this.

Kevin cont’d: She wants you.

Kevin smirks.

Kevin cont’d: Actually…she’s probably in love with you…thus making your excuse for not doing it null and void.

John looks at him seeking good advice.

John: You think I should do it?

(cut to): The Fleming house.

(cut to): the living room.  Jake and Sarah are on the couch laughing.

Sarah: Mom…no more…too much information. 

Jake: Okay.

Sarah: Okay…wait…then what happened?

Jake laughs.

Jake: Well…

Hamilton and the kids walk in the front door.

Jake cont’d: …I’ll tell you later.

Sarah laughs and Jake tries not to.

Hamilton: What?

The kids run upstairs.

Jake: Nothing.

Sarah: How was the movie?

They start laughing

Hamilton: Oh no…

Hamilton turns red.

Hamilton cont’d: I’m just going to…go…

He walks upstairs and Jake and Sarah start laughing again.

(dissolve to): The Calhoun house, later.

Music: Motorcycle Driveby

(cut to): John’s room.  He’s standing on his skateboard and practicing a trick jump. As usual, he’s hot a sock cap on.  Sarah climbs in the window.  John does the trick again then hops off his skateboard.

Sarah: Where’s your helmet?

John: Hey…I’m glad you’re here.

Sarah: You know, I sort of see where you’re coming from on the not-telling-the-parents thing.  My dad told my mom she should talk to me about sex…which, in turn, made her tell me way too much about my dad…and their first time and—

John: Hey…I don’t want to know.

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: …it was actually pretty cool.

A beat.

John: So…you’re not withdrawing the ultimatum?

Sarah shakes her head.

Sarah: Why are you glad I’m here?

John: Oh, right…

He walks over to her.

John cont’d: Did talking to your mom totally kill…I mean…did you still want to…

Sarah pretends not to know where he’s going with this.  He takes a deep breath.

John cont’d: I’m a virgin too.

Sarah: I know…

John: Of course you do…and that’s why I was rethinking that thing you suggested the other night.

Sarah: Sex…

John nods.

John: Because…I guess I would want to know if I was just like…

Sarah: …really bad?

John: And your kissing advice did come in pretty handy more than once this year like, oh man, with Jessica—

He remembers what she said before.

John cont’d: …but you don’t want to hear about that. 

She smiles.

Sarah: Where are you going with this, John?

John: It would be instructional, like you said, but also…since it’s you…it would still be a really special thing for me…

Sarah nods.

Sarah: For me too.

John looks relieved to hear this.

Sarah cont’d: So…you’re saying you’ll do it?

John: I’m saying…it would…be…my pleasure.

A beat as Sarah steps away.

Sarah: Okay.  Cool. 

John laughs. 

Sarah: What?

John: You’re gonna chicken out.

Sarah: No, I’m not.

She kicks off her shoes and starts to take her belt off.

John: Whoa, whoa…

He walks over to her and takes her hands.

John cont’d: Keep your pants on.

He smirks at his use of the cliché.

Sarah: So…you’re chickening out?

John laughs.

John: Don’t count on that happening.  It’s just that my parents are here right now.

Sarah puts her hands on her hips.

Sarah: When won’t they be?

John: Tomorrow.  It’s my mom’s first day back in the office.

Sarah: Yeah…okay.

She slips her shoes back on.

Sarah cont’d: That’ll give us some time to prepare too. 

She steps back toward the window.

Sarah cont’d: I’ll be here around…ten?

John: Make it eleven.

Sarah: Okay…see you in the morning…

She starts to climb out the window.

John: This isn’t going to hurt us, is it?

Sarah: Well, John—

John: …and I meant our relationship.

Sarah smiles.

Sarah: Not if we don’t let it.  I’ll see you in the morning.

She exits.  He stands there watching her and can’t help smiling.

(cut to): Jill and Scout in the den.  Scout sits in a chair and Jill sits on a couch.  Scout is reading the paper and Jill is looking through some paperwork.

Scout: Are you nervous about going back to the office?

Jill: Not really…more like excited.  It’s not like I’ll be doing anything new…I’ll just be doing the same stuff in a more stimulating environment.

Scout: Think John will be okay by himself?

