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Episode No. 20 - Starting Over

written by Chris Ernest Hall

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About this story

Published: 1997 | Size: 63 KB (11714 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 3.8/5   3.8/5 (30 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman


INT. CAR - DAY

Angela sits in the back of the Chases' Ford Taurus station wagon, staring out the window. Her face is both troubled and contemplative as she looks out at the grey, frozen landscape.

ANGELA (VO): So here I am, going back to Three Rivers after the, like, most boring week of my life.

In the front of the car, Graham drives while Patty naps.

ANGELA (VO): A week which I spent mostly by myself in the guestroom of my grandmother's condo. Thinking. Just thinking.

Danielle is intently peering at cars going by. She sees something and points excitedly.

DANIELLE: Florida, I saw Florida!

GRAHAM: Oh no, you win again!

Angela rolls her eyes at her sister's noisy outburst.


EXT. HIGHWAY - LATE AFTERNOON

The Ford Taurus drives past snow-covered fields under leaden skies, slightly pink on the horizon as the sun goes down.

ANGELA (VO): I thought there were at least some things in life I could count on. Rayanne Graf was my friend, Jordan Catalano was unattainable and Brian Krakow was just my clueless neighbor.


INT. CHASE CAR - EVENING

Danielle is asleep now as Angela continues to stare out the window.

ANGELA (VO): And now it's like, I have to start over completely from scratch. Anything I thought I knew turned out to be, like, a total lie.

In the front seat, Patty is looking out the window as well, her face somewhat mirroring Angela's mood.

ANGELA (VO): Rayanne Graf betrayed me. Jordan Catalano betrayed me, and then came crawling back and gave me the beautiful letter I've ever read...


EXT. HIGHWAY - LATE EVENING

The Ford Taurus pulls the highway onto an exit ramp.

ANGELA (VO): But he didn't write it. Brian Krakow did. I guess. I mean, I don't even know what happened.


EXT. CHASE HOUSE - NIGHT

The Ford Taurus pulls into the driveway.


INT. CHASE CAR - NIGHT

Graham turns off the car engine. Danielle wakes up, dazed.

GRAHAM: Well, vacation's over. Back to reality.

PATTY: Oh, goody.

Everyone starts unfastening their seatbelts and getting out of the car except Angela.

ANGELA (VO): I never realized until this moment how completely depressing it can be to come home.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Rickie is on the phone. Through the window, he sees that the Chases have returned.

RICKIE: They're not back yet, Rayanne. I already told you.

Rayanne says something that makes Rickie completely lose patience with her.

RICKIE: (harshly) Look, I just don't think she wants to talk to you. (beat) Yeah, bye.

Rickie puts down the phone just as the front door opens.

PATTY: (from the foyer) Hello?

Patty enters the kitchen, Rickie stands straight, collects himself and smiles.

RICKIE: Hi.

PATTY: Hello.

Angela bursts in. She runs to Rickie and they embrace.

ANGELA: I am, like, so glad to see you.

RICKIE: I missed you.

Angela tugs at Rickie's arm.

ANGELA: C'mon, help me unpack.


INT. ANGELA'S ROOM - NIGHT

Angela's suitcase lies on the bed, open. Angela takes some clothes out and dumps them randomly on the bed. Rickie sits at her dresser, looking through her make-up collection.

RICKIE: So, like, how was your trip?

ANGELA: I don't know, I spent the whole week in the guest room. Danielle had a good time.

Angela nods abstractly, starts folding up clothes and putting them away. Rickie stares at her, curiously.

ANGELA: (trying to be casual) So, did, like, anyone call for me while I was gone?

RICKIE: Well, yes. Rayanne Graf called, and Jordan Catalano stopped by... twice.

Angela's face becomes even more stressed out. She starts stuffing clothes in her dresser.

RICKIE: Uh, Angela?

ANGELA: What?

RICKIE: That was the dirty pile?

ANGELA: Oh, right. Thanks.

Angela stares at her suitcase blankly. Then she shakes her heads and looks at Rickie.

ANGELA: I am, like, so rude. I never asked you how your vacation was.

RICKIE: Oh, it was good. The drama club had this, like, party at Mr. Katimski's...

As Rickie says this, he remembers something.

RICKIE: Oh, that reminds me... I borrowed something for the party, this weird old wine glass that was in your kitchen. I need to get it back from his house.

ANGELA: (barely listening) Oh, that's okay. I'm sure my dad won't miss it.

Angela starts taking things off her bed, folding them neatly and putting them back in her suitcase.

RICKIE: Uh, Angela?

ANGELA: Yeah?

RICKIE: (gently) You're coming back from your trip, not going.

ANGELA: Oh.

Angela lets her breath out, then shrugs helplessly at Rickie. He gets up and hugs her.

ANGELA: Rickie, I've missed you. What am I going to do?

Rickie pats Angela's head sympathetically.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham is looking frantically around the kitchen, opening and shutting every cabinet door he can find. Gathered on the counter is a pile of cookbooks, notecards and magazines with well-worn bookmarks. Patty enters, looks at the pile, checking to see what Graham's taking away from their house.

PATTY: What's this?

GRAHAM: Oh, I have to go to the restaurant first thing tomorrow morning.

PATTY: You're taking all that?

GRAHAM: Yeah. Just for a while... Hallie's promised me she's going to have all these recipes put on computer. We'll see.

Graham flashes a quick smile at Patty.

PATTY: (doubtfully) Okay.

GRAHAM: It's just temporary.

Graham makes a placating gesture towards Patty, then continues his intense search through the kitchen cabinets. Patty folds her arms and looks at him.

PATTY: Are you looking for something?

GRAHAM: (emphatically) Yes! I can't find the chalice.

PATTY: The "chalice"? What are you, going to a mass, or something?

GRAHAM: You know, that crystal goblet, the kind of really old looking one. What would you call it?

PATTY: A present. That was the first gift I ever gave you. I found it at a garage sale.

GRAHAM: Oh, yeah. After our first date, at the wine tasting.

PATTY: Remember that? We had so much fun. I thought you were amazing, that you knew the difference between a Chardonnay and a Cabernet.

GRAHAM: And you got drunk-because I forgot to tell you to spit out the wine after you tasted it.

PATTY: (archly) Did you really forget, or were you just trying to lower my defenses?

Graham holds up his arms.

GRAHAM: I swear, your honor, that my intentions were purely honorable.

PATTY: Yes, you and Jordan Catalano, I'm sure.

Graham ponders that connection. Patty folds her arms and looks pointedly at Graham.

PATTY: So, why are you looking for this wine glass?

GRAHAM: I dunno, it's just the glass I always use when I'm tasting wine.

PATTY: You're going to take it to the restaurant?

GRAHAM: Yeah. Among my other responsibilities, I have to choose all the wine for the wine list.

PATTY: (shortly) Sounds like fun. Well, I have no idea where it is.

Patty leaves in a huff, Graham is oblivious as he continues his search.


INT. ANGELA'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Angela's clock radio blares on. Angela hits the "snooze" button. She closes her eyes, tries to go back to sleep, then opens then.

ANGELA (VO): There should be a like Federal Witness Protection program for high school sophomores... they would set you up in a completely different town, different family, different life, if the, like, life you were having wasn't working out.

