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I Am Here
by Jeffrey (kendoanime@gmail.com)

Rated: PG   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***1/2
An optimistic college senior meets a depressed freshman, then finds out something unexpected about her.


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.



FADE IN:

EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - DAY
                                                            
TRISTA GOLDWYN, a frshman in college, is sitting on the
fountain. She holds her legs close to her. She reveals only
her eyes behind her legs. She looks at the many people
passing by her. She closes her eyes.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (whispering)
Someone save me...
                                                            
TRISTA looks down and sighs.

AARON, a senior in college, walks over to the fountain. He
drops his backpack like a rock adn sits down next to Trista.
He curses under his breath.
                                                            
                       AARON
      (whispering)
I hate my life.
                                                            
TRISTA looks at him, and then closes her eyes. AARON looks
at her.
                                                            
                       AARON (CONT'D)
Rough day?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Huh? What?
                                                            
AARON is waiting for an answer.
                                                            
                       TRISTA (CONT'D)
Oh, it's... it's been good.
                                                            
TRISTA looks down.

AARON tilts his head to his right, then straightens it.
                                                            
                       AARON
I don't think so.
                                                            
TRISTA looks at him... gives up.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Is it that obvious?
                                                            
AARON smiles.
                                                            

2.

                       TRISTA (CONT'D)
What about you?
                                                            
                       AARON
I, uh... I didn't make the team.
      (beat)
For the fourth time.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh...
                                                            
                       AARON
It was my last chance, and I blew
it again. I just wish I knew what
went wrong.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I... I'm sorry to hear.
                                                            
                       AARON
Ah, don't be. It was all my fault.
                                                            
AARON gives a smile.

TRISTA joins in.
                                                            
                       AARON
I'm Aaron.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh, um... I'm Trista. Trista
Goldwyn.
                                                            
                       AARON
Trista. Never seen you around
before. I mean, I know the campus
is big, but still--
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I don't really explore the campus
more than I need to.
                                                            
                       AARON
Last year, I thought that, too.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Really?
                                                            
                       AARON
Oh, yeah. It's normal for every
first-years. But seriously, you
shouldn't isolate yourself.
                                                            

3.

                       TRISTA
Maybe. But...
                                                            
AARON is expecting an answer. He makes one up instead.
                                                            
                       AARON
      (stands up)
Hey.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Huh?
                                                            
                       AARON
If you're not busy, how about I
take you out?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
What! Wait, first you start to
mouth off quietly, and then you do
something completely different by
asking someone out?
                                                            
                       AARON
Hey... you can't dwell on one
thing forever. Got to keep going.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I-I--
                                                            
                       AARON
But if you don't want to--
                                                            
                       TRISTA
No, no, I'm not saying that--
                                                            
                       AARON
Okay, then. It's settled. I'll
meet you here at eight.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
No, wait a minute--
                                                            
But AARON is already gone.
                                                            
                       TRISTA (CONT'D)
What just happened?
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
 

4.

EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - DAY
                                                            
Trista is sitting on the fountain.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (whispering)
Okay, what to do, what to do, what
to do! I've never been on a a date
before. I've never even been
friends with a boy before.
                                                            
AARON walks toward her and stands behind her.
                                                            
                       AARON
Hey.
                                                            
TRISTA stands up and screams simultaneously.
                                                            
                       AARON (CONT'D)
Oh! I'm sorry. Didn't mean to
scare you.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
No, no. I'm sorry.
                                                            
                       AARON
Hey, uh... are those the same
closthes you were wearing
yesterday?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh, um...
      (rapidly)
... is this going to bother you?
Because then, maybe, we should
just forget this, I mean you
probably have a lot of better
things to do than spend your time
with a shy girl like me and--
                                                            
AARON puts his finger over TRISTA'S mouth.
                                                            
                       AARON
Well, for a shy girl, you sure are
talkative when under pressure.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I'm sorry.
                                                            
                       AARON
For what? Anyway, you ready?
                                                            

5.

