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Episode No. 20 - Communication Breakdown

written by Jim Brooks

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 41 KB (7863 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.8/5   3.8/5 (125 votes)
Angela feigns sickness in order to stay home from school and avoid confrontation with Brian; Graham’s car breaks down and is forced to spend the night at Hallie’s apartment; Sharon breaks up with Kyle, so Kyle starts a vicious rumor about her; Brian attempts to tell Angela about the letter, but fails

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman

*Note: This takes place on Monday, three days after the final scene of episode #19, "In Dreams Begins Responsibility"*



[The scene opens with a shot of an alarm clock, the alarm beeping annoyingly. The time is 6:30 and it is still somewhat dark out. The camera pans to a shot of Brian lying in bed, ignoring the alarm. Sheets cover all but his face. It is apparent that he has been awake for only a few short minutes. As the camera slowly zooms in on his face, we hear his voice.]

BRIAN (VO): My life is like God's joke. He has a sick sense of humor...and he's the only one who gets it.

[As Brian sinks under the covers, the scene focuses on the Chase house just across the street, then to the window of Angela's room.]




[We see Angela lying in bed almost the same way Brian was, with more than enough covers over her, only no alarm is sounding. The camera pans away from Angela revealing the entire room, surprisingly clean.]

ANGELA (VO): I actually cleaned my room last night. Like, voluntarily. It kept me busy so I didn't have to think about things. About Jordan...about Brian...about my *life.* I mean, thinking is just, like...pointless. You just keep thinking and thinking about something you don't even want to think *about.* And then you think everything'll just, like, fix itself...if you think about it. God, I make *no* sense.

[Angela forces a laugh as she throws the covers off of her and on to the floor.]



[Danielle sits at the table wolfing down a bowl of cereal. Patty is looking through a cabinet. She pulls out a coffee mug and turns around.]

PATTY: Danielle, slow down or you'll throw-up!

[Danielle virtually ignores her. Patty begins making herself some coffee when Angela enters the room.]

PATTY (turning her attention away from the coffee-maker): G'morning, sweety.

ANGELA (with a lame smile): Hi.

[Angela seats herself at the table and stares blankly at a box of cereal. Danielle finishes her cereal and jumps out of her seat leaving the bowl on the table. As she hurries out of the room, Patty follows after her.]

PATTY: Danielle, you forgot to put...

[The door shuts as Danielle heads off for school. Patty stops in the kitchen doorway as her voice trails off.]

PATTY (sighs): ...your bowl in the sink.

[She turns to see Angela putting the bowl in the sink.]

PATTY (kissing Angela on the cheek): Thanks, hun.

[Angela sits down on the nearest chair with a look of thought.]

ANGELA: Mom, I, uh...I feel kinda sick. Can I, like...?

PATTY (interjecting; alarmed): What's wrong? Do you have a fever or...?

ANGELA: I just...don't feel good go to school, I mean.

PATTY (reaching into the cabinet): Well, at least take your temperature first.

[While Patty rummages through the cabinet...]

ANGELA (VO): My mother would never trust *any*one's excuse for school or a meeting or what*ever.* She needs to be more...trustworthy...(long pause)...but look what that got *me.*

[Patty pulls out a clear mercury thermometer and gives it Angela. With a look of defeat, Angela puts it in her mouth.]

PATTY (aloud but to herself): Hmm...I think I left my pocket book upstairs. (to Angela) I'll be right back.

[Patty walks out of the kitchen and up the stairs as Angela watches her. As soon as she is halfway up the stairs, Angela pulls the thermometer out of her mouth and holds it up to the lightbulb in the ceiling light fixture. She holds it there for several seconds until she hears Patty coming down the steps. She quickly pulls it away and looks at it. Her expression turns to that of panic as she mouths "106?!" Patty then enters the kitchen.]

PATTY (holding her purse loosely in one hand): Well, let's see that temperature.

[Despairingly, Angela hands her the thermometer. As Patty goes to look at it, her purse drops out of her hand and to the floor. They both reach to get it. When they see this, they both draw away from the purse. Patty laughs and bends over to finally pick it up. By this time, the temperature on the thermometer has slightly decreased. Patty looks at it slightly surprised.]

PATTY: Well, you *are* sick. You have a temperature just above a hundred, so...

ANGELA (barely excited): So I can stay home?

PATTY (beat; defeated): you can stay home.

[Patty puts the thermometer on the table and walks off in the opposite direction of Angela and in to the living room. Angela smiles victoriously.]

PATTY (O.S.): Now, remember, your father will be home around twelve.

ANGELA: Oh. Where *is* dad?

PATTY: Don't you remember? The car broke down last night on the way home from the restaurant, so he had to stay a motel. (long pause) Bye!

