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High School Redemption
by Stephanie Sharp (stephaniecj2@juno.com)

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

Logline: An abusive alcoholic is given divine orders to relive his high school days in order to bring back his dead wife. Per Author (Sneak Peak) - The bewildered and distressed widower prayed to God for a simple request..."Please take me instead." Ironically, God agreed.


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.



HIGH SCHOOL REDEMPTION

FADE IN:

EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
                                                            
MUSIC, from inside the gym, ECHOS through the propped open
doors, into the parking lot.

STUDENTS IN FORMAL WEAR arrive for their big night.
                                                            
SUPER: SENIOR PROM NIGHT - WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL (1991)
                                                            
 
INT. CLASSIC MODEL FORD - MUSTANG GT - (MOVING) - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
The handsome, young captain of the football team, DANIEL,
blonde hair, chiseled features, drives.

Nestled up close to Daniel is his shy, beautiful sweetheart,
NICOLE, also a natural blonde.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I really do like your new car,
Daniel. It rides well.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Ya think so...? Yeah...I agree.
I'm pretty "stoked" about it too.
                                                            
Nicole "playfully" nudges Daniel.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So...you sure you're ready for
this?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Well, yeah. Why wouldn't I be?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (cocking head,
       shrugging
       shoulders)
Eh, ya know...GOD may not like how
close you're gonna be dancin' to
me, that's all. Wouldn't want
anybody to get upset.
                                                            
Daniel LAUGHS, Nicole gives him a "furious" look.
                                                            

2.

                       DANIEL
Awe, come on, Babe. You know I
didn't mean it.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Daniel, I've asked you not to talk
like that. You know how that
bothers me.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Well then, tell ya what...pray for
me, like you always do, and let's
just go have some fun. How 'bout
that?
                                                            
Nicole shakes her head, smiles.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - PARKING LOT - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel's MUSTANG GT pulls in, parks.
                                                            
He exits the car, "trots" around to the passenger's side,
opens the door. Nicole exits.

The SOUND OF MUSIC "increases" as, hand-in-hand, Daniel and
Nicole approach the LIT double-door entrance, to the gym.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
The GYM has been transformed into a BALLROOM for the
STUDENT'S big night. COUPLES are already out on the dance
floor.

Daniel escorts Nicole into the gym, sporting a BLACK tux
with matching satin BLUE "sapphire" bow-tie and sash to
Nicole's satin BLUE "sapphire" sleeveless, floor-length
ballgown.

They STOP just inside the doorway, "appearing" to be
admiring the setting.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around)
Wow! Look at this place! They did
a really good job.
                                                            
Time seems to stand still as other STUDENTS, just inside the
door, take notice of the newly arrived couple.
                                                            
After a brief moment...
                                                            

3.

                       DANIEL
      (leaning into
       Nicole)
Um...I knew you were beautiful,
but I didn't know we'd get this
much of a reaction.
                                                            
Nicole places her hand over her mouth, covering a "bashful"
smile.
                                                            
Daniel is approached by one of his friends, RICHIE, a petite
kid with thick brown hair and big brown eyes, sporting a
black "traditional" tux.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Hey, Man, how're ya?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Richie, my man!
                                                            
The two boys EXECUTE their "secret handshake"...interlocking
thumbs, a release, then a waving of the fingers ending with
index fingers pointing at each other.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Who did you end up bringin'?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Are you kiddin'? Take a look
around you, Man! There's at least
two girls to every guy. It's open
season around here!
                                                            
Daniel and Nicole LAUGH.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
I'll catch up with you guys a
little later. It's time for me to
do a little huntin'!
                                                            
Richie goes on about his way, Daniel CHUCKLES.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to Nicole)
Hey, I gotta make a bathroom run.
You gonna be okay for a couple
minutes?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah, sure. Go ahead.
                                                            

4.

                       DANIEL
Why don't you go find us a place
to sit.
                                                            
A nod from Nicole. Daniel gives her a kiss on the cheek,
heads off.
                                                            
APRIL, a tall, slender girl with long dark hair, comes to
Nicole's side. She sports a DARK PURPLE, "elegantly"
layered, floor-length gown.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Look at you! That dress is
absolutely stunning!
                                                            
Nicole gives her friend's prom dress a once over look.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Wow, April, so is yours.
                                                            
                       APRIL
I know.
                                                            
The girls LAUGH.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (looking around)
Where's John?
                                                            
                       APRIL
Oh, he said he was gonna put some
early requests in with the DJ, but
I really think he went to spike
the punch instead.
                                                            
The girls share another LAUGH.

TIMMY, a well spoken, shy, skinny kid with a crooked smile,
winged "red" hair, "light" freckles and large "round"
eye-glasses, approaches the girls. He sports a "black" tux
with matching bow-tie and "black" undershirt.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (with a "bow" of
       his head)
Hello, ladies.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (looking Timmy
       Over)
Really, Timmy? "All" black...?
                                                            

5.

                       TIMMY
Of course. It's called being
"incognito" as I patiently await
the woman I love.
                                                            
Looking at Nicole, Timmy begins to stare.

After a "brief" moment...
                                                            
                       APRIL
Um...earth to Timmy!
                                                            
Nicole LAUGHS.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      ("shaking" it off)
Sorry, Nicole. I'll just never
understand what Daniel did to
deserve you. You're absolutely the
most beautiful woman I've ever
seen.
                                                            
April smiles, rolls her eyes and shakes her head.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Well, thank you, Timmy.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
You're very welcome. Believe
me...the pleasure's all mine.
                                                            
After a "brief" awkward moment...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
So, uh, who are you here with...?
                                                            
Timmy SIGHS.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Just myself, for now. You
know...since "you" were already
taken.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Awe, Timmy...
                                                            
With April looking on in "shocking" amusement...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (taking hold of
       Timmy's hand)
You're really a nice guy. I know
you'll find someone who'll love
you the way you deserve to be
            (MORE)

6.

                       NICOLE (cont'd)
loved. Just be patient. It'll
happen in due time...I promise.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Perhaps. Patience is about the
only thing I have left.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (shrugging her
       shoulders)
Well, I mean, "maybe", in some
other lifetime, things could've
been different. Who knows...?
                                                            
April nudges Nicole with her elbow, following up with a
"disgruntled" look.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (looking down on
       her)
Really, Nicole...?
                                                            
Holding Nicole's LEFT hand, Timmy "promptly" observes it.
                                                            
ON SCREEN

NICOLE'S WEDDING FINGER. A sparkling "teardrop" 1.5 carat
BLUE "sapphire" diamond ring.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      ("still" holding
       onto Nicole's
       hand)
Um, is this real or just part of
your costume jewelry? Perhaps
there's something you're not
telling us...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Oh, don't be silly!
                                                            
Nicole withdraws her hand, looks around.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I guess I need to go find Daniel.
He's been gone for awhile and I
don't see him anywhere.
                                                            
Nicole begins to walk off.
                                                            

7.

                       NICOLE
Catch up with you guys later.
Enjoy the prom.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (waving to Nicole)
Yeah, sure. You bet.
                                                            
Nicole walks away.

April turns to Timmy as they both share a brief silent,
"awkward" moment.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Well...I, uh, should probably go
catch up with Nicole. Ya
know...girl stuff.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Sure. No problem.
                                                            
Catching up with Nicole, April places her arm around
Nicole's neck as they walk.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Ya know, you really should give
that guy a chance.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Timmy's a nice guy. He's just not
really my type. That's all.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Right, but..."Daniel" sure is.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (smiling)
Whatever!
                                                            
                       APRIL
And every other female in the
world's type too!
                                                            
They LAUGH.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (stopping Nicole
       dead in her
       tracks)
But...Timmy did bring up a very
valid question.
                                                            

8.

She takes hold of Nicole's left hand and holds it up,
revealing the ring.
                                                            
                       APRIL
What is this?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
April, come on. It's nothin'.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (still holding
       onto Nicole's
       hand)
Nothin'...? How can this be
nothin'? What is it...some kind of
peace-offering of his, or
somethin'?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
No. It's just a promise ring.
That's all.
                                                            
Nicole withdraws her hand from April.
                                                            
                       APRIL
"Just" a promise ring...? Come on,
Nicole. That's a beautiful
sapphire diamond ring!
                                                            
                       NICOLE
So! It's a stone that means
protection...meaning that he would
do anything he had to do to
"protect" me and keep me safe.
                                                            
April places her hand on her hip and leans to the side, as
if to show "attitude".
                                                            
                       APRIL
Yeah...okay!
                                                            
Nicole SIGHS.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
April, look...you know you're
gonna have to give Daniel a
chance. He's really trying this
time and I believe he really wants
to start fresh. You know...a clean
slate for everybody.
                                                            

9.

April shakes her head, stares at Nicole.

After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       APRIL
Welp...that is some promise ring
and, as your friend, if this new
"promise" of his makes you happy,
then I'm all for it.
                                                            
The girl's "happily" embrace.

After a brief moment, April pulls away, looks at Nicole. She
takes her by the hand.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Just promise me you'll be careful
this time and think things
through, okay?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Okay. I promise.
                                                            
April tilts her head, smiles at Nicole.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Love to you...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
and love to you.
                                                            
                       APRIL
I just don't wanna have to worry
about you, okay? But, most
importantly, I guess...
                                                            
April leans into Nicole...
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (whispering)
Congratulations.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Thank you.
                                                            
Nicole smiles, "timidly" looks down at the ring on her hand.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - REST ROOM AREA - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Daniel exits, "looks" around.

ON SCREEN

10.


A dark-headed STRANGER (male), dressed all in white, stands
"directly" across the room from Daniel, staring in his
direction.

END ON SCREEN

While looking around, this catches Daniel's attention. He
does a "double-take".

ON SCREEN

The stranger is continuing to stare at Daniel.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
With a "questionable" look, Daniel glances around the area
behind him, as if making sure the stranger is staring at
him.

Daniel looks back at the stranger and nods and smiles,
appearing to feel no threat.
                                                            
ON SCREEN

The stranger turns to walk away when "ghost-like", he
appears to walk through (rather than around) the STUDENTS
between him and the door. This "ghostly act" goes unnoticed
by the other students.

END ON SCREEN

In having seen this, Daniel does a quick "double-take",
freezes.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What the...
                                                            
His jaw drops (open), staring at the door, across the way,
where the stranger exited.

A TAP on the shoulder, from behind, and Daniel "snaps" out
of it. He turns and faces AMBER, an ex-girlfriend, who
portrays a confident, yet somewhat INTIMIDATING appearance.

Daniel's attention is "obviously' elsewhere.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh...ah...Amber, hey.
                                                            
Amber places a hand on each side of Daniel's face, turning
his attention towards her.
                                                            

11.

                       AMBER
Hey...you okay?
                                                            
Daniel takes a step back.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah, why?
                                                            
                       AMBER
Well...maybe because you just
look, I don't know, like someone
who just saw a..."ghost".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
A ghost? Well, I wouldn't say
that, but...
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (looking Daniel up
       and down)
Oh, whatever. You look "amazing"
by the way.
                                                            
A "forced" LAUGH, from Daniel.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Thanks, you too. Who're you here
with, anyway?
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (smiling)
Nobody in particular. "My" man was
already taken. So...where's
Nicole?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around)
Oh, she's around here somewhere. I
was just tryin' to find her when
I, uh, "saw the ghost".
                                                            
                       AMBER
Sure, okay.
                                                            
After a brief moment of "awkward" silence...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I, ah, better go find Nicole.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Yeah, sure. Maybe I'll see you
later...?
                                                            

12.

                       DANIEL
Yeah...maybe.
                                                            
Amber takes hold of Daniel's arm as he walks away, stopping
him dead in his tracks.
                                                            
She leans into him.
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (whispering in his
       ear)
Maybe we could have a dance for
old time's sake...? You know, it
is our last year of high school.
                                                            
Daniel "slowly" pulls away from her.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah, sure, why not. Look, Amber,
I really do need to go find
Nicole. I'll catch up with ya
later.
                                                            
He begins to walk away.
                                                            
                       AMBER (O.S.)
You really do care about this one,
don't you?
                                                            
Daniel slows down to a stop, turns back towards Amber.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (shrugs his
       shoulders)
I guess we'll see, won't we?
                                                            
Amber puts off a "distressed" look.
                                                            
Daniel glances back towards the direction of where he saw
the "strange" man, shakes his head (as if in disbelief) and
walks.
                                                            
Not paying attention, he walks headlong into his best friend
JOHN, a burly, handsome kid with short brown hair.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Hey, Man!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh, hey, Dude. Sorry. I was
ah...just a little distracted.
                                                            

13.

                       JOHN
Obviously, but hey...as long as we
just "happened" to bump into each
other, why not give me some skin?
                                                            
John raises his right palm in the air, as if to prepare for
a 'high five'.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Really...?
                                                            
John lets out a SIGH, takes his hand down.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Okay, Daniel, look...how 'bout we
just kiss and make up? I don't
even remember what we were arguin'
about to begin with. And, since we
have been best friends since the
third grade...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Second grade.
                                                            
John "cocks" his head.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Was it second grade...?
Hmm...maybe it was second grade.
Time just goes by so fast when
you're havin' fun.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I know, right?
                                                            
The two share a LAUGH, execute the "secret handshake".
                                                            
                       JOHN
Sorry, Dude.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
It's cool.
                                                            
                       JOHN
So...where is Nicole? You two did
come together, didn't ya?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Of course, why wouldn't we? I
actually need to go find out where
she's at. Catch up with me later,
though, okay?
                                                            

14.

                       JOHN
Yeah, sure. Stay sober, Dude.
                                                            
Daniel smiles, "salutes" John.

Walking away, Daniel glances towards the dance floor, stops.

ON SCREEN

April and Nicole stand on the side of the dance floor,
swaying "gently" to the slower MUSIC.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel smiles to himself, heads to join them.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - DANCE FLOOR - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Nicole notices Daniel approaching.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Hey! I was wonderin' where you
were. You had me worried you fell
in or somethin'.
                                                            
Daniel shakes his head as he joins Nicole and April's
"subtle" dancing.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nah, I'm right here, Baby.
                                                            
The girls LAUGH. Suddenly, the LIGHTS DIM as the DJ's VOICE
"rings out" over the SPEAKER SYSTEM.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Dance off!
                                                            
A SPOTLIGHT turns on, ILLUMINATING CENTER.

MUSIC CUE: "Electro Song" Classic

A STUDENT DANCER jumps into the CIRCLE OF LIGHT, goes into a
"break-dance" routine.

STUDENTS stand around, CLAPPING as they "urge" the
break-dancer on.

The dancer jumps to his feet, provides a "high-five" to his
BUDDY behind him, and exits.

The dancer's buddy takes CENTER place, in the CIRCLE OF
LIGHT, and begins his "own" break-dance routine.

15.


We see John, on the SIDELINE, breaking into a "comedic"
break-dance routine, as friends CLAP to the BEAT.

The CIRCLE OF LIGHT "widens" as more STUDENT DANCERS enter.
                                                            
END MUSIC
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Wow, folks! Can you believe that
action?! How do they m-o-v-e like
that?!
                                                            
The students begin to "interact", as they MINGLE.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Okay...now, we're gonna do a
complete 360 and go with a more
traditional dance form, BUT with a
West Point High School twist!
                                                            
Some STUDENTS "gather" along the SIDELINES, appearing to be
in "anticipation" of what's to come.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Instead of "musical chairs", we're
gonna play..."musical partners"!
                                                            
The student dancers begin to CLAP, in excitement, as they
"quickly" pair up with a PARTNER.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Now, whenever the "style" of music
changes, you've gotta find
yourself a new partner, and no
fair going back to an earlier one.
It has to be a new dance partner
every time. Y'all got that?
                                                            
                       STUDENTS
Yes!
                                                            
LAUGHTER.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Okay, well, here we go...when the
music stops playin', "quickly"
find someone "new" before the next
style of music begins. If you're
left standing alone when the new
music plays, you're out of the
game and "must" leave the dance
floor, immediately. So,
remember...a "different" partner
            (MORE)

16.

