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Episode No. 21 - Transitions

written by Shannon Bryan

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 89 KB (16406 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (59 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

<Five days later>


INT.KRAKOW HOUSE--Brian's Bedroom

Brian Krakow lies in bed, hands clasped behind his head, staring at the ceiling.

BRIAN: (VO) I just started a course at the University last week. Probability and Statistics. My dad says it's a "good resource for my future career." He actually thinks I'm going to follow in his footsteps and become a Freudian psychiatrist or something. (puts pillow over his face, rolls over) This is particularly ironic considering my own classmates refuse to talk to me for, like, *free*. (throws pillow down and sits up)

BERNEICE: (OS) Brian? Are you awake? I have your oatmeal ready!

Brian flops back down the bed.

BRIAN: (VO) I've hated oatmeal since, basically, forever. And my mom knows it. But she still makes it every morning. I think it's, like, some sort of reflex. My mom is behavioral psychologist. That means she thinks she understands me, (pause) but she doesn't. (throws covers back) Understanding requires some kind of communication.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen

The usual morning frenzy. Patty stands at the counter, finishing a cup of coffee. Graham is on the telephone. Danielle is finishing a bowl of cereal, while Angela digs in the refrigerator for an apple.

The doorbell rings. Angela tenses, and Danielle flashes a superior grin.

DANIELLE: Ryan's here! See you later! (dashes for the front door)

PATTY: (calling after her) Danielle! Did you take your lunch money?

The slam of the front door is her reply.

PATTY: (stares into empty cup) I remember those ancient days when my children actually said goodbye to me in the morning.

A horn honks from the driveway.

ANGELA: (kisses Patty's cheek, laughing) Goodbye, Mom. (pause) Was that adequate?

PATTY: (makes a so-so gesture) Needs practice.

ANGELA: (laughs) See you tonight!


INT.KRAKOW HOUSE--Brian's room

Brian is dressed in his usual brown pants and a flannel shirt. He sits on the edge of his neatly made bed and stares at a textbook.

BERNEICE: (OS) Brian! Did you hear me? Your breakfast is getting cold. (pause) Unless you're not hungry. Because if you don't feel like eating this morning, that's perfectly understandable, honey.

BOB: (OS) Berneice, will you stop letting him manipulate you? Whether he *feels* like eating or not isn't the point. He can spend five minutes out of his room before going to school. Breakfast isn't going to kill him.

BRIAN: (VO) The truly amazing thing is, my parents never actually talk to me. They talk *about* me. I keep waiting for the day I open one of their health journals and find a dissertation on 'The Significance of Oatmeal and the Adolescent Mind: Negative Factors versus Health Benefits'.

Brian stands and walks to the window. He spots Jordan Catalano's car at the far end of the street.

BRIAN: (VO) Probability deals with measuring the given outcome of an event based on varying number combinations and statistics. (pause) I don't need statistics to tell me my chances with Angela Chase. The probability of her falling in love with me is somewhere between never and not in this lifetime. (pause) And that is, like, *so* depressing.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen

Graham slams the phone down.

GRAHAM: Damn!

Patty continues to sip her coffee. She stares at Graham coolly, waiting for him to elaborate.

GRAHAM: The guy we had painting the mural fell off the ladder last night. He broke his arm.

PATTY: (tight smile) I'm sure he did it just to inconvenience you.

GRAHAM: (searches Patty's face, surprised by her animosity) Where did that come from?

PATTY: Forget I said anything. I'm going to be late. (pulls on suit jacket) If I don't get those menu layouts by tomorrow, I'll assume you and Hallie are going to sit down with a box of crayons.

GRAHAM: (placating) They'll be done. I told you they would be. Okay?

PATTY: (softens slightly) Okay. (pauses in doorway) Graham--(hesitates, bites her lip)

GRAHAM: What?

PATTY: (softly, not meeting his gaze) Maybe...(deep breath) maybe we could all have dinner tonight.

GRAHAM: Sure. I should be home in plenty of time. (smiles) I can use you as guinea pigs a few more times before the big day.

PATTY: (slow, real smile) Exactly. See you tonight.

GRAHAM: (little wave) Bye.

When the door closes, Graham exhales heavily, as if he has been holding his breath through the entire conversation. He leans against the counter, head down.


INT.HALLWAY

The hallway is crowded with students. Some hurry to class, some linger by their lockers, all are noisy. Brian makes his way through the glut of people.

He looks tired and pale, faint circles ring his eyes. His blond hair has been combed, but it is unwashed. He scans the crowd. He stops moving and stares at Angela and Jordan, standing together, hand in hand, at the far end of the hall. Brian sighs heavily.

Loud voices from behind him pull his attention away from Angela. He glances over his shoulder.

Sharon hurries in his direction, Kyle in pursuit. They are both upset, their voices carrying over the general hubbub.

SHARON: Kyle, I'm sorry! I can't change the way I feel.

KYLE: Of course you can! You already did. You said you loved me, now you don't. (pause, imploring) Give me a chance. Give *us* a chance. If you loved me once, you can love me again.

SHARON: (clutches her books) You aren't listening to me! (steely gaze) If you loved me as much as you say you do, you wouldn't be spreading asinine rumors about my friends. That is, like, *so* low.

KYLE: Since when is Rayanne Graf your friend?

SHARON: That's my point, Kyle. You don't even know what's going on my life anymore!

KYLE: That's only because you won't let me! (pause) Look, I'm sorry I said anything. I apologize.

SHARON: You're apologizing to the wrong person.

KYLE: (new tactic) Sharon, maybe you just *think* you don't love me. (moves closer, reaches for her) But you do. I can tell.

SHARON: (slaps his hand away) No. You can't. Kyle, (seems to become aware of the eyes locked on her, and lowers her voice) I did love you. I had wonderful times with you. (sadly) But I don't love you anymore.

KYLE: (blinks rapidly) Did I do something? I mean besides the rumor thing? Just tell me what I did and I'll--I'll fix it! I'll apologize to Graf and Krakow! Whatever you want!

SHARON: (head tilt, gently) That's not it, Kyle. It's not you. It's me. I--I changed. Or something. I don't know why. I don't know how. But I just don't love you anymore. (babbling) And it wouldn't be, like, fair to hold on to you, just because you're familiar or something. That would be selfish. And I don't want to be selfish. (softly) You deserve better. You deserve someone who loves you.

KYLE: (desperate) But I want you!

SHARON: I'm not a thing, Kyle. You can't *have* me. (looks at him, not unkindly) It's over. You have to accept that.

KYLE: (incredulous) Accept it? How? (slow head shake, tries to figure out what exactly is happening, doesn't like the conclusion he comes to) Look, Sharon, I don't want an audience for this. Let's go somewhere private. Where we can (pause) talk.

SHARON: (steps back) No. We're--we're done talking.

KYLE: (glaring) No we're not!

Brian has been watching the entire fight. He blinks at the two of them, looking mildly ill.

BRIAN: (VO) I don't want to get involved. I mean, this thing between Kyle and Sharon is none of my business. (pause) But my mouth has this bad habit, of, like, *opening* at totally inappropriate times.

He steps forward and taps Sharon's arm.

BRIAN: (nervous smile) Hey Cherski! We've got that yearbook thing. Like, right now. You should really come. (pause) So are you coming?

Sharon and Kyle both give him a dark glare.

SHARON: (impatient) What are you talking about?

BRIAN: (swallows, staring at her) You know, that big meeting to go over the layout. We *have* to go over the layout.

SHARON: (distracted) We went over the layout last week, Krakow!

KYLE: (to Brian, furious) Why don't you mind your own business? (grabs Sharon's arm) Let's go.

SHARON: Wait!

BRIAN: (his smile turns into a grimace) We've got *another* layout meeting. Right now. If you don't go, I'm not making up an excuse for you. This is, like, important. (steps closer) Do you understand what I'm saying?

SHARON: (stares at Brian) Oh! The meeting! *That* yearbook meeting! Of course. I can't believe I forgot. (to Kyle) I can't go.

KYLE: Forget the stupid meeting!

SHARON: It's not stupid. (pause, her lip trembles) Goodbye Kyle.

Sharon pushes Brian forward and they both hurry down the hall.

Kyle turns and stalks off in the opposite direction, fists clenched.


INT.HALLWAY

Sharon shoves Brian around a corner and collapses against the wall. She covers her face with her hands.

SHARON: (crying) Oh my God! That was a total nightmare! I can't believe this is happening! (shakes her head) I never thought he'd react like this. (wipes her face, stares at Brian blankly) What am I supposed to do?

BRIAN: (acutely uncomfortable) I'm probably, you know, not the greatest person to ask for advice on this.

SHARON: (touches Brian's arm) I know. But thanks for getting me out of there. (stony-faced) I did not want to go someplace *private* with him.

Brian nods.

SHARON: (sniffs, pulls tissue out of her purse) I was really mad at you last week. But what you did just now, well, I really appreciate it. (kisses him on the cheek, faint smile) I owe you.

BRIAN: (hopeful) I think I might know a way you could repay me.

SHARON: (scowls) Don't spoil the moment, Krakow. I'm feeling very ambivalent, even friendly toward you right now. And any mention of tutoring Jordan Catalano is going to suck whatever good feelings I have for you right out the window. (pause) Understand?

BRIAN: (VO) It really disturbs me how easily Sharon Cherksi can read me. Or how incredibly transparent I am. (weak smile) (aloud) Sure. But I wasn't going to--

SHARON: (rolling eyes) Later, Brian.


INT.GIRLS' BATHROOM

Sharon is sitting on the counter, dabbing at her eyes with a piece of paper towel. Rayanne and Rickie listen to her tearful story.

SHARON: ...and he kept trying to drag me somewhere we could (grimaces) be *alone*.

RAYANNE: I'm surprised he didn't just club you over the head and drag you down the hall by your hair. Isn't that how cave men usually communicate?

RICKIE: (hands Sharon another towel) I can't believe he started that rumor about Rayanne and Brian.

SHARON: That reminds me. (fresh anger) He had the nerve to say--

The bathroom door opens and Angela rushes in. The site of Rayanne, Sharon, and Rickie together throws her, but only for a moment. She goes to Sharon and the two girls hug tightly.

ANGELA: (speaks into Sharon's hair) Are you all right? I heard the two of you in the hallway! (pulls back, concerned) What happened?

SHARON: (heavy sigh) I tried to break up with Kyle. (considers) I guess I *did* break up with Kyle. Only he didn't want to break up. He's, like, in denial or something. We'd probably still be screaming at each other if Brian hadn't come over.

ANGELA: (shocked) What?

SHARON: (grins) Brian butted in with this completely lame story about a yearbook meeting I just *had* to attend, like, right *now*. (laughs) Which made Kyle even more upset, but it worked.

Rickie shoots Angela a pointed look, but she doesn't notice.

SHARON: (balls towel up in her fist) Speaking of Brian, you know what Mr. Neanderthal said? (looks at Rayanne) He said that you and Brian were in the *boiler room* last week! (incredulous) Can you believe it? By lunch it'll be all over the school. (pained look) I can't believe I wasted this much of my life on him!