Angela pushes the covers back experimentally, shivers, then pulls them over her head. A knock at Angela's door. Angela makes no response. Patty peeks her head in.

ANGELA: Angela, time to get up. You don't want to be late to school on the first day of the semester.

Angela groans.

ANGELA: (muffled through the covers) Mom, I can't get up... it's too cold.

PATTY: I'll tell your father to turn up the heat.


INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

The usual Chase family breakfast scene. Angela is hastily munching on a bagel, completely dressed for school with her backpack already on.

GRAHAM: Who wants hot cocoa?

DANIELLE: Me, me.

ANGELA: I have to go-I'm taking the bus.

PATTY: Oh, Jordan Catalano's not giving you a ride?

ANGELA: No, mom, he's not.

PATTY: Too bad.

Angela stares at Patty curiously, she realizes how strange what she just said must sound.

PATTY: I mean, because it's so cold, today. I'd feel better, if you didn't have to, you know, stand and wait for the bus.

Graham smiles quickly at how Patty got caught.


EXT. SCHOOL BUS STOP - MORNING

Angela stands at the bus stop, shivering.

ANGELA (VO): The advantage of not getting a ride from Jordan Catalano was that meant I didn't have to see him until school. The disadvantage was that now I had to face Brian Krakow. Suddenly my life has boiled down to this: which person do I least dread seeing at any given moment?

Angela looks around. The school bus approaches. She is alone at the stop - no sign of Brian Krakow. The bus pulls alongside the curb. Angela looks around curiously, then gets on.


INT. ENGLISH CLASS - DAY

Mr. Katimski stands in front of his class, holding a piece of chalk. Everybody is still in the process of sitting down and taking off heavy winter clothing. Faces are red and chapped from the cold.

MR. KATIMSKI: Well, class, it's the first day of... class...

Mr. Katimski laughs for no reason.

MR. KATIMSKI: ...you knew that, of course.. come to think of it...

Mr. Katimski abstracts for a moment.

MR. KATIMSKI: ...it's the first first day of class I've ever had with you...

Mr. Katimski chuckles again.

MR. KATIMSKI: I hope you all had a good vacation.

Mr. Katimski picks up a book from his desk.

MR. KATIMSKI: It's a brand new semester, a new beginning...

As Mr. Katimski talks, he looks around the classroom and mentally checks names off in his head (he does roll purely by his memory of faces, not by calling out names).

MR. KATIMSKI: ... a chance for all of you who've done well in the previous term to continue your good work, and a chance for those who've had a bad time of it to start over.

Mr. Katimski looks pointedly at Jordan Catalano, who is gazing at Angela out of the corner of his eye. When Jordan realizes Mr. Katimski is looking at him, he shifts uncomfortably. Mr. Katimski looks down at this rollsheet and looks up. He double-takes.

MR. KATIMSKI: Brian Krakow!

Angela starts at the name, a little guiltily. She glances side to side, hoping no one noticed her reaction.

MR. KATIMSKI: (half to himself, curiously) Brian Krakow is not in attendance, today. The first time I can ever recall him not showing up.

Mr. Katimski looks pointedly at Angela.

MR. KATIMSKI: Angela Chase!

Angela looks around, panicked, wondering why he is singling her out.

MR. KATIMSKI: You're friends with Brian?

ANGELA: Um, yeah.. I mean, not exactly. We're neighbors, or something.

MR. KATIMSKI: Is he ill?

ANGELA: No... I... I don't know. (quietly) I have no idea why he isn't in school.

MR. KATIMSKI: Well, I'm sure we'll all find out what's ailing him soon enough. (beat) Let's begin.

Mr. Katimski opens the book in his hand.


INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

Everyone packing up to go. Jordan comes over to Angela's desk, just as she stands.

JORDAN: Hey.

ANGELA: (neutrally) Hi.

JORDAN: I stopped by your house, but Rickie said you were away.

Angela says nothing.

JORDAN: Did you, like, have a good time?

ANGELA: It was okay. I gotta get to class.

Angela leaves, leaving Jordan puzzled and frustrated.


INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

Graham surveys his new kingdom, the kitchen for the restaurant he and Hallie are starting. The shine of brand new stainless steel is everywhere. On the large stovetop, Graham is cooking his first creation there in a large oval copper pan. With a great flurry of noise, Hallie Lowenthal enters, waving her arms and hitting one of them on a hanging pan, making a sound like a gong. She gestures with her arms, indicating the whole of the kitchen with a proud expression.

Graham smiles in greeting.

HALLIE: So, you like?

GRAHAM: I like a lot. It's fantastic. I can't believe you got everything set up while I was gone.

HALLIE: I followed your instructions to the letter. To the letter!

GRAHAM: It's perfect.

Hallie preens, enjoying Graham's praise, then approaches closer to him. She looks with great interest at what Graham's making.

HALLIE: Smells yummy.

GRAHAM: I've made this a hundred times. It's one of my favorites-I could make it in my sleep.

Graham gestures to her.

GRAHAM: Please... have the honor of the first taste.

Hallie takes the wooden spoon from Graham and dips it in the bubbling sauce. She closes her eyes and lifts the spoon with great anticipation. She sips as Graham looks at her, just waiting to be praised. Once Hallie actually tastes it, she winces and a wave of distress passes over her face. She runs over to the sink and spits it out. Graham looks on, horrified.

HALLIE: Eeeewww.

Graham can't believe what he's just seen and decides that she's joking.

GRAHAM: Ha, ha, very funny.

Hallie rinses out her mouth, then turns around with deep worry in her eyes.

HALLIE: No joke. You try it. It's terrible.

Graham frowns and tastes the sauce. He makes an expression of distaste, barely able to swallow it.

GRAHAM: My God... that is awful. What happened?

Graham starts looking all around him, panicked. He looks at his cookbook, at the ingredients left on the counter. Hallie looks on, concern and worry in her face, like she can barely believe what just happened.

END ACT I

ACT II


INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Sharon and Angela walk together down the hall.

SHARON: That was so weird, that Mr. Katimski asked you about Brian Krakow. Why would you know why he wasn't in class?

ANGELA: I don't know. It was just Mr. Katimski being his usual bizarre self.

SHARON: Yeah, totally... Oh my God.

Sharon's eyes widen with disbelief and she stops. Angela looks where Sharon's eyes have gone. Involuntary surprise crosses her face.

ANGELA'S POV - LOCKERS - DAY

Rayanne opening her locker down the hall. She is silent and withdrawn, dressed in plain clothing with natural, straight brown hair; no braids, no jewelry. She doesn't see Angela and Sharon, and starts walking away in the opposite direction.


INT. SCHOOL HALL - DAY

Angela breaks her eyes away and feigns indifference.

ANGELA: It's Rayanne Graf. So what?

SHARON: That is, like, so weird. She's totally... normal.

A strange expression crosses Angela's face, she wonders why Sharon is so concerned about Rayanne.

ANGELA: It's probably just, like, a ploy or something.

Angela begins walking away from Sharon.

SHARON: Angela?

Sharon calls after her, but Angela doesn't stop.


EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - AFTERNOON

A slate grey afternoon in the school yard, everyone looks cold and miserable, including Angela, sitting my herself moodily. Rickie comes up behind her and taps her on the shoulder. Angela turns, briefly stressed, then reassured when she sees it's only Rickie.

RICKIE: Aren't you cold?

ANGELA: Freezing.

RICKIE: Let's huddle for warmth.

Angela and Rickie sit side by side, arms around each other.

ANGELA: You weren't in English class.

RICKIE: My schedule's changed. So I can take drama that period.

ANGELA: Oh... that's good. For you, I guess. (beat) Brian Krakow wasn't in class, either.

RICKIE: I know. He wasn't in bio, either. I think it's, like, the first time I can ever remember him missing school.

ANGELA: (blurts out) Rickie, I have to know... what really happened? Did Brian write the letter for Jordan, or not?

RICKIE: Did you ask Brian?

ANGELA: I did, and I... I mean, he tried to say Jordan wrote it, but then he said something that made me think he did. And then I went off with Jordan Catalano, and I couldn't figure it out and we never talked about it... then it was finals and I went to grandmother's for vacation.

RICKIE: There's nothing I can really tell you that I haven't already.

ANGELA: I know, I know. It's just all so weird. It's like this whole year was all for nothing. Everyone's let me down. I mean, except for you, Rickie. You're perfect.

RICKIE: No, I'm not. I'm definitely not. (beat) Talk to Brian. Talk to Jordan. You have to know, Angela.

ANGELA: I know, but it's so hard. I've been so mean to Brian. I thought he had, like, no feelings. Now it turns out he's just like me.

Angela nods miserably to herself.


INT. GIRL'S BATHROOM - DAY

Sharon is adjusting her hair with a dissatisfied look on her face, trying to arrange it differently, making more adventurous hairdos. Finally she throws her arms down, not happy with anything she's come up with.

SHARON: Yuck.

One of the bathroom stalls opens, and how out comes Rayanne. She and Sharon look at each other.

RAYANNE: (quietly) Hi.

Sharon smiles genuinely.

SHARON: Hey.

Rayanne goes to the sink to rinse her hands.

SHARON: So, like... what's up, Rayanne?

RAYANNE: What's up with what?

Sharon gestures towards Rayanne.

SHARON: With, like, you. They way you're dressed. What's going on?

RAYANNE: Nothin'. I just didn't feel like dressing up today. Is that such a big deal?

Rayanne looks away, into the mirror. She unconsciously feels for something in her hair.

RAYANNE: Anyway, I thought you hated the way I looked.

SHARON: Yeah... I mean, I thought I did.

RAYANNE: I have to get to class.

Rayanne hoists her backpack around one shoulder and walks past Sharon.

SHARON: Rayanne!

Just as she's about to exit through the door, Rayanne stops and suddenly looks at Sharon vulnerably - deep down she really wants someone to talk to, and to talk to her.

RAYANNE: Yeah?

SHARON: I know, I like, made fun of the way you dress, which was totally lame and I, like, totally apologize. It's just that, now that I see the real you, I'm realizing it's not the, like, real you.

RAYANNE: It's what I am now.

Rayanne pushes through the door and Sharon makes no move to stop her. Deep concern fills her face and she looks back in the mirror.


INT. YEARBOOK ROOM - DAY

Rickie and Sharon both sit on desks, their feet resting on the seats, at right angles to each other.

SHARON: So, we take the drama club photo Tuesday after school?

RICKIE: Yeah.

SHARON: How's everything else going?

RICKIE: Okay, I guess.

SHARON: Rickie, did you see Rayanne?

A shadow of concern passes over Rickie's face.

RICKIE: Yeah.

SHARON: What's going on with her? She's gone from being the most creative dresser at Liberty High to, like, the blandest.

RICKIE: I know.

SHARON: Have you asked her about it?

Rickie shakes his head quickly.

RICKIE: No.

SHARON: Why not?

Emotion breaks through Rickie's facade.

RICKIE: I'm not responsible for Rayanne Graf!

SHARON: Okay...

RICKIE: (with constricted emotion) I can't make myself responsible for her life. I just keep getting hurt.

SHARON: But you're her, like, only real friend left. I mean, other than me.

Rickie is very surprised to hear that.

RICKIE: I thought you hated Rayanne. Not that I would blame you...

SHARON: I thought I did too. But it turned out I didn't know her, I just knew about her. And I don't know why, but after what she did to Angela, it made me hate her less, not more... 'cause I knew if she could do something like that, than she never really could be a threat to Angela's and I 's friendship.

Rickie nods.

SHARON: I don't know, it just feels wrong to me, that they're not friends. They need each other.

RICKIE: They do?

SHARON: I think so. Rayanne brings Angela out of her shell, and Angela helps keep Rayanne at least sort of stable.

Rickie rolls his eyes.

RICKIE: If anyone can. I certainly can't.

Rickie thinks a moment.

RICKIE: I just don't know what you can do about it.

SHARON: There must be something. What if we just put them in the same place together, and gave them a chance to talk?

Rickie throws up his hands.

RICKIE: I wouldn't want anything to do with it. First Angela would kill Rayanne, than us.

SHARON: Are you sure? I think both of them want to make up, they just think the other should make the first move.

Rickie nods, seeing Sharon's point.

RICKIE: What did you have in mind?

SHARON: Well, something casual.


INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

Hallie is talking to Graham while he cooks.

HALLIE: No big deal. Just a big private party, to promote the restaurant.

GRAHAM: Tell me more.

HALLIE: The first night we open, we let in a bunch of friends and people we know -people who are totally well-connected-to eat for free. Once people see a restaurant full of people, they'll want to eat there, too. You see, people won't go to eat at a restaurant that's empty.

GRAHAM: Can we afford to give all that food away for free?

Hallie waves away that objection.

HALLIE: Oh, I just built the cost into our start-up budget.

GRAHAM: Well, in that case... sounds like a good idea to me.

Graham shrugs.

GRAHAM: So when are you planning to host this little shindig?

HALLIE: Thursday night. Get everyone intrigued so they come back for the weekend.

Hallie turns around to check something in her Filofax, open with a bunch of papers on a countertop. While Hallie's not watching, Graham quickly tastes what he's cooking. A quick look of distress tells us that it is not working out any better than the last thing he cooked.

Graham clears his throat.

GRAHAM: That's just three days from now. Is that enough time?

Hallie turns back around.

HALLIE: We're basically ready. Just have to get some plants, that's all. You're ready, right?

GRAHAM: Oh, yeah, completely. Rarin' to go, in fact. The more we wait, the more nervous I get.

HALLIE: Well, don't be nervous. There's nothing to worry about. Even after this morning, I still have faith in your cooking ability.

Hallie smiles at Graham, he smiles gamely back. Hallie goes over to Graham and looks curiously at what he's cooking.

HALLIE: What's that?

GRAHAM: Oh, just this recipe I'm trying out.

Hallie reaches for a wooden spoon to take a taste. Graham holds up his hand.

GRAHAM: Oh, no, it's not done.

HALLIE: It looks ready.

GRAHAM: No, it needs more... seasoning, before you should try it.

HALLIE: (doubtfully) Okay. Well, I have to go, anyway.

