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But I Love You
by Katina Michelle Blackwell (katblackwell91@gmail.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***
Claire struggles to come to terms with the fact that one of the beautiful people has feelings for her. Susan stands up to her prejudiced friends about her feelings for Claire.

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.


The picture is blurred and is very slowly coming into focus.
As this happens, we can hear everything around clearly: the
sound of the train speeding through the tunnel, multiple but
indistinct conversations, someone playing an instrument and
singing, etc. These sounds begin to muddle and fade as the
picture becomes clear. The sound of a single female voice,
CLAIRE'S MOTHER, becomes prominent.

When the shot comes into focus, we can see CLAIRE sitting
alone with just her backpack by her side. She looks like
she's been crying.

[CLAIRE ADAMS >> 19-20 years old, average height, dresses in
dark clothes but they are worn/frayed and don't fit very
well because of her very large overweight size, her hair
while short is mussed and wind-blown.]
                       CLAIRE'S MOTHER (V.O.)
      (speaks calmly but
My God, you're useless. Such a
      (brief pause)
If I had known you were going to
turn out like this, I would have
gone through with the abortion
your father demanded I get.
CLAIRE clenches her jaw, closes her eyes, and then bangs the
back of her head repeatedly on the window behind her. This
causes the other passengers on the train to stare at her.
She notices this and turns her head away.
                                         CUT TO:
We can see SUSAN and CLAIRE sitting on the queensize bed.
They are surrounded by textbooks, loose pages of notes, and
several binders.

[SUSAN SUMMERS>> 20-21 years old, average height, athletic
build, a perfect 10.]

CLAIRE keeps stealing little side glances at SUSAN and


smiles. SUSAN catches her and returns the smile. This makes
CLAIRE blush and looks away quickly back at her materials.
After a few seconds, CLAIRE pushes her materials away and
then leans back against the pillows behind her. She tries to
wipe away the exhaustion from her eyes.
      (lets out a deep
I can't! I just can't anymore! The
words are starting to swim
together. I can't even remember
what test we are studying for. Is
it Lit or History?
SUSAN pushes her materials away too and lays back against
the pillows behind her, however she moves close enough to
CLAIRE so that their arms touch. CLAIRE tries to make
herself smaller in the space she's in without being obvious.
SUSAN notices and tries to get her to relax.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
You're okay the way you
      (brief pause)
This is just a ten minute break,
that's it.
      (tries to wipe
       away the
       exhaustion from
       her eyes too)
I hate finals week!
      (smiles and gives
       a laugh)
Me too. And now I have to work the
graveyard shift on Friday.
      (disappointment in
       her voice)
I thought we were doing something
Friday night?
It was the compromise I made with
my boss so I could study with you
today. I'm sorry...I really am.


It's okay, I understand that you
need to work. Frankly, I don't
know how you do it, working full
time and doing a full class load.
      (brief pause)
All I do is go to school and I am
beyond exhausted.
Yes but you're forgetting all of
your other obligations and your
very active social life.
      (brief pause)
My social life doesn't mean as
much to me...it never has.
SUSAN rolls onto her side and faces CLAIRE with a smile.
A fact that I am trying to change,
so don't make plans for next
Friday. Okay?
It takes a few seconds, but CLAIRE returns the smile.
SUSAN reaches up and caresses CLAIRE'S cheek. CLAIRE tenses
up and closes her eyes as she fights the urge to pull away.
                       CLAIRE (cont'd)
      (barely audible)
What are you doing?
SUSAN continues what she is doing and smiles.
Am I doing something wrong?
CLAIRE keeps her eyes closed and keeps silent.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
I like you Claire...really like
you and I think you like me too.
CLAIRE opens his eyes ans stares at SUSAN.
SUSAN sits up and faces CLAIRE.


