..she fell in love with the drummer (xrebelheartx) wrote,
..she fell in love with the drummer
xrebelheartx

So, NaNo didn't exactly work out -- I feel like as soon as I decided to do it, I got swamped with schoolwork/life in general...but really what happened is I just suck a lot. I do want to thank eolivet, chili_powda and justspies for reading and for being so ridiculously sweet and supportive of my attempts to novel ;) You guys are awesome. eolivet, I have finals and a million projects due this week and next week, but as soon as I get any semblance of free time, I am locking myself away with your work -- I absolutely cannot wait to read what you've written, dude. I'm sure it's amazing.

Umm, this is my (pretty much) finished screenplay for the screenwriting class that took over my life this semester. If anyone's bored and wants to read it and, you know, come up with a title for me, I'd pretty much love you forever even though I clearly will already.



FADE IN:


EXT., LATE MORNING.

Brilliant sunlight. We hear the soft, beginning strains of Guster’s “Parachute”, and, PULLING BACK, we see a wide field of overgrown grass and tangled weeds. We move across the grass and close in on a young girl lying face up in the field as the first lines to the song are heard (There we stand about to fly / Peeking down over land / Parachute behind…). Continuing across her form and towards the horizon, the song grows louder (What was that moment for which we live? / Without a parachute, about to dive…) We move higher into the cloudless sky, and bits of quick, angry conversation between a man and a woman can be heard between the song’s lyrics – Find myself convincing / Blindly falling faster / How easy…–

As we begin to descend, the argument drops away and we settle on VERONICA and AVERY, walking along an empty, suburban street on a sunny morning. Oh, know the place I’m leaving / And the rest is just gone. The song fades out and we pick up their conversation as they continue to walk. AVERY is dressed in a green soccer uniform and wearing a red sweatband around her head.


VERONICA

You could’ve thrown an elbow in there, Babe-o, that’s all I’m saying.


AVERY

I can’t just elbow people all over the place. I’ll get kicked out of the game!

VERONICA
(pointing to AVERY’S arms)

With those bony elbows? You’d only need to do it once, would’ve left
a bruise the size of Robert’s forehead for a week.
(she pauses, frowning a little)
We really should fatten you up, you know. I’ll give you a dollar if you
finish that box of doughnuts we have at home.

AVERY
(grinning)

Promise?


VERONICA
(pretending to consider)

If you can finish them all in ten minutes, yeah.

AVERY

Ten minutes?

VERONICA

Don’t wimp out on me, Babe-o…
(trails off, grabbing Avery’s arm and pulling her to a stop.)


We move from the girls’ faces across the sidewalk and onto the lawn in front of them. A For Sale sign sits in the center.

AVERY
(looking up at Veronica)

That wasn’t there this morning.

VERONICA
(grimly)

I know. (Glances around, still holding Avery’s arm). And Robert’s not home.
Come on. (She tugs at Avery and they run across the lawn toward the front door.)


INT., KITCHEN. We see JANE, bent over newspapers spread across the table, cradling a cordless phone against her ear.

JANE

I don’t know where the son of a bitch is. He’ll probably be home any
minute…Jesus, what am I supposed to do here? (She’s quiet for a moment.)
No, no, I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t even know we were broken up, for
Christ’s sake. (Pause.) Cait, I really, really don’t need to hear that right now, okay? (Moves to look out the window.) If I wanted another rendition of Jane is a giant fuck-up, I’d just go look for Robert…(trails off, turning back around. She takes a deep breath, listening.) Are you sure?


VERONICA and AVERY burst into the kitchen.

VERONICA

Mom, what the fuck? There’s a for sale sign on the lawn. Our lawn. A for sale si—

JANE
(cutting her off and covering the phone)

I know. Listen to me. You and Avery, go upstairs and pack everything you can. Veronica? Everything. Load it into the car. And hurry. I’ll be right there.

VERONICA holds JANE’S gaze for a moment, then nods, turning to AVERY with a sigh.