Jill: He’s sixteen, Sweetheart.  And, besides, he’s alone all the time anyway.  I hate how he locks himself in his room like that.

Scout: I guess that’s what we get for letting him have the perfect room. 

Jill: I don’t think he does it because he likes his room.  He does it because he hates us.

Scout: He doesn’t hate us.  I told you what he said…he wants our approval…he just doesn’t want to feel like his life belongs to us.

Jill: Well, sharing with us doesn’t mean that we own his life.

Scout: But, not sharing guarantees that we don’t.

Jill: So…are you saying you approve?

Scout: Of our son?  Of course I approve.

Jill: Well, I don’t.  I talked to Jacqueline today.  You know what she and Sarah did today?  They talked about sex.  Do you know what John would do if I tried to talk to him about sex?

Scout: The same thing I would do if my mom tried to talk to me about sex…

Jill: I talked to my dad about sex.

Scout: Yes, but Dear…you’re not normal.

She pretends to look insulted.  He gets up from his chair and joins her on the couch.

Scout cont’d: Listen…he’s a good kid and you know that.  I think he just needs a little time to figure out what he wants.  I think that’s why he’s shutting us out…he wants to figure out life on his own…and when he does, he’ll tell us everything. 

Jill thinks about this.

Jill: I’m giving him until the end of the summer.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Sounds like a good plan.

(fade out)

(fade in): to John in bed, the next morning, he’s not asleep.  There’s a knock at his door.

John: It’s not locked.

Jill sticks her head in.

Jill: Just wanted to let you know I was leaving.

John: Okay.

Jill: I’ll see you tonight, baby.

She starts to close the door.

John: Mom?

She opens the door again as John sits up in bed.

John cont’d: Good luck today.

Jill smiles.

John cont’d: I mean…not that you’ll need it.

Jill: I don’t know…I might.

John: You’ll be great. 

Jill: Thank you.

John: And Mom?

Jill: Uh huh?

John: Thanks for being here for the past, you know, sixteen years.

Jill: What’s up with you today?

John: Uh…nothing.  Why?

Jill: I don’t know…just seems like some major life event is about to happen.

John: Major life event…no…nothing like that.  I just…I wanted to say what I don’t say enough…that’s all.  That I appreciate you and that I love you.

Jill smiles.

Jill: I love you too.  Now, go back to sleep.

John smiles and lies back down.  Jill closes the door, looking confused, but pleased.

(cut to): The Fleming house, the kitchen.  Emily and Oliver are sitting at the table eating cereal.  Hamilton is standing at the counter drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bagel.  Sarah walks in, dressed.

Hamilton: You’re up early.

Sarah: Yeah…I couldn’t really sleep.

She opens the fridge and pulls out some orange juice.

Hamilton: Are you going to see your “best friend” today?

Sarah: I told him he had until the end of the summer to tell his parents about us.

Hamilton: Thank you.

Sarah: You’re welcome, but…I didn’t do it for you.

Hamilton: I didn’t tell your mom, you know.  I just suggested—

Sarah: I know what you suggested.  Thanks for that, by the way.

Emily: Daddy…Oliver took my video game.

Oliver: You weren’t playing it.

Emily: So, I didn’t say you could use it.

Oliver: Dad…it used to be mine anyway…

Hamilton leaves Sarah to referee.  Jake walks in.  She and Hamilton pause to kiss as Hamilton makes his way to the kids and Jake makes her way to the coffee.  Sarah has gone back to pouring her glass of orange juice.

Jake: You’re up early.

Sarah: I’ve been getting that a lot lately.

Sarah opens the fridge to put the juice back.

Sarah cont’d: Hey, Mom?

Jake: Uh huh?

She’s pouring herself a cup of coffee.

Sarah: Thanks for yesterday.  It was…it was fun and…informative.

Jake smiles.

Jake: Great…sounds like a museum exhibit for kids.

Sarah laughs.

Jake cont’d: So, what are your plans for today?

Sarah: Oh…nothing too exciting.

Jake looks at her suspiciously, but Hamilton walks over so she drops it.

Jake: You ready to go?

Hamilton nods.  They round up the kids and leave.  Sarah watches then sits down at the table, looking a little freaked out.

