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SISTA' MIDNIGHT
by George Darden (georgedarden1@gmail.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***1/2


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



FADE IN:

INT. CATHEDRAL - DAY
                                                            
"HERE COMES THE BRIDE"
                                                            
                       PASTOR (O.S.)
All rise.
                                                            
We see a CROWD of joyous on-lookers staring at the back of a
regal cathedral. Slowly, we are drawn to the middle aisle
as we see the beautiful STACEY STORM begin her journey.

She's an exotic looking, twenty-nine year old
African-American female of the lighter persuasion. Our
lead, a former rapper, is adorned with make up that
highlights her light-complexioned features.

She floats down the aisle in an immaculate, sparkling, white
wedding gown, flanked by an OLDER BLACK MAN in a black
tuxedo.

Making her way to the alter, she carefully takes her place
next to the GROOM whom we only see from the back; from the
shoulders up. The organ plays the final notes to the song.
                                                            
SILENCE
                                                            
Viewing the WEDDING PARTY, the MAID OF HONOR (GIFT SUMMERS)
suddenly pulls the mic off of the stand in front of the
standing PASTOR and begins to rap.
                                                            
                       GIFT
I thought I said the first time,
Iím that fly queen.
Show love up in the club on that
'yac eating chicken wings.
You canít compete cause I
decimates all the haters.
That lady G from uptown with dem
red gators.
I came to crash and trash all the
fake phonies.
Step to me and Iíll wreck all you
sad jabronies.
Iím that superfly broad from the
town of no retreat.
Step to me wrong and Iíll drop ya'
six feet deep.
                                                            
ONE of the GROOMSMEN, begins to make drumming sounds with
his mouth. (BEATBOXING)

The GROOM hops off of a step ladder he's been standing on
and begins to dance. (CABBAGE PATCHING) He's a MIDGET.
                                                            
                       GROOMSMAN
Boo. Ha, ha, boo, ha, ha boom,
boom, boom...Boo. ha, ha. Boo, ha
ha, boom, boom, boom.
                                                            

2.

LAUGHTER FROM THE CROWD
                                                            
Stacey stands there horrified and wide-mouthed in disbelief.
The laughter swells to a fevering pitch as we see person
after person chuckle.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
STACEY DARTS FROM HER BED
                                                            
She's panting and cagey-eyed. Realizing she was having a
nightmare she slowly calms and looks at the clock.


It's early--5:30AM...time to start her day. Next, we see
Stacey running on her treadmill dressed in an all black
outfit.
                                                            
 
INT. BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Hearing the last drizzles of her morning shower, we see
Stacey exiting from behind the glass. She's wrapped in a
white towel.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
Several books are lined up vertically next to Stacey as she
types on her computer. Some titles: HUMAN BEHAVIOR,
PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY and THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SIGMUND
FREUD. Stacey has a pencil in her hair.

She's mid-way through her disertation for her PhD.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Next, we see Stacey in her living room, where she huddles up
to a warm cup of tea and has her book of poetry opened.

Earthtones parlay her simple, quaint little apartment.
There's A PICTURE of POET SONIA SANCHEZ, BILLE HOLIDAY and A
YOUNGER PRINCE hanging on the wall.

Her furniture is basic brown with beige pillows.
Some candles and incense burn to balance the emptiness felt.

Stacey, huddles on the couch to a nice warm mug of tea and
writes in her book of poetry.

This is where Stacey finds her solace; by inking this
tethered binder of thoughts that somehow retains her sanity.
Suddenly, we hear her thoughts aloud.
                                                            
                       STACEY (V.O.)
Two years since you removed
yourself from the equation, and I
feel the same as I did then.
No ryhme no reason to this agony.
Two years to heal and I still hurt
within. Chamomile to calm my
nerves, poetry to soothe my soul.
A million questions always linger.
            (MORE)

3.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
How could you be so cold?
                                                            
 
EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET - DAY
                                                            
We see the sights and sounds of New York City; seas of cars
moving along, crowds of people walking, a street vendor
spreading relish on a hot dog.

There are people of all walks and backgrounds going along
their daily business.

Strolling along the city street and taking in the moment,
Stacey seems to be in no apparent rush to get where she's
going.

She's wearing faded jeans with a brown leather jacket and a
brown cap. Her long hair flows from the back.
                                                            
HORN BLOWS
                                                            
We see an older model SUV pull up. Inside, is her present
love interest, WALTER.
                                                            
                       WALTER
I think we're going to the same
place. Get in.
                                                            
Stacey smiles and hops in and he drives away.
                                                            
 
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
                                                            
Stacey and Walter are seated in a classroom with TWELVE
STUDENTS discussing a psychology issue.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
So that remains our challenge as
scholars of this discipline. What
does the future hold for the
psychologist? As society grows
and family erosion, poverty, war,
drug abuse and crime increase;
what toll does that take on the
human psyche?
                                                            
                       FEMALE STUDENT
I think it goes back to the
Standard Social Services Model.
The human is a product of his
environment. Wherever he lives
determines his behavior.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Yeah. Even Hume said for every
cause there's an effect.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (chiming in)
Don't you think it's deeper than
that? I'm a firm believer that
there's nothing new under the sun.
The human psyche really goes back
to what James argued: instinct vs.
            (MORE)

4.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
reason. I mean we don't eat
dessert because we have to, but
because we want to. We don't love
because we have to, but because we
choose to. So all the things we
see around us are just layers of
socialization and conditioning.
But our instincts, our senses is
what really controls us.
                                                            
                       FEMALE STUDENT
Is that to say that love is
instinctive or something we learn?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I think the need to BE loved is
instinctive and TO love is
something we learn.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
Spoken like a true liberal.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (jokingly)
Okay Reverand Falwell.
                                                            
Small laughs.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
Good. I'm glad you guys have a
sense of humor. You're gonna need
it--twenty page paper (groans) on
the contrast between both Jung's
and Freuds opinions on ego. Due
next Wednesday. That's all.
                                                            
Class adjourns and the students depart.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
Stacey and Walter walk down the hallway.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Looks like he's up to his old
tricks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm hip. He don't stop.
                                                            
Professor Cates spots Stacey in the hallway.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
Stacey. Can I see you for a
moment?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (nodding)
Sure.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Call you later?
                                                            

5.

                       STACEY
      (sweetly)
Okay.
                                                            
The two kiss briefly and Stacey heads down the hallway.
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Sitting in a chair, Stacey listens intently to her
Professor.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
Just wanted to let you know I
thoroughly enjoyed your paper on
James. You really seem to like
his work.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Thanks. Yeah, I do.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
Stacey, you've got something
special. The way you argue
theory. Your mastery of the
discipline. You're a natural.
There's a faculty spot coming up
soon that I'd like for you to
pursue. With my recommendation, I
think you'd have a very good shot
at it.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Well, Dr. Cates, I'm honored. But
I really don't think I'd be
interested. I plan on opening my
own practice after graduation. I
feel that's what I'm best suited
for.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
Do you know how long it could take
to get your practice off the
ground? I know doctors who've
been in practice ten years and
have YET to get enough clientale
to pay their rent. Why would you
wanna listen to people snivvle
about their miserable sex lives
and addiction to pain-killers.
C'mon, you've got way too much
talent for that. Don't waste it.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Dr. Cates, I understand what
you're saying but, I'm passionate
about doing it. I feel like
that's my calling.
                                                            
                       PROFESSOR CATES
      (Conceding)
Look. Just think about it. In
the meantime, I'll keep you in
mind as my number one candidate.
                                                            
 

6.

INT. YOUTH CENTER - RECEPTION AREA - DAY
                                                            
Bobbing in cheerfully, carrying a book bag, Stacey heads to
her youth counseling class. On her way in she passes by the
receptionist, DEXTER FLYE, who is playing a saxophone.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hey Dex, Boy you're getting good
at that horn.
                                                            
                       DEXTER
I oughta' be. I've only been
playing it every day for the past
three years. I drive my wife and
kids crazy. Let me give you my
demo so you can check it out. I
heard you know a few people. See
what you can do for me.
                                                            
Dexter hands Stacey the demo.
                                                            
                       STACEY
That was a long time ago. Thanks.
I'll listen.
                                                            
 
INT. YOUTH CENTER - CLASSROOM - DAY
                                                            
Seated in the middle of a GROUP OF TEENS, Stacey sits next
to a flip chart and speaks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. Today we're gonna talk
about goals. Can anybody tell me
what goals are?
                                                            
A TEEN BOY, CHARLES, raises his hand.
                                                            
                       STACEY (CONT'D.)
Charles.
                                                            
                       CHARLES
A goal is something you try and
achieve.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good. Very good. A goal is
something you try to achieve. It
could be learning something new.
It could be trying to create
something or it could be trying to
go somewhere.
                                                            
Another GIRL, CAMILLA, raises her hand.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (acknowledging)
Camilla.
                                                            
                       CAMILLA
Could it be getting a record deal
like you had?
                                                            

7.

                       STACEY
      (smiling)
Sure. Why not?
                                                            
We see a LATINO GIRL, CONSUELA, sitting listening quietly as
Stacey continues.
                                                            
                       STACEY
So goals are really important. A
lot of times goals determine
whether we succeed or fail in
life. We always need to have
something to strive for. Something
to look forward to. You'd be
surprised how good achieving your
goals can make you feel.
                                                            
The session closes and Stacey gathers her things. Consuela
remains seated as the rest of the teens depart.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Consuela...everything okay?
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
      (hesitant)
Not really.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (sits beside her)
Wanna talk about it?
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
      (tearing up)
I just found out I was three weeks
pregnant. I told my mom about it
and she said I was a sinner and
then she smacked me and told me I
had to go live with my
grandmother. So that's where I'm
staying. I haven't been back to
school.
                                                            
Stacey continues listening and hugs the girl.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA (CONT'D.)
I don't know what to do.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where's the father of your child?
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
He stopped seeing me when I told
him I was pregnant.
                                                            
                       STACEY
So you made a mistake. Now you
have to get past it and move on.
Not only do you have to take care
of yourself, you've got a child to
look after. Life just doesn't
stop because you're pregnant.
                                                            

8.

                       CONSUELA
I know but I'm really scared. I
don't know anything about being a
mother.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I know you're afraid. But it's
okay. It'll all come in time. Let
me ask you something. What have
you always wanted to be?
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
Me...I like to cook. I've always
wanted to be a chef.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good. You can build on that.
There's plenty of schools you can
go to. You've got a ton of
talent. You just gotta focus and
set some goals. You'll be just
fine you'll see.
                                                            
 
EXT. PARK - DAY
                                                            
Walter and Stacey sit on a blanket on top of green grass.
Walter is sketching a picture of Stacey and she sits, legs
crossed, with a warm mug of tea; partly-posing.
                                                            
                       WALTER
How's the paper coming?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm almost done.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Man. You work fast don't ya'?
                                                            
Stacey smirks then strikes a more serious tone.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Walter. Let me ask you something.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Sure. What's up?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where do you see us in the next
five years?
                                                            
                       WALTER
      (squinting eyes)
What do you mean?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where do you see us in the next
five years?
                                                            
                       WALTER
Stacey. How long have we known
each other?
                                                            

9.

                       STACEY
About six months I believe.
                                                            
                       WALTER
      (jestful)
Right. About six months. Half a
year. Don't you think it's just a
little too early to be asking a
brotha' a question like that?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. I guess you're right.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Almost done...wait I've got one
more thing to add.
                                                            
Walter sketches a little faster and finishes. He turns the
sketch to face Stacey. It's a beatiful black and white
portrait of Stacey with a freshly added wedding veil around
her head.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (sarcastically)
Ha. Ha.
                                                            
 
EXT. PARK - DAY
                                                            
Outside, the sun shines brightly as we see Stacey from a
distance standing by the rail of a cross-walk in the middle
of a lake throwing flower petals in the water.

Steadily, we move closer where we see her face. With a bit
lip, Stacey ponders her previous discussion with the teen
girl and life in general.
                                                            
FLASHBACK
                                                            
EXT. COUNTRY FIELD - DAY
                                                            
We see a NINE YEAR OLD STACEY on a bike. DAVID STORM,
Staceyís now deceased father, points down a dusty path.
                                                            
                       DAVID STORM
The apple tree is down that way
Stacey. Go and bring us a few.
They should be ripe.
                                                            
David heads back over to his wife, DOROTHY where they enjoy
a picnic. Stacey begins to peddle along the path. Out of
nowhere, Stacey's older sister DELILAH, saddles beside her
on her bike. Delilah is three years older than Stacey.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Címon Stacey. The apple tree is
over here.
                                                            
                       STACEY
No. Daddy said it was this way.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
No. Itís not. Itís over here.
Letís go.
                                                            

10.

                       STACEY
No Delilah.
                                                            
Delilah gets closer to Stacey and kicks her bike knocking
Stacey down. Delilah sneers at Stacey.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Iím the big sister. You listen to
ME.

                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. PARK - DAY
                                                            
CELL PHONE RINGS

Stacey reaches in her pocket and and flips the cell to
speak.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hello.
                                                            
CUT TO:

INT. AIRPORT - DAY
                                                            
Gift Summers struts through the airport holding the handle
of a suitcase and wheeling it along as she greets Stacey.
She sports a long coat, boots and jeans.