[The door shuts.]

ANGELA (VO): My mom, like, *hates* this dad's business partner. So, not only does she not trust anyone, but she's also paranoid.




[Patty is walking down the walkway with her purse hanging over her shoulder while she buttons her heavy jacket. As the camera pulls away from Patty, we see Brian Krakow directly across the street, coming out of his house with his school bag hanging over his shoulder while he buttons *his* jacket. He and Patty look up at the same moment and see each other. They stand awkwardly for a short second when Patty breaks the silence.]

PATTY: Brian...hi!

BRIAN (pretending he is just noticing her, and not doing a good job of it): Oh...hi.

[Patty begins walking across the street toward Brian as he reaches the sidewalk. Brian looks confused.]

PATTY: Brian, listen...Angela's sick today and she won't...

BRIAN (quickly interjecting): Angela's sick?

PATTY: Yeah, she has the flu or something, so...

[Brian looks almost relieved at the news. Patty stops and wonders why to herself.]

PATTY: Anyway, I was wondering...could you maybe, you know...(trying to find the right words)...I mean, you're in most of her classes, right?

BRIAN: Um, some of them.

PATTY: Well, if she has a test coming up...or a project due...or anything along those lines...could you just drop by whenever to let her know?

BRIAN: Oh, um...yeah...I mean...yeah...whenever.

PATTY: Oh, good. Thanks, Brian.

BRIAN: So, Angela's, like, sick? She seemed okay on Friday.

PATTY: Yeah, she...I don't know, I guess there's something goin' around. (extended beat) You're running late, aren't you? I don't want to keep you waiting, so...

BRIAN: Yeah...

PATTY: So...well, bye.


[Patty takes several steps down the sidewalk when Brian speaks.]

BRIAN (quiet; shy): Um...

[Patty turns around.]

BRIAN: Could you give me a ride, or...? I it out of your way?

PATTY: Oh, Brian, I would, but Graham had, uh...*Mr. Chase* had the car last night and it broke down, so I'll be taking the bus, and...

BRIAN: Oh, OK, no...

PATTY: So...I would give you a ride, really, but...

BRIAN: No, I understand.

PATTY: Well, bye again.

BRIAN: Yeah...bye.





[The scene opens with a shot of the nature surrounding Liberty High. Sharon Cherski can be seen walking alone down the path along a fence that leads to the side entrance. As we zoom in closer, Rayanne Graf comes running from behind and we join their conversation.]

RAYANNE: Hey, Cherski, wait up!

[Sharon turns to face Rayanne and smiles, stopping for her.]


RAYANNE (dispensing with the pleasantries): Hi. So...(stopping as if to stop herself from what she was about to say) Have you seen Rickie? I really need to talk to him. He has this thing...

SHARON: Why don't you ask Delia?

RAYANNE: Delia who?

SHARON: Delia *Fisher!* She's just had this huge crush on Rickie for, like, weeks!

RAYANNE (laughing loudly): A crush? On Rickie? From, like...a human female?

SHARON (defending Delia): It's just, like...a fantasy, or whatever.

RAYANNE: What, she think she can turn him? (Sharon is appalled.) I've tried with other guys...(laughing)...I'm tellin' ya right now, it will *not* happen!

SHARON: Shut up! She just likes hanging with him. a friend.

RAYANNE: Does (mockingly) "Angela" hang with them?

SHARON: I don't know. (Looking at her suspiciously) Why?

RAYANNE (hiding the fact): No reason.

SHARON: Look, whatever you have to say to Angela Chase, you should just...come right out and say her face.

RAYANNE (laughing sadly): Oh, yeah, right, like that would work. She'd probably just laugh in my face. Then she would kiss Jordan Catalano, in *front* of me, just to rub it in. (Rayanne stops, leaning against the fence, in thought. Sharon stops and watches her.)

SHARON (curious): What?

RAYANNE (hurt): How come...

SHARON (beat): What?

RAYANNE (softly): ...she forgave Jordan and not me.

SHARON (looking sorry for Rayanne): Because. (stopping to actually think about the question) I guess, knew how much Jordan Catalano meant to her...and he had no idea. He's over, so...she won't care. But you knew better...didn't you?

RAYANNE (deadly serious look on her face; regret flowing from her every word): Yes.

[Sharon can only stand by and watch her and feel sorry for her as the camera pulls away to reveal nature once again.]




[The hallway is crowded, as usual. Brian Krakow is leaning against his locker, school bag around his shoulder, camera draped over his chest. He appears to be in deep thought. Rickie walks up to him.]


BRIAN (his concentration broken): Oh! Hi.

RICKIE: I never talked to Angela over the weekend or anything, so...

BRIAN (prodding for the answer): So...

RICKIE: What happened? I mean...did you tell her?

