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Interesting Strangers
by Kimberly Britt (kimbritt02@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Comedy   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

When an indecisive do-it-yourselfer meets an interesting stranger, their unconventional friendship leads to a romance that threatens her comfortable quirk of never being able to complete a project.


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.



INTERESTING STRANGERS

FADE IN:

INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
A bare bones room with bland white walls. What little
furniture the room has is covered in plastic drop cloths,
all except the bed. A form lies under the covers,
completely concealed.

An alarm BLARES annoyingly, perched on top a two-step ladder
a few feet from the bed.

The form shuffles under the covers. An ARM emerges,
reaching in vain for the alarm that is just out of reach.

Fingers extend. A little more and --

RACHEL (early 20s) tumbles out of the bed and onto the
plywood floor. Her tangled mess of brunette hair falls all
around her, concealing her face.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel brushes her teeth, still in her night clothes -- a
pair of basketball shorts (probably from the men's
department) and a wife beater top.

She spits into a brand spanking new pedestal sink, rinses
her mouth then glances at her reflection. She would be
pretty if she wasn't trying so hard not to be.

The rest of the bathroom is in stark contrast to the sink. A
big hole on one side of the room most likely used to hold a
tub.

On the other, a drain in the floor and a shower head jetting
out from the wall serves as a make-shift shower.

The floor is half bare wood and half ceramic tile, obviously
unfinished. An opened box of ceramic tiles and a big orange
bucket half-filled with dried up tile adhesive nearly blocks
the path to the door.

On the sterile white walls near the door are six different
rectangles of painted color in various hues.

Rachel dries her mouth on a towel, tosses it in the sink and
hurries out of the room, blithely leaping over the
obstacles.
                                                            
 

2.

INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
A stack of clothes are piled up on the closet floor.

Rachel picks up a pair of paint-covered jeans, then trades
it for another pair with less paint on it.

She chooses an over-sized T-shirt that looks like it could
belong to her much bigger brother and slides it on right
over the wife beater.

After trading her shorts for the jeans, she gathers up her
tangled hair into a ponytail, picks up a green apron hanging
from the closet door handle and walks out.
                                                            
 
EXT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING - PARKING LOT - DAY
                                                            
An elevator DINGS open and out steps Rachel, her green apron
draped over one arm, a brown paper bag in one hand and car
keys in the other. Heads toward --

A beat up old PICK-UP TRUCK completely covered in rust and
held together with duct tape.

Rachel arrives at the truck, inserts a key, unlocks the
door. As she pulls it shut, the side mirror falls off.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - DAY
                                                            
Rachel enters the main entrance, tying on her green apron.

"Hank's Hardware" is written across the front of the apron
in black permanent marker.

She proceeds down the lighting aisle until seeing --

TOBY (late 20s) wearing a matching green apron, stocking
boxes of lamps. With his broad chest and muscular physique,
he looks more like a quarterback than a hardware employee.

She makes a U-turn and heads back the way she came, almost
out of sight when she hears --
                                                            
                       TOBY (O.S.)
Rachel, wait up...
                                                            
She quickens her pace to a near jog, turning down a
different aisle.

With Toby hot on her heels, she ducks behind a light bulb
display.

3.


Clueless, he turns back around and heads down a neighboring
aisle.

LATER

Rachel walks very carefully, peering through the shelves
into the next aisle, looking for any sign of Toby.

When the coast looks clear, she heads casually toward a door
labeled: "EMPLOYEES ONLY".

Almost there when --

Toby steps out of the employee door, smiling.
                                                            
                       TOBY
There you are! I've been looking
all over for you.
                                                            
Rachel side steps him and hurries into the women's bathroom.
                                                            
                       RACHEL (O.S.)
Sorry. Emergency.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Oh, okay. I'll just wait here.
                                                            
BATHROOM

Rachel makes a frustrated face, clenches her fists and
stomps her feet like a toddler having a tantrum.

OUTSIDE BATHROOM

Toby waits patiently.
                                                            
                       RACHEL (O.S.)
Might be a while. I had bran for
breakfast.
                                                            
He glances at his watch.
                                                            
                       TOBY
I'm on a fifteen minute break.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - WOMEN'S BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel sits in a stall, feet propped up against the door.
Using her lap as a desk, she doodles in a black leather
book.


4.

She hears someone come in. Sticks her head out the door.

A pretty FEMALE CUSTOMER (30s), about to enter the adjacent
stall, stops to stare at her.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Was there a guy out there -- six
one, short blonde hair, muscles?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CUSTOMER
No.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are you sure?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CUSTOMER
I would have remembered someone
like that.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks.
                                                            
Rachel shoves the book into her backpack, checks her watch
and hurries for the door.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE - OUTSIDE RESTROOMS - DAY
                                                            
Rachel sticks her head out, covertly checks the hallway in
both directions, then dashes for the --

EMPLOYEE ROOM

Once inside, she looks back toward the door, then backs up
right into Toby.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Jesus!
                                                            
                       TOBY
Finally. I thought you fell in.
                                                            
She ignores him as best she can, walking over to a time
clock. She picks up a ticket from a slot labeled: "Rachel
Augustus" only to find it already punched.
                                                            
                       TOBY
I clocked you in. Wouldn't want
you getting in any trouble.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You could get fired for that.
                                                            

5.

                       TOBY
You gonna tell on me?
                                                            
She raises an eyebrow, thinking about it. Replaces her time
card, picks up a clipboard hanging from a rusted nail.
                                                            
                       TOBY
So listen, I was thinking... if
you're not doing anything on
Friday, maybe we could...
                                                            
She finds her name on the spreadsheet and scrolls over to
the right. Sees the words: "Paint Department".
                                                            
                       TOBY
... go see a movie...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Son-of-a-bitch!
                                                            
                       TOBY
... okay, no movie. What about a
basketball game or...
                                                            
She SLAMS the clipboard back in place, then storms for the
door.

Toby follows relentlessly.
                                                            
                       TOBY
... just dinner? Some place
nice... or casual?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I have to work.
                                                            
She walks out, letting the door shut on him.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - APPLIANCE DEPARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Surrounded by washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators,
DANIEL (20s), a skinny pimpled-faced guy, uses a pencil to
scratch under the cast on his left arm.

An almost orgasmic look comes over his face as he finally
reaches the right spot. His head lolls back.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh, yeah.
                                                            
                       RACHEL (O.S.)
Should I give you some privacy?
                                                            

6.

Daniel jumps, snapping off half the pencil in his cast. He
stares at the other half in his hand.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I need a favor.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Why should I do you a favor? You
haven't even signed my cast yet.
                                                            
She looks down at the white cast devoid of markings.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
This isn't high school. Nobody's
signed your cast.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yet.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Fine. Get me a pen.
                                                            
He hands her a black permanent marker.

She quickly scribbles on his cast.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (reading)
Switch with me or I'm gonna brake
your other arm?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That was rude. I should've said
please.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You spelled break wrong. That's
the car kind.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I hope you know how to hold a
toothbrush with your toes.
                                                            
Daniel doesn't look the least bit intimidated.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Lemme guess... paint?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How'd you know?
                                                            
                       P.A. ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Help needed at the paint counter.
                                                            

7.

He looks accusingly at Rachel.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I don't want paint. Those people
are freaking morons.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
But you're so good with morons.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I don't think I can even open the
cans with my --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thank you so much. I owe you.
I'll even take your shift on
Friday to make it up to you.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
But --
                                                            
                       P.A. ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Help needed at the paint counter.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hurry.
                                                            
Daniel sighs loudly then walks off.

Rachel smiles, triumphant, and slides into his chair. Puts
her feet up on the desk.

The phone RINGS and she quickly answers it.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (on phone)
This is Rachel. How may I help
you?... special order means you
have to order it... special... no,
you can't have it today... not
even if you pay cash...
                                                            
A loud CRASH somewhere in the store catches Rachel's
attention, as does the employees and customers that go
running toward the paint department.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (on phone)
I'm sorry, ma'am, but you'll have
to pick something we have in stock
or keep all your food on ice until
your special order fridge arrives.
Thank you. Have a nice day.
                                                            

8.

As Rachel hangs up the phone, she hears --
                                                            
                       P.A. ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Associate Rachel Augustus to the
paint counter.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - PAINT DEPARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Rachel stands behind the paint counter, across from ANGRY
CUSTOMER #1, a teen boy.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #1
I have to prime first?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Either that or paint ten coats.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #1
How much paint would I need for
ten coats?
                                                            
LATER

ANGRY CUSTOMER #2, an elderly woman holding a hairless
chihuahua.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #2
What do you mean you can't color
match my dog? Your sign says you
can match anything!
                                                            
She points to a sign behind the counter.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Technically I could, but I'd need
a dime-sized piece of your dog to
put into my scanner.
                                                            
The woman sucks in an appalled gasp and stomps off.

LATER

ANGRY CUSTOMER #3, bleached blond with dark roots and hands
on her hips.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #3
You're trying to tell me I have to
sand BEFORE I paint?
                                                            
Rachel stares at her as if she has just taken first place in
a stupid contest.


9.

LATER

ANGRY CUSTOMER #4, 30-something in a business suit.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #4
But I have a business meeting in
half an hour. Couldn't you mix
mine first?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #4
Then could you at least bring it
to me when it's done?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
We don't deliver.
                                                            
LATER

ANGRY CUSTOMER #5, a burly black man, slides Rachel three
paint chips of varying shades of pink.
                                                            
                       ANGRY CUSTOMER #5
Which do you think is prettier?
                                                            
Rachel studies the intimidating size of him, then the paint
chips. She points to the lightest of the three.

He shakes his head.

She points to the medium toned one.

He shakes his head again.

She picks up the loud, bright one.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How many?
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - BREAK ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel gets her paper bag lunch out of her locker and SLAMS
the door shut.

Contemplates the seating possibilities. There are 3 large
tables. One is taken by Toby and a couple other employees.
The other two are empty.

Rachel chooses the empty table farthest from the other
employees and sits.

10.


Within seconds, she is surrounded by Toby, JANICE (40s,
redhead), STU (40s, beer belly), and FOSTER (30s,
prematurely balding).
                                                            
                       JANICE
Did you guys hear about Daniel?
Pretty embarrassing.
                                                            
Rachel does her best to ignore them.
                                                            
                       STU
Heard it? I damn near felt it.
                                                            
                       TOBY
He shouldn't be allowed anywhere
near a hardware store. One day
he's gonna get himself killed.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
Freakin' klutz. That kid could
trip over his own shadow.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That freakin' klutz is a friend of
mine and if I were you, I would
think twice about bad-mouthing him
in front of me again.
                                                            
Foster holds up his hands in surrender.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
Whoa, calm down. We were just
shootin' the shit. Don't get your
boxers in a bunch. C'mon, guys.
                                                            
Foster gets up from the table, followed by Janice and Stu.
Toby remains seated.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
      (to Toby)
You comin'?
                                                            
                       TOBY
I'll meet you there.
                                                            
They wander out, snickering amongst themselves.

Toby gives Rachel the once over.
                                                            
                       TOBY
You're grumpier than usual this
morning. That time of the month?
                                                            

11.

                       RACHEL
I won't apologize for defending
Daniel. He might very well be a
klutz, but he's MY klutz.
                                                            
                       TOBY
So, you and Daniel...
                                                            
She gives him a look that says it all.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Come with us to the diner.
                                                            
Rachel points to her sack lunch, then removes a sandwich and
unwraps it for a bite.
                                                            
                       TOBY
I know the waiter. He'll hook you
up. Anything you want.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (mouth full)
I'm eating what I want.
                                                            
Toby gets up from his seat.
                                                            
                       TOBY
It must be lonely being you.
                                                            
He walks off, then pauses in the doorway.
                                                            
                       TOBY
About Friday...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Still working.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - PAINT DEPARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Rachel puts the lid back on a paint can, pounds it into
place and slides it onto the counter. Puts a wooden stir
stick on top.

A phone RINGS.

She gets a cell out of her pocket. Checks the caller I.D.
Sighs loudly. Answers.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How did you get this number?
                                                            

12.