Music: Deep Inside of You

(dissolve to): John, in his room.  His bed is made and his room looks cleaner than it has before.  He’s dressed and is pacing around.  Of course, he’s still got the sock cap on.  His phone rings.  He pulls it out of his pocket and answers it.

John: Hello?  Oh, hey Kevin…yeah, I was awake…no, I can’t today…I have other plans…shut up…I’m hanging up now because she’ll be here any minute…why would I be nervous?…yeah, whatever…bye.

He hangs up and puts the phone back in his pocket.  He takes a deep breath and sits down on his bed.  Sarah climbs in the window.  Neither of them says anything at first.  She walks over and starts to sit down as he starts to stand up.  They both laugh awkwardly as John stands up.  Sarah kicks her shoes off and starts to unbuckle her belt, as she did the night before.

John: Maybe you should let me…

He reaches out for her belt.

Sarah: I…I got it.

He smiles as she takes the belt off.

John: Sarah…reverse psychology aside…if you don’t want to do this—

Sarah: I want to…I just don’t think we have to be anything other than methodical about it.  I’ll get undressed…you get undressed…we’ll do it then—

John: …hold a brief question and answer session?

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: Exactly…because this is purely instructional.

John: Purely…and I’m supposed to tell you what I don’t like about it, right?

Sarah: Right.

John: I don’t like this methodology. 

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: Too bad.

John: I’m serious.  I can’t just drop my pants, hop into bed and…make it happen.

Sarah unbuttons then unzips her jeans and kicks them off.

John cont’d: I mean, I’ve spent the last year trying not to think about you like this…I’ve been programmed and…

She takes off her shirt and he loses what he was saying.  He quickly pulls off his shirt and takes off his pants.  He stands there in his boxers…and his sock cap.  He folds his arms awkwardly.  Sarah rolls her eyes at his awkwardness.  She pulls the covers back on his bed.  When she stands back up John leans in to kiss her, but she leans away.

Sarah: What are you doing?

He blushes.

John: K-kissing you?

Sarah: Well…don’t.

John: Why not?

Sarah: This isn’t supposed to be romantic.

John: Believe me…kissing you has never been romantic.

Sarah laughs.

Sarah: Shut up and get in.

He smirks as he climbs under the covers.  She takes a deep breath and gets in too.

(cut to): a closer shot.  John smiles.

John: Hi.

Sarah: Shut up for a second…

She kisses his neck.

John: I thought you said no kissing.

Sarah: This doesn’t count.

He smiles as she continues to kiss him.

John: Think maybe we could disregard that rule?

Sarah: I’ll think about it. 

She reaches up to take his hat off, but he leans away.

John: What are you doing?

Sarah: Taking off this stupid hat.

John: Well…don’t.

Sarah: I’ll trade you…kissing for the hat.

He considers it, but looks away.

John: No…

She stops kissing him and looks him in the eye.

Sarah: Seriously?

John: Seriously.

She pushes herself up and sits up.

John cont’d: What are you doing?

Sarah: We don’t need to do this.

John: Why?

Sarah: Because…you’re a jackass.

She starts to get dressed again.

John: Me?

He sits up.

John cont’d: You’re the one that wanted to do this in a completely unromantic way.

Sarah: And why do you think that is, John? 

John: Because I won’t take off my hat?

Sarah: Because you won’t open up. 

John: I open up to you.

Sarah: Not enough, okay?  You won’t let me really see you and…I really need to.  I mean that regarding more than your stupid hat.

She sits down on the bed again.  John doesn’t say anything because…he’s not taking the hat off.

Sarah cont’d: And…I didn’t want to kiss you because…I do. 

This takes John off guard.

John: What’d you just say?

Sarah: I think I’m falling for you.

John is surprised.

Sarah cont’d: There is no guy back at school…there’s just…you.

She puts her shoes back on.

Sarah cont’d: And, I know you don’t feel the same way…

John: Sarah—

Sarah: And, I don’t want to know if you do because…

John: …we can’t be together.

Sarah looks over at him.  She’s disappointed to hear this, but she smiles and nods.

Sarah: I’m going to…go.

She stands up and walks over to the door.

John: Hey…the fire escape, okay?

