(fade in): to an establishing shot of Finn’s house.
Music: Summer in the City by Regina Spektor
(cut to): the backyard. Meagan sits in the tire swing. Mark leans against the trunk of the large tree that supports the swing. He’s watching Meagan intently, but she is staring over the tire and down at the ground.
She looks up.
Mark cont’d: Your dad’s going to be here soon.
Meagan: You don’t have to remind me. I know. Believe me.
He walks over to the swing.
Mark: Are we ever going to see each other again?
Meagan looks at him seriously as he reaches her, standing in front of her with his hands on top of the arms she uses to grip the swing.
Meagan: California is far and…my dad…I just don’t know.
Mark touches the bracelet on Meagan’s wrist.
Mark: I’ll miss you.
He smiles reassuringly. We hear the back door open and Finn exits.
Finn: Meagan? Your father’s here.
(cut to): the front of the house. Meagan and Mark sit on the porch together as Danny walks past carrying a suitcase. He adds it to a few boxes already in the trunk of his car. A woman in her mid-twenties, Colleen, exits the house behind him, carrying a pillow.
Danny: That was the last of it.
Colleen (heavy Boston accent): This is the last of it.
Danny smiles at her, taking the pillow and kissing her on the cheek.
Meagan and Mark look at one another, totally miserable.
Danny cont’d: It wouldn’t have hurt you two to help out.
Meagan rolls her eyes.
Colleen: So, Meagan, are you, like, psyched about L.A.?
Meagan: My mom just died. I’m not, like, psyched about anything.
Danny: Be nice, young lady.
Meagan ignores him.
Meagan: Hey, Dad? Can you give us a minute?
Danny looks at her incredulously.
Danny: No…I can’t “give you a minute”
Meagan: Why? Are we in a hurry?
Danny sizes up the comment, wondering if she is serious.
Danny: No, Sweetheart. I just don’t trust this boy with my daughter.
Colleen rubs his back in support of the comment.
Mark: Sir, we’re in the front yard.
Mark gestures around. Danny is annoyed, but looks at Meagan who silently pleads for just a few moments.
Danny: We’ve got to discuss a few things with Finn. Say your goodbyes then come on back inside, Meagan.
Mark (voice over): Did you ever have one of those life-changing moments?
Danny leaves. Meagan rolls her eyes.
Meagan: I can’t believe I have to live with those people.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: One second your life is one way and then it’s completely different.
Meagan: I guess this is it.
Mark nods, looking at her, helpless.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: This was that moment for me.
Meagan stands awkwardly for a moment then hugs him.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: The life that was comfortable and wonderful disappeared.
Mark: I love you.
Meagan pulls back to look at him.
Meagan: I love you.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: It was nothing more than a few good memories….
They slowly part. Meagan is crying now.
Mark: I guess I should let you get back inside.
Meagan nods. Mark takes a few steps backward, trying to wipe away the tears that have begun to fall.
Mark: Goodbye, Meagan.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: And one really, really terrible one.
Meagan stands on the steps and watches as Mark walks backward a few steps then turns around and walks away with his head hung and his hands in his pockets.
Commercial Break: Trogdor anyone?
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Los Angeles. We travel around, privy to a spectacular view of the coastline. We travel inshore to LAX then along Sepulveda Boulevard.
Music: When I Die by New Found Glory
Meagan (voice over): Redondo Beach. Not where I was born. Probably an okay place to grow up, but not where it happened for me.
(cut to): a nice house near the pier.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: Nope. I think that happened in a single moment.
(cut to): a girl’s bedroom. Meagan, now seventeen years old and almost unrecognizable, sits on her bed, holding a picture frame. Her skirt is short, her hair is long and her make-up is excessive. Any baby fat is gone from her body. She has, in fact, grown up. One piece of memorabilia from her childhood remains, a friendship bracelet on her left wrist. It is pink, purple and green and holds an M & M charm: Mark’s twelfth birthday gift to her. We pan around to see the picture she is holding. It’s an old one of Meagan, Finn and Johanna. Before.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: When we found her, I instantly became who I am today. A little sad. A little lonely. A lot apathetic.
There is a knock at the bedroom door. After barely a pause, the door opens and Danny Grant enters.
Meagan: Dad…do you have to barge in like that?
She gets up, approaching him.
Danny: Mom wanted me to let you know dinner is ready.
She rolls her eyes and takes hold of the door.
Meagan: I’ll be right there.
Danny smiles. Meagan closes the door.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: He made me call her mom from the moment he married her. Every time I did it, I felt a little nauseous so I just stopped calling her anything. I think it suited all of us. They didn’t want a kid…and they virtually never got one. I didn’t want to be here, and in most ways, I haven’t been.
Meagan sets the picture on her bedside table.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: Like a ghost of myself, I’ve bumbled around, unaware of my unfinished business. Until now.
The door opens this time without a knock this time.
Meagan: Dad, I—
She stops when she sees a girl of about her age enter the room, carrying a large suitcase. The girl has a tan complexion and dark hair. She contrasts Meagan’s overdone-ness with her subtle beauty.
Meagan cont’d: Hey, Sophie, your timing sucks. We’re just about to—
Sophie: Your dad invited me to dinner.
Meagan: Oh…lucky you.
Sophie places the suitcase on Meagan’s bed and opens it.
Sophie: You know, your parents aren’t as bad as you think.
Sophie cont’d: Seriously, I don’t know why you’re planning this elaborate scam.
Meagan: And yet, here you are helping me.
Sophie smiles, shrugs then pulls out some items from the suitcase, including a small digital video camera and stand, but the most noticeable is a flesh-colored, bulky object.
Meagan: Is that it?
She reaches for it.
Sophie: Hang on.
Sophie sets up the stand and camera. She swivels it over to point at Meagan.
Sophie: Okay, ask again.
Sophie: Just do it.
Meagan: Is that it?
Sophie: The most integral part of my costume from Twelfth Night.
Meagan takes it in her hands and pulls it on.
Meagan: Am I going to look fat?
Sophie: More like…flat.
Meagan tilts her head. Sophie tosses her a black t-shirt from the suitcase.
Sophie cont’d: If my brother finds out I stole all his high school clothes…he’d kill me.
Meagan holds up the t-shirt.
Meagan: Marilyn Manson? Mr. Law School was into Marilyn Manson?
Meagan pulls on the shirt. She looks about ten pounds heavier, but all her curves are successfully hidden.
Sophie: He went through a phase.
Sophie laughs and tosses over a pair of black bondage pants. Meagan pulls them on over her skirt with no problem.
Meagan: Do you think this will work?
Meagan stands in front of a full-length mirror on the back of her closet door. Sophie shrugs and stands behind her in the mirror.
Sophie: Beats me, but…at least you’ll have me around for moral support.
Meagan: Yeah…except we don’t know each other, okay? If I get busted, I don’t want to take you down with me. I really doubt NYU film school would still accept you with fraud on your record.
Sophie: Maybe not, but with one of the premiere prep schools on my transcript and a kickass documentary in the can…
Meagan: You’ll be a shoe in.
A beat as they both inspect Meagan in the mirror.
Meagan: So here we go.
Sophie: Next Stop: Rawley Academy.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: Rawley Academy. My unfinished business. A confrontation with the man who sent me away from the only real family I’ve ever been a part of. The man who never called or wrote. The man I miss more than anyone in the world. The man I never called my “dad.” The only man who ever really was.
Commercial Break: Want to read a secret? PostSecret now. You’ll enjoy it.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley Academy, night.
(cut to): the former dean’s house.
(cut to): a closer shot that reads “Faculty House.”
(cut to): the kitchen. Will, Hamilton and Jacqueline sit around the table drinking coffee.
Music: Familiar Landscapes by New Found Glory
Hamilton: The remodel on this place is awesome. My dad would have never given up his house so that he could hire more twenty-four hour faculty. And, putting himself up in the apartment? Never.
Jacqueline: Finn is pretty special.
Will and Hamilton agree. A beat.
Will: It’s nice to be back here, isn’t it?
Hamilton and Jacqueline nod.
Will: I wasn’t sure about it. When Finn first brought it up to me, I was trying to get into grad school so I could get my phD.
Hamilton: You’re not going to now?
Will: Well, I figure if I work here for a few years, I’ll get to work with my mentor while also saving up plenty of money to pay for grad school.
Jacqueline: Makes sense.
Hamilton: We just came back because neither of us had a job.
Finn: Interesting story, Mr. Fleming, but I saw your work in that gallery. You had plenty of other career options.
They all look up as Finn enters the kitchen and pulls up the chair.
Finn: As did you, Ms. Pratt. And you, Mr. Krudski.
He smiles at them.
Finn cont’d: Yet, you chose to come here. I appreciate that. You’re just the kind of staff this school needs to challenge the young minds that begin arriving tomorrow. You’re part of what was missing last year. Now, we’re getting closer to the vision.
They all nod, motivated by the mini-speech.
Finn cont’d: The future rests on your shoulders. No pressure.
They all laugh.
Finn cont’d: Anyway, has everyone gotten settled in here?
Hamilton: Yep. We’re all unpacked into our individual rooms.
He glances at Jacqueline with a roll of his eyes. She smiles.
Finn stands up.
Finn cont’d: You of all people should know how important it is to keep up appearances.
Hamilton nods, defeated.
He starts to walk out, but thinks of one more thing:
Finn cont’d: Oh, and Mark Hudson will be here this year.
Hamilton and Jacqueline look at each other. Hamilton is confused.
Will: Seriously? That’s excellent.
Finn: He’s a great kid. He just needs constant encouragement. Obviously, he’ll be in your senior English class, Will. And, if I remember correctly, he’s signed up for Photography.
Hamilton: I’ll keep an eye out for him.
Finn: I suspect he’ll connect with you the most. You’re laid-back. He’ll like that. And he’s looking forward to the class. Keep that in mind, okay?
Finn: Thanks, guys. See you tomorrow.
They all bid him goodnight. When he’s gone:
Hamilton: Okay, remind me. Mark Hudson?
Jacqueline: That little boy. Meagan’s friend. His older brother was a jerk.
Will: Finn and Johanna were basically taking care of him until…
Hamilton and Jacqueline nod.
Hamilton: Okay. I totally remember him. He was a little genius like Meagan.
Jacqueline: Whatever happened to her, Will?
Will: I guess she went to live with her dad. Finn’s never mentioned her. Sean said he emailed her a few times, but never got a response.
Jacqueline: Well, hopefully wherever she is, she’s happy.
They all agree.
(dissolve to): an establishing shot of Rawley Academy, the next day.
(cut to): the Rawley boys’ dorm.
(cut to): a dorm room inside the building: Jake’s old room. A black duffle bag sits on the bed. At a desk, a boy named Grant, sits with his feet up on the desk, looking out the window. We see only the back of him and that he has headphones on which lead to a small mp3 player lying on the desk. The headphones dishevel his ear-length, dyed-black hair. He is wearing baggy jeans, a black t-shirt with a white, long-sleeved underneath and clunky black boots. Behind him, the door opens, but he doesn’t hear.
(cut to): the door. A boy of about seventeen, Mark, walks in. He is the antithesis of Grant. His sand-colored hair is cut short. He is wearing khaki cargo shorts and a white t-shirt. He walks in carrying a blue suitcase. He tilts his head to take in this stranger.
Music: Coming Home by New Found Glory
Grant doesn’t respond.
Mark (loud): Hey!
Grant casually swivels his head around. His eyebrow and lip are pierced. His hair falls down across his forehead and in his eyes. His features are slight, but not unattractive. When he sees Mark, he slowly removes his headphones. He looks at him carefully, sizing him up. As “he” does this, we recognize the Manson shirt. We also notice that “Grant” is none other than Meagan in disguise. Mark, though, does not recognize her. And, it seems, she does not recognize him either.
Grant: Can I help you?
Mark seems perplexed by the question and the person sitting in front of him. Grant waits, but Mark says nothing. Grant shrugs and starts to put her headphones back on.