                       MARGE (V.O.)
How do you think?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I don't know. That's why I'm
asking.
                                                            
                       MARGE (V.O.)
Your brother is an FBI agent. Need
I say more?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You could say why you're calling.
I'm not supposed to be on the
phone at work.
                                                            
                       MARGE (V.O.)
It's been a long time since you
came to a family dinner. I
thought I would surprise the boys
by inviting you.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No thanks.
                                                            
Only silence over the line.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm hanging up now.
                                                            
                       MARGE (V.O.)
Rachel... despite what you might
think... still... they love you.
                                                            
Rachel drops her cell back into her pocket.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Rachel KNOCKS on a door that reads: "MANAGER'S OFFICE".
Waits patiently for an acknowledgement.
                                                            
                       HANK (O.S.)
What?
                                                            
She takes a deep breath, then enters.

The office is nothing more than an eight by ten room with a
desk and some overflowing file cabinets.

Behind the desk is none other than HANK of Hank's Hardware.
He is a tall, husky guy in his 50s with salt and pepper
hair.

13.


He works on a giant jigsaw puzzle that spans the entire
surface of his desk. The puzzle is mostly done with just a
few random pieces and the very center empty.

Rachel stands beside his desk, fidgety.
                                                            
                       HANK
Speak.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm really beat and I've got a lot
to do at home... so I was just
wondering if I could leave a
little early.
                                                            
He finally looks up from his puzzle.
                                                            
                       HANK
Tell you what, if you can find
this piece...
                                                            
He thrusts a fat finger into a hole in his puzzle.
                                                            
                       HANK
... you can leave right now.
                                                            
Rachel glances into the puzzle box lid where the remaining
pieces are. Picks one up and hands it to him.

He slides it into place, then taps on it. It fits.
                                                            
                       HANK
Well I'll be...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Bye, Hank.
                                                            
She walks back out the door, shutting it after her.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT
                                                            
The car sputters to life as Rachel turns the key in the
ignition. She rolls down her window, then throws the car
into reverse and backs out of her stall.

She casually looks over her shoulder and sees --

A MAN on a BIKE mere inches from her rear bumper.

She slams on the brakes. Sticks her head out the window.
                                                            

14.

                       RACHEL
Are you freaking crazy?
                                                            
She doesn't get a very good glimpse of the bike rider's face
before he pedals awake, waving.

LATER
                                                            
Rachel drives, right hand on the wheel, left hand out the
window, holding a cigarette.

RACHEL'S POV

A compact car cuts her off.

She slams on her brakes, sticks her head out the window.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (yelling)
Are you out of your goddamned
mind?... yeah, I'm talking to you.
I aught to run your stupid roller
skate driving ass right off the
road!
                                                            
RACHEL'S POV

An arm extends out of the compact car, flipping her off.

She responds by returning the gesture.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I got one of those too!
                                                            
In the process, she drops her cigarette out the window.

Almost immediately, a SIREN screeches behind her.

She glances in her rear view mirror to find a cop car,
lights on.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Shit!
                                                            
She flips on her hazard lights and slowly pulls over on the
side of the road.
                                                            
 

15.

EXT. SIDE OF THE ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
A POLICE CRUISER pulls up behind Rachel's truck.

POLICE OFFICER #1, 20s, handsome, fresh out of the academy,
steps out. Takes slow calculated steps toward the truck.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S TRUCK (STOPPED) - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel watches the officer approach in her rear view mirror.
She fidgets nervously as he appears beside her open window.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
License and registration.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Did I do something wrong?
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
      (stern)
License and registration.
                                                            
She goes into her backpack, removes a wallet, takes an I.D.
out of it. Then goes into her glove box and locates the
registration. Hands both items to him.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That asshole cut me off. I was
just showing him a token of my
appreciation.
                                                            
He looks away from her license to glance at her momentarily.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
Is that right?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
As a matter of fact, where I'm
from... the middle finger is
considered a pleasant greeting
from... one motorist to another.
Ticketing me for it would be...
like... discrimination...
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
Ma'am, are you under the
impression that I pulled you over
for giving the bird?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Uh... yeah... didn't you?
                                                            

16.

                       POLICE OFFICER #1
No.
                                                            
Rachel gives a small sigh of relief.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
You littered.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Littered?
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
Cigarette butt.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're kidding me?
                                                            
She laughs but the officer doesn't seem amused. He bends to
stare into the car at her.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
This is a joke. I'm being punked,
right? Where's the camera, in
your hat?
                                                            
She reaches for his hat, but he grabs her by the wrist.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
Keep your hands inside the
vehicle, ma'am. I'm going to need
to call in your plates. Make sure
this isn't a stollen vehicle.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Why would I steal this piece of
shit?
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #1
Wait here.
                                                            
Police officer walks back to his car.

Rachel sighs, resting her head against the steering wheel.

She hears footsteps coming back her way. She sits up and
addresses the officer before he arrives --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Listen, officer, if you let me go,
I'll --
                                                            
                       COOPER (O.S.)
You'll what?
                                                            

17.

Instead of the police officer, a tall, thin guy in a suit
and tie, COOPER (30s), walks up to the door.

Rachel's face registers relief for a second, then quickly
morphs to anger. She reaches out the window and punches
Cooper in his gut.

Unharmed, he laughs it off.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Miss. Augustus, you weren't about
to proposition an officer of the
law, were you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What the hell are you doing here?
                                                            
Instead of replying to her, he turns to address the officer
who stands by his car.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Thanks, Dobbs. I owe you one.
                                                            
He turns back to Rachel, pulls the door open.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Scoot in. I'm commandeering his
vehicle.
                                                            
Defeated, she slides across to the passenger seat, allowing
Cooper to get behind the wheel. He tosses her license and
registration back to her.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
A giant plasma TV above the roaring fireplace plays a
basketball game.

A black leather sectional holds two grown men who are
engrossed in the game:

BRIAN (50s) a tall, slim man with silvering hair. Probably
popular with the ladies in his prime.

SHAWN (29), medium height and build, shoulder length dark
hair tucked behind his ears, weeks worth of facial hair.

Both are dressed casually in jeans and T-shirts.

On screen, a basketball player makes a great rebound, passes
the ball cross court and another player takes a long shot
and makes it. The timer counts down to zero. Game over.

18.


Brian looks upset while Shawn leaps to his feet and does a
victory dance.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
I told you. I freakin' told you.
Benson is the shit! Pay up!
                                                            
Shawn puts out a greedy palm.

Brian rolls his eyes, getting his wallet out.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Watch your mouth. Marge is right
in the kitchen.
                                                            
Brian places a twenty dollar bill in his hand.

Shawn quickly pockets it. Sits back down. Catches movement
in the driveway through the large bay windows. Gets up and
moves to the window to peer out.

SHAWN'S POV

Rachel's truck stops behind a BMW and an SUV.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Who do we know that drives a piece
of shit truck?
                                                            
                       BRIAN
      (yelling out)
Marge, Rachel's here!
                                                            
                       MARGE (O.S.)
Let her in.
                                                            
Brian picks up the remote and channel surfs.

Shawn looks from his dad to the door, then grumbles under
his breath on his way to open it.
                                                            
 
EXT. AUGUSTUS HOME - FRONT PORCH - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel climbs the stairs two at a time, Cooper by her side.
Once on the porch, she lifts a hand to knock but he pulls
out some keys and unlocks it.

He opens the door to find Shawn standing there, hand out for
the knob.

Shawn, Cooper and Rachel stare at each other for a moment.
                                                            

19.

                       RACHEL
What happened? You get arrested,
too?
                                                            
                       SHAWN
I live here.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Still?
                                                            
She turns to Cooper.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You, too?
                                                            
                       COOPER
Still got my old room.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Pathetic.
                                                            
Shawn grabs Rachel and throws her over his shoulder, holds
her still while Cooper administers a noogie.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel pounds on Shawn's back until he releases her. She
takes a second to collect herself, then calmly walks to the
sofa where Brian is engrossed in a wildlife show.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hi... dad.
                                                            
He never takes his eyes off the TV.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Hey, Rach.
                                                            
Shawn and Cooper quickly join Brian on the sofa.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Watch, watch, watch!
                                                            
On TV SCREEN, a lion attacks a lone zebra.

Rachel looks away as the men groan in unison.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
That's disgusting.
                                                            
Cooper snatches the remote away from Brian.
                                                            

20.

                       COOPER
Wanna see it again?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Marge in the kitchen?
                                                            
No one responds. They're all engrossed in the instant
replay of the animal carnage.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
MARGE (early 40s), neatly arranged up-do with full make-up,
moves hurriedly around the room, preparing food.

She wears a pretty party dress beneath her pink gemstone and
sequin embellished apron.

Rachel walks in, stands awkwardly by the door.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Nice apron.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Isn't it wonderful? I made it
myself in an arts and crafts class
down at the "Sew Fabulous".
                                                            
Marge glances over her shoulder at Rachel, does a double
take at her attire, sloppy hairdo and lack of make-up.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Rachel, oh my goodness! Look at
you. So...
(clears throat)
... grown up.
                                                            
Rachel bites the corner of her lip. Looks down at herself,
folds her arms across her chest.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Need any help with dinner?
                                                            
                       MARGE
I've got it. Why don't you go
watch some TV with the boys.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The men are still seated at the sofa, watching TV. They
chat amongst themselves in the b.g.


21.

Rachel stands before a table with framed pictures scattered
haphazardly all over it. She looks over her shoulder at the
men, then reaches for a photo way in the back.

INSERT - OLD FAMILY PHOTO

A younger Brian, very handsome, sits with his arm around an
equally attractive female (not Marge). In front of them are
younger versions of Cooper, Shawn and Rachel.

The boys are dressed neatly in dress shirts and slacks while
Rachel wears a pretty dress and has her hair all in curls
and ribbons.

BACK TO SCENE

Rachel pushes the other pictures to the back and sets the
old picture in front.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The Augustus family are gathered around the dinner table --
Marge and Brian at the heads, Shawn and Rachel one one side
and Cooper on the other.

They each have a bowl of soup and a dinner roll in front of
them.

Everyone but Rachel seems to be completely at ease with the
lack of conversation.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are we gonna... talk?
                                                            
                       BRIAN
About?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You guys invited me. I just
thought there would be...
questions... or... conversation...
                                                            
                       MARGE
We shouldn't talk with our mouths
full.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
My mouth isn't full.
                                                            
Marge takes a big bite of her dinner roll.

The silence stretches on as Marge slowly chews her food.

22.


Brian spoons the last of his soup into his mouth. Pushes
the empty soup bowl away.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
How's dinner coming along?
                                                            
                       MARGE
I'll go check.
                                                            
Marge jumps to her feet and scampers out of the room.

Silence builds up again until --
                                                            
                       COOPER
I heard this really funny joke at
work the other day.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Let's hear it.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Knock knock.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are you kidding me? They tell
knock knock jokes in the FBI?
                                                            
                       COOPER
When they're funny.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Who's there?
                                                            
                       COOPER
Dishes.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Dishes who?
                                                            
                       COOPER
Dishes the FBI, open up.
                                                            
Brian, Shawn and Rachel all stares at him, not so much as a
smirk.

Rachel gets to her feet.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm gonna go help Marge.
                                                            
As if on cue, Marge comes back into the room with three
plates. She sets one down in front of Rachel, then Brian

23.

and finally Shawn.

Rachel slowly sinks back into her chair.
                                                            
                       COOPER
It's always Dad, Shawn, then me.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Rachel is our guest.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's okay.
                                                            
She slides her plate across the table to Cooper.

Cooper grabs his fork and attempts to dig in.

Marge snatches the plate away seconds before Cooper's fork
stabs the table.
                                                            
                       MARGE
It is NOT okay. Ladies first.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Show me a lady.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Mind your manners, Cooper. I'll
be right back with your food.
                                                            
Marge quickly exits the room.

Rachel picks up her fork, then investigates the food on her
plate.

The presentation is beautiful, but the actual food looks
questionable -- an overly blackened piece of fish with a red
and orange glaze decorating the plate.

She leans over to whisper to Shawn.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What is it?
                                                            
                       SHAWN
She took a cooking class and now
she thinks she's Martha freakin'
Stewart. If you know what's best
for you, you'll just eat it.
                                                            
She cuts into the fish, finds that the center is practically
still swimming. She presses a finger against it.
                                                            

24.

                       RACHEL
It's cold.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
It goes down faster that way.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
But it's raw. Is it safe to eat
raw fish?
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Hawaiians do it all the time.
Pretend you're at a luau.
                                                            
Marge parades happily back into the kitchen carrying two
plates. She sets one down in front of Cooper, who
immediately digs in, and another in front of her empty seat.