                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (cont'd)
every time, and no cheating! I've
got spotters watchin' you!
                                                            
A few GUYS "bow" to their LADIES, as if asking for this
dance the "old-fashioned" way.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
We'll begin with an arm-in-arm,
good 'ol skippin' around, square
dancin' song, right...now!
                                                            
MUSIC CUE: "Square Dance" Instrumental
                                                            
Students "maneuver" themselves into a square dancing
"formation" with a big YEE-HAW!.
                                                            
The D.J. SINGS "instructions", keeping in rhythm with the
BEAT.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Swing your partner round and
round, don't look down, it'll make
you frown. After goin' round and
round, switch your partner to this
sound...
                                                            
END MUSIC

Students "scurry" to find their next PARTNER.

Daniel "breaks away" from April, turns and finds himself
face-to-face with...Amber. She smiles, takes Daniel by the
hand.

April and Richie pair up, as do John and Nicole, nearby.

We see Nicole "gaze" at Daniel, over John's shoulder, as he
"pairs up", with Amber.

MUSIC CUE: "Ballad" Classic
                                                            
As the COUPLES dance, Amber appears to be getting a little
"too close" to Daniel. "Glancing" over at Nicole, Amber
catches Nicole's "gaze", looks away.
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (sighing)
Are you sure you're making the
right decision this time, Daniel?
You know she's gonna leave you
when she goes off to college
anyway. But...guess what? I'll
            (MORE)

17.

                       AMBER (cont'd)
still be right here, waiting.
                                                            
Daniel turns away from Amber as she "discretely" kisses him
on the cheek; he steps back.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I can't do this, Amber. Not now.
It's been way over two years. Get
over it already. You know I'm
with Nicole now and that's not
gonna change anytime soon. Not if
I have anything to do with it.
                                                            
Daniel walks away, leaving Amber standing alone.
                                                            
END MUSIC

Amber stands still, staring after Daniel, as the remaining
STUDENTS "seek out" new PARTNERS around her.

Daniel exits.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - BACK EXIT - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Entering into the night air, Daniel takes a "deep" breath.

MUSIC, from "inside" the gym, ECHOS through the propped open
doors.

Turning back to see if anyone has followed him, he sees that
he is alone.

He puts his hand in a pocket, just inside of his jacket, and
pulls out a small, stainless steel "flask".

He opens it; takes a swig. He leans against the hood of a
"random" car; takes another swig and stares up at the stars.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - DANCE FLOOR - LATER
                                                            
The DANCE GAME continues, as only a few COUPLES are left on
the floor, Nicole and Timmy among them.

All of the other STUDENTS "look on" from the SIDELINES.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Okay, everybody. We're about to
find out who our winners are! Here
we go!
                                                            

18.

MUSIC STOPS.

The remaining students "quickly" scramble, trying to "pair
up", but only TWO of them are able to do so...Nicole and
Timmy.

Timmy gives his DANCE PARTNER a big "smile".
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Hey! Quite the luck, I'd say!
                                                            
Smiling, Nicole shakes her head in wonder at the idea her
"new" PARTNER is...Timmy.
                                                            
COLLECTIVE APPLAUSE, for the winning couple.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
We have our winners, ladies and
gentlemen! We'll let them have the
center of the dance floor all to
themselves now for one last dance.
                                                            
MUSIC CUE: "A Slow Song" (for Slow Dancing)

Timmy and Nicole make their way to the CENTER. After
"slowly" embracing, they begin to sway to the beat.

All of the other STUDENTS gather around the SIDELINES,
"surrounding" Timmy and Nicole.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (after a moment)
Wow. You're a really good dancer.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Thanks. So are you.
                                                            
They both share a "nervous" LAUGH, as they dance.

After a brief moment...

Nicole takes a "quick" look around the room, still dancing.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Have you seen Daniel, lately?
                                                            
                       TIMMY
No, not lately. Why?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Hmm. I wonder where he got off to.
                                                            
 

19.

INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - BACK ENTRANCE - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel enters, "looks" around. After glancing towards the
CENTER of the DANCE FLOOR, he does a "double-take".

ON SCREEN

Timmy and Nicole...slow dancing. They "both" appear to be
enjoying each other's company.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (taken aback)
What the hell is this?!
                                                            
He "takes off" towards the CENTER of the DANCE FLOOR.

John, leaning against a wall in the "back" of the GYM, takes
notice. He SIGHS.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (to himself)
Great. Here we go...again.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - DANCE FLOOR - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel begins to "push" his way through the STUDENTS,
standing along the SIDELINES, as he makes his way to Timmy
and Nicole.

He "interrupts" their dance by pulling them apart and
shoving Timmy to the side.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (stumbling
       backwards)
Hey, Man...what're you doing?
                                                            
Nicole appears to be in a "speechless" state of mind.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What am "I" doin'? What the hell
do you think "you're" doin',
Loser? Whose girl do you think she
is, anyway?!
                                                            
END MUSIC
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Whoa, Dude! The contest isn't
"exactly" over. The winners do get
the last dance. You'll have to
            (MORE)

20.

                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (cont'd)
leave the dance floor for the
couple to finish what they've
started.
                                                            
Daniel "smirks" in response to the DJ, shakes his head and
takes Nicole by the arm as he pulls her further away from
Timmy.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (pulling her arm
       away)
My gosh, Daniel...have you been
drinkin' again? We ended up
winning the dance contest. It's no
big deal.
                                                            
The CROWD begins to "dissipate", as STUDENTS disperse in all
directions.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Yeah, Daniel. We won a dance-off
together. It's not like I won
"her".
                                                            
Daniel gives Timmy a "disdainful" look as he begins to LAUGH
and point at him.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around)
Hey, everybody! Check this "geek"
out right here! He's practically
drooling all over a girl he knows
he'll never have the goods to
have!
                                                            
Daniel stops, "stares daggers" at Timmy.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (after a moment)
Come on, Man. You know you're not
dancin' with Nicole, so get over
yourself, okay? "My" kind doesn't
mix with "your" kind. Got it?
Never have, never will...period.
(to Nicole)
Come on.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (softly, to Timmy)
I'm so sorry.
                                                            

21.

EVERYONE stares as Daniel "half drags" Nicole off the dance
floor.

ON SCREEN

Timmy remains standing, arms to his side, in the CENTER,
alone.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
As John walks up behind Daniel, everyone looks on in
"disbelief".
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (following close
       behind)
Come on, Daniel. You think you may
be goin' a little overboard with
this one...?
                                                            
Daniel "clinches" Nicole's hand.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Don't even start with me, John. Me
and Nicole are outta here.
                                                            
They come up on a small CROWD, blocking the exit.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Look, if you know what's good for
all of ya, you'll get the hell out
of my way!
                                                            
They "get the hell out of the way" and Daniel, pulling
Nicole along at his side, exits.

John, Richie and April "quickly" follow behind, and exit.
                                                            
                       DJ (ON PA SYSTEM) (O.S.)
Wow! Somebody around here needs to
loosen up. Meanwhile...back at the
party!
                                                            
MUSIC CUE: "Rock and Roll" Classic

STUDENTS break out in CHEERS.
                                                            
 

22.

EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
MUSIC from inside the gym ECHOS through the propped open
doors into the parking lot.
                                                            
Daniel and Nicole, with his hold now released, are "caught
up" by John, April and Richie.
                                                            
                       JOHN
What's up with ya, Man?! Have ya
lost your mind?! It was "just" a
game!
                                                            
Daniel STOPS, turns to John.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Look...nobody touches or dances
with "my fiancée" but me. You got
that?!
                                                            
A look of "shock and disbelief" among the GROUP.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
What...?
                                                            
                       APRIL
I knew it!
                                                            
April stands, hand over her mouth, in awe of the situation.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come on, Daniel...Nicole wasn't
doin' anything wrong. It was all
part of a simple, stupid contest.
That's it! How hard can it be to
let something like that go?!
                                                            
Daniel smirks, shakes his head.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You know what, John? "Maybe" you
should just learn how to mind your
own business. How 'bout that?!
                                                            
Daniel "roughly" takes hold of Nicole's arm, again.
                                                            
                       JOHN
"Maybe" I should just make it my
business, especially if you're
gonna treat her like she's your
personal property, draggin' her
            (MORE)

23.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
around however you like!
                                                            
Richie and the girls look on "helplessly", Daniel LAUGHS.

He gives John a "nasty" look while continuing to hold onto
Nicole's arm.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So, let me get this straight.
You're concerned about "my"
woman's safety...?
                                                            
John "aimlessly" glances around the group...looks at Daniel.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well...yeah, Daniel, we all are.
She's our friend too, ya know.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (somewhat
       teary-eyed)
Daniel, please, listen...
                                                            
Daniel gives Nicole "a look", shutting her up.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Nicole deserves to be with someone
who knows how to treat people with
respect, Daniel.
                                                            
Glaring at John, Daniel releases his hold on Nicole.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
And let me guess...you think that
someone should be you, right?
                                                            
April's jaw drops (open) as John lunges at Daniel, pushing
him against a random car. He places his "forearm" directly
under Daniel's chin, "holding him in place, staring
daggers".

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
I'd choose my words more
carefully, if I were you, Buddy.
Just do us all a favor and...grow
the hell up!
                                                            
John releases his grip as Daniel pushes him away.
                                                            

24.

                       DANIEL
The hell with you, Man!
                                                            
Daniel COUGHS, leaning forward, trying to regain his
composure.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I'm tellin' you, Daniel, as your
friend...if you don't watch it,
you're gonna lose the best thing
that's ever happened to you!
                                                            
Daniel, holding his throat, stands up and faces John.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Used to be, friend! Just stay away
from me and Nicole...we owe you
nothin'!
                                                            
Daniel takes a "teary-eyed" Nicole by the arm, walks away.

John, April and Richie watch as, shortly after, Daniel and
Nicole reach the passenger side of his "Mustang", a few feet
away.

Daniel opens the door and turns to face Nicole, standing
behind him.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (pointing inside
       the car)
Get in!
                                                            
Nicole gives John, April and Richie a "little wave", gets
in.

Daniel SLAMS the door.

He walks around to the other side, "jumps" into the driver's
seat and SLAMS the door.

John, April and Richie "show concern" as, a few seconds
later, Daniel's Mustang LAYS RUBBER across the parking lot
and into the street.

The tail lights disappear, into the night.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
The FRONT EXTERIOR of the "West Point High School Gym",
seeming to be in a current "unkept" condition, with the sun

25.

shining brightly behind.

SUPER: TWENTY YEARS LATER
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - EVENING
                                                            
"Middle-aged" ADULTS MINGLE, in "small" GROUPS, underneath a
BANNER draped across the far wall. It says, "Welcome Class
of 1991, Twenty Year Reunion".
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - OPEN BAR - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
A "middle-aged" John, sporting a little less hair, sits
solo. He appears to have aged "fairly" well, still looking
to be in good shape.

A heavier, "middle-aged" April, with shorter hair (than the
"younger April"), approaches John. She is accompanied by
another woman, MEAGAN.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Meagan...this is my husband, John.
                                                            
Meagan looks at John, nods her head in agreement.
                                                            
                       MEAGAN
Wow, April...nice catch.
                                                            
John smiles, extends his hand to Meagan.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Thanks. It's nice to meet you.
                                                            
                       MEAGAN
Likewise.
                                                            
They shake hands.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Did you go to school here?
                                                            
                       MEAGAN
No, I didn't go to school here,
but I did "marry" into the West
Point High's, Class of '91.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Oh...?
                                                            

26.

                       APRIL
      (nudging John)
Yeah. Remember Matt Bonner? The
one with the "crazy" hair-do...?
That's who she married!
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (taken aback)
The bone man?! Wow, where is he? I
need to say "hello".
                                                            
Meagan looks around.
                                                            
                       MEAGAN
      (waving it off)
Oh, who knows. He's around here
somewhere. Guess maybe I should go
find him. It was very nice meeting
you, John.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (with a wave)
Yeah, you too.
                                                            
                       MEAGAN
      (to April)
Come find me before you leave,
okay? Don't you dare leave
without saying bye.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Sure thing. We'll talk later.
                                                            
Meagan leaves with a "wave". April leans into John, gives
him a kiss on the cheek.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Have you just about caught up with
all of the "old gang" yet?
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (cocking his head
       to the side)
Eh, well...almost.
                                                            
April lets out a SIGH, sits down beside John.
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            
                       APRIL
You think they'll even show?
                                                            

27.

                       JOHN
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
Who knows. I tried everything I
could think of to get a message to
him. Whether or not he listened is
anybody's guess.
                                                            
April "gently" rubs John on the back, SIGHS.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Well...if I know Nicole, like I
"hope" I do, she'll show up either
with or without him. At least
that's the impression I got from
the RSVP she sent back last week
for the reunion, anyway.
                                                            
John, glancing up towards the entrance, does a double-take.

Without so much as a blink, he directs April's attention by
"nudging her and nodding" in that direction.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Would you look at that...
                                                            
ON SCREEN

Daniel and Nicole enter, holding hands. "Dressed to the
nines", they appear to have aged well. Stopping just inside
the door of the entrance, it's as if time stands still with
the "king and queen" having just arrived.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       APRIL
Wow...they haven't changed a bit.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (looking at April)
Well...come on. Let's go say,
"Hi".
                                                            
John and April get up from their chairs, head towards Daniel
and Nicole.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - FRONT ENTRANCE - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
John and April approach Daniel and Nicole, stopping just a
few feet in front of them.

Nicole and April "lock eyes" as Daniel and John stand firm.
                                                            

28.

                       APRIL
Nicole...?
                                                            
After a moment...

Putting off a faint smile, Nicole "visually" scans the area.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Wow...look at this place! Talk
about déjà vu!
                                                            
April and Nicole "engage" in LAUGHTER, embrace.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Yeah, tell me about it.
(pulling back to face Nicole)
You haven't changed a bit.
                                                            
As the girls interact with one another, John 'casually'
extends his hand to Daniel. They shake.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Daniel...it's good to see you.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (making eye
       contact with John)
Yeah, likewise.
                                                            
John and Daniel end their handshake.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Um, excuse me, boys, but "us
girls" have a lot of catching up
to do.
                                                            
Nicole looks at Daniel, as if to be asking for permission,
as April "unexpectedly" takes her by the hand. Leading her
away from Daniel, April takes Nicole towards a group of
WOMEN, opposite side of the room.

As April and Nicole walk away, John "observes" Daniel
watching Nicole's every move.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Hard to believe it's been twenty
years, huh? Seems like it was just
yesterday.
                                                            
Daniel nods, "continuing" to stare in Nicole's direction.
                                                            

29.

                       JOHN
I mean, what's that saying, "time
waits for no man"...?
                                                            
Daniel CHUCKLES.
                                                            
                       JOHN
You, uh, wanna go grab a
drink...maybe talk a little bit?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (turns to John)
Yeah...that'd be great.
                                                            
John leads the way as he and Daniel begin walking towards
the "open bar".
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - OPEN BAR - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Upon approaching the bar, John and Daniel take a seat where
John was last sitting.

John "signals" the BARTENDER, standing at the other end of
the bar, for two drinks.

Glancing at Daniel, John SIGHS.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Ya know...life was so much easier
when we were in high school. It
just seemed as if time would last
forever.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yep. Still...all good things must
come to an end, right?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yeah, I guess. Just youth being
wasted on the young. Of course, as
we both know, "time" isn't always
the best of friends.
                                                            
Daniel CHUCKLES, shakes his head.

