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Episode No. 22 - Opening Night

written by Shannon Bryan

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 96 KB (18593 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.6/5   4.6/5 (63 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

<six days later>

Angela lies on top of her bed, fully clothed, chin resting on her hands. Her feet are near her pillow, her head is at the foot of the bed. She is looking at a vase holding three very wilted daisies.

ANGELA: (VO) I had loved Jordan Catalano for so long and so hard that it had become, like my job. It was what I *did*. Even before he knew I existed. And after what he did with Rayanne. I still loved him. I loved him so much it *hurt*. (pause) And then, one day, he loved me back. (She drops her head onto the pillow) That's when things got...complicated.

(Visual--Angela kisses Jordan in the school parking lot. He gets into the car, his guitar visible on the front seat. He gives Angela a brief wave before driving away.)

ANGELA: (VO) Maybe it's because there are so many different kinds of love. Sometimes we get them mixed up.

(Visual--Angela screams at Danielle to get out of her room. Angela is in the midst of getting dressed up for the play.)

ANGELA: (VO) Or take love for granted.

(Visual--Patty, wearing a simple black dress hurries through the living room, presumably looking for her purse or car keys. She stops beside Angela and gives her a distracted kiss on the cheek.)

ANGELA: (VO) Maybe love can even be a sense of familiarity. Like sharing a past together.

(Visual--Graham opens the front door to reveal a solemn looking Brian Krakow. Brian peers into the Chase's living room, looking for Angela.)

ANGELA: (VO) Friendship is a special kind of love. And maybe it means even more when you have to, like, *work* at it.

(Visual--The entire Chase family and Brian Krakow are seated in the Liberty auditorium. Angela watches Rayanne Graf perform on stage, a rapturous smile on her face.)


INT.AUDITORIUM

Rayanne, Chee Kwan, and a handful of other students are on stage.

The play is almost over, the audience watches the final scene unfold, hushed. Graham casts a quick glance at his watch. Patty is spellbound. Angela and Brian watch Rayanne intently. Angela wears an expression of immense pride, while Brian seems surprised by her talent. Danielle casts furtive glances at Brian.

RAYANNE: Mother Gibbs?

CHEE: Yes, Emily?

RAYANNE: They don't understand, do they?

CHEE: No dear. They don't understand.

Abyssinia Churchill appears at stage right as the spotlight above Rayanne and Chee goes out.

ABYSSINIA: Most everybody's asleep in Grover's Corners. There are a few lights on: Shorty Hawkins, down on the depot, has just watched the Albany train go by. And at the livery stable somebody's setting up late and talking. (pause) Yes, it's clearing up. There are the stars--doing their old, old crisscross journeys in the sky. (Her voice wavers and she struggles to stay in character) Scholars haven't settled the matter yet, but they seem to think there are no living beings up there. Just chalk...or fire. Only this one is straining away, straining away all the time to make something of itself. The strain's so bad that every sixteen hours everybody lies down and gets a rest. (makes a winding motion at her wrist) Hmm...eleven o'clock in Grover's Corners. (nods at the audience) You get a good rest too. Good night.

The stage goes dark and the auditorium erupts with applause. The lights come up and the cast takes their place on stage. Angela beams at Rayanne, her eyes full of love and pride.

Rayanne looks out at the sea of smiling faces and wipes her eyes. She grins and puts her arms around Chee and Abyssinia. Abyssinia hurries from the stage, near tears. Katimski, visible at the far edge of the stage goes to comfort her.

Gradually, the auditorium quiets.

PATTY: (happy, smiling) That was *wonderful*. (to Angela, impressed) I can't believe how talented Rayanne is!

ANGELA: (beaming) Isn't she?

GRAHAM: That's such a shame about Abyssinia's mother.

ANGELA: (sobers) I know. For a while they thought Rickie would have to take over.

PATTY: All things considered, I think she did an excellent job.

Brian glances back at the stage, in Abyssinia's general direction, but remains quiet.

ANGELA: (to Patty) I'm going to go backstage and say hi to Rayanne and Rickie, okay? (to Brian) Are you coming?

Brian and Angela make their way toward the exit.


INT.BACKSTAGE

The mood is ecstatic. Rayanne dances around the room, giddy. Rickie and Corey watch her antics, amused. Delia is at the far end of the room, talking with Abyssinia and Mr. Katimski.

RAYANNE: (spots Angela among the well-wishers) Angelika! (throws her arms around Angela)(like an excited child) Well? Well? Was I fantastic or what?

ANGELA: You were amazing! Were you nervous?

RAYANNE: (considers the questions) Believe it or not, no. Not once I got out on the stage. (laughs) Besides, Rickie is nervous enough for both of us.


INT.BACKSTAGE

Brian makes his way over to Rickie.

BRIAN: Hi. You did a great job.

RICKIE: (extremely hoarse) Do you think so? I can't really tell. I mean, Rayanne was wonderful, but the timing was off during the first act, and then Chee forgot two of her lines. (frowns) I think it went better last night.

BRIAN: (rolls his eyes) It was *fine*. It was better than fine. By, like, a lot.

RICKIE: (slow smile) It was, wasn't it?

BRIAN: (focuses on Angela and Rayanne across the room for a moment, realizes what he's doing, and turns back to Rickie) So, how long before you have your voice back? There's only two more performances, right?

RICKIE: I'm thinking next year.

Brian finally manages a smile.


INT. BACKSTAGE

RAYANNE: So Jordan is at that audition thing?

ANGELA: (sighs) Yeah. But I'm hoping I can still get there in time to hear a few songs.

RAYANNE: (gives Angela a look) Don't tell me you're still planning on bringing him to the cast party tomorrow night.

ANGELA: (wrinkles her forehead) I'm not really sure. To tell you the truth, we haven't exactly talked about it that much. (extra cheerful, trying to gloss over her worries) He's been *really* busy practicing with the band and stuff. You can really tell. They sound great.

RAYANNE: (not thrilled) Hooray. (lifts an eyebrow, mischievous) I guess you can always bring Bachelor Number Two.

ANGELA: (confused) What?

RAYANNE: (smirks) Krakow.

ANGELA: Oh Rayanne. Please. I'm *not* bringing Brian Krakow to the cast party.

RAYANNE: (enjoying herself) But you brought him here.

ANGELA: (annoyed with Rayanne and ashamed of herself) That is *so* different! You can't even *compare* the party with this.

RAYANNE: (snorts) Right.


INT.BACKSTAGE

RICKIE: (frustrated) Come on Brian!

BRIAN: No. I have, like, *zero* interest in going.

RICKIE: But it will be fun. Delia and I--(notes Brian's look and sighs) Brian, there *will* be other people there besides Delia. Okay?

BRIAN: (depressed) I never meant to hurt her. I just...did. It's like, this thing I do. (shakes head) Besides, I'm not even in drama.

RICKIE: That doesn't matter. Angela is coming, and Sharon, and a bunch of other people. It's like, invitation by *association* with drama, or whatever. (gives Brian an earnest look, shrugs) So I'm inviting you.

BRIAN: (shrugs, uncomfortable) I don't have a way to get there anyway. My parents are gone. (smiles suddenly) Look. How about I call you tomorrow? And I'll let you know. Maybe Sharon can give me a ride or something.


INT.BACKSTAGE

RAYANNE: Oh my God. (excited smile, points) Look over there.

Angela peers through the crowded area and recognizes Jason Mathews standing between Brian and Rickie. Brian offers Jason a brief smile before walking away.

ANGELA: (a knowing smile) He's kind of cute.

RAYANNE: Rickie has it for him, like, *so* bad. (claps her hands) They're so cute I could frame them!

ANGELA: (laughs) Rickie "has it" for him? Has *what*? I've never head that expression before.

RAYANNE: (frowns, thoughtful) I don't know. That's just what Rickie said.


INT.CHASE CAR

Graham drives and Patty sits in the front passenger seat. Danielle is sandwiched between them and can be heard whining periodically about not being able to breathe.

Angela and Brian sit in the back. They are both silent. Angela is relaxed and looks out the window at the passing traffic. Brian alternatively looks at her or the floor.

BRIAN: So. Are you going to the cast party tomorrow night?

ANGELA: (surprised) What? (cautious, wondering if Rayanne has said something) Why?

BRIAN: I was just, like, wondering. (a hint of pride) Because Rickie invited me.

ANGELA: (smiles) That's great. (hesitates, plays with her seatbelt) I'm going with Jordan.

BRIAN: (smiles, nods) Right. Of course.

ANGELA: (vaguely guilty) So I'll probably see you there or something.

BRIAN: Yeah.

ANGELA: I guess a lot of people are coming. Sharon is. And Corey. And Jason--

BRIAN: (looks back at Angela, frowns) Jason? The guy from Pride House with the weird hair?

ANGELA: (VO) I wonder if Brian knows what *his* hair looks like. (Aloud) Yes. Why?

BRIAN: Nothing.

ANGELA: (soft smile) You do realize that Rickie, like, *likes* Jason, right?

BRIAN: (surprised and trying not to show it) Well, yeah. Of course. (long pause) He does?

ANGELA: (gives Brian a "how dense are you?" look) Yes!

BRIAN: (leans back into the seat, tries desperately to appear unaffected) I don't care what Rickie does. I mean, it's his life...(the unvoiced "but" hangs in the air)

ANGELA: (sighs loudly, angry) Do you have to judge everybody? When are you going to grow up, Brian?

BRIAN: (stares at Angela, hurt, he swallows) I was just going to say I wish Rickie had told me himself. I mean, instead of hearing it from you.

Brian moves against the car door, obviously trying to sit as far away from Angela as possible.

Angela opens her mouth to say something but Patty interrupts.

PATTY: (surprised, annoyed, and pleased all at once) Angela! Jordan is here! Is he done with that audition already?

Brian is forgotten and Angela leans into the front seat, straining to see the red car parked in front of their house.

BRIAN: What audition?

ANGELA: (distracted) Huh? (opens the door and leaps out)

DANIELLE: Mom! Move your arm. I want to see what Jordan looks like.

PATTY: (weary) Danielle, please. Don't do anything to embarrass your sister.

Graham, Patty, Danielle, and Brian exit the car. Patty hustles a squirming Danielle into the house. Graham follows, casting a curious glance back at Jordan.

Brian lingers next to the car, watching Angela and Jordan from a distance.


EXT.STREET

Jordan gets out of his car and leans against it, waiting for Angela. She joins him, pleased and vaguely nervous.

ANGELA: (radiant smile) Hi! I was just coming to see you. (takes his hand, excited) How did the audition go?

JORDAN: That's kind of what I wanted to talk to you about. It didn't.

ANGELA: (her face crumples, shocked) What? (long pause, releases his hand) I can't believe it! You could have come to the play!

