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Moving Day

written by Shannon Bryan

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 62 KB (11712 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.9/5   3.9/5 (30 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

INT.CHASE KITCHEN -- Morning
Patty and Graham, dressed for work, sip coffee and regard each other coolly from opposite sides of the kitchen. Patty is by the stove with her back to the front door and Graham is over near the phone. Danielle is perched in the breakfast nook spooning up cereal. Angela enters, wearing a t-shirt and old cut-offs. She has a tentative smile on her face. Danielle scowls at Angela. Patty notices Danielle's look before she sees Angela, and spins around on her heels to talk to her eldest daughter.

ANGELA: (reeling back from her Mother's intense scrutiny) (VO) My Mother is like one of those jungle cats, that can wait in a coiled position to spring, for, like, *hours* at a time.

PATTY: (shortly) *There* you are.

ANGELA: (VO) The difference is that jungle cats are generally nicer than my Mother.

PATTY: Angela, I thought we'd already discussed this. Your sister *will* be going with you to help Rickie move. (sighing) I thought this was settled.

ANGELA: (carefully) It was. (pause) I just thought that Danielle would be really . . . um, *bored* helping Rickie move . . .

DANIELLE: I don't need someone to watch me anymore, anyway!

ANGELA: (running with it) . . . and Danielle's getting old enough to stay by herself. It's not like she doesn't know how to use the phone, y'know, if there's a problem.

DANIELLE: Exactly. And since Angela won't be here, the phone might actually be free.

Angela chokes back a comment and shoots Danielle a dirty look.

PATTY: Well, *I'm* going to be in a meeting downtown, and Katimski won't have his phone hooked up yet, so who is she going to call if there's a problem?

GRAHAM: (in a neutral tone) She could always call me at the restaurant, Patty.

PATTY: (with raised eyebrows) Except you're remarkably hard to reach lately. The staff always says you're too busy to talk, or you're out somewhere. (her eyes narrow) With Hallie Lowenthal.

GRAHAM: (rolls his eyes heavenward, indicating this is a retread argument) Once, Patty! Once! And I told you we were meeting with the investors at the bank.

PATTY: (rueful smile) Yes. That is what you *told* me. (Graham takes the implication of this in, and remains silent) I would just feel better if Danielle stayed with Angela today, since she won't be able to reach me, and it seems like we can never be 100% sure of your schedule.

Patty and Graham continue to snipe back and forth in the background, but we cannot hear what is being said over Angela's voice-over.

ANGELA: (VO) Well this fight sure isn't about me anymore. (pause) Maybe it never was. That's another difference between my Mother and jungle cats right there. Jungle cats don't bother to spring at little birds when they're really hunting caribou.

The sound, aside from incidental music, blanks out entirely as Angela stands between her parents, looking back and forth at them as they shout at each other and gesture angrily to emphasize their points. Angela's gaze moves over to Danielle, whose brow is furrowed. Danielle looks pleadingly at Angela as if to say, "make them stop" and then turns her attention back to her cereal, where she dunks her spoon mechanically and repeatedly into the milk, not eating anything. Angela turns her attention back to her parents.

GRAHAM: (in a tone implying he’s won a point) Patty, you can't be in control of everything!

PATTY: (her arms fall to her sides, and she becomes quiet) I know. Believe me, I have become acutely aware of that in the last few months. (her lip trembles briefly, but she takes a deep breath and becomes steely once more) But this is one thing I *can* control. The bottom line is that I want the house and you kids all to be in one piece when I get back here. So, Angela, you are staying with Danielle today. Whether you take her along with you or stay here at the house, I don't care, but the issue is closed.

ANGELA: (quietly) Okay. I'll take her with. No problem.

PATTY: (looking at her watch) I have to go. (she moves toward the door, but before exiting, she turns to look at Graham) Have a good day at the restaurant.

GRAHAM: (sighing) You have a good day too, Patty.

Patty smiles wanly and exits.

ANGELA: (VO) Fighting can wear you out. But having to sit there and watch two people you care about fight is somehow even more tiring. (pause) Now I think I know how Brian felt when Sharon and I weren't talking, or how Rickie felt after Rayanne slept with Jordan. (pause) I've only been up for a little while, but I feel like going back to bed.

GRAHAM: (attempting to be cheerful as he takes Danielle's bowl and rinses it out) I'm sure you'll have fun, Danielle. Angela's friends are nice.

DANIELLE: (put upon) That's true. They're all nicer to me than *Angela* is most of the time.

GRAHAM: (smiling as Angela bristles at that) Well, look on the bright side, Angela, more hands means less work moving. You'll be done that much sooner. Have fun, you two. (as he passes Angela he whispers) Be nice to your sister, okay?

ANGELA: I will. (she nods) Have a good day.

Graham exits. Angela gets out a glass and some juice, and there is a long pause before either of the girls speak.

DANIELLE: Are they ever going to stop fighting?

ANGELA: (abruptly puts down the glass and sighs) I don't know, Danielle. (she walks to the sink & dumps out the juice) Now go and get ready, our ride will be here any minute.

Danielle exits without protest and Angela just stands there, her hands splayed on the counter, staring blankly out the small window over the sink.


INT.KRAKOW STATION WAGON -- Morning
The car is at a stoplight and Brian reaches over to fiddle with the ancient and static-spewing stereo. He is wearing long tan shorts, a t-shirt, and an open long-sleeved shirt. Sharon is wearing a pair of denim overalls over a pink t-shirt, and her hair is pulled back. She regards Brian with a sour expression.

SHARON: (sighs heavily) We’re going to be late, Krakow.

BRIAN: (lifts his eyebrows, listening more to the still untuned radio than to Sharon) No we won’t.

SHARON: I mean, really, why are we even doing this? Most *normal* people hire some kind of moving company. So, you get a truck full of large men with uni-brows, shady union ties, and, you know, *girth* to lug heavy boxes around. Not us. (frowns, Brian finally gets a station tuned in relatively clearly) I hate that song.

BRIAN: It’s a good song. (drives forward when the light changes) And not everybody uses moving companies. They’re kind of expensive. (absently, as if teaching a class) Besides, May and June are the most popular months to move, since that’s when most leases are up. Maybe Mr. Katimski just, like, called too late to get anybody or whatever.

SHARON: Yeah, anybody except us.

BRIAN: (trying to be nonchalant and failing) So, like, who exactly falls into the “us” category? (pulls into the Fisher driveway where Delia is waiting on the front porch, she smiles, waves, and runs toward the car) I mean aside from you, me, and (deep sigh) Delia Fisher.

SHARON: (rolls her eyes) Don’t worry Krakow, she’ll be there.

BRIAN: (feigns innocence) Huh? She who?

SHARON: (shakes her head) You know, Brian, you’re, like, *beyond* transparent. You could get a job working as a window. (deliberately) She’ll be there, all right? So just chill.

