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Episode No. 27 - A Night To Remember

written by E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)

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About this story

Published: 31 Jul 1997 | Size: 92 KB (17471 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.1/5   4.1/5 (44 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

Black Screen-- "Thirteen Days Later"


Rayanne and Angela trying out make-up and hair strategies in front of the mirror.

ANGELA: (pulling her hair up in a twist) There. Yea, or nay?

RAYANNE: (looks at her discriminatingly, frowns) Please! You should definitely go with your hair down. (smirk) Literally . . . but, y’know, *metaphorically* too.

ANGELA: (raised eyebrow) "Metaphorically"? Since when do we talk like that?

RAYANNE: What?!? (shrug) You *always* talk like that! I just like the concept, that’s all. That poem we were reading, about the garden, and how the garden was just one really long metaphor for sex. Whaddaya call it when it’s a really *long* metaphor again?

ANGELA: (shrugs) I don’t know. Extended?

RAYANNE: (giggle) Exactly! I love that! It even *sounds* sexual. Now when Rickie accuses me of having my mind in the gutter because I think everything comes back to sex, I can just explain to him that I’m not thinking like a trash mouth--(in a "refined" voice) I’m thinking metaphorically.

ANGELA: (amused) Oh really?

RAYANNE: (fiddling with mascara) Yeah. Just like that poem.

ANGELA: Rayanne, that poem was about love and courtship, not sex.

RAYANNE: (rolls eyes) Love and courtship are made up by men as a way to get sex.

ANGELA: (laughs, but then looks at Rayanne) You don’t really think that, do you?

RAYANNE: (her expression is blank for a moment, but then she shakes her head and smiles broadly) So, are you excited about the prom tonight?

ANGELA: (smiles) Of course. (seeing Rayanne’s smirk, backpedaling) I mean, it’s not *that* big a deal or anything, but I think it will be kind of fun. Don’t you?

RAYANNE: (shrugs) I guess. I don’t know how fun the dance itself will be. Hopefully post-prom will be fun though.

ANGELA: So what are you and Corey doing? Are you going out with Rickie and Delia and Zack?

RAYANNE: No. Rickie and Zack are going to go do something on their own.

ANGELA: What about Delia?

RAYANNE: (evil smile) She doesn’t really fit into the post-prom activity category.

ANGELA: What do you mean?

RAYANNE: Well a third person doesn’t really fit into the whole Prom Night Sex Theory. (thinking) Actually they might, for more adventurous players, but Rickie and Zack--despite their one *big* difference--strike me as more the traditional type.

ANGELA: (blotting off some lipstick) Meaning?

RAYANNE: (exasperated) Meaning Delia is okay to dance with, but what is she going to do at the post-prom "activities", light their cigarettes afterwards?

ANGELA: (laughs) Do you actually think that Rickie and Zack are going to do *anything*? They haven’t even kissed!

RAYANNE: Of course they’re gonna do something. The Prom Night Sex Theory is a powerful thing with guys, and with two of them in the relationship it’s bound to be doubly powerful. (pause) I just hope they don’t, like, *strain* something.

ANGELA: So what *is* this prom night theory you keep talking about?

RAYANNE: The Prom Night Sex Theory? You must’ve heard of it! It’s been in every movie ever made with a prom in it! They never call it by name, but the theory is always talked about.

ANGELA: So *what* is the theory?

RAYANNE: That even the biggest loser of a guy is going to get laid on prom night. It’s the one night of the year where even good girls will supposedly give it up.

ANGELA: (rolls eyes) That’s ridiculous. Just because one guy got sex after the prom, decades ago, now sex is just, like, *expected* after the prom?

RAYANNE: Pretty much, yeah. (pointedly) I mean, what are you and Jordan doing after the prom? Has he told you?

ANGELA: (defensive) No. It’s a surprise. That doesn’t mean it has anything to do with sex, though.

RAYANNE: (skeptically) Uh huh.

ANGELA: Well, what are you and Corey doing, then?

RAYANNE: I don’t know. It’s a surprise too. Kind of a coincidence, isn’t it?

ANGELA: And you think that means that it involves sex?

RAYANNE: (snorts) Of course. He’s been planning something for weeks. (sagely) Guys don’t plan *anything* for weeks in advance unless it involves sex. Or maybe sports. He’s even got my Mom involved in the conspiracy, (arching her brow) which I must admit doesn’t really suggest a huge sex plan, but I think he’s been talking to her just to throw her off of the actual Prom Night Sex trail.

ANGELA: So what does that mean? Are you just going to do it with him? Just because he took you to a *dance*? Just because he expects it?

RAYANNE: (reaching for her voluminous bag, she digs out some condoms) Sure. Why the hell not? I like him. (softly) And it takes so little to make them happy. So, why not? (she tosses Angela a couple of condoms) Maybe you better take some too, just in case.

ANGELA: (catching the condoms and looking at them) "Why not?" That is *so* not the question you should be asking. (getting up and crossing to Rayanne) You should find a reason to *do* it, not a reason not to. (she gives back the condoms)

RAYANNE: Isn’t the great Prom Night Sex Theory enough of a reason?

ANGELA: No. (challenging her) Everybody else will probably be drinking tonight too, so are you going to go off the wagon?

RAYANNE: (tight-lipped, glaring at her) No.

ANGELA: (flippantly) Why not? That’s the question, right? Why the *hell* not? Don’t you think Corey is going to expect you to drink, too?

RAYANNE: (dully) No. Because I made it clear to him that I can’t. (pause) That stopping is important to me.

ANGELA: Well, there you go. I made *my* position clear with Jordan.

RAYANNE: (looks down) I’m not saying that you should do anything with him, and I’m *not* saying that he’ll expect you to. (pause) I was just . . . I don’t know, warning you, or whatever. That he might.

ANGELA: (still defensive) How could he? Jordan won’t even call me his girlfriend or admit we’re a couple again. Not even when I pressure him.

RAYANNE: (rolling her eyes) So? Jordan didn’t exactly call Cynthia Hargrove his girlfriend, or register for china patterns or anything. And they had sex. And it wasn’t even the prom.

ANGELA: (sharply) He also had sex with you in the back of his car. That doesn’t mean anything. I’m not Cynthia Hargrove, and I’m not *you*. Jordan knows that.

RAYANNE: (hurt) Fine. (stands up and fiddles with something on the dressing table) So, can I still borrow the earrings?

ANGELA: Of course. (conciliatory) You’re not leaving, are you?

RAYANNE: (looking away) Yeah. I should go.

ANGELA: Rayanne, don’t go because of what I said. I didn’t mean anything. (looks down) I’m just . . . sensitive about that . . . or something. Please stay.

RAYANNE: No. I’ve got to go. I still have to pick up a flower for Corey and everything.

ANGELA: So you’re not mad?

RAYANNE: Why should I be? All you said is that I’m not you. I mean, that’s *obvious* isn’t it? (staring right at her, coldly) Only the most insensitive clod could make a mistake about that. Right?

ANGELA: (VO) She was referring to Jordan, of course. And the night they spent together. Rayanne is not subtle, but she is effective, and just subtle enough to be able to deny that she was trying to get back at me for what I said straight out.

RAYANNE: So, I mean, I’ll see you there, right? I know you’ll be sitting with Jordan and his friends, but we can still hang out a little, right?


RAYANNE: Okay. Well then, I’ll see you there.

ANGELA: Right. Seeya. (Rayanne exits and Angela walks back over to the dressing table and sees that Rayanne has left two condoms in place of the earrings. She picks one up and flips it over in her hand with a worried expression on her face)


Hallie sits at the table in the back room, counting receipts. Graham enters.

GRAHAM: Hey, partner.

HALLIE: Hey there. (she leans back and uses her hands to support her back) Taking a break?

GRAHAM: (plopping down across from her) Yeah. I think the lunch rush is finally over. (looking at watch) And we have only a half hour until the dinner rush starts.

HALLIE: Hey, I know this is tiring, but the other option is no business at all. Thanks to the review, I think we’re in for a lot of tired days. At least for a few weeks. (turning back to receipts) Give me busy over bankrupt any day.

GRAHAM: I wasn’t complaining. (she gives him a look) I *wasn’t*! But I have a right to be tired, don’t I?

HALLIE: (nodding absently) Sure you do. (out of nowhere, vehemently) We all have a right to our feelings. Even when they make little or no sense.

GRAHAM: (wary) Is something bothering you? You don’t seem yourself today.

HALLIE: (emphatically) No! I’m fine. Fine. (pause, speaking very quickly) It’s just that my back hurts and I’m practically *living* in the bathroom, and my ankles have taken on so much water that they could be mistaken for canned hams! And I know I’m not looking my best or anything, but that really didn’t seem to *matter* to him, and I just can’t *believe* that he hasn’t returned my calls, and I do *not* want to put you in the middle, because, I mean, how *awkward* would that be? But, can I just say, that I totally didn’t see this coming, so, I guess, you know, you should congratulate him, or something, because he had me completely fooled!

GRAHAM: (he looks toward the door as if contemplating bolting for it, but then turns back to her) I’m sorry. That’s horrible. (pause) *What* are we talking about?

HALLIE: Your jerk of a brother-in-law, Ethan. (sighing, giving him a pleading look) Has he said anything about me?

GRAHAM: (taken aback) Um. I thought you didn’t want to put me in the middle?

HALLIE: Arrgh! So, I lied! I’m too self-obsessed to actually show more than a token concern in the welfare of others, okay? So, spill it!

GRAHAM: He hasn’t said anything to me.

HALLIE: What about Patty? Did she say something to him about me?

GRAHAM: No. I mean, I don’t think . . . . Definitely not. I don’t even think she’s talked to him this whole week.

HALLIE: Really? Because he hasn’t gotten back to me in about a week either. So, do you think that he’s out of town or something?

GRAHAM: I don’t think so.

HALLIE: But you haven’t heard from him lately, either, so maybe he’s just really busy or something. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with me?

GRAHAM: (hedging) Maybe. Why? (smirking) Are you two hitting it off or something?

HALLIE: (stacking the receipts) I guess so. I mean, ever since we met that night at the diner, to talk, it’s just been . . . I don’t know, *intense* or something. Like if we’re not together, we’re on the phone, and if we’re not on the phone, we’re on-line together. And then, one night, there was just this wall there. That I couldn’t get through. Like he was upset about something, but I couldn’t get him to tell me. And I haven’t heard from him since.

GRAHAM: Well, it’s always intense at first, isn’t it? It can’t stay that way.

HALLIE: Okay. But the transition isn’t usually to total silence, either.