Brian, on his side of the street, catches Angela's comment, and his face tightens with misery. He turns away.

ANGELA: (controls herself, takes a deep breath) What happened?

JORDAN: (squints up at the sky) The owner couldn't come tonight or whatever. So we have to go back. Tomorrow.

ANGELA: Tomorrow?

JORDAN: Tomorrow night.

ANGELA: (blinks at him, disappointed) Oh. So...I guess you aren't coming to the cast party.

JORDAN: Angela, I never said I *was* coming.

ANGELA: (growing angry) Oh, so we're back to the whatever happens happens thing.

ANGELA: (VO) All of a sudden I realized we were, like, fighting. And I hated it. But the words were already out, just *hanging* there, and I couldn't take them back. (pause) I wanted to stop talking and just touch his hair. Because he had a strand of hair right over his eye. It moved whenever he blinked.

JORDAN: (frustrated) Look, Angela. I just don't like hanging with your friends. (brushes hair out of his face) I don't, like, *belong* there or something.

ANGELA: (determined) Yes you do!

JORDAN: (listless) Whatever.

They stand beneath the streetlights for several long seconds.

ANGELA: (tentatively) So what happens now?

JORDAN: (slides his hands in his pockets, looks at the ground) I don't know.

ANGELA: What time is the audition?

JORDAN: We're supposed to be there at seven. (pause) What time is that party thing?

ANGELA: Right after the evening performance ends. Around nine I guess.

JORDAN: Well. Maybe I could come pick you up. If you wanted. And we could, you know, go somewhere.

ANGELA: (nods slowly) When?

JORDAN: Whenever. (a quick glance at Angela) Eleven?

ANGELA: (bites her lip) Okay. (cautious smile) I'd like that.

JORDAN: (relieved) Good.

ANGELA: (scuffs the ground with her shoe) Maybe I could stop by The Wire before your audition. To, like, wish you luck.

JORDAN: (genuine smile) Cool. (long pause, as he looks at Angela beneath the moonlight) You look nice. I mean--pretty. Real pretty.

ANGELA: (melts, husky voice) Thank you.

Jordan reaches for Angela's hand and pulls her close.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--master bedroom

Patty stands in her slip, in the process of putting the black dress back on its hanger. Graham is already in bed.

PATTY: (looks critically at the dress) Do you think this is okay to wear tomorrow night?

GRAHAM: (glances up from the book he's reading) What?

PATTY: To the opening. Can I wear this, or is it too dressy? (frowns) Or not enough?

GRAHAM: (puts the book down, nervous) Oh...Well. I--I wanted to talk to you about that. I was thinking that maybe it would be a good idea if you and the girls didn't come. (rushes on, avoiding Patty's gaze) I mean, I'd love you to be there...it's just that I'm already so nervous. That's why I didn't really mind when you told me Tony Poole was coming the night I cooked for the investors. (apologetic) Please understand. If I can just get through tomorrow tonight and the next few days everything will be okay. I've never done anything like this before.

PATTY: (vainly trying to cover her hurt) I know you haven't. I'm sure you'll be wonderful. I was just looking forward to seeing you. Seeing you in the restaurant...(trails off) (smiles a bright, fake Patty smile) Some other time, right?

GRAHAM: (returns the smile) Right.

PATTY: I mean, it's not like the restaurant is *going* anywhere.

GRAHAM: (nods) Exactly.

PATTY: (sinks onto the edge of the bed, the dress rumpled in her lap) (softly) I make you nervous?

GRAHAM: Patty, please. It's not just you. It's the girls too. I--I just don't want you there in case I mess up. (looks down at his book, guilty)

Patty leans closer and touches his arm.

PATTY: You aren't going to mess up, Graham. You can do this in your sleep. (gently) I know it. You know it.

GRAHAM: (stares into space, musing softly) Do I? Do I *really*, Patty? Because I'm not sure what I know anymore.


INT.PRIDE HOUSE--Rickie's room--morning

Rickie sits on his bed, tying his shoes. A bottle of orange juice rests on the dresser next to the bed. A large reproduction of the "Rebel Without a Cause" movie poster hangs behind the bed. James Dean sulks moodily, flanked by Natalie wood, and a young Sal Mineo.

He glances around his room once, grabs the bottle, and slips into the hallway, whistling softly.


EXT.PRIDE HOUSE--front steps

Jason is smoking outside. He wears his trade mark black beret and two small braids peek out from beneath the dark fabric. He waves to Rickie. Delia sits beside him. When Rickie sees the two of them together, his smile falters.

JASON: Hey.

RICKIE: (a little shy) Hi.

DELIA: Rickie! (jumps up, gives him a big hug) I was starting to think we'd have to send in a search party. (takes his arm, pulls him toward the waiting car) Come on. There are, like, five thousand things we need to buy for tonight.

RICKIE: (tolerant grin) We have plenty of time.

DELIA: (lifts an eyebrow) Not if we want to try on clothes. I don't know about you, but I have to get something good to wear tonight.

RICKIE: (forehead wrinkles) You do have a point.

JASON: (amused) You don't need new clothes. If you really want to make a statement (points at his head), you need a hat. A cool hat. Like mine.

RICKIE: (to Delia) Can you believe that? (scoffs) He thinks he's cool because he wears a hat.

JASON: Not a hat. A *beret.*

DELIA: Should we tell him the truth? He's only cool because he hangs out with us?

RICKIE: (mock serious) No, not just yet. We'll let him live in his little dream world a while longer.

Jason rolls his eyes and the three of them head for the car, laughing.


INT.CHERSKI HOUSE--Sharon's room

Sharon and Angela sit on the floor next to Sharon's bed. An empty plate sits between them, crumpled napkins lie beside it.

ANGELA: (upset) This isn't how I thought it would be. It's like, now that I have Jordan Catalano, I *still* don't have him. Sometimes I think I was happier when I was lusting after him from afar. (heavy sigh)

SHARON: (tilts head) Do you really believe that?

ANGELA: (reluctant smile) No. It's just that in the three million hours I've spent daydreaming about Jordan I never dreamed we'd...argue. I always dreamed we'd be, like, *together*. And in a way we are, but in a way we're...(pause) not.

SHARON: (sadly) I wish I had some kind of helpful advice or something, but I don't. All I can tell you is that you should tell Jordan how you feel. Because that's what I should have done with Kyle. Like, immediately. (tears up) But I was too busy thinking about myself to care about Kyle's feelings. And it hurts to realize that you're not--not a very nice person.

ANGELA: (ducks her head, softly) Sharon, you *are* a nice person. (leans against the bed) Besides, you didn't know what would happen.

SHARON: (whispers) That's for sure.


INT.CHERSKI HOUSE--living room

Patty and Camille sit on a beige couch in the Cherski's bright living room. The room is decorated in various patterns of while, beige, and tan.

CAMILLE: I'm telling you, Patty, this is absolute insanity. Those kids are sixteen years old. What do they know about love? I'll tell you: Nothing. But she sits in her room, moping around day after day. And Kyle won't stop calling. I don't know what to do. Do I offer him a shoulder to cry on or get a restraining order?

PATTY: (chuckles) I don't know.

CAMILLE: Neither do I. If I had known for *one* instant Sharon's first real boyfriend was going to end up *stalking* her, I'd have locked her in her room until she turns thirty. (looks at Patty) Maybe it's not too late.

PATTY: Angela has had some really hard times with Jordan. She gets depressed, but it passes. I just hope Sharon feels better soon.

CAMILLE: And that Kyle finds a new girlfriend, fast. (pause) Or a hobby.

PATTY: (closes her eyes, leans back into the couch) So how's Andy? Is he still feeling okay?

CAMILLE: He's fine. He's taking this whole young-love-ends-in-catastrophe thing better than I am. Although if we keep getting phone calls from Kyle at ten-thirty at night, I can't guarantee what his blood pressure will do.

PATTY: (alarmed) Ten-thirty? Oh, Camille.

CAMILLE: Come on, Patty, I need some help. What do we do? Think back to those grand high school days when you shed boyfriends like old clothes. How did you get rid of them?

PATTY: (outraged laughter) I did *not* shed boyfriends like old clothes!

Camille smiles.

PATTY: (defensive) I didn't.

CAMILLE: Fine. You didn't. Happy? (holds out a hand) Now fork over the advice.

PATTY: (covers her face) I really don't think I'm the one you want advice from right now. Especially since I need advice from *you*.

CAMILLE: (leans forward, interested) You do? What's the matter? Are Jordan and Angela having problems?

PATTY: (shakes her head) No, no, no. Nothing like that. He's actually a nice boy. (smiles) And cute? My God! I finally understand why Angela spent entire weeks barricaded in her room. (pause, her smile dissolves) Angela isn't my problem.

CAMILLE: Ah. (purses her lips) I don't suppose it's Danielle?

PATTY: (brushes an imaginary thread off her leg) No.

CAMILLE: That leaves...(trails off, watching Patty)

PATTY: (nods, miserable) Graham.

CAMILLE: What's going on? Are you still worried about (her face pinches) that Hallie person?

PATTY: No, of course not. (pause) Maybe. (shakes head, flustered) I don't know. All I know is there's a distance between us. And I don't know how to reach him anymore. (her face crumples) I'm so afraid, Camille. I'm afraid I'm losing him.

CAMILLE: To who? Hallie?

PATTY: (takes a deep breath) I don't know. Maybe I'm losing him to the restaurant. (stares at Camille, frightened) But I'm losing him to *something.*


INT.CHERSKI HOUSE--Sharon's room

Sharon has moved to the top of bed. She lies on her stomach, lengthwise, so that her feet hang off the other side. Angela is lying on her back on the floor.

ANGELA: (looks up at Sharon) But you're still coming tonight, right?

SHARON: (uncertain) I don't know. I'm just not in a party mood.

ANGELA: Yes you are! (sits up, excited) We could go together.

SHARON: (smirks) I'm sure Jordan will be thrilled.

ANGELA: It doesn't matter, he's not coming until eleven or something. And he can drop you off at home. Besides, I promised Rickie I'd help get things ready at Katimksi's. If you help, it will go even faster.

SHARON: Help how?

ANGELA: I'm not sure. But they might need some furniture moved out of the way.

SHARON: (thinking about the invitation) What time would we go? Because I have to run to the mall this afternoon.

ANGELA: That's fine. I'm supposed to stop by The Wire to see Jordan anyway. (shrugs) Is eight okay?

SHARON: (smiles gradually until she reaches full kilowatt potential) Eight is *very* okay.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen

Graham leans against the counter, studying a handwritten list intently. The phone rings and it takes two rings before he's actually aware of the sound and realizes what it is. He grabs for the phone.