They retrieve their drinks from the bartender, take a sip.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Daniel, I, uh, just wanted to say
how sorry April and I are with the
way things ended. It kind of
            (MORE)

30.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
sucked for "the girls" that we
weren't able to make it to each
other's wedding.
                                                            
Daniel, looking straight ahead, nods and SIGHS.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I mean, no offense, but for me,
personally...just thinkin' that
"maybe" our invitation got lost in
the mail helped me stay positive
about certain things in general,
ya know?
                                                            
After a moment of "awkward" silence...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
John, look, after all these years
of...
                                                            
John INTERRUPTS.
                                                            
                       JOHN
...no contact has been really hard
on the girls. Come on, Daniel,
it's been 20 years. Don't you
think it's high time we clear the
air, already?! You know it wasn't
right, the way we left things off.
And I have to say, it's been
really hard on April. I can only
imagine what it's done to Nicole.
                                                            
Daniel takes a sip of his drink.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Look..."maybe" I made a few bad
assumptions through the years, and
I'm sorry about that. I can't
possibly begin to imagine what you
must've been goin' through, at
such an early age. Either way,
I've always tried to be there for
ya, Daniel. Whether you accept
that, or not.
                                                            
Daniel stares straight ahead.

After an "awkward" moment of silence...
                                                            

31.

                       DANIEL
      (looking at John)
Well...I hear there's no time like
the present.
                                                            
While sitting, John puts off a smile as he and Daniel
EXECUTE their "infamous" handshake, following up with an
embrace and a once PAT on the back.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Alright! Well, on that note...tell
me what you've been doin' to make
money these days.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Construction supervisor. A good
friend of mine owns the company
and the pay's pretty good. What
about you?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well...after college, I went to
work as a graphic designer for a
small company in Oklahoma. I was
there for about four years.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh. Design anything I may have
heard of...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Ever heard of the "Ruff Mix" Dog
food?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Uh, yeah...sounds familiar.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I designed their company logo.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh. Are you still doing that kind
of work?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Oh, yeah. I actually work for
April's uncle now. He owns a
manufacturing facility in Texas. I
head up the marketing team there.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Hmm. Sounds like a lotta
responsibility.
                                                            

32.

                       JOHN
Eh, it can be pretty demanding at
times, but I enjoy the work.
                                                            
The two take a drink from their glass.
                                                            
                       UNKNOWN FEMALE (O.S.)
Oh, my gosh! Look at you!
                                                            
John "looks out" over the GROUP of former classmates,
standing around, mingling.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (to Daniel)
Your, uh, long lost "friend"
really seems to have it together
these days.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh? And who would that be?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well...remember your "old" buddy,
Timmy Stratton?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Timmy...? You mean, head of the
"geek" squad? Man, that guy gave
me the creeps all through high
school.
                                                            
John CHUCKLES.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yeah, "believe" me...I know.
Anyway, he's doin' pretty good
these days. Seems he started some
kind of networking company a few
years back. And, from what I
hear...it's worth a small fortune
today.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around)
Really?! Is the guy here
anywhere...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
I don't think so. April said
somethin' to the effect of him
bein' too busy with his company to
take time off for the reunion,
            (MORE)

33.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
right now.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Hmm.
                                                            
Daniel takes a "sip" of his drink, sits glass down.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Did he ever marry?
                                                            
                       JOHN
To my understanding...no.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh, figures. Even with a ton of
cash, the red-headed geek "still"
can't find a girl to take him.
Knowin' him, he's probably still
crushin' on my own wife. Ya
know...holdin' out for the
impossible?
                                                            
Daniel LAUGHS as John shakes his head and looks out over the
group.

ON SCREEN

Some dancing, others standing around. All seem to be having
fun, catching up on old times.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
The bartender approaches Daniel and John. He sits a bowl of
bar nuts in front of them. They "peer" his way.
                                                            
                       BARTENDER
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
What? They're free bar nuts.
Thought you two would enjoy.
                                                            
With a "smirk", the bartender walks away.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Does, uh, anyone ever hear
from...Amber?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Um, I'm not sure. I think she
pretty much left town right after
graduation. Ya know...just like
            (MORE)

34.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
you did. I'd be really surprised
if she were to show up here
unless, of course, she knew it was
"you" here askin' about her.
                                                            
Daniel nods as a "smirk" appears on his face. John notices.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Wow, Man...you really are a piece
of work, you know that? Why
concern yourself with a past
"girlfriend" who absolutely showed
no respect to the woman you're now
married to? I mean...don't you
think it's time to just let
"certain" things go?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Amber was a good friend to me,
John. She was someone who could
understand me. This has nothin' to
do with disrespecting my wife. I'm
just tryin' to catch up on "old"
friends. That's all...nothing
else.
                                                            
With a "shake" of his head, Daniel takes a drink.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (looking at Daniel)
No disrespect for your wife...?
Daniel, Nicole has spent the past
20 years isolated from her
friends. And for what...? To
satisfy your own doubt and
insecurities? You can't force that
way of life on people you love
just because "you're" always
fearing the worse.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Come on, John. Now's not the time
to go there, alright? But what I
think it is time for...
                                                            
"Quickly downing" his drink, Daniel stands to his feet,
stretches. Upon giving John a couple of "friendly" PATS on
the back, Daniel glances around the area.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (peering at his
       watch)
When is Richie gonna show up? I
            (MORE)

35.

                       DANIEL (cont'd)
guess he's still havin' to be late
for everything, huh? I can't wait
to see him again. It's been way
overdue.
                                                            
Daniel glances at John, receives a "serious" look.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking at John)
What? Is he not able to make it,
or somethin'?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Wow. I guess Nicole really wasn't
prepared to tell you.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Tell me what?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Why don't you take a load off and
forget about the party for now.
                                                            
Appearing "confused", Daniel takes his seat. John SIGHS.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Daniel...Richie was killed in a
car accident about a month or so
ago.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
A drunk driver hit him head on,
goin' in the wrong direction on
the highway. I don't think he ever
knew what hit him. His wife, who
was eight months pregnant, was
also with him. She never had a
chance.
                                                            
Daniel is silent and still as a porcelain figurine as the
conversation washes around him.

TRACKING SLOWLY IN on Daniel as John goes on.
                                                            
                       JOHN (O.S.)
In Nicole's defense, there was
talk that if you found out about
Richie, you would go further into
            (MORE)

36.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
isolation because of all that's
happened. I mean, you've already
quarantined yourself from
everybody over the years by not
checking e-mail or taking phone
calls.
                                                            
After a moment, Daniel begins to come out from the
"reverie", created by the stimulation of John's news, as he
rubs his eyes with his forearm.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
And the funeral...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
The bodies were sent to family
upstate, so none of us were able
to make it to the service.
                                                            
Daniel takes his drink, turns it up and after taking in
every last drop...sits the glass down on the bar.
                                                            
                       JOHN
You gonna be okay, Buddy?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'm, uh, gonna make my way to the
restroom and then go find my wife.
Excuse me.
                                                            
Daniel leaves in an instant as John looks on.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - OPPOSITE SIDE OF GYM - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Nicole and April sit among former CLASSMATES, at a cafeteria
table, as they reminisce "solely" with each other.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Yes, Nicole, it's true. We tried
everything we could think of to
maintain communication with both
you and Daniel throughout the
years, but to no avail. I mean,
seriously...what has he done to
you?
                                                            
Nicole SIGHS.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I don't know, April. Just tryin'
to keep things simple, I guess. He
thought he was doin' what he had
            (MORE)

37.

                       NICOLE (cont'd)
to do to protect me.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (taken aback)
Protect you...? Protect you from
what?! Livin' a life?! Nicole,
he's hidden you from most of your
friends for almost twenty years!
How's that protectin' you?!
                                                            
                       NICOLE
April, please...not now, okay?
                                                            
                       APRIL
Sorry. I can only imagine what he
was like when you told him the
news about Richie.
                                                            
Nicole sits "stone-faced".

After a moment...
                                                            
                       APRIL
Oh, my gosh, Nicole...you haven't
told him yet?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I tried, April, I really did. I
just wasn't gettin' anywhere with
it. I figured it would be better
if he heard the news from John,
anyway.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Well, just make me one promise...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Okay...?
                                                            
                       APRIL
Stay true to yourself, Nicole.
And, above all else...keep
yourself safe.
                                                            
April leans in to Nicole, takes her by the left hand and
lifts it up to her face.

ON SCREEN

A beautiful "teardrop" 1.5 carat BLUE "sapphire" diamond set
on Nicole's wedding finger.

38.


END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (sighing)
Either way...he sure does know how
to pick 'em. I remember the first
time I saw the engagement ring, or
(in your own words at the time),
"promise" ring, and it literally
took my breath away.
                                                            
Nicole puts off a "sheepish" grin as April looks her in the
face.
                                                            
                       APRIL
And, as I might add...that was
also the last time you and I were
really able to spend any time
together. I mean, what really gets
me is...why?
                                                            
April releases Nicole's hand as she pulls it away.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (shrugging her
       shoulders)
I don't know, April. I've asked
myself that same question. Daniel
just can't seem to get past
certain things that happened to
him as a child. I think maybe he
just can't find a way to work
through those issues and I don't
want to be the one who pushes him
over the edge, okay...?
                                                            
                       APRIL
Hmm...wow.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah, it's not that easy. After
everything, I still love him. I
don't know what I'd do without
him. All I know to do is just
continue prayin' for him. He is my
husband.
                                                            
                       APRIL
I understand, Nicole. I really do.
                                                            
April glances up.


39.

ON SCREEN

Daniel making a beeline straight towards them.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (standing up from
       the table)
There he is now. Listen, I'm gonna
go find John and leave you two
love birds to yourselves. Why
don't you and Daniel come find us
a little later, okay?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Sure. See ya later.
                                                            
April flashes a smile at Daniel as she walks by. Daniel
"reciprocates" the favor.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around as
       he approaches
       Nicole)
Enjoyin' yourself?
                                                            
Nicole gets up from the table, stands beside Daniel.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yes, I am. It's really nice to
see everyone again. How 'bout you?
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
How could you not tell me about
Richie, Nicole?
                                                            
Nicole takes Daniel by the arm, leading him as they step
away from the table and stop.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I am so sorry, Daniel. I tried,
but I just couldn't bring myself
to do it. That's why I needed to
have you here, so that John could
be the one to break the news to
you.
                                                            
Daniel "appears" to be unstable.
                                                            

40.

                       NICOLE
Have you been drinkin'...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh? What gave you that idea?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Hmm, I don't know. Maybe the fact
that you smell like liquor and
can't even stand up straight.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (beat)
Oh...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Daniel, why would you do this? You
know we have to drive home
tonight. We have nowhere else to
stay. I guess this means I'll be
the one drivin'.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No. I'll head back to the bar and
grab me a Coke or somethin'. It'll
be fine. I'll sober up in no time.
Just quit worryin'...okay?
                                                            
Daniel heads to the bar as Nicole looks on "relentlessly".
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - OPEN BAR - LATER
                                                            
Daniel sits alone, sipping on what appears to be anything
other than a "Coca-Cola".

John walks up behind him, stopping just a few feet away.
                                                            
                       JOHN
There you are. Looks like you made
a complete circle. I'm, uh, also
guessin' they were all out of
Coke...?
                                                            
SNICKERING, Daniel glances at John.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come on, Daniel. Let's go play a
game of darts. They've got a board
already setup and, as luck would
have it, it's open at the moment.
                                                            

41.

After no response, John approaches Daniel and takes a seat
beside him.
                                                            
                       JOHN
So, what do ya say...? I really
could use a partner to play with.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (slurring his
       words)
Eh, sorry, Man. Me and Nicole's
gotta get goin'. Long drive ahead.
                                                            
Daniel turns his "half-empty" glass up over his mouth,
drinking everything down to the last drop. He sits it down.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (looking on)
Okay, but...you, uh, don't think
Nicole would be better off just
stayin' the night around here
somewhere while you sleep this
off? You know you can always get
up early in the morning and drive
home, and if there's an issue with
money...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (interrupting John)
Man, get off of it, alright...?
I'm fine. We'll just stop for
coffee as needed. It's not that
big a deal.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come on, Daniel...you can't be
serious.
                                                            
Daniel looks around the room.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Where is Nicole, anyway?
                                                            
He gets up from his chair and takes a step, nearly tripping
over his own two feet.

John "swings into action" as he places his arm around
Daniel's neck, assisting him as he stands up. Upon becoming
more stable, Daniel pulls away from John.
                                                            

42.

                       DANIEL
I told you, Man, I didn't need any
help. I'm fine! I just need to go
find my wife.
                                                            
After a moment of glancing around the room, Daniel comes to
a "sudden" stop.

ON SCREEN

A SMALL GROUP OF WOMEN "huddled" in a far corner of the gym.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What the hell's goin' on over
there?!
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (looking in that
       direction)
Huh...I don't know, but whatever
it is, I think I see April.
Nicole's probably there, too. Come
on.
                                                            
John "strides" off with Daniel making his way, just a few
feet behind.

Upon getting closer, John comes to a sudden stop, staring in
the direction of the group.

ON SCREEN

A RED-HEADED MAN, seeming to be the center of attention. As
a couple of women step away, "Timmy" becomes visible to
John, looking all grown up and rather "distinguished".

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       JOHN
Timmy...?
                                                            
John looks back at Daniel.

ON SCREEN

Daniel, with a sour expression on his face, making his way
"directly" towards him.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            

43.

John's jaw drops (open) as he glances back towards the
group. He MUMBLES to himself.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Oh, God...tell me this is a joke.
                                                            
Daniel catches up with John.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So, what's goin' on? Who is that?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Um, yeah. It appears that our
class "millionaire" was able to
make it to the party after all.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...? You mean, "Timmy's" here
and he's talkin' to my wife?! Not
on my watch!
                                                            
Daniel takes off as John stands still, head bowed.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM - GROUP - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel scopes out Nicole. Standing just inside the "group"
talking to April, she is confronted by Daniel who, upon
making it to her side, takes her by the arm.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Come on, Nicole. We're outta here.
                                                            
John stands by April's side, appearing to try and comfort
her, as Daniel attempts to lead Nicole away. Standing firm,
Nicole "swiftly" pulls her arm away.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
My gosh, Daniel...I'm not a child.
What're you doin'? The reunion's
not even over yet.
                                                            
The small "group" begins to dissipate.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
It's over for us, alright?!
                                                            
A familiar, MALE VOICE, coming from behind Daniel.
                                                            
                       TIMMY (O.S.)
Daniel...?
                                                            

44.

Daniel turns around and comes face-to-face with a
well-groomed, "sophisticated" looking Timmy.

Timmy extends his hand.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
How're you, Daniel?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Timmy...?
                                                            
They rather "awkwardly" shake hands as Nicole, John and
April look on.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Well, these days, my friends just
call me "Tim".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh...well, that's nice, "Timmy".
                                                            
Daniel withdraws his hand.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Wow. I'd have to say, it's obvious
not much has changed with you.
                                                            
Without another word, Daniel takes hold of Nicole's hand,
escorts her to the door. Nicole glances back towards April
and John as she puts off an "apprehensive" wave.

They exit.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - GYM PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Approaching their car, Daniel releases his "hold" on Nicole.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Why're you actin' like this,
Daniel? We're not in high school
anymore. And I don't think you
should be drivin', either. You've
had way too much to drink.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'm fine.
                                                            
Arriving at the car, Daniel opens the "passenger" side door.


Nicole stands nearby.
                                                            

45.