GRAHAM: (thinking) No. Did you, I mean, you didn’t *say* anything, did you?

HALLIE: (appalled) No! Of course not. (tips head to one side) I don’t *think* so.

GRAHAM: That’s probably not it. (shrugs) I mean what could you say that would be any worse or more shocking than being pregnant *and* a decade older?

HALLIE: (glaring) I’m only *eight* years older than Ethan.

GRAHAM: You know what I mean.

HALLIE: Yeah. (throwing up her hands) It doesn’t matter. It *doesn’t*. I have all these other things on my plate, my job, this restaurant, the baby. It’s better this way, really. I mean, I don’t even have the time for a relationship right now.

GRAHAM: (smiling, but wistfully) Patty and I may see him tonight. Do you want me to say something to him for you?

HALLIE: Yes. You tell him that I’ve been going out *every* night this week . . . to all-night diners . . . with strange men . . . men even *stranger* than him. (pause) And then hit him really hard in the stomach. (she turns back to the receipts)

GRAHAM: (nods with hand on chin as if contemplating this course of action) Okay. Then should I ask him to call you?

HALLIE: (not looking up) Sure. Y’know, if he has the chance. No big deal.

GRAHAM: (smiling) Oh. Of course. I mean, I can *see* that.

--Early evening

Patty and Graham are sitting on the couch as Danielle flits in.

DANIELLE: So can I go to Stacey’s now?

PATTY: Not yet, honey. As soon as Angela leaves, we’ll take you.

DANIELLE: Figures. I hope she doesn’t get stood up. I’ll be trapped here forever.

PATTY: (rolling her eyes, turning back to Graham) So, I never got ahold of Ethan. I just got his machine again.

GRAHAM: Well, we should keep trying. Did you say anything to him about Hallie?

PATTY: Like how she’s too old for him and how much I wish he would keep away from her? You mean like that?

GRAHAM: Yeah, anything like that.

PATTY: I didn’t say it. (gesturing) But I did think it. Maybe this whole strange infatuation is just her pregnancy hormones at work.

GRAHAM: (getting up and walking to mantle) Or maybe they’re just perfect for each other. . . in a weird, loud, non-stop chatter kind of way. (Patty comes up to join him) Sometimes the perfect person is right under your nose. (he adjusts a picture in a frame, the one of Angela that Brian took) It’s nice to think that at least *some* people in this family are able to recognize it without waiting umpteen years.

PATTY: (thoughtfully) Maybe if you recognize it too quickly, it doesn’t last.

GRAHAM: (soft smile) Then you and I are stuck with each other for life.

PATTY: (returning it) We sure are. Besides, (putting the picture back at the angle it started out in) we should probably stay out of Angela’s love life.

GRAHAM: (smirk & nod) This from the woman who started a coffee klatch with Jordan Catalano. You only like Jordan because he reminds you of Tony Poole.

PATTY: And who does Brian remind *you* of . . . yourself?

GRAHAM: (too quickly) Nope. I guess I’ve always rooted for the underdog.

PATTY: Well, I hope you intend to be nice to the . . . the over-- . . . to whatever the opposite of the underdog is, because he’s going to be here any minute.

GRAHAM: (heading to the coffee table to pick up his Polaroid camera) I intend to be very gracious . . . in a mildly threatening, overprotective way.

PATTY: You’re not going to take pictures, are you? Somehow I don’t think Jordan is going to want his picture taken.

GRAHAM: Of course. It’s better not to leave a photographic record for the police. That’s the first thing you learn in charm school. (he sets it back down) I forgot.

The doorbell rings, and Danielle charges forward to get the door.

PATTY: (putting on the "company" smile) Here we go.

--Early evening

Angela looks at herself in the mirror. She is wearing a black, scoop-necked velveteen dress, dark hose and short heels. It is simple and not very flashy, but she looks beautiful. She smiles, almost shyly, to herself. The she reaches out for the small black purse on the dressing table. She notices the condoms still sitting there, and frowns at their mocking, challenging presence. She reaches over and picks them up and tosses them into the garbage. Then she smiles again, flips her hair behind her ear, and turns out the light.

--Early evening

Jordan fidgets uncomfortably due to the tux and the company. Angela comes down the stairs, quickly at first in her excitement, but then slowly, as she remembers that she is a "lady". The next shot shows Jordan’s sharp intake of breath in seeing her and the proud smile that follows shortly thereafter.

GRAHAM: (together) Angela, you are . . .

JORDAN: (together) Wow. You look . . .

JORDAN: . . .*good*.

Graham just closes his mouth and fidgets with the Polaroid, without finishing the thought, apparently not wanting to out-adjective Jordan.

ANGELA: (not noticing the mundane choice of words, beaming) Thanks.


ANGELA: So. (turns away from Patty, and then back to her quickly) So, I wanted to ask you about my curfew . . .

PATTY: Oh? Okay. How about you be home by one? (Graham and Angela both look appalled, but for different reasons) Or just call by one, you know, if things are still going on, and you may be late. Just so we know where you are.

ANGELA: (looking a gift-horse in the mouth) Will you still be up then?

PATTY: (forced smile) I imagine so.

ANGELA: Oh. Okay. Great. (to Jordan) We should go.

JORDAN: (nodding slowly) Yeah. (looking at Graham) Is that a camera?

GRAHAM: What? This? (catching Patty’s warning look) Well yes, but I was just, you know . . . cleaning it. (that sounded dumb even to him) I should put it away.

JORDAN: (to Angela) Maybe we could get a picture before we go.


Patty and Graham look at him as if he has grown antennae.

JORDAN: I mean, Joey and Gertie took all these pictures at her house.

GRAHAM: Well sure. (shoots a triumphant glance at Patty) I mean, I think, you know, *coincidentally*, that I have some film in here, so . . . (he motions for them to stand closer together)

Jordan and Angela move together as Graham lines up a shot. The phone rings.

PATTY: (smiling at how they look together) I’ll get it.

The camera follows Patty to the phone, with a full view of Graham posing Jordan and Angela in the background.

PATTY: (using "happy phone voice") Hello? . . . Yes, this is she . . . .Yes, yes I am . . . . He’s what? . . . . Where? . . . Why? . . . . How long ago did this happen? . . . Yes, of course we can come get him, what hospital are you at? Okay. Thank you. We’ll be there.

Patty gets grimmer as the phone call continues. When she hangs up, her mouth is in a straight line and she looks worried. The camera pans back to Jordan and Angela, who are standing there, waiting for the Polaroids to develop. A car horn sounds repeatedly from outside. Angela looks toward the door with impatience.

JORDAN: That’s the limo. (to Graham) We’re sharing a limo with Joey and Gertie.

Graham smiles in what he hopes is an encouraging way, as Patty joins the group.

ANGELA: C’mon, Jordan. We should get going.

JORDAN: Don’t you want to see how the pictures turned out?

ANGELA: They’ll still be here when we get home. We can see them then.

JORDAN: Okay. (to the family) Later.

GRAHAM: (jumps in since Patty is silent) Have a good time. Be careful.

Angela and Jordan exit, and Danielle turns to head upstairs.

PATTY: Get your things together, honey. We’ll take you to Stacey’s right now.

DANIELLE: (bounding to get her coat) It’s about time.


PATTY: We have somewhere else to go.

GRAHAM: (putting two and two together) Who was that on the phone?

PATTY: It was about Ethan. He’s at the hospital.

GRAHAM: (as Danielle returns) What is it?

PATTY: (looking at Danielle) I’ll explain on the way.


Rayanne and Corey walk up to the entrance of a ballroom that is inside a hotel. There is a table where some well-dressed adults are taking tickets and making the students sign something. Rayanne is dressed in some type of vintage dress that is very tight and is a silver-gray color, that sparkles when it catches the light.

COREY: (looking happy) Hey, there they are.

The whimsical threesome approaches from the other side of the lobby. Zack and Rickie have accented their tuxes with vests and ties of deep purple that match the color of the dress that Delia is wearing. The two groups converge on one another.

RICKIE: You two look great!

ZACK: (arm around Delia) Not as great as us, of course, but okay for mere mortals.

RAYANNE: (with hand to ear) I’m sorry? What did you say? I couldn’t hear you over your *vest*. (Delia laughs)

COREY: Okay, you guys. Let’s settle down and go in.

DELIA: Yeah. We have to act composed when we give the chaperones our tickets and sign the prom pledge.

COREY: Exactly. If we’re all obnoxious before we even get in there they’ll think we’ve been drinking.

ZACK: (laughs) And then we won’t be able to sample the spiked punch.

RAYANNE: What’s the "prom pledge"? Are we giving money to Jerry’s Kids? Do we get a mug or t-shirt or something?

RICKIE: No, Rayanne. It’s just this stupid thing they make everybody sign that says that they’re not going to drink or do drugs.

DELIA: And if they do, that they won’t drive.

Rayanne looks a bit conflicted and stops walking. Corey stops as well.

COREY: Are you okay?

RAYANNE: (faking) I’m fine. I’m just going to go to the bathroom before we go in.

COREY: Okay, I’ll wait by the entrance.

Rayanne nods and moves towards the hallway to the washrooms. She stops outside the Ladies’ Room but does not go in. Instead she pulls out a few coins and uses the pay phone. Her face looks hopeful for a moment as we hear it ring. Then we hear a "click" and "You’ve reached Ethan Henshaw. I’m not available right now so please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible." Rayanne sighs.

RAYANNE: Ethan. It’s me. Rayanne. I really need to talk you. I’m really feeling like I want to drink. And this is worse than the other times I’ve called you. (aside) But you haven’t gotten back to me. I think I’m in a situation where things might get out of hand. . . where things may be expected of me that I’m not *ready* for. So if you get this, maybe hang around if you can. . . (she chuckles nervously) or at least leave some words of wisdom on your machine, or whatever sponsors are supposed to do. Okay? Thanks. (She hangs up and heads back toward the ballroom entrance.)


Patty and Graham walk down the hall past a sign that says "Psychiatric Ward". They enter an austere room. An older woman in a suit stands as they come in.

PATTY: Hello. I’m sorry. I was looking for Ethan Henshaw.

LOVE: (pointing to a closed bathroom door) He’s changing. He wanted to look a little more presentable for you, I think. I’m Kathryn Love, his psychiatrist.

GRAHAM: (taking her outstretched hand) His . . . what? I thought he was just seeing a therapist.

LOVE: Well, that’s one reason that I encouraged him to let me contact you. There are some things you need to know about Ethan. Some things he probably should have told you initially. (the door opens and Ethan exits, her eyes follow him)

ETHAN: (he looks pale and doughy, like he has gained more weight, he speaks dully, without appreciable animation, and does not smile) Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s the best way to introduce yourself to your long-lost family. "Hi, I’m your half-brother and I’m certifiable. You wanna let me into your house now?"