Gift is hip, life-smart and ultra-chic.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Stace.
                                                            
INTERCUT BETWEEN STACEY AND GIFT:
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh no. Gift. What a shock...you
in town?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Only for a couple of days. Look.
I was wondering if we could get
together for a little while
tommorrow. Do a little lunch. I
got sumpin' I wanna talk to you
about. Can you meet me over at
Starbucks on 63rd Street around
one.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. Sounds good. I'll see ya'
then.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - DAY
                                                            
Sitting Indian style, Stacey's face is buried in a book.
                                                            

11.

KNOCK AT THE DOOR

Stacey answers the door. Her sister, DELILAH STORM, enters.
A succesful executive, Delilah is haughty and no-nonsense
and the more bourgeoisie of the two siblings.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
      (looking around)
Hey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (disappointed)
Hello.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
I brought your mail from momma's.
(hands her the mail)
                                                            
                       STACEY
Thanks Delilah.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Don't forget about Sunday.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Sunday. What's happening Sunday?
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Yeah. Sunday. It's momma's
birthday. We're having dinner
over her house.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Damn! That's right.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Your brains probably muddled from
all of that Freudian babble you've
been reading. So sad to be
getting a doctorate in such a
useless major. I'll never
understand you. Anyway, dinner's
at three...try not to be late. I
have to fly out to Phoenix on
business later on that evening.
                                                            
Delilah runs her fingers across a book shelf and quickly
rubs her fingers together.
                                                            
                       DELILAH (CONT'D.)
And clean this place up. It's
deplorable.
                                                            
Delilah exits. Casually, Stacey flips throught the mail
until she ses one of particular importance. She opens it
and reads.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (reading audibly)
Ms. Storm, we have received
notification that your internship
(slower) has been cancelled. We
apologize for any inconvenience
this may have caused. Please
direct any inquiries to Dr.
            (MORE)

12.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
Melford.
                                                            
Surprised, Stacey stands there wide-mouthed.
                                                            
 
INT. PSYCHIATRIST OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
DR. MELFORD is standing behind a desk placing some books
away on the shelf. The office is plush; replete with
leather furniture. Stacey is standing as we pick up the
conversation.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I have to say I'm totally shocked
by this not to mention devastated.
                                                            
                       DR. MELFORD
Ms. Storm...I'm truly sorry about
it. But there is a very pressing
issue in Europe that I have to
tend to. We'll start the
internship this fall. I promise.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Dr. Melford, that's gonna set
graduation back for me. I could be
graduating in a few weeks had I
not signed up for this internship.
                                                            
                       DR. MELFORD
I know and I apologize. I'm
really sorry about this. But as
soon as I get back, we'll get
started.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (conceding)
Okay.
                                                            
 
INT. STARBUCKS - DAY
                                                            
Stacey walks into the crowded coffee house and spots Gift
from a distance. Gift waves her hand motioning her to the
table. The two hug as old friends.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Hey Girl.
                                                            
                       STACEY
What's it been...about a year?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Has it been that long?
                                                            
The two sit a table. A waitress comes over to take Stacey's
order.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Tea. Chamomile, please. So what
you been up to?
                                                            

13.

                       GIFT
Striving and surviving. You know
me. I was managing this little
rap group down south right...this
little gangsta rap act. Anyway, I
got 'em a record deal. So we got
some nice little up front money
and everything and I bought me
this little Benz. My little group
was real impressed, ya' know.
So I let 'em drive it around and
everything. So they went to the
dealership where I got it and told
them I was managing 'em and they
wanted to test drive some more.
Don't you know them fools took
three cars and stole 'em. And was
driving around doing shows in 'em.
The FBI came looking for
me...questioning me and
everything.
                                                            
                       STACEY
What happened to them?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Doin' ten years a piece. They
charged me with conspiracy. I had
to do community service.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Damn!
                                                            
                       GIFT
Yep. Straight drastic. What you
been up to?
                                                            
The waitress brings Stacey her tea and Stacey begins to sip.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Still trying to get my PhD.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Still. How long you been working
on that?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Longer than I should've been. Just
found out my internship got
cancelled so it'll be longer
still.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Hmmm. Guess who I saw recently?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Who?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Lamar...saw him at the airport.
                                                            
Stacey's expression changes to one shade shy of glee.
                                                            

14.

                       STACEY
Oh really.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Yeah. We chatted for a minute.
You never really told me what
happened between you two. Were'nt
you guys engaged?
                                                            
                       STACEY
WERE is the operative word. One
minute he's got a ring on my
finger and we're picking out color
schemes for our wedding. The next
minute, he's moving to Miami to
pursue music. Like most men,
self-serving...all about them.
                                                            
                       GIFT
But he was so in love with you. I
mean I just can't...
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (interrupting)
Gift. I ain't trying to think
about him no more. I've moved on.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Gotta new man, huh?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm seeing somebody. What about
you?
                                                            
                       GIFT
I ain't got time for no man. I'm
trying to focus on my business.
Tryin' to make it. Ya' feel me?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (slightly
       skeptical)
What kinda business you up to now
Gift?
                                                            
Gift places her pinky finger in her mouth and gently naws on
her nail in thought. Stacey inquires with a slight head
gesture. Gift responds.
                                                            
                       GIFT
All right. I got this hellafied
opportunity to do something I've
always wanted to do--get into
radio. I met this guy, he's the
general manager at this station.
Anyway, they've launched this new
show. It's kind of a talk slash
music show. Nothing political or
anything ya' know. They just wanna
keep it simple...talk about
relationships, love, stuff like
that...take calls from people. So
right now they're having select
people come in and try out. And
they're gonna start me off in a
            (MORE)

15.

                       GIFT (cont'd)
couple of weeks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Cool. That's great.
                                                            
                       GIFT
AND they're even letting me bring
along a co-host. Why don't you
come along with me...help a sista'
out.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Nashville.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You mean country music Nashville?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Yeah. But it's so much more to it
than that. It's a different vibe
sure. But it's not too fast not
too slow. It's perfect for people
like us. And the ATL is just four
hours away if you get bored.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I don't know Gift. I mean...I got
a lot going on right now.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Ah c'mon Stace. You just told me
your internship got cancelled so I
know you're gonna be free. I need
somebody I can trust. I've got a
good feeling about this.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where will I stay?
                                                            
                       GIFT
I rent a house. It's gotta an
apartment upstairs. WHAZZUP?
It'll be the "Naughty Trois'
(pronounced TWAHS) all over
again...minus one.
                                                            
Gift begins to chant a verse from their one only hit song
and Stacey joins in.
                                                            
                       GIFT
"Work it from the back. I like it
like that. I don't even wanna
spend time."
                                                            
                       GIFT
Look. Latest issue of the source.
We're famous again. We made
number thirty-nine on the fifty
greatest one hit wonders.
                                                            

16.

Gift pulls out the latest issue of SOURCE MAGAZINE and shows
Stacey an article about their now defunct rap group--THE
NAUGHTY TROIS.'
                                                            
                       STACEY
Look at us. That's unbelievable.
Too bad we signed away all our
royalties to that asshole of a
manager we had; Mello-D. Weren't
we some dumb asses. You live and
you learn.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Ain't that the truth.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You talk to Nikki?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Been a while. Last I heard she
was living in Texas...married with
kids.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (sincerely)
Good for her.
                                                            
                       GIFT
So what do you say Stace. As they
say in the south...you ready to
get this party crunk?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'll think about it Gift.
                                                            
 
INT. DINING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
DOROTHY STORM sits in the center and her two daughters sit
on opposite sides of an intimate oak table and dine. Stacey
reaches for a bowl of spaghetti and spoons some on her
plate.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ooh! Nothing like your spaghetti
momma. Delicious.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
Glad you enjoy it. If I could get
your sister to eat a little more,
she might put some weight on that
little bitty frame of hers.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
I'm trying to cut down on the
carbs.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (remembering)
Oh. Momma, this is for you.
                                                            
Reaching in her purse, she pulls out a small box and hands
it to her mother.
                                                            

17.

                       STACEY (CONT'D.)
Happy Birthday.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
Thank you Stacey.
                                                            
Her mother opens it and pulls out the present. Inside, are
two gold hoop ear rings.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I know how you like jewelry.
                                                            
Stacey resumes eating and Delilah sips from a glass of water
and winces at Stacey's present.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
They're beautiful.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (to Delilah)
What'd you get her?
                                                            
                       DELILAH
It's around her neck.
                                                            
Zooming in on her mother's neck, we see a beautiful diamond
necklace obviously priced in excess of ten thousand dollars.
Stacey's awe quickly turns into disgust at the capitalist
gesture of endearment.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
So I heard through the grapevine
someone just got offered a
professorship at NYU. Impressive.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. And I turned it down.
                                                            
Dorothy looks confused and Delilah stares at Stacey in
disbelief.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
You did what?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I turned it down.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
But Stacey. I don't understand.
Why didn't you want to. I'm sure
it pays well.
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's not what I wanna do momma.
I'm gonna be starting my own
practice after graduation. That's
where my heart is.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
And when are you graduating?
                                                            

18.

                       STACEY
Not sure yet? My internship got
cancelled until this fall. It's
the last thing I need.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
So what do you plan on doing all
summer?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (hesitant)
I don't know. I've been thinking
about going to work with Gift on a
project she's doing.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
GIFT. What are ya'll gonna
do...start rapping again.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
Delilah please.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Listen. When someone offers you
something as prestigous as a
faculty position at a reputable
school like NYU, you don't just
tell 'em you'll HOLLA BACK. Are
you NUTS?
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
That's enough Delilah. Stacy just
think about what you're doing
honey. Think about what's
practical.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I have thought about it momma. I
have a hard time doing things I
don't really wanna do. I've
always been this way. You know
that.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Nah. You've always been crazy is
what you've been. And you really
flipped since that boy dumped your
tail.
                                                            
                       DOROTHY
Stop it. Stop it right now. Me
and you all's father, God rest his
soul, did not bring you here to
treat one another like this. You
all have got to learn how to treat
each other like sisters. I'm
appalled.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
I'm sorry momma.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Me too.
                                                            

19.

                       DOROTHY
I have done the best I could to
raise you two without him. It's
been taxing trying to do it all
alone. But trust me, that man
loved both of you like you would
not believe and he wouldn't wanna
see this. He wouldn't. Don't
dishonor his memory this way.
                                                            
 
INT. CENTER - RECEPTION AREA - DAY
                                                            
Breezing through the reception area, Stacey enters carrying
her book bag. Dexter greets her.
                                                            
                       DEXTER
Miss Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (rushing)
Hey Dex.
                                                            
                       DEXTER
You listen to the CD yet?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Nah. Been kinda busy. I'll get to
it. I promise.
                                                            
 
INT. CLASS ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Consuela sits tapping on a computer along side a few other
youths. Stacey saddles up to her
                                                            
                       STACEY
Just the person I'm looking for.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
Hey Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I brought you something.
                                                            
Pulls book from bag.
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's a guide to cooking schools.
It's got all the major cooking
schools in the city. Also a lot
about financial aid, career
development...everything. I want
you to have it.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
Thanks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Don't just take it and put it on
the shelf. I want you to use it.
                                                            
                       CONSUELA
I will.
                                                            
 

20.

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT
                                                            
Twirling her wine glass by the stem in one hand; her other
limb propped on the table with her hand resting on her her
face, Delilah stares a hole in Stacey as they convene for a
sister to sister talk in a swank restaurant. There's a
MODEST CROWD seated enjoying dinner.

The establishment has a barouque feel to it with taupe
tapestry to compliment. Stacey's been summoned and she is
eager to hear what her sister has to say. She is nibbling
on a salad and sipping tea.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
The reason I called this meeting
was to relay to you how
unfortunate it was at momma's
house the other day. I mean I
really feel terrible about it.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes. It was very unfortunate.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
You know sometimes in life you
have to tell people things that
are not necessarily the most
popular thing in the world--yet
still necessary.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Is that an apology?
                                                            
                       DELILAH
I don't have to apologize to you.
                                                            
Stacey mutters under her breath.
                                                            
                       DELILAH (CONT'D)
As your older sister, it's my
responsiblity to look after you.
Make sure YOU make the right
decisions.
                                                            
                       STACEY
No it's not. I am a capable,
intelligent, grown woman. I can
make decisions all by myself.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Let's face it. You've made some
bad decisions in the past and you
know it. Who bailed you out of
that legal mess with your little
rap group, huh? ME. Who let you
stay with them when that boy you
were engaged to dropped you.
ME...co-signed for you to get an
apartment.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Delilah, I've always appreciated
everything you've done for me. You
KNOW that. But you can't live my
life for me. I have to do that.
            (MORE)

21.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
Don't get it twisted.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Yeah. Don't get it twisted. So.
(sips some wine)
Are you gonna take the
professorship or what?
                                                            
                       STACEY
No.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
I'm gonna go to the restroom. When
I come back, I expect to hear a
different answer than the one I
just heard.
                                                            
Delilah excuses herself and heads away momentarily only to
come back seconds later.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
You know what...I don't even know
why I'm bothering to think you
might change your mind. So why
don't you just go back to lighting
your incense, writing you poetry,
listening to your neo soul and all
the rest of the crazy shit you do.
You'll never change.
                                                            
Delilah reaches for her wine glass and slings the wine in
Stacey's face. Floored, Stacey reaches for her face and
slowly wipes the liquid off with her hand.