VERONICA

Okay, Babe-o. Robert’s a shithead, Mom’s lost her mind, and I think we’re going on a trip.

VERONICA and AVERY exit the kitchen.

JANE
(into the phone)

Cait? We’ll be there tonight.

INT., UPSTAIRS, packing. We see VERONICA throwing clothes into a large suitcase, while AVERY fills a duffel bag with a soccer ball and a stack of books. VERONICA and AVERY haul bags and cardboard boxes down the stairs and out to the car.

JANE, in a stripped-down master bedroom, rifles through a drawer full of men’s underwear. She pulls out a large wad of bills and puts it in her purse.


HIGHWAY, driving. JANE is at the wheel. VERONICA is slouched in the front, while AVERY is wedged in the backseat.

JANE
(gripping the wheel)

A year. A year, Veronica. I spent a year with that man. I slept with him for a year!

(She pounds on the steering wheel, angry and close to tears.)


VERONICA

He’s a fucking tool, Mom. He was probably hiding in the bushes, jerking off while we ran away.

JANE looks at VERONICA, who merely shrugs.


EXT., GAS STATION. JANE stands outside, pumping gas. VERONICA swivels around in the car to face AVERY, who is looking out the window.

VERONICA
(smiling)

Still want to earn that dollar?

AVERY breaks into a grin.

INT., GAS STATION. AVERY is holding a large box of powdered mini doughnuts.

VERONICA

Remember, the whole box. Ten minutes.

AVERY

There were only like eight left in the box at home.

VERONICA

Avery Isabella Blessing…you drive a hard bargain. (Drapes an arm around Avery’s shoulders, guiding her toward the checkout counter.) Okay. Fifteen minutes and I’ll throw in these killer shades. (Grabs a large pair of silver aviators off a rack marked $3.00 Sunglasses and puts them on Avery’s face. She pays for the glasses and the doughnuts.)


DRIVING. AVERY is in the backseat, leaning against the window and wearing her sunglasses. The open box of doughnuts (with five or six left inside) is balanced on top of the cardboard boxes next to her, and her lips are covered with powder.


JANE

Oh God, Avery, you’re going to be so sick. Just tell me if you need me to pull over, okay sweetie?

VERONICA
(grinning)

She’s fine. You’re a champ, Babe-o. I would have given you the dollar for just getting through half the box.

JANE
(to Veronica)

You are a terrible influence, do you know that? (She glances in the rear view mirror.) Grab me one of those.

VERONICA settles the box of doughnuts in between the front seats and turns around, still smiling. We see a sign for a motel that reads: Executive Inn / 2 miles ahead on the right / outdoor pool / continental breakfast.

VERONICA
(swiveling to look at Avery)

Do you have your bathing suit?

AVERY
(excited)

Yeah!

JANE
(simultaneously)

Oh, no, Veronica. No way. We’re still at least three hours from Aunt Cait’s, and the last time I checked, we weren’t paying guests at the Executive Inn.

AVERY
(leaning forward, bouncing in her seat)

Come on, Mom. Can’t we swim for just a little bit?

JANE looks at AVERY, then at VERONICA, who holds her gaze steadily. She breaks into a smile, shaking her head as The Shins’ “Fighting in a Sack” begins to play. (Just last night I woke from some unconscionable dream / Had it nailed to my forehead again / To keep this boat afloat / Well there are things you can’t afford to know / So I save all my breath for the sails…)

JANE, VERONICA, and AVERY walk through the gate of the motel pool, wearing suits and carrying towels. “Fighting in a Sack” continues to play.

DUSK is approaching. We are back in the car as the song fades out. AVERY is asleep in the backseat, still wearing her sunglasses, though they are falling off her face. The car is quiet.

VERONICA

So what are we going to do, Mom? (watches Jane carefully) You know you won’t be able to stand living with Aunt Cait for longer than, what, two hours?

