Butterfly Town-Pilot: “Shiny New Girls”

Reiner, 17 years old in a black mask pointing his gun to a frightened cashier. The teller is frantic but cooperative, stuffing money from the register to a backpack.

On the other side of the room is Brent, almost the same height as Reiner, same age, causing a lot of stir, yelling, pointing his gun everywhere. Tellers around him are crying, people on the ground are shaking, holding their hands up, stifling their sobs.

BRENT: Don’t look at me! Don’t you fucking look at me!

Brent’s gun goes off. The sound echoes. Reiner jolts and is stunned at what just happened. Reiner’s head turns to assess the situation. Women screaming, sobbing; men yelling incoherently.

BRENT: (voice is distorted like an echo) Look what you made me do! Fuck! You made me shoot you, you stupid shit!

[In slow motion] Brent kicks the person he shot behind the counter.

Reiner looks at Brent, still screaming and yelling at the tellers. Faint sound of siren coming through the background. He looks around the frenzied room, then at the bag being stuffed by the Teller, and hears the siren getting closer and closer. He realizes it’s time to abort their mission.

REINER: Damn it [mutters through his teeth].Hey, man! We gotta go! We gotta go!

Reiner goes over to Brent to get him to move out.

MAN: Reiner…(he says in a weak voice)

Reiner stops. He recognizes that voice, and turns around to find who it’s coming from.

MAN: Reiner…Reiner, son, help me.

The man looks at Reiner, tearful, disappointed, and pleading with his eyes.

REINER: Dad? Dad! (He cradles his father)Dad, you’re okay, stay with me…stay with me.

MAN: (Whispers through his dying breath) Take care of our family…

REINER: Daaaddd!!!

LOCATION:BEDROOM-NIGHT

Reiner, jolts from his nightmare. He realizes it was just a dream and takes a deep breath. He’s shirtless, chest drenched in sweat. He looks around—he’s in a girl’s room, an apartment in the city. A girl is sound asleep next to him, long legs, beautiful. He checks the time, 5:30 in the morning.

Reiner gets up, puts on his clothes quietly. As he’s grabbing his jacket off a chair, the girl wakes up.

GIRL: You’re ducking out?

REINER: (Reiner pauses, looks back) I’ll call you ok?

GIRL: Okay…

Reiner heads out and shuts the door. 

LOCATION: EXT. APARTMENT-NIGHT

Reiner is going down the steps of the apartment, putting on his jacket and zipping it up. The girl pops her head out the window.

GIRL: Hey! You don’t have my number!

Reiner ignores her and smirks, shaking his head. He gets in his truck and turns the ignition on.

LOCATION:COAST-EARLY MORNING

Scenery of winding road, coast on one side and side of the hills on another. Reiner’s truck is  driving through the zig-zag of the road with the sun slowly rising from the horizon. The sky is orange. It’s a beautiful morning.

He pulls over at a vista point on the side of the road, facing the rising sun over the guardrail.

 

LOCATION: COLONIAL SUBURBAN HOUSE-MORNING

Madison, 15. She’s in front of a mirror, putting her hair up, then down, up, then down again. She settles on placing bobby pins on both sides of her hair.

Madison checks herself out once more then places her book bag on her shoulders, a folder and book on her arm.

She heads downstairs to the kitchen where her mother, Rebecca, is sipping coffee and reading a magazine. Next to her is Frances, Rebecca’s mother, sipping tea and crunching on a biscotti. 

Rebecca is a gorgeous brunette woman, in her late 30’s. 

MADISON:Good morning!

REBECCA: ‘Morning. I’ve made some toast if you want some.

Madison eyes the toast. Looks tough; inedible.

MADISON: It’s okay, I’ve got a breakfast bar.

Madison opens the fridge and pours herself a glass of orange juice.

FRANCES: When Rebecca was your age, I always woke up early to make her breakfast.

REBECCA: Why should I go through all the trouble when I can pay General Mills to make a perfectly delicious breakfast for me for a fraction of the price?

FRANCES: In case you didn’t know, cereals and breakfast bars are full of sugars and high-fructose corn syrup.

REBECCA: Yup. That’s why I was a chubby kid. Lots of pancakes in the morning. Know what comes with? Syrup

FRANCES: Oh, don’t exaggerate Becky. You had a variety of breakfast choices. But you only wanted pancakes. Besides, I think you got the chubby genes from your father.

REBECCA: Ooohhh…damn that man and his chubby genes.The struggle is real, guys. It’s a lot of work to try to look this good.

MADISON: Wish me luck. First day at a new school. It should be interesting. Well, at least I’ve got my classes all lined up. I did a little research on the internet and got an idea of their curriculum. It’s not that bad. Just wondering how rigorous they are.

REBECCA: I still don’t understand why you want to punish yourself like that. Are you secretly a masochist? Or is it that you’re a martyr to the educational system…

MADISON:[Ignoring Rebecca] I’m meeting with the school counselor first thing to pick out my classes.

REBECCA: I mean, c’mon. You’re a sophomore, these grades won’t even matter when you apply for college!

FRANCES: Ignore your mother, Madison. I’m so proud of you for wanting to get good grades.  Contrary to what she believes, they are very important.What college you go to is very important.

REBECCA: Why? Steve Jobs never finished college. That Zuckerberg kid never finished college. They’re millionaires many times over. I think education is way overrated.