GRAHAM: (relieved) Great, see you tomorrow.

HALLIE: Yeah, tomorrow.

Hallie gives Graham a strange look, then exits. Graham sees the door close, then tastes his dish again. It doesn't taste any better. With an intense, frustrated look, he picks up the saucepan and dumps the whole thing down the sink. He turns away with a shattered expression on his face.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - EVENING

Patty arrives home with two bags of groceries, one under each arm. Angela gets up and takes a bag.

PATTY: Thanks.

Angela starts placidly helping her mother put groceries away.

PATTY: How was the first day of the new semester?

Angela shrugs.

ANGELA: Fine.

Patty continues to put away cans of soup, then remembers something and turns around.

PATTY: You know, I ran into Bernice Krakow at the grocery store.

When Angela hears the name "Krakow" she starts listening involuntarily.

PATTY: She told me Brian suddenly decided to transfer to Brixton Academy. Did you know anything about this?

ANGELA: (to herself) Mr. Katimski...

PATTY: What?

Angela turns to her mother and for the first time in the scene, shows some animation and energy.

ANGELA: Why do people keep asking me about Brian Krakow? I don't know anything about him. I don't know why he does what he does. I just live next door to him, that's all!

PATTY: Angela?

Angela stalks out of the room, leaving Patty completely at a loss.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham enters the kitchen, carrying a cookbook and looking completely obsessed. He passes Patty without even noticing her and goes to the shelves where the rest of their cookbooks and Gourmet magazines are kept.

PATTY: Uh... "hello, how was your day, I'm really glad to see you?"

Graham starts, turns and smiles belatedly at Patty. They quickly embrace before Graham returns to his intense perusal of the cooking magazines.

PATTY: Thank you. (beat) First Angela, now you. What's gotten into everyone?

GRAHAM: First day of school. And starting a new restaurant.

PATTY: Maybe I should be starting something new.

GRAHAM: Take my advice, don't. Save yourself the stress.

PATTY: Okay, what happened?

Graham stops looking through the magazines and faces Patty.

GRAHAM: You want to know what happened? I'll tell you what happened. I was cooking for the first time in our new kitchen, and I let Hallie Lowenthal have a taste... and she spit it out!

PATTY: Well, I must say; that was very rude of her.

GRAHAM: Actually, I tried it, and I can't blame her-I mean, it was terrible.

Patty feels a tinge of jealousy when she sees how much this bothers Graham.

PATTY: Well, that's not a huge deal, is it? You've cooked things before that didn't work out, and it didn't seem to bother you that much.

GRAHAM: Sure, I've had experiments gone wrong, every cook has, but this is different. I'm a professional now.

Patty looks at Graham, both sympathetic to his distress but bothered by how it obsesses him.

PATTY: Well, if it doesn't work out in the big show, you can always have your old job here.

Graham looks at Patty, stung. She realizes how it must have sounded to him. They both look away, troubled.

PATTY: (briskly) Well, I'd better make sure Danielle's started on her homework.

Graham nods curtly and returns to his perusal of the bookshelf.

END ACT II

ACT III


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Patty is helping Danielle make a diorama of a Native American village for school. Colored paper, glue and scissors litter the countertop. Patty is still dressed in work clothes and seems tired and stressed. An empty pizza box with one piece left lies on the counter. The phone rings and Patty intercepts it before Danielle can answer it.

PATTY: (tired voice) Hello?


INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Hallie Lowenthal juggles the phone wildly, then gets the receiver under control and raises it to her mouth. Tucked under Hallie¹s arm are a whole sheath of papers, and in front of her are more piles of documents and a notebook computer.

HALLIE: (thinking she's talking to Graham) Okay, I've finalized the guest list for the grand opening.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Patty holds the phone to her ear and looks completely consternated.

PATTY: Excuse me?

HALLIE: (confused) Oh, hello... Patty?

Patty looks irritated but adopts a fake smile. Danielle stops what she's doing and studies her mother with serious eyes.

PATTY: Yes, this is Patty Chase. To whom am I speaking?


INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Hallie's face tightens slightly but she adopts a mollifying tone.

HALLIE: Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with me? This is Hallie, Hallie Lowenthal. I dropped the phone and well.. oh, never mind... anyway, is Graham there?


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Patty's fake smile becomes even more tight.

PATTY: No, he's taking a shower. So, Hallie, tell me-what is this "grand opening"?

Danielle listens intently, disturbed.

HALLIE: Oh, Graham didn't tell you?

PATTY: Well, actually, no, he didn't.


INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Hallie thinks about the implications of this, allows herself a slight smile.

HALLIE: You're invited, of course.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Patty's eyes flash with irritation.

PATTY: (sarcastically) Why, thank you.

Danielle looks up at Patty with, surprised by her mother's harsh tone.


INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Hallie makes a bitchy face, responding to Patty's sarcasm.

HALLIE: (stiffly) Well, I'd better go. I have about a thousand things I need to do before we can open.

PATTY: I'm sure you do. Good night.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Patty hangs the phone up with an angry expression. She notices Danielle studying her intently.

DANIELLE: Mom?

PATTY: Mmmm... what?

DANIELLE: You hate the woman daddy's doing the restaurant with, right?

Patty looks down at her younger daughter with surprise, realizing how obvious her emotions must be.

PATTY: Well, it's not that I don't like her, but... She's very... well... if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all, that's what my mother always told me.

DANIELLE: Well, if you don't hate her, you should.

Danielle holds up the diorama, a shoebox with cardboard cutouts of Native Americans carrying baskets full of corn-notable in that all the figures represented are female.

DANIELLE: Look, I finished.


INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Graham is sitting on the bed, watching TV and zoning out, his hair still damp. In the walk-in closet Patty is changing into her nightgown.

PATTY: Oh, by the way, Hallie Lowenthal called while you were in the shower.

GRAHAM: Really, what did she want?

PATTY: She mentioned this "grand opening" thing.

GRAHAM: Oh, yeah, I was going to mention that. She has this really good idea: let a bunch of our friends in for free the first night, to make the restaurant look crowded, help spread some word of mouth.

PATTY: Yesss... she said it's set for Thursday night?

GRAHAM: Yeah.

Graham turns around and continues watching TV. Patty scowls but Graham doesn't notice. Graham turns back around.

GRAHAM: Honey, you haven't come across that wine glass, have you?

PATTY: No, I haven't.

Graham gets up, switches off the TV.

GRAHAM: I've got to find it. It's driving me crazy that it just disappeared like that.

Graham leaves the bedroom. Patty glares at his retreating back with a "you just don't get it" look.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham has torn apart the kitchen looking for the wine glass. Pots and pans have been taken out of cupboards, every door is open. Graham stands in the middle of all the chaos and looks very frustrated. Angela enters, dressed for bed, and sees the mess. She looks at her father curiously. Graham doesn't notice her as he stands, hands on the counter, looking very moody and frustrated.

ANGELA: Don't say "hi" or anything.

Graham notices his daughter for the first time.

GRAHAM: (distantly) Oh, hi.

Angela gets a glass out of the cupboard and goes to the sink.

ANGELA (VO): It's, like, really weird when you see your parents and they're acting totally out of it. You suddenly feel older than them and you're like, grow up. Other people have problems, too.