JANE
(honest, resigned)

I don’t know, baby.

They pass a wide, enclosed field on the right. In it sits a large silver trailer, and along the fence there is a “For Rent” sign posted. A phone number is displayed beneath the words.

JANE

Is that…(twists to look, slowing the car and moving toward the shoulder of the road. Veronica follows her gaze.)

VERONICA

Mom…

JANE
(clearly excited, stopping the car)

Oh, let’s just check it out, okay?


INSIDE the trailer. It is empty save for an old refrigerator and a table around which JANE, VERONICA, and a tall man wearing a baseball cap stand. AVERY is peering out the window into the field. A few pieces of paper are spread out on the table. We see that “Lease” is printed across the top of one of them, and we pick up on the conversation:

MAN

Sure, it’s a nice town. S’bout a mile down the road till you hit anything, but it’s real quiet, safe. My two boys went kindergarten through high school here and we never had any problems. And with the trailer, you know, you got use of the field. Plenty of room for your girls to run around.

AVERY turns from the window but says nothing.

VERONICA

Oh good, Babe-o. We can frolic.

JANE

Veronica. (Back to the man) We’ll take it. I can give you a down payment right now. (Reaches into her purse, pulling out the wad of cash.)

MAN

Great. (smiles) It’s all yours.

VERONICA
(mostly to herself)

Lucky us.

NIGHT. Inside the trailer. The moon shines in through the window, illuminating JANE, AVERY, and VERONICA, who are sleeping in blankets on the floor of the trailer. We hear scurrying and squealing, and see mice dart out from underneath the refrigerator and under a closet door.

VERONICA
(waking slowly, rubbing her eyes)

What the fuck…(she sees the mice) Oh, Jesus Christ. Mom!


DAYTIME. VERONICA is inside a typical diner, sitting at the counter bent over an application. An older woman behind the counter pours a cup of coffee, while a woman about JANE’S age hands a plate of food to a man sitting a few seats away from VERONICA.

The older woman sets the coffee next to VERONICA, and as she does so, we see her circle “Full-time” on the application.


INSIDE an empty bar. JANE sits at the counter there, talking to the man behind it. He has a towel slung over his shoulder, and he is stocking beer bottles as he talks to JANE.

BAR OWNER

You said you’ve tended bar before?

JANE

A little, yeah. Back when I was…(laughs a little, nervously). Back when I was younger.

BAR OWNER

This isn’t going to pay the bills, you know. I can only take you on a few nights a week to start, and even once you’re here for awhile…(shrugs) You’ll see. Business isn’t exactly booming.

JANE

Oh, I know. I’m waiting to hear from a few other places…daytime stuff. I’m just looking to make a little extra on the side.

BAR OWNER
(looks at her closely)

Okay.

NIGHTTIME, inside the trailer. AVERY is asleep in a pile of blankets, clutching a book to her chest. JANE and VERONICA are sitting at the table – there is a bit more furniture now, including three kitchen chairs and a used loveseat.

VERONICA pours a generous amount of cheap vodka from the handle sitting on the table into a paper cup, and adds some soda to the mixture.

JANE

Veronica…

VERONICA

What?

JANE
(sighs, shrugs, and pushes her own cup toward Veronica)

Make me one?

VERONICA does, and the women sit in silence for a moment. JANE looks over at AVERY.

JANE

God, I have to make sure I register her for school tomorrow. I keep forgetting. (shakes her head). You too. (she smiles a little) I can’t believe you’re going to be a senior.

VERONICA avoids JANE’S gaze, looking at AVERY instead. We hear the beginning strains of Ben Folds’ “Still Fighting It”, playing so quietly that the words cannot be heard.

VERONICA
(quietly)

I’m not going.

JANE

What are you talking about? Of course you’re going.