FRANCES: If you are so opposed to college education, why did you finish a university degree?

REBECCA: That’s only because my robo-maid invention didn’t do well on Amazon.

MADISON: [chuckles] What are you reading?

REBECCA: [flips to the magazine cover] Umm…”Green Row Daily”. It’s like the town’s local paper or something.

MADISON: Hmm…do they have an opening?

REBECCA: Nope. But I have a meeting with the Editor this morning. I’m trying to pitch a new idea for a column: “Why is Green Row so Adoringly Boring” [Frances gives her a look which she ignores] It will chronicle all the boring events the town does although I will spin it to something that’s actually interesting. What do you think? Huh? Huh?

MADISON: I think you’ll still be unemployed until next year.

FRANCES: Mmm…hmmm

MADISON:(She looks at the time)I better get going, bus should be at the stop soon. Bye! See you later.Bye grandma!

REBECCA: Okay, be careful and don’t sit next to anyone weird! I learned that the hard way.

MADISON: Good luck with the boring thing!

REBECCA: [she takes another sip of her coffee and pretend gags]This is terrible.

Madison slings her book bag on and heads out.

REBECCA: Are you sure you don’t want me to take you?

MADISON: I’m fine mom! Bye!

LOCATION: EXTERIOR HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS-MORNING

The local high school campus, old, two stories but small and surrounded by trees. It’s a busy morning with students walking and biking to school, cars lined up to drop off the kids, while the school Crossing Guard is busy directing traffic. Students hanging out in the front lawn, chatting, laughing. We see jocks flocked around with their cheerleader girlfriends. Punks on their skateboards, nerds dragging their heavy backpacks on their backs.

A yellow bus pulls up to the front and stops. Students start getting out of the bus, then we see Madison get out. She looks at the school; the sign says: GREEN ROW HIGH SCHOOL. She takes a deep breath and walks towards the entrance. 

LOCATION:COUNSELOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Ms. McClendon’s mouth is speaking but we can’t understand her. Reiner is staring at her blankly, nodding, but clearly not listening. 

MCCLENDON: Mr. Hunter, are you still with me?

REINER: (snaps out of his thoughts) Yes, yes, I need a C to pass. Got it.

MCCLENDON: Correct. If you get at least a C in all your classes,I wouldn’t have to deal with you anymore until you flunk again next year. Unless you just like hanging around to see my gorgeous face.

REINER: How about you just tell all the teachers to pass me so you wouldn’t have to see me again next year? Unless of course you just want to keep seeing my handsome face. [Reiner winks]

McClendon scoffs.

MCCLENDON: You’re already 17 years old, Reiner and you’re still a sophomore! It’s time for you to move on. Let’s make it happen. I’d hate for your little brother to catch up with you. We wouldn’t want that, would we?

REINER: Nope. Wouldn’t want that.

MCCLENDON: All right then, same time next week?

Reiner stands up and opens the door.

REINER: Huh, so you do like seeing my handsome face. Personally, I think you’re too old for me but if you insist.

Ms. McClendon gives him a cold stare.

REINER: Ms. McClendon, always a pleasure.

MCCLENDON: (from behind her office door) Next!

Outside her door are a line of chairs. Madison is sitting, reading a book, completely engrossed in it that she doesn’t hear Ms. McClendon calling for the next in line.

MCCLENDON: (sticks her head out a little) Next in line!

Madison still doesn’t move, still completely lost in her book. Reiner stands by her, catches a glimpse of the book title: Quantum Glory. 

REINER: Miss…I think she’s calling for you.

MADISON:(scrambles for her things) Oh! Thank you!

Madison disappears behind Ms. McClendon’s door. Reiner looks back one more time, looking intrigued, and smirks to himself.

LOCATION: EXTERIOR DOWNTOWN GREEN ROW

Rebecca pulls up at the cafe parking space in downtown Green Row. Downtown has one main street: Cedar Street. It’s a line of small businesses, some dual-purpose where the top floor is the house and the bottom is being used as a business. It’s a sight that Rebecca is familiar with. It’s the town she grew up in and loved.

She enters the coffee house and quickly scans her surroundings before walking up to the cashier. 

CASHIER: Hello! What will it be for you this morning?

REBECCA: [Freezes momentarily]Adam?

ADAM: Yeah…uhh…[glimmer of recognition] Becky?

REBECCA: Yes, yes. It’s me. So, how have you been? [her facial expression turns somber]

ADAM:[smiles] Can’t complain. [pause]. I’d say I’m alright [hints that he owns the place]

REBECCA: [looks around the cafe] Wow, you own this? [nodding] Not that I ever doubted you. I always knew you would do it.

ADAM: [Stares at her, nostalgic].Well, I’ll be damned, Rebecca Pearcy. Back in Green Row. So what can I get ya?

REBECCA: Oh, umm…cappuccino, single. How much do I owe you?

ADAM: Nothin’. Just a proper goodbye…

Rebecca nods slowly.

REBECCA: [Breathes deeply] Hey, I’ve got this meeting in about 10 minutes with this magazine. I’d like to catch up with you when it’s over if you’re available.

ADAM: Sure. You know where to find me.

REBECCA: Yeah

ADAM: Where is this meeting?

REBECCA: Umm…it’s on this street…it says but..I don’t recall exactly..

ADAM: [Looks at the address] Oh, that’s just across the street.

