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How to Dismantle an American Dream
by Callum Mitchell (mitch1689@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

This is the script I wrote for my 3rd Year Scriptwriting module at university. I based the script around the notions of the American Dream. It is the story of a man called Henry Palmer, who cant seem to find satisfaction in his seemingly perfect life. As he strives to improve things, his life slowly unravels around him. I was limited with my word count for this script, and there are many scenes I would expanded upon, and several themes I would have liked to explore in greater detail. As it is though, I am very proud of the finished result. Feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I am looking to improve my writing skills. Apologies if some of the formatting doesn't look quite right - I had to copy and paste the script from another format in order to publish it. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy it :-)


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:

INT. HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
EXT. LARGE HOUSE IN SUBURBAN AMERICA, NIGHT
A large house is engulfed in a roaring fire. Flames lick
around walls and windows, culminating in a huge plume of
smoke rising from the roof. Firemen surroud the house,
trying to control the blaze, but their efforts are
continuously thwarted by the inferno. Police and ambulance
sirens grow louder as re-enforcements arrive.
GEORGE, a short, rather portly Doctor, leaps out of one of
the amulances, and rushes to one of the senior firemen.
GEORGE
(shouting)
What's happened?!
SENIOR FIREMAN (also shouting)
Got the call twenty minutes ago. Time we got here, was
already like this. Tell you the truth, ain't got much hope.
HEY FRANK, GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THAT DOOR!
GEORGE
Anyone inside?!

SENIOR FIREMAN
Son, no one could survive this!
GEORGE
Can't you send someone in?
SENIOR FIREMAN
And send 'em to death? Hell no pal, can't even get near the
door!
George looks on as the firemen continue to tackle the blaze.
A window explodes as a ball of fire erupts from inside.
George and several firemen fall back with the impact. He
lies on the floor, unable to help. The camera tracks back to
the mail box, which read 'THE PALMERS'
FADE OUT:
2. INT. LIVING ROOM, NIGHT, SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE
HENRY PALMER, a middle aged, average looking American, is
sat bolt upright in a large armchair, watching the 2008
Presidential Elections. Barack Obama is about to make his
victory speach to the world. Henry looks on, in wonder of
the history playing out before his eyes.
BARACK OBAMA
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America
is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders
if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still
questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your
answer"
Henry continues to watch the speech to its conclusion.
Several shots of the house establish his life. Photo's on
the mantlepiece, a Doctor's certificate, a photo of him with
George, the man from the previous scene.

2.

DISSOLVE TO:
Henry turns off the televison and sits in silence,
contemplating. Eventually, he rises and moves upstairs.
CUT TO:
3. INT. STUDY, - CONTINUOUS
Henry sits in his study, and gets out a set of unpainted
minature soldiers from the American Civil War. He gets out a
set of paints, and painstakingly begins to paint one. Each
stroke is slow, precise, perfect. The detail is immaculate.
In the background there is the sound of fireworks and
celebrations in the street.
DISSOLVE TO:
Henry finshes his model, and places it on a table alongside
several others, all like this one, immaculate in every way.
He picks up another one, eyeing it intently. Slowly, he
picks up the paintbrush and dips it into a pot of black
paint. He starts to paint the soldiers skin black.
When finished, he places the black soldier gently alongside
the white soldiers. He looks at them all for some time,
studying them intently. Yawning, he turns out the lights and
heads to the bedroom. As he slides into bed, he accidentally
wakes his wife, JENNIFER. She stirs.
JENNIFER
(half asleep)
Did he win?
HENRY
(long pause) Yes.
Henry lies in the dark, eyes open, staring straight ahead.
FADE OUT:
4. EXT. THE PALMER HOUSE, DAY
Henry is on his way to work. As he approaches his car, he
notices that someone has plastered a sticker supporting
Obama to his mailbox. He tries to tear the sticker off, but
leaves some of it stuck on. He tuts, and tries to scrape the
rest off. He starts to become aggrivated by his inability to
remove the sticker. He then stops, looking around him,
suddenly aware that he is in public. Unsuccessful, he
scrunches the sticker and throws it in the bin.
CUT TO:
5. INT. HOSPITAL, DAY
Henry is walking down the corridor, in his doctors scrubs,
when he passes his colleague George.
GEORGE
Hey buddy boy, still on for
(makes golf swinging notion)?
HENRY
I'm there.
GEORGE
Make this one interesting?
HENRY
(smiling to himself)
Smug bastard.
GEORGE

3.

You win this one, you might have something to be smug about!
(laughs)

Henry laughs aswell. They both carry on their separate ways.
CUT TO:
6. INT. PALMER HOUSE, DAY
Jennifer is busy doing housework. We see her hoover the
living room, scrub the bath, doing the dishes.
She stops for a break, unsure of what to do next. She
notices Henry's schedule. It is full for weeks on end, with
only a few free evenings. She calls Henry's office at work.
CUT TO:
SPLIT SCREEN OF THE TWO.
JENNIFER
Hey, it's me. You feel like dinner tonight?
Henry doesn't respond. He starts to look through his
schedule.
JENNIFER
I can call my sister to babysit?
HENRY
Ahh, not a good day, got golf planned with George and the
old boys, then got some journals to catch up on.
JENNIFER
Oh, ok. Never mind then, I'll see you later.
Pause. Henry looks guilty, and rolls his eyes.
HENRY
Hey, erm...tomorrow nights free?
JENNIFER
(smiling)
Sounds great.
HENRY
Alrighty then. See you later.
JENNIFER
I love you.
HENRY
Love you too.
He hangs up almost immediatly after speaking. Jennifer hangs
up and stands alone in the house, still unsure of what to do
next.
CUT TO:
7. EXT. GOLF COURSE, DAY
Henry, George and the hospitals board of directors stand
around the final tee off, laughing, smoking cigars. Henry
cracks open his lighter for one of the directors, FRANK, who
thanks him. They continue to play, George leading the score,
with Henry close behind.
They end the game with handshakes all round.
GEORGE
You gonna join us for a few?
HENRY
No can do boys, homeworks calling. Another time.
JIM (BOARD DIRECTOR)
Good man Henry, good man. Get back to that lovely wife of

4.

yours!
He laughs, as do the other directors.
Henry smiles politely, and walks away. Once his back his
turned, his face turns to one of bitterness and jealousy. He
turns back to see George ushering the board members to the
bar.
CUT TO:
8. INT. PALMER HOUSE, NIGHT
Henry enters, and is about to make his way upstairs, when he
sees his 8 year old son, JAMES, sat playing a video game.
Henry looks to the clock, it is 9 o'clock.
HENRY
Bed.
JAMES
One more level.
HENRY
(firmer)
Bed.
JAMES
(eyes fixated on the game)
But Dad!
Henry walks over and turns the tv off. James sulks off.
Henry goes to his study and gets out some medical journals.
He tries to focus, but can't. He chucks his glasses down on
the desk and puts his head in his hands.
FADE OUT:
INT. SCHOOL, THE NEXT DAY.
James is sat in his class. The TEACHER is handing out report
cards to everyone. He passes James and slips his card to
him.
TEACHER
Excellent James. Well done.
He carries on to the next child. James looks down at his
card, full of A's. At the bottom is his chemistry mark.
C.
9. INT. RESTAURANT, NIGHT
Henry and Jennifer are sat at their table. The restaurant is
very upmarket, as are its customers.