                       TRISTA
Um... you know... I don't know if
I can do this.
                                                            
                       AARON
C'mon. It's not that hard. You
just hold onto my arm while I
go...
                                                            
AARON demonstrates by holding on TRISTA'S arm and starts
walking. As they are walking, TRISTA starts to laugh.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (laughing)
Hey, come on. Stop.
                                                            
AARON accidentally bumps into a STUDENT behind him.
                                                            
                       AARON
Oh, sorry, man. Just trying to
demonstrate something.
                                                            
The STUDENT looks at AARON strangely.
                                                            
                       STUDENT
Yeah. Right. Whatever.
                                                            
The STUDENT walks away.

AARON loks at TRISTA.
                                                            
                       AARON
What was that all about?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Forget about him. And, since when
did you become so happy after just
one day?
                                                            
                       AARON
It's like I said before: you can't
dwell on one thing forever.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Yeah, but...
                                                            
TRISTA doesn't know what to say.
                                                            
                       AARON
Okay. What's wrong?
                                                            

6.

                       TRISTA
      (sighs)
Look. The truth is... I've never
been ona date before. Never in my
life.
                                                            
                       AARON
So? To tell you the truth, this is
my first date since forever.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh?
                                                            
                       AARON
Mm-hmm. I'll tell you on the way.
                                                            
TRISTA and AARON walk away.
                                                            
                       AARON (CONT'D)
It started when--
                                                            
TRISTA holds onto AARON'S arm.
                                                            
                       AARON (CONT'D)
You do know I was playing around,
right?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Just finish your story.
                                                            
AAROND laughs while TRISTA smiles.
                                                            
 
INT. THE SHADOW - DAY
                                                            
AARON and TRISTA are walking down the stairs to The Shadow,
a very dim-lighted place.
                                                            
                       AARON
... so ever since then, I haven't
been able to go on anymore dates.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
So, why did you choose to take me
out today?
                                                            
                       AARON
      (beat)
Everyone has to move on with their
life, no matte how much it gets
them down... and no matter how
much they don't want to.
                                                            

7.

AARON and TRISTA walk toward a table and sits down in the
chairs.

A WAITER coes up to them.
                                                            
                       WAITER
Hi, there. Can I get you anything?
                                                            
                       AARON
Two cappuccinos. Ice, please?
                                                            
                       WAITER
Um... all right, then.
      (whispering)
If you can handle it.
                                                            
                       AARON
What was that?
                                                            
                       WAITER
Nothing. Um, coming right up.
                                                            
The WAITER walks away.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
So what is this place?
                                                            
                       AARON
It's called the Shadow. A place
for coffee drinkers, and the house
of dark entertainment.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
And this is good for a first date?
                                                            
                       AARON
Well, my first choice was a movie,
but I don't see how it's different
from this place. They're both
dark.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I see.
                                                            
                       AARON
Look, if you want to go somewhere
else, just let me pay for the
caffeine and we'll--
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (interrupts)
No, no, that's not it. A few days
ago, I went and visited a
divination club across campus.
            (MORE)

8.

                       TRISTA (cont'd)
Their atomosphere was just as
dark.
                                                            
                       AARON
What were you doing at thier club?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I got lost.
                                                            
                       AARON
Oh, so, this is your first year
here?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Mm-hmm.
                                                            
                       AARON
Okay, well, I know it's too late,
but a word of advice: stay away
form that club. A bunch of
superstitious people.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
But they were so nice to me.
Especially the president. Even
though...
                                                            
TRISTA starts to lose herself in thought.
                                                            
                       AARON
Hm?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Never mind. Um... so, where did
you go for high school?
                                                            
                       AARON
Just a school in my hometown.
Nothing special. Rowdy kids, calm
kids, mean teachers. You name it.
Went to college in my hometown for
a year, then I challenged myself
and went here starting at freshmen
year.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Mm.
                                                            
                       AARON
What about you?
                                                            

9.

