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My Tomorrow
by Joshua Ryan Hernandez (klendathu59@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***1/2
After witnessing a death in his suburban small-town, a bright high school senior questions the significance of his own life. He believes the answer can be found in the love of his long-time crush, but she is in love with someone else. Determined, he continues his pursuit, only to find tragedy.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


A BOY (17, Latino) stares at his face in the mirror. He
would be a handsome kid if not for the fat lip, bloody nose,
and black/swollen eye he is sporting. His face is a mess. He
has just taken a literal beating. He nurses his lip with ice
wrapped in a cloth.
This is it.
He feels a sudden, sharp pain in his lip. As a reflex, he
jerks the cloth away, then places it on his nose.
This is fucking it.
PHONE RINGS. The Boy turns his head toward the intrusive
There is a KNOCKING on the Boy's closed bedroom door.

                       DAD'S VOICE (O.S.)
      (through the door)
Ryan...Ryan! First day of high
school! Get your butt up!
Ryan's bedroom has lots of baseball trophies and academic
medals hanging around. His Dodgers cap sits on his desk. An
enormous DVD collection is displayed on a rack. He's also
got models of dinosaur skeletons on a shelf, and self-made
works of art placed on his walls.

He is lying down with his head hanging off of the foot of
the bed. His lids are shut; his mouth is open.

There are no bruises or marks on his face from this time
KNOCKING continues.
Ryan's eyes open.


I'm up!
Ryan slowly pulls his covers off and swings his legs over
the side of the bed. He stands up and looks out of his
second-floor window.

Through the window, we see snow-capped mountains way off in
the distance. We see the roofs of dozens of suburban homes
in the streets behind Ryan's house. Several palm trees tower
majestically over the landscape.
Ryan, still in his sleeping clothes, faces the mirror, and
brushes his teeth. He bends down.
Ryan bends back up, and pops into view. He's fully dressed
now, and is working gel through his hair.
Ryan and RYAN'S DAD (late 40s, Latino), make their way into
the tan family minivan. The van pulls out of the driveway.
Ryan peers through the passenger window, surveying the
sights that make up his town.
SUPER: "Rowland Heights, CA...25 miles east of Los
Angeles...10 miles north of Orange County"

POV from the van window.

--More suburban homes.

--Tall business signs with Asian writing line the streets.


--An old Mexican woman on the sidewalk pushes a shopping
cart filled with dozens of bags of groceries, and one

--A group of old Chinese men do tai-chi on a hill of grass
in front of their condominium building.

--Asian bank, Asian restaurant, Asian tea house.

--Some Mexican boys are selling oranges on the sidewalk.

--A white female walks her horse down a dirt trail that
parallels a street.

--A Mercedes zooms by, and a gardening truck trots behind.
The tan minivan pulls up towards the entrance of the school.
There is a marquee with scrolling red letters on it.


"John A. Rowland High School- A National Blue Ribbon School-
A California Distinguished School."

The TEACHER (50s, Black) is sitting at her desk, waiting for
the class to start.

One-by-one, students enter the room. After each student
enters, they report to the teacher's desk. The teacher then
points them to a seat. It's a mechanical process. The rest
of the students quietly sit at their desks (with the door
facing them).
Ryan is already seated at his desk. He's paying all of his
attention to the sketch he is making in his notebook.

Over his shoulder, we see the DRAWING of a serene landscape
with a hill and a tree.


Ryan looks up for a fraction of a second and is stunned. He
sees a GIRL (14, Latina) walking through the doorway.

The Girl is amazingly beautiful. Her beauty is natural,
effortless. She has a very unassuming way of carrying
herself, not too confident, as if she doesn't realize the
effect she has on a room.

To avoid drawing her attention, he continues sketching with
his head pointed down.

Ryan keeps one eye on the Girl, and one eye on his sketch.
She walks up to the teacher's desk. The teacher points. The
Girl turns around to see where she's pointing. Ryan
accidentally makes eye contact with her, and shoots his eyes
down at his notebook.

The Girl walks toward him, he squirms in his seat. She sits
down in the desk next to his.

CLOSE ON Ryan as he pretends not to notice. He keeps
                       GIRL (O.S.)
      (to the Boy)
Hey, you're left-handed.
It takes a few seconds for him to realize that she's talking
to him. He looks at her, and she's looking at him, waiting
for a response.
You're left-handed.
He looks at his left hand, it's got a pencil in it.
So am I, by the way, that's why I
pointed it out. It's not very
often I find someone with my


Tell me about it. Ninety percent
of the world isn't like us. Makes
me feel like I'm abnormal, or
I know. Like in preschool, when I
was learning how to use scissors,
my teacher had to find me the
special left-handed pair that no
other kids had to use, as if I
needed to feel any more
You seem all right to me, but then
again, we just met.
No, we haven't.
      (sticks out her
I'm Mandy.
He shakes her hand.
This is nice. First day of
freshman year, I make a new
Yeah, very nice.
Typical of a suburban California school, Rowland High has no
indoor hallways. The lockers are all attached to the
exteriors of the various buildings.

Ryan and Mandy are walking side-by-side down the halls of


Rowland. This is between classes, so all the kids are
walking around as well.
So, I take it you're new to
Rowland Heights.
Yeah, moved here over the summer
from Arizona.
That's where my Mom moved. What
brought you here?
Um, that's a good question.
Usually when someone says, "that's
a good question," it means they
don't wanna answer.
That's true, isn't it?
Fair enough. Sorry, I didn't mean
to be nosy, or anything.
Oh, no, no, you're fine. It's
just, kind of a sensitive subject
for me still.
I hear ya. Well, if you wanna talk
about anything, school, life as a
southpaw, I'm here. In case you
didn't know, I've appointed myself
your official Rowland ambassador.
Don't I get a vote?
Nope. I said appointed, not
Fine, since I'm stuck with you,
you think you could introduce me
to some of your friends?


Um, I don't think you'd wanna hang
around me and my friends.
We're dorks.
There's nothing wrong with that.
I'm a dork.
He laughs.
I can never understand it when
pretty girls call themselves
dorks. Like they're trying to
endear us with their
Was there a back-handed compliment
in there?
I'm just sayin', trust me you are
not a dork.
How would you know?
I can use a very scientific and
objective test. How many video
games do you own?
Have you ever made a short film
with your home video camera and
posted it online?


My mom filmed me and my softball
tournaments, but I haven't posted
Do you own a microscope?
Do those little toddler toy ones
See, not a dork.
Damn, I guess I didn't realize how
cool I really am. Thank God I had
you to tell me. You know what that
We can never be seen together in
public. We have to lurk in the
shadows together for fear of
breaking decades of social
The shadows?
It's metaphoric, bear with me.
Too bad. We could've had
something. The perfect union of
looks and brains.
Who's who in that scenario?
I'd say I'm the one with the
Was there a back-handed compliment
in there somewhere?
You want a compliment? I'll give
you one.


They reach a classroom door. She stops. He stops also.
I wasn't looking.
You're nice.
I'll try to work on that, I
No, don't. It's good for people
like me to know that there are
still people like you.
The bell RINGS.
See you in the shadows, dork.
You will.
She opens the door, and walks into the room. Ryan remains
outside. He takes a breath.
      (to himself)
He stays put for a few more seconds, then trots away.
SUPER: "Four Years Later"
The tan minivan pulls up to the curb near the marquee.
Ryan is walking down the halls. He stops at his locker. He
faces the faded blue metal box, opens it, takes out a
History book, SLAMS the locker shut.

Ryan looks to his right and starts walking. Across the hall,
he sees Mandy walking in his direction.


He stops in his tracks.
This is a lush, green, hilly place blanketed by purple wild
flowers. There is a tall, sturdy tree in the background. The
tree has a rubber tire swing hanging from one of its

Ryan and Mandy are standing, facing each other, holding each
other closely. He runs his fingers through her hair. She
touches his lips with her fingers. She rests her head on his
Ryan, still stopped in his tracks watches Mandy as she
disappears around a corner, not having noticed him.

Ryan walks in that direction and turns the same corner.

He stumbles upon Mandy, leaning against the wall as a BOY
(18, Latino) is kissing her. We will come to know him as

Upon seeing this, Ryan takes a couple steps backward, and
walks away.
Ryan and two FRIENDS are digging holes in an empty lot. The
hilly landscape is mostly dirt, with patches of grass.

We will come to know his friends as SAMMY (17, Asian), and
JEFF (18, Latino). Sammy is Korean, but he dresses and talks
like a surfer. Jeff is a cool, confident guy with a smart

The three young men are shoveling dirt into a big pile. Near
the hole is a sieve, along with some pickaxes and buckets.
The lot is scarred with other holes that have been dug.
I mean, shit, do they have to do
that in public?


Last I heard, girlfriends
sometimes make out with their
boyfriends. If Mandy wants to mack
down on Albert, nothing you can do
to stop it. You lost that
authority awhile ago.
Yeah, when she dumped your ass
freshman year.
After three weeks.
Why are you fuckin' bringin' that
If I told you once, I told you,
well, more than once, chicks are
no goddam good.
Sammy looks tired of shoveling, but presses on.
I don't know why they call this
place Chalk Hill, all there is is
dirt, dude. Holes and dirt.
Yeah, but beneath this dirt is a
Miocene epoch fossil site. Ten
million years ago, this was all at
the bottom of an ocean. Doesn't
that just blow your mind?
Not really, man.
Nothing phases him anymore.
Except weed.
Hey dudes, what I do in my house
in my private time is none of your


Oh, I'm sorry. But, you know, you
can make a hash pipe out of one of
the bones we find.
I have plenty at home, I don't
need to be suckin' on some
fossilized whale dick.
Why not, you suck every other type
of dick?
They laugh.
Fuck off, Jeff.
If whale's what you're lookin'
for, Sammy, you'll be
disappointed. There's no mammals
in this site, it's too old.
What don't you know?
Yeah, mister celebrity, mister TV
Just local TV.
Local TV means, like, everyone we
know. Everybody watches you on
Teen Quiz.
A few words of encouragement for
next week: don't fuckin' choke.
He's not gonna choke. He's won
like six times already, bro. He's
invincible, like fuckin' Charles
Van Doren.