REBECCA: It is?

ADAM: [points to the sign]

REBECCA: Oh…huh, thanks.

ADAM: My pleasure.

REBECCA: Ok, I’ll, uh, see you later. Thanks for the cappuccino.

ADAM: I’ll still be right here…

Rebecca leaves the cafe.

LOCATION: MCCLENDON’S OFFICE

MADISON: Hi, hi. I’m Madison Pearcy.

MCCLENDON: Yes, hello! Welcome.

MADISON:Thank you…

MCCLENDON: So Madison, I got your emails. All 24 of them. I’m glad to see you’re very serious about your academics.

MADISON: Yes, I have detailed which classes I would like to take this semester in my note.

MCCLENDON: Yes, about that. We only offer AP classes to juniors and seniors. Sophomores get pre-AP.

MADISON: But I was reading the pre-AP syllabus and I’m already proficient in them. So I thought I could better advance my knowledge in the subjects by taking the higher level courses. Doing the pre-AP is somewhat redundant.

MCCLENDON: I understand. Unfortunately, your prior school’s curriculum doesn’t completely match our AP course content. There are topics there that you haven’t covered before. You could possibly be lost and your teacher wouldn’t have a choice but to give you a failing mark.

MADISON: Okay, so what can I do to be proficient in just those topics?

MCCLENDON: Well, you can test out…

MADISON: Okay! That sounds like a great idea. When can I do it?

MCCLENDON: Hmm…we can schedule you for next week. Would you be ready by then?

MADISON: Yes, I will. [she says firmly]

MCCLENDON: Ok, well then I’ll see you next week. Welcome to Green Row High.

Madison exits the Counselor’s office.

LOCATION: OFFICE OF CLARISSA ANDREWS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, GREEN ROW DAILY

REBECCA: Thanks for agreeing to see me.[puts her coffee down on the desk]Oh, uhh, can I put my coffee here?

CLARISSA: Yes, go ahead.

Clarissa watches as Rebecca puts the cappuccino down, then picks it back up to take a quick sip.

CLARISSA: Nervous?

REBECCA: No. This cappuccino is just amazing!

CLARISSA: Oh, I know, right? It’s the new cappuccino maker. Makes quite a difference. [she sees Rebecca’s perturbed look] Adam is my husband.

Rebecca awkwardly nods.

CLARISSA: Listen, it’s my pleasure to meet you. When I heard you’re coming back to Green Row, I was quite interested in meeting you.

REBECCA: Yes, I’m happy to be back here.

CLARISSA: I’m not from around here myself, as you know. Moved here about 10 years ago. Built this publication from scratch.

REBECCA: Yup, I know that. If you knew me, you probably wouldn’t be across from me today.

CLARISSA: Meaning?

REBECCA: Oh, uhh…nothing. It’s a joke. I just attempted a joke. Maybe I AM nervous.

CLARISSA: [Smiles] I know what you mean. Wrecky Becky, right? Word gets around. You’re like a local celebrity here.

REBECCA: Ha…haha…I’m not particularly proud of my youth. Although it sure was fun.

CLARISSA: Nothing to be ashamed of. That’s what actually got me interested in talking to you.

REBECCA: [surprised and confused look]

CLARISSA: You seem gutsy.

REBECCA: Ah [nods]. Thank you?

CLARISSA: Your piece on Dallas’ very rigorous educational system back in Texas caught my attention.

“The Dallas Independent School District’s educational system spews out a legion of zombies and robots that prepare their students to follow rules instead of taking risks and initiatives as adults. Rather than encouraging creative thinking and exploration of meaningful interests, students are forced to follow a certain curriculum that are neither interesting or useful later in life.”

Ah oh this one:

We send our children to school hoping that some day they will be able to make a living and provide for themselves. We teach our children to be purposeful in their endeavors. Next time they get another useless homework, have them ask their teacher an honest question: How is this going to make me money?”

[she puts the magazine down]. I think it’s brilliant. That’s what I need here at Green Row Daily.

REBECCA: Listen, Clarissa, I appreciate that you liked my piece. That may have worked in Dallas but we’re talking about Green Row here. People at Green Row have been like this since forever. And they like it that way. It’s what makes it special.

CLARISSA: That’s because most people here aren’t aware of alternative methods. They’ve lived here all their lives. They’re basically in a bubble. I think it’s time to shake things up.

REBECCA: Umm…so you want me to burst their bubble..

CLARISSA: You could put it that way. Or think of it as liberalizing the town and the people that live in it. When Adam suggested we move here, he lured me under the pretenses that it’s an interesting town. It’s interesting alright.

REBECCA: I get the vision but I may be a little biased here. I do think this town is interesting and special. And I don’t want it to be liberalized. I grew up here.

CLARISSA: Really? So there’s not anything in the town you’d want to change?

REBECCA: No, not nothing. But nothing major.

CLARISSA: Look, we can mix up your pieces so they’re not centered on that alone if that makes you feel any better. Maybe you can write about a sappy topic once-in-a-while. But Rebecca, I want this. [she points to the article]. I want brutal, honest journalism. Either you’re in or you’re out.

REBECCA: [pause] Will I get to write about the butterfly parade?

CLARISSA: And the autumn ball. You’ll start tomorrow, be here at 9:00 sharp. I have an idea what you could write about for your first assignment.

REBECCA: Oh, ok…see you tomorrow.