VERONICA shakes her head, lifting it to meet JANE’s eyes. The song grows a little louder – Everybody knows it hurts to grow up / And everybody does / So weird to be back here / But let me tell you what / The years go on and we’re still fighting it, we’re still fighting it / And you’re so much like me / I’m sorry…

VERONICA

I’m not. I’m going to work. We need the money and you know it.

JANE

That’s not up to you, Veronica. Leave the money to me. I’ll take care of everything. Besides, you have to go to school.

VERONICA
(quietly, sadly)

I’m seventeen. I don’t have to.

JANE
(tears starting in her eyes)

Baby, don’t. Don’t ask me to let you do this.

VERONICA

I’m not asking.

And I can tell you about today / And how I picked you up and everything changed / It was pain, sunny days and rain / I knew you’d feel the same things. FADE to black.




ACT II


INT. trailer, nighttime.

It is dark, almost black, and we can just make out VERONICA, covered with a blanket and stretched out on a couch made up underneath the window. JANE and AVERY share a double bed. All three women are asleep, and the trailer is silent. Suddenly, we hear a loud series of rapid, metallic clicks as mouse traps that have been placed along the trailer floor begin to snap closed. VERONICA opens her eyes, looking out the window.

INT., supermarket, daytime.

We follow VERONICA and AVERY through the aisles of a small, brightly lit grocery store, as The Clash’s “Lost in the Supermarket” begins to play in the background. VERONICA is carrying a red basket, which holds a loaf of bread and a large jar of peanut butter. AVERY skips ahead of VERONICA down an aisle filled with liters of soda.

AVERY

Ooh, can we get some Sprite? Please?
(bounces a little in front of the display)

VERONICA
(surreptitiously looking at the price of the Sprite, then at the lower price of the imitation brand, which is labeled “Quist”)

Oh my God, Babe-o. Forget Sprite. Look at this. (picks up a liter of Quist, showing AVERY the name) Quist. What the fuck? I mean, what the fuck is a Quist? Are they serious? They’re serious. We have to try it.


AVERY

Quist. (trying the word and giggling) Okay, let’s try it. (The Sprite forgotten, she follows VERONICA to the check out.)

“Lost in the Supermarket” fades out as we see a final shot of their backs, standing at the counter.

INT., lobby of a small office building. JANE, wearing professional clothing that doesn’t quite fit her properly, stands behind a long desk with a severe-looking woman, who is also dressed professionally. Two computers are set up along the desktop, and the woman is bent over one. We pick up their conversation:

WOMAN
(typing a few commands)

This is where you’ll be working. It’s all very simple. Every repeat customer has a file in place; you just need to call it up by typing in the last name. If a new customer comes in, you’ll have to create a new file, like this. (Her tone is clipped and somewhat condescending.)

JANE
(nodding and attempting a smile)

Okay, I see.

WOMAN
(straightening)

Like I said. It’s not complicated. You shouldn’t have any trouble, but I’ll be right here if you do. (She takes a seat behind the other computer.)

JANE remains standing, awkwardly, for a moment, before pulling out her own chair and sitting behind the computer. Both women stare straight ahead at their computers, and we hold on the heavy silence for a long moment before fading out.

EXT., daytime. It is late afternoon, and the sun is just beginning to set. We pull back and watch, from the window inside the trailer, VERONICA and AVERY, sitting on a blanket in the field outside, holding plastic cups with the bottle of Quist between them. AVERY is also holding a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich in one hand. Both girls are laughing. Pulling back farther, we see that JANE, her suit coat unbuttoned, is watching them from the window. The next lines of Guster’s “Parachute” pick up (Oh, the adoration / but how much strength does it take?/ for exploration, for split decision / or are you stronger to remain?) as Jane begins to smile, then shakes her head. We see her take off her coat and blouse, pulling on a black tank top. She turns back to the window as the song continues, fading out: Find myself convincing / blindly falling faster / how easy…

INT, bar, nighttime. It is dimly lit. There are three men sitting at the counter and a man and a woman shooting pool, but the atmosphere in general is empty. JANE is behind the bar, filling three shot glasses. She appears much more comfortable than she did behind a computer, and she picks up the glasses, setting them in front of the men at the counter.