LOVE: I didn’t mean that. But you *have* had ample opportunity to broach the subject in the past couple of months.

ETHAN: (to Patty) You’ll have to excuse Dr. Love, she overcompensates for the fact that her name makes her sound like she should be manning a 1-900 line.

PATTY: (frowning) Ethan, are you all right? (she moves to him)

ETHAN: (hugging her) I’m fine. (pause) At least when I’m not insane.

LOVE: You’ll have to excuse Ethan, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that he has a flair for the dramatic. He is *not* insane. He’s simply bipolar.

ETHAN: (responding to Graham’s quizzical expression) I’m a manic depressive.

PATTY: What does that even mean?

LOVE: It means that he cycles between manic states in which he is euphoric and agitated and energetic, to depressive states in which he is--

ETHAN: (interrupting) Depressed! (to Patty) Big surprise, I know. (to Love) I’m *in* the room, you know. She was asking *me*. (petulantly) Don’t talk about me like I’m not even here. Let’s sit down. (they all do) It goes in phases, like the moon.

GRAHAM: How long have you . . . been like this.

ETHAN: We’ve traced my symptoms back to my late teens. I didn’t know about bipolar disorder then. All I knew was that sometimes I felt invincible and charming beyond belief and I never needed to sleep. (pause) And other times I couldn’t get out of bed at all, like I was in a haze. My teachers all thought it was just alcohol or drugs. (pause) So, did I, I guess. But it happened even when I couldn’t get any.

LOVE: Drinking and the drugs do exacerbate the symptoms, however.

ETHAN: I wasn’t diagnosed until I was nineteen. When I . . . ended up in the hospital. (Love gives him a look, and he looks away from Patty) When I *put* myself in the hospital. (he holds out his hands, palms up)

Patty and Graham look at the deep scars on Ethan’s wrists.

PATTY: (horrified and sad) You did this to yourself?

ETHAN: Yes. (his voice is haunting and desperate) I didn’t know what else to do.

LOVE: We know now that he was suffering from a mixed-episode, in which a combination of mania and depression takes hold.

GRAHAM: What do you mean?

LOVE: The hopelessness and feelings of despair that come with depression are combined with the agitation and energy of mania.

ETHAN: It was different. When I was manic before, I sort of fed off the energy and made it work for me. I was self-assured and productive, and hilarious. But this was a different type of energy. More like anxiety. (pause) I just wanted it to end.

PATTY: So why did you have to come here? I thought, I mean, I’d *heard* that there was an effective treatment for this.

ETHAN: Yeah. Lithium. No one really knows why it works, but it does. As long as you keep taking it, that is. (pause) I stopped.

PATTY: (softly) Why?

ETHAN: When I first started taking it, it was great. The lows were gone, and I really needed for them to be. But eventually, after I started law school, I started missing the highs. (pause) They were amazing. *I* was amazing. Better. Smarter. Thoughts and words came faster. People seemed to like who I was when I was manic. So did I. And I never felt that way again, (looks at Patty) until I found *you*. It was more than euphoric. When I was around you, and your family, I felt invincible again, like I was immune to the lows as long as you were around. Like you were a *better* medicine. It seemed wrong somehow. I mean, how could an elemental *salt* work better than a real family?

LOVE: Which is a very common, normal thing for manic-depressives to feel once the lithium program starts to work. They feel so much better, that they think they can stop taking the meds.

ETHAN: (small smile) Don’t you love how reassuring she is? That’s why I keep her around. Everything I do is within "normal parameters". (short laugh, flippantly, but not smiling) What does a guy have to do to be abnormal again? All this normalcy is really beginning to scare me. (to Love, seriously) *Really*. It is.

LOVE: I know. Maybe that’s another reason you stopped taking your medicine.

ETHAN: (rolls eyes) And I pay *her*. Yeah, that seems fair.

GRAHAM: So what happened when you stopped?

ETHAN: About a week ago I noticed I was in this downward spiral, but I thought I could deal with it without resorting to the lithium.

PATTY: And you were wrong?

ETHAN: Dead wrong.

PATTY: (gesturing toward his arm) You didn’t . . .

ETHAN: No. I just wouldn’t stop eating or crying. And I wouldn’t leave my bed, much less my apartment.

PATTY: What about your bar review course?

ETHAN: I’ve missed almost all of it now.

PATTY: Why didn’t you call us?

ETHAN: (frowns) I couldn’t. Maybe if I had already told you about this, but I hadn’t. You wouldn’t have been prepared to see me as I was then. And I didn’t *want* you to see me.

GRAHAM: So you called Dr. Love?

Ethan just looks down and won’t meet anyone’s eyes.

LOVE: After he missed some sessions, I had my secretary contact the pharmacy to see if Ethan had renewed his prescriptions and found out that he hadn’t. I knew something was wrong, so I went to his apartment. I almost called you.

PATTY: I wish you would have.

ETHAN: (emphatic) I’m glad she didn’t. (pointing to himself) This isn’t how I was . . . how I *am* when I get that way. This is 10 days after getting back on meds and being cooped up with *her* (points at Love) for almost as long. So, if you think this is bad . . . I would have scared you.

PATTY: (confident) I don’t think you could ever scare me.

ETHAN: Patty--I scare *myself*.

LOVE: (smiling) You scare *me*, too.

ETHAN: (he finally smiles at that) See how good I am? I can scare trained professionals.

GRAHAM: I think what Patty means . . .

PATTY: I mean that of course I would be scared *for* you. But I could never be scared *of* you. (she gets up and moves toward him) You’re my brother.

ETHAN: (as she hugs him he gets teary) Thanks. Thanks for coming. I was right. I think you are the best medicine. Way better than lithium.

PATTY: (letting go a little, but still has an arm around him) Really?

ETHAN: Sure. (genuine smile) Lithium gives me diarrhea.

Everybody, even Dr. Love, smiles at that.


Angela and Jordan sit amongst his senior friends. The guys are sort of grungy even in suits and the girls favor tight, low-necked, high-hem pastels and big hair. Joey (the drummer from Frozen Embryos) sits next to the most gaudily made-up of the girls, presumably Gertie, and is pawing at her, though she seems to enjoy it and giggles shrilly and repeatedly. Angela smiles throughout, trying to seem at ease even though it is obvious that she is not.

GERTIE: Okay, settle down, Joey. (pushing his face away) You’re messing up my makeup. Besides, there’ll be plenty of time for that later.

JOEY: We never seem to have enough time.

GERTIE: (acidly, turning to her girlfriends) Well, from past experience, ten minutes seems to be enough time, so spare me. (the table laughs at this)

SHANE: (to Joey) Why you let her talk to you like that?

JOEY: (giving him a look that indicates that somehow it’s worth it) Ahh, who cares? She just has a bug up her butt because they won’t let us smoke in here.

GERTIE: How can they even stop us? I mean, we’re completely legal. (she looks over at Angela) At least *most* of us are.

JOEY: I thought you only really liked to smoke after good sex anyway?

GERTIE: If *that* were true, then I would’ve gone cold turkey the minute I started dating *you*. . .

ANGELA: (VO) Gertie’s real name is Gertrude. It really doesn’t fit her very well. Somehow, it’s more of an old-woman’s name. I don’t know. It’s just not a very good name for a teenager. Especially one that looks and acts twenty-five. (pause) And has the mouth of a longshoreman.

They continue to spar and the earthy teasing continues around the table. Jordan looks vaguely amused, but then looks at Angela’s impassive face. He tries to look like he’s one of the gang while still retaining some of Angela’s aloof edge. It is an impossible line for him to straddle effectively, and he gets some weird looks from his buddies and immediately breaks down and joins in.

GERTIE: . . . so give me a cigarette, Joey.

JOEY: You’re not going to smoke it in here, are you?

GERTIE: No. They’d just throw us out. I’m not gonna give those stuck-up pricks the satisfaction of that. I’ll go out and smoke on the street by the doorman.

JORDAN: You better go too, Joey, to make sure she doesn’t get any better offers.

JOEY: (not amused) You better come too, Catalano, so me and Gertie don’t jump in the limo and ditch your ass.

GERTIE: (as Jordan stands, to Angela) You comin’? You can bum one off of Joey if you need to. Everybody does it.

ANGELA: No thanks . . .

JORDAN: (protective in an odd way) She doesn’t smoke.

ANGELA: (defensive) It’s not that. I just have to go to the washroom.

JORDAN: (Gertie shrugs and goes, Jordan sidles up to Angela) You want me to wait here for you?

ANGELA: (brightly) No. It’s fine.

JORDAN: Okay. I won’t be gone long.

ANGELA: Fine. No hurry.

Much of Jordan’s gang heads out to smoke, and Angela turns and heads toward the ladies room. As she passes one of the tables, she hears her name and sees Sharon get up and come over to her. Sharon is with that blond, jock fellow named Scott Wilson, sitting at a table obviously filled with the sophomore "royalty"--the cheerleaders, jocks, and popular people that Sharon has rejoined. She is wearing a more traditional wine-colored gown that is floor length and conservative but still manages to accentuate her ample endowments.

SHARON: Angela! Hey, you look great.

ANGELA: (smiling) You too.

SHARON: So, are you having fun? They still haven’t brought us our food.

ANGELA: Ours either, but yeah, I’m having fun. Definitely.

SHARON: (smiling) I hate to admit it, but Jordan does look pretty good in a tux.

ANGELA: (proud) I know. (pause) Have you seen Rickie and Rayanne?

SHARON: (points to the far side of the room--the dance floor is between them, with tables all around its perimeter) Sure. They’re over there. Delia and Zack and Rickie are completely out of control. Rayanne seems kind of subdued though.

ANGELA: Maybe I’ll talk to her.

SHARON: You should. By the way, have you seen Kyle around?

ANGELA: Not really. Why?

SHARON: No reason. (looking back at her table) Finally! The salads at least.

ANGELA: I’ll see you later. (she continues on her way)

The camera zooms away from Angela and across the dance floor to the table that Rickie, Zack, Delia, Rayanne, and Corey are sitting at. If focuses in on Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (picking at her salad) So, Corey, when are you going to clue me in to what we’re going to be doing later tonight?

COREY: (smiles devilishly) If I told you now it wouldn’t be a surprise.

RAYANNE: Maybe I don’t want it to be a surprise.

COREY: You’ve waited all this time, a few more hours aren’t going to matter.