Mark: Wait, wait. Sorry. Um…
Mark struggles for words.
Mark: It’s just that you’re not exactly what I expected. You know, for a Rawley Guy.
Grant: I don’t exactly see you in a blue blazer and khakis.
Mark: Well…I’m no Rawley Guy.
Grant raises her eyebrows.
Mark: I’m a poor kid. You know, from town. A “townie.”
Grant still appears perplexed.
Mark: Think scholarship.
Grant: Ah. How charming.
Mark: Yeah, and the funny thing is…I wasn’t even supposed to be here. The guy that won the scholarship declined. He got a full ride to Exeter.
Grant: So, then, you’re not Seth Winterbourne.
Mark: Nope. The name’s Mark. Mark Hudson.
Grant falters slightly at the name. She reassess Mark and pushes at her wrist, sliding up the partially revealed bracelet.
Grant: I’m Grant Morgan.
Mark nods, closing the door and easing over to the empty bed. He sets his bag down then sits down himself.
Mark: Grant, huh?
Mark nods, smiling nostalgically.
Mark: It was just the name of someone who was special to me, that’s all.
Grant wants to hear more, but tries to maintain her cool.
Grant: Who was he? You’re dead grandpa?
Mark: She was…a friend. It was her last name. And she’s not dead…just out of touch.
Grant nods, trying to look sympathetic, but unable to hide a shy smile. A beat.
Grant: So, what were you? First runner up?
Grant: For the scholarship. Did you come in second?
Mark: Yeah, basically. Finn, Dean Finn I should say, this is the second year he made me take that damn test. Last year I was also, like you said, first runner up.
Grant: What a coincidence…or was it?
Mark laughs, narrowing his eyes in disbelief at Grant’s astuteness.
Mark: You’re good. No coincidence. There are one hundred questions on the test. The most anyone’s ever gotten right is ninety so I tried to stay in the seventy to eighty range. It’s believable, but it shouldn’t win top prize.
Grant: Until now.
Grant: But you don’t want to be here?
Mark: Not really, but…I don’t want to disappoint Finn.
Grant: And, how do you know the dean, townie?
Mark: These crazy circumstances threw us together years ago. He was a teacher here long before he got the dean job last year. That part of the story’s too long to tell right now, but it ended with him going to Boston for three years.
Grant: Sounds scandalous.
Mark: I guess so, but it wasn’t. It was mostly just sad.
Grant nods, understanding all too well.
Mark cont’d: Anyway, when Fleming left and Finn got the dean job last summer, he found me, picked me up and took me to the test. He didn’t really ask.
Mark shrugs and looks around.
Mark cont’d: It’s not really my scene, but now that I’m here I guess I’ll make the most of it.
Grant: Is that the type of person you are? Make lemonade out of lemons? That sort of thing?
Mark smiles and shrugs.
Mark: When you’ve been through what I’ve been through…it’s the only philosophy that keeps you sane.
Grant looks like she wants to ask more, but doesn’t. A slight beat.
Mark: You’re really easy to talk to, you know that?
Grant: You talk really easily.
Mark: I guess so...not normally, though. I don’t usually have anyone to talk to, I guess.
Grant is saddened by this.
Mark cont’d: But, hey, looks like now I have you.
Mark seems surprised by this instant connection. They smile at each other until it becomes awkward. Mark hops up and starts to unpack. Grant watches him a moment, scrutinizing his features and appearance. Grant then puts his headphones back on and turns back to the window.
(cut to): the girls’ dorm.
Music: High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup
(cut to): Jill’s old dorm room. Sophie is there, putting sheets on her bed. The door opens and a girl, Tyne Carter, walks in. She is African-American, medium height and has ear-length dreadlocks pushed out of her face with a headband.
Sophie: Hi. Tyne?
Tyne: Yeah. Sophie, right?
Tyne: Where are you from?
Sophie: Torrance. It’s really not that impressive. What about you?
Tyne: Here. Well, Boston originally. My dad moved us here so my brother and I could go to this school and still be close to home.
Sophie: Cool. My dad sent me here to get me away from home.
Tyne: Well, at least he didn’t drop you in Antarctica or something. I mean, as far as places to be shipped off to, this ranks pretty high, you know?
Sophie: Yeah. I like your perspective.
A beat as Tyne puts her stuff on the other bed.
Tyne: Do you know anyone here already? Girls’or Boys’?
Sophie pauses as if to consider the question.
Sophie: Nope. I don’t know anyone here except you.
Commercial Break: Have you checked FanForum lately? The Fan Fiction board has been archived, but the Young Americans board is still going strong. Check it out!
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley Academy.
Music: Race Cars and Goth Rock by Butch Walker
(cut to): a long shot of the quad. A class is taking place. Students sit around and look up at their teacher.
(cut to): a closer shot of the teacher, Will Krudski.
Will: Welcome to American Literature.
We pan around to see Grant and Mark sitting next to each other. Tyne sits nearby, eyeing them. Sophie is next to her. Fifteen others sit around them.
Will cont’d: This year, we will be studying the all-stars: Twain, Hemingway, Salinger, Hurston—
Tyne: As in Zora Neal?
Will: None other, Ms. Carter. Are you familiar?
Tyne: Their Eyes Were Watching God. Of course, I’m familiar.
Grant: Wasn’t she also an anthropologist?
Mark looks over at Grant, impressed and curious.
Will: A filmmaker, too. Brilliant woman.
Will clears his throat.
Will cont’d: We will also study my personal favorite…any guesses?
Mark: Probably Faulkner.
Will: And why is that?
Mark: His take on the lower-class is almost too good, to the point of being pompous or something. Seems like the kind of thing a teacher would like.
(cut to): a close shot of Grant. This statement seems to affect her. She looks away, sadly.
Will: At any rate, Faulkner is on the list. In fact, let me give you that list now so you can start stocking up.
Will opens up a briefcase, pulls out some papers and begins passing them out.
(dissolve to): an hour later as class is dismissed. Several students linger, chatting privately. Grant lingers alone on the peripheral. Tyne and Sophie are chatting also. Tyne keeps edging toward Grant. Will is talking with Mark.
Will: It is so great to see you here, Mark.
Mark: Thanks, Will…I mean, Mr. Krudski. It’s so weird getting used to all the formalities of this place. Dean Finn.
Mark laughs and shakes his head.
Mark cont’d: I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that.
Will: Yeah, but thank God Steven Fleming took that university job in Florida. Otherwise, I doubt either of us would be here.
Mark nods, though not too enthusiastically. Will narrows his eyes.
Will cont’d: You shouldn’t be intimidated Mark. You’re probably the smartest kid in this whole school.
Mark: Yeah, but…
Mark cont’d: I was settled into my life, you know? And…I left Charlie to take care of the garage all alone. I feel so bad about that. He took me in with no questions asked—
Will: I’m sure he needed the help after Bella and Grace went off to college.
Mark: Yeah, but he could have managed—
Will: And I’m sure he can manage now.
Mark: Mostly, I just hope he doesn’t get lonely. He’s such a good guy. He’s the kind of man I only wish my dad or brother could have been, but you know where they ended up.
Will: At least they can’t hurt anyone else…especially you. You should think of it as a good thing.
Mark: You’ve never had to testify against your family in a federal court case.
A beat as Will considers this.
Will: Maybe you can put all that behind you here.
Mark: Been trying for, like, four years now…
Will cont’d: Have you found anything you like?
Mark nods, smiling.
Mark: Actually, there are plenty of cool things here. For example, your class seems pretty cool. I’m also in photography which I would never be able to take at Edmund.
Will: Photography, huh? I hear the teacher is pretty good.
Mark nods with a chuckle.
Will cont’d: How about your roommate?
He nods over to Grant. By now, Tyne and Sophie have made their way over.
Mark: You know, I know he looks like a little bit of a freak, but actually, he’s really cool.
Will cont’d: Looks like Tyne’s going in for the kill.
Mark: Maybe she’s into that whole early nineties grunge look.
Will: The new girl looks nice. Sophie Garcia.
Mark glances over and shrugs.
Will: Why don’t you go see?
Mark: Okay. See you later, W—Mr.—
Will: No Mr. is necessary.
Mark smiles, waves goodbye and joins his peers.
(cut to): Tyne, Sophie and Grant.
Music: The Boy’s Gone by Jason Mraz
Tyne: This is my roommate Sophie. Apparently, she’s shy.
Sophie smiles, reaching a hand out to Grant. Grant shakes.
Grant: Nice to meet you.
Sophie: Yeah…you too.
Sophie shakes her head, amused at this charade. Tyne mistakes this for flirting.
Tyne: So those piercings are crazy. Did they hurt?
Grant: Not too bad.
Sophie, now an observer, stifles a giggle. Grant gives her a dirty look.
Tyne: I’m thinking about getting my tongue pierced. My dad would have a fit.
Mark joins the group.
Mark: Your dad has a fit when you go under then over with your shoe laces…
Tyne: Hudson, you always say the dumbest stuff…
Mark smiles at her.
Grant (realizing): You two know each other.
Tyne: You could say that.
She tosses Mark an amused smile. Sophie rolls her eyes.
Mark: We used to…I mean…We met at the garage where I used to work…
Tyne: What he’s trying to say is that we went out for about five minutes until we realized that we’d rather play basketball than kiss each other. So now we’re friends.
Mark: Except Tyne always acts like she doesn’t know me when she’s hitting on guys.
Tyne: Or when I’m getting ready to introduce you to beautiful girls.
Tyne nods over to Sophie. Grant shifts slightly, a little jealous.
Tyne: This is my roommate, Sophie Garcia.
Mark: Mark Hudson. Nice to meet you.
Grant: He’s my roommate.
Sophie tilts her head, looking at her friend carefully.
Grant folds her arms cautiously. Sophie raises her eyebrows. Grant sees this, but shakes it off.
Mark: Anyway, did you want me to let you get back to hitting on my roommate?
Tyne: I’m not hitting on him. You know my infatuation with piercings at the moment.
She points at Grant’s lip.
Tyne cont’d: That is cool.
Mark: You and your fad fetishes. Last week, wasn’t it faux hawks?
Sophie: Those are pretty hot.
Mark and Grant laugh.
Tyne cont’d: Anyway, we’ve got to go, but we’ll catch you guys later.
Grant: Nice to meet you.
Tyne: Right back at you. Bye, bye.
She waves then walks away, followed by Sophie. Mark and Grant start to walk toward the dorm.
Grant: They seemed nice.
Mark: Yeah. Tyne is awesome, by the way. And, seriously, if you’re interested, don’t worry about me. We have absolutely zero physical chemistry.
Grant: I’m not…interested. I mean, she seems like a great girl and everything…
Mark: Oh, she is.
Grant: She’s just…not my type.
Grant looks at Mark sideways. Mark nods absently.
Mark: I get it. You’re into Sophie.
Grant: Sophie? No, no…she’s…not my type either.
Mark cont’d: So, hey, I’m starving. Lunch?
Grant: Totally. Let’s go.
They walk off together.
(cut to): the cafeteria as Mark and Grant leave.
Mark: I’ve got to go back to the dorm to trade out books. You?
Grant: I’m good. I think I’ll head on over to computer science.
Mark: Oh, yeah, I heard the lady teaching that is really nice. Hot, too.
Grant nods uncomfortable, plastering on a fake smile.
Mark cont’d: Tell her Mark says hi.
Grant narrows her eyes.
Grant: Did you, like, have an affair with her or something?
Mark: I met her a few days ago. Finn took me around to meet all the faculty worth meeting.
Grant nods, glancing around.
Mark: You okay?
I just…better get to class.
Mark doesn’t get it, but smiles.
Mark: Okay. See you later.
They part ways, walking in opposite directions.
Commercial Break: Got a question? Wikipedia it.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley Academy.
(cut to): a shot of a Rawley Hallway.
Music: You and I Both by Jason Mraz
(cut to): a door in this hallway labeled “Dean Finn.” Grant walks up to it. She looks at it for a moment then turns away. The door opens before she can escape. Finn exits.