Delia opens the door and bounces into the back seat.

DELIA: (brightly) Hi! Isn’t this great? I’m so happy for Rickie!

BRIAN: (stung by Sharon’s comment, snidely) I don’t think Cherski shares your enthusiasm, Delia.

SHARON: (glares at Brian, turns in the seat to look back at Delia) I don’t have much enthusiasm for lugging boxes up three flights of stairs. I *do* have enthusiasm over the fact that Rickie has an actual, like, home. (pleased) And by tonight he’ll have a much bigger one.

DELIA: (excited) No kidding! No more sleeping in Joseph and Mr. Katimski’s office!

BRIAN: (scowls faintly when “Late at Night” comes on the radio) I hate this song.

Brian reaches over to turn off the radio, but Sharon pushes his hand away.

SHARON: (steely) I *like* it.

DELIA: (leaning on the front seat and popping her head up between them) Come on, you guys. Haven’t you ever heard of compromise?

SHARON: (looks thoughtful) No. But I *have* heard of natural selection. (reaches over and turns up the volume, darting a triumphant look at Brian) There. No problem.

BRIAN: (sighs loudly and mutters out the window) Are we there yet?


INT. CHASE LIVING ROOM -- Morning
Danielle lounges on the couch, halfheartedly flipping through a magazine. Angela paces back and forth near the window. She stops to fold the curtain back and look out, then lets it fall back into place and continues her pacing.

DANIELLE: (tosses the magazine aside, stretches) Is he here yet?

ANGELA: (stops for a moment, dully) No. Quit asking. (resumes pacing)

DANIELLE: Why? (she gets her "I'm clever" face on) Because a watched boyfriend never shows?

ANGELA: What? No. (pause, hand travels to face) Besides, he's *not* my boyfriend.

DANIELLE: (kicking her feet in the air rhythmically) Well, if it *smells* like MSG, and *tastes* like MSG . . .

ANGELA: (quick laugh) Jordan is *not* an additive for ethnic foods. (stops pacing, emphatically) *And* he's not my boyfriend. (resumes pacing)

DANIELLE: (short giggle) Well what is he then?

ANGELA: (she stops her pacing dead) I . . . he's . . . (VO) I have no idea. (aloud) . . . he's like . . . my ride. He's my ride. That's all.

DANIELLE: (huffy) You mean *our* ride.

Angela takes that fact in, as if just realizing that Danielle is going to be in the car with her and Jordan. Annoyance and a splash of worry cross her face.

DANIELLE: (adding in a snotty tone) *And* he's late.

Angela opens her mouth to respond, but is interrupted by the sound of a car door slamming.

ANGELA: There he is.

Angela runs her fingers through her hair and makes a "shush" gesture to Danielle, who rolls her eyes and flops back onto the couch. There is a hurried pounding at the door. Angela opens the door and looks surprised when wild-haired Rayanne flounces inside in her elfin yet menacing manner.

ANGELA: What are *you* doing here?

RAYANNE: (gesturing outside) Tino brought me. I need a ride to Rickie’s.

ANGELA: (her eyes go wide as we hear a car peel away) Well, why didn’t *Tino* just take you to Katimski’s?

RAYANNE: (shrugging) He couldn’t. Some woman on Katimski’s block got a restraining order against him.

DANIELLE: (getting off the couch and regarding Rayanne with unabashed interest) A restraining order? For what?

RAYANNE: (clucking) It’s all just a misunderstanding. Y’know, involving the unfortunate combination of a lighter and a can of hairspray. (mock sorrowful face) Tragic. But it’ll all grow back. (Danielle’s face is wide in a “how cool” expression, Rayanne frowns) Except maybe her eyebrows. (barreling right past Angela toward the kitchen) Ahh, thank god! Food!

Danielle follows Rayanne closely while Angela sighs and brings up the rear after slowly shutting the door.


INT.CHASE KITCHEN -- Morning
By the time Angela gets to the kitchen, Rayanne has opened pudding cups and she & Danielle are sitting up on the counter and spooning up chocolate pudding with glee. Angela looks exasperated.

RAYANNE: Angelika! Join us! Pudding: the breakfast of champions!

Rayanne and Danielle laugh. Angela does not.

RAYANNE: (reacting to Angela’s dour expression) Jeez! What crawled up your butt and died? (she looks around frantically) Danielle! Have you seen the cat lately?!?

Danielle giggles hysterically and lays back on the counter, trying to recover. Rayanne gives Angela a self-satisfied look, challenging Angela to make a big deal about something. Angela takes in a deep breath and when she lets it out slowly, the hint of a smile creeps over her face.

ANGELA: (shaking her head) Rayanne, you’re horrible.

RAYANNE: (indulgent smile) Yes, it’s true. I’m one of the infernal hordes. (turns to look at Danielle and sticks her hand out) I'm Rayanne, pleased to torment you.

Danielle dutifully shakes Rayanne’s hand while Angela looks on.

RAYANNE: (to Angela) So who all’s going to be there besides you, me and the munchkin, here?

ANGELA: Well, Rickie said that Sharon and Delia were coming. (looks away) And probably Brian.

Danielle perks up at the mention of Brian’s name and Rayanne’s eyebrows go up.

RAYANNE: Oh, is that who we’re waiting for?

ANGELA: (VO) Even though I made up with Rayanne ages ago, and I tell myself that I’ve totally forgiven her, there are just some things . . .okay, *one* thing I don’t like discussing with her. But since he was going to be there any minute . . . (aloud) Actually, Jordan is picking us up.

RAYANNE: (making a face) Ugh! Well they’re about equal for scintillating conversation, but Brian would probably at least buy us food or something. (leaping down from the counter) Even if I have to put up with Jordan, at least I won’t have to deal with Rickie’s *boyfriend*!

DANIELLE: Why? Did they break up?

RAYANNE: (snorting) I wish!

ANGELA: No. He’s just on vacation with his parents. (to Rayanne) And he’s nice. I wish you’d stop giving Rickie so much flack about it.

RAYANNE: (pouting) It’s just not fair that Rickie’s getting more action than me. (pause, gesturing) It’s like against nature. (giving Angela an appraising look) It’s more shocking than anything I can think of. (beat) Except you actually choosing between Brian and Jordan. When that happens, I’ll know to head for the bomb shelters.

Angela sighs deeply, and looks away, saying nothing. She seems very sad.

RAYANNE: (watching Angela carefully, she may actually feel guilt) Hey! Where is Catalano, anyway? We have to get going, or everything will be packed and we won’t have much chance to snoop!

Angela doesn’t even seem to register the question. She mumbles “excuse me” and heads out towards the downstairs bathroom.

DANIELLE: (her own mood gets somber again) She said he’ll be here soon. (pause) But I don’t think he knows you and I need a ride too.