RAYANNE: Can’t you at least give me a hint? Like are there going to be lots of other people there?

COREY: (relenting, he senses only excitement, not anxiety) Okay. No. This is something we do by ourselves. And I think you’re really going to enjoy it because it’s something you’ve probably never done before.

RAYANNE: (looking away, under her breath) I wouldn’t bet on that.


In Ethan’s room. Patty is helping Ethan pack up.

LOVE: I’ve got to get going, Ethan. (walking to him) Here’s your prescription. I want you to be sure to get it filled at the hospital pharmacy on the way out. And I want you to call me if anything like this happens again.

ETHAN: I will. I’ll go get this right now. You want to walk with me, Graham?

Patty and Graham both look startled by this request. Graham nods in assent and the two men head out. Patty crosses to Dr. Love.

PATTY: Thank you for everything. I hope you’ll call me the next time. We were very worried when we couldn’t reach Ethan.

LOVE: I’ll talk to him about it. It’s not right for him to keep you in the dark, but I can’t be an informant for you.

PATTY: Oh no. Of course not. I didn’t mean . . .

LOVE: (smiling) I’m sure you didn’t. But my first duty is to my patient. I know you mean well, and Ethan has been so happy since he found you. From what he says, you’re a very warm family.

PATTY: Thank you.

LOVE: (hesitating) But you do need to educate yourself about manic-depression if you are going to be around Ethan. And you’ll probably need to tell your children, though he may be resistant to that. You’re going to have to find some way to talk to him about what he’s feeling without him feeling accused or mothered. The families that this runs in often have a very hard time dealing with the afflicted person, no matter how close they are, or how much they love each other.

PATTY: This . . . I mean . . . this *runs* in families?

LOVE: Yes. There’s some indication that it’s hereditary. Not completely inherited, like blue eyes or brown hair, but there is evidence that the predisposition is inherited. Ethan’s mother had it also.

PATTY: *Our* mother.

LOVE: Yes. (she hadn’t thought of that) I guess that’s right. It’s not something you should worry yourself about. (pause) Anyway, thank you again for coming to pick Ethan up. Your support is just what he needs. (handing Patty something) Here’s my card, if you ever have any questions, or something comes up--please call.

PATTY: I will. Thank you doctor.


Graham and Ethan walking down the hall. Ethan has his prescription.

ETHAN: Thanks for walking with me. I actually wanted to ask you something.

GRAHAM: About what?

ETHAN: Hallie. Has she said anything about me? (Graham makes an odd face in response) Ahh. I guess she has. (Graham nods) And I’m guessing it involves some choice profanity. (Graham nods again) So have I completely blown it?

GRAHAM: I don’t know. I think if you call her right away that . . .

ETHAN: What?

GRAHAM: I just don’t know how she’ll take this news. Why didn’t you tell her?

ETHAN: (sheepish) I don’t know. It just seemed too soon or something. And, (pause) I think that she likes me. (like a child) Do you think she does?

GRAHAM: I think that’s been clearly implied, yes.

ETHAN: Well, that really hasn’t happened to me too often before. (pause) Ever, really. I didn’t want to screw it up. I thought it was too early in our relationship to tell her. I’m afraid that now might be too late.

Graham just nods reassuringly and claps him on the back as they walk off camera.


Rickie and Delia are dancing to a fast song in that crazy, free way they do. In the middle of the song, Zack comes up and cuts in, and he and Delia dance more conservatively, but very well. Momentarily, Rickie comes back up to them and they all start gyrating together--dancing in a big clump, like many of us chose to do instead of pairing off in Junior High. They go a little wild at the end.

A slow song comes on, and the threesome fan themselves and leave the dance floor. Sharon and her date, Scott Wilson, are slow-dancing. Scott seems enamored of Sharon, but she seems preoccupied and keeps looking over his shoulder at another couple. The camera zooms in on Kyle Vinovich and the girl we saw him buy tickets with earlier, Kirsten Redman. They are slow-dancing as well, but in a somewhat more lascivious and intimate manner. Sharon is watching them intently.

The camera pans away from the dance floor to the table where Angela, Jordan and his group are seated. Angela is watching the dance floor with envy, impatience, or perhaps both. She breaks out of her reverie when she hears Gertie’s shrill voice. She turns and sees Joey and the group are listening to Gertie angrily complaining. She tries to get up and join the group, but Jordan puts his hand on her leg to stop her.

GERTIE: (obviously under the influence of something) I just cannot believe that girl!

JOEY: C’mon Gert, just settle down. Let it go.

GERTIE: No way! It’s bad enough that those rich bitches act like they own the school. This is *our* senior prom too! Just because I’m not on the college prep track doesn’t mean that I’m "trailer trash!" (yanking out of Joey’s grip and grabbing a glass of clear liquid) If she thinks I’m low class, I’ll show her just how low I can be.

JOEY: (grabbing her again) Gertie wait!

GERTIE: (angry, betrayed) What? You think *you’re* man enough to stop me?

JOEY: (soothing, proud of her in his own way) I don’t want to stop you. (picks up a glass of red punch) If you’re going to douse her, this’ll stain more. (hands it to her)

GERTIE: (touched by his loyalty) Thanks. (she heads off-screen)

Now Jordan makes his move. Placing his hand over Angela’s, they rise together and cross to Joey.

JORDAN: She’s gonna get you kicked out of here, man.

JOEY: (shrugs) I know. (pause) But they shouldn’ta said that about Gert. I mean, this was going to be her big night. She’s been so excited. (actually somewhat emotional now) But what do they care? They’ll have more big nights . . . at college, or whatever. They could have just let her have tonight, y’know. (we hear a high pitched scream from off-screen) I don’t know why we thought we could fit in here. Why tonight should be any different.

The camera pans to show a blond girl in a formerly white dress with a big red stain on it struggling with Gertie and dragging her boyfriend into the act.

JOEY: (to Jordan) So, fuck ‘em, man. They brought this on themselves.

Joey rushes to join the fray, and the last we see of the chaos is him punching the stained girl’s date in the mouth and pushing him away from Gertie. Reaction shots of Jordan’s group reveal a lot of encouragement for the mayhem. Jordan remains impassive, but Angela looks mortified.


An officious security guard ousts Gertie and Joey from the ballroom. Their group comes out to see if they’re okay, including Jordan and Angela.

JORDAN: You two okay?

GERTIE: (holding onto Joey protectively) We’re fine.

JOEY: (his knuckles are bruised and bleeding) I about broke my hand. (Gertie cradles his hand in a hankie and kisses it) But it was worth it to see their faces.

ANGELA: Are they going to let you back inside?

GERTIE: (with a hyena-like laugh) No way. But at least they aren’t calling the cops.

JOEY: Forget about them, Gert. We don’t need their stupid dance. (pulling her close) Our plans are more fun anyway.

GERTIE: That’s right. We can just to the hotel right now.

ANGELA: (with a look of apprehension) The hotel?

GERTIE: That’s right, Jordan was going to surprise you! (excited) Well, we got rooms at this hotel downtown for the weekend. And we got enough booze in the limo’s trunk to last twice as long.

ANGELA: (looking at Jordan) So that’s what we’re doing for post-prom?

Jordan shuffles his feet and turns to Gertie for help.

GERTIE: It’ll be fun! They have a game room, and an *indoor* pool.

ANGELA: (still coldly staring at Jordan) I didn’t bring my suit.

GERTIE: So, you’ll borrow one of mine. (puts her arm around Angela) And they have hot tubs in each room, so in there you don’t even *need* a suit.

JOEY: So who’s with us? You guys just wanna go now?

The group generally assents. Angela glares at Jordan.

ANGELA: I think we’re going to stay here for awhile.

GERTIE: (still with her arm around Angela) Why?

ANGELA: We haven’t even danced yet. And this way it will give you and Joey some time to be alone together.

GERTIE: Oh, don’t worry about that! We got separate rooms. Jordan insisted. We’ll all have our privacy when we need it.

JORDAN: (jumping in) We’ll still wait around here for a few. Shane and everybody needs a ride, and we won’t all fit. Even in the limo.

JOEY: That’s true, Gert. We can go and unload everything and just send the limo back for Jordan later. We have it for the whole night anyway. Might as well use it.

GERTIE: Okay. Let’s get going, before Joey and me get into it with someone else.

The group wanders toward the front door. Angela and Jordan watch them go. Jordan turns to look at Angela, but she won’t look at him.

JORDAN: (reaching for her) Angela . . .

ANGELA: (moving out of reach, laughing bitterly) When you say "surprise", you really mean it, don’t you? (she crosses her arms and refuses to face him)

JORDAN: Angela . . . . (pause) Do you wanna go back in?

ANGELA: No. I . . . (pause, dejectedly) No.

JORDAN: I thought you wanted to stay.

ANGELA: No. I didn’t want to stay. I just . . . I just . . . didn’t want to *go*. (she turns to face him) So that’s what you wanted to happen tonight. (a statement, not a question) You wanted us to get *drunk* and have sex. (choked off laugh) It could only surprise someone who really doesn’t know you as well as she thought she did.

JORDAN: (confused) I just wanted tonight to be special.

ANGELA: (biting) Is that what special is? Getting girls drunk and having sex? Was it *special* when you did that with Rayanne?

JORDAN: (guilty) No. This is different.

ANGELA: Why? How?

JORDAN: It just is. (pause, imploring) We have to have fun while we still can.

ANGELA: (angry) We should have sex because we *can*? That’s not a reason. That’s not a good enough reason to do something. (pause) You make it sound like we’re going to die. "While we can!" What *is* that? What is going to happen to prevent it later? And what’s even worse, is that we’ve already had this discussion. We covered this. I made my position very clear. And you called me abnormal. (nervous laugh) I remember that part fondly.

JORDAN: (he is crushed) But it’s different now. (pause) Everything’s different.

ANGELA: What’s different? You still won’t say what. What’s changed? Tell me. (She looks at him expectantly, holding her breath unconsciously)

JORDAN: (shuffling uncomfortably) We . . . I mean . . . I . . . (he trails off)

ANGELA: (VO) I knew that if he couldn’t--wouldn’t--say it then, that he probably never would say it at all. (her face scrunches and her eyes water up, aloud) Nothing. I guess nothing has changed.

She starts to walk away. Crossing past the entrance to the ballroom, toward the washrooms and pay phones. Jordan follows her.

JORDAN: (catching her, pulling her close, but confused and angry) Hey! Why do you do this? Why ruin things? Are you *that* scared?