CLARISSA: I’m excited. Let’s rock this town.

 

LOCATION: INSIDE CLASSROOM

JASMINE: Hi, Madison, right?

THOMAS: Jas, Mr. Leighton just said her name is Madison.

JASMINE: I know, I was just trying to break the ice. Hi, I’m Jasmine.

THOMAS: Thomas

MADISON: Hi

JASMINE: So you’re from Texas?

MADISON: Yes

THOMAS: Funny. You don’t have that Texas accent…like at all.

JASMINE: Thomas! [smacks his arm]

THOMAS: Ow! Well, I visited Austin and they had Texas accent. Just sayin’

MADISON: I was born in Massachusetts and then moved to Texas. And now, I guess here.

JASMINE: Oh, well that explains it.

MR. LEIGHTON: Jasmine, Thomas. Let’s leave Ms. Pearcy alone. I know we like shiny new thing but this is not the class to learn about new things. This is history. Now, who can summarize the events of D-Day for me?

BRAD GRIFFIN: I know this one. It’s D-day we all died of boredom.

Students laugh.

MR. LEIGHTON: Errr! Wrong. All right. For your homework assignment, I’d like you to write a two-page essay about D-Day and it’s importance in history.

Students groan.

MR. LEIGHTON: You can thank Mr. Griffin for that.

Bell rings.

MR. LEIGHTON: Ok, you guys have a good day. Have fun writing the essay.

Students leave the classroom.

LOCATION: SCHOOL HALLWAY

Jasmine, Thomas and Madison are walking together.

JASMINE: What do you have after this?

MADISON: French

JASMINE: Douset?

MADISON: Yes

THOMAS: Oh, we know where that is. We’ll take you.

MADISON: Thanks.

JASMINE: Have you thought about any clubs you want to join?

MADISON: Not yet. Why, do you have a recommendation?

JASMINE: We don’t really have that many. Most of them are lunch clubs.

MADISON: Lunch club?

THOMAS: Clubs that meet at lunch time.

JASMINE: There is a club we’re part of that’s after school today. It’s like a charity. We go out to communities and provide food and basic necessities. You can come check us out if you like.

MADISON: That sounds great.

THOMAS: Here you are…French. s’amuser

MADISON: Oh, thanks.

JASMINE: So, we’ll see you after school?

MADISON: Yes, of course.

 

LOCATION: INSIDE ADAM’S COFFEE HOUSE

Rebecca walks back into the coffee house, heading straight to Adam behind the counter.

REBECCA: You’re something else…[shaking her head]

ADAM: How was that meeting?

REBECCA: It went well, thank you. It was a job interview. I got the job. But I’m sure your wife would’ve told you that herself.

ADAM: Well then, it seems like congratulations are in order.

REBECCA: Why didn’t you tell me that I was meeting with your wife?

ADAM: [shrugs] I didn’t think it was important. [hands Rebecca another cup of cappuccino]

They both go occupy a table in the corner and sit down across from each other.

REBECCA: She was poised, intelligent, and the woman knows what she wants. I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh my God, I just met Miranda Priestly in the flesh. I’m really impressed and truthfully, a little intimidated.

ADAM: Yeah…[he nid-nods]. She’s pretty amazing. Who’s Miranda?

REBECCA: Nobody. Doesn’t matter.

ADAM: What? Why?

REBECCA: Chick flick

ADAM: Oh

REBECCA: Did you tell her about me? Us?

ADAM: No

REBECCA: Ok, good. Do you think she knows?

ADAM: I don’t know, maybe. Does it really matter? It was almost 20 years ago. And she’s not the jealous kind.

REBECCA: Right, right. Wow, 20 years. I feel so old. God, where did the time go?

ADAM: Where did you?

REBECCA: Ahh…here comes the heavy. [she places her cup down]

ADAM: We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.

REBECCA: It’s okay. I…uh, just migrated east, you know. Try something different. See snow for a change.

ADAM: How was it?

REBECCA: Cold

ADAM: Kids?

REBECCA: One. Girl

ADAM: Married?

REBECCA: Was…not anymore

ADAM: Uh-huh

REBECCA: You?

ADAM: Well you’ve met my wife

REBECCA: Kids?

ADAM: No, not yet.

REBECCA: How did you meet Miranda?

Adam gives her the look.

REBECCA: Okay, how did you and Clarissa meet?

ADAM: College. Down south.

REBECCA: Ah, so you stayed on the coast.

ADAM: Stayed on the coast.

REBECCA: Nods…well, that was about 20 seconds. I think we’re all caught up. Wow, we would really be good at speed dating.

ADAM: Champions

REBECCA: Oh, maybe we can put that in the Green Row town activity suggestion box!

LOCATION: CLARISSA’S OFFICE

Clarissa is staring out her glass window holding a cup of coffee.  She sees Rebecca chatting to Adam. They seem to be laughing and having fun.

She’s intrigued but ignores it and walks back to her desk.

LOCATION: OUT IN THE SCHOOL YARD

Students are getting out of the school. Chaos in the school ground as students disperse. We see students getting on their bikes. Some are getting in their vehicles. School buses lined up.

Reiner stands by his truck door, smoking a cigarette. The surgeon general’s warning from his cigarette box fills up the screen. He takes one more long hit and he flicks the cigarette on the ground and stomps on it. He spots Jake, his brother, getting in line to get on the school bus.