The "Quiz Show" guy? The guy they
busted for getting the questions
in advance?
Oh, right, maybe not him.
Hold up, you're not gettin' the
questions in advance are you?
They're not rigging the game
because you're a poor Mexican from
a broken home, are they?
Kiss my ass.
I'm just sayin' you make a great
It's not fixed.
Good enough for me.
Winded, Sammy stops shoveling.
Dude, can we take like a five-er?
Ryan and Jeff stop.
Yeah, I guess we have enough to
work with.
Finally, shit.
The boys climb out of the hole.
Why should we care about where the
old gnarly bones of dead fish can
be found anyway?


Because, my friend, those bones
prove that no matter how
insignificant you may seem, you
don't have to be forgotten.
If they wanted us to find them,
they wouldn't have crawled this
deep below the surface.
Since when do dead fish crawl?
The boys laugh.
I don't know how you fuckin' do
it, bro. Digging in the ground for
hours, finding nothin'.
Sammy sits down.
Hope keeps me digging.
Stubbornness keeps you digging.
Ryan grabs the sieve, and places it over an empty bucket.
Jeff, I'm gonna need you to shovel
some dirt from that pile onto
Jeff shovels the dirt onto the sieve.
This is how we'll know if we've
found anything.
Ryan shakes it so most of the dirt is sifted away, leaving
clumps of dirt and rock.

Jeff looks at the product and is not impressed.
Ryan picks at the sieve, and places some of the dirt clumps
in his hands. He rubs his hands together. The clumps break
apart. He opens his hands, and brushes the dirt away.
That's encouraging.


Ryan points to the rest of the pile.
There's still hope left.
Ryan looks off into the distance. He sees an OLD BUM, feebly
pushing a shopping cart full of junk over and around the
craters in the lot.

Sammy notices that something has caught Ryan's eye. Sammy
turns around to look behind him.
Where does he think he's goin'?
The Old Bum is headed for an old, tall TREE, 100 yards away.
This tree is very bare. The foliage is sparse and brown. The
trunk and branches are dull, gray, and droopy. The tree has
a rubber tire swing.
Looks like he's headed home to the
The Old Bum parks the cart against the tree trunk. He then
leans against the tree for a second, then collapses. He's
now lying flat on his back beside the tree.
Oh my God.
Ryan runs toward the tree. Sammy and Jeff follow.

The FEET of Ryan, Sammy, and Jeff make tracks in the dirt as
the feet come upon a HAND flat against the ground.
The hand belongs to the Old Bum...lying perfectly still.

He doesn't appear to be breathing. He's got torn and
tattered clothes. A bottle of liquor in a brown bag is
sticking out of his jacket.
The boys peer down at him from above.
That's not good.


Suddenly, yet softly, the Old Bum GASPS. The boys start to
Oh, fuck.
Ryan kneels on the dirt beside the Old Bum, and puts his
hand gently on his chest.
Buddy? Buddy? You OK?
The Bum lifts his head very slightly.
                       OLD BUM
Is-Is she gone?
What? Who?
The Old Bum drops his head. His shallow breaths soon stop
Give him CPR, or somethin'!
I don't fucking know CPR!
Neither do I, man. Just do it.
He's gonna die!
Alright! Shit! Alright.
Ryan puts his ear to the Bum's nose.
Almost instinctively, Ryan tilts the Old Bum's head back,
plugs his nose, and breathes into his mouth a few times.
      (to Jeff)
Where's your cell phone?
Ryan pumps the man's chest several times.
Do you know what you're doing?
No, I don't. Get the paramedics on
the phone.


Jeff feels his pockets, pulls out his phone, starts dialing.
Sammy, haul ass to the road, flag
down a car, or something!
Sammy runs off. Ryan continues to perform what he knows of
                       JEFF (O.S.)
We need an ambulance. An old man,
he's not breathing. We're trying.
Ryan sits up straight after giving a breath to the Old Bum.

Ryan watches with concern as the dying man takes a small
gulp of air on his own. He opens his eyes, but there's
little life in them.
                       JEFF (O.S.)
Chalk Hill, that dirt lot off
Ryan puts his hand on the man's forehead.
                       OLD BUM
Beautiful. So beautiful.
You'll be with her soon.
After hearing those soothing words, the Old Bum's eyes lock
onto Ryan's. Ryan even sees a little grin. The man then
takes a deep breath, and exhales for the last time. His eyes
freeze in place, looking directly at Ryan.
Ryan's eyes well up. He stands.
      (to himself)
Ryan lies down in bed, blankly staring at his ceiling. His
eyes close.


Mandy swings on the tire swing while Ryan sits and leans
against the sturdy tree trunk. Mandy gets off, and begins to
walk away. Ryan reaches out for her.

She stops, turns around, and kisses Ryan on the forehead.
The FOREHEAD now belongs to the Old Bum. After kissing the
Old Bum's forehead, she brushes his stubbled cheek with her
hand. She FADES away.
This is your standard high school outdoor lunch area. Lots
of happy, chatty kids.
Ryan is sitting at a lunch table with Sammy and Jeff. Ryan
seems distant as his friends are talking and laughing.
Sammy and Jeff have a stack of papers and index cards in
front of them. Jeff flips through the stack and points his
finger on a page.
Man, Sammy, this needs to go. This
whole scene, gone.
Are you fuckin' nuts?
Look, buddy, I know you want as
much screen time with Beth as
possible, but this flashback
Stop givin' me shit about Beth.
You should see the way he looks at
her, Ryan, it's fuckin' pathetic.
So I think she's cute, sue me.
Whatever, no way in hell are we
havin' a flashback.


Damn, you're takin' this group
project way too seriously. Miss
Chang's English class isn't the
fuckin' Venice Film Festival.
I'm not attaching my name to
hackneyed crap. Neither should you
if you wanna earn any respect in
film school.
My body of work speaks for itself.
Ryan, what are your thoughts?
Leave it in?
Ryan, off somewhere else.
Dude, what's the matter? You
haven't been your usual today.
      (to Sammy)
He's what I'd call pensive.
What you call pensive, I call
fuckin' spaced out.
Do you guys not remember what
happened in front of us?
I have no idea what you're talking
I'm serious.
Shit, what do you want us to do?
Mope around school all day?


You guys haven't given it any
thought whatsoever?
I don't know, I'm still creeped
out by it, man. I've never seen a
dead body before.
Pretty ironic, someone dying in a
fossil site. I guess Chalk Hill is
the place where you wanna go to
leave your mark, no matter if
you're a fish or a drunken
homeless Vietnam Vet.
Very sensitive, Jeff.
What's the point of all this if we
just end up dying old and alone
under a tree?
What the fuck?
Answer this for me. Where are we?
We're here, last I heard.
But why? What for? Can any of you
answer that?
Dude, your quarter-life crisis
isn't due for another couple of
I'm missing something. Something
that would make things make sense.


Right, well, call me when you find
out what it is, bro.
I know what it is.
It's what that Old Man was
thinking about. Love.
Jesus, didn't I tell you that
subject was off limits at this
Jeff, it's been, like a year and a
half since Adriana dumped you.
Have you ever had your heart
broken by a skanky two-timing
Can't say that I have, man.
Then shut the fuck up.
I'm gonna do it.
Do what?
Tell Mandy.
What, that you like her? She
already knows you like her.
Everybody knows you like her.
I more than like Mandy. I'm in
love with her.


Dude, not again.
Jesus, Ryan. You went through all
of this already. Were you two not
together in freshman year?
We were.
Did she not fuckin' dump you?
She did.
Then what makes you think trying a
second time is gonna work out any
When she first walked into my
English class on the first day of
our first year here, four years
This is the day Ryan first met Mandy.

CLOSE ON Mandy. A smile illuminates her face.
                       RYAN (V.O.)
...I just knew. Neither of us have
a choice. We're supposed to be
                       RYAN (cont'd.)
Now, in a couple weeks, we're
graduating. I don't wanna leave
this place without her knowing
that it can't be any other way.
But, you're moving away. How's
that gonna work?
Just to Orange County.


And, there's him.
Jeff points behind Ryan. He turns his head.

ANGLE ON Mandy sitting on Albert's lap at their own lunch
Ryan turns back around.
Remember a couple years ago, he
beat the shit out of Luis? Got
himself suspended.
Wasn't he in a gang then?
Then he was, but not anymore. Got
himself jumped out. All for her.
Damn, score one for Albert.
Gettin' jumped out of a gang
because Mandy tells him to. Have
you even been in a fight, Ryan?
What's your point?
I just want to make sure you know
what he's capable of. I wouldn't
advise getting on the bad side of
someone who has demonstrated no
problems with bashing in someone
else's face.
He put me on his bad side a long
time ago.
So what are you gonna do? Tell
Mandy all this romantic shit while
she's still with Albert? Come on,
you know how that's gonna end for


                       SAMMY (cont'd)
There's no way to know unless I
try. I told you, I don't wanna
live with a what-if.
You're talkin' about confessing
your love for some chick who
doesn't like you while she's with
a guy who can kick your ass. You
can't be fuckin' serious.
Entirely. I don't want to be that
Old Man under the tree.
ANGLE ON a school ADMINISTRATOR (male, white, middle-aged)
walking toward Ryan's table.

He's an imposing looking figure, wearing shades and holding
a walkie-talkie.

