kingsley, season one episode one [script]

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this is the full first episode of the show that i am writing called "kingsley". kingsley is a small, fictional town in kansas. the show is about a single woman who is diagnosed with leukemia for her third time and chooses not to do chemo. she is then faced with the decision of whether or not to make amends with her estranged sister. she finds herself becoming friends with blake and veronica, her wealthy, family-oriented neighbors who help her in deciding to make things right with her family. however, everything takes a turn, not just for diane, but for veronica and blake as well, and all of them are forced to take risks and face hardships in order to keep their families together.

Submitted: June 30, 2017

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Submitted: June 30, 2017

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Kingsley

 

By Bailey Nicole

 

Season One, Episode One

Pilot




























 

Scene One

 

The scene opens.

 

The day is Saturday. The month is May. The year is 2016.

 

The sun is rising over the horizon on a small, grassy hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a beaten down farmhouse. There is also an old barn in view behind the farmhouse. All together it is a fairly large piece of property with no fence. There are flowers surrounding the beaten down farmhouse as well as flowers surrounding the barn.

 

DIANE (voice only)

I went through chemotherapy twice. Just me, all alone. No family for support. No group therapy. Nothing. Nothing but me. I was raised to be tough. Get the work done, have a meal, then wake up the next day to get done even more. Raised on the farm. Raised on fighting and working hard to make a living. I always knew I had it in me to beat cancer. It was never a question of whether or not I could. It was a question of whether or not I wanted to.

 

Diane is shown rising out of her bed and dressing in an old, torn up plaid shirt and jeans. She has short, natural blonde-brown hair and kind green eyes despite her tough-looking facial features.

 

The scene changes from Diane’s farmhouse to a doctor’s office. The room is almost entirely white. Diane enters and sits down in a chair to wait, looks anxiously down at her torn up jeans. She places her hands on her things and moves her hands up and down her jeans to keep calm. A moment later a doctor arrives. He is tall, african american, and has a kind, young face.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(cheery)

Diane. Good to see you looking like your usual self.

 

Diane rises from her chair and instantly loses her nervousness.

 

DIANE

(genuinely)

Always a pleasure, Eric.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

Why don’t you come on into my office and we’ll get started here.

 

Diane walks into his office calmly. She no longer appears to be worked up or nervous in any way. Eric closes the door behind them and sits behind his side of the desk. His office has many sentimental and personal possessions, mainly pictures of three young children.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(observant)

I’ve got to give it to you, Diane, you are one tough cookie. Even most of the men I deal with are emotional wrecks the second they step foot into my office.

 

DIANE

(sighs) I don’t take pride in being calm, Eric, I just remind myself that I am in control. I control my fate.

(beat)

Not cancer.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

Well I’m glad you think that way. But, Diane, I’m obligated to warn you, it can be dangerous to get your hopes up again. You may have beaten it before, but there’s no saying what can happen this time.

 

Pause

 

DIANE

(calmly)

This time, I bow down.


 

DOCTOR ERIC

(taken aback)

Woe now. I didn’t mean that chemo won’t work the third time, I just meant it’s not guaranteed. And what are you talking about “bow down”?

 

DIANE

(relaxed and with certainty)

I want to give up my crown this time. That way, I’m still controlling my fate. And there’s no more suffering. No more having people feel sorry for me.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

You mean you don’t want to do the chemo?

 

DIANE

That’s right.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(trying to convince)

Diane, you beat it twice. Why give up this time?

 

DIANE

Because.

(beat)

Because I am sick and tired of it. I can no longer go into remission because remission to me is just wondering when it’ll come back.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

If you don’t do the chemo--

(beat)

You gotta try. Diane, you gotta.


 


 

DIANE

(stubbornly)

No. I don’t. And you know what I hate the most? Leaning over that toilet bowl, holding back my own hair, because there is no one to do it for me. You  may be a doctor, but you don’t know what that’s like.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

Diane…

 

DIANE (cont’d)

And I hate being unable to beat it for someone other than myself.