HENRY
So, the occassion?
JENNIFER
Huh?
HENRY
That we're out?
JENNIFER
Oh. Erm. I just thought it would be nice for us to spend a
bit of time together. Just us.
HENRY
I'll drink to that.
They toast. Henry takes an abnormally large swig from his
wine glass. There is a long pause.
JENNIFER

5.

So...how's work? You keep yourself locked away nearly every
night now-a-days.
HENRY
(after taking another large gulp)
Keep it quiet, but there's talk of a promotion. Ed's shelf
life's running out, so they'll be looking for a new C.O.M.
for the end of the month.
JENNIFER
Henry, thats brilliant!
HENRY
Yeah, well there ain't no sayin' it's gonna be me.
JENNIFER
Why?
HENRY
George. He's got the board members wrapped round his little
finger.
JENNIFER
George is good friend, I'm sure there's nothing personal
going on.
Henry stays silent, but gives a fake smile to keep Jennifer
happy.
The food arrives. Jennifer's meal is perfect, as is Henry's,
except for a miniscule part of chicken that is slightly
burnt. Jennifer notices it and looks worried. Henry
straightens up.
HENRY
God's sake.
JENNIFER
Hunnie, please, its nothing. Just...cut it off and leave it.
I mean, look how busy it is here, I'll bet they can't keep
an eye on every dish at once!
HENRY
Well, they should. WAITER!
The waiter hears him, but goes to another table to take an
order.
JENNIFER
(desperate)
Henry, please, leave it! Look, we can swap, I'll have yours!
HENRY
Thats not the point. WAITER!
The waiter carries on as if he hasn't heard him.
HENRY
Fuck it.
He picks up his dish and takes it directly to the waiter.
HENRY
What the fuck do you call this?
He shoves the plate under his nose.
WAITER:
A busy restaurant. Got a lot of important people here
tonight.
HENRY
Yeah, and I'm one!
WAITER:

6.

(sarcastically)
Ok.
Henry looks enraged. There are a few people watching now. He
holds out the plate for the waiter. The waiter notices the
attention that Henry has attracted, so takes the plate and
lazily makes his way to the kitchen.
Henry sits back down. Jennifer looks at him.
HENRY
(defensively)
What?
Jennifer says nothing, but carries on eating her food.
Silence between the two.
FADE OUT:
10. INT. PALMER HOUSE, NEXT DAY
Henry sits in the kitchen, reading the paper. James enters.
JAMES
I got my report card.
HENRY
(jovial)
Well then, lets see it!
James hands his father the card. Henry studies it with great
intent. As he looks down the list, he sees the line of
straight A's. His's eyes stop at the bottom of the page, at
the C.
HENRY
This...is excellent.
Pause. Henry looks back over the results, stopping again on
the C.
HENRY
Hey, what...what happened in chemistry? I expected you'd do
really well.
JAMES
I did Dad. It's a C. Only 2 kids in the entire class got
anything higher, it was really hard.
HENRY
So...why didn't you?
JAMES
I dunno, guess I'm not as smart as the other kids.
HENRY
(sterner now)
Don't speak like that, thats not the attitude of a Palmer.
Pause as the two look at each other, James slightly
distressed now.
HENRY
Go get your chemistry book, we'll figure out what's gone
wrong.
JAMES
Dad...it's ok, its a C...that's good right? I havn't failed.
HENRY
(to himself)
You've failed to me.
Jennifer enters.
JENNIFER

7.

What's going on?
HENRY
It's for the boys own good Jen. I won't have him come
second!
JENNIFER
Its a C for Christsake Henry, most parents would kill for
their child to do as well as our son! What's one C?
HENRY
It's not an A is it? It never will be!
Silence. Jennifer looks shocked. She takes James away,
leaving Henry alone in the kitchen. He looks at the report
card once more, then grabs a magnet and slams it agressively
to the fridge door.
CUT TO:
11. EXT. SCHOOL FIELD, NEXT DAY
James is playing for his school football team. Henry watches
from the side in silence.
All the other parents are shouting words of encouragement to
their children. Henry remains silent, simply observing play.
George spots Henry on his own, and joins him.
GEORGE
Heard about James
(pause)
Got a guddun there buddy. Gonna do you real proud.
Henry says nothing.
GEORGE
Tell you what though, might wanna watch out, case he gets
keen on his old man's job. Might have you into retirement
soon than you'd hope!
(laughs)
HENRY
(muttering to himself)
Not with a B.
Pause
GEORGE
You ok buddy?
HENRY
(suddenly paying more attention)
Yeah. Fine. Just thinkin' about work.
GEORGE
Tell me 'bout it. You heard when they make the choice?
HENRY
Three weeks, I know. Wish I had more time.
GEORGE
Shiiit, wish I had an extra two inches, but it aint gonna
happen!
(laughs)
HEY PETE, CLEAN UP THE DEFENCE!
They watch as PETE, George's son, misses a tackle on one of
the oppositions strikers, who goes on to score a goal.
GEORGE
Ahh, shit. Well, can't blame the kid for tryin'.
HENRY

8.