The three guys notice him approaching.
      (whispering, to
Why is Vice Principal Simmons
coming over here?
They stiffen up as Simmons stands at the head of the table.
He looks at the four uncomfortable young men.
                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS
      (to Ryan)
Mr. Reyes, just a reminder, see to
it that the final draft of your
graduation address makes it to my
desk by next week.
Sure thing, Mr. Simmons.
                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS
Simmons makes like he's going to walk away, but stops


                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS
Oh, and good luck on Teen Quiz
this Saturday. My wife and I'll be
watching. Kick some butt, alright?
The tension is broken.
I will definitely do my best.
                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS
That's all we can ask for.
Ryan nods.
                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS (cont'd)
Well, good day, gentlemen.
Simmons walks away.
Shit, I thought I was fucked.
Why? The stash in your locker?
Sammy opens his eyes wide at Jeff, as if to say, "Not
another word."
Ryan, that'd be so fucking cool if
you won. Imagine how rock star
that would be.
Maybe that's how you could get
what's-her-name to like you.
Not like. I want her to love me.
There is a group of students waiting around for their
teacher to open the door. Mandy and Albert are among them,

Ryan turns the corner. He sees Mandy and Albert together. He
tries to conspicuously walk past them, so he can be near the
door. Mandy notices him, and separates from Albert.


Oh, hi Ryan.
Wassup, Brain Boy.
Albert, man, stop callin' me that.
Shit, dawg. Don't get so
I was just quizzing Albert about
that winning question you had last
week. The one about that French
Oh, Robespierre.
Yeah, Robespierre. I mean, how
could anybody remember that?
More importantly, why would
anybody care about remembering
shit like that?
For me, it just sticks, I guess.
Really, Brain Boy?
Albert, I swear to God.
      (to Albert)
You should probably head to class.
Okay, babe.
      (to Ryan)
See you at practice, Brain Boy.


Albert sticks out his closed fist for Ryan to touch. Ryan
ignores the gesture.

Albert nudges his closed fist into Ryan's chest. Ryan
brushes it away.

Mandy playfully slaps Albert on the shoulder.
Be nice to my friends, babe.
      (to Ryan)
Are you pissed?
Ryan bites his lip. Albert notices that Ryan is irritated.
Save it. You'll need it someday.
Albert steals one more kiss from Mandy.
Albert walks off. Ryan and Mandy lean against the wall next
to each other

Ryan shakes his head.
Sorry about that. I know he can be
obnoxious, but he really is sweet.
Oh, he's just fantastic.
So, how have you been?
How have I been? You want the
I don't know. I could be better.


Better? You're speaking at our
graduation in a few weeks, you're
on TV, what could be going wrong?
What's it all worth if I don't
have anyone to walk to class with?
You mean a girlfriend? I find it
hard to believe you're having
trouble on that front.
Why is it hard to believe?
I don't know. You're a good guy.
If being good is all it takes,
then I should have girls flocking
to me.
My point exactly.
Ain't happening.
Wait, weren't you going out with
We went out a couple times. She
wasn't what I was lookin' for.
So there's no one else, in all
Rowland Heights that you're
interested in?
One, maybe.
Oooh, who is she?
Not yet.


Come on. Tell me who she is, and
I'll hook you up. People trust me,
that's why I'm student body
Can't do it.
Fine. Whoever she is, she'd be
lucky to have you.
I mean, she could do worse.
You're mean.
Hell, one of us has to be.
FEMALE TEACHER (late 20's, Filipino, attractive for a
teacher), approaches the group in a hurry.
Hey, Mrs. Edwards.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Good morning, Ryan. Sorry I'm
late, everyone. I was fighting
with the copy machine in the
teacher's lounge.
Mrs. Edwards fumbles with her keys, then finally opens the
door. The kids file in.
Mrs. Edwards keeps her room looking like any other high
school History classroom. The desks all face the whiteboard.
There are two to a desk. Ryan and Mandy sit next to each
Mrs. Edwards plops a pile of papers on her desk, then walks
in front of the whiteboard.


                       MRS. EDWARDS
Sorry again for my tardiness. It's
that piece of shit copy machine,
pardon my French. I was running
off copies of Friday's test. Which
I'm sure you're all prepared for.
GROANS can be heard from some of the students.
                       MRS. EDWARDS (cont'd)
Come on, guys. I gave you a study
guide on Monday, there'll be no
surprises. What more can I do?
                       MANDY (to Ryan)
I can't get another "C" on one of
her tests. Her class is dragging
down my entire GPA.
Mrs. Edwards continues speaking, but she can't be heard.
There's only one way to prevent
that from happening.
I know that. It's just that this
stuff is so dry. My brain just
refuses to absorb it...think you
could help me?
I, uh--
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Yes, Mrs. Edwards?
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Did you hear me?


Uh, no I didn't.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
I didn't think so. I said tell the
class what you're gonna be doing
on Saturday in case they don't
already know.
      (to the class)
Oh, um Saturday morning is the
final taping of the Teen Quiz
tournament. It's no big deal.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Ryan is being modest. This really
is a huge deal. It's probably one
of the most important things to
happen to our little town.
      (to the class)
I'm not too sure about that.
Anyway, you guys are welcome to
come if you want.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
      (to the class)
Ryan has made it through six
rounds, with my help, of course,
as his coach. Now he's in the
finals against some kid from
Alhambra, right?
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Anyway, since we're using the bus
to get there, you'll need
permission slips, which I have on
my desk.
CHATTERING among the students. They all seem very
      (to Ryan)
I'm so there, Ryan.
Not if Albert has any say in it.


Albert's my boyfriend, not my
father. I totally wanna to see you
kick that kid's ass. You're gonna
be the hero of Rowland Heights.
Think so?
I know so. 'Cause I'll be your
good luck charm.
A RINGING/BUZZING sound is heard.
Ryan, you buzzed in first.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
A DING is heard, followed by APPLAUSE.
We are in a television studio. Complete with flashing
lights, an audience, a HOST (male, early 30's, Latino), and
two contestants: Ryan, and WARREN (17, Asian). The two young
men have their own podium with a name placard in front and a
hand buzzer on top.

Behind them is a digital display of the score and the school
they each represent. Ryan represents "Rowland" and now has
140 points. Warren represents "Alhambra" and has 140 points.
Ryan looks fierce and tense during the applause.
Right again, Ryan. Now that evens
things up for this 20 point
question...Einstein's Theory of
Special Relativity provided the
famous equation E equals MC
squared as its basis. What does
"C" signify, and what is its
Ryan and Warren think for a second.


Ryan and Mandy walk out of Mrs. Edwards' classroom together.
We didn't get to finish talking
about how you were gonna get me an
"A" on Edwards' test.
Right. Um, well, we could go over
the study guide sometime.
Sometime? The test is tomorrow.
Sometime has to be tonight.
But, I have baseball practice.
I know. I've got softball. We get
out around the same time.
That's right.
Can you meet me at my house at,
like, six o'clock.
      (hiding his joy)
I'm there.
Cool. I could really use the help.
History's always been like my
least favorite subject.
Then what's your favorite subject,
if you hate history so much?
I don't know. I guess I've always
liked science, geology, rocks,
stuff like that.
I get it, you're more into


Exactly. Prehistory.
You should come with me to Chalk
Hill sometime.
Why not? Do you ever find anything
Yep. I once found a shark's tooth
there. I sent it over to Cal Poly
to get dated. Guess how old it
How old?
Five-point-three million years.
That's awesome. You go there a
lot, don't you?
Yeah. Whenever I need to think, I
just dig. Most of the time, I
don't find anything. But that's
not what Chalk Hill's for anyway.
At least not for me.
We all need a place like that.
ANGLE ON Albert as he approaches Ryan and Mandy from a
Here comes your boyfriend.
There's my Alby.
Mandy smiles and waves. Albert comes up to Mandy, and hugs
and kisses her. Ryan, uncomfortable stands next to them.


Alright, Mandy, I'll see you later
Okay, Bye.
Albert possessively grabs onto Mandy.
I'll take it from here, Brain Boy.
As Albert and Mandy walk away, Albert turns around and gives
Ryan the finger. Mandy doesn't notice.
Ryan shakes his head, and walks away.
Ryan and his two friends are sitting at their usual lunch

A GIRL (17, White) approaches the table. The buddies, a
little surprised, quickly stop their chattering.
Hey, Sammy.
Ineffectively, Sammy tries to mask his nervousness. Ryan and
Jeff try to stop from giggling.
Hey, Beth.
What's goin' on?
Nothing, I was just makin' sure we
were gonna film again today.
Um, yeah, we're still on.
Your house?
Yeah, three-thirty.


Cool. Do you need me to come over
early and help you set up?
Yesterday, it looked like you
could use a hand.
Nah, I think I got it covered.
Just show up, and we'll be ready
to rock.
Okay, then. See ya later.
She walks away, and Ryan and Jeff let their giggles out.
      (to Sammy)
You fuckin' loser.
She practically begged to be alone
with you. That was your "in."
I don't want an "in" with her
right now.
It's probably for the best. Chicks
are no goddam good anyway.
Speaking of "ins," I arranged, or
actually, Mandy arranged a study
thing for us tonight at her place.
That's when you're gonna blurt it
As good a time as any.
You're just a grade on a test to
her. She doesn't wanna hear about
your fixation.


I told you already, this is
something she needs to hear,
whether she wants to or not.
You're obsessing over this girl.
She has a boyfriend. You're smart
enough to know how dangerous this
Love isn't dangerous.
If you're tyrin' to convince me of
that, then you're talkin' to the
wrong fuckin' guy.
      (to Ryan)
You're being a little too...
Learn from someone who lived it.
Adriana was the first girl I ever
kissed. We were together five
years. Adriana and Jeff, that's
who we were, that's what everyone
knew us as.
You guys were like the prototype
for every other couple.
Then she cheated on me, dumped me,
and ripped my fuckin' guts out.
Five fuckin' years. It's all
bullshit. Don't think any
differently. Love is shit.
Where am I wrong? Friendship,
family, compassion, God. All these
things are good, and all these
things come from love.
What about what, you know, Romeo
and Juliet did? They killed
themselves over love. Is that
good? Will that get them into


                       SAMMY (cont'd)
Now that's a question.
I don't know.
But, what they had together was
love, and love brought about their
demise. So that destroys your
thesis, bro. Unless you consider
death good.
I'm not talking about death. I'm
talking about life. Being alive
while being in love, that's
People do some stupid shit chasing
Well, right now, I'm almost there.
I just need her.
The varsity baseball team is taking infield practice. Ryan
and Albert are playing first base.