BRIAN: Not exactly, no.

RICKIE (disappointed): Do you want me to tell her?

BRIAN (quickly): No! I mean...I can, like, handle it. I just, y'know...gotta think about what I'm gonna say to her. So...

RICKIE: You can't put it off forever. I mean...imagine how she'd feel if she found out from someone else...some other the future.

BRIAN: When? a reunion?

RICKIE (laughing): No, just...I don't know, have to.

BRIAN (sighing): I know. (beat) I mean, I think she knows, ''s obvious that Jordan Catalano is incapable of writing something like that, but...she probably, like, wants to here it from someone, so...she's, like, pretending she doesn't know.

RICKIE: Either way, I'd hate to be in your shoes.

BRIAN (sarcastically): Thanks.

RICKIE: Where should you be right now?

BRIAN: Oh,, so...ya rush, or whatever.

RICKIE: Yeah. I should go. I probably shouldn't miss health again.

BRIAN: Yeah.

[As Rickie walks off and the crowd of students in the hallway lessens, Brian continues to lean against his locker in deep thought until Sharon Cherski interrupts him.]

SHARON (O.S.; trying to get his attention): Krakow! Hey, Krakow!

[She comes into view.]

SHARON: Have you seen Angela today? I *have* to show her this...

BRIAN (cutting in): Oh, she's sick today or something, so...

SHARON: Oh...OK. (An awkward beat passes.)

BRIAN (pointing down the hall): Yeah, I should...

[They look at each other awkwardly and Brian simply walks away.]




[Graham has a duffel bag hanging from his shoulder as he bends over and picks up a stack of cookbooks off of a coffee table. As he is lifting them up to his chest for support, the duffel bag slips down to the middle of his arm and all of the books spill to the floor. Hallie Lowenthal come to his aid, picking up several books.]

GRAHAM: I'm losing control of *everything* lately.

HALLIE (excited): It'll all be worth it in a few weeks!

GRAHAM (agitated at the lack of work they've done): *Weeks?!* God, we...we don't have the *name,* the *menu,* the *decorators!* I mean, we'll be lucky if we get this together in the next *year!*

HALLIE (beat): I'm so lucky to have the poster boy for half-empty glasses as my *business* partner!

GRAHAM (picking up some of his books and adjusting his bag): Hell, if I don't have a working *car* by tomorrow...!

HALLIE: Hey, don't worry about your car. *You* have to take these books home tonight and go through them and decide every last *detail* about our menu.

GRAHAM: What about you?

HALLIE: I'm doin' my job, and a damn good job I'm doing, if I may say so myself.

GRAHAM (jokingly): No, you may not.

HALLIE: Just go through those books - and all the 300 hundred others you have - and get back to me tomorrow.

GRAHAM (with books stacked almost over his face and the duffel bag slung over his shoulder; jokingly again): Blah, blah, blah! Can I go now?

HALLIE: Go! Get outta here!

[Graham walks to the door and simply stands there.]

GRAHAM: Hey, "partner"...a li'l help?

[Hallie walks over and opens the door for him. Right before Graham can step out the door, Hallie opens he mouth.]

HALLIE: You forgot your jacket!

[Graham turns around and looks at Hallie with exasperation and disbelief. After a beat, Graham drops all the books to the floor and throws the duffel bag to the floor as he goes for his coat.]




[The class is half-heartedly paying attention. Several others are sleeping. Brian, of course, is paying full attention. Mr. Katimski is holding a book in one hand and a pen in the other. He is walking down the aisle in mid-speech.]

KATIMSKI: How does the relationship between Hally and Sam change during the course of the play? Do they forgive each other?

[Brian raises his hand, but Katimski's back is turned to him.]


[He stops by the desk of Jordan Catalano who is in a deep sleep. Mr. Katimski pokes Jordan with the back end of the pen.]

KATIMSKI: Mr. Catalano?

[Brian lowers his arm and laughs to himself. Jordan slowly raises his head and rubs his eyes.]


KATIMSKI: Did Sam and Hally reconcile?

[Jordan puts his thumb to his mouth and bites his nail. He stares ahead with a vacant expression.]

KATIMSKI (after a beat; slightly annoyed): Oh, gee whiz! Hally...

[Mr. Katimski glances at the wall-mounted clock.]

KATIMSKI (walking back to his desk): We only have a minute left, *so*...

[The camera closes in on Brian's attentive face.]

KATIMSKI (cont'd): ...test tomorrow.

[The camera is still on Brian. His expression turns to almost panic. Mr. Katimski continues.]

KATIMSKI: *All* of "Master Harold" and all of the vocabulary we went over earlier will be on it. 50 questions...[takes one of his long pauses]...multiple choice...

[As Katimski continues...]