RAYANNE: I doubt he’ll mind. (her voice turns hard) He likes inviting girls into his backseat.

Rayanne then puts down the pudding and goes to clean the spoon in the sink.

DANIELLE: (feeling awkward) It’s not just you she’s mad at. Our parents have been fighting lately. A *lot*.

RAYANNE: Oh. (long pause, she looks to where Angela has gone) What do you think she’s doing in there? Crying?

DANIELLE: (thinking) Maybe. (pause) Probably. (little smile) But maybe she’s just trying to dislodge the cat.

Rayanne puts her hand on Danielle’s shoulder to support herself as she laughs raucously.


INT.KATIMSKI’S APARTMENT -- Morning
Rickie, Richard Katimski, and Katimski’s lover, Joseph, work on the packing as they wait for their helpers to arrive. The smallish dog seen briefly in “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” runs around the disorganized apartment and yaps periodically in excitement.

KATIMSKI: (to Joseph) I can't believe you couldn't get anyone from work to help us move.

JOSEPH: (shrugging) Well, I tried, but it *is* a workday, and they all had good excuses. Besides, programmers are like vampires, they don't actually function that well outside their cubes. Especially during the day.

RICKIE: (smiling as he uplugs a lamp) We won't need them anyway. With all the people I invited we won't have room to move around.

KATIMSKI: (clucking) Well, I guess your friends are in better shape than most of Joseph's co-workers, anyway.

JOSEPH: (smiling) No comment.

RICKIE: We don't really have all that much to move anyway. (sad smile) Especially me. I mean, it's not exactly like I got to pack when I left my Aunt and Uncle's.

Rickie continues wrapping the lamp cord around the lamp. Katimski and Joseph regard Rickie sadly, until Katimski tries to lighten the mood.

KATIMSKI: Well, you haven't seen all the things that Joseph has horded in the storage area. He's a complete packrat.

JOSEPH: (rolling his eyes) One of us has to be organized. (pause) Do you even have any idea where our old tax returns are? Or our old checks?

KATIMSKI: (puts hand to his head, thinking) Well . . . umm . . . no. (pause) But . . . you know . . . I could easily . . .

JOSEPH: (acidly) Finish a sentence within a minute? No, you couldn't.

Rickie stifles a laugh and tries to look busy with the lamp.

KATIMSKI: (mildly) Shut up and pack.

They go at it for a few moments but are interrupted when the dog comes running in, with a brightly patterned tie clamped in it's mouth and trailing behind it's stumpy body.

JOSEPH: (seeing his tie) Harvey! Stop that! Give that here!

Joseph follows the dog, but Harvey seems to think they are playing a game and gallops down the hall, with Joseph on his tail.

KATIMSKI: (sighing in amusement, softly) Poetic justice. (to Rickie) So, Enrique, you must be glad to be getting out of our office and into your own bedroom.

RICKIE: I don't mind. (he gestures down the hall) But I bet Harvey is glad. I don't think he likes sharing a room with me.

KATIMSKI: (small giggle) No, I suppose he doesn't. Harvey pretty much had the run of the place before you came. The office was sort of his room.

Harvey bounds back into the living room, still clutching the tie. He seems amused. Joseph follows Harvey out, panting and annoyed.

JOSEPH: (glaring at Harvey) Fine. Take it. I never liked that tie anyway.

KATIMSKI: *I* gave you that tie!

JOSEPH: I rest my case.

Rickie reaches over to pet Harvey, but Harvey bounds away from him and runs to Katimski's side, where he seems to hide.

KATIMSKI: (reaching down to calm Harvey) There, there, boy. I know it's always hard when a new baby is brought into the house. (he laughs) You'll adjust.

JOSEPH: (to Rickie) It's not you, Rickie, he's just a strange and nervous little dog. Living with the two of us, I simply *can't* imagine why.

RICKIE: I know. (pause) It's just hard when people are thrown together. I know that.

The camera focuses in on a tight shot of Rickie's face.


INT.HALLWAY -- Evening (Flashback)
Young Rickie is about eight or nine years old. The camera stays at his eye level. His Aunt stands near him in the hallway, but because the camera stays down on the child's level, you never get to see her face. The house seems dark, old, and in ill repair, but is clean. Rickie holds in his hand a child's suitcase, imprinted with some cartoonish design, and has a backpack slung over his shoulder. It is obvious that Rickie has been crying.

AUNT: (placing her hand on Rickie's shoulder) Now you just wait here. I'll have to go talk to your Uncle for a minute.

His Aunt moves into a nearby room, while Rickie stands there, awkwardly, shifting from foot to foot and looking around apprehensively. He listens as his relatives talk.

UNCLE: (OS) What? You brought him here? Where the hell is he going to stay?

AUNT: (OS) I don't know. (pause) I guess he'll have to share a room with Jerry. There's not much room, but it'll have to do.

Rickie looks down at his feet and his lip trembles.

UNCLE: (OS) I can't believe you're doing this.

AUNT: (OS) Well, she's my sister. What else can I do?

UNCLE: (OS) You can tell her to take care of her own brat, for one thing. (his voice gets softer) We can't afford the kids we already got.

Tears slowly trail down Rickie's cheeks.

AUNT: (OS) I know. But we'll get by. We have to. He's family.

UNCLE: (OS) Family? Hmmph. This kind of family I could do without. Do whatever you want. But he better mind. That's all I have to say. He better mind.

Rickie hears his Aunt moving back to the doorway, and quickly wipes his cheeks free of tears. He sniffles once and looks up at her.

AUNT: (pushing him along) C'mon, Rickie. We'll take you to Jerry's room. You remember your cousin, Jerry, don't you?

RICKIE: (nodding, in a small voice) Yes'm.

AUNT: Good. Well, I know he remembers you, too.

They come to a door, and she opens it without knocking. An older boy sits on his bed with the music blaring. He is around 14 or so, with longish hair and a peachfuzz mustache already beginning to form. He scowls at his mother and Rickie.

AUNT: (snapping off the stereo) Jerry, this is your cousin Rickie. He's going to be staying with us for awhile.

JERRY: Where?

AUNT: In Ramos' old bed. (she points to another bed against the far wall, that has a couple items of clothing strewn on it) You'll help him clear it off. (points at Jerry) And keep that music off, Rickie is going to have to go to sleep. (to Rickie) Have good sleep honey. We can talk more tomorrow, okay?

RICKIE: Yes'm. Thank you.

AUNT: You're welcome. Don't stay up too long, you two.

The Aunt leaves the room. Jerry gets up and shuts the door behind her. When he turns around he glares at Rickie.

JERRY: Clean off the bed yourself. But don't mess up any of my stuff. (he looks at Rickie menacingly) This is *my* room, not yours, you understand that? You do what I say and keep quiet and we'll get along fine. If not, (he cracks his knuckles) you'll learn.