She’s so mad at him right now.

Sarah: I’m going to go…and I’m not coming back.

She walks out the door.  He sits there a moment then hops up.

John: Sarah…wait…

But, it’s too late.

(cut to): downstairs, the kitchen.  Jill walks in the back door.  Sarah walks into the kitchen.  She pauses a moment, but continues toward the door.

Jill: Sarah?  What are you doing here?

Sarah: Leaving.

She walks out the door.  John runs into the kitchen, still in his boxers.

John: Mom?  What are you doing here?

Jill looks at him then at the door where Sarah just left.

Jill: I…I…lunch.  I’m home for lunch.  I thought we could…why…why was Sarah here?

John looks down, completely embarrassed. 

John: It’s…so complicated.

He turns to walk out.  Jill is too shocked to say anything.

Music: 1000 Julys

(dissolve to): the park.  Kevin and John sit on a bench.

Kevin: And your mom didn’t try to talk to you about it?

John: I think she was just as embarrassed as I was.

Kevin: Why didn’t you just take off the hat?

John: I…

He sighs.

John cont’d: I look like my dad.

Kevin: Yeah, me too…it’s the beauty of genetics.

John: But…I’m not my dad.

Kevin: Oh, I know…because, unlike you, he is not in need of some serious psychological counseling. 

John: Lay off, okay?  I messed up; I know that.

Kevin: Yeah, you did…and not just because you didn’t take the chance to have some sex with a brilliantly hot girl, but…because you just trashed your friendship with her.

John: I’m in love with her.

Kevin: What?

John: You were right.

Kevin laughs.

Kevin: Can you say that again?

John looks at him seriously.

John: How can I win her over?

Kevin: I think you should give her some time first...

John nods.

Kevin cont’d: …then you make it right.  Do what it takes to make it right.  I mean, you know what she wants…she told you what she wants.

John: Yeah…she did.

Kevin: It’ll work out…just make it work.

John: You know…you’re not too bad at this best friend thing.

Kevin: I told you.

John nods, thinking of Sarah and giving her time.

(fade out)

Music: The Background

(fade in): to the park, two months later.  John is skating by himself.  We follow him down the sidewalk as he slides down the handrail of some steps.  He comes to a stop and sits down on a bench.  He’s out of breath and deep in thought.  He seems to come to a decision as he throws his board down, gets up and skates home.

(cut to): The Calhoun house.

(cut to): the kitchen, Jill and Scout are cooking together.

Scout: I don’t see why we’re not making him come.

Jill: Once we start making him do things…he’ll never do anything we want.

Scout: Do you know something I don’t?

Jill shrugs.  Scout looks at her suspiciously.

Jill cont’d: Anyway…aren’t you the one that said he’d talk to us when he was ready?

Scout smiles.

Scout: Yes, I did…and aren’t you the one who said you’d give him until the end of the summer to let us in?

Jill shrugs.

Jill: He’s still got a few days.

Scout smiles.

Scout: You’re such a good mom.

She leans in to kiss him when the doorbell rings.  He kisses her anyway.

(cut to): John’s room as he comes in through the window.  Sarah is sitting on his bed.

Sarah: Hi.

John is surprised to see her…and not entirely happy.

John: What are you doing here?

Sarah: I’m here for dinner.

John: I’m not allowed to eat in my room.

Sarah: I’m leaving for school tomorrow.

John: Have a good year.

Sarah: Right…

She gets up and gets as far as the door:

John: Hey…Sarah?

She turns around.

John cont’d: I’ve still got until the end of the summer right? 

She nods, a little sad, then walks out.

(cut to): downstairs in the living room where Scout is playing a board game with Emily and Oliver.  Hamilton watches.  Jill and Jake sit next to each other talking.

Jake: Basically, I don’t know what to do with her. 

Jill: Maybe she really is just glad to be going back to school.  Maybe there’s a guy.

Jake: I thought of that…I asked her…she said…no guy.

Jill: Maybe she was lying…they do that you know.

Jake laughs.  Sarah walks into the room.  Jill gives her a suspicious look.

Hamilton: Where have you been?

Sarah: No where. 

She sits down next to Hamilton.

