Ch-ch-changes

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley Academy.

Music: Changes by David Bowie

Will (voice over): Everything changes.  Nothing stays the same.

(cut to): the boys’ dorm.

(cut to): Hamilton and Dexter’s room.  All of Jake’s belongings are gone.  Dexter is on his way out the door.  He closes it, leaving the empty room.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Sounds like lyrics from a corny song.

(cut to): the girls’ dorm.

(cut to): Alyssa and Jill’s room.  Hamilton is sitting at Alyssa’s laptop, checking his email.  Alyssa exits from the bathroom and goes over to him, draping an arm around his shoulder.  He looks up and smiles.  She leans down to kiss him.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: But sometimes it is so damn true.

(cut to): the boys’ dorm.

(cut to): Jake and Scout’s room.  They are sitting side by side on Scout’s bed with their backs against the wall.  They have two controllers hooked up to Jake’s laptop and are playing the video game Halo.  The screen is split.  On Scout’s half, we see his character running around haphazardly.  On Jake’s half, her character sits still and watches Scout through a sniper scope.

Scout: You are such a cheater.  Why don’t you quit camping and come down here so I can shoot you?

Jake just laughs, pulls the trigger on her controller and causes Scout’s character to fall dead.  The end of game screen comes up.

Scout cont’d: Couldn’t you just let me win at least one?

Jake: Sorry.  No self-respecting gamer would teach you how to be a better player by letting you win.  You’ve got to work to get up to my level.  And you will.  Just give it some time.

Scout sets the controller down.

Scout: You’re so good at so many things.

Jake shrugs.

Jake: Nothing that could change the world.

Scout: Is that your goal?

Jake: To change the world?

Scout nods.  Jake considers it.

Jake: Not necessarily, but…wouldn’t it be nice?

Scout: Maybe you can do it one person at a time.

Jake nods, but doesn’t really agree.

Scout cont’d: You’ve done wonders for me.

Jake looks at him doubtfully.

Scout cont’d: Seriously.

Jake: Why, because you’re no longer moping around in a cloud of teen angst?

Scout smiles.

Scout: You’ve noticed.

Jake: Of course, I’ve noticed.  You were like that sad little Zoloft rock…and now you’re practically chipper.

Scout picks up his controller again and toys with the joystick.

Scout: That’s because of you.

Jake looks over at him.

Jake: You’ve been my anti-depressant, too, Scout.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Well, even if we can’t save the world…

Jake: We can save each other.  Yeah. 

They both laugh.

Scout: Okay, way too cheesy, right?

Jake: Oh, yeah.

Scout: Let’s shoot each other some more.

Jake: Yep.

Jake picks up the controller and starts the next match.  They’re both still amused by their cheesy exchange.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Everything changes.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm, early afternoon.

Music: Dirty Little Secret by All American Rejects

(cut to): Will and Tyson’s room.  The room is slightly trashed.  Both closets are opened.  Clothes are strewn about.  Books are piled around the room.  Will stands at his bed, packing a duffle bag.  The door opens and Scout enters.  Will watches Scout with tilted head as he looks around the room then opens the bathroom, looking inside.  Satisfied that it’s empty, he shuts it and turns to Will.

Will: Hi.

Scout: Hi.  I know you’re busy packing for the big weekend in Chicago, but…do you have a minute?

Scout takes a deep breath and smiles, excited about what he wants to say.

Will: Uh…yeah, but—

Scout: Okay.  I need to confess something to you.

Will is about to respond, but Scout continues before he can.

Scout cont’d: I think I have the inkling of a crush.

Will: Scout, you—

Will holds out one hand, palm down in an attempt to slow Scout down.

Scout: Just hear me out, man.  I’m really excited about this.  It’s been awhile since someone’s made me…

He smiles.

Scout cont’d: Happy.

Will can’t help smile, too.

Scout cont’d: Okay, so, here it goes: I have a crush on Jake.

Will: Whoa, Scout—

Will holds out both hands now.

Scout: I mean, it’s not like I’m going to act on it.  You don’t have to worry about that.

Will: Scout—

Will’s hands are waving.  His implication is clear: “cut it.”

Scout: And it’s not a big deal.  It’s not like I’m in love with Jake.  I just really like being around—

Will: Scout, shut up.

Scout: Why?

Will glances over at Tyson’s closet. 

(cut to): the closet door as Tyson leans out, holding a shirt and a hanger.

Tyson: Hi.

(cut to): a shot of the whole room.

Scout: Why didn’t you—

Will: I tried.

Tyson ignores the conversation as if he hadn’t heard any of it, though the look on his face gives away his accidental eavesdropping.  He shakes his head like it will help him make sense of things.

Scout: You keep your mouth shut, okay?

Tyson looks at him, affronted.

Tyson: And if I don’t?

Will sighs and gets between them as they approach each other.  Will looks at Scout.

Will: He’ll keep it to himself.

Will turns to Tyson.

Will: He’s sorry for being an ass.

Tyson and Scout eye each other one last time.

(cut to): several minutes later.  Will and Scout walk down the dorm steps and into the parking lot.  Will carries a medium size duffle bag. 

Scout: You don’t think he’ll say anything, do you?

Will: He won’t say anything…although I’m sure he’ll be wondering about a few things.

Scout: Oh, God…I didn’t even think about that.

He laughs.

Scout cont’d: Oh, well.

They reach Will’s Wagoneer.  Will opens the hatchback.

Scout: Just as long as he doesn’t go to Jake.  She’s been through enough lately without having to worry about how to let her new roommate know that the feelings aren’t mutual, you know?

Will: Who says they aren’t?  She’s been enjoying your company just as much as you’ve been enjoying hers for the past month.

Scout shrugs. 

Scout: She still loves him.  Of all things, I’m sure about that.

Will tosses his bag into the back of the vehicle.

Will: You sound…okay with that.

Scout laughs.

Scout: Yeah.  It’s crazy.

Will: Yeah.

Will looks at him suspiciously.

Scout: What?

Will: Who are you?

Scout smiles a little wider.

Scout: It’s like I said: it’s a crush.  No desperate longing.  No angst.  It’s just a delight to be around her.

Will: A delight?

Scout chuckles.

Scout: A delight. 

Will raises his eyebrows as he shuts the hatchback.  He wants an explanation.

Scout cont’d: The other night we were sitting there doing our homework and somehow we went from helping each other with calculus to this lengthy conversation about modern religion and the power it has over our culture.  She had all this insight that I wasn’t exactly expecting, but at the same time, wasn’t at all surprising either.  And just as I’m realizing this she says, “You know, Scout, you’re really insightful.  I always enjoy these deep conversations.”  And, I realized that we have them a lot.  That we think a lot alike.  And that I always walk away feeling more intelligent and more enlightened.  Out of nowhere, it hits me: I really enjoy being around this girl.  She makes me feel smart.  She makes me feel worthwhile.  She makes me feel good.

Will leans against the car, amused, but happy Scout is happy.

Scout: Sorry for the soliloquy.

Will nods.

Will: And somehow you have the spillover benefit of an increased vocabulary.

Scout laughs.

Scout: “Spillover benefit?”  I see you’ve been paying attention in econ.

Will: Touché. 

A beat.

Will cont’d: Anyway, it sounds like, if nothing else, you’ve got a good friend in Jake.

Scout nods.

Scout: And I’m cool with that.  I love that.

Will: But you don’t love her.

Scout: I haven’t even let myself entertain the idea of actually having anything beyond friendship.

Will again raises his eyebrows.

Scout: And I won’t.

Will nods, not really buying it.

Scout cont’d: It would be entirely too complicated.  With the way things are now, I have this great roommate who I can talk to about anything and everything…who also happens to be a beautiful girl.

Will: Yeah?  You think she’s hot?

Scout: Oh, yeah. She goes into the bathroom at night as Jake and walks out in girly little pajama things with her hair down all around her face and…I get it, you know?  I totally see why Ham was so whipped.  How could he not be all about her?

Will: Sounds like you’re a pretty big fan yourself.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Sorry.  I don’t mean to sound obsessive.  It’s just nice to be able to say these things out loud.  It’s the one thing I can’t talk to her about so…thanks for listening.

Will: No problem.  Although, I do have to be going if I’m going to catch that plane this afternoon.

Scout: And you’re sure Gwen’s not going to freak if you show up unannounced?

Will: Her mom is out of town.  She said she had no plans this weekend so…what’s the big deal?

Scout: Cool.  Well, have fun.

Will: Thanks. 

They give each other a quick guy hug and Will gets into the car.  As he pulls away, Jake sidles up next to Scout, seemingly out of nowhere.

Music: We’re Going to be Friends  by the White Stripes

Jake: Where’s he going?

Scout: Chicago.

He looks around.

Scout cont’d: Where’d you come from anyway?

Jake shrugs, smiles and walks away with her hands in her pockets.  Scout smiles, shaking his head.  He quickly catches up to her as the two of them walk carelessly across the quad.

Jake: Gwen?

Scout: Yeah.

Jake: I’m sure she’s looking forward to seeing him.

Scout: Yeah, she might be…if she were expecting him.

Jake keeps her hands in her pockets and her head straight. 

Jake (sarcastic): Romantic.

Scout (serious): I hope so.

Jake scoffs comically.

Scout cont’d: What?

Jake: Guys are so clueless.

She continues to walk, but Scout looks at her suspiciously and stops.

Scout: Where did you come from a minute ago?

Jake, realizing he’s halted, stops too.  She looks at him, genuinely confused by what he is getting at.  This eases Scout.

Jake: I came from inside.  I saw Tyson.  He asked if I was looking for you, which I wasn’t particularly, but he proceeded to tell me you’d walked Will to his car so I thought I’d come out and see what was going on.

Scout nods.  A beat as Jake’s curiosity is slightly piqued.  As the beat passes, Scout takes advantage:

Scout: So, did you want to hang out this weekend?

Jake laughs.

Jake: When don’t we hang out?

Scout shrugs.

Scout: I thought you might be getting tired of me.

Jake shakes her head then looks him in the eye.

Jake: I definitely enjoy your company, Scout.  It’s the only thing that’s made this past month…

She stops as she glances up across the quad.

Jake cont’d: …bearable.

Scout and the camera follow her gaze across the quad and over to the girls’ school path at the edge of the woods.  Alyssa walks out accompanied by Hamilton who has an arm draped around her waist.  She’s wearing a short skirt and long shirt: trendy and a step above casual.  Hamilton is dressed normally in khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt.  We stay on them for just a moment then cut back to Jake and Scout.

Jake: When am I going to get used to seeing that?

She shakes her head, not expecting an answer.  She turns to Scout with a smile.

Jake cont’d: Want to do something off campus tonight?

Scout narrows his eyes.

Jake cont’d: No dangerous substances involved…except maybe that gross liquid they try to pass of as popcorn butter.

Scout: Oh, you’re thinking movies.

Jake nods.

Jake: What do you say?

Scout thinks for a minute.

Scout: I overheard some people at Friendly’s say tonight was the last drive-in show of the year.

Jake: Oh yeah, that’s right.  You interested? 

Scout: Sure.

Jake: Are you comfortable with getting gawked at?

Scout: What do you mean?

Jake: Two dudes at the drive in together…

Scout laughs.

Jake cont’d: I mean, we could hit on girls.  I guess that would help, but—

Scout: You could go as Jacqueline.

Jake considers this.

Jake: You know, it’s actually pretty rare to run into a Rawley kid out there.

Scout nods in agreement even though he had no clue of this information.

Jake cont’d: Okay, let’s do it.

Scout smiles.  Jake picks up walking again.  Scout follows behind her.

Jake cont’d: Oh, hey, I’m assuming you’ll want to take your car, right?

Scout: Seems to make sense for the drive in.

Jake: Why don’t you pick me up at Bella’s around seven?

Scout: Okay.

He doesn’t pry and she seems to like this.  She turns the other way.

Jake: I’ll see you at seven.

Scout nods and waves goodbye.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm.

Music: Nasty Little Thoughts by Stroke 9

(cut to): Hamilton’s room.  Alyssa sits on the bed with her legs crossed.  She is reading from Hamilton’s literature book.  She is engrossed in whatever she is reading and doesn’t look up when Hamilton exits the bathroom dressed in black slacks.  He has on no shirt and his hair is damp from a shower.  She turns a page and continues reading as Hamilton goes to his closet and takes out a black polo shirt.  He pulls it on then watches her momentarily.  She looks up, catching him looking at her.
Alyssa: Elizabeth Browning. 

She gestures at the book.

Alyssa cont’d: She’s one of my favorites.

Hamilton just smiles and sits down next to her.

Hamilton: What do you think?

He gestures down at the outfit.

Alyssa: You look nice…

She smiles mysteriously.

Hamilton: So…now will you tell me where we’re going?

Alyssa shrugs.

Alyssa: You know, Monday marks exactly one month since…our first date.

Hamilton: Mm-hm.

Alyssa: And, like a perfect gentleman, you’ve diligently planned every date since.

Hamilton: Mm-hm.

Alyssa: So now…it’s my turn.

Hamilton: Mm-hmmmm

Alyssa: Will you say something other than “mm-hm.”

Hamilton: Mm-mm.

She laughs and pulls him toward her, kissing him.

Hamilton cont’d: Mmm.

She pulls back, laughing too much to continue the kiss.  He smiles and drops down to lie next to her on the bed.

Hamilton cont’d: So…can we go?

Alyssa: Mm-mmm.

He laughs.

Alyssa cont’d: Not until it gets dark.

He cocks an eyebrow, but doesn’t ask further.  Instead he grabs her shoulder and gently pulls her toward him, kissing her softly.  She doesn’t laugh this time.  They continue kissing.

Music: Secret by Howie Day

(cut to): the garage.  Nicholas’s car is parked out front.  Dexter and Grace sit on the bench in front.  Jake pulls up on her motorcycle.  Dexter glances at Grace.

Grace: Hi.  Need some gas?

Jake: Uh, yeah, actually I do, but is Bella here?

Grace: You want Bella to pump your gas?

Jake: Oh, no.  I just wanted to talk to Bella.

Grace: I think she’s busy.

Grace nods toward Nicholas’ Jetta.

Grace cont’d: But, you can go in and see for yourself.

Jake: Okay, thanks.

Dexter: We’ll gas up your bike, if you want.

Dexter stands up.

Jake: Thanks, Dex.  I’d appreciate it.

She flashed him a grateful smile then heads inside.  When she’s gone:

Grace: Was she flirting with you?

Dexter glances back at the house as if Jake might hear.

Grace cont’d: What?

She smiles innocently then starts to fuel up the motorcycle.

(cut to): the garage’s kitchen.  Charlie sits at the table while Nicholas and Bella move around the kitchen making dinner.

Charlie: Did you kids have any plans tonight?

Nicholas: We were thinking about going to the drive in. 

Bella: Tonight’s the last night of the season.

Charlie nods.

Charlie: What’s playing?

Jake: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Crossroads.  Obviously the company that rents out the films was having a special on rags to riches stories that start with “C.”

Everyone looks up as Jake speaks up by the kitchen door.  She lingers there now.

Jake: Grace let me in.

Nicholas: Hi.

Jake nods.

Bella: Dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes if you—

Jake: Oh, well, I really just came to borrow a few things.

Charlie looks at Jake with an odd, but not too surprised expression.

Bella: Oh, okay. 

She turns to Nicholas.

Bella cont’d: Can you handle this?

Nicholas nods then glances at Jake with raised eyebrows.  Jake smiles appreciatively at Nick then follows Bella out of the kitchen.

(cut to): upstairs in Bella’s room.  Jake and Bella enter.  Bella closes the door behind them.  They stand awkwardly for a moment.

Bella: So…

Jake: I’m sorry.

Bella: Oh, it’s fine.   Nick can handle—

Jake: No, I mean…I’m sorry.

Bella understands that Jake is referring to something bigger.

Bella: I’m the one who—

Jake: I know, but…

She doesn’t know how to complete the sentence.

Jake cont’d: Look, my brother loves you…

Bella smiles.

Bella: I know.

Jake: And, I was mad that he lied…that you lied…

Bella nods.