                       TRISTA
I went to an all girl school.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh? Well, that explains how this
is your first date.
                                                            
TRISTA laughs. Aaron smiles.

On the stage, the curtains are pulled up. There, a POET
wearing black, sitting on a stool, holding a pair of bongos.
                                                            
                       POET
Life...
      (bangs bongo once)
... is like a roller coaster: it
gets you up...
      (bangs bongo)
... and it gets... you down.
      (bangs bongo)
But when a coaster goes down... it
must go back to the beginning.
                                                            
She bangs her drum with rhythm in the ending.

The AUDIENCE snaps their fingers rapidly.

AARON snaps slowly.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I don't understand.
                                                            
                       AARON
No?
                                                            
TRISTA shakes her head slowly.
                                                            
                       TRISTA (CONT'D)
Okay. What she's explaining is...
      (points at POET)
... that no matter how much life
can bring a person down, it can't
keep that person down forever.
Much like a coaster when it goes
up, down, and back to the
beginning. Usually that means it's
either time to move on, or wait
until your life goes back up.
      (eyes the POET)
Though I wouldn't recommend that
one.
                                                            
TRISTA looks depressed without him knowing.
                                                            
 

10.

EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - NIGHT
                                                            
                       AARON
I hope I didn't bore you today.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
No, no. It was the most fun I had
in months since I came here.
                                                            
TRISTA and AARON laugh. After laughing, they lean in close
to each other, and give each other a quick kiss.

AARON laughs nervously.

TRISTA laughs too.
                                                            
                       AARON
So, I... I'll see you here
tomorrow?
                                                            
TRISTA smiles and nods her head softly.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Mm-hmm. I am always here.
                                                            
                       AARON
      (smiles)
Okay, then. Bye.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Yeah.
                                                            
AARON smiles and walks away.
                                                            
                       TRISTA (CONT'D)
      (whispering)
Always here.
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
 
EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - DAY
                                                            
AARON is sitting at the fountain.

TRISTA arrives behind him.
                                                            
                       AARON
Oh. Mornin'.
                                                            

11.

                       TRISTA
Morning.
                                                            
                       AARON
      (stands up)
So... what shall we do today?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
How about we--
                                                            
Suddenly, KLAUS, a senior adn the team captain, arrives.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Hey, Aaron!
                                                            
AARON turns his attention to KLAUS.
                                                            
                       AARON
Cap? I mean... Klaus? What are you
doing here?
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Been trying to find you. See
you've been sulking at the
fountain.
                                                            
                       AARON
Actually I--
                                                            
                       KLAUS
      (interrupts)
Well, sulk no more. I've got great
news.
                                                            
                       AARON
Huh?
                                                            
                       KLAUS
There was a typo. You actually
made the team!
                                                            
                       AARON
You're kidding!
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Nope. You're in!
                                                            
AARON runs over to KLAUS to shake his hand.
                                                            
                       AARON
Ah, thanks, captain!
      (gets overexcited)
Whoo!
                                                            

12.

                       KLAUS
Okay, okay. Come on. I want to
introduce you to the guys.
                                                            
                       AARON
Did you hear that, Trista?
                                                            
AARON turns his attention in front of him.
                                                            
                       AARON (CONT'D)
Trista?
      (looks around)
Trista!
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Trista? Who's Trista?
                                                            
                       AARON
The girl standing right in front
of me. What happened to her?
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Aaron. No one was in front of you.
                                                            
                       AARON
Don't give me that. She was
standing there right in front of
me till you interrupted me.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Well, the only Trista I know is
Trista Goldwyn.
                                                            
                       AARON
So you do know her.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Everyone knows her. She's been the
talk of the campus four years ago.
                                                            
                       AARON
Really? Four years ago, I was
attending another college.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
So, you have no idea what happened
to her?
                                                            
                       AARON
You just said she was the campus.
                                                            

13.