ANGELA: (stunned) Oh my God. Poor Brian. (chuckles) And Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (hand to forehead, oppressed) Doesn't anyone realize that I have taste?

RICKIE: (softly) So does Brian.

RAYANNE: (irritated) What does *that* mean?

RICKIE: (sighs) Nothing. Anyway, I better go. See you later.

The bathroom door opens again and Delia looks in.

DELIA: Is Rickie in here?

RICKIE: (smiles, maybe a little relieved) Coming!


EXT.SCHOOL PARKING LOT

Jordan sits on the back of his Plymouth smoking. Angela lies in the backseat doing homework. Only this time, Angela is doing her own homework. And Jordan is doing his.

JORDAN: (looks up from a book) Hey. Guess what.

ANGELA: (hair tuck) What?

JORDAN: (closes book, swings around to face her, sits cross-logged) Shane got us another audition next week. (vague smile) And now that Graf isn't around, we can, like, sound good. (pause, mumbles) No offense, or whatever.

ANGELA: (excited smile) That's wonderful! (gets up on her knees to kiss Jordan) Where are you playing?

JORDAN: (flicks cigarette away) That coffee shop on Tenth. (pause, frowns) The Wire?

ANGELA: (nods) I've been there. It's cool. So what happens if you, like, pass the audition?

JORDAN: (lights new cigarette) We can get monthly gigs. (inhales) Maybe weekly if we don't suck.

ANGELA: (radiant) That is *such* great news. (happy sigh) So when is the audition?

JORDAN: Next Friday.

Angela's smile erodes.

ANGELA: Next Friday? You mean the fifteenth?

JORDAN: I guess.

ANGELA: But that's the night of the play!

JORDAN: (forehead crinkles) But the play runs for, like, a couple of nights.

ANGELA: Yes. But the tickets are sold out. Our tickets are for the fifteenth.

They stare at each other.

JORDAN: (softly) Oh. (doubtful) Maybe we can change the audition...

ANGELA: (slowly) No. (decisive) *No.* You should go. I know how important this is to you. Besides, you probably wouldn't like Our Town that much anyway.

JORDAN: It's just a bunch of dead people talking, right?

ANGELA: (half smile) Sort of.

JORDAN: Cool. (pause) I guess that means you don't want to come to the audition.

ANGELA: (torn) I'd love to. (nibbles thumb nail, considering) But I can't. Rickie and Rayanne are, like, counting on me to come to the play. (pause) And I really want to see it.

JORDAN: (shrugs) If we get the gig, you can see us play anytime.

ANGELA: (uncertain) Okay.

Jordan slides off the back of the car.

JORDAN: I'm gonna go find the guys and make sure they can practice tonight.

ANGELA: (nods) Of course.

He leans into the back of the car and kisses her.

JORDAN: (smile) Later.

ANGELA: Yeah.

When he's gone Angela turns back to her homework. After a moment of struggling through the same paragraph five times, she shuts her books and looks toward the school building, frowning.


EXT.SCHOOL COURTYARD

Brian sits on a bench, playing with his camera. He lifts it and puts it to his eye, framing the building. A moment later Rickie looms into focus. Brian lowers the camera and blinks at his friend.

RICKIE: (sits beside him) Hey.

BRIAN: Hey. (pause) How is everything?

RICKIE: Fine.

BRIAN: I meant at, you know, Pride House.

RICKIE: (gently) I know what you meant. (sighs) It's okay. There's, like, twelve of us. And then Peter and Rebecca. (pause) They're in charge of it or whatever. And they're really nice. (slowly, with sudden emotion) But it's not the same as having a real home. I don't, you know, fit in.

Brian looks down at his camera.

BRIAN: (hesitant) Maybe I can come visit sometime. Or something.

RICKIE: (pleased) I'd like that. (pulls a sandwich out of a paper bag) Rayanne and Angela stopped by this weekend. (pause) So did Delia.

BRIAN: (tries to keep his voice neutral) Oh?

RICKIE: We went to see a movie and then she came back to the, uh, house.

BRIAN: (lifts camera, hides behind it) So. I guess Delia still hates my guts?

RICKIE: (chuckles) Let's just say she won't be asking *you* to a movie any time soon.

Brian sighs and aims the camera in the opposite direction. Suddenly he takes a picture. We see the view through his lens: A profile of Angela Chase studying in the back of Jordan Catalano's car.


INT.HALLWAY

Sharon, Rayanne, and Angela walk toward Katimski's classroom.

ANGELA: ...so on the one hand I'm completely happy for him, but on the other hand, I feel so disappointed. (head shake) God, I feel so selfish. (frown) When did I become such a terrible person?

SHARON: You aren't terrible. It's, like, completely natural to want him to come to the play.

RAYANNE: (shrugs) He'd probably fall asleep through it anyway.

Angela gives Rayanne a look.

RAYANNE: (laughs) What? He would! (stops, suddenly nervous) (to Angela) But you're still coming, right?

ANGELA: (nods vigorously) Of course. (proud smile) I wouldn't miss it.

RAYANNE: (relaxes, glances at Sharon) What about you Cherski? Can you tear away from your busy schedule long enough to see me make a fool of myself in front of the whole school?

SHARON: (head tilt) Like you could keep me away? (sobers) I bought two tickets. But now, since Kyle and I are (pause) *done*, I don't know what to do.

ANGELA: Are you going Friday?

SHARON: Thursday. (frowns, her face clouding) Who can I go with?

ANGELA: (lifts eyebrow) What about Brian?

SHARON: (makes a face) I don't think so. (purses her lips, considering) Then again, I do sort of owe him. (shrugs) I'll think about it.

RAYANNE: (digs in her bag, pulls out several pieces of bubble gum) Gum? Anyone? Anyone?

SHARON: Thanks! (takes a piece)

ANGELA: (amused) No thanks.

RAYANNE: Suit yourself. (skips off down the hall) Later, 'gator!


INT.KATIMSKI'S CLASSROOM

Sharon and Angela walk into the classroom. They are early. Several students from the previous class remain seated, talking softly.

STUDENT 1: I can't believe it.

STUDENT 2: I feel so sorry for her.

STUDENT 3: When is she leaving?

SHARON: (walks over, curious) What's going on?

STUDENT 1: Didn't you hear? Abyssinia Churchill's mom *died* last night.

Angela and Sharon exchange a look.

SHARON: What happened?

STUDENT 2: She was hit by a drunk driver on her way home from work or something.

STUDENT 3: And Abyssinia is going to go live with her dad in Georgia.

ANGELA: So she's not coming back next year?

STUDENT 1: She's not coming after spring break. As soon as the play is over, she's leaving.

SHARON: (sinks into her desk) On my God.

STUDENT 2: (confidentially) Her mom was really proud she was in the play. So she wants to do it out of respect or whatever.

Angela takes her seat, silent. The three girls stand, and still talking softly, drift from the room.

SHARON: I'm, like, *shocked*.

BRIAN: (OS) Shocked about what?

The camera moves off Sharon's stunned expression to reveal Brian has entered the room.

SHARON: (squinches her face) Uh, Brian. I've got, like, bad news.

BRIAN: (sighs, already resigned) What?

SHARON: Abyssinia Churchill's mom died. So she's, like, quitting school and moving away.

BRIAN: (blinks in surprise) Oh. (looks vaguely concerned) That's terrible.

SHARON: (leaning forward in her desk) Yes, but that means (lowers voice) she won't be tutoring Jordan for you. (pause) And I *really* can't do it because I'm going to end up taking on the students Abyssinia was already scheduled to tutor. (rests chin on her hand) I can't believe this!

Brian just stares at Sharon.

SHARON: (frowns) Did you hear what I said?

BRIAN: (VO) I heard. I just didn't want to think about the implications. Because I can't go on tutoring Jordan Catalano. It's getting to the point where I'm, like, physically unable to be in the same room with him. There's no way I can do it. I have to be strong. (lifts chin) I *have* to have self- respect!

Angela glances back at him. She nods, a half-smile and a hair tuck before turning back to the front.

BRIAN: (VO) Apparently just not today. (collapses into his desk) (aloud) I understand. It's, like, an unforseen circumstance or whatever. I'll tutor him. (shrugs) It's not a big deal. (VO) That is probably the biggest, most blatant

lie I have ever told in my entire life. (pause) And I've told, like, tons of lies.

Angela turns again and flashes him a wide, beatific smile. Brian manages a grim smile before lowering his head onto the desk.


EXT.SCHOOL STEPS--late afternoon

School is over. Kids flock out of the building. Some wait on the steps. Some head for the parking lot or their bikes. The sky is slate gray. Snow falls half-heartedly. One student sits with a large boom box playing softly while they wait for the bus.

Brian stands in the doorway, trying not to get wet. He sees Angela emerge from the building and turns away. The look on his face makes it clear he dreads her coming over to him. And that he wants nothing more. The boom box begins playing "Goodnight, Good Guy" by Collective Soul.

ANGELA: (spots Brian, hair tuck) Hi.

BRIAN: Hi.

ANGELA: (observing snow) I can't believe it's snowing. I thought April was supposed to bring rain.

BRIAN: I guess not.

ANGELA: (pulls on mittens) So have you seen Rickie yet? At Pride House I mean?

BRIAN: No. Not yet. (quickly) But I want to.

ANGELA: A bunch of us are going to visit him on Saturday. You should come along.

BRIAN: (nods) Okay. That sounds good.

ANGELA: (smiles) Good. (catches a snowflake on her mitten, inspects it until it melts) (softly) Do you remember when we used to make snow angels in the backyard? And that huge fort?

BRIAN: (nods, laughs) And it collapsed on top of Sharon!

ANGELA: (joins laughter, wistful smile) God, that was a long time ago.

BRIAN: (side-long glance at Angela) (VO) (slow, painful) The way the snowflakes melt on her eyelashes and in her hair is, like, amazing.

ANGELA: I guess snow is more fun when you're a kid. (pause, laughs) Before you have to shovel it.

BRIAN: (has difficulty focusing on what she's saying) Uh...yeah.

The school bus pulls into the driveway.

ANGELA: Are you taking the bus? (pause) Because you can have a ride home if you want.

She indicates the red car behind the bus. Jordan is just barely visible behind the wheel.

BRIAN: (the spell is broken, he looks away) (harshly) Not with you.

Angela stares at him, hurt.

BRIAN: (backpeddling) I just mean I don't need a ride home. (pause) Because my dad is picking me up. (pause) Because I have an appointment. (shrugs, tentative smile) That's all. I appreciate the invitation, though. Thanks.

ANGELA: Oh. (returns the smile) Okay then. You're welcome.

The last of the students pile onto the bus. Brian swallows, opens his mouth, closes it again.

ANGELA: (moves down the steps, radiant, she manages a small wave at Brian) Bye!

BRIAN: (watches her get inside the car) (whispers) Bye.

The bus pulls away. So does Jordan.