During a pause in the action, Ryan loses focus on the task
at hand. He looks to his left.

ANGLE ON Mandy practicing with her softball team far off on
the other side of the field.
                       ALBERT (O.S.)
Ryan flinches, then covers his head with his hands. A
baseball smashes into the fence on the first base side.
Albert retrieves the ball, and throws it back to the
CATCHER. We will come to know the catcher as PAUL (18,


After throwing the ball to Paul, Albert stands next to Ryan
on first base.
Albert starts laughing.
It's not funny.
Holy shit, that missed your
fuckin' head by like inches. What
the fuck were you doin'?
I just had something on my mind.
Get your head out of your ass. If
you get knocked unconscious, don't
ask me for help.
How could I ask you for help if I
get knocked unconscious? It'd be
fairly difficult for me to speak,
wouldn't it?
Shut up, Brain Boy. You know what
I meant.
Is calling me that, like, some way
to compensate for your
intellectual insecurity?
Albert catches a ball and throws it back to Paul.
                       ALBERT (cont'd)
What were you looking at, anyway?
Ryan subconsciously looks towards Mandy. Albert notices.
The softball chicks? You're not
into one of them, are you?
No. I wasn't looking at anything.


Yes you were. It wasn't Mandy, I
Ryan fields a ground ball, and throws it home.
No, it wasn't.
Good then. Or else we might have a
A problem? So what if I was
looking at her. How is it your
She's my girlfriend, that's how
it's my fuckin' business. I'm not
an idiot, I know you have a thing
for her. She told me you're coming
over tonight. A word of warning,
watch yourself. She's not yours.
First off, you don't know what the
hell you're talking about. Second,
she's not your property. You can't
make and enforce rules about who
she can and can't be friends with.
I will say this one more time...be
Albert fields a ground ball, then throws it a mile over the
catcher's head.
I could say the same for you.
Albert has come into the locker room to change out of his
baseball clothes. Paul is at the locker next to Albert's.

There are some other jocks milling around the room.


      (to Paul)
Dude, Scott's a fuckin' fag, man.
He bumped into me yesterday in the
halls. It was on purpose, I know
it was. I said, "What the fuck is
your problem, bitch." He said
something like, "Calm down,
Albert. I didn't see you." I know
he saw me, he did it on fuckin'
purpose. I was like, "Step up,
bitch." Then his homies got behind
him. I had to back down. What a
pussy. He can't step up without
his homies.
You're gonna get fucked up
someday, watch. You gotta stop
getting so eager to throw down.
It's gotten you into some shit
Right, mom.
I'm serious.
Nothing's gonna change. Anyone who
touches me, anyone who fucks with
me, I beat their fuckin' ass.
Those are the rules.
You need some new fuckin' rules.
Hey, by the way, Mandy's gonna be
busy tonight. You know what that
means, Paul.


It means I'm gonna be busy
tonight, you know what I'm sayin'.
I need you to cover for me again.
Come on.
I told her that I'm gonna chill
with you tonight, alright? So if
she asks you about it, then you
know what to tell her.
I hate lying to her like that
while you're gettin' it on with
Just cover me, dawg.
Man, why are you cheating on Mandy
anyway? There's nothing wrong with
She's fine, but she's fuckin'
uptight as hell. I was just
gettin' sick of her wanting to
wait. Tryin' to be a good girl.
Waiting for the right time. Fuck
that shit. There's only so long
I'm willing to carry a set of blue
balls. I'm a man, I need physical
gratification. If I have to look
elsewhere for that, then so be it.
That's wrong.
So are you gonna cover for me, or
I'm not sayin' I will anymore.
I'm not askin' you to donate a
fuckin' kidney. I'm just askin'
you to cover for me while I get my


                       ALBERT (cont'd)
bang on with my ex!
Fuck, man.
I see. Honesty. Integrity. Let's
chat about honesty. I'd bet your
girlfriend would love to know how
you made out with that freshman
chick at Conrad's party. She'd be
thrilled to know. And I would be
honored to be the one to tell her.
After all, we now value honesty.
I was drunk you fuckin' dick!
In that case, I'm sure she'll be
It's simple. I've got your back,
you've got mine.
Ryan enters the locker room. Paul and Albert stop talking.
Ryan's locker is near Paul and Albert. He puts his baseball
bag on the ground, opens his locker, and begins to change.
'Sup, Paul.
Hey, Ry.
      (to Paul)
So are we eye-to-eye?
      (to Albert)
      (to Ryan)
As for you Brain Boy, remember
what we talked about. Watch


                       ALBERT (cont'd)
yourself around my girlfriend.
You know what, go fuck yourself.
You're not gonna tell me to do a
goddam fuckin' thing.
Albert is pissed. He rushes toward Ryan, and bumps chests
with him. He then sticks his nose into Ryan's face.
What the fuck did you say?
You heard every word.
Say it again. Say it again so I
could fuck you up.
You're pathetic. You think I'm
afraid of you? I was there when
you pissed your pants at camp when
we were nine. I've seen you weak.
I've seen you cry.
I'm not that little kid you used
to play tag and two-hand touch
That's the first time you've been
right all fuckin' day.
Don't try to be brave, bitch.
Paul, please remind this piece of
shit the rules.
Paul gets in between them.
C'mon. C'mon. Albert, get your
shit. You're done in here.
Albert punches a locker.


Fuck it. Now that we all
understand each other, I'm off.
See you faggots later.
Albert, fully dressed, gathers his backpack and leaves.
      (to Paul)
That guy is the biggest fucking
asshole I've ever come into
contact with.
What was all that bullshit he was
talkin' to you about?
Nothing. I'm just going over to
Mandy's house to keep her from
failing History. Albert's just
insecure. Like he really has to
worry about her and me hookin' up
the second we're alone.
Let me tell you somethin'. Albert
is the last person who should be
talkin' about being faihful.
What do you mean?
Paul has finished getting dressed. He gathers his stuff.
                       RYAN (cont'd)
Wait, Paul. What'd you mean?
You've known him for a long time.
You know exactly what I mean.
Paul leaves the room.
Ryan shakes his head, gives himself a laugh, as if he should
have known all along.
The RINGING/BUZZING Teen Quiz sound is heard.
Warren's podium lights up in response to his buzzing in.


"C" is the speed of light in a
And it's value?
Its value is
three-hundred-thousand kilometers
per second.
A DING is heard.
That is correct, Warren.
The audience APPLAUDS. The scoreboard changes. It is now 160
points for Warren and 140 for Ryan.
                       HOST (cont'd)
Alright, Warren has put himself
back into the lead. Now for the
next question, and it is worth
twenty points. Name the Egyptian
President and the Israeli Prime
Minister who both signed the Camp
David Peace Accords.
Mandy is standing by the exit to the Boy's Locker Room. She
sees Albert coming out.
Hi, Alby.
Hey, Mimi.
They embrace and kiss.
You know what Saturday night is,
don't you?
Of course, it's my grandma's bath
night. It usually takes a good
three or four hours, but I can't


                       ALBERT (cont'd)
back out now.
Quit playing, you jerk.
Saturday, my dear, is our two-year
anniversary. I'm gonna treat you
like a queen.
You always do.
Good of you to notice.
God, I can't believe it's been two
years already. It seemed like you
were with Jessica for twice that
Don't mention her name. Just
thinking about her makes me sick.
Tell me about it. I wanted so bad
to steal you from her, but I
couldn't. We were friends...were
I wish you did steal me away. You
should have told me how you felt
I loved you then, I love you now,
I will love you tomorrow.
Me too, babe.
Are you sure you can't come over
No, I told you, I'm gonna chill
with my friends.


Oh, that's right, I forgot. Ryan's
coming over. Dammit, I'm late.
I don't like thinking of you and
that nerd together.
She kisses him.
You're so jealous.
She kisses him again.
Call me later?
O.K. Bye, sweetie.
Mandy leaves.
Ryan is sitting on the curb in front of Mandy's house. He's
got his backpack on the ground beside him. Mandy's car pulls
into her driveway. Mandy gets out. She's embarrassed that
she's late.
Ryan stands up and walks to Mandy.
I knocked on the door, nobody
I know, I'm sorry I'm late.
Don't worry about it.
So, you walked here?
No license, remember?


God, how does a seventeen year-old
get by without a car? How do you
get from A to B?
I manage.
You know you really oughtta get on
That's second on my to-do list.
What's first?
I'll tell you later.
I see.
Oh, um, before I forget, I brought
you something.
Ryan reaches into his jeans pocket.
Oooh, a present.
He pulls out a palm-sized, brown and jagged triangle. He
shows it to her.
Guess what this is.
It looks like a chipped piece of
You're exactly right. I mean,
that's what it is now. But it used
to be something else.
Is this that shark's tooth you
were tellin' me about?


Wow, this is awesome.
Just a little piece of prehistory
for you to keep.
Oh, no, I can't take this from
No, I brought it for you. Don't
worry, there's a shit load of them
underground. Just gotta dig it up.
She examines it with her fingers.
It's kinda weird, holding
something that hasn't seen the
light of day for millions of
Cool, huh?
She looks at him.
Thanks, Ryan.
You're welcome.
So, wanna come in?
They walk toward her door.

She is about to open it, when she stops herself. Ryan is
Oh, um, could you wait one more
minute? I'm sorry. I have to check
on something.
By all means.


She goes in. Politely, Ryan stays outside.
The blinds are shut, but there is still some daylight
attempting to squeeze through the cracks.

MANDY'S MOM (late-30's, Latina) is lying in bed as Mandy
comes in. Mandy's Mom is very pretty, but there is a sadness
to her that is apparent.