(beat)
I ain’t got a kid or a parent or even a best friend who needs me. (scoffs) It’s just Diane here.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(still trying to reason)

You work fifty hours a week at your father’s old diner, don’t you? Running that place, feeding people, making them happy. Don’t they need you?

 

Diane

(sarcastically laughs) I put shakes and fries into people’s mouths. They don’t need me. Any one of my employees could do that. Hell, a monkey could.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

But your father left that place toyou. He wanted you to do that.

 

DIANE

With all do respect, Doctor, my daddy died half a decade ago. My giving up the diner can’t hurt his feelings no more. He ain’t here. He’ll never know.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(somewhat defeated)

But you’ll know.

 

DIANE

(calmly)

And I can live with that.

(Beat)

You know what’s harder to live with? Knowing that you, some middle aged lady, beat cancer, while some little boy died from it right in front of his family.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

Don’t you believe in God, Diane? Don’t you believe that he chose you to live those two times?

 

DIANE

(Disbelief)

Come on now, Eric. You and I both know that’s just some old poetry folks tell themselves to feel like they have answers and meaning.

 

Doctor Eric

But maybe you do have meaning.

 

Diane

Oh Bullshit. I tried to tell myself that too. But there is no reason. There is no meaning. People just like to think that there is so they can feel comfortable.

 

Doctor Eric

You think that people lie to themselves to feel comfortable?

 

DIANE

Yes. People don’t care whether or not life has meaning. Just as long as they can convince themselves that it does. It indeed makes them comfortable. But I can’t do that. I don’t lie to myself. I ain’t got no meaning here no more.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(very seriously)

You are aware of what will happen, right?

 

DIANE

(inhales deeply) You know I’m smart. Of course I know.

 

Pause

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(almost whispering)

You’re only forty five.

 

DIANE

But this is not who I am. I’m tough. I’m my daddy’s daughter who grew up on these lands. And I will not become a person that I don’t even recognize.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(unwilling to give up)

I want you to think about this long and hard this next week. I want you to give me a call one week from today.

 

DIANE

You know I’m a stubborn woman who makes her own choices.



 

DOCTOR ERIC

(sighs) Yes, I know. But I want to make sure you’re okay. I mean, who’ll take care of you?

 

DIANE

I’ll be okay on my own at first, I assure you. But when it comes down to it, towards the end, I know an employee that can help me. I’ll leave the diner to her. She always loved it.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(genuinely)

I want you to know that I think you are a brave, smart, woman. You are one of a kind. And you are arguably the toughest woman who has stepped foot in this office.

 

DIANE

Thank you, Eric.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

I’m sorry this happened to you again.

 

DIANE

I’m not.

(Beat)

It’s better me than some kid. Some wife.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

That doesn’t mean you deserved this shitty hand of cards you got dealt.

 

DIANE

Of course it doesn’t. But I’ve already been sad and angry about it before. I’m not gonna keep feeling that way. I don’t do pity parties.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

I wish you’d reconsider chemo.

 

DIANE

I know you do.

(Beat)

But now I gotta ask the golden questions of “how long”.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

(sighs) I’m not gonna sugar coat here because I know you’d hate that. At the absolute most, eight months. But leukemia specifically like yours, at your age, six months is what I think you’re looking at.

 

DIANE

(nonchalantly)

Alright.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

I’m going to give you some information packets. I know you’ve probably been given them a hundred times before, but when you start to notice the weakness, I want you to read them.

 

DIANE

I will.

 

DOCTOR ERIC

And I want to see you again. I want to see you if not next week, at least before next month. By the end of May, you hear?

 

DIANE

Yes. Before the end of May.



 

Scene Two

 

The scene opens and Diane is watering the flowers in front of her small, beaten down farm house. Her garden is beautiful and colorful. She looks up the hill at the much larger, nicer farm house on top. It is in tip top shape and has a long driveway with three nice cars and a jet boat parked in it. Two of her neighbors are standing in the driveway of the nice farmhouse atop of the hill. The scene changes focus to the neighbors.