Why you? Why not you?
CLAIRE still looks at SUSAN in disbelief.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
Claire, you make me laugh, you
genuinely care about others
selflessly, and you're you!
      (dramatic pause)
I can be myself around you and not
have to worry about superficial
conversation with people who are
easily impressed by shiny baubles
and money, who so-and-so is dating
or sleeping with, or who is going
to what party.
      (brief pause)
I know it's cliche to say it, but
I can be the real me when I'm with
you. I love the way that feels,
and this feels right.
      (brief pause)
Can we just let whatever this is
happen? Please?
CLAIRE closes her eyes again, then takes in a deep breath
and then lets it out as she nods. SUSAN smiles and leans in
and kisses CLAIRE. It is a light brushing of their lips.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
That wasn't so bad, was it?
CLAIRE'S eyes are still closed and she is holding her breath
as she shakes her head. SUSAN gives a little laugh.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
Don't forget to breath.
      (smiles and bites
       her bottom lip)
May I kiss you again?
CLAIRE takes a breath then swallows hard.
SUSAN laughs again as she smiles.
Relax. We can stop whenever you
want. Do you want to stop?


CLAIRE shakes her head. SUSAN leans in again and kisses
CLAIRE again, but this time with more energy. CLAIRE
surprises SUSAN by returning the kiss.

The shot pans around and stops on the bedroom door, which is
ajar. We can see that someone is watching these events play
out. We hear the sound of a picture being taken from a cell
phone. Suddenly there is a knock on the door. CLAIRE pulls
away quickly, then sits up. She becomes nervous, like she
and SUSAN had done something wrong.
                       BETSY (O.S.)
Hey Suze! Can we talk to you for a
minute? Please?
SUSAN gets up off of the bed and goes to the door and opens
it all the way. We can see BETSY and MIKAYLA standing in the
Yeah? What's going on?
In private, please.
SUSAN looks back at CLAIRE and gives her a smile.
I'll just be a minute and then we
can finish what we started.
      (winks at CLAIRE)
SUSAN exits the room and shuts the door. CLAIRE gets up and
goes into the adjoining bathroom.
                                         CUT TO:
We can see CLAIRE in the bathroom. There are two entrances,
one that leads directly to SUSAN's room and the other leads
to the hallway on the other side house.

CLAIRE locks both doors then goes over to the sink and
stares at her reflection in the mirror. She touches her lips
and allows herself to smile.
                                         CUT TO:


We see SUSAN close the door. She turns and faces BETSY and
MIKAYLA standing in the hall.
What's up?
We're worried about you.
      (puzzled look on
       her face)
Why's that?
To be honest, it's the company
you're keeping these days. For the
last several months you've been
bringing this...
      (stumbles over
this...girl around the house.
Well, we've noticed that when she
is around you tend to miss the
events we've scheduled. Things
like house meetings and a few
important events we planned for
Rush and Greek Week.
Yeah, I don't get it. What is it
with you and this girl?
What's to get? She's my
friend...my good friend.
Yes. Friend.
BETSY holds up her cell phone and we can see a picture of
SUSAN and CLAIRE sharing a kiss.


Care to explain?
      (matter of factly)
No. My personal life is none of
your business.
What would your mother say if she
were here?
My mother? Please! My entire
family knows that I'm gay. I came
out when I was fourteen years old.
Oh who cares about that? Everyone
is practically gay these days.
What then?
Really? Are we seeing the same
thing here? Look at her Susan!
      (grabs the phone
       and holds it very
       close to SUSAN's
Does she look like she belongs
with our crowd?
      (pushes the phone
I could give two shits that she
doesn't have money.
No! Look! At! Her! Why would you
want to be seen in public with
"that" by your side? My God, just
thinking about it...and this
picture...it grosses me out!
      (dramatic pause)
You can't possibly like her, not
like that!
Who in the hell asked for your
opinion in the first place? I can
think for myself, thank you very