JANE
(winking)

Try not to get too crazy.

She turns, and we see all of the men watching her. We hold on a plain-looking man with thinning blonde hair before fading out.

EXT, early morning. A thick line of crows sits along the fence surrounding the field. We see the trailer door open, and VERONICA steps outside, carrying a black trash bag. She watches the crows as she walks a few feet into the field. Keeping her eyes trained on the fence, she empties the bag, which is full of dead mice, into the field. We watch the crows take off toward the trailer.

INT., trailer, still morning. AVERY is sitting on the edge of the bed, wearing a pair of green and pink polka-dotted tights and a jean skirt with a bright yellow tank top and her aviators. VERONICA is kneeling behind her, wearing her diner uniform and pulling AVERY’s hair into a side ponytail. JANE is in the kitchen area, yanking a pair of tights up under her skirt.

JANE
(exasperated)

Oh, Veronica. She looks like something the eighties rejected. Avery, honey, you don’t have to wear that if you don’t want to—

VERONICA
(cutting her off)

Hey, mom? The eighties are back. Don’t listen to her, Babe-o, you look super hot. If anyone gives you any shit, it’s because they’re ugly, and you should punch them.

JANE
(giving up)

I don’t even have time to argue with you right now. (grabbing her purse off the counter and walking over to AVERY and VERONICA. She kisses AVERY on the cheek) Have a good first day. Try not to punch anyone, okay, sweetie? Veronica, make sure she gets something to eat after school. It’s going to be a late one again tonight.

She exits.

VERONICA
(watches JANE go for a long moment, then turns to smile at AVERY)

Let’s get you to school. Seventh grade. God, you’re so old.

INT., school, same day. AVERY, still wearing her aviators, is walking through the crowded hallway, flipping through a book. She brushes into an older girl, who is dressed in sophisticated clothing and laughing with a group of friends. She stops, turning to look AVERY over, and frowns.

GIRL

Hey, cool kid.

AVERY
(looking up from her book)

Me?

GIRL

Uh, yeah. (breaking into a genuine smile). Great outfit.

She turns back to her friends, and AVERY pauses, watching them for a second before continuing down the hall.

INT., bar, nighttime. The same three men sit at the counter. The man with the thinning blonde hair, who we learn is named MARTIN, is in the middle, and his friends are elbowing him and laughing, occasionally looking up at JANE, who is standing with her back to them, stocking bottles. Finally, MARTIN clears his throat.


MARTIN
(shyly, uncertain)

Uh…excuse me? Ma’am?

JANE
(turns around, and, mostly to herself:)

Oh, God. Ma’am? Really? (shrugs, addresses MARTIN:) What can I get for you? You’re…oh, Grey Goose, right?


MARTIN
(clearly flustered, but trying to mask it)

Actually, I..

JANE leans forward on the counter, watching MARTIN expectantly as he trails off.

MARTIN

I wanted to know if you’d like to have dinner with me. Tomorrow night. If you, I mean, if you want to, of course, you don’t have—

JANE
(cutting him off with a flirtatious smile)

I’d love to. (winks) Vodka is my weapon of choice, too.


MARTIN
(smiling, relieved)

I’m Martin. (with a bit more confidence) What about you?

JANE
(continues to smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes, and she drops her gaze to the bar counter before returning it to MARTIN, pseudo-brightly:)

Jane.

INT, diner, daytime. VERONICA brings two plates of food to a pair of elderly women sitting in a booth, and picks up empty plates from the table next to them. She turns to head back past the counter, where another waitress is sitting, punching furiously at a large calculator and scribbling on a notepad. Behind the counter, an older woman is setting coffee to brew.


VERONICA
(walking past her with the empty plates. She stops before heading into the kitchen)

Hey, how’s your grandson, Louise?