                       KLAUS
She was the talk of the campus
because of an accident.
                                                            
                       AARON
Huh?
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Aaron... she's dead.
                                                            
This sinks into AARON.
                                                            
                       AARON
What?
                                                            
 
INT. LIBRARY - NEWS ARCHIVE - DAY
                                                            
KLAUS reels through the articles on the computer. He finally
stops.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
See?
                                                            
AARON reads the article to himself.
                                                            
                       KLAUS (CONT'D)
It's an article about the death of
a student that went here four
years ago. The student's name was
Trista Goldwyn.
                                                            
AARON is silent.
                                                            
                       KLAUS (CONT'D)
I know it's hard to believe, but--
                                                            
                       AARON
I don't believe it.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
What you say?
                                                            
                       AARON
I said, "I don't believe this."
Any of it.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
But, Aaron, there's a news article
on it.
                                                            
AARON walks away.
                                                            

14.

                       KLAUS
Where are you going?
                                                            
                       AARON
I'm gonna go back to the fountain
and wait for her.
                                                            
                       KLAUS
Aaron, even the creepy divination
club will tell you you're crazy if
you told them you were hanging our
with a ghost.
                                                            
AARON stops in his tracks.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (whispering)
Dvination club...
                                                            
 
INT. DIVINATION CLUB - HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
AARON knocks on the door.

STARR, the president of the divination club, opens the door.
                                                            
                       STARR
      (dramatically)
I knew you'd come.
                                                            
                       AARON
Drop the act, woman.
                                                            
                       STARR
      (normal)
Just get in.
                                                            
DIVINATION CLUB ROOM
                                                            
                       STARR
I'm Starr, president of this club.
                                                            
                       AARON
Aaron. Are you president 'cause
you're the only one in this?
                                                            
                       STARR
The others are out. What can I do
for you?
                                                            
                       AARON
I'm here about a girl.
                                                            

15.

                       STARR
Didn't you become a jock now? I
don't think I need to predict your
chances of even getting a
cheerleader. It's pretty obvious.
                                                            
                       AARON
No, no. It's not about me getting
a girl. I ned to talk to you about
one.
                                                            
                       STARR
Well, who's the girl?
                                                            
                       AARON
Um... how much do you know about a
girl named Trista Goldwyn? I think
you met her once before.
                                                            
                       STARR
Oh, yeah. She was a... a very
sweet girl. Too bad about her
accident.
                                                            
                       AARON
Yeah, I know. Now you're gonna
laugh but--
                                                            
                       STARR
Boy, this is the divination club.
Anything you say that involves
humans communicating with the
supernatural, we won't take light
of
                                                            
                       AARON
So you know what I'm talking
about?
                                                            
                       STARR
Let me think: a soon-to-be popular
jock who had no idea about
Trista's death and yet he wants to
talk about her. Yeah, I think I
know what this is about.
                                                            
                       AARON
Anyways, I want to know how I was
able to communicate with her.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (sits down)
Trista was a very interesting girl
when I first met her. When she
            (MORE)

16.

                       TRISTA (cont'd)
came in, she was sad, and I mean
sad. That was the last time I saw
her. A few days later, she was in
that accident.
                                                            
                       AARON
But what does that have to do with
me being able to see her and
others can't?
                                                            
                       STARR
My guess is that in her state of
grief, her soul still remained
here. In addition, anyone that was
in that same state, my guess would
be that they would be able to see
her as clear as day.
                                                            
                       AARON
But I've been with her a whole
day, and I didn't show any grief.
                                                            
                       STARR
Is that really true? The whole day
you spent with her with a smile,
was your smile real?
                                                            
                       AARON
Well… I was… maybe a little sad
about not making the team.
      (rapidly)
But I got over it fast!
                                                            
                       STARR
Was that before or after he said
it was a typo?
                                                            
AARON looks as surprised. She knows already.
                                                            
                       STARR (CONT'D)
President of the Divination Club,
remember? Anyways, don't take the
spirits lightly. They can show the
real you without neither you nor
the spirit itself knowing.
                                                            
AARON tries to take this all in.
                                                            
                       AARON
This is… this is all so…
                                                            

17.