GRAHAM: (distracted) Uh, hello? (immediately loses interest in the list, lowers his voice) Hallie! (pause) Right. I was just checking the last minute stuff. I'll be in as soon as Patty gets back. (smiles) I think you'll live for one more hour. (laughs) Then I'll have to brush up on my CPR. (stops laughing and rubs his forehead) I know. I feel like throwing up. Or celebrating. (pause) No, *not* at the same time. (longer pause, Graham glances toward the doorway) You know how I feel, Hallie. (urgent) I already made up my mind. (relaxes slightly) Fine. We'll talk when I get there.


INT.KRAKOW HOUSE--Brian's room

Brian lies morosely on the bed, one hand over his face. The phone rings and Brian rolls over to answer. As he moves, the camera moves in to reveal a rumpled sheet of paper lying next to him. It is his Calculus test. The grade at the top of the page reads C+ in red ink.

BRIAN: Yeah? (instantly cheerful) Oh, hi. Everything's fine. Uh-huh. Yeah, the play was really great. (pause) Mom...*Mom*! It wasn't a date. We just went to a play. (Brian runs a hand through his hair, listening) No, I can't. I won't be home later. I might go to this party Rickie's having. I mean, it's the cast party, for like, the play or whatever. (stands and begins pacing) No, that's okay. I really don't need to talk to him. (his face pinches) Mom! I said I *don't*--Hi Dad. (pause) Just fine. How's the seminar? (smiles tightly) Well, good. That's great. Uh-huh...yeah, I got a couple more applications today. (agitated) I don't know, I didn't open them. (pause) Because I've been *busy*. I've got a lot of homework. (pause) The calculus test? (glances toward the bed) It went fine. (pinched look) Of course I got an A. Look, I have to go, Dad. Can I talk to Mom again for a second? (pause, looks relieved) Thanks. (sinks back onto the bed) Hi. I just wanted to say...that I hope the seminar is going, you know, okay. (takes deep breath) I love you too. (almost a whisper) I will. Bye.

Brian hangs up and drops his head into his hands. After a moment he stands and crosses to his desk. There is a thick stack of college applications and catalogues there. He stares at them for a long moment before sweeping them into the garbage.


EXT.STREET

Danielle sits on the front porch playing a hand-held video game. Suddenly she scowls and sighs.

DANIELLE: (mutters) Stupid game.

She glances across the street. Her expression changes to one of excitement when she sees Brian Krakow. She watches with unabashed interest as he exits the house and sits on the front steps. He plunges his hands into his jacket pockets and looks up at the sky.

Biting her lip, Danielle stands. Nervous, she takes a step toward the street. The front door is thrown open suddenly and Graham rushes out onto the porch, interrupting Danielle's concentration. He frowns at the driveway and glances down the street. His gaze finally falls on Brian and he smiles.

GRAHAM: (calling) Brian! Can you come over here?

Brian stands and crosses the street.

BRIAN: (smiles brightly) Did you need something?

DANIELLE: (peering at Brian) How come your face is all red?

GRAHAM: (annoyed) Danielle!

BRIAN: (disconcerted) Oh...my allergies must be acting up.

GRAHAM: Look, Brian. Do you think you could stay here for a little while, just until Patty gets back? I really have to get to the restaurant.

DANIELLE: (a mortified whisper) Dad!

BRIAN: (lifts eyebrow) Oh, that's right. Angela said the restaurant opens tonight. (smiles, nods) Good luck.

GRAHAM: Thanks. (pulls keys out his pockets, casts another long glance down the street) So. Do you mind staying? Or do you have plans?

BRIAN: (laughs softly) I don't have plans. And I don't mind.

Danielle's look of embarrassment softens into a nervous smile.

GRAHAM: (hurries toward the car) Thanks very much, Brian. I really appreciate your help. (looks at Brian, harried) Why don't you come over for dinner some night this week?

BRIAN: (nods) Sure.

Danielle and Brian watch Graham pull away. After a moment Brian sits down on the front step. Danielle sits beside him.

BRIAN: (looks wistfully toward the house) I guess Angela is gone too, right?

DANIELLE: They're at the Cherskis. (sidelong glance) They'll probably be gone a *long* time. (superior) You know how Sharon and Angela are when they get together.

BRIAN: (vague smile) Yeah. (pause) Actually, I'm glad your dad had to leave. I wanted to talk to you.

DANIELLE: (shocked) You did? (she struggles between being honored and suspicion) You wanted to talk to *me*?

BRIAN: (nods) I was wondering if you still wanted to learn to play the saxophone.

DANIELLE: (somewhat disappointed) Oh. No. I changed my mind. I've decided on the clarinet. (pause) I think. It's smaller than the sax, and it's a lot better than taking piano lessons. (pause, hopeful) Do you play the clarinet?

BRIAN: No. I play the flute. (frowns, thinking) But I know someone who might be willing to give you lessons. Or at least some pointers.

DANIELLE: (doubtful) Who?

BRIAN: Sharon. If you want, I can talk to her about it.

DANIELLE: (incredulous) You'd do that for me?

BRIAN: Sure. It's no trouble. (smiles) Besides, Sharon owes me a few favors.

DANIELLE: (excited) Cool! (bounds up) Do you want something to eat? I haven't had lunch yet.

Danielle holds the door open. Brian looks at Danielle for a moment. Finally he smiles, almost shy, and follows her inside.


INT.KATIMKSI APARTMENT

Richard Katimski sits glumly in a recliner, a closed newspaper on his lap. Joseph enters the room, pausing when he sees Katimski.

JOSEPH: What's the matter?

KATIMSKI: (starts) What? Oh...nothing. I'm just...thinking about the party tonight. (smiles) We'll certainly have a full house.

JOSEPH: (stares at Katimski) Why don't you just say it?

KATIMSKI: Say what?

JOSEPH: (sighs, sits opposite Katimksi) That you miss Rickie. (quietly) *I* miss him.

KATIMSKI: (upset) Of course I miss him!

JOSEPH: Have you told him?

KATIMSKI: What? Gee whiz! Of course not. Enrique has enough to worry about with me making him feel guilty. He belongs at...he's--he's at Pride House now. (gesturing) *I* worked to get him there!

JOSEPH: (nods, reasonable) You're right.

KATIMSKI: I mean...he should be with kids his age.

JOSEPH: That's probably true.

KATIMSKI: I just never realized...(looks away) how lonely it would be without him. (rubs his temple, distressed) Oh, geez, I didn't mean--

JOSEPH: (slight smile) I know what you meant.

KATIMSKI: I guess I just got...used to him. Being here. (weak smile) It was nice pretending we were a family. (heavy sigh) And now we're not. (abruptly) Well. I don't even know why I'm, ah, sitting here. There's a hundred things I should be doing instead.

Katimski gets up and goes into the kitchen. Joseph remains on the couch, listening to the clatter of dishes.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--living room

Danielle and Brian are sitting around the coffee table, playing a board game.

DANIELLE: (claps, triumphant) Ha! That's another two hundred dollars for me!

BRIAN: (sighs) We might as well stop now. You have me beat.

DANIELLE: (hesitates, looks sharply at Brian) You aren't, like, letting me win, are you?

BRIAN: (innocent expression) What? No. (head shake) Definitely not.

Danielle regards him skeptically. The front door opens and Patty and Angela enter.

PATTY: (loudly) Graham? Sorry we're late! I had to--(breaks off suddenly when she sees Brian) (fake smile) Brian! Well...what a surprise. (turns to Angela) What a...*pleasant* surprise.

BRIAN: (stands, brushes off his knees) Uh, hi. Mr. Chase asked me to, um, stay here until you got back. He said he had to go to the restaurant. So, in case you're wondering, there's, like, a *reason* I'm here.

PATTY: (frowns) Graham left? Already? Did he say if he'd be back before the opening?

BRIAN: (nervous) Um. No.

ANGELA: (smiles at Brian) Hi.

BRIAN: (looks away, turns to Danielle, manages a smile) Well. Thanks for playing the game with me. But I really should, you know, go. I'm taking this night class at the University and I've got, like, tons of homework to do.

DANIELLE: (disappointed, looks down at the game board) Oh.

BRIAN: But just so you know, I had a good time. (bright smile) It was fun to hang out with you.

PATTY: (muttering) I can't believe he left! (storms into the kitchen)

DANIELLE: (bites her lip) Maybe we could do this again sometime. (softly) I mean...even if my mom and dad are here.

BRIAN: (nods, smiles) Maybe we could. And I'll talk to Sharon like I said, all right?

DANIELLE: (returns the smile, bursting with pride) Thanks. (she turns and runs up the stairs)

ANGELA: (curious) Talk to Sharon about what?

BRIAN: Nothing. (opens the door)

ANGELA: *Brian*. What are you going to talk to Sharon about that involves my sister?


EXT.CHASE HOUSE--porch

BRIAN: (glares at Angela) If you must know, I told her I'd ask Sharon about giving Danielle clarinet lessons.

ANGELA: (surprised) Since when does Danielle want to play the clarinet?

BRIAN: (snidely) Why don't you ask *her*.

ANGELA: (pauses on the front steps) Brian! Brian, *wait.*

Brian lingers on the front walk, facing away from Angela.

ANGELA: I'm sorry about what I said to you last night. (awkward, embarrassed) About, you know, Rickie.

BRIAN: (spins toward Angela) You don't always know how I feel about everything, okay? It's not my place to approve or disapprove Rickie's lifestyle. He's my *friend*!

ANGELA: (softly) I know. I'm sorry.

BRIAN: (stares at Angela, his anger draining away, and sighs wearily) It's okay.

They look at each other. Brian glances toward his empty house, and back to Angela.

BRIAN: (hesitant) Maybe we could go for a walk or something. I mean, if you want to. (nervous smile) You know, since we never did that--that other night.

ANGELA: (VO) It was such a beautiful day that the thought of walking somewhere with Brian Krakow actually seemed to make sense. I sort of *wanted* to. (pause) But I couldn't. Not when I was meeting Jordan Catalano in two hours and eight minutes. (aloud) I'd like to, Brian, but I have to do some, I mean, I have to get ready because, well--

BRIAN: (defeated) You're seeing Jordan.

Angela nods.

BRIAN: (forces a bright smile) I understand. Well...have fun. (starts to cross the street, waves) See ya!

ANGELA: (follows him) I'll see you at the party though. (pause) Right?

BRIAN: (puts a hand over his stomach) I'm not sure. My stomach isn't feeling all that good. (weak smile) You know how it is. (shrugs) Maybe.

Angela watches him from the curb. She looks as if she wants to say something more, but doesn't. Brian goes inside his house without looking back. Angela stares at his silent from door for a long moment before running back up the front steps.