She stands in front of her designated spot, waiting.

Brian clears his throat loudly.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Looks great, Marge.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Tastes great, too.
                                                            
All eyes turn to Rachel.

She gauges their looks.

Shawn motions toward her plate with a slight movement of his
head.

Rachel takes the tiniest bite of fish imaginable. Chews.
Through clenched teeth --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yum.
                                                            
Marge smiles, pleased with herself. Takes her seat and lays
a napkin in her lap.
                                                            
                       MARGE
I know what my boys like.
(to Rachel)
You know what they say. The way
to a man's heart is through his
stomach.
                                                            
She takes a dainty bite of her food. Makes an odd face but
keeps chewing.
                                                            

25.

                       MARGE
Is there a man in your life,
Rachel?
                                                            
Rachel shoves a forkful of food into her mouth. Chews
exaggeratedly slow while everyone at the table stops eating
to wait for her response.
                                                            
                       COOPER
You wanted to talk.
                                                            
Rachel points to her full mouth, continues chewing. After a
beat, she swallows, takes a sip of water and clears her
throat.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
What about friends with benefits?
                                                            
Marge shoots him a warning glare.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I don't really have the time --
                                                            
Marge wipes her mouth with a tiny corner of her linen
napkin.
                                                            
                       MARGE
You know what they say. All work
and no play --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I know that one. I knew the other
one, too. Do you have like a book
of these --
                                                            
Brian, Shawn and Cooper exchange an "S.O.S" look.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
So there's no one from work?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I work in a hardware store, dad.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
A hardware store?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yeah. What's wrong with that?
                                                            
Everyone but Rachel exchanges a look.
                                                            

26.

                       RACHEL
What?
                                                            
                       MARGE
It's just... interesting.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
The same way Stonehenge is
interesting or the way Van Gogh
was interesting?
                                                            
                       COOPER
Van Gogh.
                                                            
Rachel throws her hands up, frustrated.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Only because it's so weird and
random. You can't work around
tools and shit --
                                                            
                       MARGE
Language.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Tools and stuff. You couldn't
even put Legos together when we
were kids.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
We're not kids anymore.
                                                            
Cooper licks his soup spoon clean, then balances it on his
nose.

Marge slaps him on the back of the head, causing the spoon
to fall into his soup with a splash. Soup everywhere.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Well, some of us aren't.
                                                            
Brian sniffs the air suspiciously while Marge leans over to
clean up Cooper's mess.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Is something burning?
                                                            
Marge bolts out of her seat.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Mother --
                                                            

27.

The smoke detector goes off, BEEPING out the rest.

Marge races into the kitchen.

Everyone else goes back to eating.

Rachel takes a bite. CRUNCH! Her face scrunches up in pain
as her hand bolts up to her jaw.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
AAAAHHHHHH!
                                                            
 
INT. DENTIST'S OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel sits in the exam chair, hand still to her mouth,
looking around the room.

The walls are painted blue with colorful sea creatures.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
They're all looking at me. Mocking
me.
(to Shawn)
Could you have found a creepier
place?
                                                            
Cooper and Shawn sit in a corner of the room on little
plastic chairs obviously meant for children.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Well, I called the whole phone
book and this was the only place
still open.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
But it's... owwww...
(mumbling)
... for kids. How did you even
get me in?
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Dr. Reynolds is one of my best
customers.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You haven't... served him
recently, have you?
                                                            

28.

                       SHAWN
Not tonight, no.
(beat)
But he really tied one on this
afternoon.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Great. A creepy, drunk dentist.
And thanks so much for the "just
eat it". Great advice.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
It could be worse. As we speak,
poor dad is eating apple cobbler
burnt to a crisp. Try and think
of someone other than yourself.
                                                            
LATER

Shawn looks at a magazine while Cooper plays with a shape
sorter toy.

An older male DENTIST works on Rachel's tooth while she
reclines back in the exam table. He leans in closely.
                                                            
                       DENTIST
How'd you crack your tooth?
                                                            
Rachel reels from the smell of his breath.

Shawn glances up from the magazine.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
She was opening beer bottles with
her teeth.
                                                            
Rachel protests loudly but unintelligibly.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
We warned her this would happen,
but she's pretty headstrong.
                                                            
Again she mumbles something that cannot be deciphered.
                                                            
                       DENTIST
Well, luckily it's not that bad.
I'll have you fixed up in a jiffy.
                                                            
A RINGING comes from Rachel's pocket. She reaches in for her
cell phone.

Shawn tries to snatch it away but she holds on tight.


29.

They wrestle for it.

Shawn wins. Checks the caller I.D.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Oooh, who's Hank? What's his full
name? Hank E. Panky?
                                                            
Rachel reaches for the phone in vain, mumbling something
that sounds like "Give it!".
                                                            
                       DENTIST
If you don't stay still, I'm gonna
have to give you the gas.
                                                            
Cooper throws down the toy, suddenly interested in the
conversation.
                                                            
                       COOPER
I'll give you an extra twenty if
you gas her.
                                                            
Shawn answers the call.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
You've reached Rachel's phone...
no, she can't right now... she's
got something in her mouth...
                                                            
Cooper high-fives Shawn.

Rachel continues to try to get the phone from him while
remaining as still as possible.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Can I give her a message?... uh
huh... uh huh... double shift?...
shouldn't be a problem...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (muffled)
No!
                                                            
                       SHAWN
No, I'm not her boyfriend... just
some random guy she picked up at a
strip club...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (muffled)
Hang up.
                                                            

30.

                       SHAWN
Wait, hold on.
                                                            
He moves the phone away but neglects to cover the receiver.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
      (to Rachel)
What'd you say?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (muffled)
Hang up!
                                                            
                       SHAWN
      (on phone)
I think she said handcuffs.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (muffled)
Hang. Up.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
      (on phone)
Hang tough?
                                                            
Rachel pulls the suction tube out of her mouth.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hang up.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
      (on phone)
She said to hang up.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (whispering)
You hang up... on him.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
She wants me to hang up on you. It
was nice chatting.
                                                            
Shawn hits a button, ending the call. Looks up to meet
Rachel's murderous glare with a smirk.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - KEY COUNTER - DAY
                                                            
A loud GRINDING sound can be heard as Rachel works the key
machine.

A KEY CUSTOMER waits patiently.


31.

Rachel removes the key from the machine and slips it into a
bag. Hands it to the customer.
                                                            
                       KEY CUSTOMER
What if it doesn't fit?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It'll fit.
                                                            
                       KEY CUSTOMER
But what if it doesn't?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Keep your receipt and you can
bring it back.
                                                            
Key customer nods and walks away.

Rachel glances across the aisle at the --

POWER TOOL SECTION

where Toby stands with a POWER TOOL CUSTOMER, showing him a
drill.

She glances at her watch. 11:58.

She turns back to her counter and clears some of the
clutter.

Glances back at her watch. 11:59.

A quick look back at Toby reveals him looking her way.

She turns back around and straightens some decorative keys
on a small counter top display.

Looks back at her watch. Watches the second hand travel the
rest of the way around. It hits twelve and she dashes off.

POWER TOOL SECTION

Toby sees her leave.
                                                            
                       TOBY
So you should be good to go.
                                                            
He hands his customer the drill and tries to hurry away.
                                                            
                       POWER TOOL CUSTOMER
Wait, so you're sure this is the
right bit.
                                                            

32.

Toby watches Rachel disappear from sight. Disappointed, he
turns back to his customer.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - BREAK ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel stares into her empty locker, confused. She
scratches her head, then SLAMS the door closed to find --

Toby standing right beside her.

She gives a slight start.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You gotta stop doing that.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Where's your lunch?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm not really hungry. Just gonna
get a drink or something.
                                                            
She walks over to a vending machine and fishes in her pocket
for some change.
                                                            
                       TOBY
You forgot it, didn't you? I've
never seen you forget your lunch
the entire time you've been
working here.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I was in a hurry this morning.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Well, the diner --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm fine.
                                                            
She drops some change and selects a soda. Waits while it
noisily dispenses.

Toby retrieves the can, hands it to her.
                                                            
 
EXT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - DAY
                                                            
Rachel smokes a cigarette and sips her soda. She glances at
the diner across the street. Contemplates.
                                                            
 

33.

INT. DINER - DAY
                                                            
Toby, Janice, Stu and Foster sit at a booth near the window.
Stu nudges Toby, then nods toward the window.

TOBY'S POV

Rachel heads for the diner entrance.
                                                            
                       JANICE
Did you guys hear Debbie from
garden is knocked up?
                                                            
                       FOSTER
Big deal. She's married.
                                                            
                       JANICE
Her husband's in the Army... in
Iraq.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
Oh, shit!
                                                            
The door opens and Rachel tries to sneak in, but a bell
above the door CHIMES, drawing the attention of everyone in
the room.

Cheeks flushed, Rachel glances quickly at Toby's table, then
hurries across the room, as far from them as possible.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Rachel.
                                                            
He flags her over but she waves him off and continues to her
own table. As soon as she's seated, she pulls out her
leather book from her backpack and starts doodling.

INSERT - BOOK

A detailed pencil sketch of a living room, complete with
tiled fireplace surround, sofa, window treatments and
built-in bookshelves.

Looks like something a designer would have drawn.

BACK TO SCENE
                                                            
                       PRESTON (O.S.)
That's really nice.
                                                            
Rachel snaps her book closed, then glances up to find --

PRESTON (mid 20s), tall and handsome with messy brown hair

34.

and intense greenish-blue eyes. More than a weeks worth of
facial hair completes his "just rolled out of bed" look.

He speaks with a pronounced British accent --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
From what I saw of it. Mind if I
take another peek?
                                                            
He holds an order tablet in one hand and a pencil in the
other, which he uses to try to flip open the cover of her
book.

Rachel folds her hands on top of it, protectively.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Why don't you just take my order.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Okay, then. Can I take your
order?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Can I see a menu?
                                                            
Preston smiles with just the corner of his mouth and slides
into the booth across of her. Runs his fingers through his
hair.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What do you like?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Menus. Preferably with pictures.
I'm a visual person.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
That's not really the way we work
here. I can make anything. I
like to keep my customers happy.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're the cook, too?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Sometimes.
                                                            
He fidgets with his hair again.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You sure touch your hair a lot for
someone that handles food.
                                                            

35.

                       PRESTON
I wash them a lot, too.
(beat)
Let me ask you a question. Do you
owe that bloke over there money?
                                                            
She subtly glances over her shoulder to see Toby staring at
them. Quickly looks away.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
We work together.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I thought he worked at the
hardware store.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He does. We do.
                                                            
Preston laughs loudly.

Rachel nervously checks on Toby to find him looking with
more interest.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Would you stop laughing like that.
He's gonna think I'm joking with
you or something.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Well, aren't you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No.
                                                            
Preston wipes the smile off his face and clears his throat.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Okay, then, lets get back to
business. What do you feel like
eating?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No. Not until you tell me what is
so damn funny about me working in
a hardware store.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Nothing. I was just... enjoying
the irony.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Irony?
                                                            

36.

                       PRESTON
Yeah, it means --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I know what it means. But I fail
to see the irony of this
particular situation.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Well, I'm like a waitress and
you're a...
(American accent, macho)
... hardware dude.
                                                            
He laughs again and again Rachel responds by gauging Toby's
reaction.

Toby looks like he's about to leap out of his seat and
challenge Preston to a duel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Why do you keep looking at him?
Are you two... ?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No!
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You're very... interesting...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Where I come from interesting
isn't always a compliment.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Where are you from?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Here. I meant where I grew up. My
family.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Well, where I'm from interesting
isn't an insult.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
And where's that?
                                                            
He extends a hand across the table.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Hi, I'm Preston. I'm from
Neptune.
                                                            

37.

                       RACHEL
Is that in the U.K.?
                                                            
She shakes his hand.

He chuckles, trying to figure out if she's joking.
                                                            
                       TOBY (O.S.)
Preston, can we get more soda over
here?
                                                            
Without looking away from Rachel --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
In a minute.
                                                            
Toby looks pissed as he whispers conspiratorially with his
co-workers.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Actually, it's in the solar
system.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Right. Like the planet. Okay,
well, what're you doing so far
from home?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I like to travel.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Obviously.
                                                            
                       TOBY (O.S.)
Preston... we're dying of thirst,
man.
                                                            
Preston gets to his feet.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'll be right back. Think about
what you want.
                                                            
Preston walks over to Toby's table and collects all four
empty glasses with one hand. Gives Toby a look, then walks
away.
                                                            
                       STU
Dude's makin' a play for your
girl.
                                                            

38.