                                                            
DELILAH MARCHES OFF
                                                            
Stacey catapults from her seat and shadows her, turns her
shoulder around and pushes her sister hard in the chest.
Delilah responds with a shove of her own.

BYSTANDERS are in awe as the two struggle in a clinch.
Finally, the MATRIE D steps in to break them up.
                                                            
 
EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - DAY
                                                            
Stacey is facing Walter talking next to some steps. Students
are going back and forth, to and from classes behind the
two.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ya' know...you deserve so much
better than me. You're a great
guy. I don't wanna bring you any
closer into my chaos.
                                                            
                       WALTER
      (intensely)
What are you telling me Stacey?
                                                            

22.

                       STACEY
I'm saying, I'm getting outta here
for a little while and I don't
want you to wait for me to get
back. I want you to go--free
yourself.
                                                            
                       WALTER
Stacey. Where's this coming from?
                                                            
                       STACEY
My internship got cancelled
Walter. Plus I've got some more
things going on. So I'm going to
help a friend out with a project
down south. I'm saying it's time
for US to cease.
                                                            
                       WALTER
So that's how you handle your
problems, by running away? Just
rolling out when you get stressed.
I thought we were building
something special. I thought we
were getting closer. I care about
you Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Walter, you don't want me. I am
SO messed up. If you only knew. I
mean, you're the fourth guy I've
been with in the past two years.
I'm not for you. Just accept it
and let's part as friends. It'll
do us both some good.
                                                            
Stacey puts her right hand over her heart and then places it
on his chest then begins to walk off.
                                                            
                       WALTER
This just doesn't make sense. Why
are you doing this Stacey? Why
now?
                                                            
Stacey continues to walk until Walter hurls a question that
stops her dead in her tracks:
                                                            
                       WALTER
What are you running away from?
                                                            
STACEY STOPS WALKING AND TURNS AROUND
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (stumped)
That's a good question.
                                                            
TURNS AND CONTINUES HER STROLL
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            

23.

We see Stacey packing a suit-case with some clothes.

She zips the bag shut.

Stacey retrieves her book of poetry from her bookshelf and
carrys it her her hand.

She grabs a box of chammomile tea from her shelf.

Turns off the light to her apartment and closes the door.
                                                            
 
EXT. DEPARTMENT STORE - DAY
                                                            
From the outside window, we see Gift hanging some women's
outfits on a rack. Stacey comes in and Gift is shocked to
see her. The two embrace.
                                                            
 
EXT. CITY STREET - DAY
                                                            
Anxiously, Gift struts down the street briefing Stacey on
the show.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Now, I met with them yesterday
about everything...said the people
they've had to this point have
been total scrubs. They said they
were looking for something that
would capture people's attention.
Let's just be ourselves. We know
how to talk, right.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Of course we can.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Girl. We got this. We from New
Yawk.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
A female dee jay, VICKIE MOSS, is standing wearing some
headphones looking rather non-chalant. She's a well
seasoned, old school dee jay. Gift is seated in front of
MIC ONE and Stacey seated behind MIC TWO.
                                                            
                       VICKIE
I'll be glad when they get
somebody to fill this slot. This
is really wearing on me. They
gon' have to start paying for my
babysitter. All right. Here's the
cue.
                                                            
The station jingle stops and Vickie begins to speak.
                                                            
                       VICKIE
All right, you're back listening
to WDEL,103FM, the smooth sound of
R & B. This is Vickie Moss, into
the night. Kickin' thangs off
with Ms. Gift here...who brought
            (MORE)

24.

                       VICKIE (cont'd)
along a guest host. They're gonna
be fielding your calls tonight
about love, relationships and all
that good stuff. Let's see we're
gonna open the lines right about
now. Caller you're on the air.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Yeah. I was seeing if somebody
had some advice for me. I've been
seeing this lady for a couple of
months. I've bought her a few
nice presents like a watch and a
bracelet...flowers every Friday. I
admit I enjoy spoiling a woman.
Anyway, it's like she's becoming
used to it. If I don't get her
anything when I see her, it's like
she has an attitude. Like I owe
her something.
                                                            
Looking serious, Gift listens. Stacey looks almost amused.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER (CONT'D)
I mean...I can't figure her out.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Okay. Why don't you have a talk
with her? Tell her how you feel.
Tell her that you don't like the
way she acts when you don't get
her anything. Expressing your
feelings to her might make things
better. Don't you think?
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
I've tried that and it didn't help
out. I'm pretty down about the
whole thing.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Why don't you try again. Only
this time be a little more
agressive.
                                                            
Gift, running out of things to say, motions for Stacey to
join the conversation. Alerted, Stacey speaks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes. Brother, what'd you say your
name was?
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Terrence.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Terrence. So tell me...how long
have you known this zoo keeper?
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
      (alarmed)
Zoo keeper...she works at a
hospital. She's a nurse.
                                                            

25.

                       STACEY
Nah. Sounds like to me. She's a
zoo keeper. Yeah. She wants
aligators on her feet. A mink on
her back. A bull in the bed. A
jaguar to drive and a monkey like
you to pay for it all. Brother
take some good advice. Stop
buying her anything. Stop calling
her. Stop doing it all. Leave
this zoo keeper in the zoo with
the rest of the animals.
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
CARL PETERSON, program manager at the radio station, is
reading a newspaper. Peterson is a smart, ambitious black
businessman. His interest is peaked when he hears Stacey.

He gets up from his seat and strolls over to the studio
window and keeps listening--curious.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
                       VICKIE
Okay. Let's take our next call.
Caller you're on the air.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Yeah. I'm just calling to tell
you that I'm really digging this
show and all. It's different and
I like it. But is this show just
for people having problems with
their relationships or is it to
talk about the good stuff too.
                                                            
                       GIFT
No. Please feel free to discuss
anything you'd like. As long as
it's about relationships.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
I just wanna tell everyone that my
man is one of those one hundred
percent, all you could ask for
type of brothers...and I'm not
just talking about in the bedroom.
I'm talking about all around. He
cares for me, treats me
well...shares my heartaches and my
joys...comforts me when I need it.
                                                            
With her eyes shut, Stacey attempts to imagine this "spoken
of" man.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
He's just all that. More than I
could ask for or ever want. He's
my heart.
                                                            

26.

                       GIFT
So he's more than a bowl of chili,
right...he's like shrimp gumbo.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
      (small laugh)
Exactly.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Aren't you the lucky one.
Everybody just don't have it like
that. I know I don't. But what
you need to do is do your very
best to keep him. Don't lose him,
cause there's a whole lot of
schemers out there who'll try to
take your good thing away.
                                                            
Again, Gift looks for Stacey's input.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (responding)
Sista' let me ask you something.
Can you feel this brotha even when
he's gone?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Oh yeah.
                                                            
                       STACEY
If he was a thousand miles away,
could you still feel his touch?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
You better believe it.
                                                            
Stacey's eyes close and she drifts to another place.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hmmm. I know the type.
                                                            
RECITING A POEM
                                                            
                       STACEY
What manner of man is this?
With the very look of his eyes
makes my temperature rise.
A man who warms me when I'm cold.
Who can speak to my physical as
well as to my soul.
What manner of man is this?
                                                            
Gift quickly thumbs through some CD's on the rack and grabs
one and places it in the player. Rhythmic bass riffs play
over the airwaves. Peterson looks on amused.
                                                            
                       STACEY (CONT'D)
A man so MANLY, he doesn't need a
manual on manhood.
A man who listens. A man who
cares. A man who says AMAN after
MY prayers. What manner of man is
this?
A man who when I hug him I feel
him in my spirit...my heart...my
            (MORE)

27.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
bones.
A man who can walk on the waters
of my heart and never make me feel
like I'm alone. What manner of
man is this?
A man cut above most men.
A man who's clean-cut and who
showers.
A man who's straight...not gay.
A man who takes what I say to
heart and never reminds me of the
things his momma used to say. What
manner of man is this?
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Peterson, is seated behind his desk with Stacey's
application in front of him holding a pen. Stacey is
slumped down in a chair in front of him.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Ten years in radio, ten years and
that's probably the best segment
I've heard yet.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Thanks.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
It says here you're working on
your PhD...teach at a youth
center. You certainly seem very
capable.
(beat)
Look. I don't wanna waste anymore
of your time. I wanna offer you
the spot to host the show.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (chuckles)
Mr. Peterson. Maybe you don't
understand. I'm just here helping
a friend out...Gift. I'm just in
town for a little while. If you
offer the job to anyone it should
be her; not me. This is her idea.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
You mean that other girl in there.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
No offense, but that's not what
we're looking for. We wanna bring
to life the love songs we play
here and we're looking for a
unique personality who can make
that happen. Someone who can
relate to our audience and can
talk to those callers and make
them feel like they're really
            (MORE)

28.

                       PETERSON (cont'd)
special. Ya' know. Someone with
that (snaps his fingers) magic. I
think that person is you Stacey
Storm. (pointing)
                                                            
                       STACEY
Look. That's cool and all but,
I'm just not interested in being
on the radio.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
It pays well. I'll give you a
thousand to sign on for thirty
days. And another seven hundred
weekly for three hours of work a
night. You can't beat that.
                                                            
Stacey sighs.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Something deep down tells me you
have a passion to help people.
This is your big chance.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. I'll do it. But only on
one condition...Gift will have to
be a part of it.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
She can screen the calls.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Gift and Stacey are face to face chatting. We pick up their
conversation.
                                                            
                       GIFT
They want YOU to host the show.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. But I told Peterson the
only way I would do it is if
you're involved. He wants you to
screen the calls and stuff.
(beat)
I won't do 'dis if you're not cool
with it.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Are you kidding? That's great
Stacey. (hugs Stacey) All I ever
wanted was a foot in the door. And
I got it thanks to you.
                                                            
 
EXT. NEW YORK CITY - STREET - DAY
                                                            
Consuela is standing outside of an abortion clinic
contemplating going in. After some thought, she approaches
the door and opens it.
                                                            
 

29.

INT. CLINIC - DAY
                                                            
Nervously, Consuela walks in and looks around. There are
FOUR TEEN GIRLS seated in the waiting room, they all look
frightened. THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW plays on a TV anchored
in the wall.

A RECEPTIONIST sits at a desk and does not acknowledge
Consuela. She thinks about sitting but is unable to.

Catching a glance at some literature on a stand, she grabs a
pamphlet and looks at it. Sickened, she turns around and
heads for the door with her head down weeping. She exits.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey is seated behind MIC ONE. Gift is by the phones on
the opposite of the console, seated slightly behind Stacey's
left with a pair of headphones on.
                                                            
                       STACEY
How's everyone doing tonight? I'm
Stacey Storm. We're gonna be
taking your calls up until the
midnight hour tonight. We're here
to talk about this love thang we
all seem to struggle with at
times. Ya' feel me. Let's see
who got up first.
                                                            
                       GIFT
It's Tonya from the east side.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Go ahead Tonya. You're on the
air.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Yes. I've got a problem. Maybe
you can help. There's this man I
work with and we've been kicking
it after work. Ya know? He is so
fine and he's a perfect gentleman.
There's only one problem.
                                                            
                       STACEY
What's that?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
He's married.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. That's not one problem,
that's a whole book of problems.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Okay. I know I'm wrong, but look.
I love him. He told me he was
going to leave his wife. He said
he loves me too.
                                                            

30.

                       STACEY
Listen. If he loved you like he
claimed, he would have left his
wife already. Let me give you some
good advice sista.' Go into your
closet and pull out a pair of your
best sneakers. The next time you
see him, run away from him as fast
as you can. You're playing a very
dangerous game. What happens if
his wife is Laqueesha from the
South Bronx and
goes upside yo' head with a one of
his golf clubs. It's only one
place this little fling is gonna
leave you. Heart broken. You wit'
me.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
      (conceding)
Yeah. I guess you're right.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You know I'm right. You just
needed validation. Have a good
night.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Kim from the ATL.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Let's talk to Kim...Greetings Kim
you're on the air.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Yes. I've got a problem. I've
been with my boyfriend for four
years. And I'm ready to get
married. Every time I talk to him
about it, he makes excuses and
says stuff like "Why do you wanna
mess up a good thing?" We've
broken up about six times since
we've been together and every time
we make up he acts like it's my
fault...like I'm trying to push
him into something he doesn't
wanna do. I just don't know what
to do.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ah, Kim. I wish I could bring you
better news than I'm about to give
but unfortunately the truth is
sometimes bitter. It's not gonna
happen. He's stringing you along
and you don't even see it. This is
the game the brotha's play. I
don't know why they do it. I don't
even think they know why they do
it. I think they keep thinking
Janet Jackson is gonna come their
way one day and they wanna be
available. My advice: get away
from him and get some space where
            (MORE)

31.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
you can go and rejuvenate. Heal
thyself my sista' and breathe
again.
                                                            
Stacey presses a button and SILLY by DENEICE WILLIAMS begins
to play.
                                                            
GIFT TO STACEY
                                                            
                       GIFT
I got Peterson on the line...he
wants to speak with you.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Let me play a song for you guys.
                                                            
Stacey presses a button and "SILLY" by DENEICE WIILAMS
begins to play.
                                                            
INTO THE MIC
                                                            
                       STACEY
Mr. Peterson.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Stacey, just wanted tell you
youíre doing great. Keep it up.
And listen pump up the show as
much as you guys can...fliers,
emails whatever. You guys have
got just as much a vested interest
in this as anyone. Iím working on
something big that Iíll let you
guys in on later.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Cool. See ya.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Kamal from mid-state corrections.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Alright we're back. Let's talk to
Kamal. Good evening Kamal you're
on the air.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
      (radical)
Please. Can you give me some
advice on how to get along with
the greatest whore in the whole
world. I'm talking about the
United States Government. The
great harlot and fornicator of the
past two hundred years. The
destroyer of all that's
righteous...the killer of Patrice
Lumumba, Paul Robeson, Marcus
Garvey, Martin Luther King,
Malcolm X. The great--
                                                            

32.