                       DANIEL
Come on, Nicole, don't do this.
Just get in.
                                                            
                       JOHN (O.S.)
I don't think you should be doin'
that.
                                                            
Daniel glances up.

ON SCREEN

John and April, hand-in-hand, heading their way.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to himself)
Wow...
                                                            
They approach the car with April appearing a little
"standoffish".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Can't you people just mind your
own damn business?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yes, unless you "intentionally" do
somethin' to make it our business.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Come on, Man.
                                                            
Nicole, John and April stand firm, all staring at Daniel.
                                                            
                       JOHN
You know he's had too much to
drink, Nicole, and shouldn't be
drivin'. Think about what happened
to Richie.
                                                            
Daniel "stares daggers" at Nicole.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Get in the car, Nicole. We don't
have time for this. I am fine.
                                                            
After a brief, tense moment...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (shaking her head)
No, Daniel, I can't. Not this
time. John and April would be more
            (MORE)

46.

                       NICOLE (cont'd)
than happy to take me home.
                                                            
Nicole glances over at John, who nods in agreement, as
Daniel begins to LAUGH in a "mocking" manner.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Sure, like John's gonna drive four
hours there and four hours
back...?! Come on, Nicole. Quit
playin' around and, for God's
sake...get in the car!
                                                            
Nicole SIGHS as she turns to John and April, provides a
"timid" wave and climbs into the car with Daniel SLAMMING
the door behind her.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Nicole!
                                                            
John pulls April back, by the arm, as she attempts to make
it to Nicole.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come on, Baby, don't do this.
Whatever happens now is "strictly"
on him. We've done all we can do.
                                                            
April and John "stand by" as Daniel walks around to the
driver's side door.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (with a wave)
It's been real, folks, but all
good things must come to an
end...right?
                                                            
He puts off a "facetious" smile, opens the door.
                                                            
                       JOHN
You know what, Daniel?! You're
"still" that same guy from high
school who apparently hasn't
learned a damn thing!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What's to learn, John...huh?! The
fact that people die and nobody
cares?!
                                                            

47.

                       JOHN
I told you, Man...I'm truly sorry
about Richie. Please, don't make
the situation worse.
                                                            
Glaring at John, Daniel gets behind the wheel, SLAMS the
door and starts the car, REVVING up the engine.

Backing out of the driveway, Daniel SPINS OUT as he takes
off, out of the parking lot and down the road.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Wow...I am not believin' this, at
all.
                                                            
Teary-eyed, April takes hold of John's hand.
                                                            
                       APRIL
If he hurts her, I promise
you...he will pay for it with his
"own" life.
                                                            
John pulls her to him, wraps his arm around her.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Let's just pray that tonight is
somethin' we won't ever "have" to
remember.
                                                            
Pulling April closer to him, John kisses her on the forehead
as they both look out into the distance.
                                                            
 
INT. DANIEL'S CAR - HIGHWAY - (MOVING) - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel takes his eyes off the road, "glances" at Nicole.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Since when do you not trust me?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (staring straight
       ahead)
It's not that I don't trust you,
Daniel.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Then what is it?! You mean you'd
really prefer stayin' back there
with those people?!
                                                            

48.

                       NICOLE
      (looking at Daniel)
Those people...? Those people are
our friends, Daniel. And yes, if
it meant not havin' to risk my
life with you!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh, so they're our friends now?!
You mean, the kind that couldn't
even find a way to tell me about
Richie...?
                                                            
Looking straight ahead, Daniel "shakes" his head, LAUGHS.

As he begins to ACCELERATE, Nicole "appears" to become more
frightened, by the second.

She looks to be "bracing" herself...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I'm sorry about Richie, Daniel,
but please...don't do this. I
don't know why you're always
havin' to prove somethin'
everytime you drink. Nobody's
above the influence of alcohol and
if anybody knows that, it should
be you!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So...what? You don't think I have
your best interest at heart?
                                                            
A "teary-eyed" look at Daniel...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
How could you?! If you did, you
wouldn't insist I get in the car
with you, drivin' half loaded, at
that!
                                                            
Daniel SIGHS. Turning to look at Nicole, he loses control of
the car.

While trying to "regain" control, another VEHICLE, coming
towards them, "barely" misses as it HONKS.

Daniel "regains" control, ACCELERATES.
                                                            

49.

                       DANIEL
      (out the car
       window)
Crazy?! Man, some people!
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Daniel...you're really scarin' me
now! Remember what happened to
Richie!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'm tryin' to get us home, Nicole,
so we won't "have" to be on the
road with these crazy drivers!
                                                            
Nicole leans forward, towards the "glovebox", opens it.

After reaching in, she pulls out a BLACK, POCKET-SIZE 'Holy
Bible', closes box.

With the 'Bible' in hand, she takes it to her chest and bows
her head, as if in prayer.

Daniel glances at her, shakes his head and rolls his eyes,
as if in disgust.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
A "Bible"...? You really think
things are "that" bad, Nicole?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (head bowed)
Why wait until it's "that" bad to
finally rely on HIS word...?
                                                            
"Teary-eyed", Nicole raises her head, looks at Daniel.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Especially when you have no idea
when "you're time" will come.
                                                            
Nicole looks up towards the road...
                                                            
ON SCREEN

A 45MPH "Advisory" Speed Limit Sign, in passing.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
Nicole glances over at the vehicle's dashboard speedometer.

ON SCREEN


50.

The speed of 65MPH.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Daniel, "please" slow down. You
know you can't take these curves
that fast!
                                                            
Daniel, turning to Nicole...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I have everything under control,
Nicole! When're ya gonna learn to
trust "me"?!
                                                            
..."veers" over into the WRONG LANE.

Looking straight ahead, Daniel "quickly" yanks on the
steering wheel, "barely" missing an ONCOMING VEHICLE.

He "glances" at Nicole...CRASH!
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 
EXT. DUSTY GULLY - WRECKED CAR (UPSIDE DOWN) BY TREE - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel's bloody, "limp" body hangs out the DRIVER'S SIDE
WINDOW.

In regaining consciousness, he begins to COUGH.

Finding that he's stuck in the "smashed-up" car, he GROANS
in pain as he tries freeing himself, to no avail.

At that moment, through his pain...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nicole...?
                                                            
He begins to look around.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nicole!
                                                            
After no response, he "strains" to look back in the car.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nicole?! Please! Answer me!
                                                            

51.

He "slowly" begins to pull his body out of the car, lying on
the ground in obvious pain.

After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (with tears in his
       eyes)
Where are you?!
                                                            
Rolling over, Daniel looks to his right...pauses.

ON SCREEN

Nicole's bloody, limp body, in an "unnatural" position on
the ground, a short distance away. Lying next to her body is
her little black 'Bible'.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
His jaw drops (open), his eyes "welled" with tears.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh, my Baby! Please, be alive!
                                                            
He manages to half crawl, half walk to his wife's side.

Lifting her up in his arms, Daniel holds Nicole's limp body
"tightly" as he sits, her head against his chest. He reaches
for the 'Bible', takes it in his hand and begins to rock
back and forth.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Please, don't die on me, Baby. I'm
so sorry. I am so sorry, Nicole.
                                                            
Daniel looks around...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Help! Can anybody hear me?!
                                                            
Turning around, Daniel looks behind him.

ON SCREEN

Another CAR is overturned, resting against a tree. There's
no sign of life in that direction, anywhere.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You've gotta be kiddin' me. Help!
Can anybody help us?!
                                                            

52.

Daniel's attention is drawn to the side of the road.

ON SCREEN

A bright, glowing image of what appears to be a MAN,
standing at the side of the road, a short distance away.
It's hard to make out exactly who or what it is.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel squints his eyes, trying to discern if it is, in
fact, a man.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Hello...?! Can you help us?!
                                                            
The object remains "motionless".
                                                            
Daniel begins to SOB as he "sincerely" calls out to GOD.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
God, please, I beg of you! Save
these victims and their families
from this turmoil! Take me
instead!
                                                            
The WAIL OF SIRENS approaching distracts Daniel. When he
looks back, whatever the "brightly" lit object was is gone.

An ambulance pulls up, side of the road.

Two EMT's rush out of the ambulance, one to Daniel's side
and the other to Nicole's.

The first EMT kneels down, takes a look at Nicole.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
She's not breathin', Sir. She's
gonna need immediate attention, so
you'll have to let her go.
                                                            
Appearing to be in shock, Daniel becomes "motionless" as the
EMT removes his arm from around Nicole's body. The Bible
falls to the ground.

As the EMT prepares to place Nicole on a stretcher...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (softly, as tears
       stream down his
       face)
Please, save her. She didn't
deserve this. Any of this.
                                                            

53.

Another SIREN, and a second ambulance arrives on the scene.

The newly arrived EMT's exit their vehicle.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
I need a back board and a
respirator!
                                                            
The newly arrived EMT's tend to Nicole as EMT #1 turns his
attention to Daniel.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
Where do you have the most pain,
Sir?
                                                            
After a moment, Daniel looks down.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (softly)
My heart.
                                                            
The EMT leans into Daniel.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
What's that, Sir? You'll have to
try and speak up.
                                                            
Daniel nods.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
Have you seen any other signs of
life here?
                                                            
After a brief moment, Daniel looks up at the EMT.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
An ANGEL.
                                                            
The EMT has to lean in closer to catch Daniel's words.
                                                            
                       EMT #1
A what?!
                                                            
Daniel's eyes close.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 

54.

INT. WEST POINT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - DANIEL'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Daniel, lying motionless in bed, "backside" to the door,
appears to be sleeping.

A KNOCK on the door.

Without waiting for a response, DETECTIVE ROBERT PATTERSON
"slowly" opens the door.

"Peering" in...
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Mr. Daniel Spencer...?
                                                            
Daniel remains "motionless" in bed. After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (without making a
       move)
You a cop, here to arrest me?
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Uh, no, Daniel...no arrest just
yet. I would like to speak with
you, though. May we talk?
                                                            
We see a "tear" roll down Daniel's face as he continues to
lie on his side.
                                                            
With no response from Daniel, Detective Patterson enters,
closing the door behind him.

Daniel "slowly" maneuvers himself, sitting up in bed as
Detective Patterson moves closer. It appears as if Daniel
has been beaten, by the look of the bruising on his face.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So...you're a detective?
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Yes. The name's
Patterson..."Detective" Patterson.
I'm with the West Point Police
Department. Feel up to answering a
couple of questions?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
If you can answer one for me. Why
isn't anyone giving me information
about my wife...?
                                                            
Detective Patterson SIGHS.
                                                            

55.

                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
We'll get to that soon enough,
Daniel. Mind if I sit down?
                                                            
A "why-not" shrug from Daniel.

Detective Patterson takes a small, spiral pad from his back
pocket and sits down on the edge of a straight-back chair,
parked close to the bed.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Sorry to get right to the point,
but we really do need to get a
better idea as to what happened
last night.
                                                            
Daniel bows his head, as if in shame. After a moment of
silence...
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Daniel...we're, uh, currently
waiting for the forensic
toxicology analysis to come back,
but I still have to ask...were you
drinkin' last night?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking up at
       Detective
       Patterson)
"Forensic" toxicology...? I only
had a few drinks or so at the
reunion, but nothin' that would
cloud my judgement to the point of
not being able to drive. I guess I
just got distracted or something
before the accident. I don't know.
I can't remember.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Well, at this particular time,
it's very important we clear you
of any wrongdoing as quickly as
possible in order to eliminate you
as a viable "suspect". So, you
really need to...
                                                            
Daniel INTERRUPTS.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
A suspect...? Suspected of what?
                                                            

56.

Detective Patterson stands up from his chair, approaches the
side of the bed.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
      (leaning into
       Daniel)
Hear me on this, Daniel. The other
car...? The two kids in the back
seat were DOA. The two in the
front were in critical condition
on arrival at the hospital.
Unfortunately, neither made it
through the night.
                                                            
Daniel, struggling to catch his breath with great
difficulty, looks like he's going into a panic attack.

Detective Patterson places his hands on Daniel's shoulders.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Calm down...just breathe normal.
                                                            
"Slowly", Daniel regains his composure.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Listen to me very carefully...in
order for us to clear you, I need
your complete concentration and to
answer my questions as accurately
as possible. Okay...?
                                                            
Daniel "nods" as Detective Patterson, continuing to stand,
begins to write notes in his small, spiral notebook.

After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
      (looking up at
       Daniel)
Okay...so, how many "drinks" would
you say is a few?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'm not sure, really. I just can't
remember. I know that at the
reunion, Nicole wanted "friends"
to drive her home. That bothered
me. It was like she didn't trust
me, or something.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
Or something...? Why would Nicole
want friends to drive her home,
Daniel? Were you two fighting or
            (MORE)

57.

                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON (cont'd)
did she just think you had already
had too much to drink to be
drivin'?
                                                            
DOCTOR EVANS, an elderly man in blue scrubs, white jacket,
enters. He is followed by a REGISTERED NURSE, white scrubs,
who is holding a tray upon which rests a syringe and a
cotton swab.

Doctor Evans approaches the side of Daniel's bed.
                                                            
                       DETECTIVE PATTERSON
I'm gonna need a little more time,
Doc.
                                                            
Doctor Evans glances at Detective Patterson, then stares
"directly" at Daniel. After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       DOCTOR EVANS
      (sighing)
Daniel, there's no easy way to say
this, but...we did everything we
could. Apparently, your wife
suffered from a severe blood clot
that...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (his eyes welled
       with tears)
Nicole...?
                                                            
Doctor Evans glances at Detective Patterson, looks at
Daniel.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR EVANS
Yes. I'm sorry, Daniel. Nicole's
gone.
                                                            
Daniel goes into "apparent" shock, not speaking, staring
straight ahead.

After a moment, Daniel begins to SOB with his cry
"increasingly" becoming louder as he turns to his side,
facing towards the window that looks into the hallway.

He glances up at the window.

ON SCREEN

A "heartbroken" April with John's arm around her, staring at
Daniel through the window.


58.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel wipes his face, turns the other way.
                                                            
Doctor Evans sits at the edge of the bed, "attempting" to
console Daniel as he SOBS.

Detective Patterson nods his head, glances at Daniel, exits.
                                                            
The nurse moves in closer as Doctor Evans takes the syringe
from the tray, giving an injection in Daniel's upper arm. As
if in a daze, Daniel looks at his arm, at Dr. Evans.
                                                            
                       DOCTOR EVANS
To help you sleep.
                                                            
Daniel's eyes begin to close as he drifts off to sleep.

After a moment of waiting for Daniel to fall asleep, Doctor
Evans gets to his feet, reaches into his jacket pocket and
takes out a small, plastic Ziploc bag with a "Hospital
Patient Belongings" logo on top.

He places it on the bedside table, motions to his nurse to
follow...they exit.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - DANIEL'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
DIM Room.

Daniel is asleep, lying in bed. While in a cold sweat, he
"suddenly" awakens, looks around.
                                                            
Noticing the Ziploc bag on the table right beside the bed,
he does a "double-take"...picks it up.

After sitting up in bed, he empties the bag's contents into
his hand.

ON SCREEN

Nicole's sparkling "teardrop" 1.5 carat BLUE "sapphire"
diamond WEDDING SET and the pocket-size BLACK Bible.

END ON SCREEN

Having an "emotional" breakdown, Daniel folds his hand over
the ring set and the Bible, bringing them up to his chest as
he begins to rock back-and-forth, placing his fist in front
of his mouth as he SOBS.


59.