                       SUSAN (cont'd)
much! Now if you'll excuse me, my
guest and I are studying for
SUSAN turns and cracks the door. BETSY puts her hand on
SUSAN's shoulder to stop her from re-entering the room.
SUSAN looks at BETSY's hand as she turns around to face her.
You don't seem to understand.
                                         CUT TO:
The shot switches back to the bedroom. We see CLAIRE come
back into the room. She can sort of see what's happening in
the hall but she can hear everything those girls are saying.
                                         CUT TO:
SUSAN crosses her arms and major attitude enters her voice.
Why don't you explain it to me
Suze, we are the most popular
house on sorority row. We have
certain expectations and standards
the other houses seem to choose to
ignore. We have a reputation that
is envied...an image that is very
important to us and to future of
this organization.
You're a legacy for heaven's sake!
Your mother must have told you all
about it.
Yeah. And?
      (shakes her head)
Don't play dumb. You know exactly


                       BETSY (cont'd)
what we mean.
So you're saying that I don't have
a choice about who I have feelings
Not at all. We always have a
      (dramatic pause)
You can choose to continue your
relationship or whatever you have
with that...that girl, or ...
Or you can remain a member of this
sisterhood and a part of this
We can see CLAIRE's face as she hears this. The devastation
on her face says it all. She enters the bathroom again and
we can hear the door open and close.
                                         CUT BACK TO:
SUSAN has a look of disbelief on her face.
Wow! You two are really something.
I thought you were supposed to be
my friends? Hell! I thought you
were supposed to be my sisters!
We are your sisters and we're
trying to be good friends. Why do
you think we're having this
conversation with you?
No, you're just a couple of
judgemental bitches!
      (dramatic pause)
I definitely don't need your
negativity in my life.
So you're choosing that fat cow
over us?


No, I'm choosing me over my
so-called sisters. No need to
worry about your precious
reputation or your image, because
I'll be moving out at the end of
the term.
Well, until then, we'd appreciate
it if your new friend doesn't come
here anymore.
Well, I'm all paid up until the
end of the term. There is nothing
in the rules that say I can't have
guests, so you both can just fuck
BETSY and MIKAYLA looked shocked that SUSAN would speak to
them that way. SUSAN goes into her room and slams the door
                                         CUT TO:
SUSAN notices that all of CLAIRE'S things are gone, and
realizes that she must have heard at lease some of that
unpleasant conversation.
SUSAN grabs her cellphone off of the bed and dials CLAIRE'S
number. CLAIRE does not answer and it goes to voice-mail.
                       CLAIRE (V.O.)
"It's a machine. You should know
what to do after the beep." -BEEP
      (tries to hide the
       emotion in her
Hey! Where did you go? Call me
back, okay?
                                         CUT TO:


CLAIRE'S phone rings. She immediately silences it, sending
the caller straight to voice mail. The train begins to slow
down to stop. She gets up from her seat and exits the train.
                                         CUT TO:
We see a SECURITY GUARD watching the people get off the
train. We can see CLAIRE, her face is red and is tear
streaked. The SECURITY GUARD becomes concerned and goes over
to her.
                       SECURITY GUARD
Are you okay?
I'm fine.
CLAIRE walks away before a conversation can begin.
It is the graveyard shift for CLAIRE at work, but it's late
into her shift. It is almost four o'clock in the morning.
There is hardly anyone in the diner, bar crowd having left
for home not too long before. A few seconds later the last
customers get up and leave the diner. CLAIRE buses the table
and then goes to sit down at the counter. CLAIRE looks tired
and defeated.

We can hear the door open and the little bell announcing
customers ring. CLAIRE doesn't look up as she speaks.
Sit anywhere you like and I'll be
with you in just a moment.
SUSAN doesn't say anything and goes to sit in the closest
booth. SUSAN looks very worn down too...like she hasn't been
sleeping, but has done a fair amount of crying. A few
moments later, CLAIRE comes over to take her order, but
never looks at her customer.


                       CLAIRE (cont'd)
Good morning, What can I get you
to drink?
Coffee, please.
CLAIRE, recognizing the voice, looks at SUSAN immediately.
What are you doing here?
Ordering breakfast.
I'm serious.
So am I. Can I have the breakfast
special with wheat toast?
CLAIRE stands there for a few seconds, just staring at
SUSAN. Finally she speaks.
CLAIRE walks away without another word and goes to the
kitchen to give the cook her order. She fixes the cup of
coffee and takes it over to SUSAN.
                       CLAIRE (cont'd)
Your order will be right out.
CLAIRE walks back over to the counter and sits down. SUSAN
speaks as she adds cream and sugar to her coffee.
So...why aren't you talking to me?
      (brief silence)
I must have left you like a
hundred voice mails and a thousand
texts. I've looked for you on
campus, but never had any luck
finding you.
      (CLAIRE doesn't
Can you at least tell me what I
did to deserve this?