Brian stares at the ground for a long moment. When he finally looks up he holds out one hand and lets the snow melt on his glove, imitating Angela. Then he brushes his hand off on his jacket and starts walking.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Graham stands in main room of the restaurant, a look of unabashed horror on his face. The camera doesn't show us what he's looking at.

The door opens and Hallie rushes in, briefcase in one hand, a paper bag in the other.

HALLIE: (breathless) Don't say anything. I know I'm late, but I brought lunch. It's extremely bad taste to insult someone bearing food.

GRAHAM: (amused) Says who?

HALLIE: (sly smile) Me, if you think you're getting some of this.

GRAHAM: (sighs, points to wall) I wish *I* had been late. Look at this. Have you ever seen that many clouds outside of a toilet paper commercial? (rubs his forehead) My God.

HALLIE: (sets the bag down, stares at the wall) It looks like a toilet paper commercial because it's not done. (shrugs) Just get somebody to finish it.

GRAHAM: Excuse me? Where do I find someone else with this kind of talent? (pause, hopeful) Unless you..?

HALLIE: (laughs loudly) Sure thing, Graham. I'm a brilliant artist. (more laughter) In fact, I paint as well as I cook. That little story about me not being able to make toast? (waves) Complete fabrication. (smiles) I just like seeing you do all the work.

GRAHAM: A simple no will suffice.

HALLIE: (opens Styrofoam container) No. (pause) Is Thai okay?

GRAHAM: It's fine. (takes the second container, unwraps a fork from its wrapper) (looks at Hallie) Maybe we should just paint over the wall. You know, skip the mural.

HALLIE: (taps her fork against the side of her container, thinking) No. We have time. Something will come up. (nods) I can feel it.

GRAHAM: (snorts) Oh?

HALLIE: Call it women's intuition.

GRAHAM: (laughs) How about wishful thinking?

HALLIE: (points at Graham with her fork) Wishful thinking is the two of us getting through that Lifestyle article without fainting or drooling.

GRAHAM: (chokes on his food) What Lifestyle article?

HALLIE: (frozen smile) Oops.


EXT.CITY STREET

Evening. A bus pulls up to the curb. The door swings open and Rickie and Rayanne descend the stairs onto the sidewalk. Across the street is a large three story Victorian house. A small sign in the yard reads: Pride House. They walk toward the house. Rickie lags slightly behind.

RAYANNE: Hurry up, Vasquez, it's freezing out. (stops in front of Pride House, stares at the large structure) It looks like a prison.

RICKIE: (annoyed) Rayanne...

RAYANNE: Okay, not a prison. (pause) More like that house in Psycho.

RICKIE: (offended) It does not!

As they draw closer, a young man is visible sitting on the stone steps leading to the house. He wears a black beret pulled low over a head of white blond hair. His hair is short except for a single thin braid that juts out of the cap and falls just below his ear. He holds a cigarette in one gloved hand and nods at Rickie and Rayanne.

BOY: Actually, it kind of does.

RICKIE: What?

BOY: (puffs on cigarette) Look like the Psycho house.

RAYANNE: (triumphant) Told ya!

RICKIE: (stares at the boy, trying to place him) (relents) Well, maybe a little. (sheepish) I'm sorry, I, um, don't remember your name. (pause) James?

JASON: Close. Jason. And you're Rickie?

Rickie nods and looks away, embarrassed.

JASON: (holds up a pack of cigarettes) Either of you want a coffin nail?

RICKIE: (swallows) What?

JASON: (half smile) Cigarette.

RICKIE: Oh. Right. No thanks.

RAYANNE: (pulls the front door open) Enrique! Some time this year, okay?

RICKIE: (smiles, softly) You'll have to excuse her. They only let her out of the restraints so often.


INT.PRIDE HOUSE

Rickie follows Rayanne inside the lobby. There is a desk centered along the far wall, opposite the door. A worn couch and a few chairs line the remaining walls. A battered table rests in the center of the room. It contains several pamphlets and brochures bearing the words Pride House. They walk to a reinforced door near the desk and Rickie pulls a key from his pocket. He unlocks the door and they enter a long hallway. The hallway carpeting is worn in spots. Much of the furniture has a well used look, but everything is clean and well kept.

RAYANNE: (throws Rickie a sour glance) I heard that.

RICKIE: What?

RAYANNE: (imitating) What? (sly smile) Don't say the word restraints. It makes me nostalgic for those handcuffs. (grins, head tilt) I suppose you want to use those handcuffs on Jason out there.

RICKIE: (horrified laughter) Shut up!

RAYANNE: He *was* kind of cute...

They climb a short flight of stairs and enter a second hallway. Rickie opens the third door on the right.


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--Rickie's room

They enter a small dorm-like room with a single bed and a small desk.

RICKIE: What are you talking about? (pulls off coat, tosses it on the bed) You think I like Jason or something? I don't even know him.

RAYANNE: *Do* you like him?

RICKIE: (quickly) No. Of course not. (pause) Besides, it--it doesn't pay. The last thing I need is another Corey Helfrick.

Rayanne's smile grows wider.

RICKIE: (insistent) I don't.

RAYANNE: Whatever you say. (flops down on the bed, right on top of Rickie's coat) (deposits her bag in her lap and proceeds to dig through it) So, you think practice went okay tonight?

RICKIE: (rests backpack on top of the desk) I told you it did, like, fifteen times, Rayanne. You were terrific. You have nothing to worry about. You *are* Emily.

RAYANNE: (pulls flask out of the bag) Yes, but Emily isn't the one who's going to look like a fool when she forgets her lines. (frowns, nervous) Rayanne is.

Rickie stares at the silver flask, a shocked look on his face. Slowly, his shock turns to anger.

RICKIE: (points) What are you doing with that?

RAYANNE: (crooked smile) It's not that hard to figure out, Vasquez.

Rickie lunges for the flask, furious.

RICKIE: (voice low, panicked) I told you alcohol isn't allowed in here! You shouldn't even be drinking, Rayanne! (his voice rises) You promised me! (disgusted, stricken) You *promised*! (glares) Are you *insane*?


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Graham and Hallie stand opposite each other, their food forgotten. Graham glowers at her.

HALLIE: (glares back) I am *not* insane! (long pause) I'm just...busy. *Perhaps* forgetful. But the only sign if insanity I see is the fact I asked you to be my business partner!

GRAHAM: (gesturing angrily) Oh, I see! So *that's* how you really feel!

HALLIE: (bitter laugh) Please, Graham. You have *no* idea how I really feel.

GRAHAM: What's that supposed to mean?

HALLIE: (her anger drains, and she regards Graham with a sad smile) You know what, Graham? I think this is my cue to leave. I've got tons of work to do. I'll be up half the night alternately feeling guilty because I forgot to tell you about the article, and trying to come up with insulting names worthy enough for you. Something (pause) creative.

GRAHAM: (takes a deep breath) Wait. I'm sorry. I just get--nervous. I hate not having time to prepare. When is the interview?

HALLIE: Monday. (crosses arms) That's plenty of time, Graham. Some green reporter is going to ask us eight question and snap a picture of us with fake smiles standing in front of the restaurant. End of story.

Graham looks thoughtful.

Hallie closes the Styrofoam box and reaches for her coat.

HALLIE: Goodnight.

GRAHAM: You don't have to go.

HALLIE: (her back to Graham) No. I don't *have* to go. But...(pause, her eyes bright) I think I should.

GRAHAM: (clears throat) What about the menu?

HALLIE: (controls her expression, turns back to him) What *about* it?

GRAHAM: We have to finish it. Patty needs to print it by the end of the week. (flailing) You can't just leave.

HALLIE: (annoyed, angry) The hell I can't. You run home to Patty all the time. What difference does it make if I just run *home*?

GRAHAM: (patiently) It makes a difference because we have work to do.

Hallie stares at him for several seconds, her expression inscrutable. Finally she smiles.

HALLIE: Tell you what, Graham. We'll finish the menus tomorrow morning. I *won't* be late, I won't pull any more surprise interviews on you, and I'll give serious thought to paper weight and grade when I'm not down in the dumps or cursing you tonight. Deal?

GRAHAM: Hallie, I--

HALLIE: (with false cheerfulness) Great. I'll see you tomorrow then. (pushes the door open, walks into the purple evening)


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--Rickie's room

Rickie stands with his back to Rayanne, his arms folded, face closed off. He exudes tension.

RICKIE: I can't believe you're still drinking (voice wavers) after what happened with Jordan. And your birthday! (turns to her, fighting tears) Just tell me, something Rayanne. Why? *Why* are doing this?

RAYANNE: (flounces off the bed, annoyed) Thanks anyway, but I think I'll pass on the lecture just now.

RICKIE: (shakes his head, tears falling) You don't know what it was like! You almost *died*! And I couldn't do anything. I was, like, completely helpless. (wipes his face) And you're finally friends with Angela again. How can you risk that friendship like this? (slowly) I can't stand to see my best friend get drunk and screw her life up again! (eyes flashing) Because the thing is, Rayanne, you don't just screw up your life. You screw up mine. And Angela's. Anyone who cares about you gets sucked right into that--that stupid flask right along with you. (brings a hand to his face) I can't live with that. (choking) It hurts...so...much.

RAYANNE: (she softens) It's okay, Rickie. You don't have to worry. Really. (shrug) I just *need* something to get through this play thing. (pause) I can't do it alone. It's too (fumbles)...this is a big deal. (grips Rickie's shoulder, speaks slowly) I *can't* screw this up.

RICKIE: (his face collapses) You *aren't* alone, Rayanne. You have me. And Angela. (whispers) Why can't we be good enough?

RAYANNE: (backs away, uncomfortable) God, Rickie. (smiles weakly) Of course you're good enough. I wasn't, like, *implying* anything.

RICKIE: Do you think you're the only person this play means something to? (stares at her) I am, like, *beyond* terrified. Mr. Katimski is relying on me to see that everything goes smoothly. (long searching look at Rayanne's face) How is Our Town going to run smoothly when you're drunk?

RAYANNE: (glares) Thanks for the vote of confidence. As usual, you're just *waiting* for me to mess up. It's like you expect me to make a fool of myself. (narrows eyes) You sure know how to make a girl feel good. (takes a drink) Or maybe that's the problem. (long pause, takes another drink, flashes a cold smile) You don't.

Rickie flinches as if he's been struck. He stares at her, stunned. The silence in the room is deafening. He stalks to the door and opens it. He gestures for her to leave.

RAYANNE: (instantly ashamed) Rickie, I'm sorry. I--I didn't mean that. I really didn't.

Rickie stares fixedly at the floor.

RAYANNE: (swallows) Okay. I'll go. (pauses in the doorway) But I didn't mean it. (trying not to cry) I don't, you know, always mean everything I say.

RICKIE: (raises his head, eyes bright) Yeah. (hoarsely) Like the part about me and Angela being good enough.

Rickie shuts the door. He rests his head against it and starts to cry.


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--hallway

Rayanne stares at the door, miserable. She takes a halting step toward it, as if she wants to knock, but hesitates. Slowly, she turns and walks away.


INT.GIRLS' BATHROOM--morning

Angela and Rickie enter the bathroom.