Bella (sincere): I’m sorry.

Jake: I’ve talked about it with Scout a million times since that night and…

Bella tilts her head at the Scout comment, but doesn’t say anything.

Jake cont’d: He’s right. 

Bella: About what?

Jake: I wouldn’t have done anything different if I were you.  I mean, look at that whole thing I had with Hamilton.

Bella is a little taken aback with the flippant nature of the summary of the Jake-Hamilton relationship.

Jake cont’d: What weren’t we lying about at one point or another?

Bella nods.  She goes over to the bed and pats it to invite Jake over.  Jake complies.

Bella: You know, for some reason, I just assumed you’d hate me forever over this.

Jake shrugs.

Jake: I don’t have the right…or the willpower.

She smiles.  Bella doesn’t get it.

Bella: What?

Jake: I need a new look.

Bella: How so?

Jake: Well, I’ve obviously got “boy” down. 

Bella: You’re not too bad at “girl” either.

Jake: Yeah, but I either end up looking like a punked-out skater girl or a twenty-five-year-old drag queen.  I just want to look like…a seventeen year old girl.

Bella: I’ll be glad to help you out, but do you have time for dinner first?

Jake glances over at Bella’s alarm clock.  It’s five-thirty.

Jake: Actually, I told Scout not to get here until seven so…I have plenty of time.

Bella: Where are, um, where are you and Scout going?

Jake: Drive in.  Tonight’s the—

Bella: Last night.  I know.  Nick and I were thinking of going.

Jake: Oh…

Bella: We could always have a double date…unless you want some time alone with…

Jake laughs, nearly choking.

Jake: Please…

She tries to control her laughter.

Jake cont’d: …please tell me you didn’t think I meant to imply that Scout and…

She clears her throat trying to block the laughter.  She is moderately successful.

Jake cont’d: Scout and I are not going on a date.

Bella: Oh.

Jake: I mean, it’s Scout. 

Bella blushes a little, embarrassed by her assumption, but Jake is too amused to notice.

Bella: It just seemed like…

Jake: It’s okay.  I understand your confusion and…I can catch you up one hundred percent.  After dinner.

Bella smiles.  She’s glad to have her girl friend back.

Bella: Sounds excellent.  I’ve really missed you.  Not just this past month either. 

Jake smiles.

Jake: Yeah, ditto.

(cut to):  the kitchen.  Grace and Dexter enter.

Grace: Is dinner ready yet?

Nicholas: Two minutes.

He pulls some rolls out of the oven and checks on the dish that is baking inside.

Nicholas cont’d: Gracie, why don’t you and Dex set the table?

Grace rolls her eyes, but smiles at Dexter as she reaches in a drawer and grabs some silverware.  Dexter takes some plates out of a cabinet.  Bella and Jake enter the kitchen.

Bella: Hey, grab a plate for Jake.  He’s staying for dinner.

Dexter smiles over in Jake’s direction.  She nods and smiles back.  Grace eyes her suspiciously.

Grace: Just so you know, I know.

Jake doesn’t have to pretend she doesn’t know what Grace means.  Instinctively, Jake turns to Dexter for clarification.  Dexter just nods.

Dexter: She knows. 

Nicholas and Bella exchange a look.  Nicholas seems to make a decision.  Charlie is watching all this take place, but doesn’t seem too terribly interested.

Nicholas: Hey, Bella, do you think you could help get all this ready to serve and maybe Jake could show me that motorcycle…

Bella: Sure.

The moment is awkward and Nicholas is glad to escape with Jake.

(cut to): outside the garage.  Jake and Nicholas exit the garage together.

Music: Overweight by Blue October

Jake: So, I take it you’re not really interested in my bike.

Nicholas: I was just thinking…these people are…they’re really special to me.  That in there…

He points to the house.

Nicholas cont’d: It’s more of a family than I ever got to be a part of growing up.  The only thing better than that…is you.

Jake laughs.

Jake: Right…

Nicholas cont’d: I’m serious.  You really are my family.  I mean, my mom is great, but she comes and goes in my life.

Jake: When it suits her.  I know how that goes.

Nicholas: Right.  But you and I are really working on a functional brother-sister relationship that is unlike anything I’ve had before.  And, it’s not something I plan on losing…or screwing up again.

Jake: I appreciate that.

Nicholas: Which is why I’d really like to come clean in there.

He nods toward the house.

Jake: Come clean?  You mean, tell them about me?

Nicholas: Tell them that you’re my sister.  Yeah. 

Jake is skeptical.

Nicholas cont’d: I know I’m hitting you with this out of nowhere.  It hit me out of nowhere too, but…it would really mean a lot to me, Jacqueline.

Jake looks back at the house, biting her lip.

Jake: Hey, why the hell not?  It’ll make getting out later easier anyway.

Nicholas tilts his head.

Jake cont’d: Bella’s going to give me a quick makeover after dinner.

Nicholas: Oh, yeah?  Got a big date or something?

Jake: Ha ha.  No.  Scout and I are going to see a movie.

Nicholas: At the drive-in?

Jake: Yep.

Nicholas: Bella and I, too.

Jake: Yeah, she told me.  Then she suggested a double date.

Jake laughs.  Nicholas doesn’t.

Jake cont’d: She thought Scout and I were going on a date.

Nicholas (sarcastic): How misguided of her.

Jake: Well, I mean, come on.  It’s Scout. 

Nicholas: Yeah.

He folds his arms and looks at her playfully.

Jake: Is this going to be everyone’s new thing now?  Make fun of me for spending time with the one person who’s just been there like crazy for me over the past month?

Nicholas: I’m sorry, and maybe this is just the adoring older brother talking here, but how could a guy like Scout spend exorbitant amounts of time with you and not think you’re amazing?

Jake laughs.

Jake: Well, he used to spend all his time hanging out with Will…does that mean he had a crush on Will?

Nicholas: Will is not a beautiful girl.

Jake: Newsflash: neither am I.

She indicates the outfit.

Nicholas: Oh, so is that why you’re getting the makeover?

Jake crosses her arms.

Jake: You are so not funny.

Nicholas smirks.

Jake cont’d: Look, we said we’d be honest with each other, right?

Nicholas nods.

Jake cont’d: I was just upstairs patching things up with Bella.  Jill and I are talking a little bit more often now, but Scout’s been my friend.  He’s really been there for me: to talk about whatever, whenever.  We just…click.

She thinks about that for a moment then shakes it off.

Jake cont’d: But I am not interested in Scout as anything more than that.  That’s just not the dynamic of our relationship.

Nicholas: Okay.  I’m sorry.

Jake: And, you know, you and Bella should come along tonight on that double “date” so you can see that for yourself.  If you spend five minutes with us, you’ll understand what I’m trying to explain.

Nicholas shrugs.

Nicholas: Okay. 

He smiles.

Nicholas cont’d: I didn’t mean to downplay your friendship with him.  I know it’s important.

Jake nods.

Jake: Yeah, it is.

Nicholas: We’ll come tonight.  But, you don’t have to prove anything, okay?  I just want to spend time with my little sister.

Jake smiles.

Jake: Yeah, so, let’s go tell them that.

Nicholas: Okay.

Jake leads the way inside.  As the door closes behind Nicholas.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Boston.

Music: Runaround by Blues Traveller

(cut to): a shot of the airport.

(cut to): inside the airport as Will stands in line at security.  He is on his cell phone.

Will: So…yeah, just be sure you give me a call when you get in because I really wanted to spend some time talking to you tonight if that’s possible. 

As he gets to the front of the line, he kicks his shoes off, putting them in a tub to be placed through the x-ray machine.  The security guard gives his phone a dirty look.

Will cont’d: Well, I love you Gwen.  I’ll talk to you soon.  Bye.

He turns it off, tosses it in his bag which he puts on the conveyer belt.  He waits as the guard gives the nod then he walks through the security gate.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house. 

Music: Why Worry by the All-American Rejects

(cut to): the living room where Sean and Jill sit on the couch.  Sean is holding Jacey who is sitting up on his lap with a little assistance.  Jill is holding his foot as Sean bounces him a little.  Johanna is standing behind the armchair where Finn is seated.

Johanna: Okay, so the big kids are outside.  You’ve got the baby.  There are bottles in the fridge and baby food in the cabinet.  The pizza is on its way.  You’ve got both our cell numbers, right?

Jill: Check.

Johanna: And you know CPR?

Jill: Even baby CPR.

Johanna: When you put him to sleep make sure he’s on his—

Jill: Back.  I know.

Johanna: Meagan and Mark will be able to take care of themselves, but they’re just beginning to explore the idea of being in a relationship so make sure you at least check up on them periodically.

Finn: Often is preferable.

Sean: They grow up so fast.

Finn: You’re telling me.

A beat as Johanna thinks.

Finn: You know, honey, we’re only going to be gone a few hours.  I think these guys can handle it.

Johanna smiles.

Johanna: Okay.  I’m sorry.

Jill: Totally understand.

Johanna: We’ve already said goodbye to Meag and Mark so…I guess we can go.

Finn stands up.  He walks to Sean and takes Jacey from him.

Finn: Okay, buddy.  Mom and Dad are going to leave for a little while for a much needed date.

Jacey smiles.

Finn cont’d: I’m glad you understand.  We’ll be back after you go to sleep, but we’ll see you again first thing in the morning, okay?

Jacey reaches out and touches Finn’s nose.  Johanna leans in and grabs the fat of his leg, kissing his cheek.  Jacey laughs and wiggles his leg.  He is still laughing as Finn passes him back over to Sean.

Finn: We’ll see you kids around eleven.

Jill: Okay.  See you then.

Finn puts his arm around Johanna and leads her out.  Jill and Sean watch Jacey, but he seems okay with it.

Sean: You want to hold him?

Jill: Sure.

She takes the baby and cradles him.  He looks up at her, reaching for her long hair.

Sean: I guess I should go check on the big kids, huh?

Jill nods.

(cut to): the backyard.  Meagan lies on a patch of grass below a tire swing that is hung in a big tree.  Mark is lying through the swing like superman pointing in the opposite direction as Meagan.  His head is just above hers.

Mark: You look weird upside down.

Meagan laughs.

Meagan: Thanks.

Mark: You’re still pretty.

Meagan rolls her eyes.

Mark: What?

She just shakes her head and puts her arms straight up in the air.  He takes her hands with his and pulls himself forward to create a swing.

Sean (shouting from back door): Yo.  Dinner’s going to be here in a few minutes.  Come in and wash up.

Reluctantly, Mark lets go of Meagan’s hands.  She gets up and he slips out of the tire swing.  They walk toward the house.

Mark (whispered): You still have a thing for him?

She knocks her shoulder into his.

Meagan: The only person I have a “thing” for is you, and you know it, Mark Hudson.

He smiles.  He does know it and he loves it.  They reach the back door.  Sean holds it open as they walk in.

(cut to): a shot of the garage.

(cut to): inside the garage, the kitchen.  Bella, Nick, Grace, Dexter, Jake and Charlie sit at the table eating, but mostly done.  Everyone is quiet and looking at Charlie expectantly.  He’s clearly just been told “everything.”

Music: Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects

Charlie: I’ve got to say, this is a lot to take in.

Nicholas: I’m just glad Jake—Jacqueline really—agreed to let you in on all this, sir.  I mean, if there’s one member of my family I’d actually want you to meet, it’s her.

Charlie looks over at Jake.

Charlie: Nice to meet you.

Jake: Thanks for not treating me like a freak.

Charlie laughs.

Charlie: Well, I always knew there was something different about you, but…now it all makes a lot of sense.  Especially the way you’re always around Hamilton.

Everyone is slightly uncomfortable about this.

Grace: They broke up and I’m guessing she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Charlie: Oh…sorry.

Jake shrugs like it’s no big deal.  Nicholas, sitting right next to her, rubs her back.  She takes another bite of food as a beat passes.

Charlie: So, are all you kids going to the drive in tonight?

Nicholas: That actually sounds like a good idea.  You guys up for it?

He looks to Grace and Dexter.  Grace looks at Dexter.  He shrugs and nods.

Grace: Sure, we’ll help with your smoke screen.

Nicholas rolls his eyes.

Jake: Speaking of tonight, Bella are you ready?

Bella smiles.

Bella: Sure.  Let’s go.

She takes Jake’s arm and leads her out of the room.

Charlie: Kind of makes me wonder why this wasn’t totally obvious to me before.

Dexter: Don’t feel bad.  It took me awhile and I was around her all the time.

Grace: Yeah, he liked her.

Dexter: It’s way more complicated than that.

Grace: You still like her?

Dexter: No.

Nicholas listens to this dialogue.  Dexter looks at Grace seriously.

Dexter cont’d: You shouldn’t even have to ask me that.

Grace looks down.

Grace: Sue me; I suffer from trust issues due to the fact that my mom abandoned me at a young age.

She gets up and puts an arm around Charlie.

Grace cont’d: Luckily she left me with the best dad in the world.

Nicholas: You’re lucky.  Good fathers seem hard to come by these days.

Grace offers him a smile then starts collecting some of the dirty dishes.

Nicholas cont’d: If you want to go upstairs with the girls, I can take care of all this.

Grace shrugs. 

Grace: Sounds good to me. 

She kisses Dexter on the temple and exits.

Nicholas: Man, I don’t know how you handle that one, Dex.

Charlie: Careful.

Nicholas offers an apologetic smile.

Dexter: You would be surprised how much self-doubt there is behind her confident attitude.

Charlie: She’s always been that way.  So much like her mom.

Dexter: And is Bella more like you?

Charlie: She’s like her mom in other ways.  Like her drive to get just what she wants regardless of my opinion.

He glances up at Nicholas.

Charlie cont’d: Not that that’s a bad thing, mind.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Well, I just appreciate you welcoming me into your home.  I’m sure Dexter feels the same way.

Dexter: Absolutely.

Charlie: You boys are what I’ve always wanted for my girls so as long as you keep treating them right, you’ll always be welcomed here.  Although, Nick, if you could just shave a few years off your age…

Nicholas nods, conceding the point.

Charlie cont’d: And, Dexter, if you were a little more manly

Dexter laughs.

Charlie cont’d: Maybe I can teach you a few things about engines or something.  At least how to change a tire.

Dexter: Sounds good.

Charlie smiles.

(cut to): Bella’s room.  Jake is wearing a light blue sundress that would look very bella-ish if it weren’t paired with Jake’s normal converse sneakers.  She’s examining the outfit in the mirror as Bella watches from the bed.  Grace enters without knocking.

Music: Girls Just Want to Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Grace: You know, it’s a little sick to see dad with the guys.  It’s scary how nice he is to them.

Bella: You should be happy.  I didn’t think either of us would ever find a guy that would pass. 

Grace: And yet we both did…even though your guy is way too old, but whatever…

Jake is barely paying attention.  She is scrutinizing the outfit.

Jake: I don’t know.  Is it me?  I mean, I know it’s not me, but…is it enough me?  I’m not trying to look un-me.  I just want a…softer me.

Grace: With those shoes, it’s all you.

Bella nods.

Bella: I agree actually.  It’s the perfect touch of “you.”

Jake is reassured.

Jake: Good because I really like this outfit.

Grace: What happened to the goth supermodel from the party the other night?

Jake shrugs.

Jake: I feel more like I’m hiding dressed like that than when I’m dressed like Jake.  I just want to break out of that rut…if even for just one night.

Grace: Cool.  As long as you realize that clothes have absolutely zero to do with any of that.  It’s all in your head.

Jake nods.

Jake: Yeah.

Grace: In that case, I’d be glad to help with hair and make-up.

Jake exchanges a look with Bella.

Bella: Don’t worry; she can achieve every look from plain Jane to Tammy Faye Baker.

Jake: Okay.  Sure.  Why not?

Grace smiles.

(cut to): Friendly’s.  Johanna and Finn sit at a booth together, eating a pair of sandwiches.

Music: Why Worry by the All-American Rejects

Johanna: Do you think we should stop back by the house before we head out to the drive-in?

Finn: Stop worrying.

Johanna: I’m trying.

Finn: I want you to be able to enjoy tonight.