                       STACEY
      (interupting)
Brotha' that's another subject for
another place and another time.
We're talking about love here.
Bye, bye now.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Larry from Germantown.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hey Larry what's on your mind
tonight?
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
      (low voice)
What color panties you got on?
                                                            
Stacey, taken off guard, looks at Gift with a wide mouth.
                                                            
 
EXT. DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE - STREET - NIGHT
                                                            
Gift leads Stacey down the street to a local coffee house;
KIJIJIís.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where you got me going to, Gift?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Weíre going to Open Mic at
Kijijiís. You still do spoken
word, right?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Címon man. Itís been years since
I've been on stage.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Youíre not gonna be up there
alone. We gettiní ready to go
Naughty Troisí on Ďem.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (nagging)
Gift.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Peterson said we have to get
publicity for the show. (holds up
some fliers) Hereís our chance.
                                                            
Stacey is apprehensive.

CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. KIJIJI'S COFFEE HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
LOU RILEY is finishing up "FOR ALL WE KNOW" by DONNY
HATHAWAY. He sings to an acoustic guitar played by A
MUSICIAN.
The house is standing room only.

33.


DEE REVOLUTION takes the stage after the performance.
                                                            
                       DEE REVOLUTION
Letís give it up for Lou Riley.
                                                            
The crowd chants LOOOOO. LOOOOO.
                                                            
                       DEE REVOLUTION
Yo. Yaíll all right.
                                                            
The crowd responds affirmatively.
                                                            
                       DEE REVOLUTION
All right. Next, coming to the
Stage we have Stacey Storm and
Gift Summers. So letís give it up
for Ďem.
                                                            
The crowd applauds. Stacey has to be nudged by Gift to take
the stage. Gift corners Stacey and questions her.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Whatís the name of the piece?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Jeez Gift. I donít know. (thinks
of a piece)
                                                            
                       GIFT
Címon.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (suspect)
ďCan a Sista' Find Her Mista.'Ē
                                                            
Gift grabs the mic and immediately breaks into song.
                                                            
CAN A SISTAí FIND HER MISTAí
                                                            
Stacey looks at Gift in amazement, but knows she has to
perform now. She moves over to the mic. Gift sings the
chorus while Stacey recites.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Can a sistaí find her mista.'
Cause, boy I been missing you for
days.
Your funny smile and your goofy
ways.
My cries, my laughs, my bubble
baths.
My massages that make me whole;
not half.
Can a sistaí find her mista.'
My mista' lova lova. My mista'
valentine.
My mista' peppermint. My mistaí
sunshine.
I gotta have you mista.' I gotta
bring you back to me.
Cause outta all the mistaís out
there.
Youíre the one I wanna see.
Can a sista find her mista.í
            (MORE)

34.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
I lost you somewhere...somewhere
along the way.
Iím begging you to come back.
Iím begging you to stay.
I want you back mista.' I wanna
feel your touch.
I miss the things we used to do
mista.' You know that such and
such.
(Stacey joins Gift in song)
CAN A SISTAí FIND HER MISTAí
CAN A SISTAí FIND HER MISTAí
Yo. Check out our show every
night on WDEL 103FM where we talk
about relationships.
                                                            
THE CROWD APPLAUDS LOUDLY. Gift hands out some fliers to
the crowd from the stage.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey and Gift are almost at the end of another shift and
are fielding the lasts calls.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Jackie from the north side.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hey Jackie. You're on the air.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Yeah. I've been seeing this dude
for about three weeks now and I
really wanna be intimate with him.
But I don't want him to think I
just give it up to anybody...ya'
know what I'm saying. I mean I do
want him to wait, but I really
wanna get with him.
                                                            
                       STACEY
How does he feel? Has he been
trying?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Oh yeah. I've been strong so far,
but I'm about to give in.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You get the thumbs up award
tonight my dear. There's not a lot
of women left like you these days.
My advice: keep doing what you,
doing. If he really wants you, let
him wait. Here's a little secret
I'm gonna let you in on. Men will
find you more irresistible if you
make them wait. But you have to do
it the right way. You've gotta
tease 'em with it. It's kinda like
saying, Yes, I have been intimate
in the past. I love intimacy, but
            (MORE)

35.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
I'm just not ready to give YOU
none yet. What will really drive
them up the wall is if you tell
them about one of your encounters.
Not too much. Just enough so
they'll know thatóhey, you can put
it on 'em if you want to. Ya' feel
me. Make him wait girl.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Teddy from the south side.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (look of disgust)
That's that same drunk fool who
called the other night. Do we
have to take this one?
                                                            
                       GIFT
This'll be our last one.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good evening Teddy. You're on the
air.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
      (drunk rambling)
Yeah sista' I've been trying to
get this woman on the same page
with me for the longest time. We
got to arguing the other night. So
I tells her that look, I got this.
I pays the lights...I pays the
rent...I pays the cable...I
pays...
                                                            
                       STACEY
Teddy. We gotta wind it up...
Itís almost Midnight.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
But sista' let me tell you this
right here sista.'
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's almost Midnight.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
C'mon SISTAHHH.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Midnight, Teddy, Midnight.
(sips tea from a mug).
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
A'ight Sista' Midnight.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (stops sipping)
Wait a minute. What'd you call
me?
                                                            

36.

                       MALE CALLER
Sista' Midnight. That's yo' name
ain't it?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (staring into
       space)
I like it.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Seated in from of a vanity, Stacey slowly applies some dark
eye shadow.

                                                            
CLOSE - LIPS
                                                            
Stacey rubs a dark, plum colored lipstick on.
                                                            
CLOSE - EAR
                                                            
She puts on a gold hoop ear ring.
                                                            
FRONT
                                                            
Stacey slips on a black silk shawl with a broach attached to
to the left shoulder.
                                                            
CLOSE - HAND
                                                            
She slides on a black, sheer, fingerless lingerie glove on
her right hand.
                                                            
CLOSE - RING FINGER
                                                            
She slides a gold ruby ring on her finger on her left hand.
                                                            
Finally, We see Stacey's hand moving away from her head and
she now dons a black fedora hat she just placed on.

She looks in the mirror and grins. Her transformation is
complete. Stacey bears a striking resemblance to Sheila E
from the mid-eighties.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Inside the studio, there are three candles lit stationed
north, east and west of Stacey. Some incense burns as well.

Stacey speaks into the mic with a slightly altered voice; a
litle lower and more compassionate. Smooth jazz plays in
the background.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hello all you lovers out there.
You're listening to The Temple of
Love. And this is your high
priestess...sssssSista' Midnight.
We'll be with you until the
midnight hour and we're here to
help you with these strange
relationships we find ourselves in
            (MORE)

37.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
from time to time. This is an
intimate gathering for those like
minded souls who need a place to
gather collectively. Do you
follow? We're that oasis in the
sand that will take you by the
hand and lead you beside the still
waters. So cuddle up to someone or
something warm and let's have a
nice little chat tonight. My girl
Gift is with us tonight. Hey
Gift.
                                                            
Gift waves her hand in astonishment.
                                                            
                       STACEY (CONT'D)
Let's see. Who we got up first?
                                                            
                       GIFT
It's Michelle from the Antioch.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good evening Michelle. You're on
The Temple of Love.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Yeah. Can you tell me how I can
get a man? Everyone I meet
they're either involved, married,
uninterested or just straight
crazy. What do you suggest?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ah...That's an age old question a
lot of sista's struggle with.
Check this out. I'm gonna let you
in on a secret. There are men are
out there. You don't have to
search. They'll come to you. But
here's the key. You have to be the
best YOU you can be; mind, body
and spirit. In other words you
gotta stand out. When men are
looking for a true companion,
sometimes looks take a back seat
and other things ride up front
like gentleness. A listening ear.
A compliment. Sometimes you gotta
think outside the box. Don't just
go to the club. Go to
unconventional places like car
shows, art exhibits...plays. You'd
be shocked at what you'd find.
Take it from Sista' Midnight.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Jill from Marietta.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good evening Jill. Welcome to The
Temple.
                                                            

38.

                       STACEY
      (distraught)
Sista' Midnight. My husband just
walked out on me and my two kids.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh no. What happened?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
He fell in love with another
woman. THEY'RE crying. I'M
crying. I don't really feel good
about myself right now. (tearing
up) I'm thinking abut some real
bad things right now.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You got family here?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
My mother.
                                                            
INT. CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
A MAN is adjusting the station on his radio as he drives
down the road. He hears the show and listens.
                                                            
INT. BEAUTY SHOP - NIGHT
                                                            
A WOMAN styling hair on ANOTHER WOMAN turns the radio
station from a hip-hop song and hears Stacey speaking and
listens. OTHER CUSTOMERS listen also.
                                                            
INT. DORM ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
A FEMALE STUDENT is reading a book listening to the show.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Call moms and tell her the kids
need to come over there for the
night. You gotta get outta that
house. There's too much negative
energy in there. Go over to the
ER and tell 'em that you need to
talk someone about the way you
feel. They'll let you stay
overnight and tend to you.
Afterwards, I want you to go to
the bookstore and get "Acts of
Faith" and read it daily. Then
get you a box of chamomoile tea
and drink it daily. All this'll
do you a world of good. Let me a
play a song for ya'll. Hopefully,
this'll bring some cheer. Enjoy.
                                                            
Stacey's puts on STEVIE WONDER'S "ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE."
                                                            
                       GIFT
Stacey, the phones are blowing up.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (smiling)
Let's roll 'em up.
                                                            

39.

DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE SUITES/HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
Delilah is slowly walking with a MALE and a FEMALE talking
to them about an account with her firm. Delilah epitomizes
professionalism in her demeanor. GOLD LETTERING with the
name BURTON AND RANCE MARKETING is stationed on the wall
behind her.
                                                            
                       STACEY
...and so we feel here at Burton
and Rance that the client is not
only right, they should be at the
front and center of all decision
making regarding their account. So
our primary role here is that
similar to a coach; to guide you
with the best plan to acheive your
goals.
                                                            
An EXECUTIVE passes by and summons Delilah.
                                                            
                       EXECUTIVE
Delilah, when you're done, Thad
wants to see you.
                                                            
Delilah nods.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
      (to the customers)
Do you have any questions?
                                                            
The male customer extends his hand and shakes Delilah.
                                                            
                       MALE CUSTOMER
I think we've found a home here at
Burton and Rance.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Excellent. We'll set you up in
our system and get started right
away. I'll be in touch.
                                                            
Delilah heads down the hallway and enters a large office.
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
THAD NEESE, vice-president of sales, stands behind his desk
with an ominous look on his face.
                                                            
                       THAD
Delilah...please come in and have
a seat.
                                                            
Delilah sits in front of his desk.
                                                            
                       THAD
You know I've never held anything
back in the past so I'll be candid
with you. The firm's business is
not up to par...hasn't been for
the past three quarters. We're
            (MORE)

40.

                       THAD (cont'd)
making some cuts and you're in
that group.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
      (floored)
Thad. As much business as I've
brought to this firm you're gonna
let ME go?
                                                            
                       THAD
You know how the game works...last
hired--first fired. You're on the
bottom half of seniority
here...you know that.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
When's the effective date?
                                                            
                       THAD
Immediately.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
So just like that it's over. I've
single handedly brought in
miilions of dollars of revenue and
it's finished in the blink of an
eye.
                                                            
                       THAD
It's not like it's gone unnoticed
or unappreciated. I'll do
everything I can for you to see
you get a stipend package to last
you until you find something else.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
      (standing up)
Don't worry with welfare Thad. I
can take care of myself.
                                                            
Delilah begins to march off.
                                                            
                       THAD
Delilah, don't burn any bridges
you may need to cross later.
                                                            
Delilah looks back and wants to respond but does not
recognizing the power in the statement. She shuts the door.
                                                            
 
INT. RADIO STATION - BOARD ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Peterson is seated across from Stacey and Gift at a long
brown executive table with leather seats. He rolls his
glasses around by the ear holder.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
      (gleeful)
Just wanted to let you guys know
the show is taking off. We've
gotten the attention of some major
players...UNITY MEDIA. They wanna
look at taking the show national.
                                                            

41.

Gift looks excited. Stacey is surprised.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
The only thing is they wanna be
certain they have a sure bet. So
we need to generate more
publicity. I've taken the liberty
of condensing the calls to a
manuscript so we can actually
publish a book of the best calls
from the show. It's gonna be a
goldmine. You've got a photo
shoot coming up. And we're gonna
start a big ad campaign.
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
We see Stacey giving advice to callers.