Angela gives her father a contemptuous look as she fills her glass. She finishes, and starts to leave.

ANGELA: (coolly) Well, bye.

Graham suddenly shakes his head and really looks at Angela.

GRAHAM: Wait... I'm sorry.

Angela turns back around, surprised. She takes a sip of water. Graham searches for something to say to Angela.

GRAHAM: How's school?

ANGELA: (noncommittal) Fine.

Angela takes another sip of water, then thinks.

ANGELA: (serious voice) Dad...

Graham looks at her, a little surprised that she suddenly wants to have a real conversation.

ANGELA: I need a guy's perspective. (beat) Let's say, you were like, choosing between these two really different kinds of the same thing, like, I don't know...

Angela can't think of an example.

GRAHAM: Say, wallpaper...

Angela looks puzzled, wondering how her father came up with that, but also relieved that her father hasn't guessed what's really on her mind.

ANGELA: Yeah, like wallpaper, and there was this one kind of wallpaper that seemed, like, totally amazing and wonderful but you never thought you could get. And, then, there was also this kind of wallpaper that was always just... around but you would never, actually, like, buy it.

Graham just nods, smiling slightly.

ANGELA: But then, everything changed and the wallpaper you thought you could never get you got, and it was a lot different than you thought it would. So, then, the wallpaper that was just around you looked at again and there was a lot more to it... than... you thought. What do you do?

Graham thinks intensely.

GRAHAM: I would say that whatever wallpaper you choose, you won't have to look at the rest of your life... so try them both out.

Angela gives her father a strange look.

GRAHAM: (quickly) I mean, not at the same time. But give them both a chance. One of them might surprise you.

Angela nods, thinking deeply.

ANGELA: Okay... thanks, dad. That helps. That helps a lot.

Graham smiles gently.

GRAHAM: Sure.

Angela turns to go, then thinks of something else as she looks around the kitchen.

ANGELA: By the way, are you looking for something?

GRAHAM: (emphatically) Yes! I'm trying to find this old wine glass your mother once gave me... you haven't seen it, by any chance?

ANGELA: Uh... you know what? Rickie borrowed it, and I forgot to tell you.

Graham winces.

GRAHAM: Oooh.

ANGELA: I'm totally sorry. I'll see Rickie tomorrow-I know it's safe, he left it at Mr. Katimski's house.

GRAHAM: Okay. That's a relief. I thought I'd lost it forever.

ANGELA: It was a gift from mom?

GRAHAM: Yeah. It was the first present she ever gave me. It's kind of like a lucky charm for me, or something.

ANGELA: I'll ask Rickie first thing tomorrow. Good night, dad.

Angela kisses her father quickly on the cheek.

ANGELA: Thanks.

Angela goes off to bed. Graham looks sadly but also affectionately after her. He starts putting away all the stuff he took out in his frantic search.


INT. DARK ROOM - DAY

Brian is developing one of the pictures he took as yearbook photographer. In the red light we see other pictures that he's just developed hanging on a line.

CLOSEUP

of the picture Brian is currently developing, a candid shot of Angela trying to hide her face from the camera, which only ends up making her seem more achingly alive and alluring.

BACK TO SCENE

Brian regards it, longing briefly breaking through his usual composed countenance, before placing it on the line with the other pictures.

CLOSEUP

of the photographs drying on the line.

SHARON (VO) Angela Chase and Rayanne Graf. Angela Chase and Rickie Vasquez. Angela, Rickie, Rayanne and Tino.

The back of Brian's head blocks the space where Tino would be as the camera pans across the last picture.

SHARON (VO) (sarcastically) Wait, what happened? There's a problem. Angela's not in this picture.


INT. YEARBOOK ROOM - DAY

Sharon looking at Brian's photographs one by one.

SHARON: Krakow, these would be, like, really good if the whole yearbook was about the life of Angela Chase. But there are, like, six-hundred other students at Liberty High.

BRIAN: Look, if what you're saying is that I completely suck as yearbook photographer, I admit it. I only did it for something to put on my college apps, which is a lame reason to do anything. (in a lower voice) I only gave them to you in case you could use some.

Sharon softens a little when she sees that she's hurt Brian's feelings; also, she senses the deep pain behind the words.

SHARON: I mean, Krakow... Brian. Some of these are really good. I'm sure we could use, like, this one.

Sharon pulls one photograph out, of Rayanne, Rickie and Angela horsing around in the hall.

BRIAN: I know you hate me because of Delia Fisher and I guess I deserve it. But, I'll be gone now, so don't worry about it.

SHARON: (suddenly worried) What do you mean?

BRIAN: I'm transferring to Brixton Academy. I start a week from Monday. Their school year is, like, completely different from ours. They're still on vacation. It's a private school.

SHARON: I know.

Delia Fisher enters. She and Brian look at each other coolly.

BRIAN: I gotta go, I have an appointment with the vice-principal.

SHARON: Okay. Bye...

Brian turns to leave.

SHARON: (kindly) And, Brian. Thanks for the pictures.

BRIAN: Sure.

Brian exits.


INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Jordan Catalano is leaning against a wall, talking to some people we can't see.

JORDAN: I don't know where Tino is... whatever, later.

Jordan flicks his eyes in an expression of farewell. He looks the other way and is surprised to see Angela standing by him.

ANGELA: Hi.

Jordan nods.

JORDAN: So now you're talking to me.

ANGELA: I'm sorry about the other day... I just...

Jordan adopts his "all this thinking is making my head hurt" expression.

JORDAN: You don't have to be sorry... whatever.

ANGELA: Look, we really need to talk.

JORDAN: So talk.

ANGELA: Not here... anyway, I have class.

Jordan shrugs.


INT. DOUBLE DOORWAYS - DAY

Brian Krakow comes around a corner and sees Angela talking to Jordan. He stops, takes one look, then goes back the other way.


INT. LOCKERS - DAY

Angela and Jordan, still talking.

ANGELA: I'm going to Sharon Cherski's tonight. You could meet me there, or something. We could go somewhere else.

Jordan takes a deep breath, fighting conflicting emotions. He takes a deep breath and runs his hand through his hair.

JORDAN: Okay.

ANGELA: Like nine o'clock.

JORDAN: Sure. See ya...

Jordan saunters off, as he does we see his expression as he walks away. Although he has trouble showing it to Angela, he is happy that she wants to see him.


INT. SCHOOL OFFICE HALLWAY - DAY

The hallway outside the school office. Rickie, holding some posters, dodges around some big kid and nearly bumps into Brian Krakow, holding a bunch of papers and forms in his hands.

RICKIE: Hey.

BRIAN: Oh, hey. What are you doing here?

RICKIE: What are you doing here?

BRIAN: Oh, well, I had to get a bunch of papers signed, because I'm, like, transferring. I guess I didn't tell you.

RICKIE: No, I don't think you did. Have you been planning this for a while?

BRIAN: I've been thinking about it.

RICKIE: I heard from Angela.

BRIAN: (quickly) Angela knows?

RICKIE: Yeah.

BRIAN: So what did she say?

RICKIE: (matter-of-factly) That your mom told her mom that you were transferring to Brixton Academy.