BRIAN (VO): Someone is out to get me. Someone is *actually* trying to embarrass me to the point of breakdown.

[The bell rings cutting off Brian's thought and Mr. Katimski's lecture. The students empty out of class rapidly. The camera focuses in on Brian who is still sitting in his desk, looking almost scared.]



[The bathroom seems empty as the camera pans the room until we see a girl's multi-colored shoes in one stall. Sharon enters the bathroom, turns on the water and begins washing her hands. She turns around and sees the painted shoes of the girl.]

SHARON: You can come out, now. Angela's not in school today.

RAYANNE (still in the stall): Really? (a beat; the door creeks open slowly as Rayanne steps out. She's chewing on some unknown type of seed with her pocketbook hanging from her shoulder to not far off the ground) So, Cherski...

SHARON: So, Graf...

RAYANNE: Still *usin'* Kyle?

SHARON (offended): Shut up! I'm gonna break up with him, I just...I've, like, never done this before. It's, like...hard.

RAYANNE: Heard that the *last* time.

[Sharon looks at Rayanne coldly. She changes the subject.]

SHARON: You *have* to talk to Angela.

RAYANNE (avoiding the issue): Hey, don't change the topic, we're still talking about you using Kyle as your love slave.

[They exit the bathroom.]



[Sharon and Rayanne walk down the almost-deserted hallway.]

SHARON: I told you. In fact, I *promise* you. I'm gonna do it...tonight. *No,* after school! [with more enthusiasm] *During* school!!

RAYANNE: How 'bout right *now*?


[Sharon turns around to see Kyle coming down the hallway towards her.]

RAYANNE: Hey! Vinovich! C'mere!

SHARON (angrily): Rayanne!

KYLE (smiling): Hey, Sharon...(coldly)...Graf.

RAYANNE (matching Kyle's attitude): Vinovich.

KYLE (annoyed; to Rayanne): Can we, like...have some privacy?

[Rayanne gives Sharon an abandoning look and steps into the bathroom.]

SHARON: Kyle, we, like...(mad at herself)...I don't know how to do this!

KYLE: What?

SHARON: I think...(quickly)...we should stop seeing each other.

KYLE (shocked and curious, but not angry): Why?

SHARON: I...I can't keep...(biting her lip)...*using* you.

KYLE: *Using* me?

SHARON (regretful): Kyle...I don't love you.

KYLE: So learn to.

SHARON: Kyle, you can't *learn* to love somebody, it just...*happens*!

KYLE (somewhat shocked): I don't understand this! I mean...I tell you I love you, like, all the time...and that's not good enough for you?

SHARON: You *don't* understand. I don't love you, and I can't...keep...I'm not ready to have sex with *any*one unless I'm absolutely sure I love them.

KYLE (falsely defensive): So you think I only want sex?

SHARON: Oh, don't even try to deny it.

KYLE: Well, it's true!

SHARON: Well...either way...

KYLE: I wish you wouldn't lie to me.

SHARON: *Lie* to you?

KYLE: If you don't want to be with me anymore, just *say* it! Don't, like...lie to my face...with some excuse.

SHARON (tears slowly start to build up in her): I *am* telling the truth!

KYLE (realizing): just...used me for sex.

SHARON (angry): No! (softly) No...

[Rayanne comes walking out of the bathroom. She has been listening the whole time.]

KYLE (out of contempt): I'll leave you two sluts alone.

[Sharon's heart breaks when she hears this. Tears slowly roll down her face.]

KYLE (as he walks down the hall): That was stupid, Sharon! You'll regret it!

[Kyle turns the corner. Sharon cries silently as Rayanne stands there, taking this all in.]

RAYANNE (with a big smile): See, that wasn't so hard!




[The camera pans through the living room. The light from the blaring TV has illuminated the otherwise unlit room. Angela lies stretched out on the couch with a big smile on her face.]

ANGELA (VO): This is, like, my first day home in, like...years. [with a bigger smile] I should do this more often.

[The front door swings open and a burst of cold air rushes in. Graham walks through the door juggling several cook books and his keys.]

ANGELA (shivering): Shut the door!

GRAHAM (surprised to see her): Hi! (Graham drops several books as he attempts to put his keys back in his pocket.) *Ahem!*


[Angela gets up off the couch and picks up the two books. Graham heads for the kitchen and Angela follows him, carrying the books.]



GRAHAM (curiously): What are you doin' home?

ANGELA: I'm sick.

GRAHAM (worried): Oh! Oh, um...let me get those books, you go back and rest.

ANGELA: No, I'm all right now. I just had a headache or somethin', so...

GRAHAM (while putting the books back where he keeps them): OK, well...

ANGELA (handing him the books): Here.

GRAHAM: Thanks.