Johanna: I will.

Finn: Good.

He takes her hand.  They smile at each other.

Finn cont’d: As much as I love the kids, I’ve missed being alone with you.

Johanna nods, taking a sip of her drink.

Johanna: You think they’ll be okay?

Finn laughs.

Finn: Yes, dear.

They both laugh.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): the kitchen.  There are two pizza boxes open on the table.  Everyone is eating except Jill who is trying to feed Jacey as he sits in his high chair.  Every time she puts the spoon up, he puts his hand into the food and laughs.  Sean watches, amused.

Meagan: He does that.  Don’t worry.  We figure he must be getting enough in his mouth because he keeps getting fatter.

As if on cue, Jacey shoves his fingers into his mouth and sucks some of the baby food off.  Everyone laughs, including Jacey.

Mark: Man, he loves attention.

Meagan: Yeah.

A beat as Sean glances at Jill.  She nods toward Mark. 

Sean: So, Mark, anyone teach you how to throw a football yet?

Mark: No.  I mean, I can throw a football, but it doesn’t do that spiral thing really.

Sean: I could show you if you want.

Mark: Really?

He looks over to Meagan.  She nods.

Mark cont’d: Sounds good.

(cut to): outside.  Mark stands in the driveway as Sean leans into his parents’ truck.  He pulls out a football.  He tosses it over to Mark.  Mark bobbles it a little, but hangs onto it.

Sean: That was good.

Sean shuts the truck door and walks out onto the lawn.

Sean cont’d:  Why don’t you toss it back?

Mark heaves with all his might and it makes it to Sean, though it’s not pretty.

Sean cont’d: Okay, you’ve got plenty of strength; now we need to work on form.

(cut to): inside.  Jill is cleaning up the kitchen while Meagan works on Jacey.

Jill: So, you and Mark, huh?

Meagan turns a dark shade of pink and nods.

Jill cont’d: He’s seems like a really nice boy.

Meagan can’t help beam.

Meagan: He is.

Jill: It’s different, huh?  Going from friend to boyfriend.  It’s a big change.

Meagan: Yeah.  Was it like that for you and Sean?

Jill nods as she puts an extra pizza box in the fridge.

(cut to): outside.  Mark throws the ball again, still no spiral.  Sean catches it.

Sean: Better.  This time, when you let go, let it roll off your fingertips.

Sean tosses it back to Mark.  Mark catches.
Sean: Good catch.

Mark throws it again, this time it spirals.  Sean catches it.

Mark: Oh my God, did you see that?

Sean smiles.
Sean: Perfect.  Tom Brady, look out.

Mark smiles.

Mark: I’m a Colts fan.

Sean: You’re kidding me.

Mark: Yeah, I am kidding you. 

He cracks up.

Sean: Oh yeah?  You think it’s funny?

Mark nods.  Sean runs at him, picking him up then slowly and gently slamming him on the ground.

Sean cont’d: That’s what happens to Colts fans around here.

Mark hops up quickly and pushes on Sean, knocking him backwards.  They’re both laughing now as they continue this playful wrestling match.

(cut to): the kitchen.  Meagan is looking out the window.

Meagan: Did you know I used to like him?

Jill smiles.

Meagan cont’d: Sean, I mean.

She leaves the window.  Jill is holding the baby at the table.  Everything is cleaned up now.  Meagan takes a seat.

Jill: I think I might have heard something about that before.

Meagan: He’s really nice.  Cute, too.

Jill smiles.

Jill: Yeah, he’s not too bad, is he?

Meagan: Are you in love with him?

Jill is a little surprised by the question.

Jill: Um…

She nods.

Jill cont’d: Yeah.

Meagan: What happened to Scout?

Jill is uncomfortable by the line of questioning.

Jill: Uh, well, we broke up awhile ago…

Meagan: He was nice, too.

Jill nods, still uncomfortable.

(cut to): the garage.  Jake stands at the door, looking out.  Scout pulls up in his SUV.  He gets out and walks toward door, intending to open it for her.  Before he can get to the door, though, Jake walks out.  Scout smiles.

Music: Everything Else by Howie Day

Scout: Hi.

Jake: Hi.

As she walks past him, he takes the moment to check out her outfit.  He digs it.  Before he can say anything else, a line of people exit behind her: Bella, Nicholas, Grace and Dexter.

Jake: Everyone wants to go.  Is that cool?

Scout: Sure.

There was no hesitation, but Nicholas is still cautious.

Nicholas: Do you have enough room?

Nicholas nods toward the car.

Scout: Probably.

Grace: Dex and I’ll take the truck.  We can barricade ourselves in.  That way you guys…

She gestures toward Bella and Nicholas.

Grace cont’d: …Can be you guys.  And you…

She gestures toward Jake.

Grace cont’d: …Can be you.  And all of us can have a nice, relaxed time.

Bella tilts her head, looking at Grace.

Bella: Who are you?

Grace shrugs.

Grace: You guys obviously need some help protecting your secrets. 

They all look around and laugh in agreement.

Grace cont’d: Then it’s settled.

Grace takes Dexter’s hand and walks toward the truck.  Everyone else gets in Scout’s car, Jake rides shotgun.  Grace and Dexter pass Scout on the way.

Grace: Let’s park in the very front.  That way, no one will be in front of us.

Scout nods and smiles.

Scout: You know, that “who are you?” question?

Grace: Yeah?

Scout: Lately, people have been asking me that, too.

Grace: Well, you do seem like less of an ass.

Scout laughs.

Grace cont’d: Seriously, though, people change all the time.  Other people think if they notice, they’re being insightful.  And, they probably are because I don’t see myself any different than I did six months ago, but…everyone else seems to.

Scout: I do.  You’re actually pretty cool now.

Grace laughs.  She smiles at Dexter and leads him the rest of the way to the truck.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the drive in.

Music: Drive Away by the All-American Rejects

(cut to): the ticket box.  A line of cars are waiting to buy tickets.

(cut to): Hamilton’s parents’ car, near the end of the line.

(cut to): inside the car.  Alyssa is behind the wheel.  Hamilton is in the passenger seat wearing a handkerchief as a blindfold.

Hamilton: Can I take this thing off now?

He reaches up to pull off the blindfold.

Alyssa: No!

She takes his hand and puts it down on his lap.  He grabs her hand and holds it affectionately.  She smiles.

Hamilton: You do have a driver’s license, don’t you?  Because my parents would kill me if you wrecked their car.

Alyssa: I won’t wreck their car.

They reach the ticket window.  Alyssa rolls down the window.  A little old lady pops her head out.

Lady: Two of you?

Alyssa: Yes.

Lady: That’ll be ten dollars.

Alyssa uses the hand that isn’t holding Hamilton’s to reach into her purse.  She pulls out a ten and hands it over.  The lady hands her two tickets.  Alyssa rolls up the window then pulls away.

Hamilton: Ten bucks, huh?  Do I look like a cheap date to you?

Alyssa laughs.

Alyssa: Okay, take off the blindfold, wise-guy.

Hamilton does as he is instructed.  They make a turn and face the giant screen.

Hamilton: The drive-in.

His look is that of nostalgic remorse, but Alyssa seems to mistake it for disappointment.

Alyssa: It’s not a fancy restaurant, but…I thought it would be more your style…

Hamilton washes the look from his face and quickly replaces it with a satisfied grin.

Hamilton: This is awesome.  Excellent choice.  Tonight’s the last night, right?

Alyssa: Yeah.

She looks at him carefully before pressing the gas again.

Alyssa cont’d: Are you sure this is okay?

Hamilton: One hundred percent.  This is…totally my style. 

He slips his arm up and onto her seat, leaning toward her slightly.

Hamilton cont’d: Though I could go for a bench seat right now instead of these stupid buckets.

She smiles and seems convinced now.  She pulls the car forward and down a parking aisle. 

Hamilton cont’d: Ever been to one of these things?

Alyssa: Nope.  Do you have to put one of those speaker things in your car?

She points to a short pole that holds a small speaker box connected to a wire.  There is one at every parking spot.

Hamilton: You could, but you can also tune your radio in to a certain station and pick up the sound that way.

Alyssa: Cool.

Hamilton smiles.  As Alyssa concentrates on turning the car, Hamilton looks out of the window, his bittersweet nostalgia now obvious.

 (cut to): the front row of the drive-in.  Scout’s car and Grace’s truck are parked in a V so as to block anyone from being able to see the group sitting between the cars.  Grace and Dexter share a blanket.  Bella and Nicholas sit in a pair of lawn chairs on one side of the blanket.  Scout and Jake sit in another pair on the opposite side.  The movie has not yet started and it is just beginning to get dark.  Each “couple” is wrapped up in their own conversation.

(cut to): a closer shot of Bella and Nicholas.

Nicholas: Your dad has been so great.

Bella: Yeah, kind of like he’s a pod person.

Nicholas: There’s a lot of that going around lately.

He nods over to the others.  Bella nods in agreement.

(cut to): Dexter and Grace.  She lies down, putting her head in his lap.  He smiles at her.

(cut to): Scout and Jake.  They are laughing at something from a part of their conversation we did not hear.

Scout: At any rate, she did a good job.  You look completely different than I’ve ever seen you.

Jake: That was my goal.

He leans closer to her, practically whispering in her ear.

Scout: And you look great, by the way. 

It takes her slightly off guard.

Jake: Oh…thanks.

Scout: I wanted to tell you that earlier, but I didn’t want to say it in front of those guys.  You know how people can be…

Jake laughs.

Jake: It’s funny you should say that.  I told Bella we were going to the drive in and she thought I meant we were going on a date.

Scout laughs, but it’s a little unnatural.

Scout: How weird would that be?

Jake: As weird as watching a movie without popcorn.  Which reminds me, I need some.  Want anything?

She gets up.

Scout: Coke?

Jake: Okay. 

She turns to the others.

Jake cont’d: Anyone want anything from the concession stand?

They all indicate that they do not want anything.  Jake nods, tosses Scout a smile then leaves.

Music: Awkward Age by Less Than Jake

(cut to): the concession stand.  Hamilton and Alyssa are at the end of a long line.  Jake walks in.  She looks like she wants to turn around and walk out, but before she can, Alyssa sees her.  Jake reluctantly gets in line behind them.  Hamilton notices Alyssa looking at Jake so he turns to see her, too.  Obviously, the moment is awkward.

Hamilton: Hey.

Jake: Hi.

Hamilton looks at her more closely, checking out the outfit.  Alyssa elbows Hamilton in the ribs.  He looks over at her.  She raises her eyebrows expectantly.

Hamilton: Oh, uh, this is Alyssa.

Jake: Nice to meet you.

Hamilton: And this is—

Alyssa: Jacqueline, right?

Jake nods.  Alyssa looks at her with scrutiny that Jake and Hamilton both mistake for discovery until she speaks:

Alyssa: I saw you at Sean’s party.   You looked…different.

Jake shrugs.

Jake: Yeah, well, you know, alcohol, excessive mascara…it kind of does that to a person.

Alyssa doesn’t really get Jake’s dry humor.  Hamilton is watching the exchange like a tennis match.

Alyssa cont’d: Well this look is a lot more flattering.  I love that dress.

Jake looks up at Hamilton who nods in agreement, a sad smile on his face.

Jake: Thanks.

Worker: Next?

Hamilton: Oh, I guess that’s us.

Jake: See you later.

Hamilton: Later.

Alyssa: Bye.

She smiles.  Hamilton puts a hand on Alyssa’s back and leads her up to the counter.  Jake seems as equally thankful for their chance to escape as Hamilton.

(cut to): Scout’s car and the truck.  Everyone is watching the movie.  Jake, toting two Cokes and popcorn, takes a seat in the lawn chair next to Scout.  She passes off the popcorn and one of the Cokes to him.  She takes a long sip of her own drink then:

Jake: You’re going up there next time.

Scout: Why?  What happened?

Jake: Hamilton and Alyssa.

Scout: They’re here?

Jake: Why he would choose to bring her here? 

Scout doesn’t say anything.

Jake cont’d: Then again, why wouldn’t he bring her here? 

Scout still doesn’t say anything.

Jake cont’d: He has every right to take her anywhere he wants.   The restaurant where we had our first date, the drive-in where we went that first summer…

Scout: Do you want to leave?

Jake: No.  No.  That’s not what I’m saying.

Scout: You’re just saying you won’t go back to the concession stand.

Jake: Right.

Scout: Okay, so snacking responsibilities are mine.

Jake: Right.

Scout: Okay.

He watches her take another swallow of the soft drink.

Scout cont’d: Are you okay?

She takes another sip of her soda and looks at him, not speaking.  Instead, she nods.  He looks at her thoughtfully for another moment then turns his attention to the screen as the movie begins.

(cut to): O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Music: Runaround by Blue Traveller

(cut to): baggage claim area.  Will stands in front of a luggage carousel, awaiting his duffle bag.  He is on his cell phone.

Will (on phone): Uh, hey, Gwen, it’s me again.  Well, again as in I left a message on the machine at your apartment earlier which you may or may not have heard.  I would have called your cell, but I thought you might still be in class and I didn’t want to call in case you forgot to turn off the ringer.  I know that can be embarrassing.  Anyway, I know you’re not in class now so…here I am…calling your cell.  So, yeah, if you get this, please call me back.  I need to talk to you about something important.

He hangs up the phone and looks at it, disgruntled.  He puts it in his pocket and spots his bag on the carousel.  He picks it up and turns to leave the airport.

Music: Lips of an Angel by Hinder

(cut to): Hamilton’s parents’ car.  Hamilton and Alyssa have a blanket spread on the ground.  They sit together, eating popcorn and watching the movie.  They both face forward and the only contact between them is an overlap of their hands as they reach for popcorn.

Alyssa: Hamilton?

Hamilton: Hmmm?

He looks over at her with a smile that goes away when he sees how unhappy she looks.

Hamilton cont’d: What’s wrong?

Alyssa: This was a bad idea.

Hamilton: What?

Alyssa: Coming here.

Hamilton: What?  No, this is perfect.

Alyssa: I should have thought it through.  I mean, it’s not like there’s much to do around here.  Of course, you’ve been here with Jacqueline…

Hamilton’s discomfort regarding this subject is clear.  He doesn’t say anything.

Alyssa: Right?

He hesitates a moment longer, looking back at the screen.

Hamilton: Sure.

Alyssa: A lot?

Hamilton doesn’t say anything nor does he look back at her.

Alyssa cont’d: I’m so stupid.

Hamilton: Hey…

He scoots closer to her, setting the popcorn aside.

Hamilton cont’d: This is a great date.  I appreciate it very much.

He touches her cheek.  She leans into his touch, but still looks uncertain.

Alyssa: What about her?

Hamilton: Jay—Jacqueline?

She doesn’t seem to notice his stutter.  Instead, she nods.

Hamilton: What about her?

Alyssa: Meeting her tonight…I suddenly felt kind of bad about everything.  I mean, I stole her boyfriend.

Hamilton tilts his head to the side, assessing this statement.

Hamilton: You didn’t know you were stealing her boyfriend.

Alyssa looks at him, uncomforted.  She looks back toward the screen, but Hamilton watches her.

Alyssa: And you’d think she would openly hate me, but she wasn’t even rude.

She shakes her head.

Alyssa cont’d: I feel so bad.

Hamilton: Yeah…join the club.

He shakes his head, completely empathizing.  Alyssa looks at him

Alyssa: I’m sorry.

Hamilton is regretful.

Hamilton: No, I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have said anything.  The way I feel…it’s not related to you.  I mean, it is, but it’s not your fault. 

She only looks more miserable.

Hamilton cont’d: And I really wish I had something charming or funny or reassuring to say, but…

Alyssa: You don’t.

She looks down.

Hamilton: Do you want to dump me?

She smiles at him.

Alyssa: No.

He breathes a sigh of relief.

Hamilton: Good.

They kiss briefly.  Behind them, Finn and Johanna walk by.

(cut to): a closer shot of Finn and Johanna.  Finn has spotted Hamilton and Alyssa, but doesn’t say anything.  Instead, he puts an arm around Johanna, pulling her close to him.   She smiles and leans into him as they keep walking.