Jerry turns back on the music, but softer now. Rickie moves to the bed and begins folding Jerry's clothes. That done, he sets them aside and curls up, fully clothed, to try and sleep, despite the light in the room and the continued bass beat of the music. He hugs his backpack to him and scrunches his face up, trying not to cry.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT -- Noon (Present Day)
The camera pulls away from a tight shot of Rickie's face, somewhat scrunched up itself in remembrance. He nods once.

RICKIE: It's always hard to adjust to new situations.


INT.CHASE LIVING ROOM -- Noon
The doorbell rings.

ANGELA: (OS) I'll get it!

DANIELLE: (OS) *I'll* get it!

Danielle runs out of the kitchen, but Angela exits the bathroom and brushes past her.

ANGELA: (glaring) *I'll* get the door, Danielle.

RAYANNE: (following them out, watching, sucking a lolly) Hey, if you guys keep fighting, maybe whoever it is will get bored and go away. (pause, thoughtful) I sure hope that's Krakow out there. You could fight all morning and still be safe.

ANGELA: (gives Rayanne a look) Ha ha. (opens door to reveal Jordan standing there, in t-shirt and jeans, with his hands in his pockets and shoulders slouched) Hey.

JORDAN: (nervous smile) Hey.

ANGELA: (clears her throat) So, ah, are you ready to go? I hope you don't mind (rolls her eyes) but my sister needs a ride too. (pause, softly) So does . . . uhm . . . Rayanne.

Jordan looks around Angela at the other two girls. Rayanne leans against the doorjamb, flashes a fake smile and salutes Jordan with her lolly, before letting the fake smile turn into a scowl. Jordan then turns to look at Danielle, who scrutinizes him. Jordan is uncomfortable under Danielle's microscope and squirms self-consciously. Jordan then turns to Angela and stares at her for a long moment, clearly annoyed.

ANGELA: (blinks, concerned) That's not . . . that's not a problem, is it?

JORDAN: (shrugs) It doesn't matter. Whatever.

ANGELA: (VO, slides both hands into her back pockets, looks at the floor) I hate it when you think that a certain thing is going to automatically be okay, and then when it's not, you feel like a complete fool for thinking that it actually *could* have been okay.

JORDAN: (scowling back at Rayanne) Come on.

Angela moves to follow Jordan but Danielle grabs her sister's arm.

DANIELLE: (loud whisper) Is he mad at you?

ANGELA: (weary) No, Danielle.

RAYANNE: (walking up, she taps Danielle's head) Maybe he's mad at you, squirt.

DANIELLE: (worried, her eyes go wide) What did *I* do?

ANGELA: (shoots Rayanne a warning look) Ray*anne*! (to Danielle) You don't have to actually *do* anything to be annoying, Danielle. (pause, squeezes Danielle's shoulder) But he's not mad at you, okay?

RAYANNE: (walking out the door, jeering) Who *are* you mad at, Catalano? (pointed look) Besides *yourself* I mean.

JORDAN: (OS) Zip it, Graf.

ANGELA: (lets Danielle and Rayanne go out the door, she hangs behind to lock it, and casts her eyes skyward) Are we there yet?


INT.JORDAN'S CAR -- Noon
Angela sits in the passenger seat beside Jordan. Danielle and Rayanne sit in the back. Rayanne is digging through her bag for more candy, and barely pays attention to where Jordan is driving.

RAYANNE: (looks up, makes a disgusted face) Why are you taking this way? (snorts) You might as well drive through Utah to get to Rickie's!

JORDAN: (glances in the rear view mirror) You might not have figured this out yet, Graf, but *I'm* the one driving.

RAYANNE: (blinks) Oh my God! Did you guys hear that? That was, like, actual sarcasm. (slow smile) I think I'm impressed. Brian must have been a decent tutor after all.

Jordan's jaw clenches and he grips the steering wheel tighter.

ANGELA: (trying to ease the tension, tentatively puts her hand over Jordan's, thinks better of the gesture and lowers her hand) Thank you again for driving me. (pause) Us. It means a lot to me. And to Rickie.

JORDAN: (curt) Whatever.

Angela stares down at her lap, her chin doing that famous quiver. Rayanne and Danielle poke each other and giggle in the backseat while Jordan drives in silence for a few blocks.

JORDAN: (softly) I mean . . . you're welcome.

Angela's face is transformed by a beatific smile.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT -- Afternoon
Katimski watches as the eight kids move about with purpose. Joseph enters from the hallway, and observes all the activity with interest.

JOSEPH: Well, I got the Ryder truck parked. Sort of legally. But pretty close to the door.

KATIMSKI: Well good. (quick nod) I guess we should dig in with the heavy stuff then.

JOSEPH: (sighing) I guess so.

They move slowly over to a large couch and try to move it. They don't seem to be doing very well. Sharon comes out of the bedroom, relaying some order to Danielle and Angela over her shoulder and sees Katimski and Joseph struggling with the couch.

SHARON: (scolding) Oh, put that down, you two.

JOSEPH: (putting it down gently) Maybe if we got two people on each side.

SHARON: (smiling) You don't need to do that. Watch. (turning her head to yell) Jordan! Brian! Get out here!

Jordan and Brian dutifully come forward to see what Sharon wants. They eye each other warily as they walk towards her.

SHARON: (getting her sweet smile on) They're having trouble lifting this couch, guys. But I thought maybe you two might be able to help them.

JORDAN: (puffing out his chest) I think I can take one side by myself.

Jordan heads to one end of the couch and lifts it as a test. He grunts a bit, and it looks like it's a bit heavy for him.

JORDAN: See? No problem.

Brian moves forward to the other end of the couch and grasps it.

KATIMSKI: Do you need help, Brian?

BRIAN: No. If he can lift it, so can I.

Jordan and Brian lift the couch, straining and groaning.

JOSEPH: (shrugging) Okay. Follow me, boys.

Jordan and Brian struggle to edge the couch out the door. Sharon regards them with amusement and Katimski looks concerned.

SHARON: (little laugh) Boys are so stupid sometimes.

The camera shifts to the office where Rickie was staying, where Danielle is playing with Harvey and Angela is emptying desk drawers into a box.

ANGELA: Okay. This one is full. (looking at Danielle) Danielle, can't you help?

Danielle gives Angela a look of death and rubs Harvey's stomach.

ANGELA: (sighing) Whatever. I'm going to add this to the pile.

The camera follows Angela out, and she walks past Sharon, who gives her a questioning look. Angela shrugs and rolls her eyes and moves toward the front door. Sharon gets a thoughtful look on her face and enters the office.

SHARON: (watching Danielle for a minute) So, aren't you going to help?

DANIELLE: (scowling) I don't know why I should. (pause) I didn't want to come here today, y'know. I could've had plans of my own.