As Mandy enters, Mandy's Mom rolls over to look at her.
                       MANDY'S MOM
What do you want?
Why are you still in bed? You have
to leave for work in a half-hour.
                       MANDY'S MOM
I'll make it.
Do you want me to make you some
food before you go?
                       MANDY'S MOM
No, I'm not hungry.
Fine. By the way, I'm bringing a
friend inside, is that okay?
                       MANDY'S MOM
It's not that boyfriend of yours,
is it?
No, just a friend. I'll keep him
away from here, okay?
                       MANDY'S MOM
Whatever. Anything else?
Mandy says nothing, Mandy's Mom rolls back over.
I love you, Mom.


After she hears no response, she quietly closes the door.
Mandy's room is typical of an athletic teenage girl. Her
softball trophies and pictures are displayed prominently.
This is the first time Ryan has been in this place. This is
where his beloved sleeps, and it takes him a while to subtly
get over it.

Mandy plops her stuff on her bed. She gently places the
shark tooth on a shelf.

There is a desk with two chairs. Mandy motions towards the
Shall we?
They both sit down next to each other behind the desk. Ryan
takes out his folder and History book. Mandy does the same.
Can I get you anything?
No, thanks. I'm cool.
Is your Mom here?
She's in her room, she's, uh,
getting ready for work. Working
nights now.
How is she holding up?
She's...she's trying.
I know it's gotta be hard.


Yeah. It's been about a year since
she kicked my Dad out.
It's been that long?
When he cheated on her, he killed
her. She hasn't been the same. You
know, she hasn't even said "I love
you" to me since it happened.
I'm sorry. I know, when my Mom
moved out when I was a kid, my Dad
would cry himself to sleep. So
would I.
So, that's something else we have
in common.
It'll get better for both of you.
Trust me. I've been there.
I know.
She takes a deep breath, as if to cast out all the emotions
that have been brought forth.
Anyway, enough about my issues.
Let's open Edwards' study guide.
You sure?
Of course, that's why I dragged
you over here isn't it?
Yeah, I guess.
Okay then. I'm ready.
Mandy flips through her folder and takes out the sheet.


As you wish.
Okay, section one, critical
characters, General Thomas
Stonewall Jackson.
You remember him, right?
Of course I remember the name, but
there are so many names.
You know, he's pretty important.
If you can't remember him, then
you're gonna be screwed tomorrow.
That's why you're here,to help me
Okay, Stonewall Jackson was a
Confederate General. He was, by
all accounts, a military genius.
His victories made him a legend on
both sides. Meaning, he was feared
and he was loved at the same time.
So he was like the superstar of
the Confederate Army. Like, okay,
this is gonna sound retarded, but
it helps me, if they were a
football team, or something,
Robert E. Lee would be the
quarterback, and Stonewall Jackson
would be the star running back.
That's an interesting way to put
I know it's retarded, but whatever
helps me organize these guys.
Good thinking. Anyway, he died of
pneumonia eight days after the
Battle of Chancellorsville. He was


                       RYAN (cont'd)
accidently shot by his own men.
That's sad.
Yeah, but it's kind of fitting
that he died that way. An early
death is the fastest way to turn
your legend into myth. And his
last words only added to that.
What were his last words?
On his deathbed, seconds before
passing, he fell into a
semi-conscious state. He began
giving orders to his men, as if he
were in the middle of a battle.
Then, an overwhelming sense of
calm and peace must have
surrounded him when he said, "Let
us cross over the river and rest
under the shade of the trees".
Day DISSOLVES into night. Mandy and Ryan are still inside,
combing over their History books.
JESSICA (18, Latina) and Albert are having sex in her bed.
It is deeply physical, nothing soft or pure about it at all.
The two study buddies are still at it. Mandy is now sitting
on her bed. Ryan is still sitting by the desk, but he has
turned the chair around to face her.
God, I told you this stuff was
tough for me remember.


But you're absorbing it now,
Yeah, I think so.
Good. The key is to put these
events into context and not just
think of them as words in a
Ryan looks at the sheet.
Okay, last point. Know the
significance of the Battle of
It was the turning point of the
Right, but how? Why?
Well, the South lost the battle.
Yeah, but why did they lose? What
would have happened if they had
I don't know.
Context, remember. Create a story.
      (hangs her head)
Create it for me, Ryan. Please?
Fine. Put yourself on a hill
called Little Round Top. The man
in charge of defending the hill is
a former college professor named
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Put


                       RYAN (cont'd)
yourself in his shoes. If he
fails, the Rebels will drive the
Federals off the high ground. Then
what? Now there's nothing standing
in the way of Lee and
Washington...and victory. Think
about it.
Mandy is staring into Ryan's eyes. She's mesmerized.
                       RYAN (cont'd)
The entire fate of the Union is
placed in the hands of a professor
and some lumberjacks and fishermen
from Maine.
And they held Little Round Top.
They did. The next day, Pickett's
Charge fails, and Lee's invasion
of the North is stopped. The
South's fate was sealed in
Gettysburg. That's the
significance of the battle.
You're brilliant, do you know
I'm not.
Don't be modest. I mean, you must
be like a certified genius.
I just remember stuff well.
Helping me with all this
schoolwork probably makes you
think I'm some moron, right?
I can say with all of the
certainty in the world, there's
nothing about you that is anything
less than brilliant.


Mandy hears his words, and starts to melt inside.
If only there were more like you
in the world.
The world already has enough
I'm a dork.
They slightly chuckle.
Let's not get into that again.
ANGLE ON the clock in her room. It reads: "8:33."
Wow, I didn't think we'd get done
so early. You have to head home
Not really, I didn't give my dad
an exact time.
I'm surprised Albert hasn't called
me. He said he would.
Oh, that guy.
Hey, you're talkin' about my man.
I can say what I want about him,
I've known the guy since fourth
Knowing him for so long, I'm sure
then that you see all the
wonderful things I see in him.
Actually, my knowing him makes me
wonder just what it is you do see.
He's not a good person. I'm sure
you're aware he's done some


                       RYAN (cont'd)
horrible things.
He's different now. He's changed
his life around, for me. I can't
help but admire that. Why do you
guys hate each other?
Telling it now, it sounds so
small. He was my best friend in
fourth grade. One day he stole our
teacher's answer key out of her
desk. He was gonna use it to cheat
on the Math test the next day. He
told me about it, I said it was a
stupid thing to do. She noticed it
was missing, and the Principal
called all of us into his office
one-by-one. I was the only one who
knew. The Principal asked me who
stole it, and I said it was him.
Because it was the right thing to
do. He would've gotten expelled,
but the teacher stood up for him.
After that, he decided to stop
being my friend, couldn't trust me
anymore. Over the years, he found
new friends, people he shouldn't
be friends with. That's when he
changed. Now, he treats people
like shit. Which is why I still
don't get what it is with you and
I hope you're not questioning the
merits of our relationship. I
don't have to defend why I love
You don't have to defend anything.
I'll only say this, you deserve
much more than him.


That's for me to decide, isn't it?
Of course it is.
Alright, then.
Ryan is starting to feel nervous.
I'm just looking out for you,
Mandy, that's all.
I know. I know. That's what
friends do, right? They look out
for each other.
Right, friends.
An uncomfortable silence sets in.
You wanna take a walk, or
Um, sure. But I should be home in
case Albert calls.
Something tells me he's busy right
Ryan and Mandy are walking side-by-side along the sidewalk.
Cars sporadically pass by. A jogger or two as well. Street
lights cast an orange glow from above.
The street runs on a hill that overlooks a vast valley.
Thanks again for all your help.
My pleasure.


Even if I don't get an "A."
Hey, I make no guarantees.

They come to a wooden railing that lines a section of the
street. The two lift their legs over the rail and sit down
next to each other. Before them is a spectacular view of
thousands of twinkling street lights, a black sky full of
stars, and one brilliant moon.
God, I love coming out here to
Pathfinder Road. It never gets any
less beautiful.
What's gonna happen to us when
we're done?
Done with what?
You know, this stage in our lives.
Well, you're moving away to study
politics, and I'm staying here,
going to a shitty junior college.
The proverbial drifting apart,
isn't it?
It doesn't have to be.
You're gonna forget about me one
day, watch.


C'mon, we've been friends how
long? Four years, right?
Ryan slowly nods.
                       MANDY (cont'd)
It'd be impossible for me to
forget you. I wouldn't allow
myself. I promise, whenever I
think back on this time in my
life, you'll be there.
What about me? Are you gonna
remember me when you're running
for Congress someday?
You're the only thing about
Rowland that's worth remembering.
I doubt that, but thanks.
The two spend a couple more seconds in silence looking
beyond. Mandy notices that Ryan's mind is at work.
I like this. Being up here,
looking out there, sitting next to
you. I like this a lot.
Me, too.
She softly places her head on his shoulder. He stiffens,
doesn't know how to react.
You've got something on your mind,
I can feel it.
She lifts her head back up.
Yeah, I do. I'm just not quite
sure how to say it.


Wow, this must be important. Tell
me however you wanna tell me.
Alright. My family has this thing,
this figure of speech we use with
each other. My mom used it before
she left. My dad and I still use
it. It refers to the most perfect
thing you could ask for. The day
when you finally get what will
make you the happiest, most
complete, fulfilled person you can
be. We call that day, "my
Then what's your perfect day?
What's your tomorrow?
My tomorrow is when I look into
the eyes of the most beautiful
girl I've ever known, I tell her I
love her, and she tells me she
loves me. Then we just hold each
other, and melt.
      (looks into her
Mandy, you are my tomorrow.
It takes a moment for her to completely understand.
Now uncomfortable, she looks down. He looks down also.
It'd be an understatement to say
that this complicates things. But
I just had to tell you.
But, I thought this was over.
We've been through this already. I
told you we were just friends. You
said you'd moved on.


I know that's what I said back
then, but nothing's changed. For
me, at least.
Nothing's changed for me, either.
You're my friend. We can't do--
CELL PHONE RINGS from inside Mandy's jeans. Startled, she
reaches in, takes it out, and sees from whom the call came.
                       MANDY (cont'd)
It's Albert.
He can wait.
No, I need to answer him.
Ryan shakes his head in disappointment.
Back to the three friends and their lunch table.
Then she answered the phone, and
that was it.
She just answered the phone, and
that was it?
Pretty much. I walked her home.
She was talking to him the whole
time back.
What'd she think about all the
bullshit you told her?
She said it was a lot to think
No shit.