Music: Dirty Little Secret b the All-American Rejects

(cut to): the concession stand.  Dexter and Nicholas stand in line.

Nicholas: So, how did we get roped into concession duty?

Dexter shrugs.   A beat.

Nicholas cont’d: You must think I’m a little odd.

Dexter shrugs again, giving nothing away.  Nicholas doesn’t know what to make of this.  Dexter looks at him sideways then laughs.  Nicholas smiles.

Dexter: Look, I don’t think you’re “odd.”  Ever since I found out about Jake, I’ve tried not to be judgmental about the things people choose to do because the more you get to know someone, the more you can understand the reasons that person has for doing stuff.

Nicholas nods.

Nicholas: I guess you’re right.  Take you and Grace, for example.  I thought that was the most unlikely pairing in the world, but now I get it completely.  You two really work for each other.

Dexter enjoys this assessment.

Dexter: Yeah.  She’s…

He looks up at the door.  Nicholas follows his gaze.  Finn and Johanna enter.

Nicholas: Oh, great.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna as they join the line.  Finn sees Nicholas and Dexter and waves, a confused look on his face.
(cut to): Nicholas and Dexter.

Nicholas: You order the snacks, okay?

Dexter nods, stepping up, only a few people back from the front.  Nicholas walks back through the line and joins Finn and Johanna.

Nicholas: Hi.

He smiles at Johanna.

Nicholas: I don’t believe we’ve met.

Finn: This is my wife, Johanna.

Nicholas: Nicholas Mann.

He sticks out his hand.  Johanna shakes it.

Johanna: Nice to meet you.

Nicholas: The pleasure is mine.

He smiles charmingly.  Johanna smiles back.  Finn clears his throat.

Finn: So what brings you to this fine establishment?

Finn glances in Dexter’s direction.

Nicholas: Oh, some of the kids wanted to come out since it’s the last night.  I’m just chaperoning.

Finn nods, suspicious of this story.

Finn: Which kids?

Nicholas: Scout…Jake…Dexter’s girlfriend and her sister.

Johanna: Grace and Bella Banks?

Nicholas nods.

Johanna: I have Grace this year.  She’s insightful.

Nicholas: Wise beyond her years.

Johanna: Exactly.  And Bella?  What a dream come true.

Nicholas: Yeah…

He smiles stupidly.

Nicholas cont’d: I, uh, I had her as a student during my summer drama workshop so I know what you mean.  She is a model student. 

Johanna nods, but looks at him suspiciously.  Dexter has gotten the snacks (popcorn, nachos and candy) and walks up to this group.

Nicholas: Well, we better get back with this food.

Johanna: Bye.

Nicholas: Bye. 

Finn nods goodbye as Dexter and Nicholas leave.

(cut to): outside.

Nicholas: That was close.  Did they look suspicious?

Dexter: Suspicious of what?

Nicholas: I told them I was chaperoning you guys.

Dexter: Oh the tangled webs we weave…

He smiles, shaking his head then walks off in the direction of the car.  Nicholas chases after him.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna in the concession line.

Johanna: Was it just me, or was there something odd about Nicholas Mann?

Finn: He did seem a little off-kilter. 

Johanna: Especially when he mentioned Bella.  You don’t think…

Finn: I think I don’t care what he does as long as she’s legal and not a Rawley student.  I mean, the guy’s only twenty-three.

Johanna: I wonder if the dean would react that way.

Finn laughs.

Finn: Well, it would present an interesting conundrum because the dean loves him, but, like I said, I really don’t care.  I’d rather talk about something related to you…like how beautiful you are only six months after giving birth to our son.

She smiles at him as they move up in line.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): inside, the living room.  Meagan and Mark sit side by side on the floor with a pair of linked up Gameboys.  Across the room, Sean and Jill sit on the couch.  Sean is holding Jacey, giving him a bottle.

Jill: I never knew you were so…maternal.

Sean: Ha, ha. 

Jill smiles.

Jill: Have you thought about having kids some day?

Sean shrugs.

Sean: Of course.  You?

Jill: Sure.

Sean: If I remember correctly, you’re the white-picket-fence-two-and-a-half-kids type.

Jill chuckles lightly.

Jill: You got it.

A slight beat.

Sean: You know, we never talk much about the future anymore…

Jill: I’ve learned to put the past and future out of mind.  The present is my top priority.

Sean: Still…I could never do what some guys could do for you.

Jill: What are you talking about?

Sean looks at Jacey as he talks.

Sean: I mean, a guy like Scout…he could buy you a house…or build you your dream house.   A guy like me…I’ll always be a little behind on the mortgage, you know.  And, I hope our kids are smart because I’ll never be able to afford college tuition times two point five.

Jill smiles.

Jill: Okay, first of all, we don’t live in the fifties so it’s not like you’d have to be the soul provider.  It wouldn’t all be on your shoulders.  I plan on being a world-famous artist so…I should be pulling in the big bucks.

Sean smiles.

Sean: I’m glad you’re willing to entertain these ideas with me.  That you’re willing to think of a future with me.

Jill smiles, scooting a little closer to him.  She rubs him on the back then leans her head on his shoulder, watching Jacey in his arms.  She says no more because she doesn’t have to.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the drive in.

Music: She Says by Howie Day

(cut to): Concessions.  Hamilton is near the front of the line with two empty cups.   Scout walks in, but doesn’t notice Hamilton.  As Scout joins the back of the line, his cell phone rings.  He quickly pulls it out, checks the caller ID then answers.

Scout: Yes?

He pauses and smiles.

Scout cont’d: Jujubes.  I got it….

Hamilton can hear and he can’t help take note of Scout’s good mood and goofy smile while engaging in this conversation.

Scout cont’d: I…yeah, I know there’s a difference between Jujubes and Jujyfruits…okay.  

He smiles, shaking his head.

Scout cont’d: Yeah, sure…Okay, see you in a few…bye.

He hangs up the call and looks at the phone for a minute with a smile and one more shake of his head.  He puts it back in his pocket.  When he looks up, Hamilton has his refilled cups and stands right next to Scout.

Hamilton: What’s your deal?

Scout is startled.

Scout: Huh?

Hamilton: Do you have a thing for her?

Scout: Who?

Hamilton: Jake.

Scout: What are you talking about?

Hamilton: Don’t play stupid.  Do you have a thing for Jake or not?

For just a second, a worried look flashes on Scout’s face, but it is replaced by a calm and collected expression and manner.  Scout steps out of line in order to finish this conversation.  Hamilton steps over to join him.

Scout: Let’s say I do have a thing for Jacqueline.

Hamilton doesn’t like this.

Scout cont’d: What do you care?

Hamilton doesn’t respond.

Scout cont’d: Oh, I get it.  It’s what you want.  You want me to like her so that maybe she’ll like me back and then we’ll hook up and you won’t have to feel so guilty anymore, right?

Hamilton: It’s not like that and you know it.

Scout: Then what do you care?

Hamilton looks down.

Hamilton: I care.  You know I care.

Scout: Yeah?  And what are you going to do about it?

Hamilton doesn’t respond right away, but he does look Scout in the eye.

(cut to): outside the concession stand.  The door is propped open.  Jake approaches.  She immediately sees Scout and Hamilton out of line and near the door.  She steps back so as not to interrupt this conversation.  She does stay and listen.

(cut to): inside the concession stand. 

Scout cont’d: Come on, Ham.  I have a “thing” for Jake.  Now, what are you going to do about it?

(cut to): Jake as she takes interest in this comment.

(cut to): inside.

Hamilton: You’re just screwing with me.

Scout chuckles.

Scout: Ironically, I’m not.  I do have a little bit of a crush on her right now and…I’ll gladly admit that if it makes you stand up and take notice of the girl…the completely amazing, totally beautiful, unique in every way girl you not only gave up, but tossed aside like…

He gestures with his hand as if to casually drop something.

Scout cont’d: Trash.

Hamilton rolls his eyes out of frustration.

Scout cont’d: And, you know what else, Hamilton?

Hamilton looks back at Scout.

Scout cont’d: If I ever had a girl like her…if I was ever lucky enough to be with Jacqueline…man…I sure wouldn’t give her up as easily as you did.  Not for anyone and not to anyone.

He looks pointedly at Hamilton.

Hamilton: Whatever.  I’m tired of catching flack from you, dude.  This was her idea.  Jake’s.  Not mine.  So quit telling me how I should have done things—

Scout: I’m just telling you what I would do.

Hamilton: She didn’t leave it up to me.  How many times do I have to tell you that?  I didn’t have a choice. 

Scout: And how many times do I have to tell you: you always have a choice.

Hamilton: In that case, I choose to get the hell away from you.

Hamilton turns and walks away.

(cut to): Jake outside.  She sees Hamilton coming and turns away in time to hide behind another group entering the concession stand.  He leaves without finding her out.

(cut to): inside.  Scout has rejoined the line.  Jake walks in and joins him.  He looks at her curiously.

Scout: I told you, I know the difference between the ‘bees and the fruit.

Jake: I overheard you talking to Hamilton.

Scout’s cheeks flush a little, but he maintains his composure.

Jake cont’d: That was, um…

Scout: I just wanted him to realize that he’s an idiot.

Jake nods, fidgeting for a moment.   She starts to speak, but then doesn’t.

Scout cont’d: Are you trying to tell me that I should mind my own business?

Jake: Well…no…not necessarily…

Scout: Are you…freaking out because I told him I have a crush on you?  Because I was just trying to—

Jake: Illustrate a point.

Scout: Exactly.  He asked me if I had a “thing” for you and…

Jake: I get it.  There’s no need to explain.

Scout cont’d: So if it’s not that…

Jake smiles, but still doesn’t say anything.

Scout: Okay.  Animal, vegetable or mineral?

Jake laughs.

Jake: It’s just nice that you treat me as well when I’m not as around as you do…the rest of the time.

Scout smiles and nods, he understands.

Scout: So what are you doing up here anyway?  I thought you were avoiding this place?  Did you not trust me on the ‘bees?

Jake: Actually, I tried to call you again, but I guess you lost reception.  I changed my mind on the candy.

Scout laughs and looks at her sideways.

Scout: You’re kidding.

Jake: I don’t want Jujubes. 

Scout: What?

Jake: They taste great, but they get stuck in your teeth and…anyway, I think I’m over the ‘bees.

Scout looks at her with narrowed eyes.

Jake cont’d: I want some Junior Mints instead.

Scout smiles.

Scout: Okay.  Junior Mints it is.

A beat.

Jake: I think I’m developing an aversion for concession stands.

As he looks at her, they both crack up.

Music: Runaround by Blues Traveller

(cut to): the L-train in Chicago traveling along its track.

(cut to): inside the train where Will sits on a seat with his bag.  He has his cell phone out.

(cut to): Tyson and Will’s room.  Tyson is sitting at his computer typing.  A cell phone sitting on his desk begins to ring.  Tyson types a few more words then picks up the phone.

Tyson: Hello?

We cut back and forth between Will on the train and Tyson in the dorm room.

Will: Hey.  It’s Will.

Tyson: Hi, Will.  Glad to know you landed safely.

Will: Thanks.

Tyson continues typing.  Will hears the keyboard.

Will cont’d: What are you doing?

Tyson: I…am…chatting with Dave and Katie, a few of my friends from Boston…and Danielle: a sixteen slash f that Katie knows from her summer soccer league.  She is lol-ing at all my jokes.

Will smiles.

Will: Cool.

Tyson: I guess.  So, what’s up?  You with your girl yet?

Will: No.  I’m on the train.  I can’t get her on the phone, though.

Tyson: Maybe her battery died. 

Will: Yeah.  So, you’re not hanging with Dexter tonight?

Tyson: Nope.  He’s off with his girl, too.  Seems like everyone is.  Even Jake.

Will: Huh?

Tyson: Dexter said he was going to the drive-in with Grace, Bella, Jake and Scout.  Oh, and Mr. Mann.  That guy’s a little odd. 

Will: Yeah…

Tyson: Anyway, I was calling Scout a girl.  Which I guess makes me sound kind of anti-homosexual, but I’m really just anti-Scout, I swear.

Will: About that, Ty

Tyson types as he talks.

Tyson: Don’t worry.  I really won’t go to Jake or anything.  I don’t even know him that well. 

Will: Cool.

Tyson: I never would have guessed about Scout, though.  I should have guessed it about anyone that didn’t want Alyssa.

Will: Hey, now, don’t forget about Danielle.

Tyson laughs.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah. 

Tyson shakes his head and types a few more lines.

Tyson: I just told her I’m talking to my roommate on the phone.  She wants to know which one of us is cuter. 

Will: Well, that’s obviously me, but you can tell her it’s you for the sake of first impressions.

Tyson shakes his head, amused as he types more.

Tyson: Watch it, Krudski

Will: All right, man, I’ll you get back to your online love connection. 

Tyson: Thanks.

Will: See you Sunday night.

Tyson: See you then.

They both hang up.  We stay on Tyson as he continues his multiple conversations.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): the living room.  Meagan and Mark are still playing video games, but they have moved to the couch.  Jill and Sean are nowhere to be seen.

Meagan: Guess who immed me the other day.

Mark: Who?

Meagan: My dad.

Mark looks over at her.

Meagan: He wants to know when I’m going to visit him.  Plus, he might be getting a job in California.

Mark: Wow.  That’s far.

Meagan: Yeah.

Mark: Will you miss him?

Meagan: I guess.  I mean, he used to come and get me all the time, but…not anymore.  I haven’t seen him since Easter.  He called on my birthday and sent me a card a week late.  It seems like the older I get, the more he forgets about me.

Mark nods.

Mark: I haven’t seen my dad since I was six.  I don’t really even remember him.

Meagan: He lives in Plymouth, right?

Mark hesitates.  The video games have been abandoned completely.

Mark: Yeah, sort of.

Meagan: How can someone sort of be in a place?

Mark: He’s in prison there.  Massachusetts Correctional Institute.

Meagan: Seriously? You never told me…

Mark: It never came up.

Meagan: Wow…

She hesitates again.

Meagan: What did he do?

Mark: He stole a car. 

Meagan nods.

Mark cont’d: Then he used it to hold up a McDonald’s drive-thru in Carson.

Meagan: Seriously?

Mark: Well, the car and a gun. 

Meagan: Oh my gosh

Mark:  Yeah.  He shot the sixteen year old girl who normally takes people’s orders when she told him she only had twenty dollars in the drawer. 

Meagan: Did she die?

Mark: No.

Meagan: Was she okay?

Mark: Yeah.  So okay that she was able to testify against him, which is good because they were thinking about making me do it.

Meagan: You were there?

Mark: Uh huh.  I was five.

Meagan: Okay, you’re totally making all this up.

Mark: Nope.  You can ask my mom.  I wouldn’t ask my brother, though.  He says that if he was there, “the bitch would have been dead and dad would be at home right now.”

Meagan is taken aback by the profanity and content.

Meagan: Wow…

Mark: Yeah.  I try to keep it out of my mind.

Meagan: That’s so traumatic.  Did it totally change you?

Mark shrugs.

Mark: They made me go to therapy for a year after it happened.  My therapist said that usually the people who are the most successful in life have had traumatic and life-changing events.  It gives them a reason to…I think the word she used was “overcome.”  So, this is me overcoming, I guess: going on with my life normally, trying not to let my family bring me down, convincing the most amazing girl ever that I’m worthy of her time.

Meagan smiles at him, leaning forward to plant a kiss on his cheek.  Just as she kisses him, Jill and Sean start to come down the stairs.  Meagan quickly leans away from Mark and the pair go back to playing their game.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Chicago.

Music: Runaround by Blues Traveller

(cut to): an L-train exit on a street in Chicago.  Will ascends the steps, engulfed by the crowd in the city.  He looks around when he gets to the top, smiling as he takes in the bigness of this place.

(cut to): a quieter, residential street.  Will walks along.  He pulls out his cell phone once again, dials a number and waits for someone to answer.  He reaches the steps of a building.  This is clearly a nice area of town and an upscale apartment complex.  Will turns off his cell phone in frustration.  He dials another number.