[Angela walks back in the living room and plops herself down on the couch while Graham keeps himself busy in the kitchen.]



ANGELA: So...what happened last night?

GRAHAM (O.S.): Oh, I...the, uh...the car broke down right...(ironic laugh)...right in front of Hallie's apartment, so I stayed there for the night. Yeah, Neil dropped me off just now.

ANGELA (sarcastically): I'm sure mom *loved* that.

GRAHAM (O.S.) Oh, c'mon! (pops his head out; softly) She trusts me.




[The scene opens with a close-up of Brian sitting in his desk. He is tapping a blank page in his copybook with the back of his pen. The desk opposite him is empty.]

BRIAN (VO): This is ridiculous. I shouldn't be here. I mean...I've caused enough trouble as it is.

[Suddenly, Jordan appears through the doorway. He walks up to the desk and leans on it, putting his hands down on the desk top.]

JORDAN: Listen...can we do this tomorrow? I have this band's gettin' back together, so I might have to, like...stop coming.

BRIAN: Uh...yeah. And, if you wanna cancel tomorrow? That's...fine, but...tell me beforehand so I, ya know...know.


[Brian grabs his books and gets ready to leave.]

JORDAN: You need a ride or somethin'?

BRIAN: Um, well...the bus is probably already gone, so...I guess...yeah.



[The camera shows the benches and lockers in the empty locker room until we hear people talking loudly off-screen. A basketball bounces on the floor and hits a locker, deflecting the ball off screen. Kyle and his "jock friends" sit down on a few benches as the other boys head to different directions.]

BOY #1: Vinovich, you workin' tonight?

KYLE: Nah, I don't know what I'm doin' tonight.

BOY #2: Yeah, right! You'll be over Sharon's, *again*, for like the 30th time this month!

KYLE: Shut up, I dumped that whore!

BOY #1 (laughing): *You* dumped *her?*

KYLE (taking off his gym shirt): Yeah.

[The camera zooms in on Kyle's face as he smiles after a beat.]

KYLE: She has AIDS.




[As Jordan's turns the key and the ignition revs up, Brian buckles his seat belt. Jordan laughs at this. The car pulls out of the parking space and drives down the street.]

BRIAN (after a long beat): About Angela? And the letter? The thing is, is...I think she, like...(almost scared of Jordan's reaction)...knows...(Jordan's expression barely changes)...what we did.

JORDAN (after a beat): You told her?

BRIAN: No, she figured it out. I mean...I think someone *else* told her.

JORDAN: Oh. Who?

[Brian simply shrugs his shoulders.]

BRIAN: So...she might be, like...mad...or not. She didn't seem mad on Friday.

JORDAN: On Friday?

BRIAN: She asked me if I wrote it. But she seemed like she already knew...the truth, or whatever? Then she went with you, so...

JORDAN: Where'm I droppin' you off? (Brian opens his mouth to speak.) You live near Angela, right?

BRIAN: Yeah. Right across the street.

JORDAN: This thing I'm goin''s, like, not near there, so I'll just drop you off, like, a block from your house.

BRIAN (sensing Jordan's eagerness to avoid any chance of meeting up with Angela): Oh. (beat) She's sick, so...she, like, won't be there.

JORDAN (defensively): So?

BRIAN: So...(beat; voice fading) can drop me off a block away.




[The curtain is partially open as members of the stage carry props and scenery backstage. Rickie comes into view as he stops by Delia Fisher and they engage in conversation.]

RICKIE (smiling friendly): Hi!

DELIA (happy to see him): Hi!

RICKIE (after a long beat; exhausted): I'm *so* tired! I can't believe I'm here today.

DELIA: Another one of those days you wish you weren't on any activities?

RICKIE (laughing): Exactly!(beat) So, the Pride House has an opening for me soon. I might be living there by next week. (beat) I'll finally have a real home.

DELIA (genuinely happy): That's great! Are ya doin' anything tonight? Wanna go to the mall or somethin'?

RICKIE: Oh, sure. (in a hushed tone) I think I'll buy Mr. Katimski something really great. Ya know, for letting me stay with him.

DELIA: Oh, yeah. Listen, I have to go, but I'll call you around 5?

RICKIE: OK. Yeah, bye.


(As Delia exits, Rayanne enters.)

RAYANNE: So... (Rickie turns around, startled by her sudden presence)...was that, um... (thinking) Fisher?

RICKIE: was.

RAYANNE: So, you like, hang out with her now?

RICKIE: Yeah, I guess. We just, you stuff.

RAYANNE: What, is she my replacement?

RICKIE (defensive): What?

RAYANNE (hurt): Well, you don't talk to me anymore. You're...avoiding me...or ignoring me...or whatever.