SHARON: (thoughtful) Oh. I guess I hadn't thought of that.

DANIELLE: No one ever does. It's like Mom and Dad and Angela don't even care about what *I* want.

SHARON: How do you know?

DANIELLE: If they did, they'd stop fighting all the time. (pause) And if Angela did, she wouldn't drag me here and then ignore me.

SHARON: Well, she's just a little preoccupied herself right now. I mean, don't you think she's thinking and worrying about your parents just as much as you are?

DANIELLE: (grudgingly) Maybe.

SHARON: And it's not like you don't know anyone here. You know practically everyone here except for Delia. And we can fix that right now. C'mon.

They get up and the camera follows them as they head back into the living room, where Delia, Rickie, and Rayanne are rolling up some rugs. Delia wipes her brow, smiles, and sticks her hand out to Danielle as the camera shifts back to the front door, where Angela is stacking some boxes, just as Brian comes back inside.

BRIAN: (shyly) Hi . . . hey.

ANGELA: Hey.

BRIAN: Could we, you know, talk?

ANGELA: (her eyes go wide) Not right now. (absently) Sharon wanted me to do this thing.

Angela backs awkwardly away, averting Brian's gaze. He looks dejected. Angela heads to the group in the living room, where she extracts Sharon and heads back to the bathroom with her. Danielle stays behind with Rickie, Delia, and Rayanne. They finish roping the rolled up rug and pull it tight. Rayanne lets out a deep breath and Delia wipes her brow.

RICKIE: (concerned) You okay, Delia?

DELIA: I'm fine. Just a little warm.

RICKIE: (puts a hand on her shoulder) Let me get you a drink.

DELIA: Thanks.

Rayanne opens her mouth as if to say something, but Rickie exits too quickly. Delia gives a delighted little shiver when Rickie leaves and begins to giggle.

DANIELLE: What? (looking after Rickie) Do you like Rickie or something?

DELIA: A little. (pause) Or maybe more than a little. (laughs) He's just so swoony and thoughtful. Whenever he touches me, I just get . . . all *kerfluffled*!

Danielle smiles at Delia's jubilance. Rayanne looks confused.

RAYANNE: What the hell is "kerfluffled"?

DELIA: I dunno. It's just something I say. Like when your thoughts and emotions are racing and you just have no idea what to say or how to act. (nods once) Kerfluffled.

RAYANNE: (clearly annoyed) That's the stupidest thing I ever heard. Rayanne bends down and lifts the bound rug, which is a pretty amazing show of strength for someone that small. As she does this, Danielle puts out a hand to help Delia up.

DANIELLE: Actually, I feel that way all the time, but I never knew a word for it. I think that's kind of cool.

Delia smiles at Danielle. The camera follows Rayanne as she takes the carpet towards the door. On the way she passes a spot where Brian is kneeling, packing some books into a large box. Rayanne moves on, and the camera pans to the entrance to the kitchen. Rickie walks out, carrying a couple cans of pop. Harvey shies from Rickie as Rickie enters the hall and bounds into the kitchen where Jordan is slowly wrapping plates. Jordan almost drops one when Harvey runs through his legs and nearly trips him. The camera pans back to where Rickie has stopped for a moment to talk to Brian.

RICKIE: (in passing) Can you get all of those in there, Brian?

BRIAN: Almost. (holds up a large tome) I can't get this to fit. It's too big.

RAYANNE: (lopes past them, shakes her head at Brian) How sad. *Still* a Rookie! (she snatches one of the sodas from Rickie) Thanks!

Brian sighs deeply and looks up at Rickie for support. Rickie looks put upon. He reaches out a hand to pat Brian's shoulder, but Brian's eyes go wide at that. Rickie thinks better of it, and shrugging, hands him the remaining can of pop. Brian smiles up at Rickie and nods once.

RICKIE: (turning toward the living room) Delia, can you help me in the kitchen?

The camera pans to where Rayanne is sharing her soda with Danielle, and follows Delia as Delia stands, joins Rickie, and heads toward the kitchen, where they both help Jordan wrap dishes in newspaper.

ANGELA: (OS) Rickie! Could you come here for a sec?

Rickie sets down a plate and exits toward the bathroom. Delia and Jordan wrap plates in silence for some time, stealing looks at one another.

DELIA: (curiosity finally overwhelming her) So how long have you known Rickie?

JORDAN: I dunno. A while. He hangs with Angela or whatever, so I see him around. (wraps a plate with more attention than is really necessary) It's cool he has a place to live now. (pause) A *good* place.

DELIA: (reaches for a bowl from the cupboard) Isn't it? I'm so relieved that he--

As Delia speaks, the camera backs away from her, to take in a shot of Harvey coming around the refrigerator. It pulls back into the hall, where we see Rickie exiting the bathroom with Angela. Rickie heads toward the kitchen and when Harvey sees him, Harvey darts to Delia and jumps up on her. Surprised, Delia drops the bowl and it shatters into several pieces. Rickie turns toward the sound and freezes, a blank look on his face.


INT.BEDROOM -- Evening (Flashback)
A younger Rickie, about fourteen, is alone in a rather austere bedroom. It is the same room he shared with Jerry, but since Jerry has moved out and taken his bed, it seems much roomier. There are virtually no possessions in it, and no attempts at decoration. Rickie sits on the bed, with his arms folded tightly around himself, and his face pinched. His eyes wander towards the bedroom door, which is firmly shut. Even through the door, the sound of Rickie's Aunt and Uncle loudly fighting can be heard. His Aunt's voice is pinched and shrill and his Uncle's voice booms through the house. Flinching, Rickie slowly and quietly rises off the bed and tiptoes to the door. He stands there silently for a moment, listening. Then he pushes in the lock on the door and returns to his bed, where he hugs a pillow against his chest. There is a brief moment of silence, and Rickie lets out small sigh. A sudden pounding on the door startles him and he scoots back against the headboard, pillow clenched tight, his face pale. The door rattles and rattles and finally the tortured lock gives way and the bruised wood slams open. His Uncle rushes at him with eyes narrowed and his arm upraised . . .


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT -- Afternoon (Present Day)
Angela notices the far away look in Rickie's eyes and gives his arm a slight squeeze. She is surprised when he flinches and pulls away from her.

ANGELA: (concerned, she reaches out to take his hand) Hey, are you okay?

RICKIE: (gives his head a quick shake, dismissing the memories) What? Oh--yeah. Sure. I was just, um, y'know, remembering something.

ANGELA: (very softly) What?

RICKIE: (looks away) I'd--I'd rather not talk about it. (pause, his voice trembles) It's just kind of, y'know, funny. Funny how just remembering something . . . even after a lot of time has passed . . . can still . . . *hurt*. (pause) More than you thought it could.

ANGELA: (lifts Rickie's hand and looks at him with great affection, her eyes bright) Squeeze my hand as hard as it hurts.

