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Acceptance
by Drexton Clemons (drexton.clemons@gmail.com)

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

The story of a high school quarterback who has it all, only to lose everything while trying so hard to be better than everyone else.


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.



ACCEPTANCE

FADE IN:

INT. ACT 1: SCENE 1 - DAY
                                                            
SCHOOL HALLWAY
                                                            
Enter Schoolmates, excited about last week's football game.
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATE 1
      (talking louder
       than group of
       friends)
OMG! That game was totally
awesome!
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATE 2
      (to SCHOOLMATE 1)
I know! Just the way Austin threw
the winning touchdown.
      (imitates throwing
       a football)
Classic
                                                            
Enter Austin, walking towards locker.
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATES (Together)
      (to AUSTIN)
Hey Austin! Great game last week.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (to SCHOOLMATES)
Thanks. Glad you guys could make
it.
      (Opens locker)
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATE 1
Of course! we're undefeated. we
wouldn't miss it for the world.
Keep it up!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (laughs)
Thanks again. And we'll try.
      (Enters EMILY,
       AUSTIN notices)
But I'll talk to you guys later.
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATES
Ok. Bye!
                                                            

2.

                       EMILY
      (to AUSTIN)
Well hello there handsome.
      (smiles and hugs
       AUSTIN)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Well hello there beautiful.
      (Hugs back)
Sleep well last night?
                                                            
                       EMILY
Like a baby. You?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
I'm glad one of us did. I couldn't
get any sleep at all.
      (rubs eyes)
                                                            
                       EMILY (concerned)
Awww. Why not?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (smiles hard)
I was too busy thinking about you.
                                                            
                       EMILY (sarcastically)
Oh Romeo, what would I do without
you?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (jokingly)
You'd have a cheaper phone bill.
                                                            
                       EMILY
Speaking of phone. Your mom called
and wants me to come over this
afternoon. Something about a big
announcement.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (surprised)
Really? She never told me about
anything. I guess we'll find out
after school. Get to class
beautiful and have a good day
      (hugs EMILY)
Bye Emily
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (smiles)
Bye Austin.
                                                            
 

3.

INT. ACT 1: SCENE 2 - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
INSIDE AUSTIN'S HOUSE
                                                            
AUSTIN'S MOM is sitting on a couch. AUSTIN is impatiently
pacing
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (fed up)
OK, Emily is taking too long to
get here. Can you tell me what the
big news is?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM (plainly)
Nope
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
But Mom..
      (looks at her with
       puppy dog
       expression)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM (sternly)
      (stands up)
No. we're waiting until Emily gets
here and that's that. For once, I
actually like one of your
girlfriends, so she has the right
to be here for this news too.
      (sits back down)
And would you please stop dragging
your feet? The torture that you're
causing my new European rug is...
unholy.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (calms down)
Yes ma'am.
                                                            
Doorbell rings. AUSTIN rushes to answer it and EMILY enters.
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (to AUSTIN)
Hey babe.
      (to AUSTIN'S MOM)
And hello Mrs. Wright. How are
you?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
I'm fine. I've just -
                                                            

4.

                       AUSTIN
      (interrupting)
She's fine. Everything's good. OK,
what's the news?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
Austin, don't be so impatient.
      (whispers to self)
Just like his father, bless his
soul.
      (to AUSTIN)
But you've been tortured enough.
Here you go.
      (Hands AUSTIN an
       envelope)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (excited)
      (opens envelope
       and reads it
       carefully)
Knew it!
                                                            
                       EMILY
Well are you going to tell us what
it said or are you just going to
keep all the juicy details to
yourself?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Emily. What school has the best
football team in the country?
                                                            
                       EMILY
Kubler-Ross.
      (confused)
But I don't know what that has to
do with..
      (realizes why he
       asked the
       question. is
       shocked)
You didn't!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (excited)
      (smiling)
I did!
                                                            
                       EMILY
Baby, I'm so happy for you!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
Me too, honey. Just make sure you
get up there and make me proud.
                                                            

5.