ANGELA: ...so this mural or whatever is only half done. And my dad is going to freak if it's not finished. (pause) I was sort of thinking about asking Corey Helfrick to help out. (grimaces) Do you think he'd help, or would he, like, run screaming in the opposite direction when he saw me?

RICKIE: (distracted) What? No. (faint smile) I'm sure he's over, well, you know, *that*. I think you should ask him. He's really good. I'm sure he could do whatever your dad needs.

ANGELA (thinking) Maybe I will.

Rickie and Angela stand in front of the mirror. Angela does her usual hair tuck and eventually notices Rickie is staring dully at his reflection. She turns to her friend, concerned.

ANGELA: What's wrong?

RICKIE: Nothing. (shrugs, uncomfortable) I really don't want to talk about it. (notes Angela's hurt expression) Yet. (pause) But thanks for asking.

The door opens and Sharon and Delia enter. Delia brightens when she sees Rickie.

DELIA: Hi!

RICKIE: Hi.

DELIA: (forehead crinkles) What's the matter? You have the same look I get when I flunk a geometry test. And we don't have a geometry test for another week. (pause) Is there something wrong?

RICKIE: No. (smiles) Not now. Let's go. (kisses Angela's cheek) See you later.

ANGELA: (relieved to see Rickie's mood improve) Later.

Sharon moves to the mirror and messes around with her hair for a moment.

SHARON: I forgot to tell you. I'm not going to Our Town alone after all.

ANGELA: Did you ask Brian?

SHARON: (mildly guilty) No. I asked Delia. (fast talk mode) Turns out Delia gave her ticket to Abyssinia Churchill because her dad is flying here for, like, the funeral or whatever, and she really wanted him to stay for the play. Which left Delia without a ticket except now she has one because she's going to go with me.

ANGELA: (pleased) That's good.

SHARON: What about you? (turns the tables) Are *you* going to give Brian your extra ticket?

ANGELA: (frowns) I...I don't know yet. Danielle has this little boy (pause) *friend*. Maybe she wants to ask him.

A bell rings.

SHARON: Can we go? I don't want to see Kyle in the hallway.

ANGELA: Is he still calling you?

SHARON: All the time. He's driving me crazy. And my parents.

Sharon and Angela leave the bathroom. After a long moment the end stall opens and Rayanne emerges. She screws the top of her flask back on and drops it into her bag.


INT.HALLWAY--mid-morning

Angela is digging a book out of her locker when she sees Corey Helfrick walk past. She slams her locker and runs after him.

ANGELA: Corey!

Corey looks back. He doesn't look happy to see her.

ANGELA: Do you have a second?

COREY: (looks as if he would rather run down the hallway) Uh, I guess.

ANGELA: (embarrassed) I know I've acted, sort of, well, odd in the past. And I'm sorry. (smiles)

COREY: (shrugs and manages an awkward smile) Okay.

ANGELA: But what I *really* wanted to say is that my dad is opening this restaurant. And he's having this mural thing painted on the wall. (pause) But the guy who was painting it broke his arm. Would you consider, maybe, finishing it? (hair tuck) He would, like, pay you, or whatever.

COREY: (interested) What kind of mural?

ANGELA: I'm not exactly sure. (frowns) I guess there are clouds involved or something. I haven't seen it yet.

COREY: Clouds?

The camera pulls back to reveal them walking down the hall together, smiling and talking. Unlike her prior experiences with Corey, Angela looks at ease.


INT.CLASSROOM

Brian pages through a textbook while Jordan studies a series of handwritten flash cards.

BRIAN: (VO) My parents aren't very religious. We, like, never really celebrate holidays or anything at my house. When I was little I always wondered about hell. If it really existed. (glances quickly at Jordan and back to his book) At least I have an answer. It's, like, my life.

JORDAN: (stretches, drops flash cards onto the desk, indicates Brian's book) What's that?

BRIAN: What? This? It's my textbook for this college class I'm taking.

JORDAN: (gives Brian a weird look) You're taking a college course when you're in high school? (pause) Why?

BRIAN: Because it's pretty interesting. And it'll help me get into a better college, maybe. I'll be, like, prepared. (long pause) And my dad wanted me to.

JORDAN: Oh. (rubs his eye) So what's the class?

BRIAN: Probability and Statistics.

JORDAN: Sounds boring. Is statistics math?

BRIAN: Yes.

JORDAN: What's (pause, stumbles over the word) probable mean?

BRIAN: (corrects Jordan) Probability. It's like figuring out how often something is going to happen mathematically. For example, say that statistics show that out of every 100 people who are between 20 and 30 years old, 42 of them will live until age 70. The assumption is that someone between those ages has a 42% probability of living until *they're* 70 years old.

JORDAN: (makes a face) Sounds *really* boring. (pause) What do you need to learn it for? Does it have, like, a purpose?

BRIAN: (shrugs) It's useful if you're planning to study genetics, quantum mechanics, or social sciences.

JORDAN: So is that what you're gonna do, you know, after high school?

BRIAN: (VO) What I really want, (pause) like my *dream* or whatever, is to be is a photographer. I love the weight of the camera in my hands. It's kind of like (pause) freedom. I love taking pictures when someone least expects it. It's like...you can glimpse who they really are. And sometimes, (pause) you can see who they want to be. (matter-of-fact) My parents would, like, implode if they knew I wasn't planning on spending the next decade in college. (aloud) Maybe. (pause, drops the book into his backpack) Probably.

JORDAN: Oh. That's cool.

Jordan returns to his work for several minutes. Finally he looks up.

JORDAN: (shuffles the flash cards) Hey, Brain?

BRIAN: What?

JORDAN: You're, like, friends with Angela, right?

BRIAN: (his face compresses, and he grips the edge of the desk, trying to breathe) Why do you ask?

JORDAN: (shrugs) No reason. (shifts in the chair) Well, this is the thing. (sighs) I saw Angela talking to this guy today. That Corey guy? The one with the painted shoes? (taps one of the flash cards against the desk) I think she liked him once, or something. And I got, like, nervous. (frowns) But then I remembered you're her friend. (leans forward, smiles) She talks to you all the time and that doesn't mean anything, right? So, it's, like, no big deal if she was talking to this other guy. Because she talks to you. (leans back in the chair, satisfied with his logic, oblivious to the impact his words have on Brian)

BRIAN: (VO) Oh...my...God. (pause) It's one thing for *me* to admit that I have, like, no chance with someone like Angela Chase. But when Jordan Catalano, (disgusted) *her* Jordan Catalano points out that I have pretty much zero significance in her life... (drops head into his hands) I don't really care if he passes Katimski's pop quiz tomorrow. (lifts head) (speaks aloud, thickly) I just remembered I have to be somewhere. (stands abruptly, bumps his hip against the desk) So, ah, you can use each of the words in a sentence, okay? I'm--I'm sorry.

Without waiting for a response, Brian bolts from the room.


INT.HOMEROOM

Rickie sits in front of Delia. He is turned around so that he can share a desktop with her. They are playing hangman.

Sharon sits in the next row, working on some geometry problem.

DELIA: (rips off clean sheet of paper) My turn.

RICKIE: Animal, vegetable, or mineral?

DELIA: All of the above.

RICKIE: (wrinkles his face) What does that mean?

DELIA: (giggles) I'll give you a hint. It's a name.

RICKIE: Like a person's name?


INT.HALLWAY

Kyle Vinovich stands in the doorway, watching Sharon. He looks miserable. Sharon twirls a strand of hair around her finger, reading something. Suddenly she looks up. Her face grows strained when she sees Kyle and she quickly looks back down at her book.

KYLE: (loud whisper) Sharon!

She flinches, but doesn't acknowledge him.

KYLE: (louder) Sharon!

She takes a deep breath and looks at him.

SHARON: (crosses her arms, mouths) What?

KYLE: I want to talk to you.

Sharon flips to a new page in her notebook and writes something. She holds it up. In blue ink is the word: NO.

KYLE: (runs a hand through his hair) Please?

Sharon taps the page with her pen, emphasizing.

Kyle stares at her a moment longer before walking off. Sharon glances around her, aware of her neighbor's curious looks. She slumps in her chair, embarrassed and guilty.

Delia and Rickie exchange concerned glances.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Graham and Hallie sit at one of the newly-installed booths. Near the back of the room, a young man folds gauzy cream colored tablecloths. The low hum of the dish washer drifts from the kitchen.

HALLIE: (insistent) We should have a separate desert menu.

GRAHAM: No. That's too expensive. One menu is fine.

HALLIE: (head shake) No it's not. Ninety-nine percent of all classy restaurants have those little desert menus or the fancy tray on wheels.

GRAHAM: Fine. Somebody has to be the 1%.

HALLIE: (ignores him) I vote for some kind of cute, gimmicky menu. Everyone loves gimmicks. (brightens) Maybe an angel with folded wings. You unfold the wings and ta-dah! Heavenly creations. Angel food cake, torte, the more fattening the better. (growing excited) In fact, we could label the desert menu 'Heavenly Creations'. Isn't that perfect? (head shake, slaps the table top) Damn. I'm good. (eyes Graham darkly) Admit it now or suffer later.

GRAHAM: (dutifully) You're good. (sighs) But I'll still suffer. This is going to cost a lot. Although, maybe I can get Patty to check if there's any discontinued paper we could use. What about a wine list then? Do you expect another menu? (frustrated) How will anybody eat? It'll take half an hour to clear all the paper products away.

HALLIE: (sips from her Starbucks cup) Were you born this negative or was it a natural progression?

GRAHAM: Not natural. More of a reaction to meeting you.

HALLIE: (laughs) That's pretty much a compliment compared to what some people have said after meeting me. (pause) We can do this. (waves toward center of the restaurant) Look at this. In eight days we'll have customers. And income! (smiles) Incoming customers.

GRAHAM: It's the outgoing customers I worry about. As long as they come back.

HALLIE: They will.

They lapse into silence. Hallie presses her fingernails into the Styrofoam cup, forming little moons.

GRAHAM: (coughs, clears throat) Hallie, about last night.

HALLIE: (tenses) What about it?

GRAHAM: (lowers his voice) When you said I didn't know how you (pause, nervous) felt. (leans toward her) I just wanted you to know, that I do. I *do* know how you feel. (they stare at each other, barely breathing, and Graham continues) Because I--I feel the same way.

HALLIE: (lifts her chin, curious) And what way would that be?

GRAHAM: (he moves his hand closer to hers, almost touching her fingers) I've never met anyone like you. I can say anything to you. (amazed) And you let me! You actually listen to what I have to say.

HALLIE: (pulls her hand away) Graham. Listen to me. Think long and hard before you say something you can't take back. (sadly) I've said a million wrong things in my life. I can't help it. (shrugs)But you can. You're a considerate, caring, thoughtful man. I don't mind being hurt by your basic run of the mill jerk. (her eyes tear up) But I don't want to be hurt by you.

GRAHAM: (quickly) I don't want to hurt you.

HALLIE: (leans back in the booth, angry) Newsflash, Graham: you're married. That automatically hurts me.