INT.MALL--Food Court

Dozens of tables are filled with a myriad of people: children, adults, teenagers, combinations of all three. At the far end of the court, the crowd thins and the camera zooms in on a small group sitting at one of the tables: Rickie, Delia, and Jason. Three empty trays are stacked at the edge of the table. Several plastic bags are tucked beneath their chairs.

DELIA: ...have you been at Pride House?

JASON: (pulls off his beret, and runs a hand through his thick hair) I think it must be about five months, now.

RICKIE: (quietly) Do you, you know, like it there?

JASON: Compared to home? Of course. Watching my parents beat each other--and me--with words doesn't hold a lot of appeal.

DELIA: Is that why you tried to kill yourself?

RICKIE: (shocked by Delia's question) Delia!

DELIA: (embarrassed) I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get personal. Well, actually, I *did* mean to get personal, but I didn't mean to offend you or anything. I was just kind of...curious. I've never known anyone who tried to, you know, do something like that before.

JASON: (smiles) I don't mind. That is part of the reason I tried. That's not the whole reason though. (his eyes unfocus, remembering) It just seemed like something I had to do. (shakes his head, blinks at Delia) But I'm glad it didn't work. In a few months my sister will graduate from college and she's moving back here. (hint of pride in his voice) I'll be leaving Pride House to live with her.

RICKIE: (surprised) I didn't know you had a sister.

JASON: She's twenty-three. She wanted to move back after everything happened, but I told her not to. (laughs) One of us might as well use their brain, huh?

DELIA: So...you feel better now?

JASON: (laughs harder) Do you mean, am I going to try again? No. I'm not the same person. I've got a cool shrink. I've got a place to stay. School doesn't completely suck, and I'm going to a party tonight. What more could I want? (grows serious) But I'm not ashamed about what I did. It's, like, who I am, I guess. (sly grin) Besides, I love to see the look on people's faces when I blab about it.

RICKIE: (rolls his eyes) Like mine.

JASON: Exactly!

DELIA: (looks at her watch) My dad should be here soon. So we should probably--(Delia's eyes grow wide and she smiles) Sharon! Hey!

Jason and Rickie turn to see Sharon Cherski walking toward their table. Sharon smiles at Delia and the two girls hug.

DELIA: (excited) I didn't know you were coming to the mall!

SHARON: It wasn't exactly planned. I'm not here for, like, *fun* or anything. I have to buy a birthday present for my cousin. (she smiles at Jason and Rickie) Hi.

JASON: Hi.

RICKIE: (reaching for his bags) Hi Sharon. You're still coming tonight, right?

SHARON: (crooked smile) Angela talked me into it.

RICKIE: (sincerely) Good.

SHARON: She said something about coming a little early to help out...?

RICKIE: (nods) That's great. Thanks. I'll still be at school, but Delia and Joseph will be home. (looks pained) I mean, at the apartment.

SHARON: Okay. Then I'll see you guys later.

Sharon moves off toward the book store and Delia, Rickie, and Jason gather their things and head for the doors.

When the table is empty, the camera zooms in an one of the food court employees who was wiping tables nearby. The employee scowls and looks after Sharon. Even in a red apron and a paper hat, we recognize him as Kyle's friend, Troy Jacobs.


INT.THE WIRE--evening

Jordan sits by the window, a cup of coffee cradled in his hands. He brightens visibly when we glimpse Angela through the front window. The door opens and she enters the dim coffee house. She glances around the room for a moment, uncertain, until she spots Jordan. She smiles at him, radiant.

She pulls out the chair across from him and sits.

ANGELA: Hi.

JORDAN: Hey.

ANGELA: (gives the room another once-over) Where's the rest of the band?

JORDAN: (shrugs) They'll be here pretty soon. We practiced for most of the morning. (nods) I think we sound okay. (frowns) Or at least better. (pause) Do you want something to drink?

ANGELA: (pleased, but conscious of Jordan's low funds) (glances at the chalkboard menu) Maybe I'll just have a coffee. (casual) I like it black with a few sugars. (starts to stand)

JORDAN: (motions her to sit) That's okay. I'll get it. It's like, not a big deal.

ANGELA: (bright smile) Thank you.

JORDAN: (shrugs) Sure.

Angela smiles after him and watches him order.

ANGELA: (VO) I can't believe I'm actually here with him. And he's, like, *buying* me coffee.

She continues watching him with a dreamy look until he returns.

JORDAN: (looks at her) What?

ANGELA: (confused) What do you mean, 'what'?

JORDAN: You were looking at me all weird.

ANGELA: (VO) I wanted to tell him that wasn't a weird look, that was a *lustful* look. But I didn't. (pause) Although you'd think he'd be able to tell the difference. (aloud) No I wasn't.

JORDAN: Whatever. (sets a large paper cup on the table) Here.

ANGELA: Thanks.

JORDAN: (half smile) You're welcome. (leans across the table and takes her hand) So. You're still going to that party tonight?

ANGELA: (lifts an eyebrow) Are you still auditioning tonight?

JORDAN: (sips his coffee) I guess that means yes.

ANGELA: That's what it means. Which reminds me, can you give Sharon Cherski a ride home?

JORDAN: (annoyed) Aw, Angela! Come *on*.

ANGELA: (defensive) What? She doesn't live very far from me.

JORDAN: That's not the point. I don't care if she, like, lives next door.

ANGELA: (softly) Then what is the point?

JORDAN: Nothing. I just wanted us to spend some time together. Alone.

ANGELA: I know. (softly) So do I. But it will only take five minutes. *Five* minutes!

JORDAN: (he sighs, relenting) Fine.

ANGELA: (hair tuck) Thank you.

Jordan doesn't answer. He just nods and plays with the edge of his paper cup.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

The restaurant isn't full, but there are a good number of customers. The interior is beautiful. The lights are turned low, and the dining area has a kind of glow to it. The camera pans slowly around the room and we finally see the completed mural. At first glance it is a mass of pale clouds, a mix of blues and greens and gold and white. But the longer we see the wall, the more we realize the clouds are something more--there are angels woven into the pattern. The centerpiece of the mural is gauzy glimpse of the outside of the restaurant, replete with sidewalk and old-fashioned street lamps.

Graham is in the kitchen, cooking. He cranes his neck periodically to see out the doors and into the dining area. His face bears a combination of elation and terror.

The double doors swing open and Hallie appears, followed by a waitress.

HALLIE: (smiling) If it makes you feel better no one's thrown up, choked, or stormed out of the restaurant.

GRAHAM: (wryly) Oh yeah. I feel *much* better.

HALLIE: (peers out through the doors as the waitress leaves with a full tray) (softly amazed) I actually think this restaurant thing is going to work out.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT

Jason, Delia, Angela, and Sharon are in the kitchen area setting out trays of snacks. The door opens suddenly and a crowd of people burst into the apartment. Among the group are Katimski, Rickie, Corey, Rayanne, and many familiar faces recognizable from the play.

Rayanne flounces into the kitchen wearing something that resembles a black slip and a lime colored men's vest.

RAYANNE: (gesturing grandly) I've arrived! Let the fun begin!

Delia and Angela head for Rickie. Angela looks slightly miffed to be sharing him, but puts on a brave smile. She hugs him tightly.

ANGELA: Hi! You did it! You survived Our Town!

RICKIE: (crooked smile, still hoarse) I know. But I think I'm actually going to miss it.

Angela rolls her eyes and crosses over to Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (kissing Angela's cheek) Angel food! Where's the music? Where's the food? (huge pout) And *where* are the cute guys?

ANGELA: (laughs) Rayanne, this is a cast party. If you want to dance, find Jimmy Delfonte.

RAYANNE: (shudders, dramatically) Please! Don't even joke about such things. I've spent enough time swooning to his spindle-necked George. (smiles disarmingly, playing Emily) My, isn't your over-bite *terrible*?

ANGELA: (shocked laugher) Ray*anne*!

RAYANNE: Don't be a party pooper. (pushes Angela forward) Let's mingle!

Someone puts a CD in the stereo and within seconds the song "What You Don't Know" by Expose flows over the room.

Delia and Rickie look at each other.

DELIA: I love this song!

Rickie pulls her out onto the makeshift dance floor and they begin dancing. Rickie does his usual amazing moves and Delia does a valiant job of keeping up. Most of the group just watch, but a few students join the dancing, including Corey and Rayanne. Angela watches from the sidelines until Rayanne pulls her into the fray. She goes willingly, laughing.

Jason watches Delia and Rickie dance, hands in his pockets, a troubled look on his face. The two braids sticking out of his thick hair have been tinted hot pink for the occasion. For once he isn't wearing a hat. Sharon drifts over to him, tapping one hand against her leg in time to the music. She smiles and gives Rickie and Delia a little head tilt.

JASON: (to Sharon) Hi.

SHARON: (glances at Jason) Hi. (nods toward Rickie and Delia) Aren't they cute? I can't believe what a good dancer Rickie is!

JASON: (smiles weakly) So they're, like, dating, right?

SHARON: (frowns) I'm not sure if I'd call it dating.

Jason raises an eyebrow.

SHARON: (almost conspiratorial) But I know he *definitely* likes her.

JASON: (glumly) Oh.

SHARON: I mean, she's *such* a sweetie. (vague scowl) Only a complete moron would pass up a chance with her.

JASON: (watches Delia for a moment and smiles) Yeah. She is really nice. (pause) They're both nice. It's cool to have someone to hang out with at the House, you know?

Sharon nods and flashes Jason a fake smile before turning her attention back to the dancing.


INT.THE WIRE

Jordan, Joey, and the rest of Residue sit quietly while another group plays (badly) from the back of the cafe.

JOEY: (whispers to Jordan) They suck. We'll win this thing for sure.

JORDAN: (rubbing his fingers together) Shut up and let me think, willya? I've gotta, like, concentrate. I don't want to screw this up.

JOEY: Who cares if you do. (grins) We'd be better than them even if we still had Graf!

Jordan shoots a dark look at Joey and sinks lower in his chair. He bites his lip, nervous.


INT. KATMISKI'S APARTMENT

Angela and Sharon sit on the couch, talking. Rickie leans over the back of the couch.

RICKIE: (to Sharon) Wasn't Brian supposed to get a ride with you?

SHARON: (stares at Rickie) Why would *I* give him a ride? I came with Angela.

RICKIE: (frowns) So he's not coming?

ANGELA: I saw him this afternoon and he said he wasn't feeling that good.

SHARON: (snorts) When *is* he feeling good?

RICKIE: (worried look) That's odd. He said he was going to leave a message for me this afternoon and he never did.

SHARON: (gets a "wait till you hear this" look on her face) My mom said he called for *me* today! He left some kind of message that I'm supposed to call Danielle. (to Angela) Do you know what he means?

ANGELA: Oh, yeah. I guess Danielle wants to learn how to play the clarinet. I think she wants you to give her a lesson or something.