Managing to pull himself together after a moment, he begins
to pray, looking up towards the sky, "teary-eyed".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
GOD, "please" grant me one last
chance to make this right! I know
I can...
                                                            
Putting his head down, Daniel continues to SOB.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'd give 20 years of my life back
just to have Nicole be given that
"fresh" breath of life!
                                                            
After a moment, a FLASH OF LIGHT followed by a MAN'S STRONG
VOICE...
                                                            
                       MAN (O.S.)
Greater love has no man than
this...
                                                            
Daniel raises his head, looks towards the entrance.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (squinting)
Hello...?!
                                                            
ON SCREEN

A LIFE-SIZE, LUMINESCENT GLOW, appearing just inside the
CLOSED door of the DIM Room.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Can I help you...?
                                                            
                       MAN (O.S.)
Should your plea be genuine, I
have been sent here to provide you
with a very "powerful" message.
                                                            
Daniel's jaw drops (open).
                                                            
ON SCREEN

A very attractive, dark-haired MAN, dressed in a white
leisure suit, steps forward from the darkness into the DIM
LIGHT of the room. He appears to now be "normal" as he
approaches the foot of the bed.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            

60.

                       GABRIEL
My name is GABRIEL. I come to you
as a MESSENGER, providing my
existence here remains solely for
that purpose.
                                                            
Daniel appears to be in a "state of shock", staring.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Wait a minute...I know you. It was
"you", at the accident and...it
"was you", at my senior prom. I
don't understand...are you
an...ANGEL?
                                                            
A NURSE, making her rounds with nursing cart in tow, enters.

"Gabriel" remains standing at the foot of the bed.
                                                            
                       NURSE
      (approaching the
       bed)
How're you doin', Mr. Spencer?
Ready to take your meds?
                                                            
Apparently unaware of Gabe's presence, the nurse takes
Daniel's medication from off the cart, hands it to him.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (addressing the
       nurse)
Isn't it past visiting hours?
                                                            
                       NURSE
Yes, it is. Why do you ask?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I, uh, just wanted to make sure it
was okay for him to be here.
                                                            
                       NURSE
I'm sorry...?
                                                            
Daniel points towards Gabe, standing at the end of the bed.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
This gentleman, here. Can you not
see him?
                                                            
The nurse looks around the room, gives Daniel a
"condescending" smile.
                                                            

61.

                       NURSE
Sir, there's nobody here but you
and me. Maybe I should call the
doctor for you...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking at Gabe)
Um...no, it's okay. I probably
just need to get some sleep.
That's all.
                                                            
Daniel takes the pills with a drink of water from the glass
offered by the nurse. Upon swallowing the pills, he hands
the glass back to her as she sits it on the cart.
                                                            
                       NURSE
Well, if you need anything, push
the button on the side of your
bed, okay? And make sure to get
some rest...doctor's orders.
                                                            
Smiling, the nurse "jokingly" points at Daniel. She pushes
her cart to the door, exits. The door closes behind her.

Daniel looks at Gabriel, who has remained at the foot of the
bed, "matter-of-factly".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
This can't be real.
                                                            
Gabriel begins to walk "slowly" towards the chair, at
bedside.
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
      (as he walks)
I've been instructed that GOD has
one more plan in store, tailored
just for you. A trial, so to
speak, of discovering the "truth"
within oneself. I've been
instructed that once that emotion
has been "genuinely" realized and
acted upon...Nicole's life will
start "anew" at that particular
moment in time.
                                                            
Gabe approaches the chair, stops, looks at Daniel.

After a moment...
                                                            

62.

                       DANIEL
So...you mean I'm being given a
"second chance"? But, why me? Why
now...?
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
It's called the power of
forgiveness and prayer...the two
acts of love "only" complicated by
the likes of this world. These
are, however, acts of love that
"are" being carried out by those
who strongly believe in it.
Because of this, Daniel...you are
witnessing the result of some very
special people having prayed for
you, in life.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking down)
I don't feel too worthy of
"forgiveness" right now.
                                                            
Gabriel sits in the chair, focused "squarely" on Daniel.
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
      (softly)
Daniel...
                                                            
Daniel raises his head, looks at Gabriel with "intrigue".
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
You must heed these words wisely,
in order to complete the
"provision" at hand. Where you're
about to be sent, things will come
naturally. Nicole "will" be
present, but she will remember
nothing from the "here and
now"...only you will. Your impulse
will be to deny that, but it would
be a terrible mistake to do so.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I don't understand. Where I'm
about to be sent...?
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
The one thing you "must" remember
is that Nicole exist ONLY as a
"friend", allowing you the one
opportunity to correct this "one"
transgression.
                                                            

63.

Gabriel gets up from the chair, places his hand on the edge
of the bed.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I, uh...I don't know what to say.
I feel like I'm being given the
chance of a lifetime.
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
Some have few chances, others have
many. What's important is the
"time" that most take for granted.
Act wisely, without hesitation,
for "time" waits on no man.
                                                            
Gabriel begins to walk towards the door. After a few steps,
he stops, turns back towards Daniel.
                                                            
                       GABRIEL
Look for that particular "tool" to
guide you, remembering (along the
way) everything that I have said.
While in the midst of my
visitation here...you may refer to
me as, GABE. I "will" return in
time.
                                                            
With a bow of his head, "Gabe" approaches the closed door,
walks "directly" through it, without hesitation.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Wait! What if I don't know what to
do?!
                                                            
A nearly blinding FLASH OF WHITE LIGHT and the room
vanishes.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - CLASSROOM - MORNING
                                                            
The INSTANT SOUNDING of a BELL and "teenaged" Daniel,
sporting his OWN original 'Red and White' High School
Lettermen's Jacket, a White T-shirt and a pair of Blue
Jeans, "suddenly" awakens.

He lifts his head from his desk.

SUPER: 1991 (TWENTY YEARS 'EARLIER')

With a "somewhat" confused look on his face, he begins to
"take in" his surroundings. After a moment, he looks down...

ON SCREEN

64.


"Close-up" of Daniel's hands, palm up, palm down.

END ON SCREEN

Other students exit as a "familiar" face approaches Daniel,
while at his desk. Looking up, Daniel comes face-to-face
with his "teenaged" buddy, Richie, sporting a school
backpack and a huge smile.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Hey, Man. Did ya have a nice nap?
                                                            
Daniel appears to be in a state of "disbelief".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Richie...?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Come on, Bro, snap out of it. You
slept through the whole class.
You're lucky you didn't get
smacked on top of the head with a
ruler or somethin'.
                                                            
Daniel "slowly" gets to his feet, never once taking his eyes
off Richie.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Is it really you...?
                                                            
Daniel "attempts" to give Richie a hug as he pulls away.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Whoa, Dude...there's girls in
here. What're ya doin?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I can't believe it...it actually
happened. You look just the way
you did the last time I saw you.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Uh...yea. That "was" just last
period. Who're you, Man, and
what've ya done with our Daniel?!
                                                            
In an instant, Daniel remembers Nicole.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nicole! I've gotta see if she's
okay.
                                                            

65.

                       RICHIE
Of course she's okay. Why
wouldn't she be? Except maybe...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Maybe what...?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
"Maybe" she was abducted by aliens
since I last saw her in home room.
                                                            
Richie lets out a LAUGH with not even a "smile" from Daniel.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I need to see her right now. Come
on, go with me.
                                                            
Daniel begins to make his way to the exit, through the FLOW
OF TRAFFIC, as Richie glances over...

ON SCREEN

DANIEL'S DESK. A Single WHITE, POCKET-SIZE BOOK, with
'Gold-Trimmed Pages', is lying on top.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Hey...you forgot your book!
                                                            
Richie grabs the 'book', follows Daniel to the door.

They exit.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Richie tries to keep up with Daniel as he "swiftly" walks
past the ONCOMING TRAFFIC.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Where're ya goin' in such a
hurry?!
                                                            
Daniel STOPS just outside of a doorway, into a classroom, as
Richie "follows suit".
                                                            
                       RICHIE
What's up with ya, Man?!
                                                            
"Peering" into the classroom, Daniel's jaw drops (open).
                                                            

66.

ON SCREEN

A happy, healthy "teenaged" Nicole talking with a RANDOM
GIRLFRIEND, both sitting at their desk.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel GULPS. The SIGHT of Nicole takes his breath away as
he stands "firm", staring at her.
                                                            
Richie looks past Daniel, into the room.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Well...would ya look at that?!
Nicole wasn't abducted by aliens
after all.
                                                            
He LAUGHS as Daniel remains "speechless", continuing to
stare.

SLOW EXTREME CLOSEUP

DANIEL'S FACE. Tears begin to "well-up" in his eyes.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to himself)
Our senior year in high
school...the year we "first" met.
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            
                       RICHIE (O.S.)
      (sarcastically)
You really think "this" is gonna
get "your" name in the, 'Book of
Life'...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...?
                                                            
PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
Daniel turns to face Richie, standing behind him, out of the
way of STUDENTS entering the classroom.

Richie smirks "squarely" at Daniel, holding the book up for
him to see.
                                                            
EXTREME CLOSEUP

FRONT COVER. WHITE Background with 'Gold Hand Lettering
Inscription'. It says, "A Guide to the 'Book of Life' for
Daniel Spencer".

67.


PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
Daniel "slowly" takes the book from Richie's hand.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Where did you get this?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
You left it behind on your desk,
so I grabbed it for ya on the way
out. Is that like some kind of
Bible, or somethin'?
                                                            
Daniel, staring at the book, "slowly" opens it and looks...

EXTREME CLOSEUP

INSIDE FRONT COVER. "White" Background with 'Gold Hand
Lettering Inscription'. It says, "When searching for truth
within oneself, let GOD be the Compass. He will show the
way."

PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to himself)
Let God be the "Compass"...?
                                                            
Daniel looks at the book...

EXTREME CLOSEUP

BEGINS THUMBING THROUGH. Each page "appears" BLANK.

PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh...?
                                                            
Richie, still standing a few feet away, "glances" at the
book in Daniel's hand.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
That's, uh, an interesting
"choice" for a read, Dude.
Especially given your actions last
night, anyway.
                                                            
Daniel "questionably" turns to Richie while placing the
POCKET-SIZE book in the 'pocket' of his jeans.
                                                            

68.

                       DANIEL
What do you mean...?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Remember the, "If you can't beat
'em, join 'em", charade? If it
wasn't for "me" lookin' out for
ya, Man, there's no tellin' "what"
would've happened!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Why...? What exactly "could've"
happened?
                                                            
Richie's jaw drops (open).
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Huh?! Ya mean ya "really" don't
remember...? Wow, Man...the party!
Ya know...just one of our many
"senior" get-togethers...?!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (placing an index
       finger in front
       of his own mouth)
Shh!
                                                            
Taking Richie by the arm, he "glances" around the area.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Come on.
                                                            
Daniel "leads" Richie as they begin to walk down the hall,
among the other STUDENTS.

Releasing Richie's arm, Daniel begins to "take in" more of
his surroundings, as if "suddenly" realizing the MEMORABLE
LOCATION.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       RICHIE
      (clearing his
       throat)
So, uh...what do ya plan on doin'
about it?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
About what...?
                                                            

69.

                       RICHIE
      (sarcastically)
Oh, I don't know...your, uh,
"dangerous" drinkin' habit...?
                                                            
Daniel STOPS DEAD in his tracks.

Looking at Richie, Daniel "pulls" him to the side, away from
the FLOW OF TRAFFIC.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...?
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Yeah, Dude. It's startin' to get
outta hand. You really had me
scared last night.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Okay...without showin' "too" much
emotion, tell me what happened
last night.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Well...ya know Nicole really likes
ya, right? She was wantin' "you"
to be the one to take her home,
even after you had already gotten
wasted.
                                                            
This explanation seems to "gain" a little more of Daniel's
attention.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
So...what happened?
                                                            
Richie "shrugs" his shoulders, "cocks" head to the side.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
I offered her a ride home, just
like every other guy there.
But...she insisted on goin' with
"you".
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (glaring at Richie)
So, "I" drove Nicole home last
night...drunk?
                                                            
Richie gives Daniel a look of "disbelief".
                                                            

70.

                       RICHIE
Uh...yeah! Ya mean, ya can't even
remember "that"?! Wow, Man. Just
be glad ya had "me" to follow
y'all home to make sure everything
was okay. It was a close call,
Dude..."several" times over.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (taken aback)
Richie, I am so sorry...for
everything. You were "always"
lookin' out for me. I don't know
if I've ever told you how much I
"really" appreciated it.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
"Were" lookin' out for ya...?
Dude...I'll be here, regardless.
But, for now...duty calls. See ya
after class...?
                                                            
Daniel gives Richie a "teary-eyed" smile.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You bet.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Really, Dude...get ya some sleep.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah...I'll try to.
                                                            
Richie and Daniel take each other by the hand and initiate
their "secret handshake"...interlocking thumbs, a release,
then a waving of the fingers ending with index fingers
pointing at each other.
                                                            
The SOUNDING of a BELL.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Later, Man! Seniors of '91 rule!
                                                            
As the TARDY STUDENTS "quickly" get to class, Daniel looks
over his shoulder, towards NICOLE'S CLASSROOM. He begins to
walk in that direction.

After a moment, upon "approaching" the room...Daniel STOPS,
takes another look inside.

ON SCREEN

Nicole remains sitting at her desk, preparing her books for

71.

study.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel smiles, a "teardrop" falling down his cheek.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - HALLWAY - LATER
                                                            
Daniel, "slowly" walking along, observes the FACES OF HIS
PAST, as if seeing them for the first time.

After a moment...

He glances up.

ON SCREEN

Nicole and "teenaged" April stand around, talking to a GUY
he doesn't seem to recognize.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel approaches the girls as "silence" overcomes the
GROUP. Glancing around, he "quickly" takes notice to the
other STUDENT, standing nearby.

EXTREME CLOSEUP

Starting from the feet, up...the other student turns out to
be, TIMMY. But, this is not the "teenaged" Timmy, Daniel
remembers. He is now a little more "filled out", rather than
"bare-bone" skinny, and no longer wears glasses.

PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Timmy...?
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (smiling)
Hey, Buddy. I was wondering when
you might show up. You partied
pretty hard last night.
                                                            
The girls LAUGH as Timmy takes Daniel's hand, initiating the
"infamous" handshake.

Stepping back "midstream", Daniel puts off a look of
confusion, as if surprised Timmy even knows the "secret"
handshake...at all.
                                                            

72.

                       TIMMY
      (taken aback)
Hey, Man...you okay?
                                                            
Glancing "questionably" around the group, Daniel soon
focuses his attention on Timmy.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What's, uh...what's goin' on...?
Why are "you" here and...where are
your glasses?!
                                                            
                       TIMMY
My glasses? Really...? Daniel,
I've had contacts for years now.
What happened to you last night,
Man...? Wipe your memory clean, or
somethin'?
                                                            
The girls LAUGH as Timmy PATS Daniel on the back.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Anyway, guys, I've gotta go. But
listen...we're all still on for
tonight. My PARENTS will be home,
but it's cool. I wanna see you all
there. Don't forget!
                                                            
Timmy "motions" goodbye, exits.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Yes! We are "definitely" on for
tonight! I don't care what anybody
says!
                                                            
She and Nicole share a LAUGH.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Sorry, but, uh...am I missin'
somethin' here?
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (sarcastically)
Probably. You "always" seem to be
missin' somethin'.
                                                            
While April LAUGHS, in response to her "own" comment...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
What's wrong, Daniel? Are you
okay...?
                                                            

73.

Daniel, hearing Nicole SPEAK for the "first" time since the
accident, is "taken aback". He "helplessly" stares at her.