 

The two neighbors are a middle aged couple that live together. One is a kind, motherly-looking woman with red-brown hair. The other is a tall, tan man with very short chestnut hair and a tired expression. They are named Veronica and Blake.

 

VERONICA

(ranting)

It’s unbelievable that the girls refused to go to church this morning. Both of them, like it was no big deal.

 

BLAKE

They’re grown adults now, Veronica, they want to make their own decisions.

 

VERONICA

They may not be kids anymore, but I’m still their mother and I know what’s best for them.

 

BLAKE

(visibly tired of the conversation)

It’s literally dinnertime and you’re still complaining about something that happened hours and hours ago.



 

VERONICA

They’re my kids, Blake. I want them to do the right thing.

 

BLAKE

They skipped church for one weekend. Not to mention they just got home from college less than forty eight hours ago. Give them a break.

 

VERONICA

(still frustrated)

Easy for you to say. They’re not your kids. (sighs)

(beat) You never even had kids.

 

BLAKE

Hey, I had one.

 

VERONICA

A son that ran away from home at seventeen, one that I’ve never even met. It’s not the same thing as two girls.

 

BLAKE

I know that. But I love your girls like my own. They’re good kids, I know that for a fact.

 

VERONICA

(not giving up)

I better call them.

 

BLAKE

Leave it alone.

 

VERONICA

But, maybe something was wrong that they didn’t want to go.



 

BLAKE

Two college girls have better things to do than go to church every single weekend. Or at least they think they do.

 

VERONICA

(facial expression changes)Do you think they’re smoking weed?

 

BLAKE

What? No! I just meant, they like to hang out, go places. Just like you did in your college days, right?

 

VERONICA

I guess so.

 

BLAKE

(pleadingly)

Come on already, let’s go out to dinner now. It’s usually something you and I look forward to before the weekend is over.

 

VERONICA

I know. I’m sorry.

 

BLAKE

It’s okay. Anyway, are we having the usual? Or should we go somewhere new?

 

VERONICA

Let’s just stick with the usual. I don’t feel like driving for miles to go to some new place.

 

BLAKE

Small town, limited choices, right?

 

VERONICA

You can say that again.

 

Blake looks down the hill and notices that Diane is in her garden.

 

BLAKE

Hey, we could always go to the diner.

 

VERONICA

Diane’s diner? You’re kidding right? She’s always given us the cold shoulder, like we’re some kind of terrible neighbors. We’re literally the most friendly, conservative, quiet people she could ever ask for.

 

BLAKE

That doesn’t mean we can’t eat at her diner

 

VERONICA

Yea, but, the diner...well...it’s not exactly as nice as it was when her father used to own it. Poor woman, probably struggles to keep that place open. It’s gotta be an uphill battle on top of her illnesses and medical bills.

 

BLAKE

Is she really doing that bad? I haven’t spoken to her since Easter.

 

VERONICA

I went to the diner last winter to get coffee back before she beat leukemia. She was throwing up right in front of everyone. I felt terrible for her, but I just don’t really think I could go back after that.

 

BLAKE

Well never mind then. The usual it is.

 

The scene goes back to focusing on Diane. She puts away her watering can and enters the beaten down farmhouse. She stripps off all of her clothes and enters the shower. Her hands and arms have dirt on them from being in the garden. As she runs a hand down her body she notices bruising on her upper thigh from the leukemia.

 

DIANE

(scoffs)Great. Already.

 

Although she acts nonchalant about it, her facial expression changes and the slightest bit of fear can be seen on it as she stands there in the shower.


 

Scene Three

 

Diane rises out of bed the following morning. She washes her face, brushes her teeth, and dresses. She goes outside and begins her mile walk to work. There is no sidewalk, just country road. As she is walking=, Blake’s truck pulls up beside her. It is a pick up truck, but also very new and shiny.

 

BLAKE

(friendly)

Hey there, Diane. Long time no see. Need a ride into town? I’m heading that way to work right now.