(cut to): an establishing shot of  New York City.

(cut to): a hotel. We hear a cell phone ringing.

(cut to): a suite in the hotel.  Charlotte Vaughn, Gwen’s mother, exits the bathroom.  She is dressed in a robe.  Around the room we see various jewelry boxes and an open laptop.  Also, propped up here and there are several halfway completed project boards.  Clearly, she is here on business with her jewelry design company.  Her cell phone, sitting on a desk in the room, is ringing.  She gets to it, inspects the number then reluctantly answers it.

Charlotte: Hello?

(cut to): Will on the street in front of the apartment.  We cut back and forth between them as they talk.

Will: Charlotte, it’s Will.

Charlotte: Oh, Will.  So nice to hear your voice.

Will: Yeah…you, too.  Hey, you are out of town, right?

Charlotte: Yes.  I’m in New York.  You should see the suite they put me in.  If I can get these guys to distribute my line…this could be the big one.

Will: Congratulations.

Charlotte: Thanks, but I guess I should ask why you’re calling.  What’s up, sweetie?

Will: Well, I’m standing in front of your apartment building right now.

Charlotte: You’re in Chicago?

Will: I came to surprise Gwen.

Charlotte: Oh, I bet she’ll be surprised…

Will can’t quite get a read on Charlotte’s tone.

Will: And I still have a key for the apartment from this summer, but…

Charlotte: I would try calling the apartment before—

Will: I’ve left two messages on the answering machine in the apartment.

Charlotte: In other words, it’s safe to assume she’s not there.

Will: I guess.  Although, using that logic, it might be safe to assume she’s not anywhere since she won’t pick up her cell either.  I’m getting a little worried.

Charlotte: I’ve gone through this myself with her a few times lately.  Several times.  In the end, she always makes it home safely so…I’ve stopped worrying when she doesn’t pick up the phone.

Will: And…do you know where she usually is when she doesn’t pick up?

Charlotte hesitates.

Charlotte: You know, Will, I have a suggestion.  Why don’t you go ahead and use that key?  That way, you can wait for her comfortably.

Will is put off by this conversation and the lack of information being given to him right now.

Will: Okay, but I don’t really understand—

Charlotte: Oh, you know, it looks like the room service I ordered just arrived so if you’ll excuse me…

Will: Sure, Charlotte.  I’ll…talk to you later.  Good luck with the deal.

Charlotte: Thank you, Will.  And, good luck to you.  Goodbye.

Will doesn’t get this advice, but he hangs up the phone.  He pulls out a key ring from his pocket and walks up the steps.  He opens the door and walks inside.

(cut to): a hallway in the apartment as Will exits the elevator.  He pulls out his cell phone one more time.  As it is ringing, he gets to the right apartment.  He holds the phone in one hand and uses the key with his other.  He enters the apartment.  The lights are off, but there is a buzzing noise, clearly a cell phone on vibrate.  Will flips on a light.  Right next to the door is a bookbag.  The buzzing is coming from inside.  Will reaches in and pulls out Gwen’s cell phone.  He smiles slightly and shakes his head.

Will: No wonder you didn’t answer.

He puts the phone back in the bag, puts his phone and keys in his pocket then slides his duffel bag off his shoulder and places it on the floor.  He shuts the door behind him.  He hears a noise from the back of the apartment.  He tenses up, looking nervously down the hall.

Will: Hello?

A man of about thirty walks out of the darkness.  He is wearing only boxer shorts, but he has a large vase held like a weapon in his hand.  He is fairly gorgeous with dark hair and a toned body.

Man: What the hell are you doing in here, kid?

Will: I’m…

Will looks around with a look that says, “Is this the right apartment?”

Will cont’d: I’m here to see Gwen. 

Man: How’d you get in?

Will: I have a key.  Gwen’s my girlfriend.

Man: Will?

Will: Yes…

Man: Oh…God.  Okay, um…just give me a minute to…

He turns toward the hall, but before he can escape, Gwen enters.

Gwen: Jason, did you figure out what—

She freezes when she sees Will.  She is covered only by a short, sexy robe.

Will: What the hell?

He looks at only Gwen now.

Gwen: Will, what are you doing here?

Will walks closer to Gwen and the stranger.

Will: I think a better question is…what are you doing?

Will glances back at the man.

Will cont’d: I mean, what are you?  Like…her professor?

Jason (earnest): What gave me away?

Jason looks down at only his boxers and the vase.

Will: You think this is funny?  You think this is some big joke?

Will takes a step toward this man.  Gwen steps between them.

Gwen: He’s not my professor.  Jason, will you give us a minute?

Jason nods respectfully to Gwen then exits down the hall.

Will: Gwen, please tell me this isn’t what it looks like.

Gwen: Will…I don’t know what to tell you.

Will: Are you sleeping with that guy?

Gwen hangs her head, not answering.

Will cont’d: God, I came here to surprise you…to spend a romantic weekend with you…

Gwen: You should have called.

Will: Called?  I called your cell phone, like, a billion times.  I left two messages for you here.

He points over at an answering machine sitting on a table at the end of the hall.  The red light flashes.

Gwen: I guess I didn’t notice when I came in…

Will: Who…who are you? 

Gwen: Can we just go for a walk or something?

Will is dumbstruck.

Music: Grant Park by Marvelous 3

(cut to): Grant Park.  Will and Gwen walk through a rose garden.  Will has his bag with him.

Gwen: It’s beautiful here, isn’t it?

Will: Would it be possible for you to cut to the chase?

Gwen stops walking and faces Will.

Will cont’d: I mean, no offense, but I don’t really give a damn about the scenery right now.

Gwen is on the verge of tears.  She looks at him, not knowing what to say.

Will cont’d: If you’re not going to talk on your own, how about answering a few questions?

Gwen nods, wiping away a tear.

Will: You are cheating on me, right?

Gwen: Tonight was the first time we—

Will: So that’s a yes?

An ashamed Gwen nods.

Gwen: But, Will—

Will: If he’s not your professor, who is he?

Gwen: It doesn’t matter.

Will scoffs.

Will: Do you have any idea how pissed I am right now?  Don’t tell me something doesn’t matter.  It all matters.  And since this is probably the last time I’m ever going to speak to you—

Gwen: What?  Will—

Will: Oh, please don’t act surprised by that.  I mean, what did you think we were going to talk about out here?  How much we love each other…because that’s obviously not true.

Gwen is crying openly now.

Gwen: I’m sorry.

Will: Yeah, me too.  I’m sorry I ever met you.

This is harsh and it hurts Gwen.

Gwen: I wish I could explain…

Will: Then explain.  Who is that guy?

Gwen: Jason Webber.  He’s a junior professor at Northwestern.

Will: So you did hook up with your professor?

Gwen doesn’t want to talk about this.  He paces away from her then, with a hand on his neck, turns back to her.

Will cont’d: Well?

Gwen: I…

She looks around.

Will: You weren’t bashful with him so don’t get shy with me.

Gwen (quickly): I went to this lecture he was giving.  He’s a journalism professor.  He was talking about the spin factor in modern journalism.  He did an amazing job.  I wanted to tell him that and maybe find out what classes he would be teaching next semester so I could sign up.

Will: Is that how you ended up…sleeping with him?

Gwen: That was weeks ago.  He asked if I wanted to get some coffee and discuss the topic further and I did so…we did.

Will: You fell for that ploy?

Gwen: It wasn’t a ploy.  We did talk…for three hours.  And when we parted, we didn’t plan on meeting again or anything, but…then we ran into each other a few days later—

Will: How convenient.

Gwen (rushed): And we had coffee again, talked again, generally hit it off. 

Will: Gwen, that guy is, like, thirty.  What could you possibly have in common?

She hangs her head.

Will cont’d (slow and pointed): What do you have in common?

Gwen (quietly): Ideas.  Philosophy.  Perspective…

Will: So you decided to sleep with him?

Gwen: We kissed once in three weeks.

Will: Before tonight when you decided to sleep with him.

Gwen: Can you stop focusing on that?

Will: What do you want me to focus on?  The fact that you’ve been lying to me for weeks?  Why didn’t just tell me, Gwen?  Why didn’t you tell me?

Gwen looks up at him.  She means this:

Gwen: I didn’t want to hurt you.

Will: Well, it’s too late for that now so you might as well be completely honest.

Gwen shakes her head, not ready to do this.

Will cont’d: Just tell me.

Gwen (almost inaudible): I think I’m falling in love with him.

Will nods.

Will: Well.  That’s just great.

He shakes his head, looking around.

Will cont’d: I was looking forward to this weekend.  I was looking forward to seeing my girlfriend, kissing her in a rose garden just like this…right before making love to her in an apartment with no adults.  And what do I find instead?  Not only is there an adult in the apartment, but it’s her new boyfriend…who she just screwed minutes before my arrival. 

Gwen: I’m sorry, okay?  I wouldn’t have ever chosen for things to work out this way…they just did.  It just happened.  I shouldn’t have let it happen.  I shouldn’t have kept it from you.  I’m sorry, Will.  I’m so sorry…

She sobs openly now.  Will is softened by this for a moment, but shakes off the sympathy.

Will: “I’m sorry” isn’t good enough.  Not by a long shot.  I love you.  I loved you.  But is doesn’t matter to you, does it?  You’re going to walk away from here and go back to that dude and leave me here to pick up the pieces of my broken heart.  I mean, I’m in shock, Gwen.  I can’t believe I’m still standing here talking to you…

Gwen: Me either.

Will shakes his head.

Will: Look, I’m going to leave now.

Gwen: I…do you have to—

Will: Of course, I have to.  I can’t stay here and talk to you because you’ve got nothing left to say.  I can’t go to the only place I know in Chicago because there’s some weirdo professor there.  Of course, I have to go.  And…I’m going…now.

He pauses a moment, looking at her then turns and starts to walk away.

Will: Do you need me to get you a cab or walk you back or something?

She wraps her arms around herself, looking around.

Gwen: I’ll be fine.

He nods once.

Will: I wish I could say the same.

Before she can reply, he walks away.  She stands, watching him for a moment then heads off in the other direction.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the drive in.

Music: Perfect from the Start by Jeremy Toback

(cut to): Scout’s SUV and the Banks’ truck. 

(cut to): the group as the credits of the first movie roll in the background.

(cut to): a closer shot of Bella and Nicholas, they are mid-kiss.  No one else is paying attention to them.  Nicholas pulls back slightly.

Nicholas: We just kissed in front of people.

Bella looks over at the group.

Bella: They aren’t paying attention.

Nicholas: Still, I thought semi-public displays of affection would be a thing of the very distant future.

He scoots closer to her, taking her hand.

Bella: I had no idea you were such an exhibitionist.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: I consider myself more of a…Bella-ist.

He gently caresses her face.

Nicholas cont’d: Completely devoted to you, drawn to you by some mystical love force.

He smiles.  Bella laughs.  A beat as he stares at her faithfully.

Bella: Do you think Finn was suspicious?

Nicholas snaps out of his Bella-induced trance and shrugs.

Nicholas: If anything, he thinks I’m having inappropriate contact with Dexter so…

Bella laughs.

Bella: Well, that’s good?

Nicholas shrugs.

Nicholas: Besides, I really don’t think Finn is they type to judge.  Something tells me he’s seen a lot and done a lot during his tenure at Rawley that a lot of people wouldn’t exactly approve of.

Bella: What about Ms. Ryan?  Or, Mrs. Finn, I mean.

Nicholas: I don’t know.  We discussed your habits as a student.  She spoke highly of you.

Bella chuckles.

Bella: And you didn’t?

Nicholas: Well, I was trying to avoid the subject all together, if you know what I mean.

He speaks louder:

Nicholas cont’d: We also talked about Grace.

Grace, who was watching the screen as the next movie begins with her head still contentedly in Dexter’s lap, looks over.

Grace: Huh?

Nicholas: I talked to your English teacher.  She said you were insightful.

Grace: I’m glad she neglected to mention I didn’t turn in my essay that was due yesterday.

Bella: Grace!  I helped you with that.

Grace: Yeah, and I read it again and…it sucked.  Dexter is going to help me on it this weekend.

Bella is insulted, but doesn’t push the issue.

Grace cont’d: Anyway, you better watch yourself around Ms. Ryan because she’s smart.  If I’m insightful then…she’s psychic.

Nicholas and Bella trade a look.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna.  They are seated together inside their car with the radio tuned in.  They hold hands, watching the movie.

Johanna: Okay, I think I’ve decided that Nicholas Mann is having an affair with Bella Banks.

Finn: Interesting.

Johanna: I’m not sure if I’m okay with that.  Do you think her father knows?

Finn shrugs.

Finn: Like I said, she doesn’t go to Rawley Academy and she’s legal so…it’s really none of my business.

Johanna: He does seem like a sweet young man.

Finn: Cute, too.

Johanna laughs.

Johanna: He’s too much a pretty boy for me.  I like my men rugged and intellectual.

Finn: Mmm…lucky me.

He leans over, kissing her.

Finn cont’d: I’m so glad we came tonight.  I have had an unbelievable time doing something so simple with you.

Johanna: Me too, Finn.

She leans closer to him, kissing him affectionately.

Johanna: I love you.

Finn: I love you, too.

They kiss again, more passionately now, completely forgetting the movie.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.  Mark and Meagan sit on the floor in front of the couch.

Meagan: What do you think Finn and my mom are doing right now?

Mark shrugs.

Mark: Probably the same thing we’re about to do.

She looks at him with raised eyebrows.

Mark cont’d: Watch a movie.

She laughs.

Meagan: Yeah, whatever.  I doubt they even went to the drive-in. They’re probably off making out somewhere.

Mark laughs.

Mark: Gross.

Meagan laughs.

(cut to): the kitchen.  We start on the microwave where popcorn is popping then pan over to the counter near the sink.  Sean leans against it as Jill leans into him, kissing him—essentially making out.  He slides his hand up her back, underneath her shirt.  She pulls back, forcing herself to take a step away from him.  He seems disappointed.  She reads his look instantly.

Jill: I know, but…there are kids in there.

Sean: Let’s make them go to sleep.

Jill: They aren’t stupid.  I’m sure they’d see right through that scheme.

Sean: So?  We’re the bosses.

He is clearly joking.  Jill laughs.

Jill: I wish your parents would go out of town again. 

Sean puts his hands on her neck.

Sean: Tell me about it.

A beat.

Sean cont’d: You could always sneak in.

Jill: Your mom likes me way too much.  If we got caught, she’d think I was a total slut.

Sean: If you were, I bet you’d put the kids to bed…

He leans toward her, kissing her neck.  She laughs, gently pushing him back as the microwave dings.

(cut to): Hamilton and Alyssa on their blanket, kissing.  They part.

Hamilton: I’m glad you brought me here tonight.

Alyssa smiles.

Alyssa: Really?

He nods.

Hamilton: Beautiful girl.  Beautiful night.  What more could I ask for?

She looks like she might have a few suggestions, but keeps them to herself.

Hamilton cont’d: Thank you for planning such a nice date.

She smiles.  He looks at her in his intense manner.

Alyssa: I...God, you’re the kind of guy a girl could fall in love with.

He is slightly taken aback by this statement. 

Hamilton (uncomfortable): Uh…wow…I mean…thanks…thank—thank you.

He nods awkwardly looking around for a way to escape.   He finds none so instead he simply leans over and kisses her.   She would have liked more, but happily accepts his kiss for now.

Music: Into the Ocean by Blue October

(cut to): Will walking down a street in Chicago.  Tall buildings surround him.  He reaches his destination, the Hancock Building.  We follow him inside and up to a ticket counter.  There is an older man behind the counter.

Man: I close in two minutes.  Last elevator leaves at eight.  You just made it, kid. 

Will: Great.

Man: That’ll be thirteen dollars.

Will nods, pulls out his wallet and hands over the money.  The man hands him a ticket.

(cut to): the top of the Hancock Building.  The elevator opens and Will walks out.  A lady is standing by in a vest to reach him. 

Greeter: Welcome to the Hancock Building.  If you have any questions, let me know.  Otherwise, enjoy the view.