Guess not.
They continue to watch. As they do, a car pulls up by the
pitch, and an attractive woman, BETH, gets out. She rushes
up beside Henry and George.
BETH
What's the score? Knew I'd be late.
HENRY
Gettin' beat. 3-1.
BETH
Who scored ours?
HENRY
Not sure. You know?
GEORGE
(thinks for a bit)
Wasn't it that, erm, dammit what's his name? Paul...Paul
Robinson? That it?
BETH
No shit! That's my kid!
GEORGE
No way, you kiddin? You shoulda' seen his shot, put our boys
to shame!
(laughs and nudges Henry)
BETH
Aww, that's great.
She smiles at Henry. He returns the gesture.
The match ends. PAUL runs up to his mother and tells her
about the match. James approaches his father.
BETH
Well done!
Henry offers no praise to James.
Beth and Paul start to leave, Beth turning to give Henry
another smile as she walks away. Henry looks at George with
a smug expression. George looks at him with distain.
GEORGE
Smug bastard.
CUT TO:
12. INT. PALMER HOUSE, DAY
Jennifer is walking round the house.
Spotless.
She looks around the kitchen for any possible sources of
dirt.
Nothing.
She sits at the kitchen table, bored. Eyeing the calender,
she decides to flick through to see her husbands future
plans. She sees Henry's birthday highlighted for two weeks
time, and is shocked at her self for not having his present
sorted by now. Looking at the clock, she packs a bag and
makes to go into town.
CUT TO:
13. EXT. DOWNTOWN, LATER
Jennifer is walking down the street, looking into shop
window after shop window for inspiration. Nothing.
An attractive man eyes her as she walks past, but she

9.

doesn't notice.
Eventually, she finds herself outside a watchmakers. She
looks at a model in the centre of the window. It is over
$3000. She looks up to see a tall man looking directly at
her. She screams, but instantly starts laughing. She enters
the shop.
CUT TO:
14. INT. WATCHMAKERS, - CONTINUOUS
Jennifer approaches the SALESMAN, a tall, well spoken
gentleman.
JENNIFER
Jesus, you scared the life out of me!
SALESMAN
(laughing)
Sorry about that. I just couldn't help you noticing the new
model in the window. Only it's been a best seller since it
came in. Did you know that it was used in the latest James
Bond film?
JENNIFER
I know I saw, but $3000! I mean, that's just, just...
There is an awkward pause. The salesman gives a knowing
look.
SALESMAN
Tell you what. Have a look at these, see if anything catches
your eye.
The salesman takes out a tray, covered in watches. They are
all of an extremely high standard. After looking at several,
Jennifer singles out one, for $1800. It is one of the
cheapest on the tray.
JENNIFER
This one?
SALESMAN
A fine choice! Now, let me tell you a bit about the details.
JENNIFER
Oh no, that's fine. It's a present for my husband.
Pause.
JENNIFER
Erm, was this one used in a James Bond film?
The salesman laughs.
SALESMAN
Oh no, I'm afraid not. It's an excellent watch though, I'm
sure he'll love it.
Jennifer looks at the watch apprehensively.
CUT TO:
15. INT. SCHOOL, DAY
James is sat in a chemistry lesson. The teacher is going
through the periodic table.
TEACHER
Now...James, what is the periodic symbol for iron? I hope
you've all been busy revising.
James sits, unable to remember the answer. He starts to
become aggitated.
TEACHER

10.

James?
JAMES
Erm, I don't know?
TEACHER
Well then, who can fill in the gaps in James' knowledge?
JAMES
No! Wait!
James starts to skim through his textbook, frantically
looking for the answer. He is unable to find the right page.
TEACHER
James, don't worry, we only started last week, you'll
remember.
JAMES
But...I have to get it right!
He finds the right page.
JAMES
FE! It's FE!
Silence.
TEACHER
(quietly)
Well done James.
The teacher makes a note next to James' name. James sits,
avoiding eye contact with the other kids as they snigger at
him.
FADE OUT:
16. INT. PALMER HOUSE, NIGHT, TWO WEEKS LATER.
Henry's birthday. Plates of cake crumbs sit on a spotless
table. Henry, Jennifer and James sit in the living room as
he unwraps his presents. He opens the watch and looks at it
in admiration.

HENRY
Jen! Jesus Jen, this is perfect!
Jennifer smiles, overjoyed.
HENRY
Wow. Ain't that something? You seen this son? This is a real
mans watch. You'll get your own one day.
James smiles but says nothing.
JENNIFER
Try it on, I wanna see if it fits.
Henry tries the watch on, Jennifer watching in anticipation.
The watch fits perfectly. Jennifer breaths a sigh of relief.
HENRY
You ok?
Jennifer nods, smiling.
JENNIFER
Come on sweetie, lets clean up.
Jennifer and James leave Henry alone in the living room. He
takes his watch off and goes to set the time for it. He
opens the instruction manual and looks at the contents.
HENRY
(reading aloud)
'If your model is the Seamaster 300m Quartz Blue Dial Watch,

11.

turn to page 6. If your model is the Speedmaster Automatic
Chronograph Watch, turn to page 9'.
Henry looks at the box his watch came in. Chronograph. He
turns to page 9, and sees his watch and a list of all its
features. There are a few, but not loads. He turns to page
6, the Blue Dial watch. A picture of Daniel Craig, showing
off the watch in full on James Bond pose. The list of
features is much longer than the Chronograph watch. Henry
snaps the manual shut and places the watch carefully on the
table. A look of dissatisfaction fills his face. Jennifer
comes back in.

JENNIFER
You ok?
HENRY
(pause)
Yeah...fine.
Jennifer stands in the doorway, looking at her husband.
James enters the room, but Jennifer stops him.
JENNIFER
Come on mister, lets get you to bed.
JAMES
No! One more hour!
HENRY
(sat in his chair, looking ahead)
Listen to your mother.
James falls silent, and follows his mother upstairs.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL, DAY
Henry is sat in his office, doing paperwork. There is a
knock at the door. George enters.
GEORGE
Happy birthday you old bastard!
HENRY
Thanks. Bit late but I'll take it.
GEORGE
Meh. So, what'cha get?
Henry rolls up his sleeve to show off the watch.
GEORGE
Hey! Sparkle sparkle!
Henry rolls his sleeve back down.
GEORGE
Hey, let's see it.
He grabs Henry's sleeve and examines the watch closer.
GEORGE
Man, you got the Chronograph! Good shit man! Jen must of
forked out for that!
Henry grabs his watch back and rolls his sleeve back down.
HENRY
I guess so.
Pause. George gives Henry a curious look. Henry gives
nothing away.
GEORGE

12.