DISSOLVE TO:

More advice by Stacey.

DISSOLVE TO:

A laughing Stacey on a DIFFERENT NIGHT.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
Stacey taking a live call.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Go ahead caller. You're on the
air.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
      (crying)
Yes. Sista' Midnight. I'm the
caller who called the other night.
I was desparate and you told me
to get outta the house and talk to
someone. I've been reading "Acts
of Faith." I just wanted to tell
you that...
(beat)
I wanted to tell you...you saved
my life.
                                                            
Stacey places her hand over her mouth and tears up in joy.
Gift points her finger at her with a fake gun and pulls the
trigger. Suddenly, we hear "NDEEP'S, LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED
MY LIFE."
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            
 
INT. PHOTO STUDIO - DAY
                                                            
We see Stacey taking photos with different poses.

She wears different outfits. First, a funky red, sleek

42.

outfit with her black fedora.

Secondly, a white leather jumpsuit.

Thirdly, a rainbow colored shawl with a brown leather
farmer's hat and faded jeans.
                                                            
 
EXT. STREET - DAY
                                                            
A Nashville MTA bus rides down the street with a picture of
Sista' Midnight on it. The caption reads: SISTA' MIDNIGHT,
TEMPLE OF LOVE NIGHTS 9 - 12.

CUT TO:

A TENNESSEAN NEWSPAPER with a picture of Sista' Midnight on
the front of Living section.
                                                            
INT. BOARD ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Peterson meets with THREE EXECUTIVES from Unity Media. He
spells out his plans on a flip chart with charts and graphs.
The executives shake their heads impressed.

                                                            
 
INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY
                                                            
Seated at a table, Stacey is signing copies of the Sista'
Midnight book. Gift is by her side.
                                                            
 
INT. CLUB - NIGHT
                                                            
In a packed club, Stacey and Gift are tearing up the dance
floor. Dancing side by side with SEVERAL MEN around.
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            
 
INT. HOME OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Delilah sits and types her resume on a PC. We see the
following words being typed: DELILAH STORM PROFESSIONAL
EXPERIENCE.

PAN TO:

Delilah's face looks intensely at the monitor.

CUT TO:

CLOSE - NEWSPAPER AD

We see Delilah's hand circling the following ads with a
black pen: MARKETING EXEC WANTED, VICE PRESIDENT OF
MARKETING and AD EXECUTIVE NEEDED.
                                                            
 

43.

INT. OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Standing, Delilah is in a small office talking to A MAN. The
man shakes his head as if to say "I'M SORRY."

CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Delilah meets with A MAN. They are both seated. He bows
his head down,then raises it and slowly shakes his head.
                                                            
 
INT. YOUTH CENTER - DAY
                                                            
The book Stacey gave Consuela sits beside her as she fills
out an application for cooking school on a desk.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Thumbing through her mail, Delilah stops on a handwritten
letter she immediately recognizes as Stacey's writing on an
envelope. It reads: DELILAH STORM, 400 EASTBROOK NY, NY
13203.

She opens it and she pulls out the contents. It's seven one
hundred dollar bills. She opens the note that was inside
and it says: LOVE STACEY. Delilah puts the money back in
the envelope and silently weeps.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey is seated behind Mic one and Gift is taking calls.
Stacy wears an Egyptian beaded head ornament that swaddles
her crown.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Welcome all you loverís out there.
Once again youíve tuned into the
sanctuary called The Temple of
Love. And this is your high
priestess, sssssssSista Midnight.
The jam in the background is none
other than the ultra-smooth golden
sax of Mr. Dexter Flye.
                                                            
INT. AUTOMOBILE Ė NIGHT
                                                            
Delilah listens to the radio. She hears Stacey talking and
adjusts the volume on the dial. Amazed.
                                                            
INT. YOUTH CENTER - RECEPTION DESK - NIGHT
                                                            
Dexter listens to the radio and hears Stacey call his name.
He spits out the coffee he is drinking back into the cup.
                                                            
                       STACEY (CONT'D)
Iím your friendly guide on this
journey where we explore all of
your questions, concerns and
comments about love, relationships
and all that jazz. We want you to
            (MORE)

44.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
feel comfortable inside the walls
of the inner sanctuary where we
come face to face with love. So
whatever it takes for you to feel
at home, please do so. High
priestess number two, Gift, is
also here. Sheíll talk to you
first to see if youíre worthy to
enter.
The phone lines are open. Who
wants to talk to Sistaí Midnight?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Dana from Clarksville.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Letís talk to Dana in Clarksville.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Sistaí Midnight, for the life of
me, I can not get my man to listen
to me. Every time I try and talk
to him about something, itís like
he tunes me out. I mean I could
be telling him something one
minute and the next minute Iíll
ask I him what I said and heís
totally blank...like heís brain
dead or something. He wonít
listen.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ah. Problem number one here in
The Temple: getting your man to
listen. A lot of times men tune
us out because theyíre mind is
focused on what they deem more
important things like working,
hustling, the game on TV.
Listening to their counterparts is
secondary. And yaí know we got
admit sometimes we as women get
into too much small talk with our
men. They donít wanna here about
every little detail of every
little bit of our day, every
little conversation and every
little thing we do. Men are big
thinkers who think about bigger
things. But if you really have
something to tell him thatís
really important and you need him
to hear you, hereís a great way to
get his attention. Go to him,
raise his hands up to his waist
and grab him by the wrists (feigns
the action) pretty hard and slowly
say ďI have something to tell
you.Ē Youíve done two things.
First, youíve gotten his
attention. Secondly, youíve now
entered his zone, where
subconsciously he feels
threatened. So now he HAS to
            (MORE)

45.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
listen. Try it sistaí and see if
it works for ya.í
                                                            
                       GIFT
Helen from Brentwood.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Letís go to Helen from Brentwood.
Welcome to The Temple Helen.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Sista' Midnight, Iíve got a
question. I believe my husband is
cheating on me. How can I find
out for sure?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Thatís unfortunate you think that.
The number one tale tell sign
your mate is cheating on you is
CHANGE OF BEHAVIOR or lack of
interest when it comes to you. If
youíre extra sweet to him, fix his
favorite meal, give him a bath and
a massage and he still picks a
fight with you and just doesnít
have peace of mind, chances are
thereís another woman. This is a
delicate subject and one I really
donít wanna give advice on but
thatís how you tell.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Ben from Buckhead.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Let's go to Ben from Buckhead.
You're on the air.
                                                            
                       BEN
Finish this line. Mirror, mirror
on the wall...
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (thinking)
Hmm. What is the reason that you
called?
                                                            
                       BEN
A poet...and a comedian. I like
that.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I am a Gemini. I do have a dual
nature. What brings you to The
Temple tonight?
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm standing here at the gates of
The Temple contemplating the
definiton of love...any ideas?
                                                            

46.

                       STACEY
I don't think anyone can do that.
But why don't you come into the
inner sanctuary with me and let's
discuss it.
                                                            
                       BEN
Okay. Let me ask you this...define
God.
                                                            
                       STACEY
God. The supreme being. Head of my
life.
                                                            
                       BEN
Is God love?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Of course.
                                                            
                       BEN
Then based on your definition of
God, love would be the supreme
virtue. Right?
                                                            
                       STACEY
You're kinda deep aren't you Ben?
I feel like I'm in Philosophy 101
all over again.
                                                            
                       BEN
I said all that to say this. We
belong together. I'm your soul
mate.
                                                            
                       STACEY
All righty then. Do you talk to
all the ladies like this Ben?
                                                            
                       BEN
No. I'm a one-woman kind of guy.
And right now, youíre the one
woman that I'm focusing on.
                                                            
                       BEN
      (chuckles)
Are you a pervert Ben?
                                                            
                       BEN
No. Do I sound like one? I think
I've been fairly decent acting.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You have been. So what makes you
think we're soul mates?
                                                            
                       BEN
A little voice on the inside told
me. Let me prove it to you. I want
you to think of a color, a place,
a car and an animal.
                                                            

47.

                       STACEY
      (thinking)
Okay. Got it.
                                                            
                       BEN
Just think about this before you
make up your mind. Red elephants
don't drive Jaquars in the
Bahamas.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (surprised)
Hey. How did you know that?
                                                            
                       BEN
Hey. I told you. I'm your soul
mate. Which brings us back to our
original topic. The definition of
love.
                                                            
                       STACEY
All right Ben. Since you know so
much...what's YOUR definition of
love?
                                                            
                       BEN
You'll have to wait 'til tomorrow
night to find that out.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Aw. So you gonna go out like that
and leave us hanging. We might not
let you back on the show after
that stunt.

                                                            
                       BEN
I'll tell you now if you agree to
go out with me.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Nah, Ben. I don't know you like
that.

                                                            
                       BEN
Don't worry...in time you will.
Ciao Bella
                                                            
                       STACEY
Alrighty then Mr. Ben. Let me
play a song for you boy.
                                                            
Stacey presses a button on the console and we hear "I CALL
YOUR NAME" by SWITCH.

DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 

48.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey is wrapped in a blanket. On the dresser is a freshly
brewed mug of tea steeping. She grabs the tea and heads to
the window which opens like a french door.
                                                            
 
EXT. LEDGE - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey looks up at the stars sipping the tea. She begins to
question herself.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where are you heading to Stacey
Storm? Who are you?
(beat)
What are you?
                                                            
She continues to look into space.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Gift and Stacey enter the studio together. Vickie Moss is
standing ready to leave. A vase of flowers sits by the
console.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Ah. Those are nice flowers...they
from your sweetie?
                                                            
                       VICKIE
Actually theyíre not mine. Theyíre
for Sistaí Midnight.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah right. Whoíd be getting
Sista' Midnight some flowers?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (reading)
To: my soul mate, Stacey (Sistaí
Midnight) Storm. From: Ben from
Buckhead.
                                                            
                       VICKIE
Seriously. Look. (points to the
card)
                                                            
                       GIFT
The guy who called last night.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. That is SO sweet. (laughs)
Well, it looks as if someone
appreciates me.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:

Stacey is back taking live calls.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Felton from uptown.
                                                            

49.

                       STACEY
Hello Felton. You're on The
Temple of Love.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
      (homosexual)
Sistaí Midnight, let me ask you
something. What do you think
about married menz fooling
with other menzes?
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (cautious)
Umm. Well, why donít you come on
into the inner sanctuary and tell
Sista' Midnight all about it.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Honey--listen. It was a certain
lady who called in the other night
talking Ďbout how she thinks her
husband is cheating on her. Well,
Iím here to tell her and the rest
of the worldóitís true and it
ainít with another woman
neither.
                                                            
                       STACEY
So what are you saying caller?
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Iím saying her husband is sleeping
with a man. Heís a tinker-bell.
Heís a fairy. Heís a fruit-booty.
                                                            
                       STACEY
No. You donít say. So heís one
of those brothers on the down low.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Donw low...hell, he's up high when
he's with me. I'm so mad at him
right now I could kill. He lives
in Brentwood, his wife's name
Audrey and his name is Robert Mc--
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. Iím glad about it. Note to
self: look up the word fruit booty
in the dictionary.
                                                            
                       GIFT
It's Ben from Buckhead.
                                                            
                       STACEY
It is huh? I don't know. You
think I should let him on?
                                                            
                       GIFT
He DID get you flowers.
                                                            

50.

                       STACEY
Yeah. I don't know. He makes me
feel funny. It's that voice.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Go ahead Stace. Don't be scurrred.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hello Ben. You're on the air.
                                                            
                       BEN
Did you enjoy the flowers?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I sure did. That was so sweet of
you. Now I think we're all ready
to hear you tonight Ben. Didn't
you have something to tell us
tonight?
                                                            
                       BEN
Oh right. I almost forgot. The
definition of love.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes Ben. What is your definition
of love?
                                                            
                       BEN
Love IS. Just like I AM.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm not following you.
                                                            
                       BEN
I am, because I exist. Love is,
because it's expressed. It's an
action. Love is the broken winged
bird that cannot fly that you
nurse back to health. It's the hug
of encouragement that you give to
a distressed soul. It's the tears
you shed for innocent life lost.
It's the rotation of the grinds on
a sexy woman and the gentle
morning after. Love is, because
it's expressed. And one can only
love when they first fall in love
with themselves.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh really. You done really got
deep tonight haven't you. That
sounds like existentialism to me.
Is that what you believe in Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
Actually, I believe in me and you.
Now, will you go out with me.
                                                            

51.

                       STACEY
Ben. As far as that goes we have
rules here and parameters that we
have to utilize. You can't just
call up here and ask me to do
something like that.

                                                            
                       BEN
But Stacey, I'm your soul mate.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Okay. We're gonna have to pause
for the cause (presses button)
Gift put him on hold. But we'll be
right back.
                                                            
Stacey presses a button on the console and a commercial
begins.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (to Ben)
Man, who are you?
                                                            
                       BEN
Ben from Buckhead.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Why do you keep asking me out? I
mean we're trying to do a radio
show here.