After a moment, April "impatiently" waves her hand in front
of his face.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Hello?! Anybody home...?
                                                            
Daniel "snaps" out of his REVERIE.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (addressing April)
Sorry. I, uh...what were you
sayin'?
                                                            
Nicole LAUGHS, April "rolls" her eyes.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Really...? Maybe "you" just need
to catch up on some sleep, ya
think...? I mean..."who" in their
right mind parties on a school
night, anyway?!
                                                            
Nicole "nods" in agreement with Daniel taking notice.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
You're, uh...yeah, you're right.
Need to watch that, I guess. So,
uh...what's the plan for
"tonight"...?
                                                            
                       APRIL
Tonight?! What...? You forgot
about that too...? It's our
back-to-school "bonfire" party!
How could you forget that?! We've
been plannin' this thing for weeks
now!
                                                            
Daniel appears rather "confused".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
A "bonfire" party...at "Timmy's"
house...?! Since when do "we" hang
out with Timmy...much less at his
house?!
                                                            
Nicole gives Daniel a "surprising" look.
                                                            

74.

                       NICOLE
Really...? I thought you guys have
known each other for years.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Well...yeah, we "have" known each
other for years, but not as
"friends". Whatever gave you that
idea?
                                                            
April turns to Nicole, addresses her.
                                                            
                       APRIL
      (addressing Nicole)
Timmy's PARENTS provide funding
for the school's extracurricular
activities, especially "football".
As a matter of fact, if it wasn't
for Timmy's dad stepping up to the
plate for the "whole" team...they
were gonna have to forfeit the
rest of a winning season.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Wow. Seems like a pretty cool guy
to me.
                                                            
                       APRIL
Oh, yeah. But, see, here's the
"shallow" thing about Daniel...
                                                            
April, "glancing" over at Daniel with a "smirk", continues
to address Nicole.

Daniel appears to be in complete "awe" of the situation.
                                                            
                       APRIL
If someone's different than "he"
is, meanin' not lookin' like a
"jock"...it leaves things to be
desired. Daniel's even the reason
"why" Timmy did away with his own
glasses to begin with. He just got
tired of all the "borderline"
bullyin'.
                                                            
Nicole and April "smirk squarely" at Daniel.

After a moment...
                                                            

75.

                       DANIEL
So, uh...the guy's "family" has
money and because of that..."we"
have to hang out with him...?
                                                            
April turns her attention to Daniel.
                                                            
                       APRIL
You know what...? Forget the fact
that Timmy "actually" saved your
life during one of "your" many
drunkin' escapades. He's our
friend, Daniel. Start treatin' him
like one.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...? Timmy saved "my" life?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah, I remember hearin' about
that. When Timmy made it to the
scene of the accident, he
"immediately" started CPR on you,
saving your life! Just be glad you
were alone in the car that night.
Had anybody else been with you,
she could've been killed.
                                                            
Daniel stares at Nicole, as if in "disbelief" of the
situation.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       APRIL
Anyway, guys...I've "really" gotta
get to class. If I'm late, Mr.
Stanley's gonna kick my butt...in
front of the "whole" class!
                                                            
Nicole LAUGHS.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah, I believe it. I better be
headin' off, myself!
                                                            
April and Nicole leave Daniel with a "wave".

As a "disconcerting" Daniel stands alone, STUDENTS sidestep
him to get to class.

After a moment, the BELL RINGS with the hallway "quickly"
emptying.
                                                            

76.

                       DANIEL
      (to himself as he
       stands alone)
Timmy's now part of the
"equation"...?
                                                            
GUST of wind, coming through the hallway, "softly blows"
Daniel's hair.

Appearing to take notice, Daniel becomes more "attentive" to
the area, yet continuing to stand firm.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Gabe...?
                                                            
After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       GABE (V.O.)
Within the physical and emotional
aspect of reality, GOD is the
"true" mathematician. There's only
one universal "equation", and we
are all part of it. Remember...let
your "conscious" be your guide.
                                                            
For a moment, Daniel remains "still", as if waiting for
another response from Gabe.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I only pray I can do YOUR will,
given the time that I have. Just
please continue to stay with me.
                                                            
Daniel bows his head, as if in prayer.
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 
EXT. DEAD END STREET - DRIVEWAY - TIMMY'S HOUSE - EVENING
                                                            
WALKING, hands in 'jacket'...Daniel "slowly" comes to a
STOP, at the END of a driveway. He sports the SAME ENSEMBLE
of his original 'Red and White' High School Lettermen's
Jacket, a White T-shirt and a pair of Blue Jeans.

Standing OUT OF VIEW, Daniel "looks out" over the GATED
SWIMMING POOL AREA, "parallel" to where he stands.

ON SCREEN

77.


GROUP OF RANDOM PEERS, sitting around a FIRE PIT,
"seemingly" enjoy each other's company.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to himself)
A "bonfire" party...like where
Nicole and I "first" kissed.
                                                            
In obvious "disbelief" of the situation, Daniel becomes
STARTLED as he is approached from behind.

Turning around, he comes face-to-face with..."teenaged"
John.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
John...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (placing his arm
       around Daniel's
       neck)
Check that out, Man...a
"back-to-school" party with all
the CHICKS you can handle. It
don't get any better than this!
                                                            
LAUGHING, in a "joking" manner, John reaches for Daniel's
hand, initiating the SECRET HANDSHAKE. Daniel "curiously"
follows suit.

In his "opposite" hand, John holds a brown paper bag,
containing an obvious "bottleneck" object. He offers Daniel
a "drink" by holding the bag up, in front of Daniel's face.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Partake...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Thanks, but, uh...no. I'm not up
to drinkin' tonight. Sorry.
                                                            
                       JOHN
That's okay, Man...I'm not
baggin'! After the partyin' ya did
last night...I'm surprised you're
even up to "communing" at all!
Glad you could make it, though,
Man. It's never the same without
            (MORE)

78.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
ya.
                                                            
John turns the bottle up over his mouth, "empties" it.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (wiping his mouth
       with his forearm)
Whew! That's some good stuff!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Ya really think you should be
doin' that right now...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
Eh, probably not. I'm just bummed,
ya know...? I can't believe you've
been suspended from the mid-season
games, Man. I can only imagine how
hard this is for "you", knowin'
that the team really needs ya.
                                                            
Daniel, appearing to be in a state of "disbelief", lets out
a SIGH, bows his head.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I really haven't been the person I
"should" be either...that's for
sure.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well, hey...come on, Man. Either
way...life "must" go on. Right...?
That's why I want ya to have this.
                                                            
John gives Daniel a 5/8", "Gold-filled", ENAMEL HIGH SCHOOL
PIN, portraying a 'W'.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Your "lucky" pin...? John...you've
taken this to every game. It's
yours. You should keep it.
                                                            

79.

                       JOHN
No. I want "you" to have it.
You've had a tough break, Dude.
Maybe it'll bring ya some
luck...soon.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Wow...thanks, Man.
                                                            
John PATS Daniel on the back as he starts to walk "up" the
driveway, towards Timmy's house.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (as he walks)
Still not able to rope that
"Mustang" yet, either...huh?
                                                            
After a moment, still appearing to be in "disbelief" of the
conversation...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Uh, no...not yet. But, I'm sure
it'll happen...if it's "meant" to.
                                                            
John STOPS, turns around with a "smile"...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well...come on, Man. Let's go join
the party.
                                                            
John LAUGHS as he walks "up" the driveway, exiting.

Daniel "briefly" observes the pin in his hand. Upon placing
it in his 'jacket' pocket, he finds Nicole's WEDDING RING
SET.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What the...? How did "that" get in
there...?
                                                            
For a moment, Daniel "studies" the set, in his hand. In a
state of apparent "confusion", he places the rings back in
his pocket as he shakes his head, appearing to not
understand what is going on.
                                                            
 
EXT. GATED SWIMMING POOL AREA - TIMMY'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
John approaches April, seated alongside Nicole. Bending
down, he gives April a kiss on the "forehead", takes a seat
beside her.

Daniel, "slowly" passing through the FENCE, allows it to

80.

SLAM SHUT, behind him.

Nicole "glances" up...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (pointing her
       finger)
Hey! There he is!
                                                            
Richie, also being "present", CHIMES in.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Hey, Man!
                                                            
For a moment, Daniel remains standing as he appears to be
"taking in" his surroundings.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come on, Buddy! What's takin' ya
so long...?!
                                                            
Daniel makes his way to an "empty" chair, sitting on the
OUTSKIRTS...takes a seat.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Come over "here", Man. I've got
some news I wanna share.
                                                            
UNANIMOUS MOAN.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Really, guys?! Come on...
                                                            
LAUGHTER.
                                                            
After "slowly" getting up from his chair, Daniel approaches
the INNER CIRCLE. He takes a seat, "opposite" Nicole.
                                                            
                       JOHN
"Anyway"...I've made a decision on
my educational career.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
Really...? So, is this comin' from
"you" or your "career"
counselor...?
                                                            
LAUGHTER.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Funny, Dude. Okay...ya ready for
this...?! The 'Full Sail Center
for the Recording Arts'.
                                                            

81.

                       RICHIE
Recording arts...? Aw, Man...ya
had me thinkin', 'Harvard'.
                                                            
LAUGHTER.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
So...instead of practicin' law,
you're gonna make sure "movies"
have good sound...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (sarcastically)
That's right. And when you turn
your TV on and hear that
"theatrical audio" BOOMING out at
ya...you'll think of me.
                                                            
LAUGHTER.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Hmm...I don't know. I think you'd
be better suited for somethin'
more..."elaborate".
                                                            
"Silence" overcomes the group as they direct their attention
at Daniel.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Oh...? Like what?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (appearing to
       remain calm)
Well...knowin' how good you are
with computers, I thought you
might find interest in...designin'
"corporate" websites.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Designin' what...?
                                                            
Daniel looks around the group, seeming to pick up on the
"noticeable" confusion.

He "quickly" tries to recover.
                                                            

82.

                       DANIEL
Or...April's uncle can hire "you"
to run his company's marketing
team.
                                                            
John "smirks" at April, BURSTS OUT LAUGHING.
                                                            
                       JOHN
For real...?! How do ya even
"know" about her uncle...? The guy
hates me!
                                                            
April "playfully" nudges John.
                                                            
                       APRIL
No, he doesn't!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
Eh...things can change. Believe
me...I know.
                                                            
Daniel looks at Nicole as their "eyes" meet.

After a brief moment...
                                                            
                       TIMMY (O.S.)
It's "finally" come!
                                                            
Daniel "quickly" comes out of his "reverie", looks up
towards Timmy, standing just outside the gate.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (smiling)
We've got the fire goin' on the
back corner of the property, guys,
so come on...let's go!
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yeah, Buddy! Let's get this party
started!
                                                            
LAUGHTER.

Daniel gets up from his chair...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (addressing John)
I'll, uh, catch up in a bit. I
need to, uh...find a bathroom...?
                                                            

83.

                       JOHN
Oh, yeah, Man. Just go pick your
spot! Lotta seclusion around here,
Dude..."believe" me.
                                                            
John "playfully" winks at Daniel, PATS him on the back and
REJOINS the group, "following" Timmy, as they exit.

Daniel stays behind, takes a seat.

Placing his head in his hands, he leans forward in his
chair.

After a "brief" moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (with a look of
       confusion)
What the...
                                                            
Reaching behind, to his "back" pocket...Daniel retrieves his
white, "personalized" pocket-size GUIDE. He "questionably"
observes it.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (to himself)
The "guide"...? Huh. How did it
get in my back pocket...? I
could've sworn I left it at
school.
                                                            
He "opens" the book...
                                                            
EXTREME CLOSEUP

FIRST PAGE. WHITE Background with 'Gold Hand Lettering
Inscription'. It says, "Keep all distractions at a distance,
letting all that you do be done in love."

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL (O.S.)
Keep all distractions at a
distance, letting all that you do
be done in love...?
                                                            
BEGINS THUMBING THROUGH 'REMAINING' PAGES. Each "appears" to
be BLANK.

PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            

84.

Daniel, appearing to be taken aback, "slowly" closes the
book...bows his head.
                                                            
 
EXT. BONFIRE LOCATION ON PROPERTY - TIMMY'S HOUSE - LATER
                                                            
NIGHT. Daniel, walking back to REJOIN the group, STOPS, just
"out-of-view", as he observes the LAUGHTER and fun.

Looking at Nicole, he notices that she and Timmy are
"enjoying" each other's company, as well.
                                                            
INSERT QUICK SERIES OF SHOTS (MONTAGE) - Daniel
"visualizing" past images of he and Nicole ARGUING in the
car, the night she died.

With tears "welled up" in his eyes, Daniel retrieves the
RING SET from his coat pocket, looks at it.

After a moment...

John, approaching Daniel from behind, PATS him on the back.

Daniel, a bit startled, "quickly" places the SET in his
pocket.
                                                            
                       JOHN
I'm tellin' ya, Man...when duty
calls...ya gotta answer!
                                                            
John LAUGHS, Daniel appears "stoic". After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Ya alright, Dude...? Ya seem a
little..."off".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah, I'm fine...everything's
fine.
                                                            
Daniel looks "back", in the direction of Timmy and Nicole.

ON SCREEN

BOTH enjoying each other's company, LAUGHING together.

END ON SCREEN

John notices...
                                                            
                       JOHN
So, uh...when are ya "finally"
gonna go for it?
                                                            

85.

                       DANIEL
      (looking at John)
Go for what?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Nicole, Goofy. When're ya gonna
ask her out?
                                                            
Again, Daniel looks "towards" Timmy and Nicole.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking down)
Nicole deserves much better than
me.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Dude! You're kiddin'...right?! She
thinks "you" hung the moon! I
mean, seriously..."you're" the
only thing she ever talks
about...ever!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Well...how did, uh...how did
"Timmy", of all people, come into
play? He wasn't always part of the
group. What changed...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
With Timmy...? I don't see that
anything's changed...other than
"you", maybe. If ya took a chance
to get to know the guy, ya "might"
find that ya actually "like" him.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Hmm...maybe. I guess it's just the
idea of someone "different" than
me and you, actually being a part
of the group. Ya know...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Not different, Daniel...better.
                                                            
Daniel flashes a "questionable" look at John.

For a moment, they "both" watch as FRIENDS INTERACT. Neither
John, nor Daniel, speaks or moves.

Then...
                                                            

86.

                       JOHN
To give ya an idea as to what kind
of guy Timmy "really" is...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Just look at him, Man. The dude is
head over heals for Nicole, but he
knows she only has eyes for "you".
So, because of that...he'll never
make a move on her. "You", on the
other hand, seem to think the
"entire" universe revolves around
yourself. It's all about what
"you" need and what "you" want.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking at John)
Okay...? Perhaps it's just a
"given" that a girl like Nicole
would never be interested in a guy
like Timmy, anyway.
                                                            
John looks "squarely" at Daniel...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Who says...Hmm? Watch what ya say,
Man. I think you and I both know,
at this point, that "anything" is
possible. Just remember, when it
comes to "true"
stereotypes...there are none. Come
on.
                                                            
John starts back as Daniel tries to "compose" himself.

After a moment, he follows John, REJOINING GROUP.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (looking up)
There they are! Thought we were
gonna have to start a manhunt for
you two.
                                                            
LAUGHTER. Timmy approaches John. They ENGAGE in the "secret"
handshake.

Afterwards, Timmy EXTENDS his hand to Daniel, only to be
"interrupted" by Daniel's COUGHING...into his own hand.

After a moment...
                                                            

87.

                       DANIEL
Sorry, Man. I've, uh...been a
little sick lately and wouldn't
wanna...
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (interrupting)
It's alright..."believe" me.
Anyway, guys, I'll be back with
some food to roast, so every body
just hang tight!
                                                            
With a "smile", Timmy exits as John "shakes" his head...at
Daniel.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I think I'm gonna just head on...
                                                            
                       RICHIE
What?! "You're" usually the one
closin' the place down! What's
wrong, Man?!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Just not feelin' it, I guess. I'd
hate it if I brought everyone else
down too. So...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Don't worry about it, Man. We get
it. Ya gonna be alright...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'll be fine. Just need to clear
some things up in my head...that's
all. I'll catch up with you guys
later. Goodnight.
                                                            
Without so much as a "goodbye"...Daniel was gone.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       RICHIE
What do ya think's goin' on with
him...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
I don't know. Maybe he's goin'
through some "sudden" changes or
            (MORE)

88.