Hamilton: It’s going to be so miserable without your upbeat personality, my darling.

Sarah rolls her eyes and sits back against the couch.

Jake looks at Hamilton, worried about their daughter.  Jill looks over at Sarah who looks away.

Hamilton: So, Jill…where’s John?

Scout looks back at Jill.

Scout: He had other plans.

John: He cancelled them.

Music: An Ode to Maybe

Everyone looks up at the door as he walks in.  He doesn’t have the sock cap on.  We really see how much he looks like Scout right now.  He looks down as they all continue to watch him.

John: While I have everyone’s attention…I kind of have something to say.

Emily: Scout…what about the game?

Oliver: Emily…let’s go play in another room.

Hamilton and Jake look at each other, surprised with Oliver’s initiative.  Oliver takes Emily by the hand and escorts her out.  When they’re gone:

John: Okay…I…I didn’t really plan what I was going to say here.

He runs his hands through his hair self-consciously.  No one really knows what he’s talking about.

John cont’d: Well, first, I guess…Mom…Dad…I would like to…go to Rawley this year.

Scout and Jill look at each other, seeking approval.

Scout: Well, son, that sounds okay…

Jill nods.

Jill: If that’s what you want to do.

John: I didn’t want to before because…I knew that’s where you guys went and I was afraid of the expectations that came with that. 

Everyone looks around, but they don’t interrupt.  John tries to clarify.

John cont’d: I was afraid that I’d go there as Scout Calhoun and Jill Thomas’ son…or John Calhoun’s grandson.  And not that I mind being those things…I love and appreciate being those things, but…that’s not all I am, you know?  I’m John Calhoun the sixteen-year-old who wants his own life.

A beat as John again runs his hand through his hair.

Scout: So…you’re saying you want to go to Rawley?

John: That’s what I’m saying.

Jake: Is this like a family thing…should we…

John: I’m not quite done.

Hamilton looks at Sarah who looks down.

John cont’d: The reason I want to go to Rawley is because my…well, I’m not sure what she is right now, but…I’d like to still call her my best friend…she goes there.

He looks at Sarah now.

John cont’d: And, she means the world to me and…you all need to know that.

He continues to look at Sarah.  Everyone starts to notice this.

John cont’d: I think I’m also in love with her and…she needs to know that.

Jill looks at Sarah with a smile, then back at John.  Sarah doesn’t know what to think.

Scout: I’m sorry…I’m having trouble keeping up here…are you…are you talking about Sarah?

John nods.

John: Yeah, Dad…I’m talking about Sarah.

Jake looks at Sarah.

Jake: I thought you two didn’t even know each other…

John: See, that’s my fault too.  Sarah and I…we’ve been friends since last summer, but…I asked her not to tell anyone.

Scout: That you were just friends?

John: Because I knew that…that Mom would be like that

Jill tries to drop the smile, but can’t.

John cont’d: …which is fine until we get into a fight and Mom wants to know why and I have to tell her about all the things I screwed up…

John looks down.

Sarah: You’re not the only one who can screw up.

He looks back up at her.

John: I think I’ve proved you wrong so far.

A beat as the parents try to keep us. 

Scout: I’m still not quite sure what’s going on here.

Sarah: Last summer, when you guys were all at the lake…John and I hung out and…we clicked.

Sarah looks over at her dad.  Jake looks at Hamilton.

Jake: You knew about this, didn’t you?

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: I didn’t know he was in love with her.

Sarah: Well…that makes two of us.

She looks at John.  He looks down, blushing.

Jill: So, that day I came home…

John: That was…that was a mistake.

Sarah: Not going through with it?

John smiles.

John: Maybe.

Hamilton: Through with what?

John looks down again.

Sarah: Nothing.

John: Anyway…I screwed up and…I don’t want to go into the details…mostly because you guys are our parents, but…I messed up what could have been a perfect friendship…or maybe more than friendship…I don’t know, whatever, but…I’m trying to start it over…the right way.  That’s why I’m telling you guys about this.

They all look around.  Sarah looks at John.  He raises his eyebrows and she nods.

Sarah: I’m the one who messed up.  I should have never asked you to kiss me.

Jake: You did what?

Sarah stands up and walks over to him.