LOUISE
(setting the coffee pot down and shaking her head)

I can’t keep that boy out of trouble. You know he got detention on the first day of school? The first day! Almost got himself suspended. He’s only ten years old and he’s going to drive me to the bottle, I swear…

The waitress sitting at the counter looks up.

WAITRESS

Least you got your husband around to help you. I’m lucky if Ray drops the check off every month. Last time he stopped by, no joke, Mikey goes, “Who’s that?” Who’s that, can you believe it? I’m like, ‘Your father, Mikey, that’s who, but I don’t blame you for bein’ confused…’

VERONICA
(cutting in)

Yeah? Well, I see your absent baby daddy, and I raise you a goddamn trailer full of mice.


WAITRESS

Oh, we’re playing a little life sucks poker? Deal me in, ladies.

The women laugh, clearly comfortable with one another, and VERONICA disappears into the kitchen with the plates. When she comes back out, AVERY is walking through the door of the diner, wearing aviators, a trucker hat and a baseball shirt.

VERONICA

Babe-o! (gives AVERY an exaggerated kiss on the cheek and leads her to an empty booth) How was your day?

AVERY
(shrugs, taking off her bag and sliding into the booth)

It was okay. They made me take off my sunglasses again. I tried to tell them I just had laser eye surgery, like you said, but it didn’t work.

VERONICA
(sitting across from AVERY, she frowns sympathetically)

Fuckers.

LOUISE
(carrying a plate of French fries to the table)

Here you go, baby. Had ‘em all ready for you.

(sets them down in front of AVERY, who smiles)

AVERY
(picking up a fry)

Thanks, Louise.

WAITRESS
(still sitting at the counter, banging at the calculator)

This piece of shit…what’s fifteen percent of forty-seven thirty?

VERONICA
(absently)

Seven-ten. (standing, to AVERY) Okay, Babe-o. Back to the grind. Louise is a total slave-driver, you know what I’m saying?

AVERY smiles, watching VERONICA make her way back over to clear the plates of the two elderly women.

Fade out.

INT., dimly lit restaurant, nighttime. We focus on MARTIN and JANE, sitting across from one another at a table by a large window. JANE is wearing a simple black dress and toying with her necklace, leaning in to MARTIN, who is talking and gesturing with his fork. We pick up on their conversation:


MARTIN

I worked as a technician for years before I got to move on to analysis and now (he leans in, clearly impressed with himself) I’m on my way to management. Stability, Jane. (nodding, pointing his fork in her direction) If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that dedication and perseverance breed stability.

(watches her expectantly)

JANE
(distracted, shaking her head and smiling)

What were you like when you were eleven?

MARTIN
(confused, frowning)

When I was eleven? What does that have to do with—

JANE
(cutting him off)

Nothing, I’m sorry. Forget it. (offers a seductive smile) We were talking about stability?

MARTIN
(with a firm nod)

Stability.


EXT., TRAILER, evening. VERONICA, wearing her diner uniform and carrying a plastic bag, approaches the trailer and opens the door.

INT., TRAILER, same evening. JANE and AVERY are sitting at the table in the kitchen, and MARTIN is at the stove. VERONICA enters.

VERONICA
(not looking up and fumbling with the door)

Babe-o! You know Louise almost lost her shit again today, talking about how you must’ve been kidnapped or something, and I’m like, ‘Louise, it might be time to up the meds, because Jesus fucking Christ, I tell you every week that Mom picks her up on Tues—”

(she looks up, noticing Martin in the kitchen, and stops short.)

MARTIN

Veronica, right? Do you always talk to your sister that way?

VERONICA
(shocked, incredulous, and angry)

Yes. Who are you?

(to Jane)

Who is he?

JANE starts to stand and introduce them, but Martin cuts her off.

MARTIN

I’m Martin. I’m a friend of your mom’s. I’ve met Avery here, so I guess that makes you Veronica.

VERONICA
(moving slowly into the kitchen)

Uh, yeah. I guess it does.