                       JOHN (cont'd)
somethin'. Who knows...?
                                                            
LAUGHTER from Richie.
                                                            
                       RICHIE
I hear ya, Man. When it comes to
Daniel..."who" knows...?!
                                                            
John PATS Richie, on the back.
                                                            
                       JOHN
He'll be fine. If not...he knows
where to find us if he needs us.
                                                            
 
EXT. TIMMY'S DRIVEWAY - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Daniel, walking "down" driveway, gets "distracted" as he
STOPS MID-STREAM, looks at his arm...

ON SCREEN

A FEMALE HAND, "softly" caressing his forearm, from behind.

END ON SCREEN

He turns around, comes "face-to-face" with...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (gulp)
Nicole...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Is it me...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Sorry...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Am "I" the reason you're leaving
early...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Uh, no, of course not. "Why" would
you even think that...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I don't know. I just feel that, in
some way, you've been tryin' to
avoid me. At least that's the
feelin' I got today, anyway, when
you tried "dodging" me all day. Do
I need to be distancing myself
            (MORE)

89.

                       NICOLE (cont'd)
from the group, or somethin'...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No, Nicole, please...don't "think"
that. I'm sorry if I've come
across that way because that
wasn't my intention. I've just had
a lot on my mind, lately...that's
all. I promise..."everything" is
okay...you'll see.
                                                            
"Gazing" into each other's eyes, Daniel and Nicole remain
silent.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I, uh...I really do need to get
goin'. See ya tomorrow at
school...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah...okay.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Great! See ya then.
                                                            
Nicole watches as Daniel exits.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (to herself)
It "is" about me. I can feel it.
I'll convince you, Daniel Spenser,
that I'm the one for you. Just
wait...and "you'll" see.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - DANIEL'S LOCKER - MORNING
                                                            
Daniel, sporting the SAME ENSEMBLE of his original 'Red and
White' High School Lettermen's Jacket, a White T-shirt and a
pair of Blue Jeans, "desperately" searches for something.

After a moment, he throws his hands up, in despair.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Dammit! Where is it?!
                                                            
From BEHIND...
                                                            
                       FAMILIAR VOICE (FEMALE) (O.S.)
Better watch that language, Boy!
                                                            

90.

                       DANIEL
      (turning around)
I know and I am so sorry about
the...
                                                            
Daniel finds himself face-to-face with...Amber.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Amber...?
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (smiling)
Knowin' "you"...ya probably never
had it to begin with. How are ya,
Daniel?
                                                            
Daniel gives Amber a "hug".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Strangely enough...I'm doin' okay.
When did "you" get here?
                                                            
Daniel CLOSES his locker as the TWO of them start walking,
together.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (sighing)
Well..."I" got here about two days
ago. My dad's old boss offered him
a promotion, along with a "hefty"
raise, if he'd come back.
So...here I am!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah...I remember that.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Remember what...?
                                                            
Daniel comes to a STOP as Amber "follows suit".

After a moment...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Your, uh...ya know...the...
                                                            
                       JOHN (O.S.)
      (interrupting
       Daniel)
Hey, Brother!
                                                            

91.

                       DANIEL
      (turning to John)
John! Hey, Buddy!
                                                            
John approaches Daniel. They do their "secret" handshake.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Y'all are "still" doin' that
secret handshake thing...?
"Everyone" in school has seen you
guys do it at least a million
times, so...what's so "secret"
about that?!
                                                            
                       JOHN
The "secret" is in knowin' what
it's like to do it with another
member of the group. Somethin'
"you'll" obviously never know
about. Either way...long time, no
see. How're ya, Amber? Back for
good this time...?
                                                            
                       AMBER
I "certainly" hope so.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (sarcastically)
Yay! One "can" only hope!
                                                            
Daniel stands-by, as if in shock and "somewhat" admiration
of the INTERACTION between John and Amber.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Well, guys...I wouldn't wanna get
ya in trouble my first day back,
so...I think I'll just head on to
class. Toodles!
                                                            
With a "wave", Amber exits.

John walks "alongside" Daniel...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Wow. So...Amber, huh? That was
unexpected, seeing her here.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah. I never thought I'd see
"her" again.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Well...?
                                                            

92.

                       DANIEL
What?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Do you still have feelings for
her...?
                                                            
Daniel comes to a STOP as John "follows suit".
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Why would you ask that...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
I don't know. Somethin' just tells
me there's a better story
somewhere else. I'm just waitin'
to see how it's all gonna unfold.
Catch ya later, Man.
                                                            
With a "smile" and a PAT on Daniel's back, John exits.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - CAFETERIA - LATER
                                                            
John, lunch tray in hand, takes a seat at an EMPTY TABLE,
"digs" into his lunch.

Nicole sits down beside him, without a lunch, looking rather
"distraught".
                                                            
                       JOHN
Not eatin' lunch...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
No...not really hungry, I guess.
                                                            
                       JOHN
You okay...?
                                                            
John "opens" his drink...takes one.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah...I suppose.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (wiping his face
       with his forearm)
Ya sure...?
                                                            
A "nod" from Nicole.

After a moment...
                                                            

93.

                       NICOLE
You think I'm wastin' my time...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
On what?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (sighing)
Well...word on the street is
Daniel's "high-maintenance"
ex-girlfriend's back in town.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Who? Amber...?!
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah. That's what I hear, anyway.
                                                            
Nicole appears to go into a "daze". After a moment, John
SIGHS...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Look, Nicole...before you get in
too deep with this "Daniel" thing,
there's probably a few things you
should know about. Daniel's a
"pretty" complicated guy.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Oh, "believe" me...I've heard the
stories.
                                                            
John, looking "squarely" at Nicole...
                                                            
                       JOHN
But, have you heard the "true"
stories...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Uh...not sure. Why? What
happened...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
When Daniel was just a young
teenager, his parents got killed
in a head-on collision with a
"drunk" driver.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Oh, my God...that's horrible!
                                                            

94.

                       JOHN
After the accident, he was left
with the only livin' relative he
had...a sick, almost "bed-ridden"
grandmother. He basically just
threw himself into work and, of
course, the "partying" scene.
Believe me...he learned "early-on"
how to take care of himself. He
just hasn't been the same, since.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (shaking her head)
Wow...
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yeah. He'd always hoped to join
the military, so he enlisted in an
R.O.T.C. program to help propel
his career. Now, he's just waitin'
until he has the money to buy this
"classic" model Mustang GT he's
been eye-ballin'.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Well...maybe I can help get him
over some of the bitterness.
                                                            
                       JOHN
That's only "if" he wants it.
Look, Nicole...maybe there's a
better man out there for "you".
Don't doubt the senses of your
psyche. It speaks to ya for a
reason. Just watch yourself and
don't say I never warned ya.
                                                            
Nicole SIGHS.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
So...how did "you" get so smart?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Who knows...? Surprising, huh?
                                                            
Nicole "playfully" nudges John and leans in to him, placing
her head against his shoulder, for comfort. John places his
arm around her and gives her a "friendly" kiss on the
forehead.
                                                            
 

95.

INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA - ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Continuing to sport the SAME ENSEMBLE, Daniel enters, lunch
tray in hand. He "quickly" takes notice of Nicole with her
head resting on John's shoulder.
                                                            
QUICK SERIES OF SHOTS (MONTAGE) - Daniel holds Nicole's limp
body with her head on his shoulder, after the accident.

Daniel closes his eyes, remembering the agony of that
specific point in time. After a moment, he is approached
from behind as he is TAPPED on the shoulder, "snapping" him
out of his reverie.

He turns and sees that it is...Amber.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Amber...
                                                            
                       AMBER
Hey...watcha doin' just standin'
here?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I, uh, was just thinkin' about
somethin'. That's all.
                                                            
Amber lets out a LAUGH.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Like what? Where to sit...?
                                                            
Daniel SIGHS as he "casually" looks back towards John and
Nicole.


Amber "follows" his look...
                                                            
ON SCREEN

April and Timmy have now joined John and Nicole. They are
LAUGHING as they "seemingly" enjoy each other's company.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
                       AMBER
Come on...there's some people I
want ya to see. You can sit with
us.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Yeah, sure. Why not?
                                                            

96.

JOHN'S TABLE
                                                            
Nicole sees Daniel with Amber. She becomes "suddenly"
serious and gets to her feet.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Nicole...what's wrong?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I just need some fresh air. I'll
see you guys later.
                                                            
She exits.
                                                            
                       APRIL
What's that about...?
                                                            
Timmy "nods" in the direction of AMBER'S TABLE, where she
sits...talking with Daniel.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (getting to his
       feet)
I'll be right back. I just wanna
make sure she's okay. Excuse me...
                                                            
He exits.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - FRONT ENTRANCE - STEPS - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Nicole sits, looking rather "forlorn".
                                                            
SLOW EXTREME CLOSEUP

NICOLE'S FACE. A "single" tear falls down her cheek.
                                                            
                       TIMMY (O.S.)
      (approaching from
       behind)
Nicole...?
                                                            
He places a hand on her shoulder.
                                                            
PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
Nicole looks up at Timmy as he takes a seat beside her.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Wanna talk about it?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
I just don't get it...ya know?
                                                            

97.

                       TIMMY
Yeah...me neither.
                                                            
This remark "appears" to get Nicole's attention.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
And what don't "you" get...?
                                                            
Timmy looks "squarely" at Nicole...
                                                            
                       TIMMY
How a heart belonging to such a
beautiful person can so easily be
broken.
                                                            
takes her by the hand.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
You need someone who'll treat you
the way you deserve to be treated,
Nicole.
                                                            
LAUGHING, through tears...
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Yeah, okay. Have someone in
mind...?
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Sure I do..."me".
                                                            
"Cocking" her head, Nicole looks at Timmy.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
Timmy...that's so sweet,
but...we're just too different. I
see you as one of my best friends.
It would kill me to think I could
ever hurt you in that way.
                                                            
Nicole withdraws her hand, wipes her eyes.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       TIMMY
What does that even mean...?
Look...I know I'm not the "best"
lookin' guy in the room, but I can
be the "best" guy...for "you". All
you gotta do is give me a chance
to prove it.
                                                            

98.

                       NICOLE
      (looking down)
Timmy...
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Is it like you to cry when you're
sad, smile when you're happy,
shake when you're nervous or pray
when you're scared...? If
so...we're really not that
different, at all.
                                                            
Nicole "slowly" raises her head...looks at Timmy in
"disbelief".
                                                            
                       TIMMY
      (looking at Nicole)
You don't deserve to hurt like
this, Nicole...no matter what the
reason is. How you could
"honestly" believe you're not
worth someone's time is beyond me.
Don't you think it's only logical
to be with someone who recognizes
that...?
                                                            
Timmy gets to his feet.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Think about it. You might just
find you're not as wise in love as
you once thought you were. See ya.
                                                            
Walking away, Timmy leaves Nicole in an "apparent" state of
shock.
                                                            
 
INT. WEST POINT HIGH SCHOOL - FOOTBALL FIELD - AFTERNOON
                                                            
BLEACHERS. Daniel, sporting the SAME ENSEMBLE, sits "alone"
as he appears to be in a state of "contemplation", staring
out onto the field.

He is approached by John.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Watcha doin' out here, Man...?
                                                            
Daniel comes out of his "reverie"...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
John...hey.
                                                            

99.

                       JOHN
Mind if I join ya...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No, not at all.
                                                            
John sits down, beside him.

CLOSEUP

Nicole approaches the END of the bleachers, as she remains
out of sight from the guys. She appears as if she's trying
to "listen" in on Daniel and John's conversation.

PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
                       JOHN
You doin' okay...? Ya seem a
little, I don't know..."stressed"
these days. Somethin' I might can
help with?
                                                            
Daniel SIGHS.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No...not this time. There's just
some things I must do on my own.
                                                            
                       JOHN
Hmm, okay. I get that.
                                                            
They "briefly" sit, in silence. After a moment...
                                                            
                       JOHN
She has a ton of admirers, ya
know...? "Why" she only has eyes
for you is beyond me.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
What...?
                                                            
                       JOHN
Yeah, Man...I mean, it seems to me
you're leadin' Nicole on, yet at
the same time, tryin' to keep your
options open. It's almost as if
you're keepin' her at bay so that
no one else "can" have her.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Why would you think I'd do
somethin' like that...?
                                                            

100.

                       JOHN
I don't know. Why do you do "half"
the things you do...? Just tryin'
to figure you out, I guess.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
There's not much to figure out.
The "one" thing I do know, for
sure, is that being with Nicole
would be a huge mistake...for me.
It appears as if I've already
caused her enough pain.
                                                            
Daniel gets to his feet.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
However...I now have a chance to
do somethin' about it and make
things right, for a change.
                                                            
He begins to exit, just "prior" to coming to a STOP.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Oh...I almost forgot.
                                                            
He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out the ENAMEL
HIGH SCHOOL PIN "previously" given to him by John.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Here, take this and give it to
Richie. He deserves it a whole lot
more than I do. He's always been a
better friend to you than I have
and I know he'll take good care of
it. It might even bring him some
good luck along the way.
                                                            
                       JOHN
      (looking up at
       Daniel as he
       takes the pin)
Yeah, sure, Man. You bet.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Thanks. Anyway, I, uh, guess I
should probably get goin'.
                                                            
They "slowly" go through the motions of the SECRET
HANDSHAKE, as if doing it for the very last time.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Goodbye, John.
                                                            

101.

                       JOHN
Goodbye, Daniel. See ya later...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (smiling)
You can count on it.
                                                            
Daniel exits, leaving John in an apparent state of
"confusion".

We see a "saddened" Nicole also head out, "unnoticed", in
the opposite direction.
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT - INNER CITY PARK - LATER
                                                            
Walking along "slowly", Daniel STOPS, sits on a PARK BENCH
"directly" beneath an American Flag, hanging from an Eagle
Flagpole.

He places his head in his hands.

After a moment, he raises his head, wipes his face with his
forearm, as if trying to regain his composure. As he sits
with a look of deep "contemplation", he is INTERRUPTED by a
FEMALE VOICE.
                                                            
                       UNKNOWN FEMALE (O.S.)
Wait!
                                                            
He turns his attention to that direction...

ON SCREEN

A "beautiful", HISPANIC FAMILY (mom and dad, late 30-40's,
with two teenagers) walk along, DOG in tow.

They STOP, in passing, to exchange "pleasantries" with a
CAUCASIAN COUPLE (mid 30's) pushing a "baby-stroller". The
man is sporting a distinctive, "Security Forces" U.S. Air
Force Uniform.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel, wiping his eyes, becomes "distracted" by a frisbee
flying past him. He turns his attention to that direction...

ON SCREEN

A COUPLE of men are playing frisbee with a 5 year-old CHILD.
One of the men waves at Daniel, smiles.

END ON SCREEN

102.


Daniel waves, smiles back. He reaches inside of his "jacket"
pocket...

EXTREME CLOSEUP

DANIEL'S HAND. Nicole's ring set...he rolls it around.

PULL BACK to reveal:

Looking up, Daniel smiles as a "tear" falls down his
cheek...

BACKGROUND MUSIC CUE: "Five for Fighting" by The Riddle

QUICK FLASHBACK - At that very BENCH SPOT, Daniel, on one
knee, proposing...to Nicole.