                       AUSTIN
Thanks Em. And don't worry Mom. I
will.
                                                            
 
INT. ACT 2: SCENE 1 - DAY
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
LOCKER ROOM
                                                            
EMILY and EMILY'S FRIEND are standing by the lockers. They
have just returned from cheerleading practice. Emily walks
in with gym bag.
                                                            
                       EMILY (sarcastically)
      (wipes sweat off
       of forehead)
Well practice was fun today.
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
Don't even lie like that. I can
barely feel my legs.
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (laughs)
I know right. Coach pushed us
extra hard today.
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
But at least the football team
looked good today practicing. And
Austin was an animal. It's like he
never gets tired.
                                                            
                       EMILY
He's probably excited about
getting into Ross. He's been extra
thoughtful lately too. He even let
me use his gym bag today
      (opens bag)
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
      (looks in bag)
Hate to say it, but your
boyfriend's bag is such a mess.
It's a wonder he finds anything at
all.
                                                            
                       EMILY
Eh. To each his own I guess.
      (stuffs clothes
       into bag, hits
       something inside
            (MORE)

6.

                       EMILY (cont'd)
       of bag with her
       hand.)
What's this?
      (pulls out small
       container)
'Muscle O's, the steriods of the
stars..'
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
Steroids?
                                                            
                       EMILY (in shock)
      (pauses)
No..
      (pauses)
This can't be right.
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
      (looks at label)
No, it's right. It says steroids
right there.
                                                            
                       EMILY (flushed with anger)
      (grinding teeth)
I'm going to kill him.
                                                            
Enters AUSTIN, smiling after a hard day's practice.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Hey babe.
                                                            
                       EMILY (angrily)
Don't 'babe' me.
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
That's my cue. Bye guys.
      (Exits)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (puzzled)
What's wrong?
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (yelling)
You know exactly what's wrong!
      (holds up
       container)
What is this?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
That?
      (reaches for
       container)
            (MORE)

7.

                       AUSTIN (cont'd)
That is our ticket to the big
times. Every time i feel weak or
low, I pop in on of these and I
get stronger. I can feel it right
now. Now we're undefeated and I'm
at Kubler Ross all cause of my
little secret weapon.
      (smiles)
                                                            
                       EMILY
But that's..
      (pauses)
cheating. And it's just... Wrong!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (yelling; punches
       locker
       intimidating
       EMILY)
Wrong? Wrong?! Wrong to be the
best that I can be? This..
      (looks at himself;
       calms down)
This is just body enhancement.
What's wrong is that you're mad at
me.
                                                            
                       EMILY (tears in her eyes)
      (yelling)
Don't turn this on me. You're
wrong! I.. I can barely look at
you right now!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (tries to take her
       hand, EMILY pulls
       away)
Just think about it. My future at
Ross, then the NFL. Living in
beautiful homes without a care in
the world. And you'll be right
there with me. My partner. My
wife. You'll have a diamond on
your finger more expensive than
anything in this town. You deserve
more than Everytown, Georgia. You
deserve the world. Just stay with
me and I'll give you the world,
Emily.
                                                            

8.

                       EMILY
      (pauses to gain
       composure)
Do you want to know why I said yes
to you when you asked me out? It
wasn't because you were the
quarterback. It wasn't your smile,
your eyes, or the future that you
and I could have had. It was
because for once in my life, I had
found someone honest. I had
finally found a guy whom I could
look into his eyes and no matter
what you said to me, I knew you
were telling me the truth. I knew
that if it were ever me and you
against the world, I could always
depend on you.
      (pauses)
But this... This person that
stands in front of me isn't the
same person I met. The same person
I...
      (chokes on her
       words; wipes her
       tears)
These steroids.. These drugs are
gonna be the death of you, because
you've already killed everything
we've had. Paint your own picture
of the future, but be sure to
leave me out of it. I'm done.
                                                            
EMILY exits.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (calling after her)
Emily! Emily! Come back!
      (punches locker)
                                                            
 
INT. ACT 2: SCENE 2 - DAY
                                                            
CLASSROOM
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
STUDENT is giving a speech in the middle of the stage. EMILY
and AUSTIN are on two separate sides of the stage facing the
audience, sitting in desks. There is a student next to
AUSTIN and a student next to EMILY.
                                                            

9.