REINER: Jake!

Jake is thin, wears glasses and has curly hair that looks like he hasn’t combed for days. His backpack looks heavier than he is.

Jake looks in his direction, hesitates. He looks around and reluctantly walks over to Reiner’s truck. Reiner gets in the truck, followed by Jake.

Reiner turns on the ignition and drives off.

LOCATION: INTERIOR TRUCK-DAY

REINER: You hungry?

JAKE: [Shrugs] I guess…

REINER: [Annoyed] Are you, are you not?

JAKE: I am. [he looks at Reiner] I am.

LOCATION: INTERIOR SCHOOL-DAY

Madison walking the halls of Green Row High, she’s looking for a room number. Looking down at the paper she’s holding, then stops at a door. She finally found it.

JASMINE: You made it!

MADISON: Umm…hi, yes.

Madison peeks in the room. She sees students gathered around and filling up boxes with canned goods and other dry food items.

JASMINE: [Enthusiastically] Come on in! I’ll introduce you to the group.

Jasmine walks in and Madison follows behind her.

JASMINE: Guys! This is Madison. Madison, meet Kyle, Melinda, Anna, and of course Thomas.

Everybody waves and say hello. Madison waves back and says hi, shyly.

JASMINE: Come on, let me give you a box and show you how we’re organizing the items.

They walk to the back of the room. We see a closet full of food. Canned goods, rice, noodles, stale bread.

JASMINE: We organize a food drive every other weekend. You know, for the less fortunate. [Pauses] I know, right? How pathetic are we? Giving out food on our weekends instead of going out doing God knows what. [Hands Madison a flat box]. But you know, we see a need and we like to help out. We like to say we have a heart. Hearts Club. Get it?

She laughs at herself and hands Madison a duct tape.

MADISON: [Smiles]. Yeah, makes sense.

JASMINE: I mean, not all of us are vying for corporate America when we graduate. I think it’s evil, you know?

Madison continues to nod and starts to assemble the box. She lets Jasmine ramble. Jasmine hands her some canned goods and she places them inside. They’re working together to fill it up. Jasmine picks up a can of corned beef and stops–

JASMINE: Ugh! Corned beef. I don’t know why people eat this stuff. The meat industry is probably one of the most unethical industries. I don’t know why people eat meat period.

MADISON: You don’t eat meat? [Continuing to pack the box] Vegetarian?

JASMINE: [Shaking her head] Nope.Vegan. No eggs or anything from animals.

MADISON: That’s amazing.

JASMINE: You?

MADISON: Me? Oh, I eat everything. I don’t discriminate. You know, unless it smells or something.

Silence. Jasmine’s stare pierces through Madison and she feels the need to explain herself.

MADISON: I umm…I went to Africa last year for a mission trip with our church ministry. The village we visited—they would be very lucky to even have a can of corned beef.

JASMINE: [Confused, condescending look] So…you eat meat because they couldn’t?

MADISON: [Calmly] No, I eat meat because I’m fortunate enough to be able to have it.

Jasmine is confused still. Silence.

MADISON: Can I ask you something?

JASMINE: Sure…

MADISON: You’re saying you don’t eat meat because the meat industry is evil?

JASMINE: Well yeah. They exploit the public and contribute to obesity and diseases that cut our lifespans short. Not to mention cruelty to animals and the negative environmental impact.

MADISON: Would you eat your own livestock? You know, that you raised on your own.

JASMINE: No…I don’t eat meat.

MADISON: Then it’s not the industry you’re boycotting. It’s meat itself.

Silence.

LOCATION: INTERIOR DINER-LATE AFTERNOON

Diner’s door opens and it chimes. Reiner and Jake enter and take a booth near the coastal view.

Bertha, an African-American woman in her forty’s, walks over. She’s wearing the diner’s uniform and holds a pen and paper.

BERTHA: What can I get you boys?

JAKE: May I have the cranberry pecan salad? Just water for drink.

REINER: [clears throat]

BERTHA: [stifles a smile] Alright, one cranberry pecan salad. What kind of dressing would you like with that?

JAKE: Vinaigrette, please.

BERTHA: [nodding and writing down order] Vinaigrette, got it. What about you Reiner?

REINER: What’s your special today?

BERTHA: Well, we have the pot roast with a side of mashed potatoes and mixed veggies.

REINER: That sounds good. And that’s a two for one, right?

BERTHA: Ummm… [she looks at Reiner, confused. Reiner is giving her a look]. Yes, for you two, I can make it happen. So, should I cancel the salad?

REINER: [To Jake] It would really save me some cash…

JAKE: [shrugs] Fine.

BERTHA: Two specials coming right up.

REINER: Thank you.

Bertha walks back to the kitchen.

Reiner looks outside. The sun is still bright and the Pacific Ocean looks gorgeously blue. Waves are crashing against the rock formations standing in the middle of the shore. Scene of children and families playing at the beach. Teenagers in their own circle horsing around, some girls on the backs of teenage boys, some are surfing, some playing catch with a football. We see some elders walking their dogs, a couple of people running and a few are reading books.

JAKE: Are you going to visit mom this weekend?

REINER: [Snaps out of his thoughts] Yeah, you coming this time?

JAKE: I just…you know…

REINER: I know. She was asking about you last time. I think you should come.

JAKE: How is she?