SHARON: (looks thoughtful) That might be kind of fun, actually.

ANGELA: (makes a face) Are you talking about *my* sister?

RICKIE: (interrupting) Hey, you guys, I'm starting to get kind of worried about Brian. He's been acting a little weird lately.

Rayanne perches on the arm of the couch with a plate of fruit slices. She jabs one with tooth pick.

RAYANNE: Who's weird lately?

RICKIE: Brian.

RAYANNE: (laughs loudly, gives Rickie a look) *Lately*?

RICKIE: I'm serious!

RAYANNE: (grins down at a melon slice) Krakow was born weird.

RICKIE: It just seems, like, strange he didn't come. I mean, he's always complaining about being left out. And I specifically invited him.

RAYANNE: Well there ya go. That was your first mistake.

RICKIE: (angry) Shut up!

SHARON: If he said he didn't feel good, that's probably all it is. I mean, (tiny smile) Brian hasn't "felt good" since he was, like, eleven.

RICKIE: (debates for a moment) I think I'll call him. You know, just to see if he's okay. (shrugs) Or whatever.

ANGELA: (thoughtful look) I'll come with you.

RAYANNE: (moves into Angela's space once she's gone) You know, this is probably some elaborate scheme Krakow cooked up so that we'd spend all night talking about him. (she nibbles on the end of her toothpick)

SHARON: (slowly) I don't think so.

Rayanne frowns and watches Rickie and Angela move through the crowd.


INT.KRAKOW HOUSE--Brian's room

The only light comes from a small lamp on the desk. Brian sits on his bed, looking at a photograph. The camera circles behind him and we view the picture over his shoulder. It is the photo he took of Angela studying in the back of Jordan's car. The photo is overexposed, most likely because his camera was broken, but the orange glow only succeeds in making Angela seem more radiant--almost ethereal.

The phone begins to ring, but Brian ignores it.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT

Rickie hangs up the phone, clearly upset.

RICKIE: Where would he be?

ANGELA: (hopeful) Maybe he went to bed early...?

RICKIE: (skeptical) Maybe...

ANGELA: Look, I'll go over there tomorrow and make sure everything's okay. (pause) I mean, I'm sure it is.

RICKIE: (nods, thinking) You're probably right.


INT.TASTE OF HEAVEN

Graham and Hallie peek from the kitchen as the last two customers leave. Hallie walks to the door and carefully turns the sign that says "CLOSED".

HALLIE: (triumphant) We did it!

GRAHAM: We sure did!

Graham enfolds Hallie in a jubilant hug, but Hallie stiffens and backs out of the embrace.

HALLIE: (awkward) Well. Looks like we won't go bankrupt. (beat, smile) Yet.

GRAHAM: (carefully, watching Hallie) We should celebrate.

HALLIE: (looks at him, debating, softly) What exactly are we celebrating?

GRAHAM: (confused, motions around him) The restaurant. (pause) What did you think I meant?

HALLIE: (glares at him, coldly) You tell me. You're the one throwing off more signals than a traffic cop lately.

GRAHAM: (glances around, nervous) I thought we came to an understanding.

HALLIE: We did. I understand and you don't.

GRAHAM: (annoyed) What does that mean?

HALLIE: (takes a deep breath, regaining control) Let's take this outside. I don't feel like humiliating myself in front of the entire staff, all right? (bitter smile) Even *I* have limits.


EXT.STREET

Angela and Sharon exit a nice, albeit dated, apartment building. The street is quiet. There are several vehicles parked along it, but there is a clear view of any oncoming cars.

SHARON: Are you sure it's no trouble?

ANGELA: (bright smile) Oh, no. Jordan doesn't mind at all.


EXT.STREET

Hallie walks several paces from the restaurant before turning on Graham.

HALLIE: (furious) Just how strong do you think I am?

GRAHAM: (fumbling) Hallie, I--

HALLIE: (cuts him off) When you first started hinting that I wasn't imagining things, that it *wasn't* just wishful thinking on my part, that there *was* something between us, I was thrilled. I was...overjoyed. (swallows) But then I started thinking. Which, as you know, isn't my strong suit. (pause) But I came to a realization.

GRAHAM: (huskily) What?

HALLIE: That...no matter how much I might like to take advantage of...*this*...I can't. I've been a lot of things in my life, but the 'other woman' isn't one of them. I can honestly say that's not on my goal list right now.

Graham opens his mouth but Hallie continues, unrelenting.

HALLIE: What? Are you going to tell me that you're planning on leaving Patty? And your daughters? You're willing to give up your *family* because you have a secret yen for Jewish girls from Texas? (her face crumples and she pauses) Brad had this theory about you, you know? He said you couldn't admit you were happy. That it seemed like you were...*looking* to find something wrong with your life.

GRAHAM: (angry) I am not!

HALLIE: I'm not going to be the thing that's wrong! If you and Patty are having problems, don't use me as your out, Graham. Because that's not what I want to be. I want my *own* family. (long pause, softly) I don't want yours.

Graham sinks down on the curb. Hallie looks at him, sighs heavily, and sits next to him.

GRAHAM: (weakly) I don't know what to say.


EXT.STREET

Angela and Sharon sit on the curb, waiting for Jordan. Angela looks at her watch and frowns.

A car comes slowly down the street and the girls stand. As it comes closer, Sharon grips Angela's arm.

SHARON: (shocked, nervous) Oh God, Angela! That's Kyle!

ANGELA: (stunned) What?

The car pulls toward the curb and stops, still partially in the middle of the street. Kyle pulls the car door open and jumps out. Sharon backs away.

KYLE: (pleading, desperate) Sharon! Just *talk* to me. Please! All I want is just--just *five* minutes with you!

SHARON: (shakes her head, stoic) I have nothing to say.

Kyle comes closer. He looks as if he hasn't slept in days.

KYLE: (his voice breaks) Then just listen!

SHARON: Kyle, just leave me alone!

KYLE: I *can't*! (pause, collects himself) I want you back. Please, Sharon. I'll do anything.

SHARON: (struggling to keep her voice steady) Kyle, we have been *over* this. I don't want you to do anything. (pause) Except stop calling me. And writing me notes. Just...go...away!

KYLE: (hoarsely) I can't.

SHARON: (angry) Then try harder!

KYLE: (his face contorts) I'm glad this is so *easy* for you.

SHARON: (her anger dissolves, she starts to cry) This isn't easy!

KYLE: (softly) Then just come with me. (holds out his hand) Just around the block.

SHARON: (shrinks back toward the building) No.

ANGELA: (tucks hair, whispers to Sharon) Do you want me to get Mr. Katimski?

SHARON: (she whispers back, panicking) He's not here! He took Abyssinia home.

ANGELA: (VO, watching Kyle) It's really strange. I hardly know anything about Kyle. Except that he dated Sharon. But suddenly, that's what, like, *defines* him. I've never really thought about him before. (pause) Like how big he is. And how he probably works out or something. Because at this moment, I'm actually afraid for Sharon if she gets in that car. (pause) This would be the perfect time for Jordan to get here. (aloud, coldly) Sharon's staying over at my house. If you want to talk to her, you'll have to wait until school on Monday.

KYLE: That's a great idea, Angela. (faces Sharon) But she won't talk to me!

ANGELA: (softly, a little sad) Then maybe you should take the hint.

KYLE: (angry) And maybe you should mind your own business. (stalks forward, grabs Sharon's arm) Come on.

SHARON: (frightened, slaps at his hand) No! *Kyle*! Stop it!

Angela gapes at Kyle and lunges for Sharon's other arm. Sharon is trapped in a tug of war. Angela and Sharon fight against Kyle, but it's clear they are losing.

RAYANNE: (OS) Hey! Vinovich! You get hit in the head one too many times during football practice? She said *no*. (The camera pulls back to reveal Rayanne, Jason, and Corey standing in front of Katimski's building) (mock sympathy) I guess long words must confuse you.

KYLE: (growls) This doesn't concern you, Graf.

RAYANNE: Wrong. This does concern me because Sharon is my friend. And I'm sure even *your* Neanderthal brain will be shocked to learn I only have so many friends. Which means I can't afford to have anything happen to any of them. It, like, throws off the balance or something.

KYLE: (glares) That's touching. Now leave us alone.

Corey whispers something in Rayanne's ear. She nods, and he takes off down the street.

SHARON: (voice low) Just let me go. Please. I'll talk to you. (pause) But not in the car.

KYLE: (wounded) What? You don't trust me? (notices Jason and glares) What are you looking at?

JASON: (friendly smile) Nothing much. Just some guy making a fool of himself.

KYLE: (looks at Jason blankly for a moment, takes a deep breath) Rayanne, why don't you take your friend and get out of here. I just want some time with Sharon. Then I'll leave. (pause, to Sharon) I promise.

SHARON: (cries harder, not wanting to listen) Kyle...please...

Kyle has managed to drag both Sharon and Angela to the car. He pulls open the front passenger door and glares at Angela.

KYLE: Let go.

ANGELA: (scared, defiant) No.

Rayanne bounces over to Kyle while rummaging in her purse.

RAYANNE: Fine. Go ahead. (shrugs, ignores Sharon's and Angela's shocked expressions) But you're going to have a hard time driving.

KYLE: (scowls) Why?

RAYANNE: (pleasantly, pulls something from her purse) Because once I spray you with this mace you'll be bawling so hard you won't be able to find the steering wheel, much less the road. (dangerous smile) *That's* why.

Kyle blinks at her.

JASON: (helpful) This might be a good time to let go of Sharon.

KYLE: Shut up! Just...shut up. Let me think.

RAYANNE: (stage whisper) Now we'll *really* be here all night.


EXT.STREET

Hallie and Graham sit on the curb, talking.

HALLIE: You know what your problem is, Graham?

GRAHAM: (stares at Hallie, lifts an eyebrow) No, but I'm sure you'll tell me.

HALLIE: You're like a kid on a swing. You need a push.

GRAHAM: What?

HALLIE: A push. A *push*! In the right direction. Like you don't trust yourself. Think about it. You needed a push--actually, more of a shove--to start the restaurant. And maybe, this is only a maybe you understand, I pushed you into admitting your feelings for me. It's not like I've been an innocent bystander here. (pause, sigh) As much as I'd like to believe I have been. So maybe I didn't exactly push you, but I...*leaned* on you. And whatever idiot mid-life crises you're having just happened to explode at exactly the right--or wrong--time.

GRAHAM: (shocked) I am *not* having a mid-life crises!