ANGELA: (furious) I’m *not* scared! What you’re asking me to do doesn’t require bravery! Walking away from you . . . *that’s* hard. (breaks down) I just don’t know what you want from me. (pause) Actually, I guess I do. But I can’t *be* what you want me to be. Not without losing . . . a part of me.

JORDAN: So this is my fault. (pause) And now you hate me.

ANGELA: (through tears) No. I could never . . . (deep breath) I would have to hate myself too. God, this . . . (pause) I don’t think you can be what *I* want either. And I didn’t want to recognize what this night meant for you, because it means something so different to me. For you it’s all about tonight. About right *now*. That’s the difference between us. (pause) One of the many, I guess.

JORDAN: (softly) What? Because I can . . . live . . . like, in the moment?

ANGELA: (smiles sadly) No. Because that seems to be enough for you. (she leans in and kisses his cheek, and then extricates herself from his grip) Now this night has a meaning neither of us intended. You wanted it to be an event, and I wanted it to be a beginning. I guess it’s actually more of an ending. (pause) Good-bye Jordan. (she walks away, leaving him staring, lost, at her back)

JORDAN: (almost inaudibly) Bye.


Sharon and Scott Wilson are slow dancing again. They are a little more cozy as they undulate back and forth. Sharon is still watching Kyle and Kirsten, who are necking passionately. Sharon frowns for a moment, her head on Scott’s shoulder. Then she begins to blow into Scott’s ear and lightly kiss him, until their faces and lips meet. They kiss for a moment, Sharon being very aggressive. Scott pushes her away.

SHARON: (surprised) What? What’s wrong? (hurt) Don’t you want to kiss me?

SCOTT: (looks over his shoulder at Kyle and Kirsten) If it had *anything* to do with me, I would. (frowns, shakes head) Or even if it was just this night. The magic of the moment. The occasion. I’m not above taking advantage of that.

SHARON: Then what? What’s wrong?

SCOTT: I’m not stupid, Sharon. You wanting to kiss me has nothing to do with me. Maybe this whole thing never did.

SHARON: What are you talking about?

SCOTT: I’m not going to be your weapon.

SHARON: (guilty) What . . . what makes you say that?

SCOTT: You’ve been paying more attention to Kyle than you are to me. If you just want to hurt him, then find someone else. (he walks off the dance floor)

SHARON: (following) Scott, wait! (catching him near their table) I’m sorry.

SCOTT: Me too. I really like you, Sharon. (sadly) I would have liked to get to know you better. (pause) I think it would be best if you found your own way home.

He walks out of the room and she sits down and puts her head in her hands.


Angela is at the pay phones. Jordan is no where in sight. We see Scott come out of the ballroom and head towards the front door. Angela is listening to it ring.

ANGELA: Come on . . . pick up.

We hear a click on the phone and then Danielle’s voice saying "We can’t come to the phone right now, so if you have a message for Patty, Graham, Angela, or most importantly, Danielle, leave it after the beep." Angela hangs up the phone, wipes the still falling tears off her face and gets another coin out of her small purse. She puts it in and dials. We no longer hear the phone soundtrack at all.

ANGELA: Please . . . please be home. (she hears someone) Hi. (her voice is somewhat choked up) It’s me. Could you . . . I need a ride. No, I‘m still at the hotel. Yes. The one on Grand and Seventh. No, I’ll be okay. Just hurry. (she replaces the receiver)


Brian Krakow, in jeans and a baseball cap, hangs up his phone. He looks concerned. He goes to a peg and picks up a hooded sweatshirt, and then, turning out the light, exits through the side door.


Graham is driving. Patty is in the passenger seat, and Ethan sits still, staring out one of the back windows. They drive in silence for a few moments.

ETHAN: I really sorry about all of this.

PATTY: (reassuring) I know.

ETHAN: I have a lot of apologies to make, I guess. And some other people to tell about this. About being bipolar. That’s the hard part.

GRAHAM: Is that why you never told us?

PATTY: (shocked) Graham!

GRAHAM: Patty, I think we need to talk about this.

ETHAN: (thinking) I guess . . . I guess I was just happy to have someone to share the good stuff with. (pause) Like the fact that you came to my law school graduation--it was good to think I had people there cheering me on. I guess I didn’t want to ruin the good stuff by bringing up the bad stuff. By letting it all mix together. You don’t want to deal with that.

PATTY: Of course we do. If it’s something you’re dealing with.

GRAHAM: I just think you have the wrong idea about family. At least about our family. Family are the people who are there to help you with everything. Even the bad things. Especially the bad things. Family isn’t just for the good things, because if it were, we would never see Chuck and Vivian at all.

PATTY: (lightly scolding) Graham, that’s enough.

GRAHAM: I’m just saying that we’re not only good at celebrating. Believe me, I prefer it, but we’re pretty good at getting through the bad times too. (pause) So, I guess all I’m saying is that if you have problems, we’re here for you.

ETHAN: Thanks, Graham. That means a lot right now.

GRAHAM: (stopping the car) Well, here we are.

PATTY: Do you want us to come up to your apartment with you?

ETHAN: (he leans forward between them) No. I have a lot of people to talk to. And my life to catch up on. But thank you. I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?

PATTY: Okay. Maybe you can come over for supper?

ETHAN: That would be great. And don’t worry Graham, I’ll think up lots of things to complain about--to make up for lost time. I think I’m screwed up enough to make you eat those words.

GRAHAM: I’m willing to take that challenge.

ETHAN: (a bark laugh) I bet you are. (seriously) Thanks again. (he exits the car)


Jordan stands in the lobby of the hotel, half hidden by a potted plant, looking through the glass doors to where Angela stands on the curb, waiting for her ride. He looks miserable. Then he sees the Krakow station wagon pull up and Brian pop out briefly. Angela crosses to the car before Brian shuts his door and they both get in. They shut their doors and drive off. Jordan looks ever more miserable during this process. After the car is out of sight, he heads out of the doors himself and sits on the stairs, where he pulls out a cigarette and lights it. Momentarily, Sharon comes out and sits beside him. She has been crying and he tries to look stoic.

SHARON: Hey. Is Angela out here?

JORDAN: Nope. She’s gone. (looks at her) Where’s your date?

SHARON: Ahh. He’s gone too. (head-tilt) Where did Angela go?

JORDAN: Home maybe? Anywhere but here, I guess. What about your guy?

SHARON: Same story I guess. (pause) It was completely my own fault.

JORDAN: Yeah? What happened?

SHARON: (looks at him, thinking how much to say) I’ve been having a really hard time lately . . . personal stuff. And I guess I came here tonight for a really . . . (pause) *selfish* reason. I guess in the back of my mind I thought that just being in a relationship again would be some sort of panacea.

JORDAN: (confused) A pana-what?

SHARON: You know, like a cure-all? Like something that would solve all of the other problems I’ve been having. Something that would make me feel better.

JORDAN: Did it work?

SHARON: (sadly) No. A relationship never brings you what you don’t already have. I should know that. It just amplifies what you have. What you *are*. Insecurities, flaws, and all. A relationship is never what I wanted. Not really.

JORDAN: What did you want?

SHARON: Some strength maybe? Some peace. (pause) So what happened with you and Angela?

JORDAN: (unashamed) I got us a hotel room for the weekend. (explaining) This whole night was for her. This was what she wanted. I thought that was part of it.

SHARON: (tilting again) No. This wasn’t about her. It was about *you*.

JORDAN: But I did this because she wanted it.

SHARON: Then why didn’t you sit with her friends instead of yours? And why didn’t you ask until you knew your friends were going? If this were for her, then it wouldn’t have mattered if you sat by yourselves, and you wouldn’t have cared what you did afterwards. Be honest with yourself. (pause) What *I* wanted had nothing to do with the prom. I’m going to have to find it somewhere else.

JORDAN: (affected by her words) What should I do?

SHARON: I don’t know what you should do about Angela. But, if I’m right, this wasn’t really about her anyway. (thinking, for both of their sakes) Maybe, to salvage this experience, you need to find out what you really want.

JORDAN: I don’t want my friends to leave me behind. But I can’t control that. Other than that, I don’t know *what* I want. Just another thing I don’t want.

SHARON: Well, maybe that’s kind of the same thing. What is it?

JORDAN: They’re good friends. Joey and Gertie. And I wanted to be with them for this last blowout--even if *I’m* not graduating. But, (pause) they are always saying that these are the best years of our lives. (shakes his head) Have you heard that?

SHARON: (nodding) Sure.

JORDAN: They really believe it. (pause) I just don’t want these years to be the best years of *my* life. (pause) ‘Cause that would really *suck*.

SHARON: Well, you already know what to do to make sure that doesn’t happen.


SHARON: Sure. What you’re already doing--getting tutored and actually going to your classes. I think having a lot of options open for the future (pause, thinking of her experiences) is the best way to make sure your life keeps getting better. I think maybe people like Joey and Tino feel like they don’t have many options left.

Jordan seems to ponder this and crushes out his cigarette butt.

JORDAN: Thanks for talking to me about this. I know you’re friends with Angela and Brain. (pause, almost shyly) I hope you find some strength, or whatever.

SHARON: Thank you.

JORDAN: (watching the limo pull up, rising) Well, this is my ride.

SHARON: Where are you going now?

JORDAN: I guess I’ll just go to the hotel and be with my friends.

SHARON: You could go after Angela.

JORDAN: No. She made it clear. It’s over between us. For good. Weird that I’d start listening to her now. (pause) Ironic. (shrugs) Besides, she’s in good hands.

SHARON: Did her Dad come and pick her up?

JORDAN: No. Krakow did.

SHARON: Oh. (standing as well) Sorry.

JORDAN: That’s okay. I figured it would happen sometime. Just not so soon. (pause) So do you need a ride or something? I got a whole limo.

SHARON: (nodding) Sure. Thanks. I do need a ride home.

JORDAN: (opening the door for her) Well come on. We could get the driver to take the long way and stick our heads out the sun roof.

SHARON: (smiling for the first time) Why?

JORDAN: (shrugging, almost philosophical) Because we can?

SHARON: (nodding) Okay. That’s good enough for me.


Delia is alone at the sink checking her hair and makeup. She looks over her clothes and notices a piece of toilet paper hanging on her heel. She walks into a stall and the door swings closed behind her. As she disconnects the errant paper from her shoe, two girls enter and stand in front of the mirrors, gossiping mercilessly.

GIRL1: And did you see what Claudia was wearing? My god, I’m embarrassed *for* her! Between that and that fight between those seniors, this is an interesting night.

GIRL2: Well what about Zack Dobson and his *two* dates? (Delia listens at door)

GIRL1: I don’t know which one of that crew I feel most sorry for.