Will: Thank you.

He walks past her and into a glassed-in viewing area.  He tosses his duffel bag on the ground, then stares out at the view for a few seconds.  From here, the city looks bright, but small.  A thought occurs to Will.  He sits down, leans against the wall and pulls out a notebook and pen from the depths of his bag.  He begins to write. 

(cut to): an establishing shot of the drive-in. 

(cut to): Jake and Scout in their chairs.  They both appear to be watching the movie.  Scout leans toward Jake.

Scout: I wonder if everything worked out with Will.

Jake: Give him a call.

Scout: My service is pretty spotty out here.

Jake: Spotty?  You know how you said Will said you had an increased vocabulary?  I think he was right.  I mean, who even says “spotty?”

Scout: Anyway…do you think he found Gwen studying in her apartment?

Jake: Hopefully.  I mean, it was a bold move showing up there unannounced.

Scout: I think he considered it a romantic gesture.

Grace: What do you know about romance, Scout?

Scout looks over at her.

Grace cont’d: I mean, you’ve got this gorgeous girl sitting next to you all night and you barely notice.

Bella and Nicholas now join this conversation as observers.  Scout looks over at Jake who shifts uncomfortably in her chair.

Grace cont’d: I mean, you think she’s totally hot, right?

Scout swallows, giving Grace his evilest of eye.

Scout: I think Jake looks very pretty tonight…as do you and your sister.

Grace: Okay, you’re not getting off that easy.

Scout: What are you getting at, Grace?

Bella:  Shh.  I’m trying to watch the movie.

Grace: We already saw this movie.

Nicholas: Well, I haven’t so…be quiet.

He glances over at Jake who looks at him gratefully.  Grace rolls her eyes.

Grace: Fine, it can wait until after the movie.

She turns back to the movie.  Jake trades an exasperated look with Bella.  Everyone goes back to watching the movie.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): upstairs.  Sean waits in the hallways.  Jill exits Jacey’s room.

Jill: Still asleep. 

Sean: Excellent.

He takes a step toward her, putting his hands on her hips.

Sean: I wish we’d gone to the drive-in tonight. 

Jill: Why is that?

Sean: Last chance this year for young lovers to escape into the privacy of their cars.

Jill smiles as Sean kisses her.

Jill: Who says they have to be young lovers?

(cut to): an establishing shot of the drive-in.  The credits of the second movie are rolling.  Some cars are pulling away. 

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s car.  The windows are steamed up.

(cut to): inside the car.  Finn and Johanna are mid-make-out session.  Finn glances at the screen as he kisses her.  She pulls back slightly.

Johanna: What?

Finn: I think the movie’s over.

Johanna: That’s too bad.

She kisses him again.  He sits back in his seat, pushing his hair out of his face.

Finn: Tonight’s been great.

Johanna nods in agreement, leaning back in her own seat.

Finn cont’d: And you haven’t seemed overly concerned about the kids.

Johanna: No.  Well, I guess I’ve been distracted.

Finn: Maybe I should, uh, distract you more often.

Johanna: Maybe…

He leans over, kissing her again.

(cut to): Scout and Grace’s cars.  Jake leans against two folded lawn chairs, chatting with Dexter.  Bella and Nicholas have already put their chairs away.  They stand without talking, his arm around her.  Scout and Grace are folding the blanket.

Music: Chemistry by Semisonic

Scout: Well, this has been fun, but we definitely need to get back to the dorms.

Grace: Why?  Afraid you’ll get in trouble with your teacher?  Newsflash: he’s here, too.

Scout: No, I pretty much just want to get away from you, but I was trying to be polite.

Grace stares at him for a moment then smiles, shaking her head.

Grace: Whatever.  Do you like Jake or what?

Scout: Why are people suddenly starting to ask me that?

Grace: Hmm, um, maybe because it’s glaringly obvious?

Scout looks around to ensure Jake isn’t listening in.  She has her cell phone out and appears to be showing Dexter a game.  He turns back to Grace as he brings part of the blanket to her.

Scout: Look, you have to drop this, okay?  The whole thing with Hamilton has been so hard on her.  She’s nowhere near ready for anything new.  Can you just respect that?  Please?

Grace considers this as she finishes with the blanket.  She hands it to him.

Grace: If you’re as good a friend as you seem to think you are, don’t you also think you owe it to her to be honest?

Scout starts to speak.

Grace cont’d: And everyone knows that omission is just as bad as lying so don’t give me any crap here, Calhoun.

He has nothing to say now.

Grace cont’d: God, I hate how people are so afraid of telling the truth yet it’s human nature to want to know—hell, to demand to know.  If someone had a crush on you, wouldn’t you want to know?

Scout: Well, yeah, I guess, but—

Grace: Even if you didn’t feel the same way?

He nods.  She wins.

Grace: Just a little food for thought. 

She takes a quick breath then turns away from Scout.

Grace cont’d: Hey, Dex you ready to go?

He looks up from his conversation with Jake.

Dexter: Ready when you are.

Grace: Ready now.

Dexter smiles at Jake apologetically.

Dexter: See you later.

Jake: Enjoy the rest of your evening.

He nods, still smiling then goes off to join Grace.  The two of them get in the truck and drive away.  Meanwhile, the remaining four convene.

Scout: Okay, do you guys need a ride to Bella’s?

Nicholas: Actually…Bella picked me up earlier.  My car is still at school—something I like to do when leaving for extended periods when I’m actually supposed to be on duty.

Bella: I don’t have to be home until one so…

Nicholas smiles at her mischievously.

Nicholas: In that case, I guess you can take us all to Rawley.

Scout exchanges a look with Jake, but she seems perfectly content.

Scout: Okay.  Let’s go.

Everyone heads for the car.

(cut to): the girls dorm.  Hamilton and Alyssa walk up together.

Hamilton: So…tell me again why you wanted to leave early?

Alyssa: Jill is supposed to be out until midnight so…

Hamilton grins.

Hamilton: Man, this date just keeps getting better and better.

Alyssa smiles, takes his hand and leads him off inside.

(cut to): O’Hare Airport in Chicago.

Music: Runaround by Blues Traveller

(cut to): a set of plastic chairs.  Will is sitting with his duffel bag as he takes up two chairs.  He has his cell phone up to his ear, but quickly pulls it down in frustration.  He terminates the call.

Will: Damn it, Scout.

He taps the phone against his forehead, thinking.  He dials another number.

(cut to): Will and Tyson’s dorm room.  Tyson is still at his computer.  He is leaning way back in his chair, with only two chair legs left on the ground.  He has big headphones on and sways to the music as he types to one of his friends.  His cell phone is ringing and vibrating, but he can’t hear it.  As it rings, it moves across his desk, eventually falling into his lap.  He looks surprised, but pulls off his headphones and takes the call.

Tyson: Hello?

(cut to): Will in the airport.  We cut between the two boys.

Will: Hey, Ty.

Tyson: Hey…

He struggles to pull the headphones completely off without strangling himself.  In the process he rips them out of the computer and David Bowie’s “Changes” begins to play.  Tyson immediately hits a hot key and turns the volume down.

(cut to): Will who narrows his eyes, somewhat amused.

Will: What are you listening to?

Tyson: Apparently Dave is on a David Bowie kick.

Will: Dave’s on a…

Will laughs, though his spirits are pretty low.

Tyson: Yeah, he sent me all this music…some of it’s not too bad.

Will: Whatever you say.

Tyson: Anyway, how’s it going?  You hook up with Gwen yet?

Will: Uh…

Tyson: As in “did you find her?” Not “did you get it on?”  I’m not that interested in your sex life.  Although, I wouldn’t mind a tidbit here and there.  I mean, you can see how I spend my Friday nights.

Will ignores Tyson’s superfluous commentary.

Will: Yes, I found her.  She was at her apartment.

Tyson: Excellent.

Will: …with a professor from Northwestern.

Tyson leans forward, putting all four legs of his chair on the floor.

Tyson: What do you mean?

Will: They were having sex.

Tyson: Oh my God.  You walked in on…

Will: No.  I came in a little after.  Needless to say, we broke up.

Tyson: Yeah, I guess that would make sense.  I’m sorry, dude.

Will: I don’t mean to bother you with this.

Tyson: No bother.  Is there anything I can do?

Will: Maybe.  Are those guys back from the movie yet?

Tyson: I don’t know.  I haven’t left this spot since the last time we talked.  I can go check.

Tyson stands up and heads for the door.

Will: I really need to talk to Scout, but either his battery is dead or he’s not getting service out at the drive-in.

Tyson exits into the hallway and walks down and across the hall to Scout and Jake’s room.

Tyson: I’m knocking on his door now.

Tyson knocks and waits.  He bangs again.

Tyson cont’d: No one is coming.  I’m thinking they’re still at the movie.  It’s usually a double feature, right?

Will: Yep.  So, basically, I’m screwed.

Tyson: Why?

Will: For one thing, my plane ticket, which has a return date of Sunday, is non-refundable and, apparently, cannot be changed without a fee more expensive than a one way plane ticket.

Tyson walks back to his room as he listens to Will. 

Will cont’d: Buying my plane ticket pretty much put me up to my five hundred dollar limit on my credit card.  I only have $75 in my checking account, which I figured would be enough since I’d be staying at Gwen’s place.  The rest of my money is in savings.  I have plenty, but, of course, the New Rawley Bank and Trust doesn’t have an online system so I can’t transfer funds without physically going into the bank, which, even if they were open, I couldn’t do right now. 

Tyson: So…you need money for a hotel?

Will: Actually, I want to get the hell out of this city and never return.

Tyson: So…you need money for a plane ticket?

Will: I need Scout to call and buy me a ticket so I can catch the last flight out…which leaves in thirty minutes. 

Tyson: Maybe you should just use your cash and what’s left on your credit card to buy a hotel room then catch a flight tomorrow.

Will: I’ve thought about that, but I’m feeling a little desperate to get out of here immediately.  I’ve never been so angry…I wanted to punch that guy…hell, I wanted to punch her…then she was crying and I wanted to hold her and make her feel better because I love that damn girl so much…how could she do this to me, Ty?  And then I went up to the top of the Hancock Building and looked down on this city, but that wasn’t far enough away.  I’ve got to get away.  Now. 

Tyson sighs, scratching his head.

Tyson: Maybe Finn could—

Will: Sean is babysitting at his house and his cell has no reception.  Apparently he’s also at the drive-in.

Tyson: Hmm.  Oh, okay, why didn’t I think of this before?  I’ll just call my dad.  He can order the ticket for you.

Will: He won’t mind?

Tyson: My dad?  He takes any chance he can get to show that “money isn’t an issue” anymore.

Will: I’ll totally pay him back on Monday.

Tyson: I’ll be sure to tell him.  Give me ten minutes and he should have it all taken care of.

Will: Thank you.

Tyson smiles.

Tyson: Glad I could help.  And, if I see Scout, I’ll tell him to give you a call.

Will: Okay.  Thanks.

Tyson: No problem.  Talk to you later, man.

Will: Later.

They hang up.  Tyson immediately dials another number.

(cut to): to an establishing shot of the lake at Rawley Academy.  Vaguely, we see to figures sitting on the dock.

Music: Sound of Pulling Heaven Down by Blue October

(cut to): the dock.  The cover of dark provides a nice talking spot for Scout and Jake.  They are seated near its edge.  Jake, dressed as a boy once again, is sitting Indian style several feet back from the water and Scout has his legs crossed in front of him.  There is only about six inches between them. 

Scout: So, tonight was interesting, huh?

Jake: Yeah…

Scout: Still, I had a good time.  How about you?
Jake: As long as I don’t count any time spent at the concession stand or being teased by our friends…then, yeah, I had a great time.

Scout laughs.

Scout: They were rough on us, huh?

Jake nods.

Scout cont’d: Grace had even more to say to me specifically.

Jake doesn’t reply.  A beat.  Scout hesitates then takes a deep breath.

Scout:  You know, what’s kind of funny is that at Sean’s party…I actually think I vaguely remember you wanting to kiss me.

Jake looks at him with no recollection.

Jake: You’re not serious.  Was that before or after the dope-induced daze?

Scout: Before.  You asked if I would want you to kiss me.

Jake thinks hard.

Jake: “Would you want me to kiss you?”  Hmm.  Maybe I do vaguely recall that.

Scout smiles hopefully.

Scout: And do you vaguely remember what I said?

Jake thinks.

Jake: No?

Scout laughs.

Scout: No, you don’t remember or…

Jake: Did you say “no?”

He shakes his head.

Scout: No. 

He looks down then back up at her.

Scout cont’d: No, I didn’t say no.

Jake is still confused by her fuzzy memory.

Jake: Remind me…

Scout: I said to ask me sometime when you were sober.

She nods and looks away for a long time.

Scout cont’d: Are you feeling pretty sober right now?

Jake looks at him, knowing what he wants, but reluctant to give it to him.  Jake takes a deep breath then goes for it.  She scrunches up her face as if about to be attacked.

Jake (hesitant): Would you want me to kiss you?

There is just a hint of a smile when he asks:

Scout: Do you want the simple answer or the complicated answer?

She considers it seriously.

Jake: Complicated.

Scout chuckles.

Scout: Okay.  The complicated answer is that…

His good humor is overcome with a hint of sorrow.

Scout cont’d: I can’t remember the last time I’ve been genuinely happy.

He doesn’t speak for a moment and she doesn’t press.

Scout cont’d: I lost Jill: the girl of my dreams, the girl I was going to spend forever with.  And then, every time I came close to winning her back, I lost her again…to Sean.  I tried to be okay with that.  I looked her in the eye and told her I was okay with that.  I practically pushed her into his arms. 

Jake: Been there…

Scout nods.

Scout: Yeah…

She reaches over and takes his hand, pulling it into both of hers, a comforting gesture.  He enjoys this for a moment then continues:

Scout cont’d: I was never okay with it, though.  At least…not then.  And not this summer either.  Alyssa…don’t get me wrong, she’s a really cool girl.

Jake doesn’t react to this.

Scout cont’d: She’s smart and beautiful and—

Jake: I get the idea.

Scout: Sorry.

Jake gives him a wry smile.

Scout cont’d: Anyway, she just wasn’t special.

Jake: She wasn’t Jill.

Scout looks over at her curiously.

Scout: Maybe…and maybe I thought there never would be another Jill…and maybe there won’t be.  It’s certainly a possibility. 

He looks down at their intertwined hands.

Scout cont’d: When I came back here and found out my room assignment had been changed, I don’t know what it was, but I just snapped.  I’ve started this ridiculous feud with Tyson over it.  I guess I just thought I needed to be consoled and that Will had always been the best one to do it.  Between seeing Jill with Sean, trying to forget my summer with Alyssa only to have her turn up here, and not being able to spend time with my best friend on a regular basis, I don’t know, I just started to feel…numb.   

He pauses.

Scout cont’d: But then this whole thing with you happened.

Jake looks up at his phrasing.

Scout cont’d: You’re the only person that’s made me feel…anything, really, but more specifically you’ve made me happy.

Jake: Why?  I mean, God, Scout, I might be a little bit of a freak, but…I’m not special.

Scout: You’re incredibly special.  I love the deep conversations we have.  I love laughing with you all the time.  I love how different you are from any other person I’ve ever met.  And it’s not just that.  It’s not that you made me feel good.  It’s that I think, and I could be wrong, but I think I’ve actually done something for you, too.

Jake: You’ve done more than anyone…more than I ever expected, actually.

Scout: I love that.  I love that I’m actually special to you, too. 

She smiles.

Scout cont’d: And, I’m sorry I keep saying love because I don’t mean to give you the impression that this is some anguished longing that I’ve developed.  It isn’t.  If Hamilton walked up to you right now and managed to sweep you off your feet again, I would be so happy for you because I know it would make you happy and you deserve that.

Jake doesn’t say anything, but she looks like she may not agree with this.

Scout: Then again, if he never showed up, maybe I wouldn’t exactly be disappointed either…

Jake waits, but it doesn’t appear that he will go on.  She lets go of his hand and puts her hands up to hold the weight of her chin.

Jake: Okay…so…that was the complicated answer?