BRIAN: Did she...? I mean, did she ask "why"?

Rickie shrugs.

RICKIE: Nooo... not really.

BRIAN: (disappointed) Oh.

RICKIE: So, why?

BRIAN: Why what?

RICKIE: Why are you transferring? You always told me you didn't want to go to private school, it was too elitist.

BRIAN: I guess... it was just time, for a change. I mean, it's not like I have all these friends here, or something.

RICKIE: Did you ever talk to Angela?

BRIAN: (quietly) Yeah, I mean... no, not really.

Brian looks away. He is about to say more, the moment is pregnant with unsaid things when a strident voice rings out from off-screen.

VICE-PRINCIPAL (OS): Brian! Brian Krakow! Are you here?

Brian turns to go.

BRIAN: I guess I'll talk to you later.

RICKIE: Sure, bye.

Brian walks slowly towards the vice-principal's office. As Brian goes, he looks back at Rickie, who mouths the words "talk to her". After Brian enters, the door shuts behind him with a click. Rickie stares at the closed door until he realizes what he's doing and starts moving again, clutching the "Our Town" posters.


INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Angela opens her locker as Rickie looks into it.

ANGELA: So I made plans with Jordan Catalano.

RICKIE: Are you going to ask him about, you know, the letter?

ANGELA: Yeah. It's worse not knowing than knowing

Rickie nods, then remembers something.

RICKIE: I thought you were going to Sharon Cherski's tonight.

ANGELA: Oh, I'm still going. Jordan's going to pick me up there.

RICKIE: (serious voice) You know, there's something you should know about tonight.

ANGELA: (puzzled) What?

Sharon comes up to them, smiles perkily.

SHARON: Hey, guys. What do you think of these movies: Reality Bites, The Mask, Dazed & Confused, or The Age of Innocence? Pick two.

ANGELA: Well.. I don't want to see Dazed & Confused. That's, like, Rayanne Graf's favorite movie of all time. Reality Bites-that fits my mood, I guess.

RICKIE: Whatever everyone else wants to see.

SHARON: Okay.

ANGELA: (to Sharon) Hey, are you going to bio?

SHARON: I'll walk with you.

RICKIE: I'll see you guys later.

Rickie looks after them with deep misgivings on his face.


INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - DAY

Pots and pans bubbling on the stove. Hallie Lowenthal enters, reading some papers in her hands and talking away without looking up.

HALLIE: Graham, I got an appointment with the bank...

Hallie looks up and stops when she realizes Graham's not in there.

HALLIE: Oh, you're not in here. Fine.

Hallie goes up to the stove and sniffs. She wrinkles her nose and looks down at what Graham's cooking critically. Seeing that he's not around, she dips a spoon into the pot. She takes a taste and while it's not as bad as what Graham cooked earlier, it's still not up to his usual standard. Hallie tastes another thing, grimaces, then tastes a third with an incredulous expression.

GRAHAM: Hallie?!

Graham comes back in the kitchen, his eyes flashing with irritation.

HALLIE: Oh, hi.

Hallie smiles guiltily.

GRAHAM: Do you mind?

HALLIE: (flirtatiously) Just taking a little taste.

GRAHAM: Do you think you could wait 'til it's done?

HALLIE: This is my restaurant, too, you know.

GRAHAM: I'm the cook.

HALLIE: It completely sucks.

GRAHAM: What?

Hallie gestures to the food.

HALLIE: I tasted it. You wouldn't care, except that you know it's no good.

GRAHAM: (defensively) I'm still working on it.

Hallie's face turns from irritation to worry.

HALLIE: Why are you doing this?

GRAHAM: Doing what? Cooking? Because it's my job.

HALLIE: But why do you keep screwing up?

GRAHAM: Look, cooking is not an exact science. It doesn't always come out perfectly.

HALLIE: I'm not talking about perfection. I'm talking about every single thing you've cooked this week is mediocre at best.

GRAHAM: Well, what do you want me to do about it?

HALLIE: I just want to know if your heart is really in it, okay?

GRAHAM: I want the restaurant to be successful as much as you do.

HALLIE: Do you?

GRAHAM: You think I want to fail?

Hallie gives him a questioning look.

HALLIE: We haven't signed final papers. If you want to back out, you can. I won't stop you.

Graham seems to lose all faith in himself.

GRAHAM: (wearily) Maybe you're right. Maybe I can't cut it, after all.

Graham stalks out of the kitchen without looking at Hallie again, she is distraught-her challenge to him had exactly the opposite effect of what she wanted.

END ACT III

ACT IV


INT. CHERSKI HOUSE - NIGHT

Sharon rushing to the front door.

SHARON: Just a moment!

Sharon opens the door. Rayanne stands there, smiling. She's still dressed pretty conservatively and her hair remains its natural color, but it is braided with a ribbon.

RAYANNE: Hey, Sharona.

SHARON: Hi! I'm glad you could make it. Welcome to Casa Cherski.

From the kitchen comes the sound of furiously popping corn and a cry of surprise from Rickie.

RICKIE: (from kitchen) Help, help!

Sharon and Rayanne look at each other, laughing, and run back down the hall.


INT. CHERSKI KITCHEN - NIGHT

Sharon and Rayanne burst in as Rickie attempts to deal with the popcorn machine.

RICKIE: (panicked) What, what... what do I do?

The popcorn starts popping like mad, blowing the lid of the machine off. Popcorn starts flying out all over the kitchen.

SHARON: (shrieking with laughter) You have to hold the top on!

Sharon gets the lid and clamps it down on the popper. The popcorn starts flowing into the bowl. Sharon and Rickie look at each other and giggle. Rayanne picks some popcorn off the counter and starts munching on it.

SHARON: Okay, everything's under control.

RICKIE: Oh my God, the butter!

Rickie whirls around. The butter they were melting has boiled over on the stove.


INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Rickie is pouring hot butter on the bowl of popcorn while Rayanne and Sharon sit on stools and watch him.

SHARON: Oh my God, Rayanne, I heard the wildest gossip about Tino... is it true he dropped out of school to follow Phish?

Rayanne shrieks with laughter.

RAYANNE: That is so funny... is that what people are saying?

SHARON: Yeah... why, is it not true?

RAYANNE: It is so far from true, it's, like, not even in the same area code.

SHARON: So what is it? Where'd he go?

Rayanne stuffs her mouth full of popcorn, then spreads her hands in mock-helplessness.

RAYANNE: (with her mouth full) I can't tell you, seriously, I've been sworn to secrecy. I can't even tell Rickie.

RICKIE: You're keeping a secret. Now I've seen everything.

Rayanne makes a face at Rickie.

RAYANNE: Hey, I've turned over a new leaf. Actually, it's more like I turned over the whole tree.

Rayanne bounces off the chair and makes a little curtsey.

RAYANNE: I'm a good girl now.

Sharon grins at her, but Rickie looks at her questioningly, unable to figure out if she's serious or not. Rayanne takes another huge handful of popcorn.

SHARON: Hey, save some for the movie.

RAYANNE: (with her mouth full) So let's start watching...

SHARON: Not everyone's shown up yet.

RAYANNE: Who else is comin'?