GIRL2: (fiddling with mascara) I do. That girl, Delia Fisher. (Delia frowns)

GIRL1: (blotting her lips) Why? Just because she’s a fag-hag?

GIRL2: (laughs) No. That would almost be better. I swear that she doesn’t even know that they only invited her as camouflage. And boy do they need some!

GIRL1: You never know. Maybe she’s more than just a beard for the dance. I mean, I see them hanging around all the time.

GIRL2: I know, but I’ll bet you anything that the minute they get out of the public eye, they’ll lose her and go somewhere to be alone.

GIRL1: Gross! Don’t make me think about it.

GIRL2: Well, I guess she should be grateful to get a date at all. (evil laugh) And at least no one poured a drink on her or punched one of them out.

GIRL1: Maybe that’s why they brought her--protection!

Laughing, the two girls leave the room. A close up on Delia reveals her tear-streaked face. She bites down on her lip and leans against the stall door.


Brian is driving in silence and throwing concerned glances at Angela every few seconds. She doesn’t seem to notice and plays with the door lock knob.

BRIAN: Are you okay?

ANGELA: I guess so.

BRIAN: Okay. Do you want to talk about it?

ANGELA: (sighs deeply) Not really. Neither one of us comes off looking very good.

BRIAN: (sigh of relief) Thank goodness.

ANGELA: (irritated) What do you mean by that?

BRIAN: (sheepish) Just that I wouldn’t have known whether to bash Jordan or to defend him. I have no idea what you want me to say. I just want to stay out of it.

ANGELA: You should have thought of that before you wrote that letter for him.

BRIAN: (not rising to her fight-starting bait, guilty) Maybe you’re right. (pause) But I guess I sort of *needed* to write it. And once I did, well, in a way I was kind of proud of it, or something. (pause) I guess that sounds pretty stupid.

ANGELA: (remembering a letter she once wrote) It’s not *that* stupid.

BRIAN: (after some silence) So, do you want me to take you home?

ANGELA: No. Not this early, Not while the dance is still going on. Can’t. . . can’t we just drive around? Or go somewhere?

BRIAN: (nodding) Sure. Did you have dessert?

ANGELA: We didn’t get that far, actually. The drinks and the punches started flying before dessert was served.

BRIAN: (eyes wide) Really? You have *got* to tell me what happened.

ANGELA: No. It’s personal and humiliating. Forget it.

BRIAN: (thinking) Well, what if I told you something personal and humiliating?

ANGELA: That’s not fair. (smirking) Your list is much longer than mine.

BRIAN: Okay. We don’t have to talk about it. Let’s just go get some ice cream. (full blown martyr mode) That should shut you up for a few minutes, anyway.


Delia is at her table, picking up her wrap and taking a flower from the centerpiece.

RICKIE: (approaching with Zack in tow) Hey! There you are. We thought we’d lost you. You want to dance some more?

DELIA: Not really.

ZACK: We can wait for a more exciting song. (a slow song is playing) My Grandpa’s funeral dirge was more peppy than *this* song.

DELIA: I can’t, actually. I’m leaving.

RICKIE: What do you mean? Why? Are you going to see if Sharon’s all right?

DELIA: Nope. I’m just about partied out, that’s all.

ZACK: Don’t be a spoilsport. Stay. We were having so much fun.

DELIA: (glaring at Zack) I really don’t think you’ll even miss me.

RICKIE: Of course we will. What will we do without you?

DELIA: The same thing you’re going to do post-prom I guess. You know, couple things? I just think the couple part of the evening should start a little earlier than planned. (pointedly, testing them) Why don’t the two of *you* dance together? (crosses her arms as if to watch) Right now.

Rickie and Zack just look at each other, confused and worried. They say nothing.

DELIA: (sadly, they have failed) I didn’t think so. I have to go. Have a fun weekend.

She walks off. Rickie and Zack just look at each other as the slow song ends.


Brian and Angela dig into huge soft-serve sundaes with gooey fudge and sprinkles as they walk towards the car. Brian goes to the back and flips the back door down, making an open-air seat for them. He puts a blanket down on the door/seat.

BRIAN: (thinking) You’re going to get your dress dirty.

He unzips his hooded sweatshirt and hands it to her, taking the ice cream back from her. She puts it on and zips it up, making for an odd-looking ensemble. They sit.

ANGELA: You remind me of my mother.

BRIAN: (thinking) I’ll take that as a compliment.

ANGELA: (shakes her head) Don’t. (they eat in silence) So, what did you do today?

BRIAN: Nothing really. I went to the doctor. And I got a haircut.

ANGELA: (surprised) I didn’t think you had any hair to cut?

BRIAN: It’s been growing back in. (explaining voice) I still wore something over it because it grew back in all uneven and patchy. So my Mom made me get it evened out today.

ANGELA: (licking the spoon) So why are you still wearing a hat?

BRIAN: (embarrassed) It’s too short. My Mom said she likes it, and that I should just lose the hats, but I think it makes me look like I should be in prison. Or the army.

ANGELA: Let me see. (he frowns at the idea) I could give you an honest opinion.

BRIAN: (with a hopeful expression) Okay.

Brian takes off his hat and reveals his close-cropped hair. The curls are less defined so close to his scalp, but you can see that tendency. Angela stares at him.

ANGELA: (after a polite pause) I don’t like it. (Brian looks down and reaches for the hat) No, I don’t mean you should put your hat back on. You can definitely walk around like that. Definitely. Your Mom’s right about that. (pause) I guess I just miss your mop-top. (she smiles) I guess that’s how I think of you.

BRIAN: I don’t like it either. At least we agree on *one* thing. (pause) So, not to ask anything specifically about you, but in general, y’know, how was the prom?

ANGELA: (wistfully) It was actually pretty nice. Or at least it could have been. Did you, I mean, did *you* think about going?

BRIAN: (looks down) Not a lot. But a little I guess. I thought about going just because it might be my last chance. Just because I *could* go. (pause, shrugging) But that’s not really a good enough reason to do something.

ANGELA: Maybe not.

BRIAN: (very seriously) I was just wondering . . .

ANGELA: (attentive, expecting something deep) What?

BRIAN: Did they have an ice sculpture?

ANGELA: (outraged laugh) What?!?

BRIAN: I just always pictured it with an ice sculpture. (pause) And it would be pretty apt, you know. There was a book about the Titanic called "A Night to Remember"--so when I heard that the prom was called that, I pictured an ice sculpture. (sheepish) I know. It makes no sense. I’m sure the people who planned it didn’t mean the book. The book is about how excited they were about the maiden voyage, about how high expectations were, and about how quickly it all turned into a disaster. That’s not exactly a great prom theme.

ANGELA: (spooning some ice cream) (VO) I don’t know. That sounded about right to me--my night was actually a lot like the Titanic. Which, strangely, made Brian Krakow a lot like my life boat or something. I thought about saying that to him. (some of the fudge and melted ice cream drips onto the sweatshirt Angela borrowed, and Brian opens his mouth to speak, but Angela cuts him off with a look) (aloud) Don’t say a word, Krakow. Not one word.

BRIAN: (smiling triumphantly) I wasn’t going to say anything.

--Late Evening

Both sit with their phones in their hands.

ETHAN: So, I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch.

HALLIE: Well, where have you been?

ETHAN: I really don’t want to get into it on the phone.

HALLIE: (suspicious) Why? Were you kidnaped by aliens?

ETHAN: (flippant) Actually I was. And I found out that *they* have Elvis, so I told him he was going to be a father soon and that he should give you a call.

HALLIE: (even more flippant) I believe it. Elvis has a better track record at returning my calls than you do at this point.

ETHAN: (looks guilty) I’m truly sorry. And I want to tell you. I *need* to. But I need to do it face to face.

HALLIE: (remembering) So you can see my reaction? And punch me if it’s the wrong one?

ETHAN: Exactly. I promise not to hit too hard, though.

HALLIE: Spare me. Right now I’m one of the few women in your weight class. I think me and the baby can take you out. And I don’t mean on a date. (they laugh) So, okay. Do you want to meet at the Diner?

ETHAN: (grateful) Yes. Thank you, Hallie.

HALLIE: No problem. *You’re* picking up the check.

--Late Evening

Corey and Rayanne pull into the gas station in his little car. They get out and he is carrying a couple of backpacks. He hands her one.

RAYANNE: (confused) What’s this for?

COREY: We have a bit of a drive ahead of us. I figure we’ll want to change into more comfortable clothes.

RAYANNE: These are my clothes?

COREY: Yes. Your Mom packed it up for you.

RAYANNE: (relieved) So she knows what we’re doing tonight then?

COREY: (hedging) Well, not really. I mean, I left out a few things that your Mom might not exactly approve of.

RAYANNE: Oh. Okay.

COREY: I’m going to change too. I’ll meet you back here in five.

Rayanne nods and heads to the bathroom. She passes a pay phone, but then returns to it, puts in some coins and dials. The phone rings and we hear Ethan’s machine pick up and his voice say: "Hi, I’m still not home, but I am back from. . . well, from where I’ve *been*. If this is Rayanne, I’m sorry I missed you. I tried Amber’s number but no one was there. Rayanne, I heard your latest message. Expectations *are* hard to deal with. I bet a lot of people expect you to fail and go off the wagon. Here’s what I expect. I expect that you’re stronger than any peer pressure could ever be. I expect you’re strong enough to say exactly what you want and not take ‘no’ for an answer. I also expect that you already knew all this, and just needed someone to remind you of it. That’s what I’m here for--at least when I’m actually here. If you still need to talk, just give me a call at my cell phone number."

Rayanne just smiles to herself, hangs up the phone, and goes to change.

--Late Evening

Brian pulls into the driveway, but Angela just sits there, lost in thought. On the car radio we hear the beginning of "Try" by Billy Pilgrim.

ANGELA: (absently) I love this song.

BRIAN: Did you, I mean, were you able to dance at all before you left?

ANGELA: (sadly) Not really. (looks at him) Why?

BRIAN: No reason. (long pause) I was just wondering if maybe you wanted to.

ANGELA: (considering the idea, nodding) I think I’d like that.

Brian turns up the radio and they get out of the car, Angela still in the stained sweatshirt. They stand in the driveway and act self-conscious for a moment.

BRIAN: I don’t really know how to dance that well.

ANGELA: I know. (smiles) Remember when your sister was on winter break and sat for us and tried to teach you and Sharon and me how to dance?

BRIAN: Sure. That’s *why* I can’t dance. Lisa never let me lead.

ANGELA: (laughing) Sharon always *made* me lead. (Brian is horrified at the logical implications of this) Well, it doesn’t matter. This song is pretty slow. All we really have to do is sway.