                       STUDENT 1
      (clearly and
       articulately
       reading.)
Kubler-Ross's five stages of
grief, though once used to
describe the feelings of
individuals coping with death, can
also be applied to any type of
loss or tragedy. These
applications include the loss of
an important item, terminal
illness, and break-ups.
      (mouths words
       while AUSTIN
       speaks)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (to STUDENT 2)
Dude, can you believe she moved
all the way across the classroom?
Women..
                                                            
                       STUDENT 2
      (to AUSTIN)
Yeah bro. You must have really
made her mad. She won't even look
your way.
                                                            
                       STUDENT 1 (clearly)
The first stage is denial. This
temporary stage is a defense
mechanism used to remove the
victim from the situation
      (mouths words
       while AUSTIN
       speaks)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (matter of fact)
      (whispers to
       STUDENT 2)
I don't know what made her mad,
but she'll be fine. Just give it a
few days and she'll be ready to
get back together.
                                                            
                       STUDENT 2
Whatever man..
                                                            
                       STUDENT 1 (clearly)
Stage two is anger. This is the
most volatile stage. The victim
becomes angry at the situation and
most time others.
            (MORE)

10.

                       STUDENT 1 (cont'd)
      (mouths)
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (whispering
       angrily to
       EMILY'S FRIEND)
I can't believe he'd do that! He
just makes me so mad I can't even
see straight sometimes! Ugh!!
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND (blunt)
I'm glad you dumped him. You don't
deserve someone like that.
                                                            
                       STUDENT 1
The third stage is bargaining. The
victim will tend to wish that
there was something they could do
to undo the loss they are
experiencing. They tend to make
outrageous bargains that they know
they will not fulfill.
      (mouths)
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (to STUDENT 2)
Yeah man... maybe if I talk to
her, it'll make things better.
I'll text her now.
      (takes out phone
       and sends message)
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (waits a few
       seconds, then
       checks phone)
He just texted me.
      (mocking his voice)
'Hey babe, I really miss you. I
wish there was something I could
do to get you back. I swear I'll
stop everything I've been doing.
I'd even give up that university
just to have you.'
                                                            
                       EMILY'S FRIEND
Are you going to take him back?
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (texts him back)
Of course not.
                                                            

11.

Austin reads text message. A sadness rushes over his face.
LIGHTS shine on STUDENT 1 only.
                                                            
                       STUDENT 1
The fourth stage is depression.
This stage is the longest and most
difficult stage. The victim will
exhibit lack of interest in
hobbies and begin to understand
the certainty of the loss. The
final stage is acceptance. The
victim understands and accepts the
certainty of their loss and is
able to move forward with their
lives. This concludes my report.
Thank you.
                                                            
 
INT. ACT 3: SCENE 1 - DAY
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
SCHOOL HALLWAY
                                                            
It's been three weeks. AUSTIN is still depressed. He hasn't
won a football game in several weeks and the students are
starting to dislike him. AUSTIN is walking towards his
locker when he sees his schoolmates.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (to SCHOOLMATES)
Hey guys.
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATES
      (dryly)
Hey Austin...
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
What's going on?
                                                            
                       SCHOOLMATE 1
      (mockingly)
What's going on??
      (in his face)
What's going on with you?! We
haven't won a game in three weeks!
Everyone seems to be pulling their
weight on the team except for you!
Where is your head at?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (apologetically)
I'm sorry. There's just been a lot
going on lately.
                                                            

12.