(trying to lighten the mood)
Well, got you something myself.
He hands Henry a present. A pen. Henry looks impressed by
it. George gets his own out.
GEORGE
Just like mine, see? Can't have a good doctor goin' round
with a shitty pen can you?
George's pager goes off.
GEORGE
Shiiit. Ol' man Frank.
HENRY
(suddenly very interested)
What about?
GEORGE
No idea. Catch ya later buddy.
George leaves. Henry looks at the pen, studying it, trying
to find a flaw with it. He sees the tiniest of marks near
the nib. He packs the pen into its box and slams it into his
drawer, as if trying to ignore the fact that it was ever
given to him.
He tries to get back to work, but finds himself unable to
concentrate. He gets up to take a walk.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL - CONTINUOUS
As he walks round the hospital, he starts to notice everyone
around him, and notices that they all seem to be better than
him.
A man walks past in an expensive looking suit.
An attractive woman walks past with her child.
Henry looks distressed, and rushes to get outside. He passes
several sick patients, but ignores them all.
CUT TO:
EXT. HOSPITAL - CONTINUOUS
Henry rushes to his car. As he puts the key in the lock, he
sees the suited man from before press a button on his key,
which automatically unlocks his car. Henry cannot bare to
watch as the man gets into his superior car and rev the
engine before speeding off. Henry sits at the wheel, trying
to calm himself. He hits the steering wheel in frustration,
before starting the engine. It sounds inferior compared to
the other car. Henry reverses harshly, causing a nearby car
to break sharply. They sound their horn, which Henry tries
to block out. He sits, look straight ahead. The other car
sounds the horn again.

HENRY
FUCK!
He revs his engine, and speeds off. He cuts up several
drivers, trying to get home as quickly as possible.
CUT TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - LATER
Henry barges into the house. Jennifer is in the dining room,
darning some socks.

13.

JENNIFER
Henry? That you?
Henry does not acknowledge her. He marches up to the
bathroom and slams the door. He starts to run a shower, and
undresses. He stands in the shower, not washing, just
standing as the water gushes past him.
FADE OUT:
INT. SALLY'S HOUSE - NEXT DAY
Jennifer sits in the living room with SALLY, her sister.
They watch as James plays with a younger girl, Sally's
daughter, in the garden.
SALLY
Spoken to Mom recently?
Jennifer says nothing.
SALLY
Hey! Missy! What you dreamin' over there?
JENNIFER
Sorry. I was just....nothing.
SALLY
What?
JENNIFER
Nothing. It's just...Henry, recently. Acting strange.
SALLY
A man acting strange? How unique.
JENNIFER
I mean, only recently. There's never been a problem before.
But...god, no, it's stupid.
SALLY
Go on.
JENNIFER
I mean...he just doesn't seem like Henry anymore.
It's...like he's someone else. So distracted, and quiet.
SALLY
Quiet? That's not Henry.
JENNIFER
I know! The jokes, all the stuff I love, it's just...not the
same.
Pause.
SALLY
Tell you what. It's your anniversary next week, right?
JENNIFER
Right?
SALLY
There you go then! He's probably just getting that whole
'shit, responsibility' phase again. It's the same with all
men, give them the same piece of meat for too long and
they'll wanna a fresh piece to chew on.
JENNIFER
(shocked)
You think he's gonna cheat on me?
SALLY
God, no! I'm just saying, keep him happy, and he'll be
happy. You'll see.

14.

JENNIFER
And you know this from what experience? Two marriages and
two divorces?
SALLY
Hey! Zip it!
They both laugh.
CUT TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - NIGHT
Henry is sat in his study, painting his model soldiers
again. He looks aggitated, and his brushstrokes are
different to before - frantic, rushed, messy. He makes
several mistakes, getting bits of paint for the uniform on
the face. He tries several times to correct his mistakes,
but keeps getting bits wrong. His anger builds up, until
eventually he snaps, snatching a handful of models and
dashing them at the wall. They shatter to pieces and lie
broken on the floor. Henry sits, breathing heavily.
James enters.
JAMES
Dad?
Henry looks to James, and tries to calm himself down.
HENRY
Nothing, son, nothing. Here, come sit with me.
James goes over and sits on his father lap.
HENRY
(trying to stay calm)
Here, see, you see these figures? We'll, your Grandfather,
my Dad, he used to paint these little figures, and so did
his Father. It's a bit of a Palmer...tradition. You wanna
give it a try?
JAMES
Sure.
Henry forces a smile for his son. He gets out an unpainted
soldier.
HENRY
Now...see son, you've got to take your time. You get one bit
wrong and...and it spoils everything.
JAMES
(bluntly)
So...why don't you just buy them already painted?
HENRY
Because...because, that's not the point. The point is...is
to learn about patience, about craft, about...about doing a
job, and doing it properly.
JAMES
Can I watch TV? I'm bored.
HENRY
No son, here,
(he hands James a figure)
We'll have fun, it'll be our thing to do together.
JAMES
I wanna watch TV!
HENRY

15.

(trying to stay calm)
James...
James gets down off Henry and stands by the table.
JAMES
TV, Dad! TV!
HENRY
James, sit back down...now come on!
JAMES
No, TV!
HENRY
(screams)
WATCH YOUR FUCKING TV THEN!
Silence. James bursts out into tears. Henry sits back in his
chair, shocked at himself.
HENRY
Son, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry James, come here.
JAMES
NO!
Jennifer bursts in from downstairs, startled by the sudden
outburst.
JENNIFER
James? Henry! What have you done?!
HENRY
Jen, I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened. I lost
control, I'm sorry!
He goes to reach for James, still crying. Jennifer grabs
James and holds him away from Henry.
JENNIFER
Don't you lay one hand on him.
She leaves the room with James.
HENRY
JEN!
Jennifer kneels down in the hallway with james, who holds
her tight. A tear falls silently from her. She represses the
urge to cry, and holds her son tight.
Henry sits in his chair, his face drained of emotion. He
looks blankly at the broken soldiers on the floor.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. RESTAURANT - A WEEK LATER.
Henry has the exact same look on his face. He and Jennifer
sit at a table in another up market restaurant. Not a word
is spoken between the two.
A long time goes by whilst they try to keep themselves
occupied without talking - tearing a paper napkin, toying
with cutlery.
The waiter arrives and takes their orders. Jennifer orders
the ceasar salad. Henry orders steak, well done.
The waiter leaves. Silence returns. Close up of Henry's
watch.
DISSOLVE TO:
Henry's watch again, only half an hour later.
Eventually, the waiter brings their meals over. Jennifer's
meal is perfect.

16.