They move together and attempt just that, with his hands on her hips and her hands on his shoulders. At first they are quite awkward, but as the song (and the scene) progresses, they become less stiff and unnatural.

ANGELA: (small smile) See, Lisa didn’t do that bad a job after all.

BRIAN: I know. (wistfully) I really miss her a lot.

ANGELA: (frowns) Brian, you barely know her. (he has a perturbed expression) I’m sorry, but you just don’t.

BRIAN: I love my sister.

ANGELA: I know you do. And what’s more, you idolize her. "Saint Lisa". None of that changes the fact that you don’t really know her as a person. Maybe that makes it easier. (pause) It’s easier to love someone if you don’t know them very well.

BRIAN: (puzzled) But why?

ANGELA: Because you can fill in all the blank spaces with perfect, romantic, wonderful stuff. With people you know, the blanks get all filled in, with the safe. (she squeezes his shoulder) Or with the familiar. (a close up of their feet shows him stepping on hers) (she smirks) Or with the annoying.

BRIAN: (thoughtful expression) I guess you could be right.

ANGELA: (firmly) I know I am. It doesn’t make your feelings any less real. But it does pretty much ensure that you’ll be disappointed if you try to get to know them better. It’s probably better to know that. So you can adjust your expectations. (pause) I wish someone had told *me* that.

Brian nods and they continue to dance as the song comes to an end.

--Late Evening

PATTY: (answering the clanging phone) Oh, hello Sharon. It’s pretty late to be calling . . . No, Angela is not here . . . She what? . . . When was this? . . . (Graham looks at Patty inquisitively) Hang on. (puts hand over the phone, to Graham) Sharon says that Angela had a fight with Jordan and left hours ago with Brian Krakow. (she gestures to the window and Graham looks out)

GRAHAM: (he smiles to himself) She’s right here, Patty.

PATTY: (to phone) We found her . . . No, thanks for your call, Sharon. I’ll have Angela give you a call in the morning, okay?

She hangs up and goes to the window to stand by Graham. They can see Angela and Brian dancing by the light of the streetlamps. Graham puts his arm around Patty and they watch for a few moments.

PATTY: We really shouldn’t be watching this.

GRAHAM: I know. (letting the curtain close) Are you going to wait up for her?

PATTY: I think I’d better. She may want to talk.

GRAHAM: (shrugging) I never get to hear the good stuff.

--Late Evening

Corey has parked the car in what looks like a forest preserve.

COREY: (reaching over the roust the napping Rayanne) Hey, we’re here.

RAYANNE: (looking around) Where is here, exactly? And why are we here? To bury the body?

COREY: (smiling) No. (opening the door) C’mon. Get out. And bring your coat.

RAYANNE: Okay. (she does) Isn’t the park closed?

COREY: Yes. Closed from dusk ‘til dawn. So, I guess technically what we’re going to do is illegal. Somehow, I didn’t think that would be a huge deterrent for you.

RAYANNE: (shrugs) More like encouragement, actually.

COREY: (he’s excited) Okay. There’s just one other thing. Something I need to put on for protection. (he opens the trunk and pulls out a plastic bag from a drugstore)

RAYANNE: What’s in there? Breath mints?

COREY: (giving her a strange look) No.

RAYANNE: (steeling herself) Listen Corey, I just want to make sure you know that there are some things I’m just not going to do tonight . . .

COREY: (pulling out a pair of hiking boots and handing them to her) Like what?

RAYANNE: (takes the boots with a weird look) Wait. What is *in* that bag?

COREY: Bug spray. If we’re going to hike up to Lover’s Leap we’re going to have to douse ourselves in it. Especially this time of year. (he pulls a couple of flashlights out of the trunk, as well as a backpack full of stuff) Now, what were you saying?

RAYANNE: (confused) I don’t know. What *exactly* are we doing?

COREY: (worried about her attitude now) Well, I just thought that we should do something other than go to all those post-prom parties. They’re all the same. Loud music and drinking. (pause, watching her expression) And your Mom said you used to come here with your Dad. So, I figured we’d break in, and hike up to the peak to catch the sunrise. (holding up the backpack) I brought some food and my boom box. (looks chagrined) This isn’t exactly what you had in mind, is it?

RAYANNE: (quietly delighted) Actually, it’s better. (back to her abrasive self) But you should know that if you hurt your leg, I’m putting you down like a horse, and if we get caught by a ranger, I’m going to say you kidnaped me.

COREY: (nodding, playing along) Cool.

--Late Evening

Brian and Angela, still in the stained sweatshirt, remain in his driveway, but are no longer dancing. The radio is now playing "We’re the Same" by Matthew Sweet.

ANGELA: I should get going. Somehow I’ve managed to break curfew doing pretty much nothing.

BRIAN: (martyr mode) Sorry.

ANGELA: (shaking her head) Don’t be. It felt like it meant something. I think . . . (pause) I think maybe I’d rather do nothing and have it mean something. (pause) Than do something and have it mean nothing. (pause) So, I should thank you. You know, for being there when I needed you.

BRIAN: (pleased) That was what I was about to say to you.

ANGELA: (puzzled) What do you mean?

BRIAN: I mean, I know you only called me because no one else would be home on Saturday night, so I know you couldn’t have, like, *known* how much I needed this tonight. (pause, reaches in and turns off the radio) Sometimes I think I have too much time in my life to obsess on things. I have a tendency to over think things.

ANGELA: (smiling at him, but with affection) Over think things? Not you!

BRIAN: (shutting the station wagon door) And tonight I just really needed to get out of my head for awhile. Back out into the world again. Someplace where I could stop thinking about myself. ‘Cause when I’m with you, it’s usually all about *you*.


BRIAN: No, I don’t mean it like that. I like that. (pause, moves in close to her) I like the fact that you need me. (pause) And that you don’t mind that I need you too. You’re a good friend, Angela. (raises his hand to her cheek) The best friend.

ANGELA: (as his thumb strokes her cheek lightly) (VO) Just then a very strange thing happened. All of a sudden, I knew that Brian Krakow was going to kiss me. The strange thing was that I was not repulsed by the very idea. (he moves closer, and she tips up her head and closes her eyes) In that moment, I totally wanted him to do it. For some reason, it seemed right. (he moves in for the kiss) But, of course, being Brian Krakow . . . (he uses his hand to adjust her head down, and kisses her, but lightly on the forehead) . . . he *completely* blew it.

BRIAN: (sincere, but oblivious to her "moment") So, thank *you* for being there. (she looks disappointed, but he does not notice) I don’t smile a lot. I guess maybe I never have. But I do when I’m around you. And I need that now, more than ever.

ANGELA: (her face softens, and she smiles back) I’m glad.

BRIAN: Good-night. (he turns from her and heads toward his door)

ANGELA: (not wanting the moment to end) Brian, do you . . . do you have to go?

BRIAN: (with self-loathing) I get tired out pretty easily. (pause) Sorry about that.

ANGELA: (guilty) That’s okay. I have a curfew anyway. ‘Night.

Brian nods to her and enters his house. Angela stuffs her hands into the pockets of the hooded sweatshirt, and still smiling slightly, crosses the street.

--Early Morning

Patty is waiting up for Angela as she enters.

ANGELA: Hey. Sorry I didn’t call.

PATTY: That’s okay. Sharon called to see if you were all right, and your father noticed you were over at Brian’s. (pause) Is everything okay?

ANGELA: I guess it is. (sitting with her Mom on the couch) I had a horrible time at the dance. Jordan was more interested in being with his friends than with me. And he wanted to go to a hotel and drink, and . . . you *know*. (pause) So I completely overreacted and stormed out.

PATTY: (commiserating) So, you broke up with Jordan?

ANGELA: (sad laugh) I think you have to officially be going out with someone before you can break up, but yeah, in a way. (pause) Being with Brian made me feel better somehow. Like I’m not the most repressed person in the world after all. (pause) I mean, is there something seriously wrong with me? Lots of people probably did what Jordan wanted to do tonight. (pause) I’m probably friends with some of them. Am I, like, a complete prude?

PATTY: (shaking her head) No. You’re only fifteen years old, Angela. There is going to be time for all of those things. (pause) I was glad I waited. It gave me something to look forward to. (small laugh) And it gave me time to compare the men I dated, so I could truly know which ones were special. I think if you do too much too soon that you miss the importance of it. (pause) And it *is* important. You’re right about that much. Too important to throw away.

ANGELA: (softly) Thanks, Mom. (long pause) Mom, what do you think about Brian Krakow?

PATTY: (surprised at the question) Well, it’s hard to evaluate someone you’ve known forever . . . but I guess I would say that he’s a nice young man who sometimes tries too hard. (pause) Why do you ask?

ANGELA: Because . . . (pause) sometimes you just look at someone, even someone you’ve known for a long time, and it’s like you’re seeing them for the first time. Like instead of seeing what you *think* they are, you finally see what they *actually* are. (pause) And in some ways, I think Brian is a lot like me. More than I would ever want to admit.

PATTY: I think you might be right. (pause) And that it’s time for bed.

ANGELA: Okay. (kisses her) Good-night, Mom.

PATTY: Good-night, sweetheart.

As Angela gets up, she sees the Polaroid of her and Jordan that they took before the dance and picks it up. She looks at it, and gets misty-eyed, seeing how happy they both look. Patty watches her as she turns out lights. Then Angela sets it back down on the end table, and wipes under her eye before a tear can form. She waits for her mother, and they head up the darkened stairs together.

--Early Morning

Rayanne and Corey sit on the craggy peaks on a blanket, watching the sunrise. They periodically takes sips from juice boxes as The Sundays’ remake of "Wild Horses" plays on the boombox in the background. Rayanne stands and walks to the edge. Corey gets up and goes to stand next to her.

RAYANNE: (softly) I can’t even believe it. I’ve heard people making a big deal about the sunrise before, but I never understood how something that happened every day could be very interesting. (pause) But this . . . . This is *amazing*. (pause) It must be the sleep deprivation talking.

COREY: I agree. It does funny things to your head. For instance, girls in flannel shirts and steel-toed workboots generally don’t interest me. (she smiles up at him) But, somehow, on you, it works. (he reaches over and put his arm around her) Thanks for coming here with me.

RAYANNE: (she hesitates a moment, but then leans into him and rests her head on his shoulder) Well, I’ll have to listen to an "I told you so" from Angela, but that’s a small price to pay. So, thanks for kidnaping me. (pause) This is different. You’re *different* than I expected you to be.

COREY: (smiling down at her) Well then, as *you* say, "mission accomplished."