Scout laughs.

Scout: Was it not complicated enough?

He looks over at her, still treading carefully.

Jake: Oh, it was complicated…just not clear.  Maybe you better give me the simple answer.

Without a word, and with slow deliberation, he leans toward her and kisses her.  It is brief and while Jake does not extend it, she doesn’t exactly stop it either.  Neither says anything for a moment.  Jake is at a loss for words, but some do eventually come.

Jake: That was way more complicated than anything you just said.

Scout does not know what to make of her reaction.

Scout: I’m sorry.

Jake: No, don’t be.

He doesn’t know what to make of this either.

Scout: So…what are you thinking?

Jake: I’m thinking that I have to reserve judgment right now because I have no clue how I feel about all this…

Scout nods then thinks of something.

Scout: I didn’t mean to screw things up—

Jake puts up her hand to stop him.

Jake: You don’t need to say that.  Nothing is screwed up.  I just need to think.

Scout nods.

Jake cont’d: I’m going to go…do that…

She scrambles up and starts to back away.

Scout: Okay.  Do you want me to stay away from the—

Jake: No.  I won’t be there.  At least, not for a little while.  I’m going to…I’ve got to…

Her composure is slipping.

Jake cont’d: I’ll see you later, okay?

Scout nods, a little confused about her feelings.  She makes a beeline away from the dock.

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm.

Music: Collide by Howie Day

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment.  Bella and Nicholas sit together on the couch, his arm wrapped around her.

Nicholas: How much longer do you have?

Bella: Until one.

She looks at his watch.

Bella cont’d: Another hour and a half.

Nicholas: As happy as I am that your father knows about us, I think I liked it better when you snuck around because I never had to worry about getting you home at a certain time.

Bella laughs.

Bella: After you drop me off, I could sneak out again.

Nicholas considers the offer.
Nicholas: I don’t know…I’m thinking your father would not take kindly to me aiding and abetting such juvenile delinquency.

Bella laughs again.

Bella: I was kidding, but since typical teen hijinks are out, I guess we better use our time wisely.

She smiles seductively.

Nicholas: God, I love you. 

He kisses her passionately, a kiss they both enjoy.

Bella: I love you, too.

Nicholas flashes her a sexy smile then leans closer, aiming to further this encounter, but they are interrupted by a knock at the door.  Bella cocks an eyebrow.  Nicholas shrugs.

Nicholas: Who is it?

Jake (outside): Jake.

Bella and Nicholas look at one another curiously.  Nicholas shrugs again, gets up and lets Jake, dressed once again as a boy, inside.  Jake sees Bella and hesitates to come in further.  Nicholas closes the door behind her and nods her into the living room.  She enters the room reluctantly.

Nicholas: Have a seat.

Jake is clearly perturbed and only looks at a nearby chair, but doesn’t make a move to sit.  Nicholas shrugs it off and takes a seat on the couch, opposite Bella, leaving a space between them.  Jake paces in front of them for a moment.

Nicholas: What’s up?

Jake stops pacing, but begins to wring her hands.

Jake: You guys were right.  Why did you have to be right?

Bella: Right about what, Jake?

Jake sighs and finally decides to take a seat.  She slips into the space between the couple.

Jake: He likes me.

She gestures with one hand as if communicating an obvious fact.  Nicholas and Bella glance at one another.

Jake: Why does he have to like me?  I mean, I’m not ready for that.  Clearly, I’m not.

Bella: What happened?

Jake: We went out to the docks to talk about the movie.  We go out there all the time.  Except suddenly tonight, he started talking about Sean’s party where I apparently asked to kiss him. 

Nicholas raises his eyebrows.

Jake cont’d: I mean, I was drunk. 

She is clearly very distraught.

Jake cont’d: If it was someone else, it’d be easy.  I could just be straightforward, but I really don’t want to hurt his feelings.  I have no clue what to say to him.

Bella: Just tell him the truth.

Jake: You think I’m going to be able to say, “Yeah, sorry, but I’m still in love with someone else.”  I can’t hurt him like that.

She leans against the back cushion of the couch, tilting her head back.

Jake cont’d: I just wish Hamilton weren’t a factor.  I wish I didn’t care what he thought.  I wish I didn’t care about him period.  Then maybe I would fall for Scout.  Maybe I would at least be open to the possibility, but…

Bella: You can’t?

Jake doesn’t want to say this out loud.  She takes a deep breath.

Jake: I really can’t.

Bella:  Then that’s what you tell him.  He’ll be okay.

Nicholas: Plus, if he really cares about you, he’s going to respect you for being straight with him.  No guy wants to be led on.

Jake takes a deep breath, calming down a little.  She shakes her head as if trying to shake away some of her feelings.

Jake cont’d: You guys vote honesty, huh?

Nicholas: Yes.

Bella: Definitely.

Jake: Okay.

She nods and sits up straight again.

Jake cont’d: Thanks for the advice, guys.  Sorry to burst in on your like this.

Bella: Oh, it’s—

Nicholas: Fine.  Feel free to stop by—

Bella: Whenever.  Definitely.

Jake smiles at them.

Jake: Okay, thanks…and…I guess I can let you two get back to whatever…

Bella and Nicholas look at each other guiltily.  Jake stands.

Jake: Seriously, thank you.

(cut to): O’Hare Airport.  Will is in line at security.  He talks on his cell phone.

Music: Runaround by Blues Traveller

Will: Man, I cannot thank you enough for getting me on this plane.

(cut to): Tyson who is in his dorm room, again at the desk and typing as he talks.  We cut between them.

Tyson: No problem.  You can thank my dad in person if you want.  He invited you over for dinner tomorrow night.

Will: Sounds great. 

Will is nearing the front of the line.  The security guard, a woman, gives him a disapproving look.

Will cont’d: I think I better go.  I’m about to go through security and I don’t want any special treatment if you know what I mean.

Tyson laughs.

Tyson: Okay.  I’ll see you later tonight.

Will: Later.

He hangs up, reaching the front of the security line.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): the living room.  The lights are low and a movie is playing.  Sean and Jill are cuddled up on the couch.  Mark and Meagan sit on the floor, sharing a blanket.  Their joined hands sit on top of the blanket.  Jill notices this and nudges Sean.  He shrugs. 

(cut to): the front door as it unlocks.  Finn and Johanna enter and turn on the lights.  Jill and Sean scoot apart a little.  Mark drops Meagan’s hand.

Meagan: How was the movie?

Finn and Johanna trade a slightly guilty, but mostly amused look.

Johanna: It wasn’t very memorable.

Sean and Jill smile at each other, understanding more than the kids do.

Finn (to Sean and Jill): Thank you guys for giving us tonight.  We needed it.

Sean: No problem.

Jill: Yeah, we enjoyed it.

Finn: I hate to tell you this, but we spent all our cash on concessions so can we settle up on Monday when you come to class, Jill?

Jill: Oh, yeah, sure.  Not a problem.

Johanna: How was the baby?

Jill: He was…

Sean: Easy.

Jill: Definitely.

Finn: And these two?

Meagan and Mark smile, knowing they will get a good report.

Jill: Perfect.

Finn smiles at the kids.

Sean: Well…

Sean and Jill stand up.

Sean cont’d: I guess we’ll get going. 

Jill: Let us know if you need us again.

Finn: Will do.

(cut to): outside, a few minutes later.  Sean and Jill walk toward Sean’s parent’s truck.

Sean: As great as those kids were, I can see why they wanted a night out.  It feels nice to walk out the door and leave the responsibility in someone else’s hands, doesn’t it?

Jill: Mostly, it feels good to walk out the door with you in my hands…all to myself.

He smiles, giving her a peck on the cheek.

(cut to): a shot of  the garage.

Music: Pretty Baby by Vanessa Carlton

(cut to): the living room.  Grace sits on the couch.  Dexter sits across from her on the floor.  The coffee table is between them.  Charlie sits in a nearby chair, reading a magazine.  On the coffee table, Dexter is setting up a chess board.

Grace: You realize that I have no clue how to play this game, right?

Dexter: You’ll learn.

Grace: Is this the kind of thing you used to do with Jake?

Dexter sighs.

Dexter: What?

Grace: All right…I gave Scout this speech about honesty so here’s my confession: I’m totally jealous of Jake.  I mean, you obviously think she’s cool and smart and…I bet she can play chess.

Charlie glances up, but pretends not to pay attention.  Dexter gets up from the floor and sits next to her on the couch.

Dexter: Since we’re offering confessions, mine is that Jake is the first girl that didn’t make me nervous because, yes, we have a lot in common.  But, in the end, she turned out to be a friend.  Nothing more.  And, you turned out to be the first girl I ever fell in love with.  The girl I am in love with.  The only girl I ever think about.  So…I guess I can understand that you’re jealous and why, but…I only love you, Grace.

From behind the magazine, Charlie seems to approve.  Grace smiles at him.

Grace: Okay, so teach me how to play this game already.

He laughs, gives her a quick peck on the temple then slides back over to his previous seat on the floor.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): the living room.  There is a blanket and pillow set up on the couch.  Mark and Meagan sit there.  Finn sits in the armchair; Johanna’s sits on its arm.

Finn: So, Mark you learned how to throw a football.  Anything else exciting happen?

Meagan and Mark trade a look and shrug.

Meagan: Not really.  We’re pretty boring people, Finn.

Johanna: If you’re boring, then Finn and I must be totally mind-numbing.

Mark laughs.

Meagan: You said it, not us.

They all laugh.

Finn: Okay, kiddo, why don’t you come on upstairs with us and we’ll let Mark get some sleep. 

Meagan stands up as do Finn and Johanna.

Finn cont’d: I’ll take you home first thing in the morning, Mark.

Mark nods, lying down on the couch as the family walks up the stairs.

(cut to): an establishing shot of the girls’ dorm.  Sean’s truck is parked nearby.  Jill and Sean walk toward the dorm.

Jill: Can you come in for awhile? 

Sean: Yeah.  I’ve got until midnight.

Jill: I guess they did get home a little earlier than they expected.

Sean nods.

Jill cont’d: Well, anyway, come on in.  Hopefully the roommate is off with the loser-head.

Sean nods again with a slight smiles.

(cut to): inside Jill’s dorm room.  The light are off, but we can hear Alyssa giggle slightly.

(cut to): the door as it opens, letting light in.  Jill turns on the main light revealing Hamilton and Alyssa under the covers. 

Jill: Oh my God…

She pushes Sean back out into the hallway and closes the door.  We stay with them in the hallways.

Jill cont’d: Please tell me I didn’t see what I just thought I saw…

Sean is too shocked to say anything.

(cut to): inside the room.  The covers are thrown back now, to reveal that both of them are still partially dressed.  Hamilton is now standing, struggling to put on his pants.  Alyssa is slipping on a shirt, though she still wears her skirt from earlier.

Hamilton: I, uh, I should probably…

Alyssa: Yeah…

Hamilton: Sorry…

Alyssa: I understand.  I wish I could go too…

Hamilton looks at her for a moment, totally disheveled.  He snaps out of it and slips his shoes on.

Hamilton: I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?

She nods.

Hamilton cont’d: And, thanks again for tonight…the date, I mean.  It was awesome.

She smiles.

Alyssa: Anytime.

He gives her a quick kiss on the cheek then exits.  We follow him in the hall where he has to walk past Jill and Sean.  He keeps his head down.  Jill puts her hands on her hips, ready to say something to him, but Sean stops her.  She simply watches him with a look that is filled with disapproval.

Sean: Maybe I should just head home…

Jill: I guess so.  I’m wishing I could go with you.

Sean tilts his head.

Sean: You okay?

Jill: Yeah, but…

She looks in the direction of where Hamilton went.

Jill cont’d: How could I be so wrong about someone?

Sean: How long was he with Jake?

Jill: Two years.

Sean: That’s a long time.  They got together when they were, what?  Fifteen?  I think back to when I was that age.  I was a totally different person with totally different priorities.

Jill: Yeah, but I’m sure your priorities have matured with you while he’s completely regressed.

Sean: He’s just experiencing something he never got the chance to before.  Just like I am.  I mean, I’ve never dated a girl that actually didn’t mind having conversations about…having kids, for example.  That’s totally new to me…yet totally amazing. 

She smiles.

Sean cont’d: He’s probably never dated a girl that was willing to just…I don’t know, go with the flow?   I mean, I’m guessing Jake is the type of person to analyze everything to death.

Jill nods.

Sean cont’d: Alyssa is probably a little more willing to let things go.

Jill: Or more willing to just have sex with some dude she barely knows.

Sean laughs.

Sean: Okay, I can see you’re not easily persuaded. 

Jill: Whatever.  I understand your point: Alyssa is a slut.  Jake is pensive.

Sean laughs.  A beat as he gives her a kiss.  He backs away, giving her a wave.

(cut to): a motorcycle traveling down a road somewhere nearby.

(cut to): a closer shot of Jake on the bike.  She reaches a stop sign and stops.  She sits there a moment, thinking.  She looks around, up at the sky.  She sighs then starts again.

(fade out)


Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to an establishing shot of Logan International Airport in Boston.

(cut to): the parking garage. Will walks briskly, carrying his duffle bag.  He reaches his Jeep, unlocks the door, hops in and pulls away.

(cut to): the boys’ dorm.

Music: Hate Me by Blue October

(cut to): Scout and Jake’s room.  Scout is wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but his hair is wet as if he just took a shower.  He is at his desk with a book open and some paper out: homework time.  There is a knock at the door.

Scout: Come in.

Tyson pushes the door open cautiously, as if perhaps it is booby-trapped.

Scout: Can I help you?

Tyson enters, letting the door close behind him.

Tyson: I just wanted to let you know that Will was trying to get in touch with you earlier.

Scout tilts his head.  He gets up and goes to his dirty laundry, pulling his phone out of his dirty pants.  He hits a button.

Scout: Seven missed calls.  Oh, man.  What did he need?

Tyson: I’ll let you ask him that yourself, but tread carefully. 

Scout: Is it not going well with Gwen?

Tyson: Obviously not or I wouldn’t be standing here personally delivering messages to you, would I?

Scout nods.

Scout: Right.  Sorry.

Tyson is surprised by the lack of attitude.

Scout cont’d: Do you think we could maybe call a truce?

Tyson: Why?  Because I know your secret and you want me to keep my mouth shut?

Scout: No…because my differences with you are totally unrelated to you.

Tyson nods, he already knew this.

Tyson: Okay.   Truce then.

Scout smiles.

Tyson cont’d: Although, this might be tough.  You’re such an easy target.

Scout laughs at the obvious joke.  A beat.

Tyson cont’d: Anyway, you should give Will a call.

Scout: Okay.  Thanks.

Tyson nods.

Tyson: See ya

He exits.  Scout reaches for his phone, dials a number and waits.  Voicemail obviously picks up.

Scout: Hey, it’s Scout.  Tyson told me you’d been trying to get a hold of me.   I was at the drive-in and apparently reception is terrible out there.  Sorry, man.  Anyway, when you get this, give me a call…

He turns off the phone, sets it down then grabs a comic book from Jake’s desk.  He takes it to the loveseat and sits down.

(cut to): Nicholas’ apartment.  Bella and Nicholas are nowhere to be seen.  There is a knock at the door.

(cut to): outside the door where Dexter waits.  Eventually, Nicholas opens the door slightly.  When he sees it is Dexter, he opens it up a little more.  He is dressed only in a t-shirt and his boxers.

Nicholas: Yeah, what’s up?

Dexter: Just wanted to deliver a message from Mr. Banks.

Nicholas: Oh, God…it’s not past one is it?

Dexter: No, but he said if she was even one second late, he would personally kill you.  I don’t think he was serious, but you never know.  I’m pretty sure he could do it if he wanted.

Nicholas laughs.

Nicholas: Well, thanks for the message.

Dexter nods.

Dexter: Goodnight.

Nicholas: Goodnight.

Dexter backs away as Nicholas closes the door.

(cut to): inside, Bella exits the bedroom, dressed and pretty.  Nicholas turns around.

Bella: It’s almost time for me to get home.