Henry's is not.
He cuts into his steak. It is rare. Jennifer looks on as she
fears another outburst. Instead, Henry looks at the steak
for a while, before tearing into it with his knife and fork.
There is a sense of frustration and desperation in his
frantic cutting. Jennifer slowly eats her salad. Henry chews
on his steak, a clear look of dissatisfaction on his face.
He finishes his steak, and chucks his knife and fork onto
the plate.
HENRY
(muttered)
Happy fucking anniversary.
Silence.
FADE OUT:
INT. SCHOOL - AFTERNOON
James is playing football for the school team. The score is
0-0, as indicated by a small stand next to the pitch. Only
three minutes left to play.
James is tackled hard by another boy.
The whistle blows, and the boy is sent off. James takes a
free kick towards the goal. Misses. The game continues.
DISSOLVE TO:
James makes an impressive tackle on one of the strikers, and
starts to run with the ball. He dribbles it round the other
teams defenders, and takes a last minute shot.
He scores.
Cheers go up, and James is lifted above the other boys. The
game is won. James looks over to where all the parents are
stood. Everyone else parents are there, cheering. No Henry.
James keeps looking, but his father is nowhere to be seen.
His expression changes swiftly from elation to
disappointment.
CUT TO:
EXT. HOSPITAL - AFTERNOON
Henry is stood, back to the wall, smoking. George
approaches.
GEORGE
So, we've moved on from cigars now?
Henry offers George one. After hesistation, George accepts.
Henry breaks open his zippo lighter. George takes a long
inhale, followed by an extremely satisfied exhale.
GEORGE
Damn. Good shit.
HENRY
Damn good shit.
Pause.
GEORGE
I hear through the grapevine
(takes another drag)
that all ain't well in Palmer paradise.
Henry stays silent.
GEORGE
Me and the guys are goin' for a few drinks after work. Come.

17.

Take your mind off things for a bit.
HENRY
Can't. Reading.
GEORGE
Screw it. One night.
Pause. Henry gives George a long look before taking another
drag.
HENRY
How do you do it?
GEORGE
Do what?
HENRY
It. Life.
(pause)
You're always so fucking happy and content. You never wake
up in the morning wanting...something more?
GEORGE
(takes a drag)
You wake up wanting more, you'll never appreciate the rest
of the day.
Silence.
GEORGE
You ok?
HENRY
Yeah. I'll be fine. Just thinking.
GEORGE
If you say so. See you tonight.
HENRY
Yeah.
George stubs his cigarette out, and walks back inside.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. BAR - LATER THAT NIGHT
Several doctors are sat in a large booth, all cracking jokes
and smoking cigars. George is the centre of attention,
making most of the jokes. Henry sits towards the outside of
the booth, silent. George looks at him for assurance. Henry
forces a smile.
HENRY
Off to take a leak.
He gets up and starts to walk towards the toilet.
DISSOLVE TO:
Returening on his way past the bar, an attractive woman,
CLAIRE, turns round. Henry accidentally knocks the drink
straight out of her hand.
CLAIRE
FUCK!
HENRY
FUCK.
CLAIRE
Aww fuck.
HENRY
(cleaning himself off)
Fuck.

18.

Pause.
CLAIRE
I get any on you?
HENRY
You get any in your mouth?
She laughs.
CLAIRE
'Fraid not. Wanna buy me another?
HENRY
Least I can do.
Henry orders Claire another drink, and gets another one for
himself at the same time.
CLAIRE
So...you with anyone?
HENRY
See the bunch of middle-aged, overweight, balding doctors
over there?
Claire nods in agreement.
CLAIRE
So...you in charge of them?
HENRY
(puzzled)
Not quite.
CLAIRE
Oh come on, I bet you know how to take control of a
situation, don't you?
She throws him a seductive look.
HENRY
Hey...listen, I'm flattered and all, but...I can't do
anything here.
Holds up his wedding finger.
CLAIRE
So?
Henry looks around awkardly.
CLAIRE
Hey, I ain't gonna do nothing, just wantin' a bit of company
is all. One more drink? On me.
Henry looks over at the guys, who are all immersed in one of
George's stories. None of them have noticed his absense.
CLAIRE
Come on, lets take it to a booth.
HENRY
I...really shouldn't.
CLAIRE
You're right. You shouldn't.
HENRY
Thank you.
CLAIRE
But that doesn't mean you don't want to...
Henry looks around again. They are still immersed by George.
CLAIRE
One drink? Promise I won't snitch.
Henry smirks.

19.

HENRY
One drink.
DISSOLVE TO:
We see Henry and Claire in a secluded booth, out of sight
from the other. They get steadily more and more drunk. Music
plays over their talking. They are laughing and joking with
each other. Claire gets a cigarette out, Henry lights it for
her. She kisses him, softly, on the lips. Henry pulls away.
HENRY
No. I can't. I have a wife. At home. I love her.
CLAIRE
But you're sat here. In a bar. Downtown. With me. I don't
see a wife anywhere closeby.
HENRY
(pretty drunk)
I should leave.
CLAIRE
(leans in and whispers to him)
No one...will ever know. Except you...and me.
Long pause as Henry thinks.
CLAIRE
One more drink?
DISSOLVE TO:
Henry is very drunk now. So is Claire.
CLAIRE
I'm bored.
HENRY
Is it me?
CLAIRE
Hell no.
HENRY
Glad to know someones satisfied.
CLAIRE
Wanna get out of here?
Henry looks around. The guys haven't noticed his absense.
Henry nods, barely conscious of what he is doing.
The two stumble around, trying to get out of the bar without
the others seeing. As they fall out of the door, George
catches sight of them out of the corner of his eye.
GEORGE
Ahh Shiiit!
George rushes to his feet and out of the door. He stands
powerless as he watches a taxi depart down the road.
Inside the taxi, Henry and Claire kiss passionately.
FADE OUT:
INT. MOTEL ROOM - THE NEXT MORNING
Henry stands at a window, fully dressed, cigarette in hand.
He looks out at the highway rushing past. He turns to see
Claire, naked, asleep in bed. Extinguishing the cigarette,
he leaves the room as quickly and quietly as he can. Claire
stirs, and looks at the bedside table. Henry has left his
phone.
CUT TO:

20.

INT. PALMER HOUSE - LATER
Jennifer is sat in the living room in her dressing gown. The
bags under her eyes indicate she has not slept.
The door slams.
Jennifer rushes to the door to find henry.

JENNIFER
Where the hell have you been? I've been up all night worried
sick!
HENRY
I'm sorry hunnie, I'm really sorry, but...I got too drunk,
and...
(pause)
...I ended up sleeping on George's sofa, I didn't want to
wake you.
Jennifer looks relieved but is still furious.

JENNIFER
You could have called! I thought something had happened!
HENRY
Well...I'm back now.
He kisses her. At first she is relieved for her husband to
be finally showing her some attention.
JENNIFER
God, you stink! I don't like you going out with those guys,
they're a bad influence on you.
HENRY
Yeah.
SILENCE
HENRY
I gotta get to work.

JENNIFER
Get a shower first.
CUT TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Henry is stood in the shower, not washing. His eyes are
fixated on a single spot. He holds a look of utter
devastation.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL - LATE AFTERNOON
Henry is pacing his office, unable to think.
There is a knock at the door.
It is George.
GEORGE
(deadly serious)
Henry.
HENRY
George. Thank fuck. I need to talk to you.
GEORGE
I know.
HENRY
What?