JANE
(hurriedly, almost apologetically)

Veronica, Martin was just making dinner. His lasagna is supposed to be world class. (smiles briefly at Martin, who looks pleased.) Why don’t you sit down?

VERONICA
(stops watching Martin, who has turned back to the stove, and glares at Jane, holding up the plastic bag.)

I thought you wanted me to bring something home tonight.

JANE

I’m sorry, baby…Martin surprised me at the office today and asked if he could come by to make dinner for all of us.

MARTIN
(turning, smiling)

I thought you could all use a nice homecooked meal. And I was right. (to Avery) You need some insulation for the winter, kiddo. (laughs to himself)

AVERY
(to Veronica, in a stage whisper)

Did you bring me fries?

VERONICA

Of course I did. I got you, Babe-o.

(pulls the fries out of the plastic bag and hands them to Avery)

I guess I’ll just put the rest of this away.

Closing shot of JANE, watching VERONICA at the refrigerator.

INT, trailer, nighttime. A couple months have passed – more furniture and even some decorations have been added to the trailer. AVERY is sitting on the couch reading a book, wearing a sweatshirt that is far too large for her, with a blanket draped over her shoulders. VERONICA, also wearing a sweatshirt, kicks the portable heater sitting in the center of the room.

VERONICA

Stupid piece of fucking bullshit, it’s cold as balls in here…

We pull back into the kitchen, where JANE is stirring something on the stove and MARTIN is sitting at the table. He looks up sharply at VERONICA, who flops on the couch next to AVERY, staring back into the kitchen.

MARTIN turns to JANE.

JANE
(absently, almost as an afterthought, without looking up and continuing to stir)

Veronica.

MARTIN
(clearing his throat and addressing AVERY)

What are you reading, kiddo?

AVERY closes her book and holds it up for MARTIN to see – it’s The Giver, by Lois Lowry.

MARTIN
(smiling)

Bet it’s giving you a headache, huh?

AVERY
(shrugs)

No. I like it.

VERONICA
(rolls her eyes)

Does he think you’re an idiot? (in a low voice, to AVERY)

MARTIN ignores VERONICA.

JANE
(carrying the pot from the stove to the table)

Dinner’s ready, girls.

EXT., trailer, same night. JANE and MARTIN stand on the steps.

MARTIN
(looking up at the sky, and then to JANE)

You know, Jane…I can take care of you, if you let me. The girls too. My house is big enough for all of us. (quickly) I’m not…I’m not trying to rush anything, but think about it…Veronica could go back to school…stability, remember?

Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” picks up, but softly, in the background: Memories back / when she was smooth and strong…

JANE exhales deeply, turning slowly to MARTIN. We pull back and, from behind, see her nod. MARTIN, smiling broadly, pulls her into a hug.

And waiting for the world to come along.

Fade out.

INT., trailer, same night. AVERY is asleep, sprawled across the bed. The lights are off in the living room/bedroom area, and JANE and VERONICA are in the kitchen with only the kitchen lamp lit. The effect is cold and sparse.

JANE
(quietly, standing over the sink with her back to VERONICA, who is sitting at the table, flipping through a coupon magazine. )

Martin offered to let us move in with him.

VERONICA stops turning the pages and sits very still. JANE turns around to face her daughter.

VERONICA

You told him no, right? I mean, Jesus Christ, who does he think he is? Of course you told him no.

JANE
(slowly, sadly)

Veronica…I couldn’t tell him no. You know as well as I do—

VERONICA
(fiercely, cutting her off)

That he’s another fucking tool with a hero complex and he’s going to screw us over as soon as he realizes you’re just using him? Why do you think you can act like this, Mom? It’s Robert all over again. You don’t love him. You don’t even like him.

JANE

Do you want to live in this trailer and work at the diner for the rest of your life, quit school for good? I know you don’t.