                       SCHOOLMATE 1
Well keep your personal problems
out of the game!
                                                            
Enters EMILY.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
EMILY!
                                                            
EMILY walks past him without looking at him.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Emily.. Wait up..
      (follows her)
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (stops)
What?!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
I need to talk to you.
                                                            
                       EMILY
Not a chance.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (begging)
Please. It's important. Can we
ride out to the lake tonight and
talk. There's something I need to
say to you.
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (thinks about it)
OK. And when we're done, we're
done. You get back to your life
and I'll get back to mine.
Understand?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Loud and clear.
                                                            
 
EXT. ACT 3: SCENE 2 - NIGHT
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
IN THE CAR
                                                            
AUSTIN and EMILY are sitting in chairs side by side. AUSTIN
is "driving." EMILY doesn't look at him, but instead watches
the road.
EMILY notices something different about the car, and AUSTIN.
                                                            

13.

                       AUSTIN
      (looking over at
       EMILY)
Beautiful night isn't it?
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (dryly)
Keep your eyes on the road.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (looks at
       road;then back at
       EMILY)
The moonlight reflects perfectly
off of the lake and just bathes
the trees so beautifully don't you
think?
                                                            
                       EMILY
Keep your eyes on the road. Wasn't
there something you wanted to tell
me?
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
Yeah. I'm a wreck without you,
Emily. I can't eat. I can't sleep.
I can't even clean my own car.
Look at this mess.
                                                            
EMILY looks around the car.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (continues)
I've even started...
      (looks away)
I need you back, Emily.
                                                            
                       EMILY
You've started what?
      (sniffs the air)
Have you been drinking?!
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (pleads)
Emily, I'm a wreck without you!
You are the only thing I want in
my life. I don't care about this
college. I don't care about
football. I care about you!
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (screams)
GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR RIGHT NOW!
                                                            

14.

                       AUSTIN
      (screams)
I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!
      (looking right at
       her)
Everything I've been through has
taught me something. More than
anything else in the world, Emily,
I want to tell you that I-
                                                            
                       EMILY
      (screams in terror)
CAR!!
                                                            
Both AUSTIN and EMILY jump forward and hit the ground. EMILY
goes limp and AUSTIN cannot use his legs.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN
      (crying)
Emily! Emily are you ok?!
      (pauses; nothing)
Emily! I wanted to tell you that I
love you. More than anything else
in the world. I love you, Emily. I
love you.
      (nothing)
Say something back. Anything.
Anything Emily. Just let me know
that you love me back. Tell me
you'll be ok. I can't feel my legs
babe... I can't feel my legs.
Emily, I love you. Say
something... Anything.
                                                            
Time passes. Paramedics arrive. The paramedics cover EMILY
in a white sheet. AUSTIN cries out to her.
                                                            
 
INT. ACT 3: SCENE 3 - DAY
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
HOSPITAL
                                                            
AUSTIN is asleep in the hospital. AUSTIN'S MOM is talking to
the DOCTOR.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
      (rubs AUSTIN's
       head)
It'll be ok, honey. Mommy's here.
I'll always be here for you.
                                                            

15.

Enters DOCTOR
                                                            
                       DOCTOR (solemn)
      (to AUSTIN'S MOM)
Hello Mrs. Wright.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
Hello doctor. How's he doing?
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
Better than we had first thought
but still not the best. It seems
the slowed reaction time effect
that the alcohol produced in his
system kept his body from tensing
up and ultimately kept him alive.
He should be home in a few days.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
      (forcing a smile)
Thank you doctor. I'm so glad
he'll be better.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
However, he will not be able to
walk again. The damage of the
impact permanently damaged his
spine and he will be confined to a
wheelchair for the rest of his
life.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
Is there anything I can do? Is
there any way he can be fixed.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
I'm sorry. What you can do is be
there for him. He needs
companionship and understanding
now more than ever.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
Thank you Doctor.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR
Oh and one more thing Mrs. Wright.
Blood tests confirmed large levels
of steroids in his system. Though
I wouldn't advice bringing this up
to him now, you might want to
discuss the dangers of those types
of drugs with him.
                                                            

16.