                       FOSTER
I don't get your fascination with
her anyway. Is it even confirmed
that she's female?
                                                            
Toby smacks Foster on the back of his head.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
What? I mean, look at her. Does
she even have jugs?
                                                            
Janice, Toby and Stu stare at him.
                                                            
                       FOSTER
That's what they call 'em, right?
                                                            
Foster makes a gesture that looks like he's cupping a pair
of over-sized breasts.

LATER

Rachel is drawing in her sketch book again.

A plate of food slides in front of her.

She looks up to find the confident smile of Preston beaming
down on her.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I didn't order yet.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Try it.
                                                            
She looks at the sandwich, then up at Preston.

He wiggles his eyebrows at her.

She closes her book, places it on the booth next to her.
Takes a bite of her sandwich.

He waits patiently while she chews and swallows.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's good.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Just good?
                                                            
She takes another bite, chuckles.
                                                            

39.

                       RACHEL
      (mouth full)
Really good.
                                                            
Toby and his gang stand up, head for the register.
                                                            
                       TOBY
You better get that to go, Rach.
We gotta be back in five minutes.
                                                            
Rachel ignores his warning and keeps eating, savoring each
bite.

Preston meets them at the register, collects money from each
of them. Quickly makes change and hands it back to each of
them.

Janice, Stu and Forester walk out, causing the bell above
the door to JINGLE.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'll make sure she gets back in
time.
                                                            
Toby flashes him one last hard look, then heads out.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What, no tip?
                                                            
                       TOBY
I got a tip for ya. Don't waste
your time on that one. Pretty
sure she's batting for the other
team.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'd rather have the money.
                                                            
Toby scoffs on his way out the door.

Preston closes the register and returns to the dining room,
checking on a table with an elderly couple.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How's everything over here?
                                                            
RACHEL'S TABLE

Rachel eats her sandwich, occasionally glancing over in
Preston's direction.

Preston continues checking on the other PATRONS, pretending
as if he doesn't see her looking.

40.


Eventually makes his way back to Rachel. Stands beside her
table, glances at his watch.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I promised that guy that you're
not with that I would get you out
of here in time. You've got about
thirty seconds.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Shit.
                                                            
She grabs her backpack, leaps out of the booth and sprints
for the door. Stops just short of leaving, turns back.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How much do I -- ?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Just go.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks.
                                                            
And she's gone.

Preston smiles to himself, then clears her table. Looks
down into the booth seat to find --

RACHEL'S BOOK

He picks it up for a closer look.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel lazily mops the floor, dead on her feet. She stops
for a second to rest her head against the mop. Eyes close
and then --
                                                            
                       P.A. ANNOUNCER
Associate Rachel Augustus to the
manager's office.
                                                            
She springs back to life, walking away with the mop and
bucket in tow.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - MANAGER'S OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Hank sits in the same place we saw him last, behind his desk
working on a new jigsaw puzzle.

41.


A KNOCK is heard on his door.
                                                            
                       HANK
Come in.
                                                            
Rachel enters, stands awkwardly in the doorway.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You wanted to see me?
                                                            
He doesn't look away from his puzzle.
                                                            
                       HANK
Shut the door.
                                                            
She sighs, enters the rest of the way, shuts the door.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Listen, Hank, about last night --
                                                            
                       HANK
Those special order tiles you
wanted came in.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Oh. Okay.
                                                            
                       HANK
I had one o' the guys load it into
the back of your truck.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks... but I can't --
                                                            
                       HANK
Don't worry about it. I'll say
they dropped or something.
                                                            
Rachel stares at him, dumbfounded.

Hank still hasn't established eye contact.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hank, I... are you...
                                                            
                       HANK
Don't get all sappy. It's just a
couple tiles. Now get outta here.
I'm trying to concentrate.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Okay. Thanks.
                                                            

42.

Rachel heads back out.

Hank finally looks up.
                                                            
                       HANK
And Rachel... make sure you leave
these on for a little while before
you tear it all off.
                                                            
 
EXT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel comes to a stop beside her truck to find --

Toby loads the last case of tile into the back.

She looks in to see ten boxes.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks... for loading it up.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Sure.
                                                            
He pushes the now empty cart into an empty parking stall.
Lights a cigarette, then offers one to Rachel.

She hesitates a second, then accepts.

He lights it for her.

They both exhales puffs of smoke into the night sky.
                                                            
                       TOBY
So you and Preston...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No.
                                                            
She steals a quick peak at the diner.

With no lights on, it appears to be closed.
                                                            
                       TOBY
He always closes early on
Thursday.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
So you and Preston...
                                                            
                       TOBY
No. God no.
                                                            

43.

                       RACHEL
I just meant... are you friends?
                                                            
                       TOBY
Oh.
                                                            
Toby chuckles, relieved. Takes a drag off his cigarette.
                                                            
                       TOBY
No. Not really.
                                                            
A long silence filled with nothing but Toby and Rachel
inhaling and exhaling on their cigarettes.
                                                            
                       TOBY
You don't work on Saturday night,
do you?
                                                            
Rachel drops her cigarette and stomps it out. Heads for her
truck.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Night, Toby.
                                                            
She gets into her truck while Toby finishes his cigarette,
watching her.
                                                            
                       TOBY
Night, Rachel.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel steps out of the ELEVATOR holding two cases of tile.
By the looks of it, they're heavy.

She stops dead in her tracks when she sees --

Preston stands outside her apartment door, holding what
looks like her leather book.

She stares at him a second before approaching.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Are those heavy? They look heavy.
                                                            
She sets the boxes down. He moves his feet just in time to
keep them from getting crushed.
                                                            

44.

                       RACHEL
What're you doing here? And if
you say you were just in the
neighborhood, I'm gonna knee you
in the nuts and start screaming.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Just out of curiosity, what will
you do if I say I was stalking
you?
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Like the other rooms of Rachel's apartment, the kitchen is
in the middle of a major remodel. Only half the cabinets
are hung. The rest sit on the floor still in their
packaging.

Big spaces where the appliances are supposed to be. A
coffee maker and microwave sit on a little metal cart on
wheels.

Rachel pours two cups of coffee, delivers one to Preston who
sits at a stool next to a cafe table.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Where are you sitting?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'll stand.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
In case you need to make a run for
it?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Start talking.
                                                            
He takes a sip of his coffee.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I found your book and I saw your
address in the front and I figured
I would mail it to you, but this
little voice in my head reminded
me that things get lost in the
mail all the time, so --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You hear voices? They make
medication for that.
                                                            

45.

                       PRESTON
Do you want to hear this?
                                                            
Rachel sips her coffee.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
So I remembered you saying how
important it was to you so --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I never said that.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Maybe it was the way you clutched
it to your bosom like a newborn
baby. In any case, I felt it was
my responsibility to make sure you
got it back.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That's really weird.
                                                            
She goes into a cabinet and gets out a package of chips and
a bottle of mustard. Squirts a dab of mustard on a chip and
eats it.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What would be less weird? Potato
chips and mustard?
                                                            
She offers him some but he declines.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Uh, I dunno. You're thinking of
renting an apartment in this
building... your car ran out of
gas... your favorite aunt lives --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What if I said I wanted to see you
again?
                                                            
He kiddingly shields himself from an impending attack.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You know where I work.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I couldn't go to your work. That
would make me a stalker.
                                                            
She lets a small chuckle slip out, then regains her
composure.
                                                            

46.

                       RACHEL
Why are you putting the full court
press on when you don't even know
me?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Full court press? That's like a
basketball term, isn't it?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Very good. There may be a little
testosterone in you afterall.
                                                            
He looks around, investigating the kitchen's disarray.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
When did you move in?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Three... no... three and a half
years ago.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
First thing in the morning I want
you to fire your carpenter.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm doing the work myself.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Oh right. I forgot. Hardware
dude. Is anything finished?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
The bathroom was... for about a
month. Then I realized I hated
the tile I picked, so I tore it
all... well, most of it out.
                                                            
He watches Rachel devouring her chips.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How do you cook in here?
                                                            
She holds up the chips as evidence.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Let me buy you dinner.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No.
                                                            

47.

                       PRESTON
Any particular reason?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're a stranger, albeit an
interesting stranger.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'll assume you meant the "good"
interesting.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
If you want to.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You won't have dinner with me but
you let me into your flat.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Good point. That was dangerous.
                                                            
She walks out of the room.

Preston finishes his coffee, then follows.

Rachel stands beside the open front door.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You know my name and what I do for
a living. That should at the very
least upgrade me to "interesting
person I sort of know casually
that made me laugh six times in
twenty minutes".
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I laugh when I'm uncomfortable.
                                                            
He leans in like he's going to kiss her, their lips mere
milimeters apart.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I don't hear you laughing.
                                                            
He walks out the door. Stops in the hallway.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
One could argue that you left your
book in my diner on purpose,
knowing I would bring it back.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Then "one" would be full of shit.
                                                            

48.

                       PRESTON
Good night, Rachel.
                                                            
She watches him until he's in the elevator and the doors
close. An uncharacteristic smile forms on her face.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S HOME - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel takes a sledgehammer to the remaining tile, breaking
it up into little pieces.

She tosses the pieces into a big black trash can.

LATER

Rachel uses a notched trowel to spread out a thick coat of
adhesive.

She places down her new tile squares, placing spacers
between them.

LATER

Rachel lays the last tile in her second row, then steps away
to look at it.

She stares long and hard, then leaves the room.

A second later she walks back in and stares again.

Shaking her head, she walks back out.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - EMPLOYEE ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel holds the fated clipboard, staring in horror.

She gets her cell phone out and dials furiously.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I don't care what you're doing.
You have to drop it and get to
work.
                                                            
INTERCUT - EMPLOYEE ROOM / DANIEL'S LIVING ROOM

Daniel lays on the sofa, wearing the same cast on his left
arm and a cumbersome back brace. He shifts uncomfortably.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What's wrong?
                                                            

49.

                       RACHEL
Don't "what's wrong" me! How dare
you stiff me with your painting
class! I hate paint. I hate
painting.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Stiff you? I don't recall you
giving me much of a choice. I
need my right arm.
                                                            
A big furry dog prances into the room and licks his toes.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Bonnie, knock it off.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What'd you call me?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No, I was talking to the dog.
                                                            
He wiggles his feet but the dog isn't discouraged.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Screw the dog, Daniel and get your
ass down here.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
First of all, I will not screw my
dog. I'm not that desperate. And
secondly, you need that class as
much as that class needs you. You
should work through your... paint
issues.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I do NOT have paint issues.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What color is every room in your
apartment?
                                                            
Rachel rolls her eyes.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
White.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Uh huh. And what do you have
smeared over every wall in your
apartment?
                                                            

50.

                       RACHEL
Paint samples.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Your honor, I rest my case.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What if they ask about color
choices and coordinating and --
                                                            
                       DANIEL
They won't. Just stick to
technique and you'll be fine.
                                                            
As the dog continues to lick his toes, Daniel sits up to
scare it off and ends up falling off the couch with a THUMP.
He grabs his right arm with his casted arm, moaning.
                                                            
 
INT. DINER - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Preston moves around the kitchen like a seasoned pro,
stirring, seasoning and tasting.

He spoons some pasta sauce over a plate of noodles,
garnishes with some chopped parsley. Places the pasta dish
on a tray with three other meals.

He walks into the --

DINING ROOM

and delivers the food to a table of three YOUNG WOMEN.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Here you go, ladies.
                                                            
He places a dish in front of each woman.

The women smile appreciatively.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Enjoy.
                                                            
He quickly walks off and back into the --

KITCHEN

He stops beside the COOK, a short Italian with a shiny bald
head.
                                                            

51.

                       PRESTON
Think you can handle it for a
while?
                                                            
                       COOK
Yeah. Where you goin'?
                                                            
Preston picks up a take-out box on the counter and heads
out.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Delivery.
                                                            
                       COOK
Okay.
(beat)
We deliver?
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - CLASS AREA - DAY
                                                            
Three rows of ten chairs are half occupied by curious-eyed
women. They stare intently at --

Rachel who stands before them, holding up a roll of blue
painter's tape.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Now you're going to tape off
anything you don't want to get
paint on, like trims, doorknobs,
molding and --
                                                            
One of the women in the "audience", PAINT GIRL #1, raises
her hand.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yes?
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #1
Do you have to use that blue tape?
I have some duct tape at home.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No, you can't use duct tape.
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #1
Why not?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It'll leave a sticky residue
behind. Blue painters tape is
non-tacky.
                                                            

52.