Nicholas: I know.  Dexter just came to remind me.  I guess your dad sent him.

Bella: Oh…

Nicholas: Yeah.  So…let me throw on some clothes and—

Bella: Put on the same clothes.

Nicholas: Good call.

He smiles and heads into the bedroom.

Music: Pink Moon by David Gray

(dissolve to): the garage a little while later.  Across the street, on a bench in front of Friendly’s, we see Jake with her motorcycle nearby.  Nicholas Jetta pulls into the garage.  He gets out and escorts Bella to the door, kissing her briefly before she goes in.  He turns from the door with a smile then seems to notice Jake.  He tilts his head and walks over to her.

Nicholas: Jake?

Jake: Hey…

Nicholas: What are you doing here?

Jake: I was out riding my bike.  I just ended up here…center of town…

Nicholas reaches her and takes a seat next to her.

Nicholas: Did you talk to Scout?

Jake shakes her head.

Jake: I wanted some time alone first so I grabbed my bike and…took off.

Nicholas: I can understand that.  There is nothing like solo driving when you need some clarity.

Jake nods.

Jake: You see that street corner right over there.

She points to a very nearby corner.

Jake cont’d: Two years ago, we stood there together.  We were busted.  I was going back to New York.  It could have been over and he was freaked.

She pauses, starting at the spot.  Nicholas listens patiently.

Jake cont’d: Then I said four little words that somehow made it all better for him. 

Nicholas: “I love you, Hamilton?”

Jake smiles.

Jake: Nah.  That was implicit.  It was then, anyway.

She sighs, shaking her head.  Nicholas waits another moment until she decides to speak:

Jake cont’d: I said, “Who said it’s over?”

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Cute.

Jake nods, still looking at the spot.

Jake: And with those four, “cute” words…I gave both of us…hope and assurance. 

She pauses again.  Nicholas waits.

Jake cont’d: All I can think about when I think about him now is, “it’s over.”  It’s over.

She looks back at Nicholas now.

Jake cont’d: Except then I hear this little voice in the back of my mind.  “Who said it’s over?”

Nicholas nods, impacted by her monologue.

Nicholas: Wow…

Jake: And I can’t keep that voice away.  No matter how adorable I think Scout can be sometimes…no matter how completely flattered I am that a guy like him would even be slightly interested in me…no matter how much I genuinely enjoyed kissing him…

Nicholas narrows his eyes at this, but doesn’t interrupt.

Jake cont’d: I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s not really over with Hamilton.

Nicholas nods.

Nicholas: I understand. 

Jake: Do you think Scout will?

Nicholas: Absolutely.  Although, you may want to be a little less blunt.

She nods.

Jake: Yeah…

She smiles.  He puts his arm around her and gets her to stand up.

Nicholas: Thank you, by the way.

Jake: For what?

Nicholas: Forgiving me.  I’m not so sure I deserved it, but…I appreciate it all the same.  Bella, too.

Jake: It’s hard to hate people you really don’t.

Nicholas smiles.

Nicholas: Well, thanks all the same.

She nods.

Jake: You’re welcome.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go face my fears…

Nicholas: Good luck…

He offers her a pat on the back as she climbs on her motorcycle.  He watches as she drives away.

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house as Jake drives by.

(cut to): the hallway.  Finn waits as Johanna exits Meagan’s room.

Johanna: Meagan just told me that Mark’s dad is in jail.

Finn: Really?

Johanna: Grand theft auto and attempted murder.

Finn: That kid is so normal considering his family.

Johanna agrees.

Johanna: Anyway, she also said they had fun tonight and she gave me the go ahead for making this a regular thing.

Finn smiles.

Finn: Wonderful.

He wraps his arm around her.  Johanna looks at Jacey’s door.

Johanna: How was the little man?

Finn: Asleep and well.

Johanna: Let’s hope he can keep that up all night.

Finn: Or at least for fifteen minutes or so.

He smiles devilishly.  She laughs.

Johanna: I love you.

Finn: And I, you.  And our little kingdom.

He gestures around.

Johanna: Some kingdom.  Looks more like a hallway.

Finn laughs.

Finn: In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed are king. 

She smiles.

Finn cont’d: Besides, it’s a damn fine hallway that leads to my damn fine life.

She smiles.

Johanna: Come on…

She takes his hand, leading him to the bedroom.  He follows with no argument.  They close the door behind them.

(cut to): the door of Jake and Scout’s room. 

Music: Congratulations by Blue October

(cut to): inside the room.  Scout is sitting on the couch with his feet up while reading the comic book.  He is on the last page.  Jake enters.  Scout looks up, but doesn’t say anything.  Jake closes the door and looks at Scout, but seems frozen.  He finishes the last page and closes the book. 

Scout: Hi.

Jake nods.

Jake: Hi.

Scout sits up, placing his feet onto the floor.  Jake sighs then goes over and joins him on the couch.  The couch is small and they sit relatively close together, their knees just touching.

Jake: This is hard.

Scout sighs.  Jake looks at him even more apologetically than she already was.

Scout: This is why I didn’t want to tell you.  Will tried to tell me—

Jake: Will?

Scout: Well, I had to tell someone and…for once, it couldn’t be you.  And then, Grace was harassing me tonight.  She gave me this whole spiel about how honesty is so important…

Jake: Actually…maybe she’s right.

A slight beat.

Scout cont’d: No way.  See, I told Will that I didn’t want you to know how I feel because I didn’t want you to have to let me down…oh, man…but then tonight…you looked…so hot. 

Jake laughs, perhaps blushing just slightly.  Scout proceeds cautiously, watching her carefully as he speaks each word:

Scout cont’d: And, like, right there…

He points down to their legs.

Scout cont’d: …Your knee touching mine like that…it’s driving me a little bit crazy and I really want to kiss you pretty badly, but I know that’s not what you want, and normally something like that would hurt me, but it doesn’t, which I don’t really get, but then again, I do get it because you’re my friend and I wouldn’t want to lose that for anything in the world so I’m okay with you not wanting me to kiss you even though I do have this delusional fantasy that you’ll put a stop to this little poorly formed speech by leaning over here and kissing me.

He pauses and looks at her then laughs when she doesn’t move.  In fact, she looks extremely nervous.  He reacts with his own nervousness.

Scout cont’d: God, why am I telling you all that?  What am I thinking?  What was I was thinking out there on the dock?  I should have just denied everything anyone said tonight and kept my mouth shut. 

Jake: No.  No, honesty is a good thing.

Scout: Okay, so, then…be honest with me.

She nods.  She takes a deep breath.

Jake: You’re a good kisser.

Scout laughs slightly.

Scout: Thank you?

Jake: I’m just telling you that because I wish things were different right now.

He nods, seeing where this will lead.

Jake cont’d: And, it’s not a chemistry thing.  It’s more like…

She searches.

Scout: A timing thing?

Jake: Exactly.  How could I ever turn you into the proverbial “rebound guy?”  I value our relationship way too much for that. 

Scout: So, then, you’re willing to stay friends?

Jake cringes a little at wording, but goes on:

Jake: Are you?

Scout: Um…

He glances down at their legs, still touching.  He gently moves his leg away from hers then contemplates the question.

Scout cont’d: Yes.  I want to stay friends.

Jake smiles and breathes a sigh of relief.

Jake: Good.

Jake doesn’t know what else to say, but that problem is eliminated by a knock at the door.

Scout: Come in.

The door opens and Will walks in.

Scout cont’d: Will?

Jake: I thought you were in Chicago.

Will: I was.  Scout, do you have a minute?

Scout glances at Jake.

Jake: I’ll talk a walk. 

Scout nods, thanking her without saying anything.  She scoots past Will, gives him a quizzical glance then slips out the door.  A beat.

Scout: Oh my God…Will…

He stands up and makes his way to his bed, falling back onto it.

Scout cont’d: I kissed her.

Will: Jake?

Scout: Uh-huh.  It was amazing, by the way, thanks for asking.

Will tilts his head, confused.

Will: So…you and Jake are—

Scout: Oh, no.  No, she doesn’t feel that way about me.

Will: Then why the hell are you smiling like that.

Scout: You remember how I said I didn’t want her to know how I felt because then she’d have to let me down easy and she’d probably feel bad.

Will: Yeah.

Scout: All that actually happened. 

Will: So, I repeat, why are you smiling like that?

Scout: Because she still wants to be my friend, and that is ultimately more important than the slight tingling sensation that had engulfed my body right now.

Will: I don’t get you lately.  Are you seriously telling me that you got rejected tonight and yet…you’re still happy.

Scout: That is what I’m saying.

Will: Wow.

He shakes his head.

Will cont’d: I wish I was so lucky.
Will takes over Scout’s former spot on the couch.  Scout snaps out of his self-involvement.  He sits up, looking at Will.

Scout: What are you doing back here?

Will: Gwen had, um, other plans this weekend.

Scout: Oh, no…

Will: Apparently, she really likes journalism these days.  Especially the “spin factor” in modern media.

Scout: What?  Did she have to do a project or something?

Will: A project?  More like…a professor.

Scout is shocked.

Scout: No…

Will: Yes.

Scout: I can’t believe it.

He stares blankly for a moment.

Scout:  I just don’t understand.

Will shrugs.

Will: I spent a lot of time thinking while I was sitting in the airport tonight and…I still can’t understand.

Scout: So what happened?

Will: I couldn’t get in touch with her on the phone so I used my key to get in…

(fade out)

 

Commercial Break

 

(fade in): to Jake sitting on the steps of the boys down.  Her legs are crossed as she looks up into the sky.

Music: Red Moon by David Gray

Hamilton: Beautiful night, isn’t it?

She tilts her head down from the sky to find Hamilton standing in front of her.  He looks a little more put together than last we saw him.

Jake: I didn’t even hear you walk up.

Hamilton shrugs.

Hamilton: I’m stealthy.

He slides down to sit next to her.  Neither speaks for a moment, but the silence is not awkward.

Hamilton (snide): Have fun with Scout tonight?

Jake looks at him sideways without answering.

Hamilton: Sorry.  He just bugs me lately.

Jake: He’s just trying to be a good friend.

Hamilton hesitates for only a split second, then speaks:

Hamilton: That’s all he is, right?  A friend?

Jake: As opposed to…?

Hamilton: As opposed to someone who’s trying to move in on you.

Jake doesn’t react.

Jake: No offense, Hamilton, but I really don’t think that aspect of my relationship with Scout is any of your business.

Hamilton is affronted.

Hamilton (angry): Sorry.

He starts to get up, but Jake takes his wrist and pulls him back down.

Jake: Don’t get mad.

Hamilton: You basically just told me to mind my own business.

Jake: Yeah.  You should.  Just like I do.  You don’t hear me asking where you spent the past three hours since the movie ended, do you?

Hamilton: For the past hour, I was walking around the lake and—

Jake: You don’t hear me asking, do you? 

He thinks it’s rhetorical, but she looks him in the eye, demanding an answer.

Hamilton: No, I don’t hear you asking me that.

Jake: Do you know why?

He waits for her to answer herself, but she doesn’t.  She expects him to answer.

Hamilton: Because you don’t want to know.  Because you don’t care.  Because it’s none of your business.

Jake shrugs.

Jake: I’ll give you two out of three.  But most importantly, yes, it’s none of my business.

Hamilton nods.

Hamilton: Okay, point taken. 

A beat as he rubs his hands together.

Hamilton cont’d: So, did you like the movie?

Jake laughs.

Jake: Yeah.  It was all right.

She smiles, shaking her head.  A beat.

Hamilton: I do…I do miss you.  A lot.

She nods, reaching down to adjust the tongue of her converse sneaker.

Jake: Ditto.

He smiles sadly then rises to a standing position.

Hamilton: Well, I guess I should get in.  Wouldn’t want Dexter to worry.

Jake laughs.

Jake: Yeah, he should be back from the garage by now.  Charlie was kicking him out at one.

Hamilton nods.

Hamilton: Wait, how do you

Jake: We all went together to the drive-in.  Bella, Nicholas, Grace, Dexter, Scout and me.

He wants to ask questions, but seems to physically hold them in.

Hamilton: Cool.

Jake: Yeah. 

A beat as Hamilton stands on the steps, not awkward or nervous, just there.

Jake cont’d: If you don’t mind, I think star-gazing is best done solo.

Hamilton forces a smile then nods.

Hamilton: Solo…right.   Goodnight.

Jake: Goodnight.

Music: Changes by David Bowie

He exits up the steps and into the building.  Jake looks up to the sky.  We pan to the sky.  We stay there as the moon and stars seem to travel across the sky.  The sun rises and it is morning. 

Will (voice over): Sometimes change is so slow that we barely notice it happen.

(cut to): the garage, the kitchen.  Grace, Bella and Charlie sit around talking.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: One day we wake up, think back to another time and realize that our lives are totally different. 

(cut to): Will and Tyson’s room.  Tyson is asleep.  Will is in his bed, gazing up at the ceiling.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Other changes happen in a flash.  We blink and there they are, staring us in the face.

(cut to): an establishing shot of Chicago from the Hancock building, Will’s former view.

(cut to): Gwen’s apartment.

(cut to): inside.  Gwen sits at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee.  She stares out a nearby window.  Jason comes in from around the corner, still in only his boxers.  He sits down across from her, smiling.  She can’t help return it.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Some of us adjust easily to changes, adapting naturally to the new and the different.

(cut to): Will in bed.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Some of us just pretend to adjust while what we are really doing is completely ignoring the fact that any change has taken place.

(cut to): Scout and Jake’s room.  He sits at his desk, studying.  She is still asleep in bed, but wakes up as we watch.  Scout looks over.   She nods good morning and gets up, wearing one of those cute girly pajama things Scout described earlier.  He watches as she walks into the bathroom.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Some of us know and acknowledge that a change has taken place…yet we do nothing at all about it.

(cut to): Hamilton’s room.  Dexter is still asleep.  Hamilton, though, is fully dressed.  He sits on his bed, talking quietly on his cell phone.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Instead of confronting the change, we sit passively by and let the change become our life.

(cut to): Alyssa and Jill’s room.  Jill is working on a painting while Alyssa is sitting in bed, talking on the phone.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: The worse position to be in, though, is observer: to see how changes occur and alter others without the ability to do anything about it.

(cut to): an establishing shot of Finn and Johanna’s house.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Yet at some point, all of us find ourselves in that helpless position…

(cut to): Finn and Johanna’s house.

(cut to): Jacey’s room.  He is crying from his crib.  Johanna enters and flips the light on, but the bulb goes out.

Johanna: Give me a break…

She picks Jacey up and he stops crying immediately.  We stay in the empty room.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Waiting for a change that is inevitable…

After a moment, she re-enters with a light bulb in one hand and Jacey in the other.  She sets him back in his crib.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Feeling that change coming…

Johanna looks around the room and pulls the only chair, a rocking chair, to the center of the room.  Jacey begins to cry again.

Johanna: One second, baby.  I love you.

He continues to cry.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Dreading it, but watching anyway…

Johanna climbs onto the chair with the light bulb in one hand.  As she reaches up, the chair rocks and she loses her footing. 

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Completely powerless to help or stop a change that only hurts everyone involved.

As Johanna falls we dissolve to the hallway a few minutes later.  At the same time, Finn and Meagan step into the hallways.  Jacey is wailing.  The music, “Changes” still plays, but distorts horribly now.

Meagan: I thought no one would ever come for him…

Finn: Mom already did…

They look at each other in confusion and approach the door together.  Meagan is the one to open it.  Finn is the first to see.

Finn: Johanna?

Meagan: Oh my God, Mom?

They both rush in.  She is splayed out on the floor in an unnatural position, a small pool of blood has formed near her head.  We see this for just a second.

(cut to): an exterior shot of the house.  We still hear the baby crying.  Meagan joins him with screams of her own as Finn is on the phone with a 911 operator.

Will (v.o.) cont’d: Suddenly, all the irrelevant changes that plague our lives seem utterly unimportant because there is a total transformation happening before our very eyes.  Happiness turns to sadness.  Love to numbness.  Life…to death.  The only change that truly matters, and we are all affected.

(fade out)

 

THE END

 

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