RICKIE (defensive): I'm not! I just...been *really* busy lately, so...I'm talking to you right now, ain't I?

RAYANNE: Not by choice.

RICKIE: I have the *choice* to walk away, but I *chose* to stay and talk.

RAYANNE (defeated): OK, OK. (beat) Does Delia know you're gay?

RICKIE (angry; defensive): Rayanne! Say it a little louder, I don't think *every*one heard you!

RAYANNE: OK. (louder) Does Delia know...?

RICKIE: Shut up!

(Rayanne laughs. Rickie calms down and laughs with her.)

RAYANNE (after a beat; curious): Does Angela talk about me?

RICKIE: Why don't you *ask* her?

RAYANNE: Oh, well, I mean...(laughs falsely)...I don't, like, *care* or anything, I just...I'm sure she's, like, trashing me behind my back, so...but I'm sure you wouldn't tell me if she was.

RICKIE: You keep accusing me!

RAYANNE: No, I...I mean...(defeated)...*OK,* I'm *sorry!* (after a beat) But, seriously...(the camera zooms in on Rayanne's face; after a beat)...does she?




(Sharon walks along the sidelines, noticeably upset and in deep thought, but is interrupted when a football hits the ground near her and hits her in the foot. She looks up to see Kyle coming towards her, but keeping his distance at the same time.)

KYLE (satisfied that his rumor has spread): Can you...?

(Sharon picks up the ball.)

SHARON (looking at him coldly): You want this?

(Kyle nods. Sharon tosses the ball, weakly, into the bleachers, falling behind the seats.)

KYLE (looking at her strangely): What is your problem?

SHARON (still looking at him with contempt): You *know* what my problem is.

KYLE: No, I don't.

SHARON (a tear beginning to build up): You! And what you've been telling people about me.

KYLE: Like what?

SHARON (trying to hold back tears): Like I have AIDS.

KYLE (trying to smother his laughter): I don't know who said *that.* (beat) *don't,* do you?

SHARON (angry as tears begin to roll down her cheeks): No!

KYLE (pretending to be relieved): Oh! Phew! I thought I was in *trouble* for a second!

SHARON: I can't believe you. You are such a...a *baby!* (mockingly) Oh, Poor Kyle! He got dumped. His ego was *destroyed!* (unmockingly) So you had to start some *stupid* rumor. Ever since I dumped you, like not even an *hour* after, I've been getting pointed and laughed at by *strangers!*

KYLE: Hey, what can I say? You might as *well* have AIDS; your life is trash.

[The hate builds up quickly in Sharon as tears roll down her cheeks, but she is not actually audibly crying.]

KYLE: Besides...I told you you'd regret it. So, it's a rumor. You know it's not true, so what's the big deal? You can't take the heat? Not my fault.

[Sharon moves extremely close to Kyle, looking straight into his eyes.]

SHARON (deadly serious): I *hate *you.

KYLE (mocking her): Oooh! Oh, no!

SHARON: Go 'head. As long as you know the truth. *You* got dumped...*even* after you told me you loved me. Now *that's* funny.

KYLE: So? That's not what the entire *school* knows. Now you're the one getting treated the way you deserve.

(Defeated, Sharon turns around and starts to walk away.)

SHARON (stops): Oh, by the way...I *faked* them.

KYLE (confused): What? (getting it) What?!

SHARON (self-satisfied): Or how ' size never mattered to me and how you should thank *God* for that! (laughing) Now *that* would be a good rumor.

KYLE (hateful): You bitch.

[Satisfied, Sharon turns around and walks away.]

SHARON (waving): Bye, Kyle.

[The camera zooms in on Kyle who is steaming as we end act three.]




[Graham is sitting on his bed pulling off his shirt and replacing it with a cleaner one. Patty comes in from the bathroom.]

PATTY: was your little *adventure* with *Mizz* Lowenthal?

GRAHAM (laughing): Whadda ya mean?

PATTY: I mean...what I *mean*.

GRAHAM (slightly confused): It was kind'a funny, I mean how the car broke down just as I was leaving. (beat) I got a great sleep out of it, though.

PATTY (pretending she cares): Oh!

GRAHAM: Yeah, she let me sleep in her bed, so...

PATTY: Wait, you *slept* in Hallie Lowenthal's *bed*!

GRAHAM: Patty, the woman practically *begged* me!

PATTY: So, if she *begged* you to jump off a bridge...?

GRAHAM: I mean, she was *perfectly* comfortable on the pull-out sofa. (The anger is just building up in Patty's eyes, but Graham is not even looking at her and thus, doesn't notice.) Besides...I *love* sleep in a different bed!



[Patty jogs down the steps as Angela is at the bottom, waiting for her.]