Reiner puts his head down. He shakes his head and purses his lips.

JAKE: How long does she have?

REINER: Three. Four if we’re lucky.

JAKE: [teary and voice breaking]Fucker won’t even be there.

REINER: Hey…don’t talk about shit you know nothing about…

Reiner’s face is grim and serious. Jake softens his stance.

Bertha comes back balancing drinks and a bread basket on a tray.

BERTHA: Here are your drinks and rolls to start with. Your food should be coming out in a minute.

REINER and JAKE: Thank you.

BERTHA: Rein, have you spoken to Todd lately? He hasn’t called me in a couple of days.

REINER: Yes, you know Todd. Likes to keep busy. But I saw him last weekend. He showed me around his new school. It seems he’s doing well, Mrs. Collins.

BERTHA: Oh, yeah? Well tell the boy to call his mother next time, will ya?

REINER: Yeah, I’ll tell him. Don’t you have his number?

BERTHA: I’ve left that boy ten messages and he ain’t called me back yet. I hope he ain’t in no trouble.

REINER: Nah, you don’t have to worry about that. Todd is all about his grades.

BERTHA: [Not convinced] Mmm..hmmm. Alright. Tell him I said hi and to call me. I’ll be back with your orders.

INT. SCHOOL-LATE AFTERNOON

Madison and Jasmine are walking in the hallway heading to the exit.

JASMINE: The team is going out to glean a farm this weekend. It’s an organic farm not too far from here. You’re welcome to come if you like. You know, if you’re not doing anything.

MADISON: Let me check with my mom but I think we don’t have any plans.

JASMINE: Ummm…sure, just let me know. It’s a great way to add some fresh fruits to the packages. You know, to balance the canned ones.

Madison nods in agreement as they walk out of the school property.

Rebecca’s Subaru is parked outside the school.

JASMINE: Is that your mom?

MADISON: Yes

JASMINE: Wow, she’s pretty.

MADISON: [smiles] I’ll make sure to tell her. Okay, bye! Thanks for showing me the club.

JASMINE: Sure! No problem. Bye!

Jasmine walks into the vehicle and gets in.

LOCATION: INT. VEHICLE – SAME

Madison is putting on her seat belt.

REBECCA: I see you already made a friend!

MADISON: Yeah, I guess. Jasmine. We’re in the same club.

REBECCA: Good to see you’re adjusting. See? I told you you’ll be fine.

MADISON: She’s a vegan.

REBECCA: Ugh, why?

MADISON: [shrugs] She has her reasons.

REBECCA: Did she say anything about your leather belt?

MADISON: No, but she gave me the “look” a couple of times today.

REBECCA: [gasps] Noooo…. How dare she? It’s just pleather…

MADISON: She didn’t know that. Oh, she invited me to go glean a farm this weekend. We don’t have any plans, do we?

REBECCA: Ooohh, I saw the theater downtown is doing showing of classic movies this weekend.

MADISON: Any Bruce Lee movies?

REBECCA: The Big Boss

MADISON: Really?

REBECCA: Yeah, but for free veggies l can just watch it on Netflix. Veggies are too expensive nowadays to buy from the supermarket.

MADISON: But it wouldn’t be surround sound. Bruce Lee sounds much better in surround sound

REBECCA: Good point

MADISON: We can go at night?

REBECCA: But the crowd will be there

MADISON: Oh, right…I forgot your were antisocial

REBECCA: I am not. Movie theater crowd is just annoying. They block your way to the bathroom and they like to shush people. It’s like, you can never have any opinion to what you’re watching. What’s the point in that?

MADISON: You are too. Remember when we saw your boss at the supermarket? You made us put all the items back just so you won’t have to talk to her at the check out line. I was starving that night. I bet your old friends don’t even know you’re back

REBECCA: Uh—I—

Rebecca starts to say something but stops herself…

MADISON: I thought so.

REBECCA: You’re wrong. You didn’t starve that night. I gave you ramen! I remember because I was saving that for lunch but instead, I gave it to you.

MADISON: Prove me wrong. C’mon, where did you guys use to hang out when you were a kid? Where’s the one place that you’re sure you’ll run into some of your childhood friends?

REBECCA: Uhhh…

MADISON: Scared there might be people there?

REBECCA: Alright missy. I’ll take you to this restaurant where the locals hang out. But promise you’ll do the rescue mommy routine when I give you the signal.

MADISON: Promise

REBECCA: They have really good cheesecake

MADISON: Hmm…I like this restaurant already.

LOCATION: EXT. NANCY’S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT – LATE AFTERNOON

A red sports car pulls up with four affluent teenagers. They are all wearing designer clothing and purses. We focus on a blonde girl, Stephanie Webber, the driver and owner of the car. Stephanie is the popular, rich girl, The Queen B with a posse to match.

She checks herself in the rear-view mirror and glides on a fresh red lipstick. She smacks her lips and flips her hair. She checks herself out one more time. All good. She follows her friends out of the car and into the restaurant.

LOCATION: INT. RESTAURANT-SAME

Stephanie is the last one to walk in and sits at the table where her friends are already seated. She notices that the other girls are all giggling and looking at the other side of the restaurant.

ANDREA: Gosh, he’s so hot. You know, I’ve always liked older men.

The girls all turn towards Reiner and Jake at their table.

FIONA: He’s only a year older than us.