                       PAINT GIRL #1
If the blue tape isn't sticky, how
does it stick to the stuff you're
taping?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's just... it'll stick. You'll
have to take my word for it.
                                                            
Not satisfied with the answer, Paint Girl #1 sinks back into
her seat, arms folded across her chest.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Now I'll demonstrate how to tape
off your molding.
                                                            
Rachel turns to a faux wall with a square cut out and framed
with white molding. She carefully tapes up the molding,
then turns to find --

Preston sitting amongst the women in the audience, take-out
box of food resting on his lap.

She momentarily loses her train of thought.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
And then... next you... we'll need
some sand paper...
                                                            
A different woman in the crowd, PAINT GIRL #2, speaks out.
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #2
We went over sanding already.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You mean I missed sanding? I love
that part. Would you mind
demonstrating again?
                                                            
Flustered, Rachel trades the roll of blue tape for a paint
brush. Dips the brush into an open gallon of denim blue
paint, then paints around the taped off area.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
This is called cutting in. Don't
go too far, just get what you
won't be able to with a roller.
                                                            
                       PRESTON (O.S.)
Why can't you get it with a
roller?
                                                            

53.

Rachel sighs, then turns around. Puts her paint brush down
and picks up a roller.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's just easier to get the edges
with a brush and the rest with a
roller.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
But why? I mean technically.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Because of the shape of the
roller... it's... rounded... and
your walls are flat... and...
                                                            
She rolls her roller in a tray of paint, then goes back to
the wall. Rolls on the color using long, even strokes.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Then there's just the matter of
rolling.
                                                            
In a matter of seconds, Rachel has painted the whole wall.
She puts down the roller and turns to her class, hands on
hips.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
And that's it. Thanks for coming.
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #2
Wait, I have a question. So, how
do you know how to pick the right
color?
                                                            
Rachel frowns, looking as though she's cursing Daniel in her
head.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's really just a personal
choice. Any more questions?
                                                            
Paint Girl #1 eagerly raises her hand, like a five year old
at her first day of kindergarten.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yes?
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #1
So my kitchen and dining rooms are
sorta connected. My dining room
is a chocolate brown. What color
do you think I should paint my
            (MORE)

54.

                       PAINT GIRL #1 (cont'd)
kitchen?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Well...
                                                            
Rachel thinks it over. Looks around for inspiration. Checks
her watch.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How's about a pale green. Calm.
Serene. Zen.
                                                            
                       PAINT GIRL #1
Oh, I love zen. Thank you so
much.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Great. So if there's no more
questions...
                                                            
Rachel gathers up her supplies. About to walk off when --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I've got a question.
                                                            
She turns to him, lips pursed, not very happy with him.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Anyone else?
                                                            
Preston walks over to her, pauses dramatically, then gets
down on one knee.

The women of the painting class GASP in unison.

Rachel's eyes expand in shock.

Preston opens the take-out box and holds it up to her.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Will you have lunch with me?
                                                            
Rachel looks around at the pleasantly surprised faces of the
painting group. Looks back at Preston to see his now
signature corner-of-his-mouth smirk.
                                                            
 
INT. HANK'S HARDWARE STORE - BREAK ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel and Preston sit at an otherwise empty table, sharing
a take-out container of food.
                                                            

55.

                       PRESTON
Now I know why your apartment
walls are naked. You're color
blind.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm not color blind.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Color phobic, then.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm not afraid of color. I like
color. I embrace color.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Then what's the problem?
                                                            
Rachel puts down her fork and takes a drink of her soda.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Who's running your diner if you're
over here?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
A more than capable person. Don't
change the subject.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How did you know how to answer
that lady's question?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I have eyes. I know what looks
good together. And I'm not color
blind.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Neither am I.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Okay, I'll tell you my secret.
                                                            
He leans in like he's about to give away the colonel's
secret recipe.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I have three sisters. You hang
out with women long enough, you
learn a few things.
                                                            
He sits back upright. The secret is over.
                                                            

56.

                       PRESTON
Except for you. I'm quite certain
I couldn't learn a thing from you.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That sounded a whole lot like an
insult.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Or a challenge. Do with it what
you will.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What do your sisters do?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You're doing it again.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Am I?
                                                            
She picks up her fork and continues to eat.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Where's your boyfriend?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He's off today.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
So you admit he's your boyfriend?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No. He's not.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What does "batting for the other
team" mean?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Why? Where'd you hear that?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
He said it about you.
                                                            
She chokes on her food, COUGHING and SPUTTERING.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
We don't have baseball back home,
but I'm guessing it's some
derivative of not interested.
                                                            

57.

As Rachel continues to choke, Preston taps her on the back a
couple times.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He was calling me a lesbian...
which I can assure you, I'm not.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
That's a relief.
                                                            
She stops eating to stare at him, eyebrows raised.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I was afraid it meant you played
baseball. I despise women that
are into sports.
                                                            
She remains serious until he smiles that crooked smile of
his. Then she eases up.

Preston jumps to his feet.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Well, enjoy. I have to get back
to work.
                                                            
She waits until he is almost out the door before --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Wait. So your challenge... not
only am I quite certain there are
a great number of things I could
teach you... but I bet there isn't
a single thing you can do better
than me...
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You're on.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel and Preston stand side by side just beyond the
bathroom door.

He looks over the room in depth like he's fixing to give an
appraisal.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
This is probably the saddest thing
I've ever seen. No wait, that
would be your kitchen. This is
the second.
                                                            

58.

                       RACHEL
You should see my bedroom.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Is that an invitation?
                                                            
Rachel blushes uncontrollably.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I didn't... that's not what I...
                                                            
Preston laughs at her obvious blunder and resulting
embarrassment.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I have one question for you. Do
you whizz in your sink or shower?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You don't wanna know.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Remind me not to use either.
                                                            
LATER

Rachel and Preston are down on their knees in the center of
the room, back to back. Both have a bucket of tile
adhesive, a trowel and a stack of tiles.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Okay, so you work toward that
wall, I'll work toward this one
and we'll see who finishes first.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
One question.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Okay?
                                                            
He holds up the trowel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What do I do with this?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You've never layed tile before?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Nope.
                                                            

59.

                       RACHEL
Never?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Never ever. And if you say "never
ever ever" I'm going to dump this
bucket over your head.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Okay, what can you do?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I changed a couple light bulbs
once.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Great, then you're useless. I
don't even have light fixtures.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
If you can do it, I know I can.
How hard could it be?
                                                            
LATER

One half of the bathroom is tiled perfectly, the other is a
huge mess. Tiles are left crooked and no spaces are left
for the grout.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You realize you've just set me
back a whole day.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Don't I at least get points for
finishing first?
                                                            
She kneels down to closely examine his un-handywork. It's
an even bigger disaster up close.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Why didn't you use the spacers?
                                                            
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handful of white
plastic spacers.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I thought they were decorative.
                                                            
SERIES OF SHOTS: REMODELING DUEL

A) Preston and Rachel stand across the room from each other,
nail guns in hand like cowboys in a duel. They turn

60.

suddenly and get to work.

B) Rachel's share of the molding and trim is perfectly neat
and straight. Preston's is crooked and has way too many
nails in it.

C)They are in the kitchen now putting up cabinets. This
time Preston cheats by peeking at Rachel's work and trying
to replicate it.

D) Once again, Rachel's cabinets are flush and level while
Preston's are noticeably lopsided. Rachel places a canned
good in the cabinet and watches, amused, as it rolls across.
Preston stands the can upright and makes a "ta-da" gesture
like he's solved the dilemma.

E) Their next task is in the living room tiling the
fireplace surround. They are using sheets of one by one
glass tiles. Rachel works on the right while Preston
tackles the left.

F) Preston starts at the top instead of the bottom. He
slaps on a sheet of tiles and reaches for a second. When he
turns back around, the first sheet has slid out of place.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Preston and Rachel step back to take a look at their
fireplace work. As previous projects, half of it looks
professional and the other half like a child did it.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
We never discussed my prize.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
This whole thing was a set-up. You
cheated.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
By whose rules?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I think I know something I'm
better at than you. Want to take
a break?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Bring it.
                                                            
 

61.

INT. LOUNGE - NIGHT
                                                            
And ultra modern lounge with a circular bar in the heart of
it surrounded by big leather sofas. Walls are covered with
over-sized geometric patterns. Very visually stimulating.

Preston and Rachel squeeze their way through dancing couples
on the crowded dance floor. They are separated a few times
before he takes her by the hand and leads her to --

A stage area surrounded by tables and chairs.

Loud TECHNO MUSIC plays in the background.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (over music)
If this is a drinking contest, I
hope you've got good medical
coverage.
                                                            
Instead of shouting, Preston simply lowers his lips to
Rachel's ear --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Patience is a virtue.
                                                            
He pulls out a chair for her and she sits. He remains
standing.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're not sitting?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Order me a Heineken. I'll be
right back.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Oh, I get it. You're trying to
inebriate me to impair my skills.
That's cheating.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
By whose rules?
                                                            
With a cunning smirk, he walks off.

Rachel watches him for a second, but soon loses sight of him
in the haze of dancing lights.

She sits uncomfortably, looking around at the sharply
dressed men and women then at her own under-dressed attire,
suddenly self conscious.


62.

A pretty young WAITRESS in a mini skirt and halter top stops
beside her table.
                                                            
                       WAITRESS
What can I getcha?
                                                            
Rachel is distracted as the loud MUSIC ends and the lights
are dimmed.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Two Heinekens... and a shot of
Tequila.
                                                            
                       WAITRESS
Be right back.
                                                            
The waitress walks off, giving Rachel an unobstructed view
of the stage.

Masked in shadows, a tall male walks out on stage carrying
an acoustic guitar. He gets comfortable on a stool, then
adjusts the mic and positions the guitar.

It doesn't take Rachel long to figure out that it's Preston.

She looks around, realizing the stage area is now crowded
with people, leaving the rest of the lounge all but dead.

A long guitar intro is followed by beautiful lyrics and a
subdued yet smooth voice.

Like everyone else, Rachel is mesmerized.
                                                            
                       WAITRESS
Here ya go.
                                                            
The waitress sets down the drinks on coasters.

Rachel reaches into her pocket.
                                                            
                       WAITRESS
You're with Preston, right?
                                                            
Rachel nods.
                                                            
                       WAITRESS
It's on the house.
                                                            
She walks off before Rachel can reply.

Rachel turns her attention back to Preston's performance.
Drinks her shot. Chases it with the beer, all with her eyes
glued on him.

63.


The song's lyrics are absolutely amazing as is Preston's
voice. Rachel has officially been dealt an ass whooping.

Song comes to an end.

Crowd CHEERS. Rachel WHISTLES.

A low spotlight appears on Preston. He speaks into the
crowd, directly at Rachel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
      (into the mic)
Your turn.
                                                            
All eyes fall on Rachel.

She looks around, feeling the pressure.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You win.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Without a fight? That's not like
you.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I don't... sing.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How do you know unless you try?
                                                            
The place is suddenly so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Rachel is very much aware of the entire room waiting on her
response. Starting to get angry --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What is this? Because I'm better
at six hundred things than you,
you have to go and rub the one
thing you're better at in my face?
                                                            
Preston chuckles, taking her sudden attitude change in
stride.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'll make it easy. You can even
use the house band.
                                                            

64.

He motions behind stage and a group of MUSICIANS take their
places, instruments in hand.

Rachel shakes her head.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What're you afraid of?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm not afraid.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Tell you what, here's how we're
gonna settle this. You can either
come up here and sing or... kiss
me.
                                                            
For the first time since being put on the spot, Rachel
smiles.

She picks up Preston's beer and empties it, all eyes on her.
She walks up to the stage, accepts his help up. Clears her
throat.

Preston waits expectantly.

Rachel licks her lips, bites the corner of her mouth. Takes
Preston by his shirt and pulls him closer. Closer still.
Moves her lips to his... about to kiss him --

She aborts at the last second, taking the mic out of his
hands.