And that we'd talk about it
Didn't you just have class with
Yeah. We both awkwardly sat next
to each other, took a test, and
didn't say a word.
You might as well just get it over
I suppose.
Ryan looks behind him.

ANGLE ON Mandy sitting with her girlfriends several tables
away. We can almost see the weight on her shoulders.
She's right where she needs to be.
Ryan puts his hands flat on the table, as if he's about to
stand up.
Why are you doing this to
yourself, man?
Because, what else do I have?
Ryan gets up, walks toward where Mandy is.
Mandy knows Ryan is approaching. She tries to keep her eyes
Hi, Mandy.
She's forced to look up.


Where's Albert?
He's off campus getting some
lunch. He should be back soon.
Can we talk for a second?
      (not enthused)
Ryan acknowledges her friends.
      (to her friends)
Be back.
She gets up. Walks with Ryan. He takes the lead.
The two walk unevenly.
So, what'd you think of the
History test?
It was easier than I had thought
it would be. I should say, you
made it easier.
Again, it was my pleasure.
You've always looked out for me,
and I've always appreciated that.
And I'm honored to do it. I will
always be there for you, whenever
you need me.
I don't doubt that for a second.


Ryan leads Mandy to a secluded spot on campus, just behind
the gym. The two face each other.
So, did you think about what I
told you last night?
I couldn't stop thinking about it.
And, where are you?
You were right. It didn't make
things any easier between us.
I'm sorry. I didn't want it to be
But, it is, Ryan. It really is.
Listen, this is real for me. The
love I have for you is real. The
only time I feel alive is when I'm
around you. You make me feel
alive, do you understand that?
Yes, and that's what makes this so
hard. You have so much invested in
And you don't? You have no
feelings for me, none? Deep down
you can't see yourself with me,
knowing that I'm the one for you?
She takes a moment, understanding the weight of her words.
No, I can't. I, I don't.
You don't what?


I don't love you, Ryan. Not in the
way you want me to.
We're friends, nothing more.
I'm sorry. It's just...I love
Albert. We're together. We're
celebrating our two-year
anniversary Saturday night. I
can't just throw it all away on a
whim. You've gotta be realistic.
I need to be realistic? Let's talk
about realism for a second. Where
was your boyfriend last night when
we were studying together?
He was with Paul and his friends.
How sure are you?
What are you trying to imply?
Can you say with absolute
certainty that Albert is faithful
to you?
Is this where you've sunk? Now
you're making some wild charge
that he's cheating on me? How
certain are you? Do you have any


Then you better watch what you say
about my boyfriend. Otherwise, I
might not be able to look at you
the same way again.
Mandy, he's not the one for you.
Now you're getting close to being
pathetic. You have no clue about
the strength of our relationship.
You don't know what's right for
I can't believe how blind you are.
I'm right here--I'm right here!
I think we'd better end this
conversation before I decide that
I don't want to be your friend
anymore. Do us both a favor, stay
out of my business.
Mandy turns around, and takes a couple of steps.
Don't, please, don't.
She stops, and faces Ryan.
It's not me you're after. It's the
idea of someone like me. Go find
She turns, and walks away. Ryan stays.
He leans his back against the wall of the building.
      (to himself)
He bangs his head against the wall. He slides down into a
crouch, bringing his knees to his chest. He buries his head
in his curled up arms, and quietly begins to sob.


                       WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
Ryan, come here...sit down, mommy
needs to talk to you.
We're in a child's play room, toys scattered all over,
crayon drawings taped to the walls.

YOUNG RYAN is sitting down on the little chair of a kiddie
art easel.
The woman's voice is RYAN'S MOM (Latina, mid-30's). Lovely
and strong. She's kneeling on the floor in front of Young
                       RYAN'S MOM
Sweetie, I have to tell you
something that's probably gonna be
hard for you to understand right
                       YOUNG RYAN
What, mommy?
                       RYAN'S MOM
I have to leave.
                       YOUNG RYAN
Where are you going?
                       RYAN'S MOM
I'm going to Arizona. What's the
capital of Arizona?
                       YOUNG RYAN
When are you--
                       RYAN'S MOM
C'mon, the capital of Arizona
                       YOUNG RYAN
                       RYAN'S MOM
That's my genius. My bright young
                       YOUNG RYAN
When are you coming back?


                       RYAN'S MOM
That's the thing, Ryan, I'm not
coming back. At least not to live
here. I'm going to live over there
                       YOUNG RYAN
      (tearing up)
You're not coming back?
                       RYAN'S MOM
      (tearing up)
No. But you're gonna come see me a
lot over there.
                       YOUNG RYAN
Why are you leaving? Why are you
leaving me?
                       RYAN'S MOM
I'm not happy with myself here in
Rowland Heights.
                       YOUNG RYAN
Why aren't you happy? What did I
do wrong? I'll clean up my toys
like you told me, I promise.
                       RYAN'S MOM
It's nothing you did, sweetie. I
just don't think I'm a good mommy
here where I'm sad all the time.
I'm leaving so I can be a better,
happier mommy for you. That's my
Young Ryan starts crying, holds onto his mom. She starts
                       YOUNG RYAN
Don't go, mommy. I'll make you
happy. You don't love me?
                       RYAN'S MOM
I'll always love you. I'm sorry,
baby, I have to go. I have to go.
                       YOUNG RYAN
Don't, please, don't!
She kisses his head. Then has to pry him off of her.


                       RYAN'S MOM
I'm sorry.
She leaves the room. Ryan is bawling in his little chair.
Ryan, Albert, Paul, and the rest of the varsity baseball
team are all in uniform, headed to an away game. Albert is
in the front of the bus, joking around with the COACH.

Ryan is sitting by the window, silently peering out. We see
a FINGER move near Ryan's ear. The finger FLICKS Ryan's ear.

It was Paul, who is sitting next to Ryan.

Ryan, a bit irritated, doesn't respond.
Hey, Ryan.
Ryan looks over at Paul. Paul can see the hurt in his eyes.
      (not in the mood)
What is it?
You look like you could be one of
the saddest people in the world
right now.
What do you care?
Just sitting next to you is
depressing me. Need some help?
I can handle it.
Come on.
Do you know anything about
Not much, apparently.


Then you can't help.
Try me.
Ryan looks towards the front of the bus at Albert.
Okay, but you can't tell anyone,
especially your buddy, Albert. I
know how tight you two are.
We're not tight. I don't even like
the guy.
Then that makes two of us.
What's this all about?
Ryan peers towards Albert to make sure he is occupied.
Tell me about Albert and Mandy.
Paul gives a puzzled look.
You practically admitted to me
yesterday that he's cheating on
I did no such thing. Anyway, why
should you care?
Because I'm in love with Mandy.
I told her how I felt, and she
didn't wanna hear it. She says she
still wants to be with Albert. The


                       RYAN (cont'd)
thing is, if he's cheating on her,
then I think she deserves to know.
What does this have to do with me?
You know the truth.
And you want me to get involved in
something that is absolutely none
of my business? This love triangle
you've got going doesn't include
Yes, it does. Other than Albert,
you're the only one who can set
things right. I tried to tell her,
but she wouldn't believe me.
Have you considered that you could
do more harm than good? I mean,
there's no guarantee that she'll
come crawling to you after she
finds out. Then what? That would
just leave her devastated and
She's too good to be lied to.
C'mon, if your girlfriend were
cheating on you, wouldn't you want
to know? Don't you think you have
that right?
I suppose.
Then you understand.
No, you don't understand. If I
stop covering for Albert, then
he'll fuck things up between me
and Lauren.


So you've both got shit on each
I wanna help you, but I can't
jeopardize my relationship.
These lies, they're all wrong,
Paul. They need to be fixed.
Things should be made right.
Get used to it, Ryan. Some wrongs
are just never made right.
Ryan is sitting on a small chair behind the standing set of
"Teen Quiz." His coach, Mrs. Edwards, is kneeling down in
front of him. He's obviously nervous.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
You've done all you can to prepare
for this. There's nothing more you
can do now other than relax. Take
a deep breath, come on.
Ryan takes a deep breath.
I have to win today, Mrs. Edwards.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
It's not about that, Ryan. I mean,
it would be great if you did, but
you need to just go out there and
have fun. Besides, you've won six
times already.
Yeah, but that wouldn't matter if
I lose today.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
When we started this, it was an
experiment, remember? Let's see
how far we can ride this thing, we
said. All while having a good
time. What happened? Why are you
so concerned about the outcome


                       MRS. EDWARDS (cont'd)
Today, I have to prove that I'm
worth something to someone.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
You don't need to place so much on
this silly game.
A couple days ago, I thought I
figured everything out. I thought
I knew the point of it all. I was
wrong. The one thing I knew with
absolute certainty was wrong.
Where does that leave me? I'm
going on a quiz show in five
minutes, for God's sake. What else
am I wrong about?
Mrs. Edwards stands up and places her hand on Ryan's
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Ryan, I believe in you. Everyone
watching you, even the ones
rooting for the other guy, believe
that you can take this home.
I need to.
                       WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
All audience members to their
seats. The show will begin in a
few minutes. Ryan and Warren to
your marks.
Mrs. Edwards and Ryan hear the instructions. Mrs. Edwards
pats Ryan's shoulder again.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
You're gonna do great.
Ryan nods. Mrs. Edwards walks away. Ryan stays behind. There
is a small mirror hanging behind the set. Ryan looks into
it. He fixes his hair, then stares into the mirror.
      (to the mirror)
You're insignificant.