                       STARR
You know what I think?
                                                            
AARON looks at her.
                                                            
                       STARR (CONT'D)
I don't think it's only you. I
think anyone can experience a
similar situation. Why? Because of
this place. This campus. It emits
a… weak, spiritual energy. So
weak, the living can actually
encounter the spirits of the
departed. Encounter those we
loved. Maybe encounter those we
will love, like you. I've known
about this ever since I set foot
here. You think I came here
because of the physical
environment filled with… stores…
libraries… caffeine? I came here…
because I've always been
fascinated with the spirits. It's
become my sanctuary.
                                                            
AARON heads for the door.
                                                            
                       STARR
Where are you going now?
                                                            
                       AARON
I just uh... need to walk for a
bit.
                                                            
                       STARR
You can't force yourself to see
her. It doesn't work like that,
your feelings have to be genuine.
                                                            
AARON just ignores this comment.
                                                            
                       AARON
Thanks for everything.
                                                            
AARON opens the door, leaves.
                                                            
 
INT. DIVINATION CLUB - HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
AARON walks through the hallway. WE CAN TELL he's disturbed.
                                                            
 

18.

EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - DAY
                                                            
AARON walks up to the fountain. He looks at it, unknowing
that TRISTA is sitting on it, crying.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Aaron!
                                                            
AARON is unable to hear her.
                                                            
                       AARON
I thought you said you were always
here.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I am! I'm right in front of you!
Aaron!
                                                            
AARON shakes his head and walks away.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
No... no! Wait, come back! Come
back!
                                                            
AARON doesn't stop. He keeps on walking.
                                                            
TRISTA falls to her knees.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (whimpering)
Don't leave me here alone.
                                                            
She starts to cry. As she is...
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
 
EXT. CAMPUS FOUNTAIN - DAY
                                                            
TRISTA is sitting on the fountain. Like before, she holds
her legs close to her. She reveals only her eyes behind her
legs. She looks at the many people passing by her. She
closes her eyes. Looks like she's back to square one.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
      (whispering)
Aaron… someone… save me…
                                                            
FOOTSTEPS approach in front of her.

TRISTA ignores it.

19.


A MALE gives his hand to TRISTA.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
Rough day?
                                                            
TRISTA looks up and sees the STUDENT'S hand and his smiling
face.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Oh. Um… I'm fine. I'm fine.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
You sure?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Yeah, my uh... my boyfriend is
just late.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
      (shot down)
Oh... okay, then. See ya.
                                                            
The STUDENT starts to walk away.
                                                            
                       AARON (v.o.)
You can't dwell on one thing
forever. You got to keep going.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Wait!
                                                            
The STUDENT turns around.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I'm sorry, I just lied there. Just
wanted... to be alone.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
You shoudn't do that.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I know, I know.
                                                            
The atomosphere starts to brighten.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
Hey, how about I take you
somewhere?
                                                            
                       TRISTA
Where?
                                                            

20.

                       MALE STUDENT
Um... do you know a place called
the Shadow?
                                                            
Of course she does.
                                                            
                       TRISTA
I'm familar with it.
                                                            
TRISTA walks toward the STUDENT.

THEY walk side by side. THEY are smiling and laughing.
                                                            
                       TRISTA (v.o.)
This world... I think I'm going to
like it.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Kris Shaft Date 7/11/2007 ***1/2
Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I normally don't like shorts 'cause they don't leave room for much to happen, but this one was awesome and a lot got done in 20 pages. I would probably like it more filmed. Keep up the good work!


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