HALLIE: (snorts) Do you actually listen to the things you say? Take it from me Graham, you are easily the world's worst liar. Now pay attention. Because this is as profound as I'm going to get, all right? (stares hard at Graham) So now I'm pushing, leaning, *shoving* you right back at Patty. (watches a passing car) I'm not stupid, Graham. I know that you love her. And maybe you do feel something for me. But I doubt that something is love. (longer pause, softer) Because even if there was a time when I wanted it to be...I don't any more. (pause) We can't run the restaurant like this.

GRAHAM: (studies Hallie with a look of admiration, respect, and embarrassment) I have to admit this hurts. (takes a deep breath, looks up at the night sky) But maybe it's a good hurt. (short laugh) Whatever that means. (looks back at Hallie) And I'm sorry if I hurt *you*. Despite the mess I've made of things, you're my partner, and my friend. (faint smile) Thank you for...thank you for the push.

HALLIE: (nods) Anytime.

GRAHAM: (leans forward, gives Hallie a chaste kiss on the cheek) You're probably a better friend than I deserve.

HALLIE: That goes without saying.

GRAHAM: (stands slowly, brushes off his pants) I guess this is still a new beginning, right? Just not the one I had imagined.

Graham extends a hand to help Hallie up, but she declines, and stands on her own.

HALLIE: (bright smile) Exactly.

GRAHAM: Well. (walks slowly toward the car) I guess I'll see you tomorrow morning.

HALLIE: (laughs) *I'm* certainly not going to attempt eggs benedict, so you better be here bright and early.

GRAHAM: (smiles) I can do the early but I can't guarantee bright.

HALLIE: (softly) Bye. (pause) Congratulations Mr. Restaurant Owner.

GRAHAM: (wistful) Congratulations Ms. Restaurant Owner.

Hallie watches as Graham gets inside the car, starts it, and drives away. When he's gone, her control breaks and she covers her face with one hand.


EXT.STREET

RAYANNE: (sighs) Let's just cut through the crap, all right? I'll go get Tino.

KYLE: (stares hard at Rayanne, Sharon momentarily forgotten) Tino...?

RAYANNE: Yes, Tino. My close, personal friend, Tino. *That* Tino. (nods toward the building) He's right upstairs. (leans closer, whispering) And when I tell him you're bugging my friend, (pause, dark grin) you're going to wish I had just maced you instead.

KYLE: (swallows, rethinking the situation) Now look...

A car rounds the corner and screeches toward them. The driver sticks his head out the window. It is Corey.

COREY: Get in!

Kyle stares at Corey's car, as if not quite understanding what it is. Rayanne takes the opportunity to run forward and swing her purse at Kyle. It connects with his chest and he stumbles back against his car, stunned. Jason and Angela grab Sharon and drag her toward Corey's car. They all pile into the back seat and Corey pulls away.

Kyle's face crumples and he chases Corey with futile results.


INT. COREY'S CAR

Kyle is visible through the rear window, running after them, screaming Sharon's name.

Sharon leans against Angela, sobbing.

RAYANNE: (leans forward, brandishing a bottle) Drive faster or I'll spray you.

COREY: What is that?

JASON: (shocked) Put that away!

Rayanne presses the button and a stream of something ejects into the car. Everyone shrieks.

ANGELA: (sniffs uncertainly) What--what is that?

RAYANNE: (grins wickedly, reveals the small perfume cannister) It's a good thing you came when you did, Helfrick, or Vinovich would be smelling like Lemon Breeze by now.

JASON: What about your friend Tino?

RAYANNE: Tino, schmino! He wasn't even at the party.

JASON: (sinks against the seat, very quietly) Oh.

ANGELA: (puts a hand to her head) Oh my God.

RAYANNE: (looks at the others) What?


INT.CHASE HOUSE--master bedroom

Patty lies in bed holding a magazine, but it's clear she's not actually reading. She glances repeatedly at the bedside clock. Finally she sits up and reaches for the phone. She dials and twists the phone cord nervously around her fingers.

PATTY: Hi! This is Patty Chase. Is Graham still there by any chance? (pause) An hour ago? I see. Thank you. (stares at the bedroom wall blindly, a fixed smile on her face) By the way, did everything go okay tonight? (pause) That's wonderful. All right. Thank you.

Patty replaces the receiver in the cradle and wraps her arms around herself. After a moment she gets up, slips into her robe, and leaves the room.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen

Patty drifts into the kitchen. She looks lost. She notices the newspaper, untouched, sitting on the counter. She sifts through the different sections, barely interested. Suddenly she stiffens ands backs away from the counter. There is a close-up of the offending front page: An article on Taste of Heaven and a grainy photo of Hallie and Graham smiling from the doorway. Patty stares at the photo for a long moment before she gathers the entire newspaper and thrusts it into the garbage.


INT.COREY'S CAR

Sharon has stopped crying and stares fixedly through the windshield. Jason looks out the side window. Rayanne leans into the front seat, directing Corey. Angela watches Sharon, concerned.

RAYANNE: (unwraps a piece of gum) Okay, now take a left up here.

Angela glances out her window and sits up, excited. A familiar red car is visible up the street.

ANGELA: Wait! Corey--pull over! That's Jordan!

COREY: What?

ANGELA: (grasping the door handle) Stop the car!

Corey does and Angela bounds out of the car.


EXT.STREET

Angela stands beside Corey's car and waves at the oncoming Plymouth.

Jordan slows to a stop beside her and rolls down his window.

JORDAN: (curious) What are you doing? I thought I was supposed to pick you up at Katimski's or whatever.

ANGELA: You were! Why didn't you come?

JORDAN: (shrugs) I'm here now.

ANGELA: (outraged) You're forty minutes late!

JORDAN: (annoyed) Do you want a ride or what? (glances at the other car, frowns) Maybe you want to ride with Corey.

ANGELA: (VO) At that moment I almost did. (aloud) Do you *want* me to ride with Corey?

JORDAN: (exasperated, leans across to the passenger door and opens it) Get in.

Rayanne leans out of Corey's car.

RAYANNE: What's goin' on? You're, like, holding up traffic.

ANGELA: Go ahead. I'll call you tomorrow. (hesitates) And thanks!


INT.JORDAN'S CAR

JORDAN: So aren't you even going to ask how the audition went?

ANGELA: (amazed) Aren't you even going to ask *why* I was in Corey Helfrick's car? (pause) How did the audition go?

JORDAN: (taps the steering wheel) It went good. (pleased) We start next week.

ANGELA: (excited, in spite of her anger) That's wonderful! (hair tuck, nod) I'm *really* happy for you.

JORDAN: So. (glances at Angela) What were you doing with Corey?

ANGELA: (lifts eyebrow) What was I *doing*? I was *riding* in his car. With Sharon. And Jason. And Rayanne. That's what I was *doing*.

JORDAN: You could have waited.

ANGELA: (softly echoes his statement) I could have...waited. (turns to him, agitated) How do you know I could have waited? If I *could* have waited, don't you think I'd still be, like, waiting for you?

JORDAN: (confused) Huh?

ANGELA: (upset) There was this terrible...fight. Between Kyle and Sharon. Or maybe just Kyle. (shakes her head, wears pained expression) It was *horrible.* We just wanted to get Sharon away from him. (looks at Jordan) So we did.

JORDAN: Fine. (shrugs) Whatever.

ANGELA: You're the one who said you'd pick me up at eleven! What was I supposed to do?

JORDAN: Angela, it's fine. I don't care.

ANGELA: (incredulous) You don't *care*?

JORDAN: (pulls into a parking lot and stops the car, softly) Okay. What do you want me to say?

ANGELA: (VO, impassioned) That you're sorry you're late! That you thought about me tonight. That you missed me. (pause, softly) That you *do* care. (listless, aloud) I don't know.

They sit in silence for several long minutes.

ANGELA: (stares out at the traffic) (VO) There's this thing people say. "Love conquers all." (her face compresses) That is *such* a lie. Love doesn't conquer anything. It just, like, *sits* there. Watching people drift apart. Just...helpless. Everyone always says how great love is. Like it's *enough*, or something. (pause, slowly, painfully) But what happens when it's not enough? And how can you tell? (casts a quick glance at Jordan, sees that he's looking out the other window) I keep waiting for Jordan to say something. Something really small. Like, "I wasn't wearing a watch." So that I know he really understands. (pause, thickly) But maybe...maybe he doesn't.

JORDAN: (clears his throat) So what do you want to do?

ANGELA: (lifts her chin) It's getting late.

JORDAN: (studies her profile) Yeah.

ANGELA: I should probably just go home. (her lip starts to tremble) I'm...pretty tired.

JORDAN: (nods) Me too. (hesitates, awkward) Maybe we can do something some other night. Or something.

ANGELA: (almost whispering, eyes bright) Maybe.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--living room

Patty sits on the couch. Her expression is blank, but crumpled tissues on the table suggest she has been crying.

Headlights are visible through the front door and she wipes at her face, self- conscious. After a long moment the door opens and Angela enters the living room. She rushes for the stairs, ignoring Patty.

PATTY: (tentatively) Angela? How was the party?

ANGELA: (pauses on the landing, her back to Patty) I *don't* want to talk about it.

Angela storms up the rest of the steps and Patty flinches at the sound of her bedroom door slamming. Patty bites at her lip, obviously debating whether she should follow her eldest daughter or not. The sound of another car stops her. She stands rigid, arms folded, listening to the side door open, to the footsteps in the kitchen.

GRAHAM: (OS, softly) Patty? I'm home!

Graham walks into the living room, still holding his coat.

GRAHAM: (nervous smile) Hi.

PATTY: (coldly) Hello.

GRAHAM: (lifts eyebrows) Well? Don't you want to hear how it went?

PATTY: (forces a smile) Okay. (head tilt) How did it go?

GRAHAM: (grows excited) It was wonderful! (shrugs) Okay, so we weren't *packed*, but we weren't empty either. It was a good first night. And nobody sent anything back to the kitchen! (happy) I can't wait for you and the girls to come.

PATTY: (laughs, looks away) Oh, that's right. *Now* we're allowed to come.

GRAHAM: (uncertain, takes in Patty's posture and expression) What's...what's wrong?

PATTY: As long as you're telling me how everything went, why don't you tell me about--(she falls silent abruptly and spins away from Graham)

GRAHAM: (guilty, miserable) Tell you about...what?

PATTY: Never mind. I'm--I'm tired. I'm going to bed.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT

The furniture has been returned to the appropriate locations and most of the mess has been cleared away. Delia follows Rickie with a garbage bag while he drops paper plates and cups inside.

Katimski walks into the room and observes their progress for a moment.

KATIMSKI: (yawning) Gee whiz, that's good enough, kids. This place will end up looking better than it did *before* the party. Don't worry about the rest. I can, ah, finish up. (to Delia) Do you need a ride home?

DELIA: (smiles) Nope. I'm all set. I just called my dad and he's on his way.

RICKIE: (kisses her cheek) Thanks for everything.