--Early Morning

ANGELA: (circling the room in her bedclothes) (VO) I just couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking about Jordan and Brian, and Brian and Jordan, (she passes by her garbage can and sees the two condoms laying on top of the refuse pile) And I even thought a little bit about Rayanne and how she may be able to read people better than I give her credit for.

She heads over to her dresser and pulls out a small pile of paper and envelopes held together with a rubber band.

ANGELA: (VO) So I reread the letter I wrote to Jordan, so long ago when I barely knew him and thought that by writing the letter I could get over him. (pause) And then I read the note he wrote me, where he misspelled my name and asked me to meet him in the boiler room. That one made me furious. (pause) Then I read *the* letter. The one that Jordan gave me after he had sex with Rayanne, to, like, apologize. And it even sort of worked until Rickie pointed out that Brian had written it. And maybe I should have guessed that. But it was so easy for me to believe that Jordan wrote it, because it, like, *fit* with everything I expected him to be. When I first read it, it made me fall in love with Jordan all over again. But then, when I talked to Brian and I realized he had written the letter, it kind of ruined it. I thought that *that* moment was all the letter could ever mean, because Brian wouldn’t really admit anything. (pause) Finally, the next day, he did admit it. (pause) And I know that he was only acting for the same reasons he usually does, namely fear. He was so afraid of losing me completely that he actually admitted that he loved me. (pause) But by then, it didn’t really matter *why* he said it, it just mattered that I finally knew, and I couldn’t deny it any longer. And for *once* the fear made Brian make the right decision, because if he had said nothing, then maybe I would have started to avoid him completely. And then maybe I wouldn’t have him to turn to when I need him. (pause) And so I read the letter that Brian wrote, for like, the *first* time. Knowing that it was actually coming from him. (sitting in her bed, she smiles at the letter and her hand comes up to her face, in a complete deja vu of the first time she read it)


ANGELA: (VO) I got up early, just as I had planned when I was still going to go out with Jordan for the weekend. I didn’t get a lot of sleep, but somehow I still felt refreshed, and alive. (pause) And I kept thinking about Brian. And I wanted to go over to his house and see him, but I couldn’t just *go* over, I needed a reason.

She sighs and plops on her bed. She looks slowly around her room. She looks in the mirror first, where the crumpled picture that Brian took of her for yearbook still resides in the corner of the frame. Then she looks over to the window seat that faces the Krakow home. Then she wanders past the garbage can, not even registering what lies there, and keeps walking until she stops in front of a shelf full of books. She looks at it for a moment, as if reading titles. Her smile broadens.


Angela stands on the Krakow’s porch, wearing the hooded sweatshirt Brian gave her the night before and holding a book. She rings the bell, and then stands there, rocking back and forth on her heels, with her arms and the book behind her back.

BERNIECE: (OS) Brian, honey, will you get that?

BRIAN: (OS) Sure, Mom. (he opens the door and is surprised to see Angela) Hi.

ANGELA: Hey. I just came by to return something of yours.

BRIAN: (eyeing the sweatshirt) Oh. Thanks.

ANGELA: (embarrassed laugh) No. Actually I was returning this Atlas (pulling the book out from behind her, sheepish) which I was technically supposed to return, like, last March or something. (pause) I was actually planning on wearing the sweatshirt today, y’know, if you don’t mind.

BRIAN: (noticing that something amazing is happening) Where are you going?

ANGELA: I was going to go to the mall, and then to a movie or something. (shyly) You could come with me. (visibly embarrassed) You know, get out of your *head* for awhile and, well, into the mall. I’ll bet your head doesn’t have fluorescent lighting, or a bed and bath store, or . . . an escalator. (her nervousness subsides and she says what she means) I *want* you to come. We could hang out, just the two of us.

BRIAN: (amazed and touched by the offer) I’d love to.

The camera again backs away from them, still standing on the porch. But this time they are not silently watching everyone else dance, or staring wordlessly out a hospital window. As the camera backs away, revealing the beautiful spring morning just beginning, they continue to talk and show no sign of stopping.



--The diagnosis of all types of depression as diseases caused by brain chemistry is a relatively recent phenomenon. Manic depression, or bipolar disorder, is a cyclical disease that effects 2 million Americans, with the typical onset in adolescence or early adulthood. Bipolar patients swing from major depressions to profound elevations of mood. So elevated is the mood during mania that it is literally "too much of a good thing" and the intensity of this sensation is often just as disturbing (and potentially life-disrupting) as deep depression. The current theory on the cause of manic depression rejects psychoanalytic explanations and focuses on the presence and absence of the brain chemical norepinephrine. As stated in the text, lithium (often combined with anti-depressants) is currently the favored drug in the treatment of such disorders, but the reason it works is not entirely clear. Nevertheless, it is working for countless manic depression patients, who, although they may require life-long treatment, can return to productive lives. For more information, call the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association at: 1-800-826-3632 or the National Mental Health Association at: 1-800-969-6942.

--A Night to Remember was written by Walter Lord about the voyage of the Titanic and first published in 1956. A black and white docu-drama of the same name, based on the book was made in 1958 and is currently available on home-video through Paramount Pictures.

--The song "Try" appeared in the eleventh MSCL episode called "Life of Brian." This song does not appear on the MSCL Soundtrack (although it should have), but is available on Billy Pilgrim’s self-titled 1994 release.

--"We’re the Same" by Matthew Sweet is available on his 1995 release 100% Fun.

--The remake of "Wild Horses" by The Sundays is available on their 1992 album entitled Blind.

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Episode No. 28 - Fireworks & Faith by E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)
Published: 31 Jul 1997 | Size: 89 KB (16790 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (39 votes)

Read this story now: Episode No. 28 - Fireworks & Faith

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Rating Distribution:
Average: 4.1/5   4.1/5 (44 votes)
  • anonymous author commented on 05 Jun 2002:
    I intend to be very gracious . . .
    in a mildly threatening, overprotective way. GRAT GRAHAM LINE!!!
    Gertie??? was that really necessary, there has to be a better name, Okay. with the shrill laugh, is this a nod to Gertie Cummins in OKLAHOMA, or just a coinsidence
    Where is Jordan getting the money for prom tickets, tuxes and limos and hotels?

    This was WAY too cheesy and over dramatic. I shtis even MSCL anymore? I know that wasn't Jordan Catalano
  • anonymous author commented on 05 Mar 2003:
    I agree with the anonymous.Jordan would never do that, because I think he knows Angela well enough to know that she won't fall for that charade.You totally missed Jordan's character.I also don't think it's true that he doesn't consider Angela to be his girlfriend. Remember "Resolutions" when he tells Angela to stop doing his homework and he goes;
    "It would be different if we were like(points toward her)...But, now you're just, you know, a friend or whatever.."This line shows that in his mind he knows and fully aknowledges the fact that they were more than friends i.e boyfriend and girlfriend.That's how MSCL is-characters don't feel the need to point out the obviuos, that's just not cool or whatever.And as I can recall, Angela described Jordan being her boyfriend only once;
    "First of all, he was only my boyfriend for a split second...Betrayal
    So,you're stories are not at all MSCL like.Don't get me wrong, you're writting is excellent , it's just not MSCL.
  • anonymous author commented on 21 Mar 2003:
    Jordan and Sharon sharing their feelings?What the hell is this?
  • Katie commented on 05 Aug 2003:
    ure story sux a*s! lol, j/k um... Brian is DEFFINATLY not the type of person that would say all that shyt to Angela. And i dont think that Angela would EVER date Krackow, or dump Jordan. It was kinda un realistic, but sorta good in a way.
  • amanda commented on 29 Oct 2003:
    i'm addicted to MSCL fan fiction and can't find the courage to give it a try myself, mostly because i am afraid i will portray the character inacurately. you've tried it. good job. more than i have done, which is why i hesitate to critisize, but i can't help but feel that something is off... i like the new brother, he's an interesting twist, you've captured Hallie's character quite nicely, and Patty and even Grahma nd Danielle, but perhaps this is because they are smaller and therefor...less complicated? i've realized what it is that really truly bother me though: the dialogue. there just aern't enough "likes." some people go waaaaaay overboard with the "likes" and the akward pauses and "ums" and what nots, while others capture it perfectly, you just don't have enough. perhaps this is because you were trying not to over-do it, or perhaps you find it obnoxious when people talk like preteens, but the "likes" and "ums" contributed to the essense of MSCL, of what it was. and unfinished thoughts, runon sentences...they're OKAY to use in dialogue. people talk much differently than they write. this is something to be kept in mind.

    i don't even know if you will ever read this, but if you do, please don't take it personally. i really hope you do not, seeing as how you don't even know me. but it really is good writing, it's excellent plots and the dialogue IS good, it's just not MSCL. you took the characters and kind of ... put them into a different world. a differnt time perhaps.
  • Audrey commented on 22 Jun 2004:
    Well, I don,t know if you really captured all the essence of the characters but I like your stories and the plots, which is more than I can say for a great lot of the fics here. So great job, and don't let anyone bring you down cause this is truly good.
  • Rob commented on 22 Mar 2005:
    I don't like to be negative, but that story was terrible. I've enjoyed all of your work so far, but this one seems to be, I don't know, totally different than the rest. The characters are all 'out of character' with their language, thoughts, etc.
    I do like your Krakow plot.
  • zach gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 21 Aug 2008:
    First off, in response to a previous comment, the fact is that Graham, Patty, Hallie, and Danielle are, perhaps, more complicated than the central characters in that we only get the brief moments of access into their essences - something that you have done a great job at continuing in these stories.
    I think the Jordan line works in this one - better than in previous ones. I agree with the outcome but some of the build-up had me wondering. All-in-all, another strong story!
  • Lauren gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 24 Apr 2009:
    It's fun to read your stories. Something that keeps bothering me is small, but I feel the need to point it out. No one calls a bathroom a "washroom" in the US. I wish that word wasn't used in the stories! But that's ok. Thanks for the reading!
  • msclfan gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 09 Sep 2011:
    I agree with Katie. Angela would have never gone out with Brian. Angela was not a nerd, she was pretty normal. Girls like her don't go out with guys like Brian. It's not just his nerdiness, he is too awkward and would have never fit her romantic expectations. It's pretty safe to also say that in real life a guy like Jordan Catalano would have never gone out with a girl like Angela. I think this is why so many girls loved MSCL. Angela won the jackpot. She got her unattainable dream guy, which is what most girls at that age or younger really obsess over. The writing is engaging and intereresting but hasn't stayed true to character.

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“Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas.”

Danielle Chase, Episode 15: "So-Called Angels"