ANDREA: He’s still older.Older guys are just much better you know? They have more experience…in every department.

CHRISTINE: Ugh. Except the guys you hook up with are grossly older.

ANDREA: Jealous much?

CHRISTINE: Eww, no. I don’t like Old Spice.

STEPHANIE: Simmer down, ladies.

FIONA: I’ve never seen him with anyone. You guys think he’s gay?

CHRISTINE: I wouldn’t be surprised. Most hot guys usually are.

ANDREA: That’s because he’s not really with anyone. He bags ‘em and leaves ‘em. I heard he bagged most of the sophomore class last year. Never calls after.

FIONA: Maybe because he can’t afford a date. Or a cellphone.

The girls giggle except Stephanie. She has an idea brewing.

STEPHANIE: Or he just hasn’t met his match.

CHRISTINE: He’s met you already, Steph (sarcastic).

STEPHANIE: I wasn’t really trying then. (Pause) I’m going to invite him to my party this weekend.

She was over to Reiner and Jake’s table.

STEPHANIE: Hey Reiner

REINER: Hey. [He goes back to finishing his plate]

STEPHANIE: So, it’s my birthday this weekend and I’m having a party at our house on Friday.

REINER: [Looks back at her] Yeah? Well then, happy birthday. [Goes back to his plate]

STEPHANIE: Thank you.

Silence. Reiner keeps on eating. Jake is looking star-struck. He’s nervous at the mere presence of Stephanie Webber.

Stephanie is awkwardly standing beside their table, looking for the right words to say. She glances back and forth between Reiner and Jake.

STEPHANIE: Umm…you should come celebrate with us…

Still no answer. Reiner takes a sip of his drink. Jake is quietly sitting across the table from him, looking down at his plate. Reiner looks at him and Stephanie notices.

STEPHANIE: Your brother can come too…

REINER: [smirks] Hear that Jake? You’re going to a party.

STEPHANIE: Great, see you guys there then?

JAKE: Rein? [Reiner doesn’t respond]. Yeah, sure. We’ll ummm…we’ll see you there…

Stephanie looks annoyed and returns to her table.

ANDREA: So? What happened?

STEPHANIE: He’ll be there.

CHRISTINE: What about Brad? You know Brad will be pissed at you if he sees him at the party, right?

STEPHANIE: [scoffs] Brad is yesterday’s news. I need a new project. (Pauses) I’ll handle Brad.

FIONA: Well then, can I ask Brad out?

Stephanie gives her an annoyed look.

STEPHANIE: No. (firmly) Well, I take that back. If Reiner asks me out, you can have him.

ANDREA: If?

STEPHANIE: When. When he does, then yes.

Rebecca and Madison walk in. Rebecca walks up to the hostess stand.

REBECCA: Hi, two please?

LYNN: Becky?

REBECCA: Yep! Yes, that’s me.

LYNN: I thought it was! How are you? When did you get back?

REBECCA: Oh, good! I got back a couple of days ago….[pause. trying to recall the girl’s name]

LYNN: It’s me, Lynette Morgan! Don’t you remember me?

REBECCA: Oh, hi! Lynn! Of course I remember. You just look..different. Good different

LYNN: Oh, It must be because I’ve been working out. After three babies, you just have to, you know.

REBECCA: Oh yeah. I could definitely see it. Three babies? Wow, congratulations. [turns to Madison]. Oh, this is my daughter Madison. We call her Maddie.

LYNN: Oh, good lord, she’s beautiful!

REBECCA and MADISON: Thank you

They all pause awkwardly.

LYNN: Well, let’s get you guys seated.

Lynn takes a couple of menus and leads to their booth. Reiner notices Madison walking in. Jake sees Reiner’s apparent interest in the new girl.

JAKE: You know her?

REINER: No

Reiner looks at her again

JAKE: Is she new?

REINER: Must be

Stephanie glances over at Reiner’s table and catches him looking at Madison. Christine notices her grim look.

CHRISTINE: Who’s that?

ANDREA: She’s new. She was in my history class today. Madison, I think.

FIONA: Well, looks like we’re not the only one who notices her.

They all look at Reiner.

ANDREA: Looks like you’ve got some competition, Steph

STEPHANIE: Shut up. I got an idea, why don’t we get to know the new girl better? [to Andrea] We should invite her to lunch with us tomorrow.

CHRISTINE: Keep your friends close—

STEPHANIE: And your enemies closer [she glances at Reiner one more time]

Lynn shows Rebecca and Madison their booth and they both sit down.

LYNN: Is this good?

MADISON: This is perfect, thank you. The view is amazing [she looks to the beach outside]

LYNN: I’m glad you like it. Your mama used to swim in that very same beach. Bertha will be your server. Remember Bertha?

REBECCA: Yes! Of course I remember her.

LYNN: Hey Bertha! Bertha! Come here, quick! You won’t believe who just got back. It’ss Rebecca. Rebecca Pearcy

Rebecca puts her head down, attempting to hide. Madison smiles, tormenting her

BERTHA:  Oh my! Hey everybody, look what the wind blew in! It’s Wrecky Becky!

Patrons turn around. Rebecca closes her eyes and breathes in.

ROY: Wrecky Becky you said?

GEORGE: Oh, it’s Wrecky Becky alright!

REBECCA: Roy! George!