SHARON: Delia Fisher... and Angela Chase.

Rayanne looks briefly panicked but then composes herself.

RAYANNE: Angela, huh? I'd better be on my best behavior.

Rickie's face becomes more nervous. The doorbell rings.

SHARON: Maybe that's her.


INT. CHERSKI KITCHEN - NIGHT

Angela enters, all bundled up for the cold weather. She is about to say "hi" to Rickie when she sees some familiar long brown hair. Rayanne turns and smiles shyly at Angela.

ANGELA (VO): At that moment, all I wanted to do was say "hi" to Rayanne Graf, hug her and have everything be the way it was. But for some reason, I couldn't.

Angela's face hardens and Rayanne sees. She looks away, hurt.

ANGELA: (to Rayanne, coldly) Hey.

Angela stalks out of the kitchen.


INT. CHERSKI LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Sharon is in front of the TV and VCR, setting things up. She turns around when she sees Angela coming.

ANGELA: (low, angry voice) You didn't tell me Rayanne Graf was going to be here.

SHARON: You wouldn't have come.

ANGELA: What are you trying to do?

SHARON: Talk to her, Angela. She totally wants to make a fresh start.

ANGELA: I can't believe this. I can't believe you would betray me, too. And Rickie! This is something you both planned.

Rickie appears in the doorway to see what's going on.

ANGELA: Whose friend are you?

SHARON: I'm not taking sides.

Rayanne goes around Rickie and enters the living room.

RAYANNE: She doesn't want me here. I'll go.

SHARON: (to Rayanne) No! You don't have to do that.

ANGELA: I'm going.

RICKIE: Angela...

Angela starts to leave.

RAYANNE: (calling after Angela) Angela, I'm sorry! I really am.

Angela turns around and looks at Rayanne.

RAYANNE: (quietly) I mean it.

Angela starts moving again, and stops at the front door. Again she turns around and looks at Rayanne, who doesn't see. She's turned away, fighting tears. Angela seems to be fighting herself, than opens the door and goes out into the night.

RICKIE: (just as the door closes) Angela! It's freezing.

Sharon goes to Rayanne and holds her. Rayanne sniffs as tears well up. Rickie gets his jacket on and goes to the front door.


EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Rickie goes out in front of the Cherski house, looking for Angela. The street is empty. Rickie goes out to the middle of the street and looks both ways. No sign of Angela.

RICKIE: Goddammit! Goddamn everything!

Rickie looks up at the sky fiercely, then realizes his blasphemy. He crosses himself quickly, then turns around to walk back up to Sharon's house.


INT. PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

Shivering, Angela talks into the phone.

ANGELA: I'm at the 7-Eleven on Rose. (beat) Thanks, Jordan. Thank you so much. Bye.


EXT. 7-ELEVEN - NIGHT

Jordan's big red car pulls up in front of the 7-Eleven. Angela is sitting on the curb in front, arms wrapped around herself to stay warm. Angela gets up and goes inside Jordan's car.


INT. JORDAN'S CAR - NIGHT

Jordan looks at Angela, sees the emotions written in her face.

JORDAN: Hey.

ANGELA: Hey.

JORDAN: So, what happened?

ANGELA: Nothing. I just decided to leave early.

Jordan shrugs, then rests his hands on the steering wheel.

JORDAN: Where do you want to go?

ANGELA: Somewhere quiet. With, like, nobody around. No people.

JORDAN: We could go to the loft.

Angela looks at Jordan incredulously.

ANGELA: That's quiet?

JORDAN: Tino's, like, gone? He had to split for a while. There won't be anyone else there.

ANGELA: Oh, okay.

Angela nods. Jordan shrugs and puts his car into gear.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham leaning against the counter moodily, drinking a beer and looking like he's pondering things very intensely. Suddenly Graham sets the beer bottle down with a loud clink and picks up the phone.


INT. CHASE DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

Patty approaches the kitchen, about to enter when she stops.

GRAHAM: (from kitchen) Hallie? Hi.

Patty creeps out of view and presses herself against the wall, unable to resist listening.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham takes a drink of beer.

GRAHAM: I'm sorry about this afternoon.

HALLIE: (from phone) Hey, no problem.

GRAHAM: I didn't mean what I said.


INT. CHASE DOWNSTAIRS HALL - NIGHT

Patty concentrates mightily, trying to figure out what Graham's saying.

GRAHAM: Look, we're still on.

Patty's face turns fearful.


INT. HALLIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Hallie, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt like she's about to go to bed, smiles to herself.

HALLIE: (into phone) Hey, no problem at all. An attack of nerves is completely natural.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham nods.

GRAHAM: I'm pretty sure that's all it was. (beat) I'll see you tomorrow, okay?


INT. CHASE DOWNSTAIRS HALL - NIGHT

Patty, angry and worried, creeps away.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham hangs up the phone, smiles.


INT. THE LOFT - NIGHT

The loft is dead and quiet. A set of drums occupies the riser, there is various other band equipment scattered around. Jordan picks up a guitar, strums the first chord to his song "Red", then puts it down.

ANGELA: It's cold.

JORDAN: I'll turn up the heat.

Jordan goes to the wall and adjusts the thermostat. Angela sits on the edge of the riser and reaches in her pocket. She takes out Jordan/Brian's letter and looks at it one last time. Jordan turns around and faces Angela. Angela tosses the letter down on the riser between her and Jordan. Jordan looks at her, puzzled, then goes over to pick it up. He realizes what it is.

JORDAN: (hurt) You don't want it?

ANGELA: You can have it back. Or maybe you should return it to the person who wrote it.

Jordan rubs the back of his head.

JORDAN: What do you mean?

ANGELA: I know... someone told me... that you didn't write it.

JORDAN: Who told you?

ANGELA: Rickie. (Angela's voice breaks) How could you do that?

Jordan sits down next to her, he reaches out to comfort her, she pushes him away. Jordan takes a deep breath.

JORDAN: He could say... what I was feeling. I'm not smart, Angela... like you and Brian.

Jordan stands again.

JORDAN: He knew the right words to say to you.

ANGELA: Because he was feeling them too.

JORDAN: What?

ANGELA: It wasn't just that he was smarter.

Jordan looks perplexed; this is clearly something he had never thought of.

JORDAN: No... this, like... none of this makes any sense...

Jordan sits down next to Angela again.

ANGELA: He's in love with me.

JORDAN: I'm.... Angela, I need you.

Angela looks up at him, absolutely torn.

JORDAN: I don't know what you want from me.

ANGELA: Just tell me... did you get Brian Krakow to write the letter for you?

JORDAN: Yes... but I meant it... it's what I would write if I could... write.

Angela is clearly moved by Jordan's words. He senses it and moves closer. They move to kiss, just before their lips meet, Angela turns away.

ANGELA: No, not now.

JORDAN: What about... later?

ANGELA: Maybe... I don't know.

JORDAN: I want to, like... start over... forget everything.

Jordan and Angela look at each other.

ANGELA (VO): But then we looked at each other and we both knew, that it would never be the same again... we both knew too much about each other.

Angela shakes her head mutely. Jordan looks away, then he stands, spreads his hands out in front of him, then rubs the back of his head.