                                                            
                       BEN
I'm serious Stacey. I'm looking
for a nice girl in my life. I
think you're available. I just
want to have dinner with you. So
we can get to know each other
better.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Why do you think I don't have
anyone?
                                                            
                       BEN
You can hear it oozing from your
voice.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (laughing)
Really. So what if we go out and
you turn out to be Jack the
Ripper?
                                                            
                       BEN
We'll meet in a public place. Hey
I don't bite. You need to get to
know me. I think you'd really like
me.

            (MORE)

52.

                       BEN (cont'd)
                                                            
                       STACEY
You're really serious aren't you?
Tell you what my boy. You keep
knocking. You never know, one day
you might get in.
                                                            
                       BEN
You mean it.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Goodbye Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
I'll keep knocking.

                                                            
Stacey thinks.
                                                            
                       GIFT
You a'ight.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah girl. Brotha' man wanna hook
up.
                                                            
                       GIFT
What? What you gonna do?

                                                            
                       STACEY
I ain't studdin' Ben from
Buckhead.

                                                            
                       GIFT
Stace. Mr. Peterson's on line one.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Ooh. What does he want? Hello.
                                                            
                       BEN
Hey Stacey. I've been listening to
the show tonight and the vibe is
off a little. Everything okay up
there.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes Mr. Peterson. Everything's
fine here.

                                                            
                       PETERSON
Who is this Ben cat?
                                                            

53.

                       STACEY
He's just some guy who calls. I
don't know him.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
I see. Well, let's get this thing
back on track.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Sure thing Mr. Peterson. Have a
good night.

                                                            
                       GIFT
Wanda from West Nashville.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Let's talk to Wanda. You're on
The Temple.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Brotha man had you going didn't
he.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hey. He's just a nice caller?
What's on your mind tonight?

                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
I'm calling just to say hey...it's
good to love, to be in love and to
make good love. (laughs sensually)

                                                            
                       STACEY
Sounds like you're having a good
time over there.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
I just wanna tell all the callers
out there, that when you find
something good, milk it for
everything you can.

                                                            
                       STACEY
But what about those ladies out
there that might say a good man is
hard to find?
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
I'd say a hard man is good to
find.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Go on witcha freaky self girl. Let
me play something for you, Felton
and Ben.
                                                            

54.

Stacey presses the button on the console and we hear "ALL
CRIED OUT" by LISA LISA AND CULT JAM.
                                                            
SUDDENLY
                                                            
                       GIFT
Stace...loverboy back on the
phone.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (surprised)
(presses button) Hello.
                                                            
                       BEN
Let me give you my number so you
can call me.
                                                            
Stacey hesitates.
                                                            
                       BEN
If you don't, I'm gonna call you
every night and bug you 'til you
do.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (smiles)
A'ight. What is it?
                                                            
Stacey begins writing.
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
We see Stacey talking on her cell phone to Ben.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey laughs on the phone.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
Staring at a laptop PC, Stacey checks her email. We see the
text: WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ME?

She replies: I THINK I'VE FOUND A NEW FRIEND.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
We see an ALARM CLOCK that reads: 12:47
Standing by the window, Stacey speaks to Ben on the phone.
                                                            
                       BEN
Did you get my email yesterday?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes...very interesting.
Interesting indeed.
                                                            

55.

                       BEN
So where do I rank with the other
men you've conversed with in your
life?
                                                            
                       STACEY
You rank very high Mr. Carothers.
                                                            
ALARM CLOCK - 2:17
                                                            
Stacey is laying in bed...still on the phone. She really
enjoys speaking to Ben.
                                                            
                       STACEY
So what do you look like?
                                                            
                       BEN
Close your eyes and listen to my
voice. Now imagine me.
(beat)
That's what I look like. Can you
see me?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hmmm.
(beat)
You got any kids Ben?
                                                            
                       BEN
No.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Then why don't you have a girl?
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm waiting on my soulmate. I'm
waiting on you.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. Yeah.
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm serious.
                                                            
ALARM CLOCK READS 3:46
                                                            
Stacey is still in bed talking.
                                                            
                       STACEY
My father died when I was eleven.
My mom and sister live in New
York.
                                                            
                       BEN
Whatís your relationship like with
them?
                                                            
                       STACEY
My momís great. I donít really
get along with my sister though.
                                                            
                       BEN
Whatís the problem?
                                                            

56.

                       STACEY
She tries to control me.
                                                            
                       BEN
Maybe she loves you.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Maybe.
                                                            
ALARM CLOCK READS 5:15
                                                            
Stacey is now standing.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (hypnotic)
I was engaged to be married and my
ex dumped me.
                                                            
                       BEN
You afraid of getting hurt again?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Terrified.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes.
                                                            
                       BEN
Itís Dawn. Can you see it?
                                                            
Stacey looks out the window.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes. I can.
                                                            
                       BEN
Itís a new day...time to start all
over again. Ciao Bella
                                                            
 
INT. YOUTH CENTER - RECEPTION DESK - DAY
                                                            
Delilah bursts into the center and approaches Dexter.
                                                            
                       DELILAH
Dexter Flye...Delilah Storm. Iíve
heard you on the radio.
You need a manager. Now my
services donít come cheap. But I
guarantee you, Iíll get you the
results you're looking for.
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            

57.

INT. OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
Delilah hands one of Dexterís CDs to a record company
EXECUTIVE.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
Dexter signs a contract at the desk of the executive with
Delilah looking on.

DISSOLVE TO:

We see posters of Dexter Flye being printed and CDs being
produced.
                                                            
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Consuela opens a letter addressed to her. We see the
following:
DEAR CONSUELA, YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED FOR ADMISSION TO THE
ROBERTS COOKING SCHOOL.

With her pregnancy showing, she smiles.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey is hard at work taking calls and talking. Gift
continues her call screening.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Evelyn from Mid-town.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Let's talk to Evelyn. You're on
The Temple.
                                                            
                       FEMALE CALLER
Hello. Sista' Midnight. I may be a
little out of line, but I need to
talk to someone. One month ago I
was scheduled to get married. We
had a lot of people coming in from
out of town so we had the
rehearsal the morning of the
wedding. Well we were all there;
the bridesmaids, the groomsmen and
my fiancť. Well, I was on the
podium and I saw my sister run out
from the back of the church. After
a while, I began to worry because
she didn't come back. So I called
her cell phone. (begins to tear
up) She said that momma was at the
hospital. She had a heart attack
and they just pronounced her dead.

(beat)
So here I am with all of these
people and this big expensive
wedding and my mother just passed
and my whole world collapsed right
there in that church. No one came
to the hospital. None of my so
called friends. Not even my
            (MORE)

58.

                       FEMALE CALLER (cont'd)
fiancť. Since then, we've broken
up with no plans to ever get
married. I don't know. I just feel
like I'm about to smother
                                                            
                       STACEY
Evelyn, you don't need to say
another word.
                                                            
Stacey presses the button on the console and we hear "I
NEEED YOU TO SURVIVE" by HEZEKIAH WALKER.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Some things you just don't have an
answer for. All you need is one
big hug from the Fam. And remember
ya'll, we are a family. We all we
got. So just sit back and enjoy
the love my sista.' I'm feeling
this thing ya'll.
                                                            
The song continues. Stacey is summoned by Gift.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Stacey. Ben's on the line.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (cautious)
Patch him over to me before you
make him live.
(into the mic) Hello Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
Hey. How's my leading lady?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm fine. Look. I'm gonna let you
on but I'm catching a lot of heat
from the callers and from
management about this. So I need
for you to chill tonight when you
go live. A'ight?
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm good wit dat.
                                                            
Stacey fades the song out.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (perky)
Well if it isn't Ben from
Buckhead. You're on The Temple of
Love. What's on your mind
tonight?
                                                            
                       BEN
I am free. I am empty.
Free...from the prison of your
possession.
Empty...longing for your touch.
Free...to seek another obsession.
Empty..because I still love you so
much.

            (MORE)

59.

                       BEN (cont'd)
                                                            
Stacey begins to recite the poem in unison with Ben.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Free...with lots of time to
ponder.
Empty...because all I ever think
of is you.
Free...like a soul who's goin' up
a yonder.
Empty...crying, sad, blue.
                                                            
                       STACEY
That's my poem I had published in
a London magazine two years ago.
Where did you find that?
                                                            
                       BEN
I told you once. I told you a
thousand times. I'm your biggest
fan. Now will you go out with me?
                                                            
BEAT
                                                            
Stacey, mesmerized by the ordeal, looks straight ahead and
seems weak. She regains composure and begins to play "SAY
YES" by FLOETRY and speaks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ben.
(beat)
I think I'm gonna say yes.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. LEVEL 88 DINNER CLUB - NIGHT
                                                            
Alone, Stacey stands in a corner of Level 88 Jazz Bistro.
She wears a sexy black dress that flares at the end of her
sleeves.

There's a crowd of TRENDY, LATE TWENTIES TO EARLY THIRTY
SOMETHING, WELL DRESSED AFRICAN AMERICANS socializing and
enjoying the good life their education and income has
afforded them. Stacey feels slightly out of place. It's
not her crowd.

She checks her watch perturbed at the lateness of her date.
Slowly and disappointed, Stacey begins to make her way to
exit. Suddenly, her date appears dressed in a dark suit.

He's BEN CAROTHERS, A HANDSOME BLACK MAN. She glances. So
does he and they both freeze.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey.
                                                            

60.

                       STACEY
I was beginning to think you were
a figment of my imagination. A
fantasy man.

                                                            
                       BEN
Oh. But Iím oh so real.
                                                            
Stacey is gleeful and pleased at the way he looks and acts.
                                                            
                       BEN
Youíre even more beautiful than I
imagined you to be. I could stand
here and look at you all night.
                                                            
The two look deep into each otherís eyes.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I think we came here to eat.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:

The two seated at a table drinking wine.
                                                            
                       BEN
I canít believe Iím sitting here
talking to Sistaí Midnight.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (laughs)
Right now, youíre talking to
Stacey. Sistaí Midnight is not
who I am really. Itís just a
show.
                                                            
                       BEN
So Stacey...you seem to have all
the answers. How'd you get so
knowledgeable?
                                                            
                       STACEY
I observe life. What about you?
You seem to be pretty
knowledgeable yourself.

                                                            
                       BEN
That's because I've been inspired
by you.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh really. What do you do?
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm in the music industry.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh really. What do you do?
                                                            

61.

                       BEN
I manage the print media for
Lakeland Records.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Sounds like you got it all
together Mr. Ben. Tell me about
this soul mate jazz.

                                                            
                       BEN
I feel you Stacey. I feel you like
you can't even imagine. When you
speak, the vibrations in your
voice stay with me for hours. I
wake up in the morning and I can
STILL feel you. I'm intoxicated
every night after your show.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (slightly
       intrigued)
Hmm...You mean little 'ole me has
an effect on you like that?
                                                            
                       BEN
No doubt.
                                                            
                       STACEY
And that makes us soul mates?
                                                            
                       BEN
It's deeper than that. Right now
you're sitting here looking at me
and you're thinking how not to
fall for me. You're thinking that
if I've gotten this far what's to
stop me from going any further.
You're afraid of the inevitable.
Just like a deer caught in the
scope of a rifle. But I'm here to
tell you. Follow me and fear no
danger.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Why are you trying to psycho-
analyze me?
                                                            
                       BEN
I'm not trying to psycho-analyze
you. But one thing I can't figure
out is why you don't have anyone.

                                                            
                       STACEY
I don't know. I've dated guys but
I just can't seem to find the
right one.
                                                            

62.

Ben nods his head and stares at her. Soft music begins to
play in the background. JOE JOHNSON plays his SAX with his
BAND.
                                                            
                       BEN
Let's dance. C'mon.
                                                            
Grabbing Stacey by the hand, he leads her to the dance
floor.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (under her breath)
Agressive. I like that.
                                                            
There are SEVERAL OTHER COUPLES on the dance floor. The two
begin to dance slowly.
                                                            
                       BEN
Hmm. You smell good. What's that
you're wearing?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Chanel.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You've got nice shoulders. Do you
work out?
                                                            
                       BEN
About three times a week.

                                                            
                       STACEY
I've really enjoyed talking to you
on the phone. It's so refreshing.
                                                            
                       BEN
I thought I was talking your ear
off.
                                                            
                       STACEY
No. No.
                                                            
                       BEN
This is even better in person...
don't you think?
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's excellent.
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's been a long time since I've
danced with someone.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Oh really. Doesn't look like you
missed a beat.
                                                            
Suddenly, the music speeds up and we here JOE JOHNSON'S
cover of "A DREAM" by DEBARGE.

Stacey and Ben begin to do a soulful step dance to the
music's beat much to the amazement of the crowd. They clear

63.

half of the dance floor with the routine and seem to own it
as they dance.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - PENTHOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
In his company penthouse, Ben stands and talks to Stacey.
                                                            
                       BEN
I had a great time tonight Stacey.
I really appreciate the
hospitality you've shown me.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. We
kicked it. (laughs)
                                                            
                       BEN
That we did. That we did.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Well, I better be going.
                                                            
                       BEN
No. Don't leave. Please. Stay.
The night is still young.
                                                            
Stacey starts to back away but she can't resist him. She
stands there.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (flirting)
STAY. What on earth would we ever
do?
                                                            
                       BEN
You tell me. I'm here to serve
you.
                                                            
BEAT
                                                            
                       STACEY
Here to serve me. Oh. Kinda like
a waiter.
                                                            
Ben nods.
                                                            
LONG PAUSE
                                                            
                       STACEY
Well. BEN. I've had my
starter...a hearty helping of
chunky conversation. I 've had my
appetizer...a modest portion of
hot and spicy gyrations on the
dance floor.
                                                            
Slowly and steadily, Stacey walks to where Ben is standing
until she is at arms length with him.
                                                            

64.