The crowd comes alive, enjoying the "performance".

Rachel walks over to the house band and whispers something.
Returns to Preston's side.

He jumps off the stage and takes a seat in Rachel's chair.

The music starts and Rachel sings. Low and behold, she has
a decent singing voice. No where near as good as Preston,
but still impressive nonetheless.

Preston chuckles to himself.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel drives, focused on the road.

Preston sits beside her, staring, still in awe.

65.


She finally notices, glances over at him.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I should've known. Is there
anything you're NOT good at?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You'd probably kick my ass at
waitressing.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How dignified. I'm more
coordinated than a girl.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hey, don't go getting all low self
esteem on me. This was your idea,
remember.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You make it very hard to be a man
around you.
                                                            
Rachel suddenly seems frustrated by something outside the
windshield.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
What the hell is this guy doing?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Who?
                                                            
She motions out the window. He looks.

PRESTON'S POV

An older model sedan in the right lane has his blinker on
while bopping his head to music.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
The idiot that's been driving with
his blinker on for the last five
miles.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Maybe he wants in.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Roll down your window.
                                                            

66.

                       PRESTON
Why?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Roll down your window.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
No.
                                                            
Rachel suddenly blares her HORN, startling both Preston and
the other driver.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (yelling)
Turn your blinker off!
                                                            
Preston sticks a finger in his ear, trying to flush out her
yell.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I think you might be the poster
child for road rage.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're kidding me. That doesn't
bother you?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Not at all.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He's too busy singing along to
his... Neil Diamond eight track to
realize that his blinker is on.
Meanwhile people around him,
namely me, can't figure out if he
wants in or not.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Do they really have cars that play
eight tracks?
                                                            
She flashes him a look that says "oh nevermind".

Her cell phone RINGS.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Take the wheel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Where are you going?
                                                            

67.

                       RACHEL
What?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I want some assurance that you're
not going to leap across to his
car and turn off his blinker.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Just grab the wheel, smart ass.
                                                            
Preston takes hold of the steering wheel while Rachel fishes
into her jeans pocket for the phone.

A quick peek at the caller I.D. and she tosses the phone
onto the dashboard. Takes back the wheel.

The phone continues to RING.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
That bad, huh?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Can you put a restraining order on
a co-worker?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Do you mind if I... ?
                                                            
He motions toward the phone.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Consider yourself warned.
                                                            
Preston picks up the phone, answers.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Hello... no, she isn't... can I
take a message?... yes, I'm
sure... no, I will NOT tell you
what she's doing...
                                                            
He puts his hand over the receiver, turns to Rachel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Persistent little wanker, isn't
he?
                                                            
Rachel nods and mouths the word: "stalker".

Preston gets back to the call.
                                                            

68.

                       PRESTON
I'll pass on the message, but I
can tell you right now she's busy
tomorrow.
                                                            
He looks over at Rachel while replying --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
She's going out with me.
                                                            
She is unresponsive for a moment, then glances at him with a
smile.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Thanks for calling, Toby. I'll
let her know... I'll tell her
that, too... best to keep that one
to yourself... okay, bye now.
                                                            
He hangs up with a sly smile on his face. Tosses the phone
back on the dashboard.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He's probably text messaging the
entire store that I'm sleeping
with you.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
The horror.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I wasn't... why do you always... I
didn't mean it like that...
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Knock knock.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Please, no. My brother tells
knock knock jokes... and he's 33.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You'll like this one.
                                                            
Rachel pulls over to the side of the road. Grumbles loudly.
Bangs her head against the steering wheel.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Who's there?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Toby.
                                                            

69.

She sits upright, gives Preston an "are you kidding me"
look.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Toby who?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Toby or not Toby. That is the
question.
                                                            
 
EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel's truck pulls up in front of a gorgeous white
colonial home. It boasts impressive columns, plantation
shutters and wrap around porch.

From the looks of it, it has either been well-maintained or
lovingly restored.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S CAR (STOPPED) - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel stares at the house in awe.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You live here?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Yep.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No. Way.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
It was my grandmother's. My mum's
mum. I inherited it along with
the diner. She was always afraid
the singing wasn't going to work
out and I'd be homeless.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
So that's why you came... to run
the diner?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Mostly.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'll get your bike.
                                                            
She gets out of the truck and Preston follows soon after.
                                                            
 

70.

EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel lowers the tailgate. Preston joins her just in time
to help get a bike out of the bed of the truck.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Do you ride this to work?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Sometimes. Why?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I think I may have almost run you
over the other day.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Oh, right. That was you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
So you're one of those "eco
friendly" "go green" people?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What if I am?
                                                            
He gets on the bike, taps the handle bars.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Hop on. I'll give you a ride to
the door.
                                                            
He nods down the long driveway leading to the house.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I should get home.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Okay.
                                                            
They share a short moment of weirdness before Rachel starts
for her truck.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I wasn't just messing with Toby. I
want to take you somewhere
tomorrow.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I work.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Call in sick.
                                                            

71.

She slowly swings back around to face him. Very hesitant to
respond.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Look, Preston... I don't... date.
It's been fun hanging out with
you, but --
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Did I say date? I meant lunch.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I'm really tired. I'm just gonna
go.
                                                            
She opens the driver's door but pauses before getting in.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks for your help... and lunch
today... and getting me off the
hook with Toby and... the
sandwich... bye.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
So this is a forever goodbye then?
                                                            
She flashes him a somber smile then gets in the truck and
pulls away.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel stands in the middle of the room with a clear shot of
the work she and Preston did in the living room and through
to the kitchen.

She shakes her head then goes into her bedroom and SLAMS the
door.
                                                            
 
INT. DANIEL'S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Daniel hobbles around the kitchen, impeded by the back brace
and both arm casts. He struggles to pull the top off a can
of soup.

A KNOCK on the door.

He slowly makes his way to the door and opens it to find --

Rachel standing in the hall holding up a bag of take-out.
                                                            

72.

                       RACHEL
Hungry?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Depends what's in the bag.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I come bearing Chinese food.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Bless you. Come in.
                                                            
Daniel steps aside, allowing Rachel to enter. She leads the
way to the living room and he follows along.

Rachel sits on the sofa, then unpacks the take-out
containers onto the coffee table. Hands Daniel a set of
chopsticks and takes one for herself.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You look... good.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Compared to what?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
At least you still have your legs.
                                                            
He picks up a take-out container and struggles with the
chopsticks. Finally tosses them down and uses his fingers.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What're you doing here?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Isn't it obvious? I'm feeding the
handicapped.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I know you better than you know
yourself. Something's up.
                                                            
She takes a bite of food as a distraction.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You want me to guess? Okay, I'll
guess. You want me to take your
paint shift? You... killed
someone and you want me to help
you get rid of the body? Your --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
There's this guy...
                                                            

73.

                       DANIEL
I was gonna guess that next. You
have that "there's a guy" look.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's not like you think...
romantic... he's just... it's
fun... and easy...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
If this is about Toby, I'm gonna
puke into my kung pao chicken.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Me, too. It's not Toby.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Fun and easy are good, right?
What's the problem?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
He asked me out.
                                                            
She puts down the container she's eating from and picks up
another. Takes a bite.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
And you told him... ?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That I was working.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Which you're not.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Clearly.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Why'd you lie? Or is that why
you're here? So I can tell you
what's so completely obvious it's
almost funny.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Whatever you're about to say...
you're wrong.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So prove me wrong. Go on the
date.
                                                            
Rachel switches food containers again.
                                                            

74.

                       DANIEL
You know I'm right.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Oh shut up before I break every
bone you have left.
                                                            
 
EXT. DINER - DAY
                                                            
Rachel walks up to the door to find a sign that reads:
"CLOSED FOR FAMILY EMERGENCY".

She tries the door anyway but it's locked up tight.

She gets her phone out and dials.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I need your help... I don't care
if you're at work... I need a
phone number... Preston -- I don't
know his last name... well, you
found mine... some brother you
are.
                                                            
She walks back to her truck while chatting on the phone.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You're in the freaking FBI and you
can't find someone's number
without their last name?... no,
I'm not stalking him, what kind of
question is that?... no, you and
Shawn are NOT having a talk with
him... just forget I called.
                                                            
She ends the call, drops the phone back into her pocket.
Gets into her truck.
                                                            
 
EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - DAY
                                                            
Rachel walks down the long driveway mumbling under her
breath.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I can't believe I'm doing this.
                                                            
She stops at the door, goes to knock, stops. Then knocks.
Waits. Knocks again. Nothing.

Frustrated, she sighs loudly, then walks back down the
stairs.
                                                            

75.

                       PERRIN (O.S.)
Can I help you?
                                                            
Rachel turns to find a pretty brunette, PERRIN (30s), in the
doorway smiling warmly.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hi, um... I was looking for...
                                                            
                       PERRIN
You must be Rachel.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I guess he's not here. I'm just
gonna...
                                                            
She motions toward her truck, then starts away.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Come on in. He's in the kitchen.
He'll be happy to see you.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Oh. Okay.
                                                            
Rachel walks back up the stairs, taking in the woman's
apparel. She wears a form fitting dress, tasteful make-up
and has her hair in a casual up-do.

Rachel self consciously wraps her arms around herself.

Reaching the door, Perrin pries one of her hands away and
pulls her in.
                                                            
 
INT. PRESTON'S HOME - DAY
                                                            
Perrin leads Rachel by the hand through the

FOYER

while Rachel takes in the room. The white carpet under foot
is a stark contrast to the elegant, rich burgundy colored
walls.

A spiral staircase leads up to the second floor.

Perrin leads the way down a long corridor up ahead.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Look what I found.
                                                            

76.

They enter the --

KITCHEN

where Preston stands at an island assembling a veggie
platter. He looks up, smiling pleasantly upon seeing Rachel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You changed your mind?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Woman's perrogative, right?
                                                            
Preston and Rachel share a long look.

Perrin releases Rachel's hand, headed for the back door.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
I'll go let everyone know she's
here.
                                                            
Rachel glances out the big bay windows, sees a big group of
people, including children. The color quickly drains from
her face.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
No... uh... I didn't realize
there'd be so many people... and
I'm not really...
                                                            
She motions to Preston's attire -- a button down shirt and
slacks.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Look at you... and look at me...
                                                            
Preston and Perrin exchange a smirk.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Sure. Laugh. Go ahead.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Rachel, I have three sisters. You
wanna change your clothes?
                                                            
 
INT. PRESTON'S HOME - PERRIN'S BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel sits awkwardly on the bed while Perrin and two
equally beautiful women, PENELOPE and PEYTON (30s), stand in
front of her.
                                                            

77.

                       PERRIN
I'm Perrin. I'll be giving you a
rejuvenating avocado and mango
deep cleansing facial treatment
followed by make-up.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
I'm Penelope. I'll be doing your
hair.
                                                            
                       PEYTON
I'm Peyton and I'll be dressing
you.
                                                            
They wait for Rachel's reaction.

She sits like a deer caught in the headlights.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Where did we lose you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I think I got your names.
                                                            
The women exchange a look.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
Let's start at the beginning.
                                                            
Penelope holds up a brush like they're at a trial and it's
exhibit A.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
This is a brush. You pull it
through your hair to remove
tangles, smooth and add shine.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You know what's good for that,
too? You pull it back into a
rubber band and then you can't see
the tangles.
                                                            
She pulls the rubber band out of her hair, causing it to
fall about her face -- a big tangled mess.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
This is gonna be harder than I
thought.
                                                            
LATER

Rachel is seated at a vanity, although the three sisters

78.

working on her simultaneously blocks her view of the mirror.

Penelope brushes out her wet hair.

Perrin spreads a thick green paste across her face.

Peyton waits with an outfit draped over her arm.
                                                            
 
INT. PRESTON'S HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Preston assembles some sandwiches, then cuts them in half
and arranges them on a platter.

A HAND taps him on the shoulder.

He turns to find --

A completely different Rachel.

She wears a short denim skirt and a white eyelet halter top.
Her hair is done up in soft waves that flow down her back.
She has very light make-up on, just enough to accentuate her
natural beauty.

She smiles as Preston looks her over.

His eyes travel down her shapely legs to her feet. She
wears the same shoes, a pair of ratty old Converse.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
My feet were too big for your
sisters' shoes.
                                                            
He continues to stare, speechless.