Ryan walks to his mark located just behind stage left. The
TEEN QUIZ THEME SONG begins to play. The audience APPLAUDS.
We stay with Ryan. He's standing on his mark, subtly swaying
from side to side with his head down.
                       WOMAN'S VOICE (V.O.)
From Studio City comes the great
meeting of local young minds. Two
brilliant contestants, only one
will emerge victorious. Quick
brains and quick hands are what
they need to take...the Teen Quiz.
Please welcome our first
contestant, with a record of
seven-and-one, from Alhambra High
School, Warren Chang. He's here to
challenge our next contestant,
with a record of six-and-oh from
Rowland High School, Ryan Reyes.
Ryan walks onstage. The audience is applauding.

We follow Ryan onstage, heading to his podium. He forces a
smile to the happy audience. He sees his dad. He sees Mrs.
Edwards, Jeff, Sammy, Ryan's Dad. He scans the audience to
see if he can find anyone else.
It is morning. Mandy is sitting on her bed in front of her
T.V., watching Ryan look directly at her on the screen.
Well folks, we've seen a fantastic
tournament over the past few
months. Dozens of bright young men
and young women from all over
Southern California have competed,
and here before you are the two
best. And if I may say, after
seven years of Teen Quiz, I think
this is probably the most
promising championship round we've
had. What do you say, Warren, are
you nervous?


It would be impossible not to be.
I mean, we've all seen how good of
a player Ryan is. I know he's not
going to let me win without a
How 'bout it Ryan? What are things
like for you back in Rowland
Heights. Everyone must love you.
Not quite. Though, this is an
experience I will never forget.
I'm having the time of my life.
That's what this is all about,
guys. Shall we get started then?
Paul is sitting on his couch, watching Teen Quiz.
The scoreboard behind each podium reads 160 for Warren and
140 for Ryan. In the blink of an eye, Ryan slams his hand on
the buzzer. The RINGING/BUZZING sound is emitted, and his
podium lights up.
Anwar al-Sadat and Menachem Begin.
The scoreboard reads: "160" for Ryan and "160" for Warren.
Ryan gets twenty points to tie
things up once again. We're having
quite a match. Now, for a ten
point question: Name the
Shakespeare comedy that has the
same setting as the tragedy,


                       HOST (cont'd)
"Romeo and Juliet."
RINGING/BUZZING. Warren's podium lights up.
"Two Gentlemen of Verona"
The scoreboard reads: "160" for Ryan and "170" for Warren.
Good, Warren. That puts you back
in the lead. Next question is ten
                       HOST (cont'd)
And we won't get to that one. Well
now, round two of a fantastic
match is over. Warren Chang is in
the lead, and Ryan Reyes is not
far behind him as we head to our
final round. One final question
stands between our contestants and
glory. We'll be back after these
APPLAUSE begins, then dies down as the show breaks.
The Host leaves the stage. Warren reaches for a glass of
water. Ryan rests his elbows on the podium and rubs his
temples. He takes several deep breaths. He looks out toward
the audience. Sammy flashes Ryan the devil horns. He gets a
thumbs up from his Dad. Mrs. Edwards gestures again for him
to calm down.
Paul is still intently watching the television as bright,
flashy commercials fill the screen.


Mandy is now pacing around her room, with the commercials
still playing. Like everyone else, she is brimming with
Welcome back everyone.
Contestants, this is it. Whoever
is ahead after this question,
takes the championship. Warren,
you're in the lead, so Ryan, you
must get this fifty point question
right in order to win. As always,
if either of you buzz in before I
finish reading the question, then
you will be locked out. Ready
gentlemen? Here it is... Name the
five countries that border the
African nation of Cote d'Ivoire.
Warren buzzes in first.
Liberia, Sierra Leone...
A BOOP-BOOP-BOOP sound is heard.
Ryan cautiously buzzes in.
Ryan for the win.
Very deliberately, Ryan attempts to answer.
Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Ghana,
Another BOOP-BOOP-BOOP sound is heard. A few cheers and
groans begin to take place.


I'm sorry, Ryan, that is
incorrect. The fifth country is
Burkina Faso. Which means, with
one-hundred seventy points, Warren
Chang is the Teen Quiz champion!
Ryan buries his face in his hands.

Warren throws his fists in the air. He gets mobbed by his
Alhambra fans.

Warren manages to make his way toward Ryan. Ryan reluctantly
shakes Warren's hand.

Ryan remains standing behind his podium, arms at his side,
looking down, slowly shaking his head. He clearly has tears
in his eyes.
Mandy is covering her mouth with her hand. On the T.V
screen, she can see an utterly defeated Ryan behind the
rolling credits. She can't bear the sight anymore, so she
turns the T.V. off.
Playing on Paul's T.V., behind the rolling credits, Ryan is
given a silver medal that he does not want.

Paul can clearly see how devastated Ryan is.
Ryan opens the door and softly closes it shut. He takes the
silvery medal off of his neck. He looks at it, and gives a
sarcastic chuckle. He then hurls the hunk of metal. It
leaves a deep DENT in the wall.
Albert's talking on his cell phone, driving through the
residential streets of Rowland Heights.
I'm so glad that Brain Boy lost.


                       MANDY (V.O.)
      (from phone)
You should've seen the look on his
I guess that little nerd wasn't as
smart as he's made himself out to
                       MANDY (V.O.)
Stop calling him names. He's
smarter than the both of us, and
you know it.
Yeah, well at least we have
somewhere to go on a Saturday
Mandy is also on her cell.
Speaking of which, where are you
taking me, and when are you
picking me up?
                       ALBERT (V.O.)
      (from phone)
It's a secret, and I'll be at your
house at seven-thirty.
Where are you right now?
                       ALBERT (V.O.)
First, I'm going to the secret
location to make sure everything's
squared away. Then I'm gonna hang
out at Paul's for a couple hours.
Okay, but don't forget about me.
Every time you're hanging out with
your friends, you always seem to
lose track of time.
                       ALBERT (V.O.)
Not gonna happen.


Good. I love you, baby.
Hey, babe, make sure to wear
something special for me tonight.
                       MANDY (V.O.)
I will.
And babe, happy anniversary.
Albert turns his phone off. He drives for a little while

He parks along a curb in front of a HOUSE.
Albert gets out of his car. He looks around as if he knows
he shouldn't be there.


He knocks on the door. Jessica opens it, and smiles
seductively. She grabs him and pulls him through the
doorway. The door closes behind him.
Mandy has just gotten out of the shower. She is wearing a
bathrobe, and is toweling off her long wet hair. She has
laid her outfit on her bed.

She hears the DOORBELL ring. Puzzled, she goes downstairs to
answer it.
Mandy is descending the staircase, still in her bathrobe,
hair still wet.
      (to the door)
Albert, you are way too early.


She reaches the front door and opens it. Paul is standing in
front of her, with a look on his face that says he's got
something important to say.
Hey, Mandy.
Sorry, Paul. I thought you were
Albert. What are you doing here?
Actually, it's about Albert.
Is there something wrong? I
thought he was with you.
Is that what he told you?
Yeah. Is he alright?
Oh yeah, I'm sure he's just fine
where he is right now.
Then what's the matter?
Paul takes a deep breath.
I gotta set things right. Mandy,
there's something you need to
know. You're not gonna like it,
but I swear to Christ it's true.
Ryan is lying down on the floor, hands behind his head,
staring blankly at the ceiling.
Mandy is sitting on her couch, curled into a ball. She's
wearing sweat pants and a Rowland softball sweatshirt.


KNOCK-KNOCK on the front door.

Mandy reacts as if she had been expecting this particular

She gets up, walks to the door, and opens it.
Albert is before her, dressed nicely, holding a bouquet of
roses. He notices she's not ready.
Damn girl, you better get moving
if we're gonna make it to the
restaurant in time.
Mandy doesn't say a word as Albert lets himself in.

He hands her the roses with a stupid smile on his face. She
takes them, again, lips sealed.
God, what's wrong, babe? How 'bout
a hello, or somethin', shit.
Do you love me?
Albert is caught off-guard.
Yeah, of course.
Then say it. I want you to look me
in my eyes, and tell me how much
you love me.
What is this, a game?
Do it.
You know I don't like games.
Just do it.


He looks her right in her eyes.
I love you Mandy, with all my
Mandy nods, then looks at her flowers. Slowly, an enraged
look develops on her pretty face.

She holds the bouquet tightly as if it were a softball bat.

She winds up, and SMACKS Albert's head with the bouquet as
if it were a softball. The PETALS fly all over.

Shocked, Albert puts his hands in front of his face to
protect himself from any future blows.
      (top of her lungs)
You fucking liar! You've been
lying to me this whole time you
fuckin' piece of shit!
Whoa, Whoa. What are you talking
      (tears in her eyes)
You tell me you love me while
you're fucking that whore,
No. I don't know where you got
that, but you're wrong.
Stop fucking lying to me!
Calm down, babe!
I drove by her house and I saw
your car parked in front. You son
of a bitch!
She KICKS Albert square in the balls, as if she were playing

Albert clutches his package in pain, and kneels down on the


Fuck, Mandy!
He manages to get back to his feet. She starts slapping his
body and face. He tries to block her strikes.
I thought you were the one. What
the fuck was I thinking!? Get the
fuck out of my house, I never want
to see you again!
Don't fucking hit me!
He pushes her away, she stumbles back, and falls to the
ground. She is astonished. She gets back up. They face each
Look, I didn't mean--
That's the last fucking time you
ever touch me.
She opens the front door. She nudges him outside, and SLAMS
the door.
                       ALBERT (O.S.)
      (through the door)
I'm sorry, Mandy. I'm sorry. Come
on, let me in. We'll talk about
He POUNDS on the door.
                       ALBERT (O.S.)
      (through the door)
I don't wanna lose you! Let me in!
Let me in goddammit!
Get the fuck away!
Ryan is sitting in a chair in front of his computer desk. He
is holding an old Little League trophy in his hands.

CLOSE ON the trophy.