21.

GEORGE
I know.
Silence.
GEORGE
I saw Henry. I saw you with that blonde.
Silence.
GEORGE
(furious)
WHAT THE FUCK?!
Silence.
GEORGE
(noticing the volume of his voice)
You out of your fucking mind?
HENRY
(desperate)
Yes. I've made a mistake George. I've been makin' mistakes
for months.
(pause)
You gotta help me buddy. You gotta lie. You gotta tell Jen I
slept on your sofa. I had to lie this morning, I couldn't
tell her George, I couldn't. Please George, you gotta do
this.
Silence.
GEORGE
Can't.
HENRY
What?
GEORGE
Can't do it Henry. You gotta tell her. You gotta tell her
NOW. I ain't fuckin' about this time. I joke and I kid, but
I see your problem. I've seen it from the start, and I've
tried to help, but I ain't doin' it no more.
HENRY
What?
GEORGE
Tell her now, or I will.
HENRY
Alright! Alright! I'll do it!
Henry goes on to get his phone out, but at that moment a
wave of realisation hits him.
HENRY
Oh fuck.
GEORGE
What?
HENRY
She has my phone.
GEORGE
She has your phone. OK, nice one Henry, good try!
HENRY
Fuck! I'm serious. She has my phone!
Henry makes to leave. He turns to George at the door.
HENRY
If she asks, don't tell her. Please.

22.

GEORGE
Can't promise you that.
Silence.
Henry runs out of the office.
CUT TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
Jennifer is hoovering when the phone rings. She stops and
picks up.
CLAIRE
Hey Mr, someone left their phone last night. Fancy meeting
up for round two?
JENNIFER
Excuse me?
CLAIRE
Shit.
She hangs up. Jennifer stands in silence for a while, unsure
what to do. Eventually, she picks up the phone again.

JENNIFER
Hello? George?
FADE OUT:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - LATER
Henry walks through the front door, moving cautiously. He
spots James playing with his toys in the front room. He
approaches him carefully, not wanting to upset him again.
HENRY
Hey kiddo.
JAMES
Hi.
HENRY
What we got here?
James holds up a soldier. A modern one, a world away from
the one Henry paints. He holds it, studying it intently.
HENRY
Havin' fun?
James nods..
HENRY
Can I play?
James nods. Henry sits down on the floor with James.
HENRY
So...what's going on?
JAMES
Captain Palmer...
HENRY
(chuckling)
Captain Palmer?
JAMES
Captain Palmer! He's the leader! He's my favourite.
HENRY
Why's that?
JAMES
'Cause he is!
HENRY

23.

Fair enough.
Jennifer enters. She has been crying. She and Henry look at
each other properly for the first time in months.
HENRY
(quietly)
Ten minutes.
Jennifer nods, and leaves the room. Henry looks back at
James, who is oblivious to what is going on.
HENRY
(takes a deep breath)
So...what's the mission?
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE - LATER
Henry is tucking James into bed.
HENRY
Night son.
Pause.
HENRY
I love you.
He turns the light out and heads downstairs. Jennifer sits
in an armchair, silent.
Henry goes to speak, but finds himself unable to say
anything. Jennifer looks up at him, expecting him to talk.
Henry stands, silent. After ages, he opens his mouth again.
HENRY
I can explain...
JENNIFER
Shut up.
Henry stays silent. He avoids eye contact with Jennifer.
JENNIFER
She called. Earlier today.
(she stands)
You make me sick Henry.
(pause)
After everything I sacrificed for this family, my job, my
friends, my life! And this is how you repay me?
(pause)
This is how you respect you wife?
Henry stays silent.
JENNIFER
Get out.
HENRY
Jen, wait, I can...
JENNIFER
No! No you can't explain, that's the point! There's
absolutely nothing you can say. The only reason I let you
into the house was so you could say goodbye to your son.
HENRY
Jen, trust me, I can...
JENNIFER
Trust? TRUST?! Don't you say that word now. It doesn't mean
anything anymore Henry!
Henry is silent.

24.

JENNIFER
(tears streaming down her face)
Leave. Please.
Henry goes to speak, but Jennifer has already broken down
sobbing. He backs slowly out of the room and leaves the
front door.
FADE OUT:
INT. PALMER HOUSE, MORNING
Jennifer is in the kitchen, making James lunch for school.
James enters.
JAMES
Where's Dad?
JENNIFER
(holding back tears)
He...had to go to work early. Eat your breakfast.
James sits at the kitchen table. Jennifer keeps her back to
him, trying with all her strength to keep her composure.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL, MORNING
Henry enters the building. As he walks down the corridor, he
notices the increasing number of disgusted looks he is
attracting. Eventually he finds George.
GEORGE:
You tell her?
HENRY
(bitter)
Yeah. You tell everyone else?
GEORGE
Didn't have to. News like this, it doesn't come round too
often. When it does, its like a disease. Just spreads.
HENRY
George, you gotta help me. I need you to talk to Jen for me.
I can't lose her. I can't!
GEORGE
You can't lose her, or your way of life?
Pause
GEORGE
Jen's one of the sweetest girls I've ever known. She don't
deserve what you've done to her.
HENRY
But...shes my wife! You're...you're not gonna help out an
old friend?
GEORGE
I think you need to help yourself first.
George starts to walk away.
HENRY
Well fuck you friend!
Several people turn round, throwing him dirty looks. Henry
storms to his office and slams the door.
CUT TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE, AFTERNOON.
Jennifer sits in a large armchair, sobbing quietly. She
hears a rustling sound at the door. Curious, she moves to

25.

the door and opens it. Henry's phone lies on the doorstep,
as a blonde woman walks hastily away from the house.
JENNIFER
Hey! Hey stop!
Claire turns round. Jennifer walks right up to her face.
After eyeing her up, Jennifer slaps her hard in the face.
JENNIFER
Bitch.
(pause)
You knew he was married.
Claire pauses, wiping the blood from her lip, considering
her comeback.
CLAIRE
Yeah, well I'm not the one that cheated on his wife.
She starts to walk away again.
CLAIRE
Don't bring the fight to me.
Claire collapses on the lawn, and bursts out into tears.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. PARK, LATE EVENING.
Henry is walking through the park in near darkness. In the
bushes, a young man, OMAR, looks on as he prepares to make a
move. He is unshaven and is scruffily dressed. Henry passes
Omar, who steps out of the bushes shortly after, following
Henry closely from behind. Quickly, Omar sidesteps infront
of Henry.
OMAR
Alright, gimmie what you got.
HENRY
What the fuck?
OMAR
(trying to be aggressive)
Gimmie your wallet, or I fuck you up!
HENRY
(defiantly)
What kind of shitty hold up's this?
OMAR
Ey yo, shut up fool, if you know what's wise!
HENRY
(unphased)
Wise? I'll show you fucking wise!
Henry knees Omar hard in the groin, sending him to the
floor. Henry kicks him in the stomach, and puts his foot on
his head.
HENRY
You wanna know what fucked up means?!
OMAR
(pleading)
Shit man, stop! Stop!
HENRY
Stop? I only just started!
OMAR
No! Please man, I got a kid! Shit man I'm sorry!