Sarah cont’d: I should have just…done this.

She kisses him gently and briefly.  John leans toward her as she pulls back.  He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes.  The parents are floored, but don’t say anything. 

(dissolve to): the dinner table, later.  Sarah and John aren’t there.

Oliver: Where’s Sarah?

Hamilton: She’s helping John pack.

Jill: This is a little sudden…I can’t believe he’s going.

Scout: I can’t believe how calm we’re all being about this.

Jake: Should we freak out?

Scout: Well…if they haven’t already…

He looks over at Oliver and Emily who are paying attention.

Hamilton: First of all…my mom will be around and…she doesn’t let you get away with stuff like that.

He looks over at Jake who smiles.  He then looks back over at Scout.

Hamilton: And if your kid tries anything like that with my daughter…I’ll personally kill him.

Scout: You know…didn’t you hear her say that she asked him to kiss her?  She started the whole thing.

Jake: What does that mean?

Scout: It means—

Jill: It means that…she’s smarter than he is.

They all agree.

(cut to): upstairs.  There’s a suitcase open on John’s bed.  John and Sarah stand at his closet.

Music: Never Let You Go

John: You know…I think they took it pretty well.

Sarah: We both have pretty cool parents.

A beat.

Sarah cont’d: I have a confession.

John: Okay.

Sarah looks away.

Sarah: I’ve been in love with you since I was like eight.

He wasn’t expecting this.

Sarah cont’d: Since that day at the park.

John: What day?

Sarah: Those older guys were teasing me and you came over and defended me.

John: Oh…yeah…I remember that.

Sarah: I realized that you weren’t a creep…that you were just acting.  I mean, I thought you hated me, you know?  And at that moment, I realized you didn’t.  Every time we saw each other…I wanted you to talk to me so bad.  And that day when you finally did…and that week we spent together…that whole summer…it was so amazing for me, but…it was also perfect the way it was and so I was afraid of telling you how I really felt.  When I asked you to kiss me, it was like I wanted to maintain status quo on the surface, but—

John: …secretly get what you really wanted?

Sarah: Yeah…I knew you’d understand that.

John: Okay, so…no more hiding anything from anyone, but…more importantly…

He takes a step toward her.

John cont’d: …no hiding anything from each other.

She nods.

Sarah: Okay…I think I can do that.

She takes a step toward him now.  They kiss.

(flash back to): the day in the park when Sarah was eight, a more extensive recap of the first scene.  There is a fairly extensive playground with a swing set, monkey bars and a large fortress type play station with a pole, fort, slide, etc.  Sarah is sitting on the swing reading a book.

(cut to): next to the pole.  John is sitting by himself, watching Sarah.

(cut to): a long shot of Sarah as two boys walk up to her and push her book to the ground.  She stands up and picks it up and sits back down, trying to ignore them.

(cut to): A closer shot of Sarah.

Boy 1: This isn’t a library.

Sarah: How would you know?  I’m sure you’ve never been to one.

Boy 2: Oooh…so insulting.

John walks up and steps in between Sarah and the boys.

John: Hey…get lost, losers.

Boy 1: Make us.

John: This place is supposed to be fun, okay?  Why don’t you just leave her alone?

The boys look at each other.

Boy 2: Whatever…

Boy 1: Losers…

They walk off.  John turns around and looks at Sarah.

Sarah: Hi.

He smiles, but doesn’t say anything.  He sits down on the swing next to her.

(cut to): a park bench where Jill sits reading a magazine.  Jake comes up carrying a three-year-old Oliver.

Oliver: Hi, Jill.

Jill: Hi, cutie.

Jake: I swear, this kid is going to kill me.

Jill looks down at Oliver as Jake takes out a sippy cup and hands it to him.

Jill: So…no more kids for you and Hamilton?

Jake laughs.

Jake: I don’t know…I could go for a few more.

Jill: I always thought Scout and I would have more than one…

Jake: You should.

Jill: I’m really happy with just John right now. 

Jake smiles.  She looks over toward the park.

(cut to): a long shot of the park.  Sarah is reading again.  John is sitting next to her looking forward.  They still haven’t really spoken.

(cut to): Jill and Jake.