GRAHAM: (bows his head) I'm sorry.

HALLIE: Don't be sorry! Just think about what you're doing. Think with your head *and* you're heart. (takes a deep breath) Get out of here. Give Patty the menu layouts. Spend some time with her. (pause) Because I want you to be sure.

GRAHAM: I will. (hesitant to go) I just think that this restaurant is a new beginning for me. And maybe (pause, searches her face) maybe you are too.

HALLIE: (refuses to meet his gaze) (harshly) I said *go*.

Graham leaves.


INT.HALLWAY--after school

Angela, Rayanne, and Sharon emerge from the bathroom and into the hall.

SHARON: (waves several sheets of crumpled paper at Angela) Look at this. Five pages! (upset) I can't believe he wrote me a five page note!

RAYANNE: (dropping lip gloss into her bag) I can't believe Vinovich knows enough words to fill five pages. (pause, suspicious) Are you sure Krakow didn't write it for him?

Sharon and Angela both direct a glare at Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (huffs) Excuse me for trying to lighten the mood.

SHARON: (bites at her lower lip, troubled) Do you think I did the right thing? Breaking up with Kyle, I mean. I feel so *bad*. He's, like, miserable. (attempts to refold the note) I don't know what to do.

RAYANNE: Forget Kyle. You don't love him, Cherski, you said so. You're right, he's miserable. And if you get back together (pointed look) again, *you'll* be the miserable one.

SHARON: I'm miserable now.

RAYANNE: Yes, but you'll be even *more* miserable.

SHARON: (covers her face with her hands) Oh God.

ANGELA: I'm sorry Sharon. This must be--

COREY: Angela!

The three girls turn to see Corey Helfrick running toward them. He smiles at Sharon and Rayanne, but his attention is focused on Angela.

COREY: Hi. If you can stay for rehearsal my dad said he'd take us to the restaurant. I can look at the mural you were talking about.

ANGELA: (excited) Sure. That's great!

SHARON: (depressed) Well I have to go. I'll see you guys tomorrow.

ANGELA: (to Sharon) Call me tonight?

SHARON: I will.

COREY: (to Angela) You can help move scenery if you want. (pause) Unless you have something else to do.

ANGELA: I do have something I have to do, but then I can help.

COREY: Okay then. Later.

RAYANNE: (coos into Angela's ear) Why Angelika, have you been having more of those erotic dreams involving Corey Helfrick and assorted snack foods?

ANGELA: (pulls away, laughing) Shut up!

RAYANNE: (hefts bag onto her shoulder) I have to get to practice. Come wave at me, okay?

ANGELA: I'll be there in a minute.

Angela watches Rayanne skip toward the auditorium. Smiling, she walks in the opposite direction.


INT.AUDITORIUM

Brian and Rickie sit together in the last row. They are both slouched low in their chairs.

RICKIE: (sighing) How was your afternoon?

BRIAN: It sucked.

RICKIE: Mine too.

BRIAN: How come?

RICKIE: (sighs) I don't know. A lot of things. It seems almost, like, expected. (pause) How about you?

BRIAN: I have a test in calculus tomorrow. And I started this new class last week.

RICKIE: (reproachful, concerned) What? Why? Don't you have enough to do, Brian?

BRIAN: (leans his head back, looks up at the ceiling) I don't want to talk about it.

RICKIE: (frowns) Okay. (turns his head to look at Brian with one eye) You *are* going to come to the play though, right?

BRIAN: I don't know.

RICKIE: (sits up) You don't know? Come on, Brian! You *have* to come.

BRIAN: Isn't it sold out?

RICKIE: (frowns) Yeah, but maybe I can find a spare ticket or something. (pause) Why didn't you buy one yourself?

BRIAN: There didn't seem to be a point. (shrugs) I don't really feel like going anyway.

RICKIE: (looks at Brian) Not even if I'm asking you to?

BRIAN: Okay. *Okay*. (heavy sigh) If you find a ticket I'll come.

DELIA: Hey Rickie!

Delia approaches, smiling. Her smile slips a notch when she sees Brian.

BRIAN: (slides out of the chair) I should probably go.

RICKIE: (softly) You don't have to leave, Brian.

BRIAN: (fake smile) I know, but I've got to study. So I really should, you know, go.

He waves awkwardly at Delia. She gives him a tight smile.


EXT.PARKING LOT

Jordan sits behind the steering wheel of his car, Angela leans against the door. They are kissing through the open window.

JORDAN: (pulls away, vaguely disappointed) So you don't want to hear us practice tonight?

ANGELA: Of course I want to hear you practice. But I told my dad I'd help him with this thing at the new restaurant. (brightens) If you get a break, maybe you could stop by or something. It's called Taste of Heaven, and it's on Wisconsin Avenue. I could give you the grand tour. (laughs) Not that there's much to see. (pause, hopeful) Do you want to?

Jordan leans down and kisses her.

ANGELA: (beams) Does that mean yes?

JORDAN: (starts the car, gives her a half-smile) Sure.


INT.WOOD & JONES

Patty is on the telephone when Graham walks in. He watches her for several seconds, unnoticed. He leans against the doorway, an anguished look on his face. Finally, Patty swivels in her chair and sees him. He manages a smile. She smiles back, surprised, and holds up one hand: just a minute.

PATTY: I'll have the estimate by the end of the day. Yes. Right. (she hangs up the phone) Graham! What are you doing here?

GRAHAM: (nervous smile) Was I supposed to schedule an appointment?

PATTY: Of course not. I'm just surprised. (pause, appraising Graham, she smiles) Pleasantly surprised.


INT.BACK STAGE

Brian wanders behind the stage, near the prop room. Angela, Corey, Rickie, and Delia are just off-stage. They watch Rayanne and Abyssinia. Brian watches Angela, unseen.

He sits down on the floor, his back against the wall. A large beam partially hides him from Angela and the others.

He listens to the faint sound of their laughter, and beyond that, Rayanne's dialogue.

BRIAN: (VO) My life is one long, continuous dress rehearsal. I keep waiting for the real thing to start. (frowns at his Calculus book) Because it's *got* to get better than this. (picks up a pencil, starts writing, the lead breaks) Or not. (glaring, he throws the pencil)

KATIMSKI: (OS) Gee whiz, that's wonderful. We have three more days until the dress rehearsal, people. Let's...let's all keep up the good work. Okay, same time tomorrow. (pause) Abyssinia, could I see you, um, for just a minute?

Brian watches as Angela and Corey exit the stage. Laughing, Delia and Rickie follow.

RAYANNE: (OS) Rickie! Wait up!

Brian closes his book and stands. The sound of angry footfalls makes him hesitate.

RAYANNE: (walks into view, muttering, sarcastic) ...thank you *so* much for waiting. It's *so* wonderful--refreshing really--having friends I can count on. (digs in her bag, not looking where she is going, she almost collides with Brian) (looks up, hateful) You! (jerks the flask out of her bag) You're like a case of bad dandruff Krakow: impossible to get rid of.

BRIAN: Shut up! I have a right to be here.

RAYANNE: (drinks) Oh really? (head tilt, snidely) Are *you* in the play? What character are you? Must be one of the dead townspeople, because you don't have enough personality for a *living* person.

BRIAN: (hurt, angry) You don't have to get mad at me just because Rickie didn't wait for you or whatever.

RAYANNE: (puts on a sad face) Oh, wow, Bri. You're right. Now I feel all bad.

BRIAN: (walks away) Fine. Forget it.

RAYANNE: Hey, don't go yet. Tell me why you're hiding back here. (grins) You have all kinds of secret little hidey-holes, don't ya, Bri?

BRIAN: I'm not hiding.

RAYANNE: (snorts) That's true. You're probably *spying*. (glances back toward the front of the stage) On who? Angela? (sly smile) *Me*?

BRIAN: (disgusted) No!

RAYANNE: (her face tightens) If you want to slink around the school hiding from whatever it is that people like you hide from, that's fine. Just stay the hell away from *me*.

BRIAN: (sharp laughter) You should talk about hiding! (rolls his eyes) Look at you!

RAYANNE: (stares at him) What? What about me?

BRIAN: (voice low) You're hiding right now! Every time you take a drink you're, like, running away. If you're so afraid of the dark, how come you're like, *embracing* it?

RAYANNE: (angry, but jolted, his words affect her) You don't know what you're talking about!

BRIAN: I know exactly what I'm talking about! I'm, like, an *expert* on running away. I know what it looks like. (walks closer) But what truly sickens me is, you have friends who, like, care about you. Angela Chase *cares* about you. And Rickie! You should have seen how worried he was about you that night at Vertigo! (long pause) For some reason I can't quite fathom, you have amazing friends. Maybe you should actually try keeping them.

RAYANNE: (softly, upset) And maybe you should shut up.

BRIAN: All I'm saying is, people care about you. (looks away, pained) You're...lucky.

RAYANNE: (regains control) Poor Brian. All alone in the big bad world. (thrusts the flask at him) Maybe you need a drink more than I do.

Angry, Brian slaps at her hand. The flask falls to the floor, clear liquid spilling across the tile.

RAYANNE: (stunned) Oh my God, Krakow! What did you do?

BRIAN: (shocked, he stares at the floor) (swallows) What you should have done *ages* ago! (meets Rayanne's gaze) If you want to hate me, go ahead. I mean, you already do. It's not like it makes a difference.

Brian walks down the short stairway to the auditorium. He walks quickly toward the doors, picking up speed as he nears them. Ashen-faced, he races into the hallway.


INT.HALLWAY

Brian bursts out of the auditorium and runs into the bathroom.


INT.BACK STAGE

Rayanne bends down and slowly picks up the flask. She looks at it for a long moment, and then glances thoughtfully in the direction Brian went. Finally, she walks into the small prop room. She sets the flask on a nearby shelf. With a mixture of fear and pride on her face, she shuts the door firmly behind her.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Corey stands in front of the "mural". As before, the camera angle doesn't let us see what he's looking at. Graham is nearby, with a glazed look on his face.

COREY: I'd be interested in giving it a try. (half smile) I mean, it can't end up looking *worse* than it does now.

GRAHAM: (sighs) You do have a point.

COREY: What exactly did you have in mind? (pause) I mean, I have some ideas...(trails off)

Angela drifts away from Corey and Graham's discussion and explores the restaurant. The fountain shines in the center of the room. She walks to it, smiling, and gingerly touches one of the gold cherubs.

There are more than two dozen tables (a deep cherry wood) covered with delicate tablecloths. They remind Angela of gossamer. Angel wings. A quick peek into the kitchen reveals a roomful of modern equipment and long work spaces. She glances at Graham with an odd expression on her face, as if trying to imagine her father presiding over the restaurant.

ANGELA: Can I help or something?

COREY: Grab a paintbrush.

ANGELA: (shocked laughter) I don't think so.

COREY: Why not?

ANGELA: (head tilt) Do you remember what the scenery looked like that I painted for the play?

COREY: (shrugs, unconcerned) I'll tell you what to do.

ANGELA: (grins, debating) If you say so.