Finn: Hi there.
Grant freezes then turns around slowly.
Finn: Were you looking for me?
She tosses her head back presumably in an attempt to clear some of her hair out of her eyes, but in the process even more ends up over her forehead and in her eyes.
Grant: Oh, well, not really. I mean, I wanted to introduce myself, but…I didn’t want to bother you.
Finn: Never a bother.
Grant: I’m Grant Morgan.
She waits for recognition, but there is none.
Finn: I’m Finn. No Dean necessary.
Grant nods and holds out his hand. Finn shakes, checking out Grant’s unique look.
Finn cont’d: I like nonconformity. It’s rare around here.
A little boy walks out of the office behind Finn. Grant’s jaw drops a little.
Finn cont’d: Hey, Jace, did you find your car?
A five-year-old Jacey pulls a toy car out of his pocket and holds it up. He hangs behind Finn, looking up at Grant.
Finn: This is my son, Jacey.
Jacey: I’m five.
Jacey steps out from behind Finn and looks at Grant more carefully.
Jacey: Do I know you?
Grant’s eyes widen a little, but she maintains her composure. She laughs it off. Finn, though, is looking a little closer.
Finn: Actually, I get that feeling, too. You’re not from Boston, are you?
A beat as Finn looks Grant over.
Grant: Well, I should be going.
Finn: Okay, Grant. It was nice to meet you.
Grant: You too. And, nice to meet you, Jacey.
Jacey: Nice to meet you.
Finn: See you around. Stop by anytime.
Finn takes Jacey’s hand and leads him away. Jacey looks over his shoulder at Grant. When they are completely gone, Grant leans back against a nearby wall and exhales.
(cut to): Tyne and Sophie’s room.
Tyne and Sophie sit on their respective beds.
Tyne: Okay, how hot was that Grant guy?
Sophie: I’m not really into the…uh…goth thing.
Tyne: Well, if you like blue-collar smart guys, you should ask Mark out.
Sophie: Sounds more like my type, but…I don’t know…
Tyne: Trust your instincts. I mean, we joke about having no chemistry, but…he was somewhere else. He is somewhere else. It’s something I can’t put my finger on exactly.
Sophie considers this, but has no answer.
Sophie: Anyway, I have photography in a few.
Tyne: Ick. I get enough of that working at my dad’s store. It’s a One-Hour Photo.
Tyne: Oh, yeah…and there are new developments all the time.
They both laugh.
Tyne cont’d: Anyway. I’ve got computer science so…I’ll catch up with you later.
Sophie: See ya.
They walk off in opposite directions.
(cut to): a computer lab, fully equipped. Jacqueline Pratt is sitting at a computer at the front of the room using a computer that is hooked up to a projector which projects onto a large screen. She is wearing a black pinstriped suit which she has accessorized with black converse sneakers. She is typing various passwords into a box when the door begins to open. She quickly hits a hot key and this screen is replaced by a standard desktop. The door opens and Grant walks in.
Music: I’ll Do Anything by Jason Mraz
Jacqueline: You’re early.
Grant: Yeah. Had to get out of an awkward conversation. Hope you don’t mind.
Jacqueline: Always glad to be a scapegoat.
Grant: Oh, Mark says, “hi.”
Jacqueline: Mark…what a sweetheart.
Grant (genuine): Yeah.
She shakes her head, getting a grip.
Grant: Uh, he’s my roommate.
Jacqueline takes a moment to examine Grant’s appearance. Grant, whose head is down, notices Jacqueline’s shoes.
Grant: Cute shoes.
Jacqueline: Thanks. I like your boots, too. Nice touch.
Grant looks up at her, searching for meaning in her words. The door opens and a few more students enter. Jacqueline and Grant look at one another, Jacqueline inquisitive, but they are forced to end the conversation. Grant tosses her a nod and heads for a computer station. The other students do the same. As Tyne enters and sees Grant, she makes her way to an adjacent, empty station. Jacqueline goes back to her own computer.
(cut to): the art room. Hamilton Fleming, dressed in black slacks, a dress shirt and tie is writing his name on the chalk board: “Mr. Fleming.” Mark enters, pausing to watch. Hamilton turns around.
Hamilton: Oh, hey.
Mark: Mr. Fleming.
Hamilton smiles, a little embarrassed.
Hamilton: I’m glad you ended up taking my class. It’ll be nice to have a known ally out there.
Mark: I didn’t sign up out of pity. I’m genuinely interested in photography and I’ve seen some of your work up around campus. I think I could learn a lot from you.
Hamilton smiles, complimented.
A beat. Hamilton straightens his tie and fidgets a moment.
Hamilton: Do I look nervous?
Mark: A little. Are you?
Hamilton nods reluctantly.
Hamilton: I student taught for a semester in college…sixth graders. They were nice, but…high schoolers. I remember being in high school. We were not kind to incompetent teachers. What if I’m now the incompetent teacher?
Mark cont’d: First of all, you’re not incompetent. Finn wouldn’t have hired you if you were. And, as far as being nervous? Well, we “high schoolers” understand that kind of stuff. We won’t hold it against you. Just…don’t be fake. That kind of stuff we hate.
Hamilton smiles, actually put at ease. A beat.
Mark cont’d: Do you play basketball?
Hamilton: Do I play? Well, I’ve always enjoyed trying. Still do.
Mark: Want to play sometime? Maybe you and Will can take on my roommate and me.
Hamilton: Yeah? Is he some kind of serious baller?
Mark: Grant? No, he’s a pale, pierced goth kid, but I think you and Will could use the advantage.
Hamilton: Maybe we’ll take you up on that some day.
Mark: Meanwhile, if you ever want some conditioning, let me know. I’ve loved basketball since the eighth grade and I’ve yet to find anyone willing to play with me on a regular basis.
Hamilton is sympathetic.
Hamilton: How about tomorrow after class? A little one-on-one?
Mark: Seriously? Yeah, that’d be awesome.
Other kids enter the room now so Mark and Hamilton go off in separate directions. Sophie sees Mark and waves. Mark waves her over as he takes a seat. She smiles and walks over.
(dissolve to): the quad after classes. Student move about engaged in various conversations and activities. Finn and Jacey play Frisbee.
(cut to): across the quad where Mark and Grant meet up.
Music: Half Right by Jimmy Eat World
Mark: How was your class?
Grant: Awesome. Ms. Pratt was an excellent teacher. Oh and Tyne was in there. She sat next to me and she kept sending me ims. She’s pretty hilarious.
Mark quells what may be a moment of jealousy, but about what, even he isn’t sure.
Grant: How was photography?
Mark: Awesome. We get our cameras next time. Gotta love $300 lab fees that I don’t have to pay…
Mark cont’d: Plus that hot girl, Sophie, was in there.
Grant nods, a momentary flash of her own jealousy pushed aside. Mark notices Finn and Jacey.
Mark: Hey, there’s Finn. Let’s go over.
Grant: Oh, uh…
Grant searches for an excuse, but finds none.
Grant cont’d: Okay.
Mark leads the way with a reluctant Grant following behind.
(cut to): Finn and Jacey. Jacey looks up at the approach of the boys.
Music: The Heart of Life by John Mayer
He runs over to Mark and gives him a hug. Mark smiles, picking him up and carrying him as he makes his way to Finn. Grant looks on, jealous of the intimacy that the others seem to share.
Finn: How was the first day?
Mark: Pretty good, actually.
Finn: You sound surprised.
Mark looks guilty. Finn smiles and pats him on the back, glancing over at Grant.
Mark: Oh, hey, this is my roommate, Grant Morgan.
Finn: We met earlier.
He looks at Grant curiously, but doesn’t say anything. Jacey tosses Grant a friendly smile and a wave. Grant returns the smile. Mark sets Jacey down and turns to Finn to further their conversation. We stay with Grant as Jacey approaches her.
Grant: Hello again.
Jacey: Where do I know you from?
Grant: We met earlier today.
Jacey tosses his head back.
Jacey: Geeeeeez. I’m not a dummy.
He laughs, shaking his head.
Jacey cont’d: I mean I know you from before.
Grant shrugs, looking inquisitive about the possible recognition.
Grant: Maybe I just remind you of someone.
Jacey: Yeah, but it’s not how you look. It’s just…who you are. Who are you?
Grant: Do you want to play Frisbee?
Jacey: Okay, but I know you’re changing the subject on purpose.
Grant: I like you.
Jacey smiles a silly grin then runs off with the Frisbee, tossing it to Grant.
(cut to): Mark and Finn who stand off to the side, watching.
Finn: I swear I know him from somewhere.
Mark: You get that feeling, too?
Finn: Does he have an older sibling that went here?
Mark: Said he only has a little brother.
Finn exhales, contemplating it, but can’t come up with anything.
Commercial Break: Nothing on Wikipedia? Google it.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of the girls’ dorm.
Music: I Believe She’s Lying by Jon Brion
(cut to): Tyne and Sophie’s dorm room. Sophie and Grant are there, but Grant has shed a few layers. Her pants are the same, but for a top, she only has a tank. Her wig is removed and her long hair falls on her shoulders. Truly, she is Meagan to us now. She sits on Sophie’s bed while Sophie has a desk chair.
Meagan: I got to play with my little brother today, Sofe.
Sophie: Did you have fun?
Meagan: I can’t believe I’ve missed out on five years of his life. He’s so cute…and totally smart.
Sophie: I’d say it runs in the family, but I have my doubts.
She gives Meagan a lift of her eyebrows. Meagan concedes with a smile.
Sophie cont’d: And what’s up with you and your roommate? Is this Mark as in The Mark?
Sophie cont’d: You didn’t tell me you were going to room with him. You didn’t even tell me he went here.
Meagan: I didn’t know. My roommate showed up and…it was him.
Sophie: Okay, that’s just freaky. It’s like he’s destined to be with you.
Meagan: Except I’m not me. I’m someone I invented so I could see Finn again…only I freeze every time I see him. And as far as Mark…to him, I’m just his weirdo goth roommate.
Sophie narrows her eyes in disbelief.
Sophie: I don’t know. He seemed a little jealous when Tyne was hitting on you today.
Meagan: Oh, he was not. And…she was not hitting on me.
Sophie: Was so. She totally has a thing for “Grant.”
Meagan looks at Sophie with a wince.
Meagan: So many aspects of this are snowballing out of control.
She puts her face in her hands. Sophie gets up and sits next to her.
Sophie: But it’s worth it, right? You got Frisbee with Jacey. Proximity to your step-dad. And your roommate is the boy you formerly loved.
Meagan looks up at this.
Sophie: Or maybe still do?
Meagan looks at her incredulously.
Meagan: That’s not why I’m here.
Sophie: You’re such an avoider.
She smiles, shaking her head at her hopeless friend.
Sophie cont’d: I guess you should probably get lost in a few. Tyne is only working at the One-Hour Photo until five. If she finds you here, she’ll either be inquisitive or jealous.
Meagan rolls her eyes and reaches for the pile of clothes next to her.
(cut to): The One-Hour Photo.
Music: Don’t Use My Broken Heart by Leona Naess
(cut to): inside. Tyne is closing down the cash register. There is a knock at the door. She looks up. Mark is standing on the other side of the glass.
(cut to): a few minutes later as Mark sits on the counter, chatting with Tyne.
Mark: You know, I always thought Rawley would suck. I mean you watch these rich assholes your whole life, hating them for what they have…really, what you don’t have. Then…there you are with them, as an equal. I really feel like that.
Tyne: That’s because you are an equal. Hell, you’re better than anyone at that school, Mark. You have to know that.
Mark: Except Grant, right?
Tyne: Yeah, I don’t know about that. I mean, I dig the gear, but as for the guy…something seems missing.
Mark: Oh. Because he told me you were flirting him up on im in comp sci so I thought maybe you…you know.
Tyne: I enjoy how you pretend to be jealous. It’s nice. Really.
Mark doesn’t get it.
Mark: Seriously, that’s why I stopped by. See if you wanted me to work on him a little for you. Put in a good word?