Rickie sniffles and smiles, squeezing her hand tightly. She pulls him into a hug, and he falls into her, holding on tight.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT -- Late Afternoon
The apartment is basically empty. Rickie, Joseph and Katimski stand in the middle of the barren living room.

JOSEPH: (to Rickie) You could have gone with them, you know.

RICKIE: (shaking his head) No. I wanted to stay here with you. (pause) It was nice of you to treat them all to pizza though.

KATIMSKI: Well, it was nice of all your friends to help us.

RICKIE: (smiling) How much money did you give them, though? If you gave them too much, I don't think they'll meet us there to help unload.

JOSEPH: Not enough for any serious mayhem. Besides, we gave it to Sharon, not Rayanne.

RICKIE: (nodding) Good call.

KATIMSKI: (takes a deep breath and grimaces at the box near his feet) Well, this is the last one. (rolls his eyes heavenward) Thank God. My back is going to kill me tomorrow.

JOSEPH: (irritated) That's because you never lift properly. How many times have I told you to bend your knees?

KATIMSKI: (hefting the box, he heads toward the door) The exact number or just an estimate? I'm . . . ah . . . thinking it's at *least* in the triple digits.

JOSEPH: (following Katimski out the door) Oh, that's choice. A good sense of humor will be imperative when your back goes out.

Rickie, amused, watches them and reaches for the light switch. Instead of flipping it, he just turns around and surveys the empty apartment. Joseph and Katimski notice that Rickie is lingering behind.

KATIMSKI: (stopping and turning) Is everything all right, Enrique?

RICKIE: (softly) It's hard sometimes. (pause) It feels like I'm always saying good-bye.

The camera closes in on Rickie's face yet again.


EXT.SIDEWALK -- Evening (Flashback)
It is winter in a very dark part of town. The street is a depressing line of pre-fab row houses, mostly dark at this time of night. The camera closes in on one in particular, which has some lights still burning. The sounds of shouting can be heard. Then a scream of pain, and some crying. The front door of the house is flung open, letting light stream out. Rickie is pushed out the door by his Uncle, and misses the two steps, landing face first in the icy slush in a repeat of the opening scene from "So-Called Angels". His face is bloody. The scene slows to slow motion, as Rickie turns to look at his Uncle, who is still shouting, his words an odd, incomprehensible blur at this slow speed. The Uncle picks up a knapsack and tosses it out toward Rickie. The papers and books fly out of the bag and scatter over the snow covered lawn in slow motion. A close-up of Rickie's face reveals pain, confusion, and fear. His eyes narrow in disbelief, as we see the light illuminating his face slowly turn into a sliver and then disappear completely as his Uncle closes the door behind him. Rickie weeps in the cold and dark night, and bites his lip as he struggles to get up.


INT.KATIMSKI'S APARTMENT -- Late Afternoon (Present Day)
Rickie bites his lip as he regards the dark apartment. Behind him, Joseph takes the box from Katimski, and Katimski moves forward and puts his hand on Rickie's shoulder.

KATIMSKI: Come along, Enrique. (extra long pause) Everything is packed away now.

RICKIE: (nodding) I know.

KATIMSKI: (going back into the hallway, gesturing) Will you do the honors?

Rickie nods and reaches for the light switch. He flips it and the apartment is bathed in darkness. He stands in the doorway and surveys the room for a long moment, perhaps engrossed in another memory. Finally, he closes the door and moves into the hallway, smiling faintly. Rickie joins Katimski and Joseph and they walk down the hall together. As they move out of camera range, Joseph and Katimski begin bantering again, and the camera zooms in on a final lingering shot of the "3" centered on the apartment door.


INT.NEW APARTMENT -- Late Afternoon
Everyone helps move the stuff into the new place, which is bright, clean, and airy. Harvey runs about, agog with the new scents and spaces to roam in. He seems overwhelmed. The furniture is pretty much in place and now everyone is coming back and forth with an endless parade of boxes. Katimski and Joseph are entering the room with a large oblong box.

SHARON: (entering behind them, putting a box on the couch) The guys say that this will be their last trip and we don't have to head back down. (sighs) Thank goodness. Moving stinks. (pause) I plan never to leave my parent's house.

JOSEPH: I'm sure they'll be delighted to hear that.

SHARON: (thinking) Actually, they will. I'm *it*, you know? My Mother is already in the early stages of the empty nest syndrome.

KATIMSKI: I guess I never really understood that phenomena.

JOSEPH: (putting his arm around Katimski) I think we're going to find out soon, Harvey or no Harvey. I'm used to having Rickie around now.

KATIMSKI: (nodding) I am too. It's nice to have a . . . umm . . . ahhh . . .

SHARON: A family?

KATIMSKI: (head bob) Exactly. A family.

They stand together in silence for a moment.

SHARON: (turns her appraising eye to the corner of the room) What are you going to do about that dark corner?

KATIMSKI: (hand to chin) I was thinking track lighting.

JOSEPH: Well, stop thinking that. Like, instantly.

KATIMSKI: But why?

SHARON: Track lighting *is* sort of passe.

JOSEPH: See? I hate to say it. But, I told you so.

KATIMSKI: Somehow I think I'd rather be passe than live in total darkness, if that's okay . . .

The three of them continue their heated discussion as the camera pans to where Harvey digs in an abandoned plastic bag and then trots to the other side of the living area, where Brian and Rayanne are putting books on a bookshelf. Rayanne just pulls a batch of books out of the box they are emptying and shoves them onto the bookshelf. Brian sighs quietly and starts to rearrange them.

RAYANNE: (noticing what he's doing) What is the problem, Krakow?

BRIAN: (matter-of-factly) They should go in alphabetical order.

RAYANNE: (rolling her eyes) Are you kidding me? (nodding in mock seriousness) Wait. You're right, maybe we should use that Dilbert Decimal system to organize them.

BRIAN: (automatically correcting her) That's "Dewey" Decimal. (pause, shrugging) And the Library of Congress system is more logical anyway.

RAYANNE: (looks at him like he's from another planet) God Krakow, your sphincter is clenched so tight, it has it's own gravitational pull. (pause) I was making a joke. (she sighs in frustration) I'm not stupid, y'know. (she bends over to pick up another book, reading the cover) "Medea and Other Plays" by Euripides (she pronounces it "your-i-peeds"). Sounds dull.

BRIAN: (shelving another book) That's "Euripides". And actually, you might like Medea.

RAYANNE: (continuing to work) Why? What is it about?

BRIAN: It's about a woman named Medea who gives up everything for Jason, the man she loves. (he steals a look at Angela standing in the doorway with Jordan) Only after they are married, he decides to take a new wife, who is more . . . *acceptable* or whatever.

RAYANNE: Ugh. Two words: de-*pressing*.