                       STACEY (cont'd)
The entree was splendid...one
thick slab of companionship with a
hella fine man. Well done and
cooked to taste. Now I'm ready
for dessert.
                                                            
                       BEN
      (playing along)
Let me suggest the cherry toungue
twister. It's one of our very
best.
                                                            
Stacey shakes her head and moves in for the kill.
                                                            
                       STACEY
That's not what I want.
                                                            
                       BEN
Really. What can we get you?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Death by chocolate.
                                                            
The two lovers engage in a steamy french kiss. Eventually,
Ben picks Stacey up by the waist and carries her to the
bedroom.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Ben places Stacey on the bed and beins to make passionate
love to her. Stacey is in ecstasy...lost in the moment.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sitting on the floor by the couch, Stacey briefs Gift on her
exciting date.
                                                            
                       GIFT
      (eager)
So what went down?
                                                            
Stacey shakes her head from side to side.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Girl. I ain't kicked it like that
in years.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Fo' real.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I have to say...Mr.Ben is all man
and THEN some.
                                                            
Stacey starts bobbing her head.
                                                            
                       GIFT
So ya'll kicked it like that? What
does he look like?
                                                            

65.

                       STACEY
Tall, chocolate and PHOINE...okay.
Bruh' got it going on...he's like
a manager at Lakeland Records.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Lucky you. When you get through
with him...maybe you can send him
my way. Get me one of 'dem
southern boys...some of 'dat
Buckhead beef.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You know what...I think this one's
a keeper. Maybe even more.
                                                            
                       GIFT
And you met him on the radio.
Fancy that. Do you think he's
attracted to Stacey Storm or
Sista' Midnight?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Probably a little bit of both. But
he went out with Stacey.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Go on girl. (slaps her a high
five) Do the damn thang.
                                                            
 
INT. AUTOMBILE - NIGHT
                                                            
We see Stacey driving down the highway. She has just
entered the Atlanta City limits. From the window we see a
sign that reads ATLANTA PEACHTREE BLVD. Stacey has a look
of contentment on her face.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
DOOR BELL RINGS
                                                            
Ben comes to the door and answers it. It's Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Mr. Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey.
                                                            
Ben receives Stacey with a long hug.
                                                            
                       BEN
I missed you.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I missed you too.
                                                            
                       BEN
C'mon in. Make yourself at home.
                                                            
Stacey enters Ben's domain. It's a swank Buckhead penthouse
with a sleek design. The walls are painted light tan and he

66.

has leather furniture.

Ben has SEVVERAL PORTRAITS of jazz notables MILES DAVIS and
JOHN COLTRANE hanging. He also has african artifacts neatly
stationed around his home. Contemporary jazz plays in the
background. Ben is in a burgundy silk shirt and black
slacks.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Nice place.
                                                            
                       BEN
Just a lil' sumpin' sumpin' to lay
back in...get away from stresses.
                                                            
Still analyzing his home, she walks along the hall way
looking at his African artifacts.
                                                            
                       BEN
Can I get you some wine?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Sure that'd be great.
                                                            
Ben goes and retrieves the wine. He rejoins Stacey in the
hall way and hands her the glass and they both sip.
                                                            
                       STACEY
What's this?
                                                            
Pointing at an African Mask.
                                                            
                       BEN
That's a warrior mask from the
Tribe of Dogo in West Africa. You
know the Dogo believed the earth
was colonized by beings of a
higher intelligence. Gods if you
will. That we're all descendents
of this higher race beings.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. That's kinda what Zecharia
Sitchin teaches. Not to mention
your very own (jokingly) Dr. York
here in Atlanta.
                                                            
                       BEN
      (very impressed)
Yes. Very true.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You're not from outer space are
you Ben?
                                                            
                       BEN
Damn straight. You know I gotta
VIP seat on the mothership...right
in between George Clinton and
Bootsy Colins.
                                                            
Stacey laughs.
                                                            

67.

                       BEN
C'mon. Let's go. I wanna take
you down to this little cafe I go
to.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. CAFE - NIGHT
                                                            
Ben leads Stacey into a small cafť where a reggae band is
playing and a woman in singing ďNO, NO, NO YOU DONíT LOVE
ME.Ē

The pair slips onto the crowded dance floor and begins to
dance dirty to the beat of the music.
                                                            
We see the lower half of the two grinding to the Jamaican
funk very slowly and nastily. Stacey throws her arms in the
air and moves her head from side to side.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
Back at Benís place, the two are face to face in the hall
way.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I wanted to talk to you about the
other night. I think we made a
big mistake. I think weíre moving
too fast.
                                                            
Ben moves in on Stacey kissing her neck.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (almost moaning)
Iím serious Ben. I donít usually
do Ďdis. I donít know whatís
gotten into me. You need to
respect a ladiesí limitations and
her weaknesses.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey. Tommorrowís not promised.
All we have is here and now.
                                                            
                       STACEY
But this is too intense for me.
Iím not ready for all this.
                                                            
                       BEN
Enjoy the moment. Enjoy here.
Enjoy now.
                                                            
The two kiss passionately. Ben takes his shoes off and his
shirt and begins to work on Staceyís clothes.

Viewing down the hall way, we see their two naked
silhouettes in the dark embraced.
                                                            
 

68.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Ben pulls out an ironing board from the closet, balances it
on his dresser then props Stacey on it; skinny side down.
Ben pounds her like an animal and Stacey writhes and squeals
in lust. She digs her nails into Benís swarthy, wet back
and moans for more.
                                                            
LATER - MID-MORNING
                                                            
Ben awakens alone in his bed. He wonders where Stacey went.
He climbs out of bed and heads towards the balcony.
                                                            
 
EXT. BALCONY - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey is standing outside swaddled in sheets and looking at
the skyline when Ben approaches.
                                                            
                       BEN
Hey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
HEY.
                                                            
                       BEN
Did I run you off?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Nah. Just couldn't sleep.
(beat)
It's beautiful tonight.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Do you do this often?
                                                            
                       BEN
What?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Seduce strange women in your
penthouse.
                                                            
Ben places his arms around her shoulders.
                                                            
                       BEN
When you gonna get off that? Huh?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Just curious.
                                                            
                       BEN
I pursued you because I really
felt a connection with you. Not
only am I your biggest fan, I feel
like I've known you all my life.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Man, I just be talking. It's all
a big act. Nothing special about
it.
                                                            

69.

                       BEN
Don't say that. You give hope to
a lot of people. You gave hope to
me. You perform a very valuable
service.
(beat)
What's the one thing this world
really lacks?
                                                            
Stacey considers what Ben is saying.
                                                            
                       BEN (CONT'D)
Out of all the wars and famines...
the greed and corruption, the
crime and the hate that infests
the world. You're offering us
something that we all lack
nowadays. That rare oddity called
LOVE Stacey, that we've somehow
lost along the way somewhere. You
make us feel good about being
human again. If only for a
little while, that's enough to
sustain me. Every word you utter
affects people's lives whether
it's a show or not. And I gotta
believe you mean every word you
say.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I do.
(beat)
Can I tell you something?
                                                            
                       BEN
Sure.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm really falling for you.
                                                            
                       BEN
      (smiling)
Good.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I'm scared.
                                                            
Stacey puts her head on Ben's shoulder.
                                                            
                       BEN
Just enjoy the moment.
                                                            
MONTAGE
                                                            
 
EXT. PARK - DAY
                                                            
Ben and Stacey walk along the edge of a small lake laughing
and taking in the day.

Stacey lays back on Ben in the grass. Ben finishes tying
some daisies plants together into a crown for Stacey then
places it on her head. She smiles and kisses him.

70.


                                                            
 
EXT. FIELD - DAY
                                                            
We see Ben and Stacey from behind atop two horses. They are
riding and conversing with one another.

                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Gift is in the studio alone looking very nervous. Briskly,
Stacey wisks in.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Where you been Stace? You're
forty munites late.
                                                            
Stacey shakes her head and fans herself. Gift understands.
Itís a Ben thing.

Back to business, Stacey bows her head and alters her
persona.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Friends and lovers hang on tight.
Youíre listening to none other
than Sistaí Midnight.
No rules. No regulations. No
wrong. No right.
Step into The Temple and let me
guide you to the light.
Where my lovers at?
                                                            
Stacey winks at Gift.
                                                            
 
EXT. FIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
Ben and Stacey, lay in Ben's CONVERTIBLE MERCEDES BENZ with
the seat leaned all the way back; looking at the stars.
                                                            
                       BEN
It's been a long time since I've
done this. I used to go outside
and look at the stars when I was a
kid. I remember I'd pretend I was
a cloud and I was floating right
there beside them...dreaming about
what I'd be one day.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Did your dreams come true?
                                                            
                       BEN
For the most part I guess. I got
outta the hood and I think I'm
doing well.
                                                            

71.

                       STACEY
You know...when I was a little
girl, around eight or nine. My
family drove to Virginia to my
aunt's wedding. It was me, my mom
and dad and my sister. Any way,
she came out in this long, white
wedding dress carrying this little
bouquet. She was SO beautiful. It
looked like she was walking in
slow motion. So I stood there at
the end of the pew looking at her
and she came by and she winked at
me. And the look she had on her
face was pure joy. She was the
happiest person in the world. I'll
never forget how she looked.
                                                            
Stacey raises up.
                                                            
                       STACEY (cont'd)
All my life...all I ever wanted
was to have a normal life. A
home, a job, a husband, a family,
a wedding...just to be normal. But
I was never given the option to be
normal. Everything has been off
balance for me...ever since my dad
died. Sometimes I believe my
destiny in life is just to be the
sacrificial lamb. To take on the
pain of the world. To never have
any joy or happiness.
                                                            
                       BEN
Don't I make you happy?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Very.
                                                            
Reaching in her pocket, Stacey pulls out a folded up piece
of red construction paper and hands it to Ben.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Here ya' go.
                                                            
                       BEN
What's this? (unfolding)
                                                            
                       STACEY
It's my heart. Don't lose it...
don't break it.
                                                            
Ben holds the token up. It's heart shaped with a crease in
the center. The two gently kiss.
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Gift is seated in Peterson's office in a meeting with him.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Can you tell me what the hell's
going on with this lady? Doesn't
show up to work tonight...late the
            (MORE)

72.

                       PETERSON (cont'd)
past five nights.
                                                            
Gift looks blankly.
                                                            
                       PETERSON (CONT'D)
It's got something to do with that
guy who was calling doesn't it?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Honestly, Mr. Peterson...I'm not
sure. I'm not tryin' to tell her
business or nothing, but she HAS
been a little side-tracked since
she 's been dealing with him. But
Stacey's always had a lot going on
anyway. Ya' know...emotionally.
                                                            
Peterson shakes his head in disgust.
                                                            
                       GIFT
I know I wasn't your first choice,
but I could host the show if you
need me to. I mean I know I'm
not(slight scoff) Sista' Midnight
but I CAN talk about love.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
I'm gonna give her one more
chance...if she doesn't straighten
up, I'll give it to ya.'
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
Stacey sits on her bed and dials Ben on her cell.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (chipper)
Hey bey. It's Stace...just
thinking about you. Give me a
call. Bye.
                                                            
LATER - EVENING
                                                            
                       STACEY
Hey. It's me. Hit a sista' up
when you get a chance.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey and Gift are in the studio working.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (to Gift)
Has Ben called up here tonight?
                                                            
                       GIFT
Uh uh.
                                                            
Stacey looks concerned.
                                                            

73.

INT. OFFICE Ė NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey sits and talks to Mr. Peterson in a conference.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Weíre on in six major markets. You
gotta be here. You gotta
produce.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Iím sorry. Iíve just got a lot on
my mind.
                                                            
                       PETERSON
Stacey, I have to remind...youíre
under contract.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Stacey sits on the bed and types an email to Ben on a
LAPTOP. It reads: MR. CAROTHERS, I'VE LEFT SEVERAL
VOICEMAILS FOR YOU AND I HAVEN'T HEARD BACK...WORRIED ABOUT
YOU. HIT ME UP STACE.
                                                            
 
INT. TOWN HOME COMPLEX - LOBBY - NIGHT
                                                            
Seriously, Stacey enters the lobby area of Ben's building.
She approaches an elevator and presses the button on the
wall. The elevator opens and she gets in.
                                                            
 
INT. ELEVATOR - DAY
                                                            
Solo, Stacey rides the elevator. The elevator climbs the
floors until it reaches the EIGTHEENTH FLOOR.
                                                            
CHIME
                                                            
She exits.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
Stacey approaches APARTMENT 1803. She stops. There's a
sign on the door that reads: FOR LEASE. Surprised, she
peers through through the stained glass window by the door
to discover it empty. She stands there dismayed.
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Sista' Midnight has toned down. Still fielding calls, her
once vibrant commentary has now been relegated to one
sentence.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
I was getting ready to go out with
this young lady and I was
wondering...what's a good
aphrodisaic?
                                                            

74.