Tyne: No thanks. I get the same vibe from him that I do from you.
Mark: And what vibe is that?
Tyne: Dunno. Nothing I can articulate. I’m working on it, though.
Mark: Well, please let me know if you figure it out.
Tyne: Will do.
She smiles and walks off to complete some other task.
(cut to): the former dean’s house, later.
Music: How Sweet by Leona Naess
(cut to): a common office area. Jacqueline sits at a laptop, working diligently. Hamilton stares blankly at a computer screen.
Hamilton: It is impossible to write lesson plans for photography. I mean, it either has to be extremely vague or entirely too specific. I don’t know which way to go.
Jacqueline looks over, smiling.
Jacqueline: Shall we take a break?
Hamilton smiles, relieved. She smiles back. He doesn’t look away.
Hamilton: I love you, Jake.
Jacqueline: Ditto, Hammie.
A beat as Hamilton wrinkles his nose at the nickname while also adoring it.
Hamilton: I love my classes, too…despite this whole lesson plan thing.
Jacqueline:: So, teaching art wasn’t as bad as you thought?
Hamilton: No. Actually, it was pretty great. Photography was my favorite, though. Oh, and, Finn was right about Mark. He wants to play basketball sometime.
Jacqueline: His roommate is in one of my computer science classes.
Hamilton: What was he like?
Jacqueline: Ask me again in a few days. I’m reserving judgment.
Hamilton doesn’t get it, but doesn’t press it.
Hamilton: Anyway, why am I bringing up work when I’ve got the hottest woman in the world sitting across from me?
He slides the rolling chair he is in over to Jacqueline. He runs a hand from her knee, upward. She smiles, leaning toward him for a kiss.
(cut to): a shot through the outside of the window, Jacqueline and Hamilton are even more involved with their kiss.
(cut to): Finn’s apartment. He and Jacey sit at the dining room table eating dinner.
Jacey: Hey, Dad?
Jacey: Remember how you said that my mom had eyes that made you feel special every time she looked at you?
Jacey: I think I know what you mean now.
Finn: Oh, yeah?
Jacey: Yeah. The boy that dresses weird. His eyes are like that.
Finn tilts his head, considering Jacey’s comment, thinking it an odd comment, but not entirely inaccurate.
Commercial Break: Enjoy Peter Pan peanut butter? Check your label. If the code starts with 2111, it might be contaminated. You can turn in the lid for a refund or exchange.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of the dorms, night.
Music: Mr. Curiosity by Jason Mraz
(cut to): Grant and Mark’s room. Everything is set up. Both beds are made. Books and clothes lay about. There is a laptop on Grant’s desk as well as a stereo on her dresser. Mark has neither of these things. Grant is alone in the room with music turned up loud. She is sitting at her desk, about to turn on her laptop when Mark enters wearing just boxers and carrying a towel. Clearly, he is fresh from a shower. Mark walks over, turns down the stereo and plops down on Grant’s bed.
Grant doesn’t respond to this. Instead:
Grant: Dude…One: why are you naked? And two: why are you on my bed?
Mark: One: I just took a shower, obviously, and two: Does it really bother you?
Grant considers this question while scanning Mark’s only partially-clothed body.
Mark cont’d: I meant…does it bother you that I’m on your bed…not that I’m…because I mean…
With a hint of a smile, Grant ends his suffering.
Grant: I know what you meant, and I guess I don’t really care.
Mark nods, happy with this answer, though a little uncomfortable. He grabs Grant’s pillow and lays down on his stomach, facing Grant. He props his chin up on Grant’s pillow. Grant just cringes and shakes her head.
Mark: Okay, so I was looking through my photography syllabus earlier and…this class is going to be awesome.
Grant: Who’s the teacher again?
Mark: Mr. Fleming.
Grant: Fleming as in former Dean Fleming?
Mark: His son. Except, he’s nothing like his dad. He’s hip and…I don’t know, I’ve always had this fascination with photography, you know, since I was a kid, but—
Grant: Since when?
Mark: Since…I was a kid. That’s what I just—
Grant: No, I mean…do you remember what made you like it?
Mark: I don’t know. Who cares?
Grant: I do. That’s why I asked. People have all these passions, but they hardly ever know why. I was just wondering if you did.
Mark thinks about it.
Mark: Okay. The summer before seventh grade, my friend and I went around taking all these pictures with a disposable camera.
Grant smiles at this.
Grant: Pictures of what?
Mark: Nothing important, but when we looked at them, they were so beautiful and so was that time in my life…and all the emotions I felt that summer. I just saw it in those pictures, you know? I still do. And, I wanted to be able to do that all the time…except I never had the cash to buy a good camera…and as time went by, I didn’t have any emotions that I wanted to capture…
Grant looks disturbed by this.
Mark cont’d: Don’t worry, I’m not, like, suicidal or anything. There’s just something missing, that’s all. Something that’s been missing for awhile now. I’m used to it.
Grant: Yeah…I know what you mean.
They share a look for a moment. They get each other.
Mark: You know, you let me talk…and talk…
Grant: And talk…
Mark: Yeah, but…I’m a good listener, too.
Grant nods. Mark waits. Grant chuckles.
Grant: Okay…I’m assuming you’re looking for a little insight here. Something beyond what we’ve covered in the tens of surface conversations that we’ve had over the past week.
Grant takes a deep breath and works up to talking.
Grant: I lost everything worthwhile, too. And…I’m not supposed to be here either.
Mark narrows his eyes.
Grant cont’d: My dad paid for tuition…at a totally different school. I got it refunded and used it to come here.
Mark is shocked.
Mark cont’d: How?
Grant: I hacked into their system. Changed the account number so when they refunded it, it actually credited a totally different account. Mine.
Mark: Oh my God. That’s so…Firewall.
Grant: But I got into Rawley legitimately.
She considers this.
Grant cont’d: For the most part.
Mark: So…does your dad know yet?
Grant: Not that I know of.
Mark: If he did find out, couldn’t he just trace the account numbers back to you?
Grant: Right. Like I’m that stupid.
Mark cont’d: Why Rawley?
Grant: It’s about as far away as I could get. Plus, I hear it looks good on a college application.
Mark: No wonder you don’t talk much. I had no idea you were using your Fifth Amendment rights.
Grant: It’s really no big deal. I doubt my dad will ever find out. He called my cell phone the other day to see how I liked my new school.
Mark: Wow. Parents are clueless.
Mark: Mine are in prison.
Grant is genuinely surprised by this.
Mark: My dad was in jail since I was six. He got out on good behavior when I was fourteen and he and my older brother cooked up this plan to rob a bank. My mom agreed to drive the getaway car.
Grant: Are you serious?
Grant: And they got caught?
Mark: No, surprisingly enough, they got away.
Grant: So…how’d they end up in prison?
Mark: They did it two more times in two different states. It became a federal case. It was all over the news.
Grant: And you knew?
Mark: Yep. Can you imagine? Being fourteen and…you’re the most rational person in the house. I begged them not to do it again. I told them I’d tell.
Grant listens intently. Mark pauses. He speaks with averted eyes:
Mark cont’d: Has anyone ever held a gun to your head?
Grant is surprised by the question.
Mark: Well, when it’s your own brother, it makes quite the impression on you.
Grant’s manner has changed. Instead of cool and disinterested, she is on the edge of her seat, very interested in what Mark has to say.
Grant: Oh my God, Mark…
Mark: If you think that was scary…imagine how scary it was to call the FBI hotline and tell them your family was gone to rob yet another bank…and how scary it would be to think of what would happen if they didn’t get caught…
Grant: But they did?
Grant: And then what?
Mark: And then this really nice FBI lady came and picked me up. I agreed to testify against all of them. When they were convicted, my brother held his finger up like a gun and pretended to pull the trigger. It haunts me still. I have this nightmare where I wake up and there he is over my bed with that gun…
Grant seems chilled by this.
Mark: When they get out of jail, I can be put in witness protection if I want, but I probably won’t. I already turned it down back then.
Grant: Where’d you live?
Mark: Um, with this guy that used to babysit me. Sean McGrail.
Grant perks up at the mention of her former crush.
Mark: Yeah, but it was the summer then. In the fall, he was going back to college for his sophomore year. His parents said I could stay, but…they weren’t getting paid or anything and I felt like I was a burden.
Grant: So where’d you go?
Mark: Well, there’s this garage in town.
Mark: Yeah, how’d you know?
Grant: I stopped there on my way in.
Mark is still suspicious of this, but goes on:
Mark cont’d: Anyway, his youngest daughter was going to college that fall so he was going to have to man the garage alone, which is a pretty tall order.
Grant: So you lived there?
Mark: Yeah, and I could help out. Earn my keep, if you will.
Grant: You were working ever since you were fourteen?
Mark: Yeah, but I wouldn’t call it working. I mean, it’s a family business and…
Grant: You were part of the family.
Grant cont’d: Which explains why you didn’t want to come here.
Mark nods again.
Mark: You really get me. Not too many people do. I mean, I think Tyne thinks she does sometimes, but she never figures stuff out like you do.
Grant: I get you, huh?
Grant smiles to himself.
Grant cont’d: Cool.
Mark has stopped paying attention. Still wallowing on Grant’s bed, he’s smelling Grant’s pillow.
Mark: Your pillow smells good.
Grant looks at him with an amused smile. Mark looks up, slightly embarrassed.
Mark: I didn’t mean it like that.
Grant: Of course not.
Mark: Seriously, I—
Grant: Dude, I know.
Mark is still a little weirded out. He sits up, tosses the pillow back to the head of the bed and hops over to his own bed. Grant watches for another moment then turns away, shaking her head. After a moment, she looks back.
Grant: Oh, hey, I need you to do me a favor.
Mark tilts his head, wondering what it may be.
Commercial Break: Need to know what your favorite stars are working on right now? IMDB.
(fade in to): the next day, the Rawley gymnasium. There is a hardwood floor and basketball goals. Mark and Hamilton walk out onto the court. Mark is bouncing a ball.
Music: Curbside Prophet by Jason Mraz
Mark: So, did Finn tell you to watch out for me?
Hamilton: Of course.
Mark tosses up a shot.
Hamilton cont’d: Is that okay?
Mark: Yeah. It’s nice of him, actually. It’s nice of everyone. Ever since everything happened with my family, people have always been there for me. First Sean, then the Banks, Finn, Will, you, Ms. Pratt. She’s really nice, by the way. I’m glad you brought her to Rawley.
Hamilton chuckles at this. Mark dribbles around Hamilton and lays up a shot.
Hamilton: Uh, yeah, me too.
Hamilton grabs the ball and dribbles it back on the court. He bounce passes it to Mark. Mark tosses it up and it flies over the backboard, landing squarely on Hamilton’s gym bag.
Mark: Oh, man, I’m sorry.
He runs over to get the ball.
(cut to): a close-up of the bag as Mark approaches. He picks up the ball, and looks in the bag. He sees Hamilton’s keys. He reaches for them, but pulls back. He shakes his head and dribbles back to Hamilton, tossing it to him.
Mark: Can I ask you for a favor?
Hamilton shoots, but misses. They leave the ball as they talk.
Mark: I need access to a faster internet connection than what they give us in the dorms. Plus, there’s this firewall on the network that makes it impossible to get certain things done.
Hamilton: Okay…we can stop by the computer lab.
Mark: The thing is, I don’t really want Ms. Pratt to know and…I was thinking about taking your key, but…I’m kind of a moralist, you know in the philosophical sense so…
Hamilton considers this, deeply judging the call.
Hamilton: In that case, I can only assume that you wouldn’t be doing anything immoral.
Mark: Immoral? Not in my opinion.
Hamilton: Alright, borrow my key. Just don’t get caught.
Mark: Not a problem.
Mark retrieves the ball and tosses it to Hamilton.
(dissolve to): the computer lab door. The hallways and the room are dark and empty. After a second, Mark and Grant walk slowly down the hallway. Grant carries a backpack. Mark unlocks the room with a key. They enter
Music: Don’t Let It Be Love by Bowling for Soup.