      (flat voice)
You did nothing, it's me.
What's that supposed to mean? What
about you?
      (brief pause)
I've told you how I feel about
SUSAN gets up from the booth and walks over to CLAIRE.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
Please tell me what's wrong?
CLAIRE immediately goes on the defensive.
Does it matter?
Well, it's like your friends
said...just look at me.
I am looking at you.
No you're not...not really.
      (brief pause)
Susan, I know what I look like. I
know what people think of me and
say about me.
I'm not other people. My mother
taught me to value the gifts I am
lucky enough to receive...no
matter the wrapping on the gift.
And for the record, I happen to
like the wrapping on this
particular gift.
Well, that's easy to say. Other
people, the media, Hell society at
large more than care about outer


And they are the fools.
Look! I just can't do this Susan,
and it's better that we figure
this out now.
      (tears fill her
But I love you...all of you!
No you don't...
      (wipes her eyes as
       she yells)
That's now! How are you going to
feel when the world you know comes
to an end...crashing down all
around you and you end up alone?
      (her voice begins
       to break as she
       starts to cry)
Because I know how it feels and no
one should have to go through
My world? What is that even
supposed to mean? I'm not some
shallow superficial person! The
world does not revolve around you
or me!
I know that.
Then don't assume that I'll be
like those people.
      (brief pause)
Claire, the world is constantly


                       SUSAN (cont'd)
changing. It is what you make of
it and I want you with me! Please
choose me too!
Before CLAIRE can answer, SUSAN moves in and pulls CLAIRE
into a kiss. She then puts her head on CLAIRE'S shoulder and
holds her tight.
                       SUSAN (cont'd)
      (pleading voice)
Please? Please? Please? Choose me
We can see that CLAIRE is struggling to give in and hold
SUSAN too, but in the end she pulls away.
I'm sorry...I can't. Please just
CLAIRE walks back to the kitchen without looking back. We
can hear SUSAN start to sob as she runs to the exit and out
of the diner.
                                         CUT TO:
CLAIRE is wiping her eyes, with a towel, as she walks over
to the cook who is just plating SUSAN'S food.
Order up.
You eat it. She left. I'll pay for
      (looks puzzled)
Thank you.
      (brief pause)
Are you okay?
      (flat voice)
I'll be fine.
      (not convinced)


CLAIRE starts to walk away, but stops when GARFIELD asks her
a question.
                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Can I ask you a question?
CLAIRE turns around and shrugs her shoulders at him.
                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Why what?
Why did you tell her to leave? I
mean you can tell she likes you.
Even I could hear it in her voice.
It's complicated.
She likes you and you like her.
What's so complicated about that?
CLAIRE doesn't answer. She wipes the tears from her eyes and
just looks down.
                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Look sweetie, I ain't an educated
man. I never got past the sixth
grade in school. What I do have is
a lot of life experience...almost
seventy years worth come June. Now
this is just my opinion and you
can take my advice or leave it,
but you're making a mistake.
It doesn't matter.
      (very sarcastic)
Yeah right. The tears in your eyes
are saying just that.
Why do you even care?
      (raises his voice)
Look at me!
      (dramatic pause)


                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Am I a ten? Do I look like one of
the beautiful people to you? I've
been where you're at before! I've
had feelings for a beautiful girl
before, and it hurt like hell when
I was rejected...when she and all
of her friends laughed at me.
Believe me when I say that mean
girls are just as cruel to guys as
they are to girls.
CLAIRE wipes her eyes again.
That's the whole point of this! I
know what her friends think of me!
I don't want her to...
      (interrupts her)
...her friends to put her through
the bullshit because she chose
CLAIRE nods her head.
                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Shouldn't that be her decision?
CLAIRE shrugs again.
                       GARFIELD (cont'd)
Do me a favor...put all of that
negative shit out of your head for
a minute. I want you to sit and
think about how that girl made you
feel when you were alone together.
Think about how you couldn't stop
smiling when she looked at
you...about the flutter in your
heart when her hand brushed
against yours. Most importantly, I
want you to think of that last
kiss she planted on you. Think
about how much you wanted to kiss
her back and how much she wanted
you to. Think about how happy you
would be together. After all that,
if you don't go after her then you
deserve your misery.