                       STACEY
Chocolate.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Kyle from Philly.
                                                            
                       MALE CALLER
Yeah. Valentine's Day is coming
up and I was wondering what's a
good gift.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (unenthused)
Chocolate.
                                                            
Gift looks at Stacey in disbelief.
                                                            
 
EXT. BRIDGE - NIGHT
                                                            
Alone, on the bridge Stacey rings Ben on her cell only to
get his voicemail again.
                                                            
                       STACEY
You know Ben. I have to hand it
to you. You're very good at the
heart-breaking business. You're
probably the CEO. Thanks for the
screw.
                                                            
She hangs up, then streams of tears roll down her
melancholic face. She takes her cell phone and heaves it in
the water. Then she breaks down.
                                                            
 
EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY
                                                            
From behind, we see the heels to female black boots walking
across a parking lot. Slowly,we are drawn up towards the
legs that are snug in jeans.

This walk across the gray pavement continues for several
meters across the lot until finally we see Ben's black
Merecdes Benz. The door opens and he exits carrying his
cell phone. The female's back is still to us.

PAN TO:
                                                            
The front of the female. Her identity is now revealed. It's
Gift.
                                                            
                       GIFT
Yo. Here's the rest of the two
thousand I owe you.
                                                            
Gift reaches in her pocket and hands Ben the cash.
                                                            
                       BEN
(receiving the money) You never
really told me why you wanted me
to do this.
                                                            

75.

                       GIFT
      (arrogantly)
In case you don't know, I was the
one who came up with this whole
thing. There wouldn't be a Sista'
Midnight had it not been for me.
                                                            
Gift struts around moving her hands.
                                                            
                       GIFT
She prances around here with her
degrees in psychology and her
poetry and her this and her that.
But let me tell you one thing
about Stacey Storm. She's a
straight busta when it comes to
men. She's like a newborn
baby...she don't know jack.
                                                            
                       BEN
That's really cold Gift. You know
the only reason I haven't called
her was because I told you I
wouldn't and I kept my word. But
now that this is over, I really
wanna see her again.
                                                            
                       GIFT
      (emphatic)
You wanna do what? Listen, I paid
you to pull off this job and the
job is now over. You need to go
on back to Atlanta, or wherever
you're from and chill. Don't
contact her or me again. Got it.
                                                            
                       BEN
You don't understand. It started
off as a job but it got deeper
than that. I mean, Stacey's an
incredible lady. I...
                                                            
Gift looks around then pulls out a 380 semi-automatic pistol
from the small of her back and points it at Ben's head.
Scared, Ben leans back in terror.
                                                            
                       GIFT
      (coldly)
I'm gonna give yo' monkey ass
three hundred and eigthy reasons
to stay away. Now...this is your
warning. I don't wanna see you
again and I don't want you to see
her either. If you do, not only
am I gonna bust a cap in you, it's
gon' put her life in jeopardy too.
Stay away.
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
                                                            
Stacey is sleeping.
                                                            

76.

LOUD KNOCKS
                                                            
Half dazed, she rolls out of bed.
                                                            
                       STACEY
What the hell?
                                                            
She gets up and heads for the door.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Stacey opens the door. It's two DETECTIVES.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Can I help you?
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 1
Are you Stacey Storm?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yes.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 2
We're detectives with the Metro
Police Department. (flashes badge)
Ma'am do you know someone named
Angela Summers?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Gift. Oh my God is she okay?
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 2
May we come in?
                                                            
                       STACEY
Sure.
                                                            
The two detectives enter.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 1
This is a recording sent to us by
a Mr. Ben Carothers.
                                                            
Detective 2 pulls out a DVD player and plays the first part
of the conversation that took place between Gift and Ben.

Beginning with: "YO. HERE'S THE REST OF THE TWO THOUSAND I
OWE YOU."

Ending with: "SHE'S LIKE A NEWBORN BABY...SHE DON'T KNOW
JACK."
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 1
The rest of it is a little too
graphic to play.
(beat)
Did Ms. Summers ever threaten your
life at anytime?
                                                            
                       STACEY
No.
                                                            

77.

                       DETECTIVE 2
Were you and this Ben Carothers
involved at anytime?
                                                            
Crying, Stacey shakes her head. Confirming.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 1
That explains it all.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Where's Gift...Angela?
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE 2
She's in custody.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            
Vickie is in the studio getting ready to host the Temple of
Love Show. Stacey walks in.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Is it okay if I say goodbye?
                                                            
                       VICKIE
Peterson will kill me.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Please Vickie. I won't take long.
                                                            
Conceding, Vickie gets up and let's Stacey sit behind Mic
one.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Good evening. This is Stacey
Storm better known as Sista'
Midnight. I have a confession to
make. It looks like I've been had.
Yes. The self-professed master of
relationships has just been
gaffled in the worst way. I won't
get into specifics but someone I
thought I was close to, just
betrayed me. And someone I thought
I was getting close to betrayed me
also. So I'm gonna need some
therapy tonight myself ya'll.
(teary) The almighty Sista'
Midnight is weak tonight so bear
with me the best you can. If there
is someone out there tonight who's
hurting...
                                                            
 
INT. OFFICE - NIGHT
                                                            
Peterson stands along the wall listening to Stacey.
                                                            
INT. STUDIO - NIGHT
                                                            

78.

                       STACEY (CONT'D)
I'll simply say don't give up on
love. Love in all it's forms. Not
just the silly little love we all
get caught up in. I'm talking
about that deep love. Love of
life, of self and your fellow
human beings. Don't stop
believing in love. You gotta
believe ya'll. You gotta believe.
This is your high priestess
signing off. God bless.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Stacey enters her momís home carrying her suitcase. Her
mother is there to greet her. Delilah is also there. Stacey
goes and cries in her motherís arms.

Delilah stands back hesitant at first, but then she goes and
hugs Stacey also.
                                                            
SIX MONTHS LATER
                                                            
 
INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY
                                                            
We see Stacey talking to over ONE HUNDRED and FIFTY STUDENTS
in her Intro to Psychology Class that she now teaches.
                                                            
                       STACEY
The syllabus outlines each of the
weekís objectives for the course.
Pay close attention to week six
and seven...there will be a lot of
material to read and discuss
during that time. There will be a
total of two papers due this
semester. One dealing with James
and one with Freud. The topics
will be revealed at a later date.
Your attendance and participation
is of the utmost importance.
Are there any questions?
                                                            
A male student at the very back of the crowd asks a
question...one familiar and extremely eerie.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
Will you be discussing the
definition of love?
                                                            
STACEY FREEZES
                                                            
The voice is familiar. The other students are awaiting a
response.
                                                            
                       MALE STUDENT
      (prodding)
Dr. Storm.
                                                            
Stacey responds. Her confidence has been zapped. She
speaks with almost half her breath.
                                                            

79.

                       STACEY
The concept of love is not covered
in Intro to Psychology, but to get
a more detailed experience on that
subject, youíll most likely have
to enroll in Philosophy 101 with
Dr. Hill. That will be all.
                                                            
The class adjourns and Stacey begins to gather her things.
From the side of her eye, she notices the male student that
asked the question.

It's Ben Carothers. He stops in front of her and speaks.
The students begin to filter out
                                                            
                       BEN
Hello Stacey. How you been?
                                                            
Stacey does not respond. She looks down gathering her
things and not making eye contact.

                                                            
                       BEN
Look. I know I must have hurt
you. But it wasnít all my doing.
Your so-called friend, Gift,
suckered me into it.
                                                            
Seriously, Stacey looks at Ben.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Whatís done is done.
                                                            
                       BEN
But IíM not done. Thatís why Iím
here now to say that every word I
said, every action I took and
every touch you felt from me was
real.

                                                            
Stacey begins to feel emotional.
                                                            
                       STACEY
I gotta go.
                                                            
Stacey takes her belongings and marches off.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
We see Stacey stepping down the hall to us. We catch a
glimpse of Ben behind her...following her. He shouts her
name.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey.
                                                            
Stacey picks up the pace.
                                                            
 

80.

EXT. COURTYARD - DAY
                                                            
Hurriedly, Stacey traces across the grass past several
people having lunch and darts into another building.

                                                            
 
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
                                                            
A professor is writing in a huge class room and Stacey
shoots behind the easel heís writing on. Ben continues the
chase. The professor continues lecturing after the brief
interruption.
                                                            
 
EXT. FIELD - DAY
                                                            
Stacey is running full fledged with her bag around her
shoulder and Ben is chasing her.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey. Wait...Stacey.
                                                            
                       STACEY
      (looking back)
Leave me alone Ben. Youíve
already caused me enough trouble.
                                                            
 
INT. BUILDING - DAY
                                                            
She starts to run up several flights of stairs. Ben
follows. She gets to a work area where there are SEVERAL
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS working.

They pay her no mind. There is another flight of steps past
the construction men. She heads for them. Ben still
trailing sees her head towards the other flight of stairs
and follows her.
                                                            
 
INT. BELL TOWER - DAY
                                                            
There is a huge bell at the top of a flight of much smaller
stairs.

Sheís in a bell tower and has run as far as she can go. She
starts to climb the smaller steps to the bell, still trying
to get away.
                                                            
                       BEN
Stacey. Listen to me for a
minute. I didnít intend to hurt
you. I need you to understand
that.

                                                            
                       STACEY
Then why did you?
                                                            

81.

                       BEN
It wasnít until after I really got
to know you that I realized I was
wrong. By then it was too late.
                                                            
                       STACEY
All you had to do was tell me Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
After I met with Gift, I tried to
call you, but I didnít get an
answer. Donít you realize she
was planning on killing ME and
YOU.

                                                            
Stacey looks confused and afraid.

                                                            
                       STACEY
What do you want with me?
                                                            
Ben collects his thoughts and begins to calmly plead his
case.
                                                            
                       BEN
Youíre the most incredible person
Iíve ever met. If I lived a
thousand lives I donít think
thereíd be anyone whoíd even come
close. We laughed together,
shared with one another, and
explored each other totally. And
I canít imagine living life
without you. It took me six long
months to find you.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Yeah. AND...
                                                            
                       BEN
I can turn back around and go on
my way, but I donít think thatís
what you want. And I know thatís
not what I want.
                                                            
                       STACEY
Itís over Ben.
                                                            
                       BEN
Is it really?
                                                            
Ben steps closer to Stacey.
                                                            
                       BEN
If by over you mean the
games...then I agree. But if by
over you mean you and I; I
couldnít disagree more.
                                                            
BELL BEGINS TO RING TWELVE TIMES SIGNIFYING TWELVE NOON
                                                            

82.

Ben pulls out the paper heart that she gave him and he holds
it up.

The construction workers have gathered at the bottom of the
steps watching the interchange.
                                                            
                       BEN
I might have broken it but I
didnít lose it.
(beat)
Even the worst criminals get a
second chance.
                                                            
Stacey softens and listens to him.

Ben pulls out a small velvet box and flips it open. Inside
is a large diamond ring. He pulls it out and aims at her
finger moving it closer.
                                                            
                       BEN
Help me live again. Help me love
again. Be my bride.

                                                            
Stunned, Stacey holds out her left hand and receives the
ring on her finger. The two kiss gently.

The construction workers begin to cheer.
                                                            
 
INT. CATHEDRAL - DAY
                                                            
                       PASTOR
All rise.
                                                            
We hear a saxophone playing ďHERE COMES THE BRIDE.Ē

There is a CROWD of joyous on-lookers standing and watching
Stacey march down the aisle in a sparkling, white wedding
gown. Her skin glows and her make-up is perfect.

There is no one escorting her. She makes this trip solo.

We see the sax player, Dexter Flye, her old receptionist
buddy from the youth center; paying her back for making him
semi-famous. He plays with purpose.

Thereís lotís of FACULTY in attendance from NYU lending
their support with their presence.

Walter, Staceyís ex-beau stands. Heís happy for Stacey, but
unsure of how to express it. She smiles at him.

Consuela sits up front. Her new born baby is nestled in her
arms. Sheís ecstatic for Stacey. Stacey glides by and
winks at her.

Dorothy Storm is seated enjoying this special time in her
daughterís life.

The wedding party is small, consisting of only ONE MAID of
HONOR, Delilah. She holds a bouquet and has finally come to
terms with Stacey and all her decisions and supports her one

83.

hundred percent.

Stacey takes her place by her handsome groom, Mr. Ben
Carothers who is dressed in a black tux. The couple is
elated.

Stacey teaches us that no matter how many external and
internal conflicts we encounter in life. And no matter how
much we try to run away. If we just keep love alive in our
hearts, it is enough to heal even the deepest wounds in the
human experience.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Dearly beloved, we are gathered
here today...
                                                            


THE END


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From vito jennette Date 1/5/2011 ***1/2
Really, really powerful story. I don't think I found any mistakes, and your handle on the format is awesome. Getting this script done in a brisk 83 pages is quite a feat, and you didn't leave much out. I feel like this would have been some thing I would have read in middle school, and I don't think you left anything out. Great adaptation. Very good script that could really be a great concept to film! A director would have a blast with this very imaginative idea.


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