Jill: I don’t think I’ve ever seen them that close.

Jake: I know…it’s weird that they’ve never become friends.

Jill: John certainly tends to keep his distance.

Jake: Maybe one day…

Jill: …we can set them up?

Jake laughs.

Jake: They’re not even ten yet.

Jill: Still…like you said…maybe one day…

(cut to): the swings.  John looks over at Sarah as she continues to read.

(flash forward): to John’s room.  John and Sarah continue to kiss.  As usual, she leans back to end the kiss and he’s not quite ready.  She laughs softly then continues to kiss him.

(fade out)

(fade in ): to several weeks later, Rawley Academy.

(cut to): the quad.  There are lots of guys playing various sports like soccer and lacrosse—some things never change.  In the distance, we see two golden retrievers.

(cut to): closer on the dogs.  Sarah runs up carrying a tennis ball.

Sarah: How is it that I always end up fetching the ball, huh?

The dogs wag their tails and look at the ball.  Sarah gives them a dirty look and tosses it.  They both take off after it.

Sarah: Now, that’s more like it.

The dogs run back to her, one carrying the ball in its mouth.

(cut to): across the quad, the main building.  John walks out and pauses, looking around.  He’s wearing a backpack and has his skateboard through both straps so it’s held by them behind his back.   He sees Sarah and smiles.  He doesn’t continue to her right away.  Instead he pauses a moment to watch her.

(cut to): Sarah playing with the dogs.

Sarah (voice over): I never imagined he would end up loving me back.  The idea literally never occurred to me.  That’s why I pursued things the way I did.  I was afraid to open myself up to the rejection I assumed to be inevitable.

(cut to): John who is still smiling.  He puts his hands in his pockets and descends the stairs.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: He operated in a completely different fashion.  He let me in a little at a time until we ended up…here…happily.

(cut to): Sarah as she tosses the ball for the dogs again.  She doesn’t notice as John walks up behind her.

John (voice over): There was always something huge between us.  She sparked my curiosity ever since we were little kids, but it took me until last summer to figure out why.

He wraps his arms around her waist and kisses her neck then lets her go.  She turns around and smiles at him.

Sarah: Hi.

John: There is way too much grass, and not enough asphalt, around here.

We’ll go into town sometime, you’ll love it.  She smiles again and watches him take his backpack and the skateboard off and toss it on the ground.

John (v.o.) cont’d: It’s that look—that one right there.  Like she’s a step ahead of me.  Like she wants something from me or feels something toward me that I would have never imagined could possibly exist between us.

Sarah leans toward him again, offering him a kiss…an offer he can’t refuse.  She then pulls him down into the grass.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: He let me see his insecurities, his fears…then his heart.  And I thought he was simple.  Hell, I thought I was simple.

Sarah lies back in the grass and looks up at the sky.  John does the same. 

John (v.o.) cont’d: Being friends…then best friends…and now…this.  I think she felt it before it happened.

Sarah reaches over and takes his hand.

John (v.o.) cont’d: And I think I was afraid to even try to feel it.

John closes his eyes as Sarah looks over at him thoughtfully.

Sarah (v.o.) cont’d: In a way, though, John’s not that complex.  He’s just trying to figure it all out.  Life, that is.  And he’s been honest and open in that quest.  I’ve discovered, in our crazy journey to getting here, that it’s me, not him, who needs to open up.

His eyes are still closed and she still watches him.  She pulls his hand up to her face, resting it against her cheek.

Sarah: I love you.  Not in some teenage crush kind of way, but…for real.

He looks over at her, but doesn’t say anything.  She turns her head back to the sky.

John (v.o.) cont’d: I needed to learn to trust her—to trust a lot of people—because trying to figure it out—life…love—on your own…it’s not effective.  So, even when it’s risky and you could lose it all, you still have to open up and put yourself out there.  This girl that I love, she does it all the time.

John smiles slightly, his head still turned to her.

John: Sarah?

Sarah: Yeah?

John props himself up and leans over her.  He moves in closer.

John: I love you for real too.

She smiles as he kisses her.

(cut to): a wider shot takes from directly above them as they continue to kiss.

(fade out)

 

THE END

 

Feedback

Or

Reruns