JORDAN: So, I can drive you home, at least.

Angela looks up and smiles at Jordan. He reaches out and helps her up.


INT. JORDAN'S CAR - NIGHT

Jordan's car idles in front of the Chase house. Jordan puts it in neutral.

JORDAN: Good night.

Angela and Jordan regard each other sadly. Angela touches his hand, then leaves the car.


EXT. SIDEWALK - NIGHT

Angela walks up to her house as Jordan's car remains parked in front.

ANGELA (VO): It was so strange. Everything in my relationship with Jordan Catalano had either been absolute ecstasy or totally horrible. Except for now.

Behind her, Jordan's car pulls away into the night.

ANGELA (VO): I had this weird, in-between feeling like I was balancing on a tightrope between sadness and joy.

Angela pauses, looks at her door.

ANGELA (VO): I just knew that nothing was ever going to be the same again, for anyone.

Angela takes out her key and opens the front door.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham is sitting by himself at the kitchen table, drinking a beer and pondering. The kitchen is sort of messy, with takeout Chinese food on the counter. Angela enters and Graham sees her, smiles in greeting.

GRAHAM: Hi.

ANGELA: Hi, dad.

GRAHAM: How was...

Graham tries to think of what Angela was doing and what to call it in order to avoid offending her.

GRAHAM: Was this a "date"... or was it just hanging out?

ANGELA: Just hanging out.

Graham takes a drink of beer, looks through the window at the street, knowing that Jordan Catalano dropped her off.

ANGELA: Dad...

GRAHAM: Yeah?

ANGELA: Do you think it's too late for me to go over to the Krakows?

GRAHAM: Well, it's past ten.

Graham looks out the side window at the Krakows' house.

GRAHAM: Their house looks pretty dark.

ANGELA: I guess you're right.

Graham opens his mouth to make a suggestion, closes it again, then decides he should after all.

GRAHAM: (hesitantly) You could leave a note, or something. If there was something you wanted to say.

ANGELA: Yeah, I could. (beat) Oh, and I talked to Rickie. There's a drama club meeting Thursday night at Mr. Katimski's house. I can get that wine glass for you, then.

Graham smiles gratefully at Angela.

GRAHAM: Great. Thanks.

ANGELA: Sure.

Graham gets up, puts his beer bottle by the sink.

GRAHAM: Good night.

ANGELA: Good night.

Angela takes some pen and paper and sits at the kitchen table.


EXT. STREET - NIGHT

On a crystal-cold winter night, Angela walks between her house and the Krakows. A few snowflakes drift gently down.

ANGELA (VO): It was only going from one house to another, but it felt like a million miles.


INT. CHASE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Graham looks our at the window at Angela as she walks, look briefly sad.

ANGELA (VO): I couldn't believe I was actually doing it. But I felt like I had to.


EXT. KRAKOW HOUSE - NIGHT

Angela takes out her note.

ANGELA (VO): I wanted to find out. I wanted to know everything I could know, feel everything I could feel.

Angela folds it, tucks it into the Krakows' mail slot, then hurries away.


INT. CHASE MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Patty is in her night-gown, reading in bed. The door to their bedroom is slightly ajar. Graham exits the bathroom.

PATTY: Did Angela come back?

GRAHAM: Yeah.

PATTY: Who dropped her off?

GRAHAM: Jordan Catalano.

PATTY: I wish I knew what was going on with them.

GRAHAM: (knowingly) I think she's sorting it out.

Graham adopts a slightly smug expression. Patty is irritated­ as usual, she feels like Graham is more connected to Angela's life than she is and that he's rubbing it in. She puts down her book.

PATTY: You know, you never asked me.

GRAHAM: Asked you about what?

PATTY: About the restaurant and this opening night thing. You just assumed I could go.

Graham turns around, misunderstanding her.

GRAHAM: You can make it, right?

PATTY: (with rising emotion) Well, as it happens, I can, but it would have been nice to check with me.

Graham doesn't understand Patty's distress and becomes defensive.

GRAHAM: Well, I mean, I would have, but she had already set it, and she seemed to think it was the best night... I just assumed...

PATTY: That whatever night it was I would just drop everything and go?

GRAHAM: Patty, what do you want? It's our restaurant. There's a lot of other factors involved. I can't ask Hallie to arrange everything just for my wife's sake.

Both Patty and Graham's voices are very loud now.

PATTY: That's not the point.

Patty gets out of bed and begins pacing.

GRAHAM: Then what is? I don't know what you want from me.


INT. UPSTAIRS HALL - NIGHT

Danielle, dressed in a long pink t-shirt, walks by the door to the master bedroom, which is open a crack. From inside we hear Patty and Graham yelling at each other.

GRAHAM: (from the bedroom) This is our restaurant, our thing. You don't, you don't change jobs at the printing press to suit my convenience, do you?

Angela comes up the stairs and sees Danielle outside the master bedroom.

PATTY: (snaps, from the bedroom) That's a ridiculous comparison.


INT. CHASE MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Graham and Patty face each other, both tense and angry, not comprehending each other at all.

GRAHAM: Your whole attitude from the start has been that you think it's a bad idea, but you don't want to say anything.


INT. CHASE UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

Danielle stands, her face becoming very distressed as she listens to her parents' argument, responding more to the hurtful tones of their voices than what they're actually saying.

GRAHAM: (from the bedroom) You just want to wait until I fall on my face so you can say "I told you so".

Just as Angela's about to go in her bedroom, she sees Danielle's distressed face and hears the sound of her parents yelling. She goes over to Danielle.

ANGELA: C'mon, Danielle, time for bed.

Danielle looks up at Angela, as Angela touches her on the shoulder. Angela casts an angry look into the bedroom as they walk away.

PATTY: (from the bedroom) No, of course I want you to succeed.

Danielle's hand instinctively goes to Angela's as they walk together down the hall.


INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT

Patty is now standing by the dresser, fiddling with something clumsily.

GRAHAM: Then this is all about Hallie, right?

Patty folds her arms, not wanting to respond,

GRAHAM: Right?

PATTY: (choking back emotion) Yes... partly...

Frustration explodes in Graham.

GRAHAM: Look, what do you want me to say? That I find her attractive? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do.

Patty looks at Graham, stunned.

GRAHAM: Do you want me to admit it? Is that what you wanted to hear?

PATTY: No...

Patty turns away and starts sobbing. Graham looks at her, suddenly very sorrowful at what he's done but unable to think of how to remedy it. Unable to deal with the situation, he leaves.

Patty continues to cry, leaning on the dresser, as the camera pans and focuses on their empty bed, then dissolves to:


EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Snowflakes fall to the ground, under trees stripped bare by winter.


THE END

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Episode No. 21 - The Fisher-King by Chris Ernest Hall
Published: 1997 | Size: 68 KB (12919 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.6/5   4.6/5 (38 votes)

Read this story now: Episode No. 21 - The Fisher-King
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  • Tasha commented on 12 Jan 2004:
    coming back from vacation but christmas has past?? why is rickie at angela's and not katimsky's. rickie doesn't cuss. i dont think angela would toss the letter nor would jordan confess being dumb. it was ok
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“Ignore her. She got up on the wrong side of the coffin this morning.”

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