We see CLAIRE walk up the sidewalk to the front door of the
sorority house. She hesitates a second before ringing the
door bell. A few moments later, the HOUSEKEEPER answers the
Yes? May I help you?
Yes ma'am, I'd like to see Susan
Summers. Is she home?
Yes, I believe so. Let me go get
her for you. Will you please come
inside and wait in the living
CLAIRE enters the house and the door closes behind her.
CLAIRE sits down on the couch. She looks very uncomfortable.
A few of the sorority sisters pass by the living room and
see her sitting there...they laugh and then quickly exit. A
few seconds later, SUSAN enters the room. She looks like
What do you want?
I was wondering if I could talk to
So talk.
Can we do this somewhere more
private, please?
                                         CUT TO:


SUSAN looks like she still hasn't slept and has been crying.
She enters the room first, followed by CLAIRE, who closes
the door.
Talk. I have stuff to do.
I want to start by apologizing.
I'm sorry.
For what?
Several reasons. First, for
telling you how to feel and second
for lying to you. I do care for
      (swallows hard)
You see I'm a coward. I don't like
confrontation. I have these demons
in my head. Some days are pretty
ugly for me. Other days, like when
I'm with you, are the best I've
ever felt in my life.
Yeah. It's been like this since I
was a little kid...these hot and
cold mood swings.
      (voice breaks a
My mother...my mother has always
been my biggest hater. Even though
I haven't seen her for a couple of
years now, she is always in my
head...saying the same vile and
vicious things I heard her say a
million times daily when I lived
under her roof.
Why didn't you tell me this


Unhappy memories are better left
unspoken. I eventually get past
what's in my head, but sometimes
it takes awhile. I can live with
that, but I've never had to share
it with anyone.
      (brief pause)
Right now, I'm more concerned that
people will treat
you...differently because of me.
Like the way your friends did the
other day.
I don't care what other people
think and I never will.
Your an anomaly. Everyone else
seems to judge the tiniest of
flaws...there's nothing tiny about
Don't do that. Putting yourself
down is just as bad as when others
do it.
Sorry...bad habit.
Claire, I really care about
you...I more than just care. I
want to get closer with you. I
want to share my thoughts, my
feelings, my everything with you,
and see where this goes.
I want that too, but I'm still
afraid. You make me feel wanted
and I'm not used to that...but...
CLAIRE holds out her shaking hand and hopes SUSAN will take
it. When SUSAN takes her hand, CLAIRE pulls her into a hug.
CLAIRE takes a deep breath and then lets it out.
                       CLAIRE (cont'd)
I choose you if you still want me


SUSAN pulls out of the hug, then rests her forehead on
CLAIRE'S forehead and closes her eyes. Her arms move around
CLAIRE'S neck. CLAIRE hesitates for a second, and then her
hand reaches up and wavers. She suddenly becomes more
confident and reaches up to caress SUSAN'S cheek.
      (smiles as she
May I kiss you now?
      (smiles and bites
       her bottom lip
       then speaks)
I wish you would.
CLAIRE slowly leans in and lightly brushes her lips against
SUSAN'S lips. CLAIRE becomes more confident as she kisses
SUSAN again. SUSAN returns the kiss. They continue kissing
as the shot fades to black and the credits start to roll.


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From Rick McCormick Date 6/27/2018 ***
Katina, get rid of all the parentheticals (words/directions in parentheses). Reduce all the block writing. Keep everything brief. More white page and less black ink.

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