VERONICA

It’s only until—

JANE
(quieter, more gently)

Until what? I’m not going to be climbing any corporate ladders, baby. There won’t be any more than this for you or for Avery, unless…unless I do what I have to.

VERONICA
(refusing to back down)

Why not, Mom? Why do we need Mr. Deal and his pathetic jokes and his fucking money? And how long do you think it’ll last this time, before he figures us out and he leaves? Just like Robert and just like everyone. You’ve got me and Babe-o, and we have you, and that’s it. That’s it. There’s nobody else.

JANE
(stepping away from the counter, closer to VERONICA)

You think I don’t know that? (reaches, tentatively, for the ends of VERONICA’s hair. VERONICA finally looks up at her.) You two are all I need. But I’m done letting you give everything up.

VERONICA closes her eyes, saying nothing.

FADE OUT.


ACT III

INT., trailer, late afternoon. A few more months have passed, and Martin has clearly continued to influence the Blessings’ living situation – there is, for example, a television set in the corner of the living room / bedroom area, and the shelves in the kitchen are full of food. We close in on AVERY, who is kneeling on the couch, looking out the window into the field. The sun is shining and leaves are emerging on the trees; it is spring. Pete Yorn’s “Crystal Village” is playing: Take my hand, come with me / See the lights so brightly / And we fall as if we never really mattered / ‘Cause you would never have the time…

VERONICA walks through the door of the trailer, wearing her diner uniform and holding a paper bag.

AVERY turns from the window, smiling.

AVERY

Did you get it?

VERONICA pulls a bottle of Quist out of the bag, smiling back.

I would love to change your mind / It was there, and it was good in the beginning.

EXT., field, same afternoon. VERONICA and AVERY sit on a blanket, drinking Quist.

VERONICA
(holding up her cup)

First Quist-nic of the year. (she shakes her head, lowering the cup and looking around.) What do you think, Babe-o? Gonna miss this field? I mean, Mr. Deal does have a backyard, but no weeds, no mice, no attack crows…s’not the same.

AVERY
(smiles briefly, and pauses for a second before looking straight at Veronica)

Are we going to be okay?

VERONICA
(startled)

Wha—hey, of course you’re going to be okay. Mr. Deal makes me want to pierce my eardrums with a meat thermometer, too, believe me, but you’ll get better at ignoring him – I showed you the headphone trick, that’s a good one– and—

AVERY
(cutting her off)

We, though. Are we going to be okay?

VERONICA
(quiet for a moment, then, fiercely:)

We’re always going to be okay. Mom’s got her shit, and it’s tough, God, I know, but – (she looks closely at Avery) you trust me?

AVERY nods.

VERONICA

Then we’re going to be just fine. (She wraps an arm around Avery, who leans against her). Babe-o? I promise. You and me, we’re going to be fine.

We pull back, holding a long shot of VERONICA and AVERY before fading out.


EXT., LATE MORNING. We return to the beginning shot, as the camera travels across the field and pans slowly over AVERY, who is lying face-up in the grass. Again, Guster’s “Parachute” picks up, softly: It crept up on me / Ignored all my pleas / Begging to leave, no justice to name me / Fell out of the sky, cease it to be…

We hear VERONICA’s voice from off-screen, calling AVERY’s name. AVERY sits up.

Without a reply, gravity fails me / And when I awoke, I knew what was real / Hope to convince you / Lies they all torture me…

EXT., SAME MORNING. AVERY approaches the trailer. Cardboard boxes are piled outside, and the door to the trailer is open; we can see that it is mostly empty inside. MARTIN and JANE, carrying boxes, walk through the door, followed by VERONICA, who walks over to AVERY. AVERY slips her hand into VERONICA’s, leaning against her.

MARTIN
(to Jane)

Ready?

Opened the door, knew what was me / Finally realized / Parachute over me


JANE
(watching AVERY and VERONICA. VERONICA nods.)

Yeah.

Parachute over me…

FADE OUT on a long shot of all four, standing outside the trailer.
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