                       AUSTIN'S MOM
I will Doctor.
      (rubbing AUSTIN'S
       stomach)
I will...
                                                            
 
INT. ACT 3: SCENE 4 - DAY
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
AUSTIN'S HOUSE
                                                            
Austin has been home for weeks. He talks very little and
faint sounds of crying can be heard every night. Often he
will be in a corner by himself in his wheelchair, but today
he's not in the corner and nowhere to be found.
After calling his name a few times, AUSTIN'S MOM finds a
note on the kitchen counter. She starts to read it and a
V.O. of AUSTIN reading it plays while she reads it.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
      (starts to read
       it.)
By the time you get this, I will
already be at Wilson's Dock. Don't
come looking for me.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN (V.O.)
This was all my fault. I lost the
girl of my dreams, my college, my
football dreams, my legs and my
livelihood. I can't take it
anymore. Every time I close my
eyes I see the corpse of the girl
I love and every time I stop to
think I realize that I'm the one
who caused this. Me and my drugs.
A body enhancement I called it. It
was a curse. All it did was ruin
my life. All I did was ruin my
life. I can't look at myself
anymore, and I can't live like
this and move on like nothing
happened. I
      (pauses)
I'm sorry
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
      (crying)
My baby.
      (frantically finds
       umbrella)
            (MORE)

17.

                       AUSTIN'S MOM (cont'd)
I have to go save him!
                                                            
 
EXT. ACT 3: SCENE 5 - DAY
                                                            
                                         FADE IN:
                                                            
WILSON'S DOCK BY THE LAKE
                                                            
AUSTIN'S MOM pulls up at the dock. she opens her umbrella,
because it is raining outside. She walks around calling
AUSTIN's name. She sees the wheelchair in the distance on
the edge of the stage. It is foggy so she cannot see who is
in the chair. The chair is facing the audience.
                                                            
                       AUSTIN'S MOM
      (walks slowly to
       the wheelchair
       and stands feet
       behind it)
Austin? Honey is that you? Honey
you don't have to do this. It's
not worth it.
      (nothing; pauses)
Did I ever tell you the story of
how your father died?
      (nothing; pause)
I told you he died serving his
country. That's not true. Before
you were born you had an older
sister. Your father loved her more
than anything else in the world.
He helped me paint her room, pick
out a crib, held my hand through
every ultrasound. But something
happened. When I went to give
birth to her, she was already
dead. She had his eyes. We cried
together for a long time.
      (starts crying)
We tried again, and for a long
time nothing happened. We thought
that we couldn't conceive again.
He blamed himself.
      (starts bawling)
He couldn't take it anymore. He
drove his car out to this very
dock and drove into this lake. I
was heartbroken, depressed,
suicidal even. And then one day I
go to the doctor and they tell me
I have a baby boy growing in my
stomach. A healthy baby boy. That
            (MORE)

18.

                       AUSTIN'S MOM (cont'd)
boy was you Austin.
      (smiles)
Through all of the pain and
heartache out came this miracle.
You. You made it when all of the
odds were against you and you can
do it again honey.
      (walks closer to
       the wheelchair)
I need you, Austin. You're all I
have left. And I don't think I can
make it without you. Let's go
home, honey. Let's go home and
I'll fix you a hot meal and we can
talk and smile and laugh like we
used to... Please..
                                                            
AUSTIN'S MOM reaches for the chair to pull AUSTIN back, but
when she turns the chair around and AUSTIN isn't there. He
had already jumped into the lake. She covers her face, gets
on her knees and bawls in front of the wheelchair.
                                                            
[OPTIONAL: (Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding
could be playing at the end after the Fade Out.]
                                                            


THE END


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