GRAHAM: (to Angela) It's obvious Corey knows what he's doing.

They both look at Graham.

GRAHAM: (mock serious expression) He didn't ask *me* to paint, did he?

ANGELA: (looks at Corey with a certain amount of respect, smiles) True.


INT.STREET--evening

Jordan drives slowly down Wisconsin Avenue. Veneer by The Verve Pipe drifts out of the car stereo. He pulls over suddenly and the car behind him blasts his horn. Jordan ignores the complaint and parks up the street from Taste of Heaven.

He sits in the car for a moment, staring at the dim interior of the unopened restaurant. Finally he takes a deep breath and gets out of the car. Humming softly, Jordan glances in the window again. He falls silent and hesitates. Jordan looks though the window, his forehead creased in either concentration or pain.

Angela and Corey can be seen painting. They are both laughing. Jordan turns and looks up and down the street, obviously uncertain what to make of the situation. After a moment he goes back to his car.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Angela drops her paintbrush onto a newspaper and wanders over to the window. She cups her hands to the glass and peers out at the deserted street.

COREY: Are you waiting for somebody?

ANGELA: (leans her head against the glass and sighs) Not really. (her good mood has dissolved) (dully) We better clean up. My dad will be back soon.


INT.HALLWAY--early morning

Sharon walks quickly to her locker. She glances around repeatedly, obviously nervous.

Angela comes up behind her and touches her shoulder.

SHARON: (jumps) Oh God! (visibly relieved to see Angela) You scared me. (explaining, sheepish) I thought you were Kyle.

Rayanne approaches them, she catches the last bit of Sharon's statement

RAYANNE: What? Kyle is still hanging on you? (makes disgusted face) Loser! (brightens) Want me to sick Tino on him?

SHARON: (horrified) No! (pause) You could actually do that?

ANGELA: (interrupting) So you guys are still going to see Rickie tomorrow, right?

RAYANNE: (spins in a circle) A party at the Psycho house!

SHARON: What?

ANGELA: I wouldn't exactly call it a party.

RAYANNE: (smirks) Will there be food? Music? And moi? (pause) Because *that* is the official definition of party.

Sharon rolls her eyes.

RAYANNE: (wounded) Look it up if you don't believe me.

ANGELA: (catches a glimpse of Jordan at the end of the hall) Oh. I've--I've got to go. I'll see you later.

Sharon sighs and pushes the bathroom door open. Rayanne strolls in behind her.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Hallie sits at one of the tables. The table cloth is folded back and papers litter the wood. She glances at her watch, does a double take, and starts throwing papers pell-mell into her briefcase. Once the briefcase is full, she pulls on her coat and heads for the door.

Just in time to meet Graham.

For one instant her worry, unease, and attraction show through. She hides her emotions with a barely-strained smile.

HALLIE: (steps aside to let him in) I'm assuming you'll have the engraved announcements sent out by tonight.

GRAHAM: (blinks at her) I--what?

HALLIE: (laughs) I got here *early*. Can you believe it? A sure sign the world is ending.

GRAHAM: (forces a laugh) Oh. Right. (forehead creases) Were you leaving?

HALLIE: (cheerful) Yup. I am *so* far behind at work. I just came in to set up a few interviews. (hands him a list) These are the ones scheduled for this afternoon.

GRAHAM: (aghast) I don't know anything about hiring someone!

HALLIE: (shrugs) Neither do I. How complicated can it be to hire a few kids to clear tables? (smirks) Whoever breaks the least dishes wins.

GRAHAM: Maybe it's not too late to go with paper plates. (looks relieved when Hallie smiles at the weak joke)

HALLIE: (hesitates) So. Did you drop the menus off?

GRAHAM: Yes. (awkward pause) Hallie, don't you think--

HALLIE: I have to go. (tight smile) But I'll talk to you later.

GRAHAM: (frustrated) When, later? (softly) Are you avoiding me?

HALLIE: Of course not. (pause, frowns) Define avoid. (head shake, nervous laughter) Never mind. I'm *not* avoiding you. I just think it's best to postpone this--conversation.

Graham stares at her.

HALLIE: Just until...until...(she trails off beneath the weight of Graham's gaze)

Graham abruptly steps back and holds the door open.

GRAHAM: Okay then. You better go. (pause) If you have to.

HALLIE: (almost a whisper) I have to.


INT.GIRLS' BATHROOM

Sharon reaches under her skirt and adjusts the hem of her slip. Rayanne sits on the ledge by the window, legs dangling, sucking a lollipop.

SHARON: (heavy sigh, staring into mirror) I wish I could just stay in here all day.

RAYANNE: Go ahead. (swings legs back and forth) I've done it before. I swear, I should just bring a sleeping bag. I'd be set for the next three years.

SHARON: (determined) No. I have to face Kyle. He has to see that I'm going on with my life. It's not my fault he's, like, living in the past. (pause, worried) Is it?


INT.HALLWAY

Jordan shuffles down the hallway, absently pulling at the sleeves of his shirt.

Angela jogs up to him, a bit uncertain.

ANGELA: Hi.

JORDAN: (nods) Hey.

ANGELA: (trying not to sound disappointed) I thought you were going tocome by the restaurant last night.

JORDAN: (picks at a thread on his sleeve) It didn't work out (pause) the way I thought it would. (turns away, troubled)

ANGELA: (looks at him) What's wrong? Are you worried about the audition? Because you really shouldn't be. (smiles) I mean, you sound *so*--

JORDAN: (almost angry) It's *not* the audition.

ANGELA: Then...what?

JORDAN: (exhales through his nose, looks almost embarrassed) Okay. (holds his palms out) Fine. I guess I just want to know if we're, like, *together*...or whatever.

ANGELA: (stunned) I--I don't know. Do you want to be...together?

JORDAN: (runs a hand through his hair) I thought we were. (slumps against the wall, arms folded) But I keep seeing you with that guy.

ANGELA: (confused) What guy?

JORDAN: (another deep sigh, glances up at the ceiling) You know. Helfrick. (focuses a reproachful look on Angela) I saw you talking to him all the time...before. You were always hanging off him.

ANGELA: (shocked laughter) Corey Helfrick! You thought I was *hanging* on *Corey Helfrick*? (snorts) At least I wasn't getting into his back seat!

JORDAN: (backs away) Look. I don't want to fight with you. Just forget it.

ANGELA: No!

Angela walks around to stop him and he tries to get past her. They end up doing a little "avoidance" dance in the hall.

ANGELA: (exasperated, upset) Why are you like this?

JORDAN: Like what?

ANGELA: Like *this*. (motioning to him) Walking away. Like nothing (pause, looks close to tears) matters.

JORDAN: Stuff matters, okay? (softly) *You* matter.

ANGELA: (takes Jordan's hand) I don't care about Corey. He's just helping my dad paint the restaurant. I care about *you*.

Angela lifts her face to kiss him. Jordan is happy to oblige. They stand in the middle of the hallway, lost in each other.


INT.GIRLS' BATHROOM

RAYANNE: Would you stop with the guilt, already? (disdainful) He'll be *fine.*

SHARON: (doubtful) I hope so.

RAYANNE: (crunches on the remainder of the lollipop) Hey, Cherski. Tell me something.

SHARON: (fiddles with her hair clip) What?

RAYANNE: You've been friends with Brian Krakow since you were both, like, in the womb, right?

SHARON: (amused) We don't go back *that* far. (thinking) But I've known him a long time. (pause) So has Angela.


INT.HALLWAY

Sharon and Rayanne continue their conversation in the crowded hallway.

SHARON: (casts Rayanne a curious look) Why do you ask?

RAYANNE: (acts bored) Oh, no reason. (pause) Some people are just (searches for adequate word) sort of surprising at times.

SHARON: Yeah. (frowns) Wait. Who are we talking about?

Rickie barrels down the hallway, saving Rayanne from having to answer. He looks mildly disheveled, and is wearing no makeup.

RAYANNE: (staring) What happened to you!

RICKIE: (out of breath) I missed the bus. I had to catch the next one. (to Sharon, purposely ignoring Rayanne) Do you have any eyeliner I could borrow?

SHARON: (pokes in her purse) Sorry. (bites her lip) I think it's still on my dresser at home.

RAYANNE: *That's* helpful. (sweetly) *I* have some.

RICKIE: (fake smile) Oh?

RAYANNE: (swings her bag at him) Here. Look for it. (big smile) It's in there somewhere.

SHARON: Right next to the kitchen sink.

RICKIE: (uncomfortable, does a brief, half-hearted search) I--I don't see it. (hands the bag back) That's okay. I'll ask Angela.

RAYANNE: (quietly, serious) What else don't you see?

RICKIE: What?

RAYANNE: (jiggles the bag's strap) What *else* don't you see in here?

Rickie stares at Rayanne for several seconds, a slow change coming over his face. He digs through the bag a second time, more slowly. He turns back to her, a brilliant smile on his face.

SHARON: (confused by Rickie and Rayanne's cryptic speech) What are you talking about?

RAYANNE: (dismissive, returning Rickie's smile) Nothing. I just thought it was time I, you know, threw out a few things.

Rickie picks Rayanne up in a huge hug and whirls her around, laughing.

RICKIE: (thickly, in her ear) Thank you.

RAYANNE: (innocently) For what?


INT.HALLWAY

Brian Krakow runs down the hall. He carries his backpack in one hand, his camera in the other. His clothes look too big, a sign he's losing weight. He rounds the corner in time to see Rickie and Sharon. He takes a step toward them until he realizes Rayanne is with them. He gets a sick look on his face and glances toward the other end of the hall. Angela and Jordan are still kissing.

His shoulders sag and he stares dismally at the floor, waiting for it to open and swallow him up.

He risks another look at Angela and Jordan. Admitting defeat, he turns to go back the way he came. Two of Kyle's friends, Phil Morrison and Troy Jacobs are waiting behind him.

PHIL: (grim smile) Hey Krakow.

BRIAN: (VO) This situation has several possible outcomes. One, they'll just make fun of me. Two, they'll beat me up. Of course, the most probable outcome, based on past experience is, they'll make fun of me and *then* beat me up. (pause) And my parents wonder why I never want to get out of bed in the morning.

PHIL: (smirks) How come you aren't with your girlfriend?

BRIAN: (stares at them) What?

TROY: (to Phil) Graf's not his girlfriend. Even *she* has standards. (breaks into laughter)

Brian tries to walk past them, but Phil reaches out and shoves him against the wall.

PHIL: Look, Krakow. I want you to tell Sharon something, got it? You tell her that Vinovich wants to talk to her. *Today*.

BRIAN: (lifts eyebrow) So are you, like, unable to communicate with her?

PHIL: (annoyed) What?

BRIAN: (thin smile, babbling) Well, obviously, if you need *me* to talk to her for you, I just assumed that--

PHIL: (slams Brian harder against the wall) Shut up! Just give her the message.

Brian nods mutely.

Phil releases his grip on Brian's shirt and steps back.

BRIAN: (smooths his shirt) It won't make a difference. She doesn't want to talk to him.