(cut to): inside the room. Grant nods for Mark to follow him to a computer.
Mark: Dude, if Hamilton found out I lifted his master from his gym bag…
Grant: I really appreciate that, by the way. You must have been pretty sneaky about it.
Mark smiles to himself, not saying anything.
Mark: Maybe I should wait in the hall.
Grant: I thought you wanted to see how all this worked.
Mark: I do, but—
Grant: Then quit being a wuss and come on.
Grant sits down at the computer. Mark hesitantly follows suit.
Mark: You turn into kind of a badass in the dark, you know?
(dissolve to): a little while later. Grant is typing away. Mark watches.
Mark: So basically, you hacked into the secretary’s computer?
Mark: Can you get into anyone’s computer?
Grant: Uh…not really. I didn’t hack the network or anything. I just used a dummy email account to send her a Trojan in one of those chain letter forwards—you know “Bill Gates wants to give you thousands of dollars just for reading this email”—and she actually opened the email and downloaded the file.
Grant: Yeah. Pretty dumb of her…but good for me.
Mark: Because now you have access to the templates of all the junk mail the school sends and now you can send it to your dad.
Grant: Even better. I’m just going to open the Access database and add my dad to the list. Now he’ll automatically get all the school mailings.
Mark laughs. Grant is about to type into a section labeled “student name.”
Grant cont’d: Hey, can you grab me that flash drive out of my bag? There’s a program on there I need to open the grading program this school uses…
Mark does this and Grant quickly types, saves and closes this file. Mark plugs the flash drive into and empty USB port for Grant. Grant concentrates on the screen. Mark watches him in the dark, impressed and interested.
Mark: Did you find the program?
Grant: Yep, there we go. Now…her password…
Mark: How will you figure that out?
Grant: Password Passer.
Grant hits a button and sits back. On the screen, hundreds of words are being entered.
Grant cont’d: I designed it myself. People usually use names so first it checks thousands of common first names…then last names…then pet names…then…
The words stop.
“Maggie” is on the screen.
Mark: Hmm. I wonder if that’s her dog or her daughter?
Grant shrugs and hits enter.
Mark cont’d: Where’d you learn to do all this?
Grant: From this guy I used to…um…know.
Mark nods, watching Grant type.
Mark: He must have been smart.
Grant: He was a jackass, and he used his powers for evil. Not that my intentions are noble…
Mark shrugs, not passing judgment.
Grant cont’d: Okay, so I’m adding myself to this database and creating a schedule for myself…
He pauses. The student information screen is before him.
Grant: Hey, can you put that drive back in my bag while I’m thinking about it? If I forget it, I’m pretty sure Ms. Pratt would be able to figure out what I was up to.
Mark listens then does what is asked, distracted from the screen as Grant enters information. She quickly changes to the schedule screen.
Grant cont’d: I’ll just dupe my schedule from here in case he asks me about my classes.
Grant begins adding classes.
Grant cont’d: And I’ll give myself grades for the whole year so I don’t have to do this again.
Mark: All A’s?
Mark: So this will get sent out to your dad, too?
Grant nods, types a few more things then closes the program.
(cut to): a few minutes
later, the quad at the boys’ dorm. Mark
and Grant walk leisurely across it.
Mark: That was awesome.
Grant: Thanks. Just…don’t tell anyone, okay?
Mark: Don’t worry. I mean…I guess I’ve always considered myself more of a moralist than anything else. Family members robbing banks, for example…morally wrong. You trying to escape from your dad and cover your ass in the process…okay with me.
A beat as they walk.
Mark: Speaking of computers, what did you think of Ms. Pratt?
Grant: Oh, yeah, she’s totally hot.
Mark: I meant what did you think of her as a teacher?
Grant looks embarrassed. Mark is hesitantly curious.
Mark cont’d: But…so…is that your type of chick?
Grant: You know, I don’t really know if I have a type.
Grant cont’d: I guess she’s your type, though, right?
Mark shrugs. By now, they’ve reached the front steps of the building. Mark takes a seat on the steps. Grant stays standing.
Mark: You know, I wouldn’t really say I have a “type” either.
Grant: Just think back to the last person you were attracted to.
Mark: Well, that won’t work. I’ll sound like a pedophile.
Grant tilts his head.
Mark cont’d: The last person that I was attracted to…the last person that I just wanted to kiss and kiss and kiss…she was twelve.
Mark: I was thirteen, though. She was…something special.
Grant seems touched by this.
Grant (genuine): That’s sweet.
Mark: Make fun if you want, but she was the love of my life, man…
He looks up at the sky.
Mark cont’d: And it was way beyond the physical attraction. That kind of developed along the way. It was the way we could just talk and talk…
Grant: And talk…
Mark looks back at Grant, swallowing.
He stands up, stepping back down to ground level.
Mark cont’d: And…it was how she got me.
Grant can’t help but take a step closer now.
Grant: She got you.
Mark nods as Grant takes another step forward.
Mark: And I loved her. If she were here right now, you know what I would say?
Mark and Grant: “I love you.”
Mark nods and Grant closes the distance between them, their lips touching only for a moment. Mark steps back.
Grant: I’m sorry…I…
She shakes her head, shaking off a laugh.
Grant cont’d: I should…go. I’m going to go.
Before Mark can reply, Grant is gone back across the quad. Mark stands alone, completely nonplussed.
(cut to): Grant and Mark’s room, later. The lights are off and Mark is in bed, presumably asleep. Grant comes in, kicking off only her shoes before crawling into her own bed.
(cut to): Mark who opens his eyes then closes them.
(cut to): an establishing shot of the Faculty House.
Music: Luckiest Loser by Bowling for Soup
(cut to): the kitchen. Hamilton and Jacqueline stand at the counter, wrapped up in an involved kiss. The back door opens, letting Will in. The couple breaks apart, embarrassed.
Will: Excuse me.
He smiles easily as do they.
Will cont’d: You know, the more I think about it, the more I
realize that I am the fifth wheel around here.
Jacqueline: Sorry, Will.
Hamilton: Maybe we can convince Finn to hire another female live-in faculty member.
Will: It’s a nice thought, but somehow I can’t imagine Finn playing matchmaker.
They all laugh at the idea.
Will cont’d: Anyway, I have essays to grade. I’ll see you guys later.
After he’s gone.
Jacqueline: I feel kind of guilty flaunting what we have all the time, you know?
Hamilton: Will’s fine, but…speaking of guilt…
Hamilton trails off. Jacqueline looks at him curiously.
Hamilton cont’d: I gave Mark my key so he could use a computer in the lab tonight.
Hamilton looks down.
Hamilton: I wasn’t supposed to tell you, obviously, but—
Jacqueline: It wasn’t for him. It was for Grant.
Hamilton looks up at her.
Hamilton: The roommate?
Jacqueline: Yeah. Grant’s a total hacker…among other things.
Hamilton: Well, Mark said he wasn’t doing anything wrong.
Jacqueline: What about illegal?
Hamilton: He didn’t say.
Jacqueline: Okay, well…I have a logger on all those computers so maybe I can figure out what they were up to later.
Hamilton: So you’re not mad?
Jacqueline: Actually, I’m a little curious to see what Grant’s up to. Maybe it will provide some insight into a few things.
Hamilton: What things?
Jacqueline: I’m still working on that. I’ll let you know.
Hamilton nods, smiling at her.
Hamilton: Anyway…where were we?
Jacqueline smiles back and moves close to him, wrapping her arms around his neck. They begin their kiss again.
Commercial Break: Like stupid videos? Beware; some are REALLY stupid.
(fade in): to the quad, Will’s class. Tyne and Sophie sit together, but Grant and Mark sit on opposite sides of the group. They exchange furtive glances every once in awhile.
Will: I commend your work on the essays. Excellent all around.
He takes out a stack from his briefcase.
Will cont’d: Once you have your paper, you’re free to go.
Grant gets hers right away. She makes eye contact with Sophie nodding over to the nearby woods. Sophie nods and holds up a finger to indicate “1 minute.” Grant nods and takes off.
(cut to): Tyne and Sophie who wait for their papers.
Music: Hot Girls in Good Moods by Butch Walker
Tyne: Okay…Grant or Mark?
Tyne: Which one do you want?
Sophie: For what?
Tyne: The dance. The Fall Ball.
Sophie: Oh…um…I don’t really—
Tyne: You’re going. We’re going as a group. We just need to pair up for the formality of it. I talked to Mark about it this morning. Neither one of them have a date. He said he didn’t think Grant would have a preference between the two of us…nor did he.
Sophie: I guess…uh…since you have a history with Mark, I’d be more comfortable going with Grant.
Tyne: Okay. Well, I’ll go tell Mark and we can meet up later?
She glances over to the woods. Tyne follows her gaze for a moment then walks away. Sophie heads for the woods.
(cut to): a bench along the wooded path. Grant sits, fidgeting. Sophie joins her on the bench.
Sophie: So, you’re my Fall Ball date.
Sophie: Apparently our roommates volunteered us up to each other.
Grant: Mark set us up?
Sophie: I don’t know. Tyne said Mark said he didn’t have a preference between Tyne and me…and neither did you. I got to pick. I figured you’d be a little more comfortable with me as your date. I hope this doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian.
Grant laughs, but looks back down at her hands.
Sophie: Anyway, what’s up?
Grant takes a deep breath.
Grant: I screwed up.
Sophie: Uh oh. Who found out?
Grant: No one.
Sophie: Oh, thank God because this whole dance sequence should be great for my documentary.
Grant: I’ve got something even better.
Grant cont’d: I kissed Mark.
She is shocked.
Grant: Last night.
Sophie: How was it?
Sophie: What happened after?
Grant: The flight mechanism kicked in and I bolted. I haven’t talked to him since.
Sophie: Meagan, just tell him who you are.
Grant: I can’t, Sofe. I’m not here for him. I’m here to…I don’t know why I’m here. I think I was hoping it would be easy. Finn would meet me and see through my disguise, but it looks like I’m going to have to tell him and…I’m nowhere near ready for that. If I tell Mark, he’ll just tell Finn. I’ll lose both of them all over again. I just know it.
Sophie is sympathetic.
Sophie: Take your time then. I’ll be here for you.
She pulls Grant into a much needed embrace.
As they hug for another moment, leaves crunch nearby. Just before they are able to pull apart, a voice is heard:
Tyne: Damn, Sophie, you move fast.
Grant and Sophie part and look up to find Tyne and a disturbed looking Mark.
Tyne cont’d: I’m guessing he said yes to the dance.
Grant and Sophie stand up awkwardly, Grant’s eyes never leaving Mark’s.
Sophie: Yeah. It’s a date, right?
She looks at Grant who still looks at Mark.
Sophie: Right, Grant?
Mark: Yeah, that’s good. I’m taking Tyne.
His jealousy is impossible to mask. Even Tyne notices.
Grant: Anyway, I better get to class.
Grant gets up, nodding at Sophie as he tries to escape.
Mark: Yeah, me, too. I’ll call you later, Tyne.
They walk off toward the boys’ school. Tyne and Sophie trade a look.
Sophie: That wasn’t what it looked like.
Tyne: Was it me or was there a really weird vibe between those two?
She nods off toward the school.
Sophie: I don’t know…
Tyne: I have a theory.
Sophie doesn’t want to hear it, but says nothing.
Tyne cont’d: They’re in love with each other.
Tyne: Mark and Grant.
Sophie doesn’t know what to say.
Tyne cont’d: I mean, that would explain a lot.
Sophie: I guess it would, but…
Tyne: No wonder we didn’t have any chemistry…
Sophie starts to say something, but doesn’t.
Tyne cont’d: Well, let’s go to class while I mull over this epiphany.
Sophie rolls her eyes then thinks of something.
Sophie: I’m making a documentary for my NYU application. Think I could interview you?
Tyne looks at her, confused.
Tyne: What’s it about?
Sophie: Um…I think it’s about love. Come on, I’ll tell you more.
They walk off together.