"2nd Place - Farm Division"


The memories that come to him make him smile a little.
                       RYAN'S DAD (O.S.)
You seem to have a knack for
gettin' those.
Ryan didn't know his dad was there. He swings the chair
around to face him. His dad is leaning against the door
                       RYAN'S DAD (cont'd.)
Second place trophies, second
place medals. I wonder why that
I don't know, Dad, why don't you
tell me?
                       RYAN'S DAD
I don't know, either. You just
fall short. Fair and square, you
get beat.
Thanks for your heart-warming
                       RYAN'S DAD
What? There's no other way to say
it. I mean, you put on a good
show, but he brought more to the
show than you did.
What are you tryin' to do to me? I
tried so hard. I wanted this so
                       RYAN'S DAD
I'm just tryin' to figure out how
you could lose at something that
you said you cared so much about.


Are you saying I didn't try hard
                       RYAN'S DAD
I didn't say anything.
It's either I didn't try hard
enough, or my hardest isn't good
enough. Either way I'm a loser,
                       RYAN'S DAD
I didn't say anything like that.
What else could I do? I studied, I
practiced. I even prayed. You
remember that, right, pop?
                       RYAN'S DAD
Don't start this again, dammit.
What, why do you care? You said
yourself you don't believe in it
anymore, not after Mom left.
                       RYAN'S DAD
I didn't say I stopped believing.
I just said it was pointless. With
my Mom dying, and your Mom
leaving, God heard me praying to
Him. Just like you prayed. We
followed Him our whole lives. Then
what does He say when we need Him
the most? No.
What do you want from me? Do you
want me to be like you, you and
the other cynics who don't believe
in anything?
                       RYAN'S DAD
It's called the real world, son.
Ryan shakes his head in disappointment.
DING-DONG, the doorbell.


                       RYAN'S DAD
I'll get it.
Ryan's dad exits to get the door. Ryan stays seated. He
looks at his Little League trophy some more. He then turns
his head to look at the fresh DENT in his wall made by the
Teen Quiz silver medal.

ANGLE ON the dent in the wall.
                       RYAN'S DAD (O.S.)
It's your friend, Mandy.
Surprised, Ryan gets up from his chair, and heads
Ryan comes down the stairs, and comes upon Mandy standing in
the doorway. Her nose and cheeks are red. She looks like she
has been crying heavily.

Seeing her condition, Ryan becomes concerned. He rushes
toward her.

He puts his hands on her shoulders.
What happened?
You were right. You were right
about him.
He puts her head on his shoulder, she sobs some more.

She looks up at him, wipes the tears from her face. He wraps
his arms around her, she again rests her head on his
shoulder as she takes a deep breath.
Ryan steps outside, closes the door, takes a seat on the top
step of his porch. He motions for Mandy to sit down next to
him. She does.
I'm sorry.


You tried to tell me.
I hate that this happened to you.
This is what I get, again.
The thing that happened to me back
in Arizona.
Right. I'm sorry.
That's why I'm such a fuckin'
idiot for allowing another guy to
ruin my life.
No, they're idiots. Those guys in
your life, when they had you, they
had perfection, and they were too
stupid realize it.
I'm not perfect. I have my flaws.
That's what makes you perfect.
You don't understand, I'm no one's
missing piece. I will fill no
one's void. I am not an ideal. I'm
just a girl...only a girl.
You're more than that in my eyes.
Her emotions start to build.

She looks into his eyes, then at his lips. She leans
forward, they kiss. It's more experimental than passionate.
After a few seconds, she stops herself, then puts a hand on
his chest.


You're too good to me. You're too
good for me.
What does that mean?
I don't know what I mean. I don't
know what I want. I'm just, I'm
just really confused. Hurt and
confused. You talk about love, but
so far, where has love left me? My
Mom's right. What's the point? Why
bother when it always feels like
this at the end.
Don't close yourself off because
of what's happened to you.
All things considered, I'll do
what I have to.
I will never hurt you. With me,
you will have my entire spirit.
Just give me the chance, and I'll
show you what true love really is.
There's no such thing.
She stands up and begins to walk away. Ryan remains seated.
She stops and turns around.
                       RYAN (cont'd.)
Someday, you're gonna come back. I
know you will. And I'll be here,
waiting for you. 'Cause that day,
whenever it comes, is still my


I'm sorry, but your tomorrow'll
never come.
She walks away. He's left alone and heartbroken.
Ryan and his Dad are on their way to school. Ryan has his
eyes closed and his head back the whole way there.
Head down, Ryan walks towards his locker. A few people try
to greet him, or pat him on the back, but they're just

He reaches his locker, quietly takes out his History book,
shuts the door, and heads toward his class.
Mrs. Edwards' students, as usual, are waiting for her to
open the door.

Mandy, alone, is standing a few feet in front of the door.
Albert is nowhere to be found.
Ryan appears around the corner. He sees Mandy, they make eye
contact for a split-second, then she looks away.

Ryan finds a spot against a wall on which to lean, and a
spot in the sky on which to stare.

After a few long seconds, the door is opened from the
inside. The students file in. Mandy is one of the first to
go in. Ryan is the last.
Mrs. Edwards is doing some paperwork at her desk. The kids
in the class are chattering away. Ryan and Mandy sit
awkwardly next to each other, not speaking.

Mrs. Edwards rises from behind her desk and stands in front
of the class.


                       MRS. EDWARDS
I know you guys were hoping to get
your graded tests back today. As
you might understand, I had a busy
weekend, so I will get those out
to you tomorrow. Now, before I
begin today's lecture, I first
want to acknowledge someone. Stand
up if, on Saturday, you either saw
the Teen Quiz match in person or
on T.V.
She remains standing, Mandy and the rest of the class stand
up. Ryan stares straight ahead, and remains seated.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Good, now I want you to sit down
if you were anything less than
honored and proud to have Ryan
represent your school and your
hometown with the performance he
No one sits down.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Just what I thought.
Ryan casually looks around. Gradually, they sit back down.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
Ryan, keep your head up. You were
I appreciate the gesture, Mrs.
Edwards, but I don't need a
                       MRS. EDWARDS
It's not consolation, it's
There's not much to appreciate
about what happened.
                       MRS. EDWARDS
But, Ryan--
I'm sorry, but can we just get on
with the lecture?


                       MRS. EDWARDS
The guys on the baseball team are stretching either on their
own or in small groups. The coach isn't yet on the field.

Ryan has just come out of the locker room, dressed and ready
for practice. He sees Paul stretching his hamstrings by the
third base dugout. Ryan walks toward Paul, and casually
drops his stuff in front of him.
Paul, can we talk for a minute?
Somewhat put off, Paul gets up, and walks with Ryan down the
third base line, a good distance away from the rest of the
So, are you here to thank me, or
No, it's not about being thankful.
Coming clean was honorable. I just
want to say that I respect what
you did.
Yeah, well, honorable, or not, I
just ruined the lives of two
people. And my girlfriend is
fuckin' pissed at me.
So you came clean to your
girlfriend too?
I wasn't gonna have her hear it
from Albert.
I can talk to her for you.
It's okay, I can handle it.


Anyway, I just wanted to say that
you have my respect, and my
Just so you know, I didn't do what
I did for you. I did it for
myself. I'm not a liar, and I'm
not a cheater.
I understand.
The two young men shake hands like gentlemen.
Have you seen him at all?
No, not today. I talked to him
yesterday, though.
What'd he have to say about
He said everything's fine. And I
told him it was our talk on the
bus that opened my eyes.
You told him about that?
Yeah. I felt he at least deserved
to know the whole story. No
secrets, right?
So now he knows about me and
You three should have a long,
civil discussion about all this.
Wouldn't that be something?


Anyway, back to practice.
The two head back down the line towards the dugout.

ANGLE ON Albert exiting the locker room and coming onto the
field by the first base dugout.

Ryan and Paul tense up, but continue walking.
There he is. I better go talk to
Paul makes his way across the field toward where Albert is.
Ryan leans against the fence beside the third base dugout.

Paul and Albert are talking, but their words can't be heard
from this distance. Paul puts his hand on Albert's shoulder.
Angrily, Albert swats the hand away. He points his finger in
Paul's face, and begins to yell at him. Paul puts his hand
on Albert's chest as if to push him away.

Albert makes a fist and lands a right hook onto Paul's jaw.

Like a sack of potatoes, Paul hits the ground.
Shocked at what he has witnessed, Ryan dashes toward Albert.
The rest of the team follows behind.

Albert stomps on Paul's chest several times.

What the fuck, man!
Ryan makes it to the fight. From behind, he tackles Albert.
The rest of the guys are standing behind as if this were
entertainment. Paul is still grounded.
Ryan and Albert roll around on the grass. Ryan manages to
get his forearm onto Albert's throat. Ryan punches Albert in
the stomach a couple of times, and once in the face.

With his free left hand, Albert lands a blow to Ryan's right


eye. Ryan falls back.

Albert throws himself on top of Ryan. Ryan's shoulders are
Try to take my girl away from me,
huh, Brain Boy!
He punches Ryan in the face.
                       ALBERT (cont'd)
You're gonna fuckin' die for that!
He punches Ryan in the face again, and again, and again.
Finally, Albert is pried off of Ryan by several guys on the
team. Albert is still struggling to break free. He ROARS to
the sky like a beast.

Meanwhile, Paul is able to get to his feet. He makes a move
to Albert, but is held back.
Albert, you fuck! Come here
fuckin' motherfucker!
CLOSE ON Ryan as blood gushes from his nose, and drips down
his face.
                       ALBERT (O.S.)
This is not over! No one ever
touches me, Brain Boy! Not fuckin'
Ryan is sitting in a chair, holding an ice pack to his
swollen, black eye. His lip is swollen, nose bandaged,
cheekbones cut.

Mr. Simmons comes into the office, and sits on the table
facing Ryan.

Simmons has a look of disappointment on his face.

                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS
You know, all year, every year, I
deal with kids in need of
discipline. Lots of kids come to


                       VICE PRINCIPAL SIMMONS (cont'd)
me. I look at their files before I
see them, and I'm hardly ever
surprised that they're sent to me.
You know the type.
I guess.