TROY: You think you know everything, don't you? (regards Brian with loathing) Always trying to act smarter than the rest of us.

BRIAN: (VO) Like I have to *try*. (aloud) I'll tell her.

PHIL: (relaxes) Good. Glad to hear it.

TROY: (glances at Brian's camera) Nice camera. (gives Brian a cold smile) Can I see it?

BRIAN: (panicking) I--I...

Brian's protests come too late. Troy grabs the camera from Brian's hands, gives it a cursory glance and lets it drop to the floor.

TROY: (feigns remorse) Oops! Sorry.

Laughing, Troy and Phil walk away.

Brian looks down at the camera, a look of agony on his face. He takes a halting breath and stoops to pick up the pieces. He doesn't see Angela come around the corner, all smiles.

Angela's smile fades into a look of concern when she sees Brian struggling with the broken camera.

ANGELA: Brian, what happened?

Startled, he drops the camera again and the lense breaks. He looks from Angela to the camera and back again. He puts a hand to his head and starts to laugh, bordering on hysteria.

ANGELA: (her forehead crinkles) What's so funny? (picks up the camera and holds it out to Brian) Did you drop it?

BRIAN: (tries to control himself) Yeah. I dropped it. (carefully takes the camera back, wipes at his eyes)

ANGELA: (focuses on the ruined camera) Can you fix it?

BRIAN: I don't know.

ANGELA: Maybe my mom could help. (brightening) Or my uncle. He's always fixing our stuff. (chuckles) My dad is, like, mechanically challenged.

BRIAN: (unzips his backpack and puts the camera inside) (lethargic) Maybe.

ANGELA: Look, Brian. I wanted to ask you something.

BRIAN: (perks up slightly, actually looks at her) Ask me what?

ANGELA: (hesitates, nervous) It's...it's stupid. Forget it. I'm sure you're already going anyway.

BRIAN: (frustrated) Going to what?

ANGELA: The play.

BRIAN: (stops dead and stares at her, close to tears) Why are you even asking me this? (turns away) I *know* that you're going with Jordan. (turns back, lashing out) Or are you just looking for another ride?

ANGELA: (her mouth crumples, hurt) God, Brian, I was trying to be *nice*!

They glare at each other.

ANGELA: (sighs) Look, Jordan can't come. So I just thought you might, you know, want to go or something.

BRIAN: Oh. (looks at the floor) I don't know.

ANGELA: If you don't want to, because it's so last minute, I completely understand. I mean, you probably already have plans with--(struggles to think of a name, embarrassed that she can't) someone else.

BRIAN: (VO) It was completely obvious she was only inviting me because everyone else in the entire school--and possibly the universe--already had plans. I don't want to go. I don't want to sit next to her, or smell her hair, or make pathetic small talk for three hours. (pause) I won't. I...refuse to bend myself around Angela Chase's finger again. She can ask someone else.

ANGELA: (uses the special wheedling tone reserved for Brian) Bri-an. Please.

BRIAN: (hating himself) Let me know what time I should come over.

ANGELA: (genuinely pleased) I will. (gives him a quick peck on the cheek, and starts down the hall) (she turns and calls out, as an afterthought) Thank you!

Angela continues on, oblivious to the stunned look on Brian's face. He stares after her, and touches his cheek tentatively. The bell rings, and students head toward their respective classes. Brian remains by the wall, holding his backpack, blinking after Angela.


INT.KATIMSKI'S CLASS--late morning

Katimski is at the chalk board, writing out an assignment. Most of the class ignores him, but some--like Rickie--pay attention.

KATIMSKI: ...all five questions at the end of the chapter. Is that clear?

The students emit a collective groan.

KATIMSKI: (not in the least affected by their behavior) Good.

Delia gathers her books and walks over to Rickie.

DELIA: So should I bring anything tomorrow?

RICKIE: Why would you bring something (smiles) besides yourself?

DELIA: Well, Rayanne is making this sound like the party of the century or something.

RICKIE: (worried) She is? (shakes his head) This isn't a party. It's, like, people in a room. Being quiet. That's *all* it is. I mean, this isn't even my house. (pained expression) I just live there. They have *rules*.

Delia stares at him.

RICKIE: (manages a small smile) I guess I better talk to her.

KATIMSKI: Enrique! Do you have a moment?

RICKIE: (his smile turns substantial) Yeah. (to Delia) I'll catch up with you, okay?

DELIA: (mock pout, followed by a bright smile) You better.

Rickie moves to Katimksi's desk.

KATIMSKI: (smiles, slightly awkward) Enrique...I just wanted to ask...I was just wondering if everything was okay. If you...like it...*there*.

RICKIE: (with enthusiasm he doesn't feel) Oh, it's good. It's kind of like being in college. (nervous laughter) My room looks like a dorm room or something. (meets Katimski's gaze) You and Joseph should visit sometime. (quickly) You know, if you wanted to.

KATIMSKI: (touched by the invitation) Of course we do! I'd like that *very* much.

RICKIE: (nods once) Good.

KATIMSKI: (struggling to prolong the conversation) Are they...treating you well? You're getting enough to, ah, eat?

RICKIE: (smiles) Oh yeah. (pause) But I have to admit, the food at your house was better.

KATIMSKI: (surprised, amused) Gee whiz, Enrique, (laughs) I guess you have pretty low standards.

RICKIE: (his smile fades and he backs toward the door) No. I think--I think it was the company.

Rickie hurries from the room. Katimski drops his chin into one hand and stares morosely at the empty classroom.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen--morning

Patty sits in the kitchen nook with a cup of coffee. She is dressed in "weekend clothes", jeans and a long pale blue sweater. She yawns over a section of newspaper.

Graham pads into the kitchen, still wearing bathrobe and slippers. He blinks at Patty.

GRAHAM: You're up early.

PATTY: I'm playing taxi. Angela needs to go to the mall. (leans back and stretches) She's going to visit Rickie today and wants to bring him a...gift. (frowns) I was going to say house-warming gift, but I guess that term doesn't quite work.

GRAHAM: (pours his own coffee) So what is the correct term? State-run shelter-warming gift?

PATTY: (laughs) Graham! That's terrible!

GRAHAM: (lifts eyebrow) Then why are you laughing?

PATTY: I'm not laughing. You probably heard the cat hack up another hair ball. Maybe you should go look.

GRAHAM: (smiles) 'What a pathetic cover up', he said.

PATTY: (turns back the paper) That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Graham leans against the counter, watching Patty read. Unobserved, his good humor fades.

GRAHAM: (studies the contents of his mug, guilty) Oh, Patty, before I forget: I'll be going to the restaurant later.

PATTY: (looks up from the newspaper) Again? Do you really have to? In a week you'll practically be living there. Can't we have one last weekend together? (pushes the newspaper away) I thought we could do something today. Something...*alone*.

GRAHAM: (hastily refills his coffee so Patty can't see his face) Aren't you the one who's always pushing us to follow through? (keeps his tone light) I'm learning from the master, Patty. I thought you'd be impressed.

PATTY: (stares at the back of his head, lips pursed) I'd be more impressed if we could manage to spend five minutes together. (long sigh) But...you're right. You're absolutely right. If you have work to do, you should get it done.

GRAHAM: (guilty) Patty, if there wasn't so much left to do--

PATTY: (waves his apology off) I understand, Graham. It's okay. Just let me know when you're going. I ran off a proof of the menu. You can bring it along and show Hallie.

GRAHAM: (clears throat) Actually, I'm not even sure that Hallie will be there. But I'll bring it anyway. (manages a small smile) And thank you.

PATTY: (stands in the doorway, searching Graham's face, she finally returns the smile) You're welcome.


INT.CHASE HOME--living room

Angela pounds down the stairs wearing her usual boots and flannel.

PATTY: (puts on a smile for her eldest daughter) Are you ready to go?

ANGELA: Yeah. Let's go. (pushes Patty toward the door) Now.

DANIELLE: (OS) Mom! Wait! I need a ride to Kristen's house!

ANGELA: (opens door) We don't have time, Mom. Let's just go. Danielle can go to Kristen's later.

Danielle appears on the landing.

DANIELLE: Come *on*, Mom. Kristen's house is on the *way* to the mall. Angela's not going to die if she gets to the mall five minutes late.

ANGELA: (to Patty) And Danielle won't die if she can't see Kristen, like, this *second.*

DANIELL: (lifts chin) How do you know?

PATTY: Girls, *girls*. Please. Angela, get in the car. Danielle, if you want a ride, you have to be ready *now*. Otherwise your father can take you.

DANIELLE: *Yes*! (runs down the rest of the stairs and out the door)

ANGELA: (acidly) Great.

PATTY: You're welcome to walk.

ANGELA: I suppose there's a plus side in that she'll still be gone when we get back.

PATTY: That's enough, Angela. And I hope you have some idea what you want to get Rickie so we don't spend all day elbowing through the

crowds.

ANGELA: Don't worry. (secretive smile) I know *exactly* what to get him.


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--lunch room

An austere room. Much smaller than an actual cafeteria, there are three tables, a fairly-modern cooking area, and a pair of vending machines. A woman in her thirties stirs something in a pot on the stove. The name "Becky" is stitched across the front of her apron.

Rickie sits at the corner table, alone. An empty plate is pushed off to one side. He is immersed in his homework.

A half-dozen house members are seated at the other tables. Most talk softly with each other. Some read or play video games. One girl with dark green hair appears to be asleep, her head resting on her arms.

JASON: (OS) You go to Liberty?

Rickie looks up to see Jason leaning against the opposite table. He is instantly flustered.

RICKIE: I, uh--(takes a deep breath, forces a smile) Yes. But you don't. (pause) Do you?

JASON: (bites into an apple) Yeah.

RICKIE: (surprised) I don't think I've ever seen you.

JASON: I've only been there about a month. (pause, half smile) When I actually go. (another bite of the apple) I used to go to Lincoln.

RICKIE: Are you a sophomore?

JASON: Yup. I should be a junior, but I tried to kill myself last year, and that totally screwed everything up. (he gives a little shrug as if to say "oh well")

RICKIE: (his expression of shock is almost comical) Oh. I'm...sorry.

JASON: (smiles) Don't be. (tosses the apple core into a nearby garbage can) And I didn't mean to hit you over the head with that. Sometimes the words just jump out of my mouth, you know? Sorry. (pulls a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket) Want a smoke?

RICKIE: (weakly) I don't smoke.

JASON: Then you're smarter than I am. I shouldn't. But it's the only vice I have left, and I'm not ready to give it up. (adjusts his beret) Well then. Later.

RICKIE: (nervous, hesitant) Uh, Jason?

JASON: (turns) Yeah?

RICKIE: A few of my friends are coming over later. To, like, see where I live or whatever. I was wondering if--(hesitates, clearly embarrassed) you wanted to come by...(stares mortified at his notebook)

JASON: (pulls a cigarette from the pack) Sounds cool. (smiles) See ya.

Jason walks off. Rickie covers his face with his hands, both excited and horrified.

RICKIE: (lowers his hands and peeks after Jason) (whispers) Oh. My. God.