BRIAN: It is a little. But the majority of the story is how Medea takes revenge on the people who wronged her. She kills basically everybody she can, including the woman Jason was to marry. In the end she kills the sons she had with Jason to deprive him of heirs.

RAYANNE: Jeez. Sounds like Fatal Attraction in togas. Which isn't necessarily a slam on it. But she killed her own kids?

BRIAN: Well, male children were very important in that era. And it was the best way to hurt Jason, I guess.

RAYANNE: (thinking) Maybe she did it for another reason too.

BRIAN: Like what?

RAYANNE: (looks over at Angela and Jordan herself) Maybe since this Jason dude was trying to like, erase his life with Medea and still keep everything she gave to him, maybe she wanted to show him what erasing their life together completely would really mean.

BRIAN: You mean that the kids wouldn't exist?

RAYANNE: Exactly. Maybe Medea was showing him the troubles you can cause yourself when you try to erase part of your own past. (pause) You may lose more than you bargained for.

Brian nods thoughtfully and turns back to his shelving. Rayanne follows suit, as the camera pans over to where they were both looking -- the doorway where Angela and Jordan stand.

JORDAN: (looking at her intensely) So . . .

ANGELA: (VO) . . . "a needle pulling thread". (a smile hits her face and she stifles a giggle)

JORDAN: (confused) What?

ANGELA: Nothing. (pause) Sorry. (her face sobers, VO) Sometimes I do that. I have this inane internal dialogue going on that for some reason cracks me up, even though it's not even funny. (her serious face cracks and she smiles again) And then I can't stop laughing. I'm pretty sure that's not normal. (aloud) Sorry. You were saying?

JORDAN: (still confused) Well, everything is unloaded. (pause) I guess I should get going.

ANGELA: (VO) Of course you do. Now that we have a chance to actually *talk*, it makes sense for you to want to run away. (aloud, not hiding her disappointment well) Where do you have go?

JORDAN: I'm meeting the guys from Residue.

ANGELA: (looks over at Brian and Rayanne, VO) I guess Jordan isn't the only one who runs away. (pause) I wonder what would happen if all of us stopped running at the same time.

JORDAN: Did you . . . I mean, do you wanna come along, or something?

ANGELA: (VO) Maybe *I* can stop running. (she looks at Brian, and catches him staring at her, she squirms) Or maybe not. (pause) But, maybe that's it. Maybe people only run away when there's someone to give chase. (to Jordan, aloud) No. I should stay here. I think Rickie needs me.

JORDAN: (now he can't hide *his* disappointment very well) Maybe you're right. (pause) Will you and Danielle be able to get a ride home okay?

ANGELA: I'm sure we will. Thanks for everything. (pause) Have fun with the guys.

JORDAN: (looking at the group behind her) You too. (he turns to go, and then turns back) I'll see you again soon, or whatever, right?

ANGELA: (smiling) I think you will.

He smiles back at her, almost shyly, and scuffs down the hall. She shuts the door and moves back into the living room. She passes the bookcase, where Danielle and Delia have joined Brian and Rayanne, and the job looks almost finished. As she passes by, Brian's eyes remain on her the entire time. Delia watches Brian watching Angela. Brian then absently hands a book off to Rayanne and follows Angela. Danielle smiles, and Rayanne makes a clucking sound.

DELIA: (turning back to shelve a book) I just do not get people sometimes.

DANIELLE: What do you mean?

DELIA: Guys always say that *girls* like people who treat them badly. It seems to me that guys are just as bad in that department. (looks at Rayanne) But I guess you'd know all about that.

RAYANNE: (annoyed) What does that mean?

DELIA: You and Brian are actually a lot alike. You both automatically reject any person who treats you nicely, or with respect. (pause) Like you feel you don't deserve it. (looking at Brian, bitterly) Maybe you don't.

RAYANNE: Maybe you don't have enough evidence. (getting in Delia's face) I treat Krakow like crap too, but we spent a *great* night together on Halloween. And he *really* seemed to like it when he had me handcuffed to a bed. (pause, evil smile) You ever tried that, Delia, or are you just too *nice*?

Delia's mouth opens and shuts repeatedly, with only small unintelligible sounds coming out. Her eyes are very wide. She gestures wildly and frowns.

DELIA: You . . . you . . . *You!*

Delia stalks off in embarrassment or anger.

RAYANNE: (with a fake Delia smile) Aw look, she *is* all kerfluffled. (pause) Maybe that's not such a stupid word after all.

DANIELLE: (smiling up at Rayanne) That was mean.

RAYANNE: Maybe. (shrug) Probably. But did you really need to listen to her talking about Angela or Krakow that way?

DANIELLE: Nope. (pause, giggle) I can't believe you told that lie about the handcuffs though. She's bound to find out from Sharon what really happened. (thinking) Do you even have your own pair of handcuffs?

RAYANNE: Sure. (smiling) Two or three pairs. I just don't have them on me right now. I like to save them for, y'know, special occasions and religious holidays.

DANIELLE: I just wondered. I can't find my Mom and Dad's pair anywhere. And I've been snooping all over.

RAYANNE: You *are* a girl after my very own heart. (pause) Why are you looking for them, anyway? You gonna capture Krakow and keep him in a box in your basement?

DANIELLE: (smiles, shakes her head) No. I just keep having this urge to use them on my parents. (pause) Like maybe if they're forced to be together for more than an hour at a time, they'll be able to stop fighting.

RAYANNE: (shrugging) Or maybe one of them will just gnaw their own arm off to escape. (pause) It's not your job to help your parents stop fighting, squirt. (far off look) They're going to fight or make up or divorce no matter what you do, so you should concentrate on your own life, not their crap. (pause) Or one day you may wake up with all these emotions and energy wasted in a relationship you have no control over . . . that is going to end despite everything you want. (pause) You have to watch out for yourself.

DANIELLE: (looking at Rayanne sadly) Rayanne, watching out for yourself doesn't mean you have to stop watching out for other people.

Rayanne looks at her, obviously considering this.

DANIELLE: (moves close to Rayanne) But I'm sorry about your parents.

RAYANNE: (nodding slowly) Me too, squirt. Me too.

The camera pans away from the bookcase towards the room that will be Rickie's room. Brian stands just outside the doorway, looking in. Angela and Rickie are just finishing making his bed. After finishing, Rickie flops down on it in exhaustion.

RICKIE: Well, that's done at least. (pause) I'll be unpacking boxes for a week, but at least I have a place to sleep tonight.

ANGELA: It's a pretty nice place at that. (looking around) I'm really happy for you, Rickie.

Harvey bounds up to the open doorway just as Brian begins to move away and Brian gets tripped up by the dog and staggers gracelessly against the doorjamb. Harvey yelps and pads into Rickie's room. Angela smirks openly at Brian, but Rickie tries to hide his smile.