DELIA: I had a blast!

RICKIE: (nods) Me too.

KATIMSKI: (forced smile) What about you, Enrique? Do you...do you need a ride?

RICKIE: Actually, I do. (nervous) But I was hoping you could give me a ride tomorrow. Like, tomorrow morning or something. (plunges ahead) Because I was wondering if I could, you know...if I could--

KATIMSKI: (broad smile) Enrique, if you are asking to stay here tonight, you are most certainly...welcome. (chokes up) You will *always* be welcome here. (pause, his smile falters) If, ah, if that's what you were going to ask.

Rickie responds by giving Katimski a tight hug.

RICKIE: (muffled) Thank you.

KATIMSKI: (smiles fondly) You don't have to thank me.

RICKIE: (steps back from Katimski, to Delia) I'll walk you downstairs, okay?

DELIA: Great.

RICKIE: (pauses by the door) Mr. Katimski?

KATIMSKI: Yes?

RICKIE: (beaming) I'll be right back.


INT.CHASE HOUSE--Angela's room

Angela lies face down on the bed and her arms hang off both sides. She has changed out of her party outfit and into dark gray sweats. Her stereo plays the song "She Gathers Rain" by Collective Soul.

Today she dresses
For the change she faces now
And the storm that's raging
A safe haven she has found

(Visual--Patty leans against the bathroom sink, sobbing. She turns the faucet on hard, trying to hide the sound of her tears.)

She doesn't care
What the prophets say anymore
For the love she had
She has no more
So she gathers rain
she gathers rain
To rinse away all her guilt and pain
So she gathers rain
She gathers rain
To wash and cleanse and make her whole again

(Visual--Angela sits with her back to the window. She wears a pinched look, her attention focused on the dried daisies on her dresser. A steady gray drizzle beats against the glass.)

Her imagination
has started stretching wide
And her new conviction
No longer will she hide

(Visual--Graham works at a hectic pace in the restaurant kitchen. Hallie stands in the doorway watching him, pensive. Graham turns suddenly and she manages a bright smile.)

She's not branded
When the prophets speak words of fire
The same love she gives
She requires

(Visual--Angela sits in front of her bedroom mirror. She turns away suddenly as if she hears a noise, and when she looks back the scene has segued into a nearly identical shot of Patty staring into her own mirror.)

So she gathers rain
She gathers rain
To rinse away all her guilt and pain
So she gathers rain
She gathers rain
To wash and cleanse and make her whole again

(Visual--Sharon sits on the floor of her bedroom, a photograph album in her lap. She flips a page and we see several shots of herself and Kyle. She touches one of the pictures, almost reverent, before slamming the book shut. She lets it slide off her lap and turns to look out the window at the rain.)


INT.CHASE HOUSE--kitchen

Angela is in rummaging in the refrigerator. Patty walks in, followed by Danielle.

ANGELA: Is it all right if I take this orange?

PATTY: (distracted, pale) We don't have any oranges.

DANIELLE: Mom, Sharon's coming over tonight, okay?

ANGELA: (holds up an orange) What's this?

PATTY: (stares at it) Oh. Go ahead.

DANIELLE: (irritated) Did you hear me?

PATTY: (frowns at Danielle) Sharon who?

DANIELLE: (withering look) Duh! Sharon *Cherski*!

PATTY: (to Angela) Sharon's coming over?

ANGELA: Don't ask me, ask Danielle. (grabs her backpack and heads for the door)

PATTY: Why is Sharon coming over to see you, honey?

DANIELLE: (rolls her eyes) Don't ask me, ask Angela. (pause) Can I have a ride to school? Where's Dad?

PATTY: (takes a pair of earrings out of her skirt pocket and puts them in) You know Daddy has to leave early for the restaurant now.

DANIELLE: (pouts) I don't want to take the bus.

ANGELA: Poor baby.

PATTY: (warning tone) Girls!

Danielle responds by slamming the door behind her.


INT.HALLWAY

Angela stuffs her backpack into her locker. She casts a furtive glance down the hallway and tenses when she sees Jordan and Joey walking together. The pair turns down another hall and she relaxes. Sharon and Delia join her.

SHARON: (looks tired and subdued) Hi.

ANGELA: Hi. (looks at Sharon) Are you okay?

SHARON: I guess. (sympathetic) Are you?

ANGELA: (weak smile) I guess.

DELIA: Did you hear the announcement just now?

ANGELA: (annoyed) I can never understand what they're saying. It's like they're purposely talking through a sock.

SHARON: Everybody's supposed to go to home room, like, *now*.

ANGELA: (surprised) Why?

DELIA: Who knows.

Jason, Rickie, and Rayanne fall into step with Angela's group.

JASON: (having overheard Delia's comment) They like to test us every once in a while. You know, rearrange the maze.

RICKIE: (to Sharon) I hear I missed all the excitement Saturday night. (pause, sincerely) I'm sorry.

SHARON: Don't be. You're lucky.

RICKIE: (wistful) I had fun at Katimski's. It was like old times.

RAYANNE: (smiles, mimicking) Mmm. Old times.

JASON: I hope you had fun. (amused) Considering the way Peter reamed your butt yesterday.

RAYANNE: (perks up) What? (grins) What'd you do, Vasquez?

RICKIE: (sighs) I'm not really supposed to stay overnight anywhere. Pride House has a curfew. (frowns, guilty) And I missed it. By a lot.

JASON: (fake announcer voice) Pride House has rules for a reason. These rules are here to help and guide *you*. As a guest at Pride House, *you* are expected to *abide* by these rules. Willful disregard of these rules can and will result in *your* removal from Pride House. (chuckles, to Rickie) Who knew you were such a rebel!

RICKIE: (annoyed) That first warning is completely Rayanne's fault.

JASON: (snorts) Maybe they'll kick *her* out.

Delia stops in front of a classroom while Jason, Rayanne, and Sharon continue down the hall.

DELIA: (to Rickie) Aren't you coming?

RICKIE: Just a sec. (to Angela) Have you seen Brian this morning?

ANGELA: No.

RICKIE: (bites at his lip) Well, did you go over and see him yesterday?

ANGELA: (guilty) No. (sighs) I'm sorry. I should have. (looks teary) It's just this...this *thing* with Jordan pretty much killed my weekend. (attempts smile) We'll find him after home room, okay?

RICKIE: Okay.


INT.HOME ROOM

Angela sits at a desk, looking bored. A teacher stands at the front of the room, nervous. He asks for everyone's attention, but most students ignore him. The teacher continues talking, but Angela's voice over reduces the teacher's words to background noise.

ANGELA: (VO) It's funny how you can sense when bad news is coming. You can sort of feel it rolling around your stomach before you actually hear the words.

Angela shifts in her desk and looks around at the other students. Everyone has fallen silent. All eyes are focused on the teacher.

ANGELA: (VO) In movies and television, they always use slow motion so everyone knows, like, exactly when the bad part is. But there is no slow motion in real life.

A few students start to cry. Many look stunned. One boy wearing a varsity jacket gets up and stumbles from the room.

ANGELA: (covers her mouth with one hand, eyes wide) (VO) When you hear bad news, *terrible* news, it's like your body doesn't know how to react. I get this nervous smile at the worst possible moments. It's just, like, a kind of reflex. Like my body thinks Mr. Tremaine is lying. And I hope he is. (pause, sinks lower into her chair, stares at the top of her desk) (her voice thickens with emotion) Because I just can't...I can't believe that Kyle Vinovich is actually...dead.


INT.HALLWAY

Angela makes her way down the hall, fighting through a gauntlet of shocked classmates.

STUDENT 1: Can you believe it? I never would have expected it...

STUDENT 2 : But wasn't he a good student?

STUDENT 3: I heard he broke up with some girl.

Angela glances sharply at the offending student but keeps walking.

STUDENT 4: ...don't care what they say, he didn't kill himself.

STUDENT 5: Why else would he drive into a telephone pole?

STUDENT 6: ...going to talk to the counselor?

STUDENT 7: I'll talk to my *mother* if it gets me out of class.

The rumors fly up and down the hall. Angela takes a deep breath and shoulders her way into the bathroom.


INT.GIRLS' BATHROOM

The bathroom is full of the same gossip. Angela cranes her neck for a glimpse of Sharon.

The bell rings and the other girls gradually make their way out of the bathroom. Angela goes to one of the sinks and splashes cold water on her face. She notices Delia standing nervously beside the paper towel dispenser. Now that the bathroom has cleared out, the sound of someone crying inside one of the stalls is obvious.

ANGELA: (she wipes at her face and mouths the name) Sharon?

Delia nods, unhappy.

ANGELA: (swallows, tucks hair behind her ear) Sharon? I'm really sorry. (her voice breaks) About...about what happened.

Sharon doesn't answer. Angela approaches the stall to try again but the door opens and Sharon rushes into Angela's arms.

SHARON: (crying) It's all my fault! God, Angela, I should have talked to him. If I had *just* talked to him!

Angela meets Delia's gaze over Sharon's head, stricken.

The door opens and Rayanne walks in, unusually subdued.

ANGELA: Where were you?

RAYANNE: Crazy Krzyzanowski's. (holds up a sheet of paper, sniffles) Due to the recent tragedy I'm leaving early.

ANGELA: (disgusted) Rayanne!

RAYANNE: (pulls out several more slips from her bag) Don't worry, I have extras.

ANGELA: That's not what I meant! (gestures at Sharon's back)

RAYANNE: (makes a face) Who do you think the slips are for? If anybody has a right to leave early, Cherski does. (shrugs) We can all go somewhere and hang out.

SHARON: (angry, still crying) I don't want to hang out! I want another chance with Kyle!

Rayanne looks at Angela, uncomfortable. Delia crosses her arms, silent.

The bathroom door bursts open again and Rickie rushes inside, panicked. Jason peeks his head in. After a brief moment of hesitation he follows.

RICKIE: Listen, I can't find Brian anywhere. (puts a hand over his stomach) And he didn't go to Calculus this morning. (pause) I feel sick.

ANGELA: Maybe he stayed home today.

JASON: (shakes his head) I saw him at his locker before school.

RAYANNE: (looks at Jason, curious) What are you doing in here? Do you, like, want a tour or something?

JASON: Rickie comes in here all the time. What's the difference?

DELIA: He has special status.

RAYANNE: (confidentially) Like Switzerland.

JASON: (frowns) Well, what am I?

RAYANNE: (considers Jason a moment) Guam.

RICKIE: (upset, disgusted with the flippant talk) Will you all shut up? Just help me find Brian! I'm telling you, when Lerner started to tell us about Kyle (breaks down) I thought...I thought she meant Brian. (regains control, makes the sign of the cross) God forgive me.

JASON: (frowns) But why are you so worried? Has he been depressed or something?