ANGELA: When is dinner gonna be ready? I'm *starving!*

PATTY: Have some cereal if you're that hungry.

ANGELA: We're out of milk.

PATTY: And...?

ANGELA (explaining): So...I think we should have milk in the house at all times.

PATTY: So go get some.

ANGELA: Mom, I'm sick.

PATTY: Angela, you're fine. You said so when I got home. (beat) Let me go get you some money, you can run down to the store and get some.

[Patty walks into the kitchen and Angela follows her.]



PATTY (as she goes through her pocketbook): Oh, by the way...I asked Brian Krakow to stop by in case you have any tests or something tomorrow. You know, so he'd just drop by and let you know.

ANGELA (alarmed): Wait, Brian's coming over? Like...*tonight*?

PATTY (handing Angela a few dollars): I don't know. That depends on whether or not you have any tests tomorrow.

ANGELA (impatiently): Well, when? When is he coming over?

PATTY: I don't know, I just *asked* him to come by whenever was good for him.

ANGELA (angry): How could you do that?! Invite someone over to see *me* and not tell me about it until *now*?

PATTY (curt): Angela, what is the...?

ANGELA: And you don't even set a *time*? I mean, how am I...?

PATTY: Angela, what is the matter?! He will just be over here for a few minutes, *if* he even comes over at *all*!

ANGELA (annoyed): I'm going. (She storms out of the kitchen.)

PATTY: Angela, where are you *going?!*

ANGELA (O.S.): To get the milk!

PATTY (defeated): To get the milk.




[Brian walks from one side of the street to the other. He stops when he gets to the front of the Chase house.]

BRIAN (VO): OK, so...I just...go in and tell Angela we have an English test tomorrow. That's it. She won't want to get into any big discussion anyway. It'll be *easy*.

[Brian walks up the steps and knocks on the door.]




DANIELLE (O.S.): I'll get it!

[Danielle runs to the front door and opens it revealing Brian standing there.]



BRIAN (smiling falsely): Hi.


BRIAN: Is Angela home?


BRIAN: Oh. Well, I'll try again later. Bye.

[Danielle shuts the door. Brian turns to walk away and freezes in his tracks.]

BRIAN (VO): What am I? Am I incapable of having *any* courage? So she's not home, so what? I'll just wait around 'til she *gets* home.

[Brian knocks on the door again. It opens and Danielle greets him.]

DANIELLE (annoyed): What?

BRIAN: Um...when will Angela be back?

DANIELLE: I don't know. I don't know where she went.

BRIAN: Oh. She could take, like, *hours,* so I'll just go.

[Brian turns around to leave. Angela has just returned holding a carton of milk in her hand. They are eye-to-eye. Danielle laughs at the nervousness of the two.]


BRIAN: Hi! I was have a test, I'm just...telling you.

ANGELA (enthusiastically): Yeah. Thanks. Is that it?

BRIAN (VO): No. I want to tell you everything. I want to tell you how I feel. I want you to know the *truth* about the letter.

BRIAN: Yeah...that's it. Bye.


[Brian walks past her and starts down the steps as Angela walks toward the open door.]

BRIAN (VO): *What* is your *problem?* It won't *hurt* or anything. Like she's going to actually physically hurt me. Just say fast. Then you can continue your life keeping your feelings deep inside until they *explode* and push you over the edge!

BRIAN (concurrently with Angela): No, that's *not* it.

ANGELA (concurrently with Brian): Brian, wait!

[Danielle, who is still holding the door open, laughs. Angela turns around.]

ANGELA: Danielle, close the door, you're letting all the cold air in!

[The door closes.]

ANGELA: Brian...we...

BRIAN: Need to talk?

ANGELA (slowly): Yeah. (beat) I need to know about the letter. I *know* you wrote it, I mean...I *think* you wrote it, because it was beautiful,'s just...I need to hear it from you.

BRAIN: Why me? Jordan told you he wrote it, so...why isn't that good enough?

ANGELA (looks deep into his eyes with compassion): Because I know you won't lie to me.

BRIAN (talking fast): Look, anything I wrote in that letter...I was like an interpreter for you and Jordan Catalano. He couldn't quite say it, so I *interpreted* his feelings into something that you would, like, notice...or understand?

ANGELA (almost saddened by the comment): Oh...

BRIAN: I mean...I shouldn't have gotten involved. I had no *business* getting involved. I was the *wrong* place at the wrong time.

BRIAN (sadly sighing; V.O.): That's about as open as I'm gonna get.

[They both look down at the ground, neither person knowing what to say in a long, meaningful moment of silence.]

BRIAN (softly): I'm glad you liked it.

ANGELA (smiling sincerely, she leans in close to Brian and kisses him gently on the cheek): Thank you.

BRIAN (beat): Your milk's gonna spoil, you better...