(cut to): the quad as Grant and Mark walk silently. Abruptly, Mark stops, grabbing Grant’s arm to stop her as well.
Mark: Look, I…what was that last night, huh?
Grant: It’s…something that I shouldn’t have done, okay?
Mark: If you’re…
He looks around.
Mark cont’d: If you’re gay, that’s fine, but—
Grant: I’m not gay, Mark.
Grant cont’d: It was just a sketchy moment.
Mark: Whatever you need to tell yourself, but just don’t let it happen again.
Mark lifts his eyebrows.
Grant cont’d: I promise.
He nods and smiles awkwardly.
Mark cont’d: Well, I have to get to class now. I’ll see you.
Grant: See ya…
Mark walks off. Grant looks around with a dejected sigh, shaking her head at this situation.
Music: We’re All Going Down by Butch Walker
(cut to): the art room. Hamilton stands at the door, greeting his students. Mark walks in, looking troubled.
Hamilton: Hi, Mark.
Hamilton: Everything okay?
Mark starts to speak, but Sophie enters, offering them a smile as she steps between them.
Mark: I don’t know if everything’s okay, but…I just want to take some pictures.
Hamilton gives him an easy smile.
(dissolve to): the art room, later. Hamilton stands at the door, dismissing students. Mark lingers, packing up his stuff. When everyone else is gone, Hamilton looks over at Mark.
Hamilton: What’s up, Mark?
Mark: Delaying going back to my room…
Hamilton: Roommate troubles?
Mark: Troubles all around, I’d say.
Hamilton: You want to hit the gym and talk about it?
Mark: Sure. I was going to suggest that actually.
(cut to): the computer lab. Jacqueline is at the head of the class, dismissing them. Grant, sitting in the front row, addresses Jacqueline from behind the computer.
Grant: Mind if I stay for awhile?
Jacqueline: Not at all. I have to get a little work done, too.
She never looks up as she is typing on the computer. Tyne is one of the last to leave. She gives Grant a curious look, but exits without saying anything.
Jacqueline: The network is better here, huh?
Grant: Tremendously. Why is that?
Jacqueline: My suggestion.
Grant stops typing and looks up.
Jacqueline: To stop hackers like you.
Grant doesn’t know what to say. Jacqueline walks over and takes a seat next to Grant.
Jacqueline: I’m right, right?
Grant still doesn’t reply.
Jacqueline cont’d: I’m pretty observant…just as a general thing.
Jacqueline looks at Grant very carefully, making Grant uncomfortable.
Grant: You know, on second thought, I think I can check my email from my room after all.
Jacqueline smiles as Grant gets up and rushes to the door.
(cut to): The gymnasium as Hamilton and Mark walk out onto the floor.
Music: Over My Head by The Fray
Hamilton cont’d: So…you mentioned trouble…what is it?
Hamilton shoots, but misses. Mark takes the rebound and makes another shot.
Mark cont’d: I would appreciate your discretion on this.
Mark holds the ball for a minute. He looks at Hamilton.
Mark: Have you ever…okay, let’s say that all your life you’ve liked brunettes.
Hamilton knocks the ball from Mark’s hands and dribbles.
Hamilton: All my life I have liked brunettes.
Mark: Okay, so then let’s say that you meet this…blonde who…blows you away.
Hamilton takes a shot and misses it.
Mark: What do you do?
Hamilton: The blonde is amazing?
Mark: On every single level...except the hair color.
Hamilton: Well, who cares about hair color?
Mark: In case you haven’t figured it out, this is a metaphor…for something far more distinguishing than hair color.
Hamilton stares at him for a moment then understands.
Hamilton runs a hand through his hair.
Hamilton cont’d: So, who is he?
Mark: See, I’m already uncomfortable.
He walks away to pick up the ball.
Hamilton: I’m a Swiss vault, man.
Mark steals the ball and takes a shot, making it with a swish.
Mark: My roommate. Grant.
Hamilton: Convenient. Cool.
Mark: Dude, I’m seventeen. It’s not cool. It’s scary. I mean, have you ever had a, uh…
Mark cont’d: A sketchy moment like this?
Hamilton laughs. He knows well what Mark is talking about.
Hamilton: Look, if you have feelings for someone…you do. I mean, you can’t change the way you feel.
Mark: But it’s a guy. I’ve never been attracted to a guy, Ham. I’m not gay. I…I can’t be gay. The only person I’ve ever loved is a girl. I don’t get it.
He shakes his head.
Mark cont’d: Do you think I’m in denial?
Hamilton: It sounds like you’re way too self-aware to be in denial. Way more honest with yourself than I ever could have been at your age.
Mark: Well, I’m baffled then.
Hamilton seems to stop and think about this for a moment. A thought occurs to him, but he doesn’t say anything. Instead he says:
Hamilton: My advice is to take it slow. Try to feel it out. See if it’s what you want. Figure out if it’s what he wants. Try not to overstep boundaries, but if an opportunity presents itself…take it.
Hamilton chases down the basketball and picks it up.
Hamilton: He shoots; he…
He tosses it up. Another miss.
Hamilton cont’d: …embarrasses himself once again.
Mark laughs, takes the rebound and throws up a shot which goes in. Hamilton grabs the ball and dribbles. Mark steals it and throws the ball through the hoop.
Hamilton: Damn. Too bad we don’t have a basketball team here. You would kill.
Mark: Thanks. And thanks for being understanding. I thought you would be…
Hamilton: Well, I definitely know about challenging my comfort zone so…feel free to continue this conversation any time.
Mark: Will do.
The guys continue their game.
Commercial Break: Like smarter videos? Try YouTube.
(fade in): to the Faculty House.
Music: Star Signs by Leona Naess
(cut to): a bedroom upstairs, Jacqueline’s room. They are together on the bed, Hamilton above Jacqueline, kissing her fervently. He pulls back just an inch.
Hamilton: Nice of Finn to let us shack up here.
Jacqueline: You know, technically, you do have your own room.
Hamilton shrugs and kisses her again. They both enjoy it for a moment.
Hamilton: Have I mentioned that being back here totally turns me on?
Jacqueline: No, but…I can see that.
They kiss again.
Jacqueline cont’d: Next, you’ll be trying to get me to dress like a boy again.
Hamilton: “Jake” always did do it for me.
Jacqueline laughs softly, pulling him down for another kiss. When they part, she thinks of something:
Jacqueline: Speaking of cross-dressing adolescents, have you met Mark’s roommate yet?
Hamilton pushes himself up so that he is sitting next to Jacqueline.
Jacqueline cont’d: You don’t have to do that…
Hamilton: No, but…what did you just say about Mark’s roommate?
Jacqueline: Totally a girl.
Hamilton: No way…
Jacqueline: Way. All the classic signs: eight layers on an eighty-five degree day, bad hair, complimenting me on my shoes.
Hamilton: Oh my God…
Jacqueline: Yeah, I wonder why she’s—
Hamilton: No, I mean, this explains so much. Poor Mark.
Jacqueline: Oh, no, does he have a little crush on his roommate?
Hamilton: Yeah, and he can’t figure out why because he’s never “liked a guy before.”
She shakes her head in disbelief.
Hamilton: Okay, well, we’ve get to tell Mark.
Jacqueline: Did you give Mark any advice?
Hamilton: Yeah, I told him to see how it all played out, but—
Jacqueline: Then let’s let him do that and keep our noses out of it.
Hamilton: But he’s so confused. I know what that feels like. It’s horrible.
Jacqueline: I know, but it’s not our story anymore. It’s theirs and…I think we owe it to them to let them find their own ending.
He has nothing and he knows it.
Hamilton cont’d: Okay, you win…
Jacqueline: Utter submission. I like it.
He grins and pounces on her again to continue their interrupted make-out session.
(cut to): the gym.
(cut to): the locker room.
(cut to): the showers. They are in individual stalls. Grant sits on a nearby bench, looking depressed. After a moment, Grant begins to peel away layer after layer until she gets down to a t-shit. She then reaches up and pulls off the wig. Her long, brown hair falls down her back. She pulls off the final t-shirt to reveal the foam abdomen. She reaches back and unhooks the Velcro. She tosses it aside and stretches just before she stands up. She looks down at the huge pile she’s created. She toys with the bracelet that remains on her wrist.
Grant: What the hell was I thinking…
(dissolve to): Mark and Grant’s room. Mark is alone, pacing around.
Music: Make Your Move by New Found Glory
Mark: God, what am I thinking? What am I going to say?
He shakes his head, collapsing into a miserable heap onto his bed.
Grant enters, showered, but dressed again as a boy.
Grant: Hey. You okay?
Mark sits up and considers the question.
Mark: I’m just…confused.
Grant: About what?
Mark looks at Grant as if this should be obvious.
Grant cont’d: God…I…I think we need to talk.
Mark: No need. This is my issue, not yours.
Grant: That may not be—
Mark gets up and gives Grant a playful shove on the arm.
Mark: Drop it, dude. Let’s just get back to normal. Have you talked to your dad lately?
Grant: This afternoon. He got a flyer for the parent picnic. He can’t make it.
Mark: What if he wakes up one day and realizes he’s been a bad father. He gets some invite in the mail, shows up at the school…
Grant: It’ll never happen.
Mark: So, are you psyched about your dance date with Sophie?
Grant laughs at the glibness of the comment.
Grant: Oh, yeah, totally.
Mark: I don’t know why Tyne thought we should all go together. Girls are a mystery.
Grant: I think she still likes you.
Mark: I guess she’ll have to get over it.
Mark looks at Grant now, the moment slightly awkward.
Mark cont’d: I just mean, you know, I’m not attracted to her.
He sighs. Grant can’t help smile.
Grant: I, uh, I have homework.
Mark: Me, too.
They maintain eye contact for another moment then go their separate ways in the game.
(cut to): an establishing shot of Friendly’s.
(cut to): inside. Will, Finn and Jacey sit at a table together.
Finn: It’s so good to have you here, Will.
Will: It’s good to be here.
Finn: All your classes going well?
Will: The senior English class is great.
Finn: Mark doing well?
Will: I had them write about their favorite American author. You know, just to get a feel for where there was interest. He wrote about Mark Twain.
Will cont’d: Well-written.
Finn: How’s his roommate doing?
Will: Oh, Grant? Yeah, he’s smart. Kind of quiet in class, but his essay was brilliant.
Will cont’d: He wrote about Faulkner.
Finn smiles, considering this.
Will cont’d: He said “Faulkner is often criticized for being superfluous with words, but never did he use a word that did not perfectly describe a given moment, person or feeling.”
Finn: Sounds just like Johanna.
Jacey looks up at the mention of the name.
Finn cont’d: She was always trying to convince me that instead of complaining about how long his descriptions were, I should let myself be immersed in them.
Will: As you should.
Jacey: Grant is nice. Can we invite Mark and Grant over sometime?
Finn: Sure, Jace.
Jacey: How about tomorrow?
Finn: I’m sure they’re going to the dance tomorrow.
Jacey looks disappointed.
Finn (to Will): He really likes Grant for some reason.
Will nods, looking at Jacey curiously.
Finn: And I keep thinking he seems really familiar to me. From somewhere I can’t place.
Will thinks about it, but has nothing to offer. A beat as the bell for the restaurant ring.
(cut to): the door as Charlie walks in. He sees the familiar faces and walks over to the table.
Charlie: Good evening.
Finn: Charlie, how are you?
Finn stands up, shaking his hand. Will also stand, but offers a hug.
Charlie: Doing well.
Will: I hear Bella and Grace are also doing well.
Charlie: They’re great. How’s little Mark doing up at the big school across the lake?
Will: He’s in one of my classes. He’s doing great.
Finn: He seems to be adjusting well.
Charlie: He told me he liked it more than he thought he would.
Finn and Will smile.
Will: You managing the garage okay?
Charlie: Oh, yeah. No problems there. I know Mark worries, but…it really is a one-man operation these days anyway.
Finn: Would you like to join us?
Charlie: Oh, I might sit down for a spell.
He takes an available seat. He and Jacey trade smiles.