She starts to fidget.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Say something. You're giving me a
complex.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I'm just... shocked. There
actually was a girl under all the
paint and jeans.
                                                            
She flashes him a half-hearted smile. Obviously not the
response she was looking for.
                                                            

79.

                       PRESTON
Okay, I'm almost done here and
then we'll go out back and get the
painful part over with.
                                                            
Preston gets back to the food while Rachel walks to the bay
windows and stares out.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You mean the make-over wasn't the
painful part?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Not even close. My family... they
mean well but they can be a bit...
suffocating.
                                                            
RACHEL'S POV

Perrin, Penelope and Peyton sit at a large patio table with
their husbands and an older couple. The women's seemingly
effortless beauty intensifies in the sunlight.

Eight CHILDREN, dressed in their Sunday best, play in the
wide open grassy field nearby. All getting along.

The perfect family.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Your sister's don't have accents.
                                                            
Preston looks in her direction but finds her focused out the
window. Turns back to his food preparation.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Our parents split when we were
kids. Our mum missed home so she
and the girls moved back. Someone
had to take care of our dad...
                                                            
                       RACHEL
So you didn't grow up together?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
We took turns visiting every year.
Called. Wrote. Now, thanks to
technology, we email.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
They don't live here?
                                                            

80.

                       PRESTON
Chicago, actually. We get
together like this a couple times
a year.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are they all married?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Married with a couple ankle-biters
a piece.
                                                            
Rachel looks away from the window, meets Preston's gaze.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Dogs?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Children, although they're not
always that well behaved. At
times they could pass for animals.
                                                            
He puts the finishing touches on a cheese tray.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Shall we?
                                                            
She meets him at the kitchen island, takes the sandwich
platter.

Preston picks up the other two.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
How should I introduce you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Rachel.
                                                            
He smiles at the misunderstanding.
                                                            
 
EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
Perrin moves around the table, refilling everyone's glass
with what looks like lemonade.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
They make such a cute couple.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
Now that she looks like a girl.
                                                            

81.

                       PEYTON
Oh stop. It wasn't that bad.
                                                            
As Rachel and Preston approach, they switch into alternate
conversation mode.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Did I tell you guys that Abby was
chosen to read her short story in
front of the whole school?
                                                            
One of the guys, SPENCER, speaks up.
                                                            
                       SPENCER
She's got her mother's flair for
the dramatic, so obviously she's a
natural born writer.
                                                            
Preston and Rachel silently put the food on the table, not
wanting to interrupt.

The older woman, GRACE (50s), looks their way.
                                                            
                       GRACE
Well, we were wondering when you
two were gonna show yourselves.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Everybody, this is Rachel.
                                                            
Everyone gets to their feet.

Grace is the first to walk over to Rachel. Hugs her
unexpectedly.

It takes Rachel a second to hug back.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Uh, the woman hugging you is my
mum, Grace.
                                                            
Grace finally releases her and steps back.
                                                            
                       GRACE
Lovely to meet you, sweetie.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You, too.
                                                            
Preston motions toward the older male, JOHN.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
This is her husband, John.
                                                            

82.

John steps forward for a hug.

Rachel is even more taken aback than she was with Grace.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Notice how he didn't say step-dad.
I've been married to his mom for
thirteen years and he still
doesn't like me.
                                                            
Preston smiles at him and John pats his back.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You've already met my sisters.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
But we still want a hug.
                                                            
The three women encircle Rachel in a group hug.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
And these are my brothers-in-
law... or is it my brother-in-
laws?
                                                            
While Preston contemplates, the three men, Spencer, CONRAD
and DONALD come forward to claim their hugs.
                                                            
                       CONRAD
I'm Conrad. I'm with Peyton.
                                                            
                       SPENCER
I'm Spencer... married to Perrin.
                                                            
                       DONALD
And I'm Donald. And Peyton is my
lovely wife.
                                                            
By the end of the introductions, Rachel appears to have
reached her yearly hug quota.

They all exchange a "now what" look followed by a long
silence.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Oh and those are the ankle-biters
I was telling you about.
                                                            
He motions into the field where the children still play.
                                                            

83.

                       PRESTON
I can never remember their names
so I refer to them as A, B, C, D,
E, F, G and H.
                                                            
                       GRACE
He's not kidding, either.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Abigail, Brendan, Caitlyn, Derek,
Elsa, Felicia, Gianna and Henry.
All the girls are mine.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Did you guys plan that?
                                                            
The sisters giggle.
                                                            
                       PEYTON
If you haven't noticed, we like to
play name games.
                                                            
                       GRACE
Do you have any siblings, Rachel?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yeah... uh... two brothers.
                                                            
                       GRACE
Oh my, they must have you spoiled
rotten.
                                                            
Rachel can do little more than flash a polite smile.
                                                            
                       GRACE
What do they think of Preston?
They must be pretty protective of
you... their only sister.
                                                            
Rachel looks to Preston for help but he is too interested in
the answer to oblige.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Uh... no... not really.
                                                            
                       GRACE
I'm sure your mom must love him,
though, right? All moms love him.
                                                            
Grace taps Preston lovingly on the cheek. He smiles
politely, then turns to Rachel to find her drowning in
discomfort.
                                                            

84.

                       RACHEL
She... I don't... we're not...
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Okay, enough with the French
Inquisition. Let's eat.
                                                            
LATER

Rachel sits transfixed, watching the women interact with
their spouses and each other.

Preston hands out plates of pie, kissing each sister and his
mom on the cheek as he goes.

A piece of pie suddenly appears in front of her. She looks
over to see --

John easing into the seat beside her with his own slice of
pie.

She accepts hers with a gracious smile.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thanks.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I had that same look on my face
the first time I was invited to
one of these. It's a little...
overwhelming, isn't it?
                                                            
She tastes her pie. Motions "a little bit" with her thumb
and finger.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I'll share my secret. You need to
befriend someone on the inside and
you agree on a signal. Nose
scratch, yawn, hair twirl... so
they'll know when to rescue you.
I'm thinking... left ear pull.
                                                            
He demonstrates.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Who was your go to person?
                                                            
John nods at Preston who delivers pie to the children,
holding it over their heads and laughing as they jump for
it.
                                                            

85.

                       JOHN
I'm sure you already know this,
but he's one-of-a-kind.
                                                            
                       PERRIN (O.S.)
John, stop hogging Rachel.
                                                            
Rachel takes her eyes off Preston to find Perrin, Peyton and
Penelope closing in on her.
                                                            
                       JOHN
She's not a shiny new toy, girls.
                                                            
He stands up, allowing Perrin to slide into his seat.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Of course she is.
                                                            
Peyton and Penelope pull up a chair and sit.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well, in that case, play nice and
take turns. And don't break her.
                                                            
                       PEYTON
We won't.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
We'll try anyway.
                                                            
John walks away.

As soon as he's out of hearing distance, the women all
converge on Rachel at once.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
Where did you and Preston meet?
                                                            
                       PEYTON
How long have you been going out?
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
I can't wait to plan your wedding.
                                                            
Perrin and Peyton give Penelope a stern look.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
What?
                                                            
                       PERRIN
You're breaking her.
                                                            

86.

Rachel glances over their shoulders to find Preston cleaning
up the dessert dishes. She sits up alertly, newfound hope.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I can help you with those.
                                                            
Preston starts for the house, regarding her over his
shoulder.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I've got it. Relax. Chat. And
watch out for the little one. She
bites.
                                                            
Penelope, the petite one of the group, frowns.
                                                            
                       PENELOPE
I do not.
                                                            
 
INT. PRESTON'S HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Preston stands at the sink cleaning up, a close eye on
Rachel who is now surrounded by all eight children.

John comes up behind him with more dishes. Hands them over.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Think she's okay?
                                                            
                       JOHN
I've had my eye on her all day.
She hasn't tugged her ear once.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You gave her a signal? Brilliant.
And she hasn't used it yet?
                                                            
                       JOHN
This one's got potential.
                                                            
John pats Preston on the back, then walks away.
                                                            
 
EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
Preston steps out of the house and looks around. Doesn't
see Rachel anywhere. Walks to the patio table where the
group has moved from lemonade to wine and raucous laughter.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
What did you guys do with Rachel?
                                                            

87.

They all look around, surprised to not see her there.
                                                            
                       PERRIN
She was just here a minute ago. We
were talking about her job.
                                                            
Preston's expression goes from mildly concerned to intensely
worried.

They watch him as he gazes around for Rachel, then go back
to their drinks and conversation when he walks off.

Preston walks around the side of the house, into the --

FRONT YARD

Takes note that Rachel's truck is still on the curb.

Almost out of options, he goes around the other side.

Finds Rachel sitting on the ground smoking a cigarette. Her
old clothes are folded in her lap. Not a good sign.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Taking a break?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I didn't want the kids to see me
smoking. Just say no and all.
                                                            
He walks up to her, squats down, takes a drag of her
cigarette. Hands it back.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You're doing great. They usually
settle down after they've eaten.
                                                            
He smiles and nudges her but she's not in a playful mood.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
If they said anything about your
job, it's only because --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
They were cool about my job. A
lot better than my family were.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Then what is it?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I wanted a damn cigarette.
                                                            

88.

Now he knows something is wrong.

Rachel puts out her cigarette.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Are you leaving?
                                                            
Rachel gets to her feet and heads for her truck, dusting the
dirt and debris off her skirt.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You lasted longer than I thought
you would so...
                                                            
She halts her escape, turns to him.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Is that a dig?
                                                            
                       PRESTON
No, it's a compliment. Why do you
always assume everyone is thinking
the worst of you?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Because they usually are.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
This would be a lot easier if you
would just give me the bloody
benefit of the doubt.
                                                            
She heads off for her truck.

Preston jogs to catch up.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I know they came on a little
strong, but --
                                                            
                       RACHEL
A little strong? Penelope wants
to plan our wedding!
                                                            
                       PRESTON
They like you. It's a good thing.
Would you have preferred if they
were rude?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yeah. Maybe. At least it would
have felt more... familiar...
                                                            

89.

He catches up, grabs her arm, pulls her to a stop.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Talk to me.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
If it wasn't already glaringly
apparent before that we come from
two different planets, it
definitely is now. You're
Preston, from the planet Neptune,
the home of perfect family bliss.
And I'm motherless Rachel who
doesn't know how to give or
receive hugs. Your world is too
pretty to have me in it.
                                                            
Preston is taken aback. Takes him a second to reply.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I didn't know about your mum. You
never talk about your family.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
There's a reason for that.
                                                            
They reach an impasse. Neither know what to say.

She steps back. Points at her attire.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Your sisters dressed me up like a
freaking Barbie doll.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Because you were uncomfortable.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I was... I was uncomfortable...
but instead of assuring me that it
didn't matter what I was wearing,
you sicked your sisters on me so I
could blend in.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
I wasn't trying to change you,
Rachel. I like you just as much
plain as I do now.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Plain?
                                                            

90.

                       PRESTON
I didn't...
                                                            
Preston tilts his head back and sends a frustrated little
growl up into the atmosphere.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
God, you're so frustrating... and
fascinating all at the same time.
                                                            
Rachel unlocks her truck and gets into the driver's seat.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S TRUCK (STOPPED) - DAY
                                                            
Preston gets into the passenger seat, causing Rachel to sigh
and firmly grip the steering wheel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
You stay for the insult, but flee
from the compliment.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I don't want to do this. This...
talking... thing. Feelings and
compromising.
(beat)
You say I'm fascinating and I know
you're lying. There is nothing
fascinating about me. I have been
called a lot of things, but that's
never been one of them.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
That's the problem right there.
You've obviously been hanging out
with the wrong people.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
My family may be the most
dysfunctional group of people to
walk the Earth but at least I
don't feel like a stranger when
I'm around them.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
And I thought MY family was
suffocating. Yours has you in
such a tiny little box you can
barely take a deep breath. But I
can see the appeal. It must be
such a relief being around people
that have no expectations of you,
that don't care what you're doing
            (MORE)

91.

                       PRESTON (cont'd)
with your life or if you finish
any of the things you start.
                                                            
She starts the truck, revs the engine.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are we done here?
                                                            
He opens the door. Hesitates before getting out.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
Bye, Rachel. It was nice almost
knowing you.
                                                            
He gets out of the truck and Rachel peels off down the road.

MUSIC starts up in the b.g. We recognize it as Preston's
voice.
                                                            
 
EXT. PRESTON'S HOME - BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
MUSIC continues in the b.g.