ANGELA (agreeingly): I know...

[They both stand there again, sharing another moment of peace. Angela starts toward the door.]

ANGELA (pointing to the door): I should...

BRIAN: Yeah...(pointing to his house)...*I* should...

ANGELA (laughing softly): Yeah...

BRIAN (beat): Bye.


[Brian turns around and heads down the steps. Angela leans against the door holding the milk carton in her hands. In a rare moment, both of them are actually smiling. The camera pulls away as Collective Soul's "Reunion" ends the show:

Change will come Change is here Love fades out Then love appears

Change has been Change will be Time will tell Then time will ease

Now my curatin has been drawn And my heart can go Where my heart does belong I'm going home



Author's Notes:

- "Reunion" is available on Collective Soul's 1995 self-entitled album.

- "Master Harold"...and the boys was written by Athol Fugard and is set in England- governed South Africa in the tracks.]

Next story

Episode No. 21 - Interpretations by Jim Brooks
Published: 1997 | Size: 37 KB (7167 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.3/5   4.3/5 (98 votes)
Angela and Jordan patch things up; Jordan tells her he’s ready to commit to a relationship; Rayanne gets over Angela; Rickie finds out the Pride House has been temporarily shut down due to health violations; Jordan passes a test with Brian’s help; Brian finally fesses up to Angela about the letter

Read this story now: Episode No. 21 - Interpretations

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Reviews for this story

Rating Distribution:
Average: 3.8/5   3.8/5 (125 votes)
  • Patricia commented on 29 Sep 2001:
    Thanks for the episode. It does seem to follow the natural turn of events, and the writer definately knows how to write the dialogue in the same manner as in the show. I liked the development (though the part with Grahm spending the night and Sharon's ex being so cruel seemed a little out of text). All this rest was right on though. Again, thanks for the story!!
  • anonymous author commented on 04 Jun 2002:
    I don't think that two characters should have V.O. in one episode
    You do a good job with Brian, but the stuff with Kyle and Sharon is a little dramatic, and the story
    line with Patty Graham should be changed, they have two cars i'm pretty sure, and it is unreasonable
    that he would spend the night at Hallie's house. Also, Angela wouldn't talk to her her parents about her perception that Graham might have an affair. and, nothing in earlier episodes has lead us to believe that Angel knows anyhting about Graham and Hallie, it is only patty and Camille, and possibly possibly Danielle (from what she heard at the beginning of "Weekend"
    you have Angela saying to Brian "I know you won't lie to me" But Jordan never lies, he even says
    in "Pressure"
  • Eva commented on 10 Jun 2002:
    Great story. It´s been a pleasure reading it.
  • tasha commented on 13 Jan 2004:
    the dialogue was a little off. there isn't usually 2 V.O. i dont think kyle would start a rumor that serious. it was ok.
  • Becca commented on 23 Dec 2004:
    I think the story line was good, except for the fact that there were two voice-overs. When a character does a voice-over, it's almost like the story, at least a portion of the story, is a first-person narrative from their limited point of view. We can only handle one character's introspective obsessions per episode. I actually enjoyed the Sharon/Kyle incident, because I think Rayanne is teaching Sharon to be tough and not such a puppet. Graham's spending the night with Hallie, however, is not realistic, and surely he has enough concern for his family at least to call them, even if it is in the mid-90's, when cell phones weren't as prevalent. I agree with "anonymous" that Angela knows nothing about Hallie since she hasn't been any more than a classmate of Graham's; however, Angela does seem to show both admiration for and suspicion of her father, so having her witness the aftermath of a relationship mistake might answer some questions of hers. I think if the situation were more realistic, i.e. Hallie driving him home or Hallie calling Triple-A and pretending to be his wife, or even a "friendly" goodnight hug between Graham and Hallie witnessed by Angela when Hallie drops him off, it would have been much more believable and effective. Angela misses the trust relationship she had with her father, and she seeks answers to his mid-life crisis actions. I am overanalyzing what was a superb script, and I apologize for rambling. I just get lost in the world of these characters sometimes.
  • Tamera commented on 24 Nov 2005:
    Great story! I only resently started watching MSCL again on the N. I watched it when it was shown on MTV as well. And now like then I can relate feelings... and memories to the show. When I found out that there were only 19 shows. I was pissed! So it was great for me to find this site and read your story. I will keep reading!!! Thank you!
  • Desh gave this story a 2.0/5 2.0/5 rating and commented on 28 Jun 2012:
    This story is a feigning version of the original in my opinion. The use of asterisks to emphasize certain words was overused at best and took away from the flow of the plot. The story was imaginative and dramatic but failed to match MSCL in its grace of syntax and diction.

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“My dad thinks every person in the world is having more fun than him.”

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