(cut to): a shot outside looking in as the four continue conversation.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of Rawley Academy.
(cut to): the girls’ dorm.
Music: Val Kilmer by Bowling for Soup
(cut to): the common room. Grant is sitting on a couch, wearing a tuxedo. In front of her is a camera and behind the camera is Sophie, dressed in a deep pumpkin-colored formal dress. Grant is coming to the end of a story.
Grant: So, basically, I realize that since I got here my priorities have gotten all out of whack. I mean, I came here to see Finn and to eventually confront him. And to spend more time with Jacey. Instead, I’ve been focused on Mark.
Grant: Why? Because he was there, I guess. I mean, I had a crush on the guy when I was twelve. We’re totally different people now.
She indicates her outfit.
Grant cont’d: Me, especially.
Sophie: So…you’re not attracted to him?
Grant: Of course, I am.
Grant: Okay, I see what you’re doing…
Sophie: Just answer the question. Why are you attracted to Mark?
Grant: Because he’s hot.
Sophie: What else?
Grant: I don’t know…because, while dressed as a dude, I kissed him and he’s still willing to be my friend? Because I could sit around and talk to him all day? Because being with him takes me back to the happiest time in my life before my mom died…before Finn ditched me…before I lost the only boy I ever love…
Sophie: Except now you have him back.
Grant considers this.
Grant: I think I’m stuck in a no-win situation. If I don’t tell him the truth, he’s going to think he’s gay—
Sophie: Why? Because he likes you back?
Grant: I…well…I don’t know. Maybe?
Grant: I don’t know…I mean, if he does then I have to tell him the truth, but if I do that he’s going to hate me.
Grant: Because I’ve been lying to him.
Sophie: But…you’re you. You’re the girl he keeps talking about. The one he keeps going back to as his last real experience of love. The one he compares every girl to. The reason he’s been unable to enjoy getting anywhere near intimacy with anyone else. You’re it, Meag. You’re all he wants. Why are you keeping it from him?
Grant: Well, when you put it like that…
Sophie: You know what I think? I think it wouldn’t matter what your costume were. You could be in a bear suit…he’d still see you for who you are: the person he loves.
Grant looks down at her hands.
Sophie: If you want to face Finn then hurry up and do it then move on to the other male that matters from your past.
Grant: We’ll see.
Sophie laughs, turning off the camera.
Sophie: So, are you ready?
Grant: I guess. We’re supposed to meet Mark and Tyne there?
Grant gets up, joining Sophie as they walk toward the
Sophie cont’d: Oh, and I’m totally not dancing with you.
Grant: Fine with me.
(cut to): Tyne and Mark as they walk up the steps of Calhoun Hall.
Music: I’m Gay by Bowling for Soup
Mark: Thank you for accompanying me, Tyne.
Tyne: Listen to you and those formalities.
Mark: When in Rome…
They pause on the steps, waiting for their other half to arrive.
Tyne: So…your roommate is cool.
Mark: Are you still stuck on the piercings?
Tyne: No, I mean…you really think he’s cool.
Mark: Oh…um, yeah…Grant’s a great guy.
Tyne: Cute, too, huh?
Mark understands her right away.
Mark: Can we not go there?
Tyne takes his avoidance as admittance.
Tyne: This explains so much.
Mark (confused): What?
Tyne: I mean, no wonder we had no chemistry.
Tyne: Not many girls would have chemistry with a gay guy.
Mark: Whoa, can you not say that?
He looks around, but there is no one.
Tyne: I can’t even believe you’re admitting it. I thought you’d deny—
Mark: I’m not admitting anything.
Tyne: Are you denying it then?
Mark: Here they come. Can you please not mention this again tonight?
Tyne rolls her eyes, but drops it as Grant and Sophie approach. Sophie is carrying her camera bag. Mark and Grant share brief, but intense eye contact before the whole group enters the Hall.
(cut to): inside. Couples are on the dance floor as a live band plays. Scattered about are chaperone including Jacqueline and Hamilton. Off to another side Will stands next to Finn and Jacey. Everyone is dressed formally, including Jacey who is wearing a small tuxedo. Our quartet enters. Sophie, noticing Finn nods over for Grant to see them. Grant nods, but sticks with her friends for the moment.
(cut to): Jacqueline and Hamilton.
Hamilton: Check out who just arrived.
Jacqueline looks over, noticing.
Jacqueline: I wonder who’s with whom.
Hamilton: I wonder who still says “whom?”
Jacqueline: People who haven’t given up the English language.
Hamilton smiles and puts his arm around her waist.
Hamilton: Never thought I’d get to put my arm around you at a Rawley dance.
Jacqueline: Yeah, remember our first dance?
Hamilton: God, it was a confused, but beautiful experience.
A beat as they watch the kids move around the room, greeting various others.
Hamilton cont’d: You think it’ll be like that for those two tonight?
Jacqueline: For their sake, I hope it goes a little better than it did for us. I thought you were going to punch me.
Hamilton: Yeah, well, Mark doesn’t seem as angry as I was. He’s sort of in this state of accepted confusion.
(cut to): the other side of the room as Tyne, Sophie, Mark and Grant walk along together. Will has meandered to the other side of the floor. They walk past Finn and Jacey. Finn gives them a nod.
Jacey: Hey it’s Mark and Grant and Tyne and…some girl I don’t know.
The groups stops.
Sophie: I’m Sophie. You must be Jacey.
Jacey nods, clinging to Finn a little.
Jacey: Hey, Dad, can we go play ping pong?
Finn: If you’ll excuse us.
They nod as Finn exits with his son. Sophie gives Grant another look, this time more pointed. When she does not respond:
Sophie: The bathroom? It’s right down that hallway.
Grant: Oh, uh…thanks.
She gives Sophie a look, but the others don’t catch it.
Grant cont’d: If you guys will excuse me…
Grant walks off hesitantly.
(cut to): the game room. There is a pool table, ping pong, foosball and pinball. Finn and Jacey are playing a game of ping pong. Jacey does a decent job of keeping up a volley with Finn. Grant enters slowly. Finn looks up, letting a ball slip past him. Jacey celebrates the victory with a fist pump.
Music: A Lack of Color by Death Cab for Cutie
Finn: Hey there, Grant.
Jacey turns around.
Jacey: Want to play?
Grant: No, thanks.
Jacey looks disappointed.
Grant: I just wanted to…I need to talk to you.
She is looking at Finn who is perplexed.
Finn: Jacey, why don’t you run back out there and see if—
Grant: Actually, he can stay. This involves all of us.
Finn is more confused than ever, but tries not to let on.
Finn: Let’s have a seat.
(cut to): a couch with a
chair across from it. Finn and Jacey take a seat on the couch. Grant takes the chair. She takes a deep breath and looks across at
her brother and step-father. Finn waits
is not so patient.
Jacey: So, what is it?
Grant: It’s okay. You’re right, Jacey, I just need to say this…
She takes a deep breath.
Grant: I’m not who you think I am. Not at all.
Finn tilts his head, looking at her carefully.
Grant cont’d: In fact, I’m someone that you once knew.
Finn narrows his eyes.
Finn: I kept getting that feeling.
Grant: I may be able to help you place me if I…
She pulls the wig off to reveal her long hair. It is pulled in a ponytail which she releases. Finn is dumbfounded. Jacey laughs.
Jacey: A girl!
He laughs some more.
Jacey: Dad, Grant is a girl.
Finn: I see that…
He looks at her carefully.
Finn: Oh my God…
She looks down.
Finn: Oh…my…God. What…what are you doing here?
Grant leans back in the chair.
Grant: Not exactly the welcome I was hoping for.
Finn: No, I mean…like this. Why…
Jacey: You know her?
Finn: Yes, I do. You did once, too.
Jacey looks at Grant again. In fact he gets up to take a closer look.
Jacey: Meagan! My sister, Meagan. I knew I knew you. I look at your picture every night.
Grant: You do?
Finn: You do?
Jacey ignores the question and gives Meagan a hug. Meagan returns the hug, pulling Jacey into her lap.
Jacey: This is so cool. Isn’t it, Dad?
Finn nods, massaging his temple.
Finn: It’s something all right.
Finn leans back against the couch, looking across at his long lost daughter.
Commercial Break: It’s been awhile since I’ve found Hugh Grant legitimately charming, but I think he pulls it off in Music and Lyrics. The soundtrack is good, too…once you’ve seen the movie.
(fade in): to a long shot of the Hall.
(cut to): the dance hall. Tyne, Sophie and Mark stand by the punch table.
Tyne: Sure is taking Grant awhile. It’s impolite to leave a date for this long.
Sophie: You know, he mentioned wanting to talk to Finn about his schedule. Maybe he stopped by to do that.
Tyne: Hmm. Weird.
Mark looks at Sophie curiously.
Mark: You two seem to have made fast friends.
Sophie: Yeah, I guess we have.
Tyne: Don’t be jealous.
Mark gives her a fierce look. Sophie catches it, but doesn’t mention anything.
Sophie: You know, I’m pretty hot in here. Can we head out to the terrace?
They agree and head out.
Music: How to Save a Life by The Fray
(cut to): the game room where Meagan now sits on the couch with Finn. Jacey sits between them.
Finn: So you really thought I didn’t try to contact you?
Meagan: That’s what my dad said. I guess that should have been my first clue…
Finn is very concerned.
Finn: Has he not been good to you?
Meagan: He’s been my dad. Nice enough, but extremely selfish. I don’t get why he didn’t tell me about your calls, though. I mean, it wasn’t like I was going to leave him. I didn’t have a say in anything and you clearly didn’t want me.
Finn closes his eyes. Jacey looks at him, but doesn’t say anything.
He looks at her again.
Finn cont’d: When your mom died…I was a mess.
Finn cont’d: And, I obviously did a poor job explaining to you my reasoning for sending you with your father.
She tucks her hair behind her ear, looking like she may be near tears.
Finn cont’d: But, please believe when I tell you it wasn’t a lack of want…or love.
Meagan starts to cry now. Jacey is concerned by this and crawls up into her lap. She smiles slightly at this and welcomes his embrace. Finn also scoots closer, placing a hand on her shoulder.
Finn cont’d: I loved you like you were my own child. I still do, Meag.
Meagan: Then why didn’t you keep trying to contact me?
Finn: Your dad kept telling me you were too upset to talk. Then he said you’d call when you were ready. I started writing you then, but I’m assuming you didn’t get any letters either.
Meagan: We moved about three months after we first got to L.A. We’ve been living in Redondo Beach.
Meagan shakes her head.
Meagan cont’d: I feel like such an idiot. I didn’t try to get in touch with you because I thought you didn’t want to talk. All I had to do was pick up the phone? How could I have been so stupid?
Finn places a hand on her shoulder.
Finn: I didn’t make my best effort either. I think in a way I was relieved not to talk to you.
Meagan is affronted by this, but Jacey is the first to speak up.
Meagan smiles at him.
Meagan: Yeah, what he said.
Finn looks at Meagan now.
Finn: Because…you remind me of her so much.
Meagan: Do I? I never thought I looked like her much.
Finn: It’s the little things. Your eyes. Your intonations. How you carry yourself.
Meagan slumps self consciously. Jacey has been listening intently.
Jacey: So how come you dressed like a boy?
Finn and Meagan laugh at the obvious oversight in their conversation.
Meagan: I wanted to ease into things. I figured if I showed up as myself, you’d recognize me and send me packing.
Finn: I don’t think I’ll make that mistake again.
Finn cont’d: Although, I would prefer if you switched over to the girls’ school now.
Meagan: Gladly…if you give me a little more time.
Finn narrows his eyes.
Meagan: I haven’t told him.
Jacey: He still thinks you’re a boy?
Jacey cont’d: Wasn’t he your boyfriend?
Meagan nods again. She looks down at her hands.
Meagan: I wasn’t really planning on seeing him here…let alone as my roommate. It’s been a bit distracting. I mean, I came here for you guys, not for him.
Finn looks at her carefully.