RICKIE: Why don't you just come on in, Brian?

Brian does so, sheepishly. Angela bends over to pat Harvey.

RICKIE: (patting the bed) Maybe you should take a seat, Brian. Y'know, for safety's sake?

Brian rolls his eyes. When Rickie pats the bed, Harvey responds by jumping up on the bed. Brian and Angela follow suit, and watch in amazement as Harvey curls up at the foot of Rickie's bed and appears to fall instantly asleep.

RICKIE: That is the weirdest thing ever. He pretty much hates me. I know he hated sharing a room with me.

ANGELA: (petting Harvey) Well, maybe he's warming up to you.

RICKIE: I guess. But I just can't imagine why.

BRIAN: (clearing his throat) Well, it makes some sense. (they look at him, and he tries to only look at Rickie) I mean, this is the same stuff you moved into his room when you were staying there, right?

RICKIE: Yes. (nodding) So?

BRIAN: So . . . this place is all new and different. Maybe he's just looking for something he recognizes. And that's you, Rickie, and your stuff. (he risks a glance at Angela) I mean, things that are, like, *familiar* or whatever, they're the things you feel safest around. (pause) At least some people feel that way. It's hard to give up something you're familiar with, even if you don't like that thing a lot of the time.

ANGELA: (thinking, speaking softly) So even if Harvey didn't like sharing a room with you before, it looks like you may have a new roommate for life, Rickie.

Rickie laughs, and reaches over to pet Harvey too. They sit in companionable silence for a few moments. Finally, Angela stirs up her courage.

ANGELA: Rickie, what were you thinking about earlier? At the old apartment?

RICKIE: (softly) The past, I guess. My Mom. And my Aunt and Uncle.

BRIAN: Do you miss them a lot? You Aunt and Uncle?

RICKIE: (shaking head) Not really. (small laugh) I guess that sounds horrible. But sometimes the familiar can be scary, too. And not so safe. (to Brian) I guess it's *what* you're familiar with that matters, not so much just the fact that something is from your past.

ANGELA: Is that why you haven't tried to find your Aunt and Uncle? I mean, you haven't even tried to find out where they are.

RICKIE: No. I haven't. I don't know if I ever will. Sometimes you live in a place, or with someone, and something happens. (pause) Something bad. Something that you can't seem to get over. Or get past. Something that spoils that place. Forever. (pause) So, even when I still lived with my Aunt and Uncle, I dreaded being there.

ANGELA: (softly) Is that why you spent so much time at Amber's?

RICKIE: Maybe. I guess so. (pause) I just kept waiting for something horrible to happen again. (pause) And a lot of times it did.

BRIAN: (disbelieving) It happened . . . like, a *lot*? (Rickie nods in response) Why? Because he just wouldn't leave you alone?

RICKIE: (shaking his head slowly) Not even that. Sometimes it was me. (pause, to Angela) Like when I told you that I couldn't open a present from them when I was mad at them. Like then. Sometimes the *waiting* for it to start again got so bad that I'd do something that I knew would cause it to happen sooner. (pause) Because then at least it would be over. So, no. It wasn't always him. (rueful smile) Sometimes it was me.

ANGELA: (gravely) It wasn't your fault, Rickie.

RICKIE: (shrugging helplessly, rising off the bed and heading for the doorway to look out into the living room) You saying that doesn't change anything. I still was part of it. I still hated it there. Sometimes, I hated them, too. When you know some of the bad situation is your own fault, maybe that makes it even worse. (pause) When you know you can't fix it. When you can't *feel* any differently about someone, or someplace, even when you try to. That's why I don't think I'll try to find them, even though I do love them, in a way.

Angela gets her far-away look, and rises to join Rickie. Brian gives Harvey one last pat and follows suit. They stand in the doorway of Rickie's bedroom looking out, with Brian and Angela on each side of Rickie. In the living room, Danielle sits on the arm of the couch, with her feet on the couch. Behind her, Sharon braids her hair, while chattering nonstop about something. Rayanne checks her make-up in a compact and then wordlessly passes the compact and a bright red lipstick to Danielle. Angela's attention seems fixed on Rayanne.

ANGELA: I think I know what you mean. (pause) Relationships are so fragile. Even when you still . . . *care* about someone. Even when you have to admit that something is partially your fault. Sometimes the one event is something you can never really get over. (pause, she turns from watching Rayanne to look directly at Rickie) But I think there is a way to get *past* it, at least a little bit. By starting over.

BRIAN: (nodding his agreement) Exactly. A fresh start. (turns to look at Rickie and Angela) And that's just what you're doing, right?

RICKIE: (smiles) I hope so. This does feel like a new beginning. (small laugh) I've had a lot of those. This is the *newest* new beginning, I guess. (looks around himself) You know, I haven't felt at home for a long time. I guess I finally do again. I like this place.

KATIMSKI: (OS) No, no. You're doing it all wrong.

JOSEPH: (OS) I never pretended to be an expert at applying shelf paper!

KATIMSKI: (OS) Well, you're getting . . . ah . . . air bubbles in it. (pause) I just can't bear the idea of an air bubble being there every time we open the cabinet, mocking us . . .

Brian's eyebrows go up in a sort of confusion or alarm at his sense of deja vu.

RICKIE: (smiling to himself) And I like these people. I think I could feel safe here.

DANIELLE: (OS) My mother won't really let me wear make-up, Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (OS) Please! Tell Patty she can bite me! She's such a hypocrite. She wears almost as much make-up as *Rickie*!

RICKIE: Well, (with a quirky smile) I like *most* of the people at least.

Rickie, Angela, and Brian break up laughing in the dusty air of Rickie's new bedroom.

The End.

Next story

Favorite Moments by Shannon Bryan and E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)
Published: 1997 | Size: 20 KB (3769 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.6/5   3.6/5 (16 votes)

Read this story now: Favorite Moments
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Average: 3.9/5   3.9/5 (30 votes)
  • Elizabeth Wrigley-Field commented on 06 Oct 2002:
    WHY are Shannon and Shobi so GOOD? Once again, the little things ring true. I really envy these guys' ability to write dialogue.

    <p>Certain references to other episodes really stuck with me: Rickie's line in which he brought up not wanting to accept his uncle's presents (this caught my attention not just because of the reference to Father Figures, but also because it was an awesome line), Richard and Joseph's echoing Patty and Graham with the wallpaper, and I love the idea of a flashback that includes that horrible image that opens So-Called Angels...

    <p>I'm intrigued by Brian's apparent worry at Rickie touching him. My strong intuition is that this does not give Brian enough credit. But I'd be *very* interested to see discussion of this. Maybe I'll get around to starting a thread in the forums...

    <p>Anyway, thanks again Sharon and Shobi!
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“And, you know, with your hair like that? It hurts to look at you.”

Rayanne Graff, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"