After a moment...
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN (O.S.)
Here alone...?
                                                            
Daniel, snapping out of his "reverie", turns to find an
ELDERLY BLACK MAN, sitting beside him.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Looks like you could use a friend,
Son. What's your name?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (wiping his face)
Daniel...the name's Daniel.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Care to talk about it, Daniel...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
Guess there's really nothin' to
talk about.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Well...allow me to let you in on a
little secret I've learned in all
my years of livin'.
                                                            
Daniel gives the man a "confusing", yet somewhat
"intriguing" look.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Sure...
                                                            

103.

                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Those "repetitive" things in life
that seem so important at the
time...? They usually don't amount
to much in the greater scheme of
things. We're all strivin' to get
to the same place anyway. We just
have to help each other along the
way. That's all.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Huh...yeah, I guess that makes
sense.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Never stop tryin' to become a
better man, Daniel. Search
"wisely" for your rightful place
in life. If you can only learn to
give respect fully, the same will
always come back to you.
                                                            
Daniel SIGHS.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I'm afraid it may be too late for
me.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
      (shrugging his
       shoulders)
Perhaps not. It's never too late
for a man to accept full
responsibility for the things he's
done in life and to try and make
things right. You know...that's
"exactly" what a real man should
do. It's all about
accountability...at least that's
what I keep tellin' my "own" son.
It all starts with finding love
and respect within ourselves,
because one way or another...that
situation you're strugglin' with
will always come down to a simple
matter of the heart. I recommend
choosing "truth". It's the best
scenario.
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            

104.

                       DANIEL
Wow...those "are" encouraging
words. Thank you.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
Yes, Sir. You really want a riddle
worth figurin' on...?
                                                            
Daniel gives the man his "undivided" attention as the man
gets to his feet. He is approached by a BIRACIAL GIRL (5-6
years old) in ponytails, followed by a WHITE MALE and a
BLACK FEMALE (mid 30's), holding hands.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY BLACK MAN
What's the most important thing in
life? The one thing you can't live
without...? Think on that riddle
awhile. You'll figure it out. Life
is short, but it'll all come soon
enough. Hold onto what "truly"
matters, Daniel, and "never" let
it go.
                                                            
The man tips his hat, winks, and takes hold of the young
girl's hand. Daniel waves at the young girl as she smiles,
waves back.
                                                            
As the man "shuffles" off, the family exits.

Daniel looks at the ring set in his hand, makes a fist,
"bows" his head.

END BACKGROUND MUSIC
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. TIMMY'S HOUSE - FRONT LIVING AREA - EVENING
                                                            
Timmy (looking more like his "nerdy" teenaged self) sits
alone on the couch, reading a book. He sports his own
"original" eyeglasses and a ball cap.

There is a KNOCK, on the door.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Got it, Mom!
                                                            
After setting his book on the coffee table, Timmy
approaches...

FOYER


105.

Opening the door, he comes face-to-face with...Nicole. She
appears to have been crying.
                                                            
 
EXT. TIMMY'S HOUSE - FRONT PORCH - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Timmy steps outside, closing the door behind him.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Nicole? Are you alright...? What
happened?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
You were right.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
What...?
                                                            
                       NICOLE
You were right, all along, about
everything.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
I, don't, uh...I don't understand.
                                                            
                       NICOLE
We're really not that different,
remember...?
                                                            
Nicole reaches out, takes Timmy by the hand.

BACKGROUND MUSIC CUE: "Inspirational" Orchestral Music
                                                            
                       NICOLE
      (becoming
       emotional)
Is it like "you" to cry when
you're sad, smile when you're
happy, shake when you're nervous
or pray when you're scared...? If
so...we're really not that
different, at all. I can see it
clearly now. I just refused to see
it before. I'm so sorry I ever
hurt you, Timmy. I now know that
"you" are the one for me.
                                                            
Timmy GULPS, appearing to try and "maintain" his composure.
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Nicole, this isn't just...
                                                            
She INTERRUPTS.
                                                            

106.

                       NICOLE
I looked beyond all the
"superficial" factors, and I saw
what reminded me of you. It was
me.
                                                            
Appearing to be "somewhat" stunned, Timmy takes Nicole by
the arm, pulls her close as they share an "embrace". A tear
falls down his cheek.

A CRACK of THUNDER, a FLASH of "lightning" and it begins to
RAIN.

Timmy tries to "shield" Nicole from the rain...
                                                            
                       TIMMY
Come on, let's go inside before we
get soaked!
                                                            
Timmy holds the FRONT DOOR open for Nicole, as she enters.
Following behind, Timmy becomes "visually" distracted, as if
having seen something out of his peripheral. He does a
double-take.

ON SCREEN

Daniel, standing on the "opposite" END OF THE DRIVEWAY,
seeming not to care about the RAIN. He looks "directly" at
Timmy.

After a moment, Daniel begins to "slowly" go through the
motions of the "secret handshake" in the air, ending with
his index finger pointing "squarely" at Timmy.

By maneuvering his finger, Daniel directs Timmy's attention
to an area just a few feet away, from where Timmy stands.

END ON SCREEN

Timmy, turning his attention to that direction...

ON SCREEN

A Single WHITE, RING BOX, with a 'Gold Trim', is lying on
top of the BANNISTER RAILING.

END ON SCREEN

Timmy approaches the box, picks it up, looks at Daniel.

ON SCREEN

Daniel places his hand over his heart as he begins to

107.

display "intense" emotion. He puts off a "single" nod, at
Timmy.

END ON SCREEN

Timmy "drops" his ball cap to his chest, as if in response
to Daniel's "intriguing" behavior. He looks at the box,
opens it.

CLOSEUP

INSIDE THE BOX. Nicole's "teardrop" 1.5 carat BLUE
"sapphire" diamond WEDDING RING SET.

PULL BACK to reveal:

Timmy looks up in "question", towards Daniel's direction, as
Daniel is nowhere to be found. Timmy "visually" scans the
area.

After a moment, he "examines" the box, in his hand.

EXTREME CLOSEUP

INSIDE THE BOX LID. Sewn into the 'White Trim' lining, in
'Gold Thread', is a NOTE. It says, "To Protect, Cherish and
Love...Always."

PULL BACK to reveal:

Timmy becomes more EMOTIONAL as he continues to "visually"
scan the area.

Another CRACK OF THUNDER and Timmy enters the house, closing
the door behind him.

END BACKGROUND MUSIC
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT - INNER CITY RAILROAD - TRAIN TRACK - LATER
                                                            
Daniel, now "soaked" to the bone, STUMBLES along in the
RAIN. He is carrying a brown paper bag, containing an
obvious "bottleneck" object, MUMBLING to himself. He
"alternately" LAUGHS, out loud.

The SOUND of an APPROACHING TRAIN and Daniel turns around,
TRIPPING, as he walks. He falls, SMACKS his head.

As the SOUND gets LOUDER, Daniel tries getting to his feet.

He falls.


108.

A "translucent" hand reaches down, takes Daniel by the arm
and pulls him to "safety", just as the train ROARS by.

Sitting on the ground, Daniel looks up..."beholds" Gabe, who
stands with a "radiant" white glow, surrounding him.

Daniel holds his hand in front of his eyes, as if to
"shield" them, from the BRIGHT LIGHT.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Gabe...?
                                                            
                       GABE
It's not up to us to decide when
it's over, Daniel.
                                                            
Daniel becomes EMOTIONAL...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
But it "is" over.
                                                            
                       GABE
Oh, quite the contrary. The best
part of "your" mission has just
begun.
                                                            
Gabe reaches down, takes Daniel's hand and pulls him to his
feet.
                                                            
                       GABE
You "must" continue on until your
journey here is done. It is only
He who decides when that certain
time has come.
                                                            
A FLASH of "lightning", a CRASH of THUNDER.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST POINT - INNER CITY ALLEY - NEAR DUMPSTER - MORNING
                                                            
NO RAIN, CLOUDY. Daniel, sporting the SAME ENSEMBLE (however
"dirtier"), lies "motionless" near a puddle of water.

He is "unconscious".

After a moment, he opens his eyes, GROANS in AGONY as he
"manages" to sit up.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (looking around)
Where am I...?
                                                            

109.

ON SCREEN

A RANDOM CAR parks at the END, near the ENTRANCE. A WOMAN'S
SILHOUETTE, from behind the wheel, is "visibly" noticeable.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
Daniel "squints" his eyes...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Nicole...?
                                                            
CLOSEUP

DRIVER'S SIDE DOOR. It opens as a WOMAN places her feet on
the ground, steps out, SLAMS the door.

PULL BACK to reveal:

It's Amber.
                                                            
Daniel appears to be in a "visible" state of confusion.
                                                            
                       AMBER (O.S.)
Daniel! Oh, my gosh!
                                                            
She approaches, "kneels" down beside him.
                                                            
                       AMBER
What's goin' on?! Are you
alright...?!
                                                            
Daniel looks "squarely" at Amber...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Amber...?
                                                            
                       AMBER
Yes, Baby...it's me.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
How did you know where to find
me...?
                                                            
                       AMBER
I didn't! John called, said that
you were missin', so...I
"literally" drove around all night
tryin' to find ya!
                                                            
Glancing around the "decrepit" area...
                                                            

110.

                       AMBER
How in the world did you end up
here...?!
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I don't know. I was hopeful I had
just awakened from a "horrifying"
dream, but...
                                                            
                       AMBER
Well, come on....let's get you
back to civilization.
                                                            
With Amber's assistance, Daniel "manages" to get to his feet
as they begin walking, towards the exit.
                                                            
 
INT. AMBER'S CAR - HIGHWAY - (MOVING) - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Amber drives. Daniel, head resting against the "headrest",
stares out the window. He appears "worn", beaten down.

After a moment, Amber "glances" his way...
                                                            
                       AMBER
Ya know...it's too bad we don't
have the luxury of a "mobile"
phone device. How easy would
"that" be in tryin' to locate
someone...?
                                                            
"Smiling", she looks to Daniel as he remains STOIC, staring
out the window.
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (sighing)
Tell ya what...why don't I take
you to my house? You can shower
there and get those injuries, on
your head, looked at. What do ya
say? Sound like a plan...?
                                                            
Daniel, as he "stares" out the window...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (taps on his chest)
It's all about what's in
here...what you harbor in your
"own" heart.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Sorry...?
                                                            

111.

Daniel, looking at Amber, "teary-eyed"...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I've hurt a lot of people in my
life, Amber...including you.
Believe me when I tell you how
sorry I am...for everything.
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (gulping)
Well, hey, come on...things aren't
really "that" bad, are they?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
No. But, for whatever reason...we
keep beatin' ourselves up over
things that're "completely" out of
our control.
                                                            
Amber, appearing to be a bit "confused", stares straight
ahead...
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (nodding slowly)
Sure...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
Everything we do either has a
direct or an in-direct effect on
others. So, with this in
mind...who, among us, will be
strong enough to "finally" break
the cycle of abuse...?
                                                            
After a moment...
                                                            
                       AMBER
Well...I, uh...hmm, wow. Guess
I've never really thought about
things that way.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
I know we've all been hurt at some
point, but that doesn't give us
the right to hurt others the same
way. It's really about learning
how to "serve" others.
                                                            
Looking "squarely" at Amber...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
That's it.
                                                            

112.

Letting out a SIGH, he looks out the window...
                                                            
ON SCREEN

A 45MPH "Advisory" Speed Limit Sign, in passing.

END ON SCREEN
                                                            
His nose begins to "bleed".

After a moment, he wipes his nose with the "back" of his
hand, looks at it.
                                                            
                       AMBER
      (taking notice)
Oh, my Gosh...you're bleeding!
Look inside the glovebox. There
should be napkins in there.
                                                            
Daniel leans forward, towards the "glovebox", opens it.

Reaching in...he pulls out a "napkin".

In the midst of wiping his nose, he "glances" towards the
box...does a "double-take", STOPS.

Leaning forward, he "slowly" reaches in...pulls out a WHITE,
POCKET-SIZE BOOK.

He "holds" it up to his face.

EXTREME CLOSEUP

FRONT COVER. WHITE Background with 'Gold Hand Lettering
Inscription'. It says, "God's Word: Where all of OUR Stories
Begin and End".

PULL BACK to reveal:

Daniel, staring at the book, "slowly" opens it.

EXTREME CLOSEUP

INSIDE FRONT COVER. WHITE Background with 'Gold Hand
Lettering Inscription'. It says, "To ALL of My Children."

PULL BACK to reveal:

GULPING, Daniel "wipes" a tear from his cheek...

EXTREME CLOSEUP

BEGINS THUMBING THROUGH. Each page has WORDING on it.

113.


PULL BACK to reveal:
                                                            
Daniel "holds" the book up to his chest...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (matter-of-factly)
A book of "divine" proportion.
                                                            
                       AMBER
I'm sorry...?
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (turning to Amber)
Whenever you're unsure and in need
of direction...just look to the
Word for guidance. It'll help fill
in all the "empty" pages of your
life.
                                                            
                       AMBER
Daniel...I'm not sure I understand
what's goin' on here.
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (cont'd)
I know you hurt too, Amber, but
know this..."everything" happens
for a reason. It's simply up to us
to believe.
                                                            
Daniel holds the book out to Amber. While looking at him, in
question...she "veers" over into the WRONG LANE.

With his other hand, Daniel "quickly" yanks on the steering
wheel, barely missing an ONCOMING VEHICLE. He "glances" at
Amber...CRASH!
                                                            
                                         FADE TO BLACK:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 
EXT. ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
DANIEL, STANDING ALONE, FACING (OPPOSING) SIDE. There is NO
SIGN of WRECKAGE as he appears to be "refreshed" (ie clean),
sporting the SAME ENSEMBLE.

STAYING IN PLACE, he appears to be coming out of a "reverie"
as he takes notice of his clothing, "seemingly" looking down
at himself, in question.


114.

As he looks up, across the way, he does a
"double-take"...STOPS.

ON SCREEN

Gabe, dressed in the white leisure suit, STANDS ALONE on the
OPPOSING SIDE, FACING Daniel.

After a moment, Gabe begins to "slowly" go through the
motions of the "secret handshake", IN THE AIR.

He begins by IMITATING the interlocking of thumbs, a
release, a waving of the fingers and an ending with his
index finger pointing "squarely" at Daniel.

As he points at Daniel, he "bows" his head and with the
"motion" of his finger, "directs" Daniel's attention to
something NEAR THE AREA where he is standing.

END ON SCREEN

Daniel "cautiously" turns in that direction...
                                                            
 
EXT. DUSTY GULLY - WRECKED CAR (UPSIDE DOWN) BY TREE - CONTINUOUS
                                                            
Amber is SITTING on the GROUND, CRYING. She holds Daniel's
bloody, "limp" body in her arms. His head is lying against
her chest.

She reaches for the "book" lying near her and takes it in
her hand as she begins to rock back and forth.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
EXT. ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY - CONTINUOUS

Daniel's jaw drops (open) in an "alarming" fashion as he
turns towards Gabe, NOW STANDING "directly" in front of him,
"startling" him.
                                                            
                       GABE
Your mission is now complete. You
followed through with your promise
and Nicole's "rightful" future has
been saved.
                                                            
BACKGROUND MUSIC CUE: "Inspirational" Orchestral Music
                                                            
                       DANIEL
      (tearing up)
Nicole "really" gets her life
back...?
                                                            

115.

                       GABE
Yes. Prayers have been answered,
Daniel, and your spirit has been
revived. Your soul has now been
made "eternal".
                                                            
Daniel "bows" his head, "wipes" his face with his FOREARM.

After a moment, he "lifts" his head, looks at Gabe...
                                                            
                       DANIEL
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