26.

Henry stops, suddenly taken back by this new information.
OMAR
Come on man, I need money for food! Is all it is!
Henry takes his foot off Omars head. He squats down next to
him.
HENRY
You know...there's better ways of making money than shitty
stick up's in the park?
OMAR
(still wincing in pain from the attack)
Hey shut up! You don't think I've tried?! Just 'cos I ain't
been born with no silver spoon in my mouth, don't mean I
ain't go no more right to support my kid than you!
Henry pauses, silence by Omar's words.
HENRY
(quietly)
How old's your kid?
OMAR
Four.
Henry gets a handful of notes out from his wallet.
OMAR
Nah fuck you man! I don't need your charity!
HENRY
But you'd quite happily rob me of it?
OMAR
I just do what I do. Robin Hood shit.
Henry stays still, unsure what to do. Omar is still in pain.
Henry holds out a hand to help him to his feet. Omar bats
his hand away, and manages to rise to his feet.
OMAR
(shaking off the pain)
Naw man, I make my own way.
He starts to walk off, clutching his side.
HENRY
Where you going?
OMAR
Back to work.
(with a smile)
Man's gotta bring home the bacon. Enjoy life on your cloud
brother.
He starts to sprint off, wincing as he holds on to his ribs.
Henry stands, the money still in his hand.
FADE OUT:
INT. PALMER HOUSE, MORNING.
Jennifer is sat in the kitchen, the newspaper opened up on
the job pages. She looks through them intently, circling
several secretarial jobs.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. SCHOOL GATES, AFTERNOON.
James is waiting to be picked up from school. Henry arrives,
hastily parking up. He rushes to James and embraces him.
JAMES
Dad!

27.

HENRY
My boy. God I've missed you.
JAMES
Where've you been?
Henry pauses. Jennifer pulls up. She looks enraged to see
Henry here. She gets out of the car.
JENNIFER
What are you doing?
HENRY
I had to see him Jen. You can't keep us apart.
JENNIFER
You don't have to see him anymore. You don't have to have
anything to do with us now, unless I say so.
HENRY
But Jen...
Jennifer looks around, several parents have started to
stare.
JENNIFER
You stay away from us.
She ushers James into the car and drives off.
Henry stands, looking on in desperation as they leave.
Beth passes Henry. He notices her. She gives him a cold,
distasteful look, and continues on her way with her son.
FADE OUT:
INT. HOSPITAL, NEXT DAY.
Henry is sat in his office. He looks drained and sleep
ridden. A patient, a mid-fifties male, is sat on the other
side of his desk.
PATIENT
So...Doctor? What do you advise?
HENRY
(suddenly snapping out of his daze)
Erm...here, this should work for you. Take them twice a day
with water.
Henry rummages round in his drawer and brings out a bottle
of pills.
PATIENT
Mind if I start now? The pain's quite intense.
HENRY
Course.
Henry looks back out of the window. The patient takes the
pill's.
PATIENT
Doc? Is that all?
HENRY
(not paying full attention)
Yeah. Call me if there's any complications.
The patient rises and leaves, a discontented look on his
face.
PATIENT
(muttering)
I pay these fucking expenses, and this is the service I
get?!

28.

He slams the door shut. Henry continues to look blankly out
of the window.
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS
The patient is walking down the corridor, about to leave the
hospital, when he suddenly starts to shake uncontrolably. He
collapses to the floor.
George is close by, and rushes to the patients aid.
GEORGE
Get this man to the operating theatre! Stat!
CUT TO:
INT. HOSPITAL BOARD ROOM, LATER
Henry stands infront of the hospitals Board of Directors.
George stands to the side of Henry.
JIM
A senior Doctor gives a patient the wrong medication,
despite having the patients records and medical history
right infront of him!
Henry is silent.
JIM
If Dr Swanson hadn't been there to sort this mess out, then
God only knows what we would have had on our hands!
GEORGE
Sir, if I may...
JIM
No, George, you may not. Doctor Palmer, this is a most
unfortunate state of affairs. I don't think we have any
option other than to let you go.
Henry is taken aback by their decision.
JIM
Trust me Henry, the board has not made this decision
lightly.
HENRY
(shocked)
But Sir! The patient is fine! His stomach was pumped and the
medication was out of the system within an hour! It's a
suspension at the most, surely!
FRANK
That, Dr Palmer, is not the point! You have shown clear
neglegence and lack of medical regard whilst on duty, and
such action must be taken as required!
GEORGE
(interupting)
Sirs, forgive me, but I know first hand that Henry...Doctor
Palmer, has been suffering immense personal problems during
the last few weeks. We should be viewing this case as a one
off. Henry is an excellent Doctor, and you know Frank, that
I have personally recommend him myself for the Chief of
Medicine Postition.
FRANK
That has been taken into account, thank you Doctor Swanson.
As it stands, the board remains decided on its decision.
Doctor Palmer, you have till the end of the day to clear you

29.

office.
(pause)
I'm sorry Henry, it's a shame to lose you.
The board members rise and leave in silence. Henry stands
looking at George in bewilderment.
HENRY
Why?
GEORGE
'Cause that's what we do.
Pause.
HENRY
But you didn't have to put yourself out there like that!
You'll never get the promotion now!
GEORGE
I did what I had to do.
(pause)
Come on, let me help you clean out your office.
Pause
HENRY
(echoing Omar)
No...I gotta make my own way.
Henry leaves George sat alone in the board room.
CUT TO:
EXT. PALMER HOUSE, LATE AFTERNOON.
Henry walks up to the front door of his home. Jennifer
answers.
HENRY
I lost my job. I'm fucked up.
Jennifer says nothing.
HENRY
You gotta let me back in Jen. I can't do this any more.
Long pause as Jennifer stares at him.
JENNIFER
And what if I were to let you back in. What would change?
HENRY
(suddenly enthused by this response)
Everything. I'm changed Jen, I promise you. I don't want to
do these things I've been doing any more. I want our old
life back.
JENNIFER
Our old life? Nothing about our marriage.
HENRY
I want everything we once had that I've fucked up. Please.
Jennifer walks away from the door, leaving it open. Henry
looks overjoyed that he is being let back in. He enters the
house, but his face soon turns to dismayal.
Two large suitcases are laid out next to the stairs.
JENNIFER
I got a job working at the bank down town. Me and James are
going to stay at Sally's.
Henry looks shocked.
HENRY
Jen! No. No. Stay Jen! I can make this work again. I will. I