Preston comes around the side of the house to see --

His family just as he left them, laughing and having a great
time.

He slowly walks over to them, looking defeated. Picks up a
glass of wine and drowns his sorrows.

Grace rubs his arm lovingly and he gives her a half-hearted
smile.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S TRUCK (MOVING) - NIGHT
                                                            
MUSIC continues in the b.g.

Rachel tries to focus on the road but her reflection in the
rear view mirror is a constant distraction.

She suddenly pulls over on the side of the road, gets a
napkin out of her glove box and violently smudges the
make-up off.

She takes the rubber band off her wrist and puts her hair
into a messy ponytail.

She slides her jeans on under the skirt, then pulls the

92.

skirt off. Does the same with her T-shirt. Tosses the
skirt and halter top out the window and drives off.
                                                            
 
INT. PRESTON'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
MUSIC continues in the b.g.

Preston sits on the sofa playing his guitar and singing.

His whole family is gathered around listening. The women
cuddle with their husbands.
                                                            
SERIES OF SHOTS - STARTING OVER

A) Rachel primes over the paint samples on all of her walls,
leaving a blank slate.

B) She takes down the unlevel cabinets in the kitchen.

C) She pries off the crooked molding in the living room.

D) She violently cracks the fireplace tile with a
sledgehammer.

E) She sledgehammers the bathroom floor tile.

F) She sinks to the floor, out of breath, sobbing.

END MUSIC
                                                            
 
INT. DINER - DAY
                                                            
Preston stands at the register making change for a customer.

The bell JINGLES, signaling new customers.

He looks over to find Toby, Stu, Janice and Foster making
their way to their "usual" table. Toby has his arm around a
girl that, from behind, looks just like Rachel.
                                                            
                       PRESTON
      (to customer)
Have a nice day.
                                                            
He hurries off before the customer can respond. Heads
straight for Toby's table. Takes a good look at the Rachel
look-a-like. Relieved that it's not Rachel.

Seeing him looking, Toby tightens his arm around his new
lady friend, JADE.
                                                            

93.

                       PRESTON
Hey, guys. The usual?
                                                            
 
EXT. DINER - DAY
                                                            
Preston exits though the back door and lights up a
cigarette. Glances across the street to see --

Rachel stands outside Hank's Hardware. With Hank's help,
she loads supplies into the bed of her truck.
                                                            
 
EXT. HANK'S HARDWARE - DAY
                                                            
Hank loads cases of hardwood flooring into Rachel's truck
while she tosses in faucets, light fixtures and other
various items.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Thank you so much, Hank. I'll
only be gone a couple weeks.
                                                            
                       HANK
Sure you don't need any help?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Are you offering your expertise?
                                                            
                       HANK
Not me.
                                                            
He nods toward the diner where Preston stands smoking, eyes
glued to Rachel.

She takes a quick peek, then turns back around.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
I can handle it. Alone is what I
do best.
                                                            
Hank gives her a sincere smile, then loads the last box of
flooring and walks toward the store with the empty cart.
                                                            
                       HANK
Good luck, kid.
                                                            
Rachel glances back at the diner to see --

Preston stomps out his cigarette and heads back inside.
                                                            
 

94.

INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel polishes the grout haze off the fireplace tiles. All
sparkly and clean. She steps back to admire her handiwork.

The living room is almost complete, save for the still white
walls and lack of accessories.

She walks into the --

KITCHEN

which is nearly done as well with the exception of the
unpainted walls.

She props herself up onto the granite counter top and shoves
a fork into a whole chocolate cake. Takes a bite.

Her phone RINGS in the b.g. Machine finally picks up.
                                                            
                       DANIEL (V.O.)
      (on machine)
I know you're there. Pick up.
                                                            
INTERCUT - HANK'S HARDWARE STORE / RACHEL'S APARTMENT

Daniel stands behind the paint counter, cast-free, working
the paint mixer.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Pick up. Pick up. Pick. Up.
                                                            
Rachel shovels more cake into her mouth. Chews as she goes
to pick up the phone.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
God, can't a girl eat her cake in
peace?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (on machine)
When are you coming back? You've
been on vacation for years.
                                                            
She finally picks up.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's only been two weeks.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Longest two weeks of my life. I'm
so bored, I could cry. People are
actually asking intelligent paint
questions. There's no one to make
            (MORE)

95.

                       DANIEL (cont'd)
fun of anymore.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You just miss being bossed around.
Admit it.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I've never denied it.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
How's Hanks?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Same shit, different day.
(beat)
Your brother was in here looking
for you. He said your phone was
broken or something.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
The FBI agent or the bartender?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Uh, FBI. He said to tell you that
he missed you.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
That was an imposter. My brother
would never say that.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
He also said he knows where you
live.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
      (smiling)
Okay, it was him.
                                                            
Daniel takes a can of paint out of the mixer, pries it open,
puts a dab of paint onto the lid. A pretty light blue
shade. Hammers it shut.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Can I stop by after work... check
out the progress? I'll bring
Chinese.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Maybe tomorrow. There's something
I gotta do tonight.
                                                            

96.

                       DANIEL
Okay, tomorrow then.
                                                            
Daniel hangs up, then slides the can of paint across the
counter to a customer we don't see.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Too easy.
                                                            
A FEMALE HAND picks it up and places it in a shopping cart
with numerous other cans of paint of varying shades.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S APARTMENT BUILDING - STORAGE ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Rachel unlocks a door that reads: "STORAGE - RESIDENTS ONLY"
and flips on a light. Enters.

She passes through mazes of boxes and miscellaneous clutter
until locating a stack of boxes with her name on it.

She unstacks them until finding a box that is labeled:
"CLOTHES". She tears into the box and rummages through the
various articles of clothing until coming across a pretty
satin dress.

She holds it up against herself, looking down. Unsure.
                                                            
                                         MATCH CUT:
                                                            
 
EXT. AUGUSTUS HOME - FRONT PORCH - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel now has the dress on, waiting outside her family's
door. Although she doesn't look as glamorous as Preston's
sisters made her, she looks pretty. A happy medium.

She RINGS the doorbell.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Brian, Cooper and Shawn sit at their usual spots in front of
the TV.

ON SCREEN

A thin, shapely YOGA INSTRUCTOR in a skin-tight outfit leads
a class of similarly clothed women.

BACK TO SCENE


97.

The men tilt their heads in unison as the yoga women perform
a complex pose.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
That looks... painful.
                                                            
                       COOPER
Look how tight her ass is.
                                                            
The doorbell CHIMES again but the men are too preoccupied to
notice.
                                                            
                       MARGE (O.S.)
Is someone going to get that?
                                                            
                       BRIAN
How long can they stay like that
before gravity takes over?
                                                            
The doorbell CHIMES again repeatedly.

Shawn finally stands up.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Okay, okay. Shit.
                                                            
He goes over to the door and opens it, surprised to find
Rachel standing there, looking very unlike herself.

His mouth falls open. She can't help but smile.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Am I too late for dinner?
                                                            
                       SHAWN
Who are you and why would you
willingly choose to eat dinner
here?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Can I come in?
                                                            
He holds the door open for her and watches, still in shock,
as she walks through the living room and over to the sofa.
                                                            
                       MARGE (O.S.)
Who was at the door?
                                                            
Cooper and Brian look up, have the same reaction as Shawn.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Rachel... I think.
                                                            

98.

Rachel flashes Brian a wry look, then wraps her arms around
his neck and kisses his cheek.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Hi, dad.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Welcome back.
                                                            
She turns to find Shawn and Cooper right behind her. She
looks terrified for a moment, then --

Shawn throws her over his shoulder and Cooper gives her a
noogie.
                                                            
 
INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Marge opens the oven door and pulls out a roast that is
burnt to a crisp. She frowns at it before placing it onto
the stove top.

She tries to cut into the roast with a sharp knife, but it's
like trying to cut into a brick.
                                                            
                       RACHEL (O.S.)
Can I help?
                                                            
Marge glances over her shoulder, then does a double take at
Rachel's much changed attire.
                                                            
                       MARGE
You look... pretty.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Do you have another one of those?
                                                            
Rachel motions toward Marge's over-the-top, hand-crafted
apron.

Marge beams with pride, going into a drawer and pulling out
an identical apron. She hands it to Rachel.

Rachel slides into the apron and Marge ties it for her.
                                                            
                       MARGE
I made an extra. I knew one day
you'd come around.
                                                            
 

99.

INT. AUGUSTUS HOME - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Brian, Marge, Shawn, Cooper and Rachel sit around the dinner
table. They each have a beautifully garnished plate in
front of them with a simple sandwich in the center.

Everyone seems to be enjoying their dinner.
                                                            
                       SHAWN
      (mouth full)
I think this is the best sandwich
I've ever had.
                                                            
                       COOPER
      (mouth full)
Can we let Rachel cook from now
on?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Cooper!
                                                            
                       MARGE
No, he's right. I may have...
                                                            
Everyone waits on the edge of their seats.
                                                            
                       MARGE
... burned a few dishes over the
years.
                                                            
                       COOPER
And undercooked a few.
                                                            
                       MARGE
Yes, Cooper, and undercooked a
few. But I think --
                                                            
                       SHAWN
And given us salmonella... six
times.
                                                            
Everyone laughs but Marge. She struggles to see the humor.
                                                            
                       BRIAN
Don't forget the crab meat that
almost killed Shawn.
                                                            
Marge has a slight smile on her face.
                                                            
                       MARGE
That was my first meal in this
house. How was I to know he was
allergic to crab?
                                                            

100.

                       COOPER
And Rachel's cracked tooth.
                                                            
They're all laughing now. A much different family.
                                                            
 
INT. RACHEL'S TRUCK (MOVING) - NIGHT
                                                            
Rachel drives, focusing on the road ahead. By the looks of
her, it's been a long night and she's exhausted.

RACHEL'S POV

A mini-van cuts in front of Rachel, going very slowly.

Rachel throws her hands up in the air, annoyed.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
You gotta be kidding me. C'mon!
                                                            
She BLARES her horn, but the van doesn't seem to speed up.

Rachel swerves to the left, trying to get around the van.
Then van retaliates by moving to the left. She moves to the
right, but the van also moves.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Oh my God. I'm never getting
home.
                                                            
A SIREN followed by lights in her rear view mirror catches
Rachel's attention. She checks behind her. Sees a POLICE
CRUISER.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Great. Just freakin' great.
                                                            
She pulls her truck over and puts on her hazard lights.

Within seconds POLICE OFFICER #2 is beside her window. With
his thick mustache, beady black eyes and downturned mouth,
he looks all business.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
License and registration.
                                                            
Unlike the last time she got pulled over, Rachel doesn't
look very worried.
                                                            

101.

                       RACHEL
Look, I know what this is. You're
working for my brother. Well, I
just came from there, so you're a
little late.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
Your brother?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Cooper Augustus. FBI. Ring any
bells?
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
License and registration.
                                                            
Rachel lets out a frustrated chuckle as she digs for her
registration and license. Hands them to him.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Listen, Officer...
                                                            
She checks his name tag.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
... Ramirez. If you would just
call Cooper, he would tell you
that I was already there and to
call this whole thing off.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
Look, lady, I don't know what
you're talking about. Have you
had anything to drink tonight?
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Yeah, I had some water with my
dinner... and a soda after that.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
Step out of the vehicle.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
It's after midnight and I'm
exhausted. I just want to go
home. Tell Cooper he can bring me
in for questioning tomorrow.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
You were swerving on the road back
there, so the only way to get home
would be to pass a breathalyzer
test.
                                                            

102.

The mildly annoyed look on Rachel's face is replaced with
true anger and frustration.

She throws her door open and steps out.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Okay, you know what, I was
swerving because a dickhead cut me
off and then went ten freaking
miles an hour and I was trying to
get around. But if this gets me
home faster, gimme the damn test.
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
Blow into the tube for three
seconds.
                                                            
He holds out the breathalyzer machine.
                                                            
 
INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT
                                                            
Police Officer #2 walks in with Rachel, in cuffs, looking
none too pleased.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
For the tenth time, I haven't been
drinking. I just came from my FBI
brother's house. Would he let me
drive home if I was drunk?
                                                            
                       POLICE OFFICER #2
Innocent people don't usually get
this agitated.
                                                            
                       RACHEL
Wouldn't you be agitated if you
had been arrested for something
you didn't do?
                                                         &n