Rebecca gets up to give them both a hug

YANELLI: Guys! Guys! Let me take a look at her…

REBECCA: Nelli! [she gives her a hug too]

YANELLI: Now who’s this pretty little thing? [to Madison]

REBECCA: Guys, this is my daughter, Madison

ROY: Well, hi there, Madison

MADISON: Maddie…

GEORGE: Maddie…I love that name

BERTHA: So precious. I say you’re more beautiful than your mama…

REBECCA: Well now, I did win Prom Queen.

ROY: That’s ’cause you’d beat us up if we didn’t vote for you.

MADISON: What? [to Rebecca]

BERTHA: Maddie…your mama was such the tomboy when she was your age

GEORGE: We was scared of her. She was a fierce one…

REBECCA: Oh, come on guys, quit exaggerating

YANELLI: It’s true, Becky. That’s the only reason why you were voted Prom Queen.

GEORGE: And she wore jeans. Just to prove a point.

Everyone shakes their head.

YANELLI: Have you seen Adam yet?

ROY: Oh, yes, Adam. He ownS a coffee shop over at Cedar

REBECCA: Yeah, I uhh…I saw him this morning. Great coffee…

Everyone turns quiet. Madison looks curious.

YANELLI: So, where are you guys staying?

REBECCA: At my mom’s house.

ROY: Good then! Just like old times.

REBECCA: Yup, just like old times.

LOCATION: INTERIOR HOUSE

Nate, a clean-cut, bearded man, holding a frying pan and spatula. He’s in his mid-30’s with an athletic build and a serious look. He’s wearing a skin-tight white shirt with his biceps bulging out of them.

Reiner and Jake walk in.

JAKE: Hey uncle Nate

NATE: There’s fish if you’re hungry.

JAKE: We already ate

NATE: [drops the fried fish on the plate and flips the kitchen towel over his shoulder]

Reiner walks by and heads back towards the door.

NATE: Where you going?

REINER: Work

Nate nods.

Jake heads to the room.

NATE: And you?

JAKE: Homework

Reiner shuts the door behind him. Followed by Jake.

Nate hears the truck ignition turn and drive off. Realizing nobody is joining him for dinner, opens a beer bottle and sits down at the table. He eyes the pan-fried fish he just finished cooking and pushes it aside.

LOCATION: INTERIOR GAS STATION-EVENING

Reiner is manning the cash register. A line of people is waiting to be checked out. He’s working as fast as he can.

Sergio, his co-worker, is closing out his shift behind him. He’s a Latin man in his mid-forties.

Brad Wiggins comes up to the register. He’s driving daddy’s red corvette tonight with some of his loud football teammates in tow.

BRAD: Hunter…Let me have ten on pump 4.

Reiner rings him up.

REINER: You’re all set.

Brad continues to stand in front of the checkout line.

BRAD: Umm…my change?

REINER: What change?

BRAD: [condescendingly] My ten dollars change back. I gave you a twenty. Twenty minus ten equals ten. So, I want my change back.

REINER: Wiggins, you gave me a ten-dollar bill.

BRAD: [scoffs]. Dude, I gave you a twenty. All I have are twenties and hundreds.[pulls out a wad of twenties from his pocket.]

Reiner grits his teeth and breathes deeply.

REINER: You gave me a ten [he says firmly]

BRAD: It’s cool, it’s cool, man. I’m guessing that bank job your pop pulled already ran out? You’re back to stiffing local high school kids?

Reiner’s fists ball up and he takes a deep breath. Sergio notices the tension and quickly intervenes to calm down the situation. Mostly Reiner’s temper.

SERGIO: [restraining a fuming Reiner] Hey, man. Let it go. It’s just talking. He’s just talking. [To Brad] Get out of here.

BRAD: [walking backwards] Just say when and where, Hunter. Say when and where.

Brad leaves the store.

SERGIO: You cool, man?

REINER: I’m alright.

SERGIO: Okay, homey.

Reiner nods, but he’s still pissed off. Brad and his friends are making loud noises, blasting their music with the top down on the corvette.

SERGIO: All right, amigo. I’m out. Don’t let those punks get to you.

 

REINER: Yeah…

LOCATION: INTERIOR PEARCY RESIDENCE-NIGHT

Rebecca flops onto her bed face down.

REBECCA: What an exhausting day!

MADISON: Talking to people can be emotionally draining to the anti-social

REBECCA: I’m not anti-social. I just hate small talk

Frances walks in the room.

FRANCES: Where have you two been? I’ve been waiting for you to arrive so we can have dinner.

MADISON: Oh, we ate out

FRANCES: Out?

MADISON: At a restaurant. Mom seemed to know everyone there. She actually talked to people that’s why she’s so exhausted now.

REBECCA: [groans] I got a job

FRANCES: You did? Well, congratulations. When do you start?

REBECCA: Tomorrow. Adam’s wife is going to be my boss

FRANCES: Adam? Adam Kowalski?

REBECCA: None other

FRANCES: That will be interesting. Are you sure you want to take this job?

REBECCA: Either that or blogging

MADISON: Who is Adam Kowalski?

FRANCES: Oh, your mother didn’t tell you? That was her first boyfriend…

Madison looks to Rebecca.

MADISON: Mom, really? That will be too awkward

REBECCA: I can handle it.

FRANCES: Can she?

REBECCA: She doesn’t know…she doesn’t know…

 

THE END

 

 

 

 

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