30.

have to!
JENNIFER
No Henry. Not now. Not anymore
(she shouts upstairs)
Come on James, we're leaving!
(she turns back to Henry)
Wait in the living room, I don't want him getting excited.
HENRY
Jen!
JENNIFER
Please! Do this for James.
Henry obliges, keeping out of sight as James comes
thundering down the staircase.
JAMES
Will Aunt Sally have ice cream?
JENNIFER
I'm sure she will. Now come on, she'll be waiting for us.
JAMES
Does she have chocolate?
JENNIFER
(quieter as they leave the house)
We'll have to see.
The door slams. Henry moves to the window, to see Jennifer
pull out of the driveway and drive off, James in the
backseat. Henry sees James' action figure laid on the living
room floor. He picks it up and sits on the sofa. He looks at
it longingly, and starts to cry for the first time in his
adult life.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. PALMER HOUSE, NIGHT
Henry is sat in his study, his minature figures on the table
in front of him, unpainted. He sits, staring at them, taking
regular swigs from a bottle of scotch.
He picks up an unpainted one, then drops it in the bin. He
picks up the rest of the unpainted ones and throws them into
the bin.
He picks up an immaculately painted one, and gets a penknife
out from his drawer. He starts to carve small chucks out of
it. He cuts off an arm. By the time he is finished, the
figure is covered it with imperfections.
When he finishes, he props it up along with the other
perfect ones. He looks at it intently, before taking a final
swig from the bottle. He leans back too far trying to finish
the drink and falls off his chair.
Henry lies on the floor, and passes out.
FADE OUT:
INT. OFFICE, MORNING, 3 MONTHS LATER.
Henry is sat infront of another Doctor. The Doctor reads
over Henry's CV with great interest.
DOCTOR
Well, your list of credentials are certainly very attractive
Doctor Palmer. Tell me, what made you leave your last
position? I hear they were looking for a new Chief of

31.

Medicine to fill Ed Brady's old post, I'd say you'd have
been the ideal candidate!
HENRY
Well, it was a complicated situation. I wasn't left with
much choice but to leave.
DOCTOR
Oh...really? What happened?
HENRY
I...I erm...
(slips into a pre- rehearsed speach pattern)
I gave a patient incorrect medication, which led to a
violent reaction that would have proven fatal had a
colleague of mine not been on hand.
Pause
DOCTOR
I see. Well, I'm not sure why we weren't informed of this.
Pause
DOCTOR
I don't think we can offer you anything right now Doctor
Palmer. I'm sure you understand.
HENRY
(a look of pre-accepted defeat)
Course.
He stands up to leave. The doctor holds out a hand to shake,
but Henry just walks out.
CUT TO:
INT. HENRY'S APPARTMENT, LATER
Henry returns back to a small, one room appartment. He
throws his coat onto a chair and crosses the name of another
hospital off a long list attached to the fridge. He takes a
beer out of the fridge and cracks it open. He looks at his
watch.
It is half one in the afternoon.
Henry sighs.
FADE OUT:
INT. DOCTORS OFFICE, - AFTERNOON
George sits in his office, a brand new Chief of Medicine
plaque sits in front of his desk. He recieves a phone call.
GEORGE
Yes?
(pause)
Oh, right.
(pause)
I'll let him know right away. Thank you.
He hangs up, and instantly dials another number. Henry
answers
CUT TO:
SPLIT SCREEN OF THE TWO.
HENRY
Hmm?
GEORGE
Hey. Buddy. It's George. It's just a message from our
reception. You've got some mail that's started to gather for

32.

you, they were wonding if you want to come in and collect it
or if you want it forwarding on?
Henry says nothing.
GEORGE
Come on in Henry. Be good to see you again.
HENRY
(sounding drunk)
Hey...buddy. Next time I'm gonna be in that shithole is for
liver failure.
GEORGE
Come on Henry. Get yourself together. Me and the guys are
all thinkin' of you, and...
The line goes dead. George hangs up the phone and sighs
heavily.
CUT TO:
EXT. DOWNTOWN, DAY.
Jennifer is walking down the high street, bags full of
shopping, when she walks right into the path of Claire. The
two stop dead in their tracks, Jennifer looking visably
startled.
After a moment eyeing each other, Jennifer straightens up
and walks past Claire, keeping her head held high. She
exhales deeply as she is clear of her. Claire turns to watch
Jennifer walk away, a curious look on her face.
FADE OUT:
EXT. PARK, AFTERNOON, DAYS LATER.
Henry is playing with James in the park. They are playing
catch. They throw the ball between each other five or six
times, James looking increasingly disinterested with each
throw. James catches the final ball.
JAMES
Can we stop? I'm bored.
HENRY
Well..we've only got ten more mintes...what you wanna do?
JAMES
Go home.
HENRY
Hey! We have fun!
JAMES
But you always have to leave.
HENRY
I don't have a choice. Mom and Dad don't live together
anymore.
JAMES
(pleading)
Why?
HENRY
(to himself)
I wish I knew.
Jennifer pulls up in the car.
JENNIFER
Come on James. Times up.
HENRY

33.

Hey, you're ten minutes early.
JENNIFER
Well, we've got a busy day, so some things are just gonna
have to be pushed to the side.
HENRY
Don't do this Jen. Don't take my son from me. You have
everything else.
(pause)
Can't we pleasw talk? I'll meet with you any time you want.
Long pause.
JENNIFER
I've met someone.
They both look at each other in silence. James is sat in the
backseat.
Henry cannot bring himself to speak. Jennifer gets into the
car, and drives away.
Henry sits on the grass, looking round at everyone else live
out their lives. As he does, he notices Omar walking along,
with a young girl and another woman he is holding hands
with. He is clean shaven and much better dressed this time.
All three look happy. Omar catches Henry's eye, and the two
share a smile of acknowledgement.
They pass. Henry gets out a cigarette and cracks open his
lighter. He sits on the grass, opening and closing the
lighter, almost hypnotically.
The camera moves in on the lighter, until the flame engulfs
the entire frame.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. PALMER HOUSE, NIGHT
A static shot of the Palmer house burning, flames engulfing
its mass.
FADE OUT:
THE END.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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