INT.CHASE CAR--afternoon

Angela rides in the front seat with Patty. She holds a plastic bag on her lap labeled "Posters Plus". A long tube of poster sticks out of the bag.

ANGELA: (casually) Oh, Mom? Just so you know, Brian is coming to the play on Friday.

PATTY: (works hard to hide her surprise) Didn't Jordan asked you to go with him?

ANGELA: (debating how much to tell her mother) He did. (pause) But his band has a chance to audition that night. (faint smile) And he *has* to go. I mean, if you could just *hear* him, Mom. (dreamy look)

PATTY: (amused) Then I hope the audition goes well. (casts a sidelong glance at Angela) So you gave Brian Jordan's ticket?

ANGELA: Yeah. (shrugs) I didn't want it to go to waste. And Brian didn't have a ticket. (looks at Patty pointedly) So we can *all* sit *together*. Okay?

PATTY: (picks up on Angela's signal) Of course. (muses) Actually, it's probably a good idea to invite Brian.

ANGELA: (gives Patty a strange look) Why?

PATTY: I talked to Berneice today. (scowls) She and Bob are leaving for some seminar in Switzerland next week.

ANGELA: (incredulous) They're leaving *again*? (half sympathetic/half jealous) Geez. It's like Brian has his own place!

PATTY: (softly) I'm not sure Brian wants his own place. (teasing) Judging from the amount of time he spends on our front porch.

ANGELA: (turns to look out the window, ashamed) I know.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN--late afternoon

Graham unlocks the door and enters the restaurant. He drops the menu proofs on the nearest table and flicks on the overhead lights.

GRAHAM: (calling) Hallie? Are you here?

There is no answer.

Graham stands in the middle of restaurant looking lost.


EXT.STREET

Hallie watches Graham emerge from the restaurant from the safety of the Laundromat down the street. Her face is etched with indecision and her eyes are bright with unshed tears.


EXT.PRIDE HOUSE

A car pulls away from the curb to reveal Brian and Sharon standing on the sidewalk. Brian is carrying two CD's and Sharon holds a colorful tin.

SHARON: Would you please shut up about the camera? There's nothing I can do.

BRIAN: Of course there is. Talk to Kyle. Make him pay for a new one or something.

SHARON: (gives Brian a look) I'm not talking to him. I don't care what his stupid friends do.

BRIAN: (bitter laugh) That's great. Just make sure you visit me in the hospital the next time they have a message for you.

SHARON: (sincerely) I'm really sorry about your camera, Brian. But I refuse to talk to Kyle. There's nothing to say. And even if I *did* want to talk to him--which I don't--how do you expect me to get any money out of him? I'd have to, like, steal his wallet.

BRIAN: I could live with that.

SHARON: (heavy sigh) If you want a ride home, I suggest you drop it. Like, five minutes ago.

Brian sighs.

SHARON: (frowns at the front of the building) So where exactly do we go?

Brian shrugs.

SHARON: I should have come with Delia.

BRIAN: Thanks a lot, Cherski.

SHARON: I *mean* Delia could have come with us. (pauses, glances at Brian) Well, maybe not.

BRIAN: (impatient) Let's just go in.

The camera pans back to reveal Jason sitting on the top step. He has been watching the entire exchange between Brian and Sharon with mild curiosity. He stubs out his cigarette and flicks it into the gray, melting snow.

JASON: Are you looking for Rickie?

SHARON: (big fake smile) Yes we are. Do you know where we could find him?


INT.JORDAN'S CAR

Jordan and Angela sit in the front seat. The poster we saw before is now secured with an elaborate bow.

ANGELA: (nervous smile) So.

JORDAN: (exhales) So.

ANGELA: (rests her hand on the door) Aren't you coming?

JORDAN: (shrugs) Nah. I'll wait.

ANGELA: (stunned) You aren't coming in? Why?

JORDAN: (turns the car off) I don't feel like it.

ANGELA: But...why didn't you say something before?

JORDAN: I didn't know before. I was gonna go in. (glances at the reflection of Pride House in the side mirror, shifts in the seat) I just don't feel like it

now.

ANGELA: (panicking) I thought you liked Rickie. (flailing) And Brian.

JORDAN: They're okay. But they're not, like, my friends.

ANGELA: (focuses on a smudge on the dashboard) I see.

JORDAN: (looks at Angela) I don't mind waiting. It's not a big deal. (vague smile) You can go.

ANGELA: (her lips trembles) I thought we were coming together.

JORDAN: We did.

ANGELA: (angry laugh) This isn't together! I don't want to leave you out in the *car*. (pause, ducks head) Is it because Rayanne's coming?

JORDAN: (annoyed) I don't care about Graf. (pause) Look. If you're gonna make it into a big deal, I'll go.

ANGELA: (looks away) It's *not* a big deal. Forget it. You don't have to come in.

JORDAN: (grips the steering wheel) I just said I'd go.

ANGELA: Fine. (yanks open the car door)

JORDAN: Fine! (follows her)


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--Rickie's room

Jason, Brian, and Sharon stand together, engaged in awkward small talk. The tin Sharon was holding is now open on the dresser. We can see chocolate chip cookies inside.

Rickie is on his hands and knees, trying to plug a boom box into the outlet behind the desk. Brian watches Rickie struggle for a moment before coming over.

BRIAN: Do you need help?

RICKIE: (grunts) Nope. I...got it! (stands, brushes off his knees) But thanks.

BRIAN: Here. (hands Rickie the two compact discs) You said you wanted these, (shrugs) so...

RICKIE: (excited) Thanks! (looks at Brian, pleased) But you really didn't have to get me anything.

BRIAN: (embarrassed) I didn't. They're mine. But I never listen to them anymore. And I know you like them.

RICKIE: (uncertain) Are you sure?

BRIAN: (waves, dismissive) Go ahead. I don't need them.

RICKIE: (broad smile) Cool!

There is a knock on the door and Angela and Jordan enter. Both look upset. Rickie rushes to Angela and gives her a hug and kiss. She manages a fake smile that would make Patty proud.

Music starts in the background, "Back 2 Good" by Matchbox 20.

It's nothing, it's so normal
you just stand there I could say so much
but I don't go there cuz I don't want to
I was thinking if you were lonely
maybe we could leave here and no one would know
at least not to the point that we would think so.

(Visual--Jordan sits hunched in the chair by Rickie's desk. He rubs his fingers together, uncomfortable. Angela stands beside him. She is still upset, but tries hard not to show it. Brian watches her, concerned. He takes a deep breath and walks over to say hi. They both ignore him. Crushed, he moves back to the other end of the room and leans against the wall, his expression stony.)

Everyone here, knows everyone here is thinking about somebody else
well it's best if we keep it under our heads
I couldn't tell if anyone here was feeling the way I do
but I'm lonely now, and I don't know how
to get it back to good.

(Visual--Rayanne bursts in, Corey in tow. Jordan slumps further into the chair and Angela looks shocked. Rickie pulls Rayanne aside, whispering furiously. She shrugs him off, laughing. Rickie turns away, frustrated. He notices Delia and Jason talking together. Jason leans close and whispers something in Delia's ear. Delia laughs. Rickie looks away, a frozen smile on his face, disappointment in his eyes.)

This don't mean that you own me, well
this ain't no good, in fact it's phony as hell
but things worked out just like you wanted too
if you see me out you don't know me
try to turn your head, try to give me some room
to figure out just want I'm going to do.

(Visual--Sharon sits on the edge of the bed, talking quickly, gesturing to Rayanne. Rayanne nods her head frequently, but looks bored. She glances toward the door and spots Brian. She watches him, a curious look on her face.)

And everyone here, hates everyone here for doing just like they do
it's best if we all keep this quiet instead
and I couldn't tell, why everyone here was doing me like they do
but I'm sorry now, and I don't know how
to get it back to good.

(Visual--Rickie stands in the hallway with a dark haired man, presumably eter Sanford, half the team who runs Pride House. Peter's expression is grim and he jerks a thumb toward Rickie's room. Rickie nods and makes placating gestures, obviously embarrassed by Peter's warning.)

Everyone here is wondering what it's like to be with somebody else
everyone here's to blame, everyone here
gets caught up in the pleasure of the pain, everyone hides
shades of shame, but looking inside we're the same, we're the same
and we're all grown now, but we don't know how
to get it back to good.

(Visual--Amongst the sea of faces, Jason and Delia appear to be the only ones having a semblance of fun. Rickie re-enters the room and tries unsuccessfully to get everyone's attention.)

Everyone here, knows everyone here is thinking 'bout somebody else
and it's best if we all keep this under our heads
I couldn't tell, if anyone here was feeling the way I do
but it's over now, and I don't know how, it's over now
there's no getting back to good.

(Visual--Brian gives Angela a final longing glance before slipping out the door, unnoticed.)

The song ends and the sound of the party floats into the hallway as Brian walks away.

END


NOTES

The song "Good Night, Good Guy" can be found on Collective Soul's 1993 album: Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.
The song "Veneer" is off The Verve Pipe's 1996 album: Villains.
The song "Back 2 Good" is from Matchbox 20's 1997 album: Yourself or Someone Like You.
The character Jason Mathews is loosely based on the role of Andrew Bingham in the 1996 movie It's My Party. The actor playing Andrew Bingham may look very familiar to some of you... ;-)

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Episode No. 22 - Opening Night by Shannon Bryan
Published: 1997 | Size: 96 KB (18593 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.6/5   4.6/5 (63 votes)

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Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (59 votes)
  • Natalie commented on 03 Feb 2000:
    I really liked this story a lot. It showed Brians frustrations with his love for Angela. And how Angela and Jordan will always be going back and forth...
  • anonymous author commented on 05 Jun 2002:
    You had brian buy all those tickets in the last episode, so he doesn't need anyone to invite him
    Jordan would't get that personal with Brian, proabably wouldn't know Corey's name, definitely never would have known about the time Angela threw herself at him, and just wouldn;t get jealous that easily
  • Liz commented on 04 Jul 2002:
    he DOES need someone to invite him...because he gave all of the tickets away. and in the first episode there was no reason for jordan to know angela's name, but he knew it and called it out when she was getting into the cop car. so maybe he's just the kind of guy who knows other peoples names...
    i agree though that jordan wouldnt get that jealous that easily...also i think you make rayanne out to be a much bigger bitch than she's supposed to be.
  • anonymous author commented on 26 Feb 2003:
    About the fact that Jordan wouldn't get jealous that easily;even if he did got jealous,he wouldn't show it like that and he certainly wouldn't confront Angela about it.Remember the "Betrayal".Altough he was jealous, he didn't go to Angela,instead he asked Rayanne about it.Because that's just the way he is, you know?He is afraid of being too much exposed, emotionally.
  • cms commented on 11 Oct 2004:
    I actually laughed out loud when Rayanne asked Sharon if she was sure Krakow didn't write the 5 page note for Kyle - just thought that was a really funny part. I agree with a lot of the other comments made but it was a good story overall.
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“Ignore her. She got up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.”

Enrique (Rickie) Vasquez, Episode 9: "Halloween"