Finn: You know, he missed you terribly. I’m not sure if he’s ever really recovered.
Jacey: He tells me about you all the time.
Finn and Grant: He does?
Jacey: Like how you went around taking pictures together the summer before our mom died. And how you were worried before I was born that you wouldn’t be a good big sister. And how when you finally turned twelve how he got you this bracelet with M’s.
Meagan nods, pushing back the sleeve of her tuxedo to reveal the bracelet.
Jacey cont’d: Whoa…is that it?
Jacey cont’d: It’s like a fairy tale coming to life.
Finn smiles at him.
Finn: It kind of is, isn’t it?
He looks at Meagan with raised eyebrows.
Finn cont’d: So we’ll keep our mouths shut for a few days.
He trades a look with Jacey who nods in agreement.
Meagan: I only need a few hours.
Music: Camera One by Josh Joplin
(cut to): the terrace. Sophie has her camera set up. She is interviewing Mark.
Sophie: Okay, what is love?
Mark: Baby, don’t hurt me no more…
He considers it.
Mark: Okay, love is finding the one person in the world you’re meant to be with.
Sophie: So there’s only one person for everyone?
Mark: That’s been my opinion all my life, but I’m not so sure now.
As if on cue, Grant, back in full Grant-gear, walks out on the terrace. Mark looks up. Sophie turns the camera on her. Tyne stands back, observing. Grant and Mark look at one another for a long moment. Tyne clears her throat.
Tyne: Hey, Sophie, did you want to go do my interview now?
She gives Grant an encouraging smile before taking her camera and leaving with Tyne. Grant and Mark keep their distance at first.
Grant: We need to talk.
Grant: Maybe here isn’t such a good place.
Mark: Where do you want to go?
(cut to): the game room. As they enter, Grant locks the door. Mark notices this, but doesn’t say anything. He walks over to the empty couch. Grant takes a deep breath then sits in the chair opposite him. With no prelude, Mark begins:
Music: Better by Regina Spektor
Mark: I’ve decided that I want to tell you something.
Mark: It may freak you out a little.
Grant: Maybe you should let me talk first.
Ignoring her, Mark takes a deep breath.
Mark: I can’t tell you how scary it is for me to say this out loud…
Grant: I know, but—
Mark: I should just say it, right? Okay, here goes…
He closes his eyes and presents his case:
Mark: I can’t stop thinking about…kissing you.
(cut to): a close shot of Grant. She can’t help smile, but she doesn’t respond.
(cut to): Mark. He looks very nervous, but forces himself to look at Grant.
Mark cont’d: And, if you think I need to move out because of this—
Mark leans on his knees, getting closer to her.
Mark: If you think we should kiss again…
Their knees are only inches apart.
Grant: I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.
They look at each other.
Grant cont’d: I think we need to talk first.
Mark: I think we’re talking right now and that I’ve talked to you more in the past week than I’ve talked to anyone in a really long time and…I’m done talking now except to warn you that even though I’ve never wanted to kiss a guy before, I’m about to kiss you.
He starts to lean forward and off the couch. Grant leans back.
Grant: About that…
Before she can go on, he’s moved in to kiss her. She doesn’t stop it. She returns his kiss as passionately as he offers it. After a moment, though, she pulls back.
Grant cont’d: Mark, wait.
Mark pulls back, mesmerized by her.
Grant cont’d: I need to tell you something, too.
Grant: That whole never wanting to kiss a guy thing…
Grant: You didn’t.
He’s genuinely confused.
Grant: You didn’t kiss a guy. I’m not…a guy.
Mark is even more lost, he leans back on the couch. Grant stands. She paces in front of Mark.
Mark: I’m really confused. If you’re not a guy then…
Grant: I’m a girl, Mark.
Mark’s face scrunches.
Grant: You know, x-chromosomes only, likes to give herself pedicures, eats chocolate for comfort…a girl.
Mark: Grant, what the hell are you talking about?
Grant reaches up and pulls off her wig. Her long hair falls down around her face.
Mark: Oh my God…
Grant: And these…
She takes off the eyebrow and lip rings, both clip-ons.
Grant cont’d: These are fake. And so is this…
She reaches under her shirt, behind her back and releases the Velcro. She pulls off her false torso, tossing it on the ground. She takes her jacket and dress shirt off, to reveal a white tank top and the bracelet on her wrist. Mark takes all this in. He’s freaked. After another moment of Mark not speaking, Meagan sits down across from him.
Meagan: Are you okay?
He nods, his mouth agape. He does not (or cannot) speak. The cloud seems to lift as he truly sees her for the first time. He looks at her face, into her eyes.
Mark: It can’t be…You can’t be…
He looks at her very carefully.
Meagan: Yes, I’m a girl.
He shakes this off. He knows this. It’s something else.
Mark cont’d: Oh my God…
Meagan, more herself now than she’s been since she got to Rawley, sits in front of him while nervously chewing her lip. When she speaks, her voice is different, very much her own:
Meagan: I’m sorry.
Mark: I, uh...
He puts his hand on his chest.
Mark cont’d: I think I might be having a heart attack here.
He smiles charmingly at her.
Mark cont’d: Come here.
He nods to the empty space on the couch next to him. She cautiously sits next to him. He takes her left hand gently, noticing the bracelet. He caresses the bracelet and her wrist then lifts her hand to his heart.
Mark cont’d: Feel that?
Mark cont’d: That’s what you’re doing to me right now.
She doesn’t speak.
Mark cont’d: God, look at you…you’re beautiful.
Meagan blushes and looks down. Mark pulls her into a hug, near tears.
Mark cont’d: I’ve missed you so much.
Meagan: I’ve missed you.
Mark pulls back from the hug.
Mark: There are about a million things I want to ask you, but mostly I just want to kiss you a billion times. Do you think that would be okay?
Meagan smiles and leans toward him, kissing him. When they part:
Mark cont’d: I’ll take that as a yes.
She laughs as he attacks her with kisses as we…
Commercial Break: Going with the Music and Lyrics theme from the previous commercial break, check out this video of the song they write in the movie: Way Back Into Love.
(fade in): to an establishing shot of the boys’ dorm, several days later.
Music: Too Good to Be by New Found Glory continues
(cut to): Mark and Grant’s room. Mark is sitting on his bed, watching Meagan pack everything into a duffle bag. She is dressed more like when we first saw her in a short skirt and fitted t-shirt. She has on a little make-up and several accessories, the most predominant being Mark’s bracelet.
Mark: I wish you didn’t have to go.
Meagan: I’m just going across the lake.
Mark: Too far.
He stands up, putting his arms around her waist.
Mark cont’d: Ten feet is too far away now.
Meagan: I’m surprised you’re even talking to me right now.
Mark: Why? Because you lied to me…totally deceived me…made me think I was gay…
Mark cont’d: You know, all that seems fairly trivial to me right now.
He leans in to kiss her. She gladly kisses him back. When they part:
Meagan: Sophie’s almost done editing the rough cut of her documentary. She wants us to see it tonight.
Mark: What’s it about anyway?
Meagan: Originally it was about me cross-dressing my way back into the good graces of my estranged step-father, but I think she changed directions. She had me record some voice-overs and she kept saying something about “the nature of love.”
Mark nods, putting his forehead against hers.
Mark: Well, speaking of love…
Mark cont’d: I love you.
Meagan takes a deep breath, returning the smile.
Meagan: I love you, too.
Mark: It’s like I was living in a haze these past four years.
Meagan: I know what you mean: suddenly everything is clear.
Mark: And I can breathe again.
Mark cont’d: No tension, no stress. Just clear perfection…i.e., you.
She kisses him one more time.
Meagan: You want to help me carry my stuff over?
He laughs, releasing his embrace.
(cut to): the quad where Jacqueline and Hamilton enjoy a picnic on a nice day. Jacey, Finn and Will are playing a game of Frisbee nearby. Mark and Meagan walk outside hand-in-hand. Jacqueline nudges Hamilton. He looks over and smiles. He puts an arm around Jacqueline and enjoys the show. Meagan and Mark walk past Finn, Jacey and Will. Jacey tosses the Frisbee then runs over to Mark and Meagan.
(cut to): Mark and Meagan as Jacey approaches.
Jacey: Hey, guys!
Meagan bends down, giving him a long hug.
Jacey cont’d: Want to play Frisbee?
Meagan: I’ve got to take my stuff over to the girls’ school, but we can play later, okay?
Jacey isn’t too disappointed.
Jacey: Okay. See you guys later.
Jacey runs back over to Finn and Will. Finn gives the pair a wave. Mark and Meagan continue walking.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: And just like that, I was revived.
(cut to): the girls school as Mark and Meagan walk up the steps.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: My business no longer unfinished, my life no longer gone.
(cut to): the girls’ common room as Tyne and Sophie sit in front of a TV. Mark and Meagan enter and take a seat on a couch together. We watch as credits begin to roll: “The Nature of Love.”
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: It’s like Sophie said…I could have been dressed in a bear suit, like a boy or just as myself and he would have found me, seen me for who I am.
On the screen, we watch Meagan in her bedroom in L.A. as she tries on the boy clothes for the first time.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: Before I came here, I was focused on my abandonment issues. I never really realized there was someone I left behind. Someone who was just as lost as I was. Someone that needed me as much as I needed him, even though neither of us really thought of it in those terms.
Mark puts his arm around Meagan.
Meagan (v.o.) cont’d: It was easy to smooth things over with Finn, but with Mark it was completely natural. And I guess that’s what Sophie means by the nature of love. Love prevails. At least, it did for me and of that, I am grateful and happy.
(cut to): a long shot of Rawley Academy.
(fade out): to black. In the blackness we hear a persistent ringing.
Music: Too Coming Home by New Found Glory continues
(cut to): Finn alone in bed. He sits up groggily. He looks around, realizing it’s the phone on his bedside table. He picks it up.
Finn: Hello? Meagan?
(cut to): Meagan, still twelve, sitting on a couch in her father’s apartment in Boston. Packed boxes are all around.
Meagan: Hey, Finn.
We cut back and forth between them.
Finn: How are you doing?
Meagan looks miserable.
Meagan: I don’t know…
Finn: Look, Meag—
Meagan: I know all the reasons why I have to go, but…is there any way that I could please, please, please stay with you. Please?
Finn: Funny. I was just going to suggest the very same thing.
Meagan: Are you serious?
Finn: As long as you don’t mind Boston.
Meagan looks around the apartment.
Meagan: Boston is fine…as long as you and Jacey are here.
Finn: And we get to visit Mark periodically…
Meagan looks surprising pleased by this comment.
Meagan: Is he the one that…I mean…what changed your mind?
Finn is starting to get out of bed now.
Finn: I’ll tell you on the drive home.
Meagan is happy with this.
(cut to): Finn’s car pulling into the driveway.
(cut to): inside the car. Meagan is in the passenger seat. Jacey is in a car seat in the backseat.
Meagan: I can’t believe you dreamed that I dressed like a boy just to go to Rawley. Who would do that?
Meagan cont’d: And then I ended up rooming with Mark. I mean, that’s a pretty ridiculous coincidence.
Finn: Speaking of Mark…
The front door of the house opens and Mark exits.
Mark (voice over): Even though she was still leaving, somehow it was better. The good memories would be more easily preserved. The bad memories would be more easily forgotten. And our relationship would be dramatically different, but forever familiar.
Meagan gets out of the car and slowly walks over to Mark. He smiles at the pace, leaning against the doorframe.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: I was more than glad to give up a little geographic distance in exchange for the assurance that each time we met, we would never be strangers.
Meagan steps up, meeting him eye to eye.
Mark: I missed you.
Meagan: I haven’t even been gone twenty-four hours.
Mark: Hmm. Seemed longer.
She smiles and reaches down, taking his hand. They walk down the steps together. Finn has collected Jacey from the car. They stand, watching Mark and Meagan stroll down the street together.
Mark (v.o.) cont’d: If only everything in life was so easily fixed.
(cut to): a shot of Finn and Jacey as Finn looks up sadly at the house.