RICKIE: (miserable) Yes! I should have realized. I should have done something!

JASON: (calmly) Look, depression usually follows a kind of pattern. We don't really have to worry unless he's started to give things away.

DELIA: What do you mean? What kind of things?

JASON: (shrugs) Like favorite possessions. Stuff he cares about.

RICKIE: (horrified) He gave me some of his CD's at my party. (stares at Jason) Does that count?

JASON: (considers) It might.

SHARON: (takes a paper towel from Angela, wipes her eyes) But he's seemed, like, better recently. (desperate) He went to Our Town with Angela. And he stopped complaining about tutoring Jordan!

JASON: (shakes his head) Just because he acts better doesn't mean he actually is.

SHARON: (suspicious) How come you know so much about this?

JASON: (quick glance at Rickie, then the floor) I know somebody who attempted suicide once. So I'm familiar with--

ANGELA: (shocked laughter) You're kidding, right? I mean, this is outrageous! (looks around at her friends, outraged) You actually think Brian Krakow would do--would do *that*? (shakes her head) Because he wouldn't.

JASON: (softly, looks at Sharon and Angela) Did you really think Kyle would?

Angela backs away, still shaking her head.

RICKIE: (pleading, to Jason) So what do we do? We've got to find him!

JASON: (nods once) Okay, let's find him.

RAYANNE: (pushes past them, huffs) I *suppose* my pass can wait.

JASON: (wrinkles his forehead at Rayanne) Why Guam?

Sharon takes Angela's hand to follow the others into the hall but Angela pulls back.

ANGELA: (hugging herself) This is, like, ridiculous. (searches Sharon's face) Right? (insistent) *Right*?

SHARON: (shakes her head sadly, gently) No. This is *Brian*. I think he needs us. (her face compresses, a fresh tear rolls down her cheek) And I'm not going to fail twice.

ANGELA: (the camera zooms in on Angela's face as she struggles to accept what Sharon is telling her) (VO, slowly) Maybe there *is* slow motion in real life. Maybe denying the truth...denying how important certain people are in your life is like...*living* in slow motion. (aloud, hoarse) Okay. Let's go.


INT.BAND ROOM

Rickie peers into the band room, but there is no sign of Brian.


INT.HALLWAY

Rayanne saunters down the hall, passing a boys' bathroom. She pauses, turns back, and frowns at the door. Glancing up and down the corridor, she shrugs and pulls the door open. She shuts it a moment later, disappointed. She leans against the wall and sighs, revealing the worry she won't show her friends. Rayanne opens her bag and reaches inside for something. After a moment she stops, realizing what she's looking for is no longer there. She shakes her head, and pulls out a lollipop instead. She starts down the hall again.


EXT.PARKING LOT

Sharon and Angela stand outside, scanning the parking lot and the nearby football field and bleachers.


INT.HALLWAY

Rickie and Jason emerge from a stairwell into the hallway.

RICKIE: (looks dejected) ...thought he might be down there. He went down there before, to, like, be alone or whatever.

Jason nods, distracted, and heads for the bathroom at the end of the hall. He pushes the door open just enough to see inside and then lets it close again.

JASON: (softly) Rickie!

The tone of Jason's voice makes Rickie move faster.

RICKIE: (scared, excited) You found him?

Jason nods.


INT.BOYS' BATHROOM

Brian sits on the floor, his back to the wall, arms around his knees. He barely looks at Rickie and Jason when they enter.

RICKIE: (relieved) Brian! Are you okay?

BRIAN: (turns away, listless) I'm fine.

RICKIE: (babbling) Well, you didn't come to the party on Saturday and I couldn't find you this morning, and I've just been, you know, kind of worried.

BRIAN: (looks in Rickie's direction, but not at him) Worried about me? Why?

RICKIE: (squats beside Brian, earnest) Because you're my friend.

BRIAN: (tears up, looks away) No I'm not.

RICKIE: (shocked) Yes you are!

BRIAN: Could you just leave me alone?

JASON: (concerned) Why do you want to be alone?

BRIAN: (glares) Is there some reason you, like, *care*?

JASON: (softly) Actually, there is.

Brian falls silent and stares at the floor.

RICKIE: Brian...I think you need help. You're, like, depressed. You should talk to some one.

BRIAN: (weary) There's nothing to say.

RICKIE: (insistent) Yes there is! You have to talk about what's bothering you. You have to (fumbling) just--open up or something.

BRIAN: (shakes his head) Talking doesn't make it any better.

JASON: (gently) You'd be surprised.

BRIAN: (scowls) The only thing that surprises me is the fact that you're, like, *here.*

JASON: (nods) Okay. That's cool. I can go.

Jason leaves and Rickie turns to Brian, angry.

RICKIE: He was just trying to help!

BRIAN: I didn't *ask* for help.

RICKIE: That doesn't mean you don't need it. The truth is--you're scaring me. (hesitates, nervous) Maybe I should call someone. I could get Mr. Katimski. Or your parents--

BRIAN: (leaps to his feet) No! You are *not* calling my parents. That is, like, *completely* laughable.

RICKIE: But they could help you--

BRIAN: (furious) Listen Rickie, I didn't tell Foster about you. And I could have. It was, like, my *right* to tell him. (leans close) But I didn't. So don't you tell my parents anything!

RICKIE: (raises his hands, conciliatory) Okay. Okay.

They stare at each other.

RICKIE: (wipes his eyes) I just want to...help.

BRIAN: Then go away.

RICKIE: (his face crumples) I'm sorry, Brian. But I can't do that.

BRIAN: (leans against the wall, tight-lipped) Fine. Stay.

RICKIE: (pleading) Why are you being like this? What's *wrong*?

BRIAN: (laughs, covers his face with his hands) Do you have, like, a *year*?

RICKIE: (simply) Tell me whatever you want. I'll listen.

BRIAN: (laughs harder, turns away, hiding tears) That's right. You'll listen, but you won't talk.

RICKIE: (trying not to be offended) What does that mean?

BRIAN: It means that I willingly humiliate myself to you, like, *daily* about Angela Chase, but you can't even tell me that you like--someone. (hesitates, uncomfortable, but forces himself to continue) That you like *Jason*. (hurt) You could have told me. Instead I find out from Angela. (wipes at his face with the back of his hand) I mean, I'm used to being the last person to know. But I thought that maybe (long pause) we were, you know, friends. (sinks back to the floor)

RICKIE: (stunned) We *are* friends! (embarrassed, lowers his voice) And I don't even know if I like Jason. (grimaces) Okay. Maybe I do. But I don't know how *he* feels. (sighs) He treats Delia the same way he treats me. (softly) I didn't mean to exclude you, Brian. I really didn't. (awkward) I just didn't know if you wanted to hear about that kind of thing.

BRIAN: Then you should have asked!

RICKIE: (nods) Okay. I'm sorry.

BRIAN: (covers his face with his hands, muffled) It's like I can't even breathe anymore. Everything is so...heavy.

RICKIE: (sitting beside Brian) Then let me help you.

BRIAN: (his voice breaks, shakes his head) I don't know how.


INT.HALLWAY

Angela and Sharon walk down the hall, glancing into various classrooms. A teacher notices and calls after them.

TEACHER: Aren't you girls supposed to be in class?

ANGELA: (fake smile) We're on our way right now.

SHARON: (nods, reiterates) Right now.

The teacher gives them a skeptical look before returning to the classroom.

JASON: (OS) Angela! Sharon!

Jason pounds down the stairs, two at a time.

JASON: (breathless) We found Brian.

ANGELA: (climbs steps after Sharon and Jason, her hand on the bannister) (VO) Sometimes there are feelings in your heart that you don't even know exist. Like they were buried a long time ago. And you just forget about them. And as time passes they come closer and closer to the surface. Until you finally feel them. Because they've been there all along. (starts walking faster) I've known Brian Krakow forever. Even when I didn't *want* to know him. (begins to run up the stairs, determined) And I'm only starting to realize that's something I should be thankful for.

Angela runs faster, passing Sharon and Jason. She reaches the corridor and races down the hall.


INT.HALLWAY

Rayanne stands in front of the boy's bathroom, sucking on the lollipop. A student approaches the door and she blocks his path.

RAYANNE: Sorry. No can do.

STUDENT: Get out of the way, willya?

RAYANNE: 'Fraid not. (smiles, sharing a secret) See, I'm meeting someone in there.

STUDENT: (gives her a wide-eyed expression) Oh. I see.

Angela comes barreling around the corner, spots Rayanne.

ANGELA: Is Brian in there?

RAYANNE: Yeah. So's Rickie.

Angela bites her lip, takes a deep breath, and pushes the door open.

The student gapes after Angela.

RAYANNE: (whispering a secret) Actually, to tell you the truth, it's kind of a group thing.

The student takes a step backwards, shocked.

RAYANNE: (pulls another lollipop from her bag, enjoying herself immensely) Lolly?


INT.BOYS' BATHROOM

Rickie and Brian are still sitting on the floor. Angela tries hard to ignore the urinals and moves to Brian's side. Rickie stands and she takes his place.

ANGELA: (hair tuck, softly to Brian) Hey.

BRIAN: (unable to look at her, hoarsely) Hi. (pause) Hey.

ANGELA: (VO) Sometimes it's hard to know what friendship really means. (she looks up at Rickie; he manages a weak smile and Angela returns it) Like it's something complicated. (looks at Brian, inches closer so that they sit shoulder to shoulder) But maybe it's not. (pause) Maybe it's just two people sitting on the floor. Together.


END

The song "What You Don't Know" can be found on the 1995 album: Only Dance 1985-1989

The song "She Gathers Rain" is from Collective Soul's 1995 album: Collective Soul

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Episode No. 23 - Lost and Found by Shannon Bryan
Published: 1997 | Size: 99 KB (19169 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.3/5   4.3/5 (38 votes)

Read this story now: Episode No. 23 - Lost and Found
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Average: 4.6/5   4.6/5 (63 votes)
  • Ben Hoback commented on 01 Nov 2002:
    I think that 'anonymous' right above me said it all; except one thing: this was the first fanfiction here that I gave a '10' to.
  • amanda commented on 09 Oct 2003:
    oh it was wonderful! i don't even know if anyone comes here anymore. i've been filtering in and out over the years, and this was truly amazing. i loved it. it made me all giddy and feel like i was back in high school again. it made me want to cry for lack of mscl. but it's nice that's it's not completely gone.
  • Gwyzard gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 21 Dec 2012:
    I don't really have words to describe how ridiculously freaking good this is. The author probably won't see this, seeing how I'm leaving this comment 15 years later, but I felt compelled to say so nonetheless. You've really stayed true to the spirit of the original show. Thank You!!!
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“My dad thinks every person in the world is having more fun than him.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"