 

DIANE

(somewhat coldly)

I usually walk every morning, thank you.

 

BLAKE

I know that. But everyone could use a little special treatment now and then, seeing as you don’t have a car.

 

DIANE

I’m mighty fine with walking. Wouldn’t want you to go out of your way to give me any “special treatment”.

 

BLAKE

Come on now, I didn’t mean anything by that.

 

DIANE

I assure you I can.

 

Suddenly, Diane slows her walk and grabs her side. Her face suggests that she is in discomfort.

 

BLAKE

What happened? You okay?

 

DIANE

(playing it off as no big deal)

I’m okay, yes, just--a cramp or something. I knew I should’ve had myself a glass of water before I left. It’s easy to get dehydrated in this heat.

 

BLAKE

You look like it still hurts.

 

DIANE

Nah, just feeling a little weak, is all. Mondays can do that to a you.

 

BLAKE

The ride is still on the table.

 

DIANE

I already declined, Blake. Don’t make me tell your wife on you.

 

Blake

(laughs)Come on, Veronica and I have lived next door to you for what.. nearly eight years? And never have you allowed us to do anything to help you.

 

DIANE

Ouch!

 

Diane grabs her side again. She is visibly in more pain this time.

 

DIANE

Blake, now is not the time for a neighborly conversation. I just want to be left alone for my walk.

 

BLAKE

Alright, alright. Just being friendly, trying to help a neighbor in need.

 

DIANE

I don’t need your help or your fancy truck to chauffeur me into town.

(Beat)
Oh, ouch, shit!

 

Diane collapses backwards onto the road. She is still conscious and sitting upright, but appears to be very exhausted. Blake quickly gets out of his truck.

 

BLAKE

Diane, what was that?

 

DIANE

(trying to hide her concern)

I--I have no idea. It just came over me.

 

BLAKE

Put your head in between your knees.

 

DIANE

No.

 

BLAKE

Yes. It helps.


 

DIANE

What are you some kind of doctor?

 

BLAKE

No, but my ex was anemic. She used to have episodes like this all the time.

 

DIANE

(almost angry)

Oh no no no. I am not having an episode! That is blowing this way out of proportion!

 

BLAKE

You fell back on the road.

 

DIANE

I forgot to drink water. That’s all this is.

 

BLAKE

Didn’t you have-- (he suddenly pauses)


DIANE

What?

 

BLAKE

You know… Leukemia? You had it before right?

 

Long Pause.

 

DIANE

(obnoxiously sighs) Well fuck. I didn’t think I’d have to tell anyone about it so soon. Didn’t even think I had anyone to tell.

 

BLAKE

You’ve got it again?


 

DIANE

Third time.

 

BLAKE

Oh my gosh. Diane, if there’s anything at all that Veronica and I could do to help--

 

DIANE

(insistently)

I don’t need your help.

 

BLAKE

Well just in case you do. Please, just ask us.

 

Pause

 

DIANE

(slight change in attitude)

Well, maybe we can start with that ride. But that is it. This isn’t going to become a thing. I am capable of walking to work on my own on every other day after this one.

 

BLAKE

Of course. Now why don’t I help you up.

 

DIANE

I can get up on my own. I’m not dead yet, you know.

 

BLAKE

Sure. Sure. Sorry.

 

Diane carefully gets up from the road. Blake opens up the truck door for her.

 

DIANE

Thanks.

 

BLAKE

Don’t mention it. I’m always happy to help anyone who needs it.

 

DIANE

Blake, again, it’s just a ride. Let’s get that straight.

 

BLAKE

Yes. Okay. Just a ride.


 

Scene Four

 

The scene opens on Diane’s diner. It is not the nicest looking place but it is homey. She is standing beside the cashier, Marianne, who is also the assistant manager. Diane is stacking menus.

 

MARIANNE

Diane, you don’t look so well. Did you take your lunch break yet?

 

DIANE

There’s plenty of food here, I don’t need a lunch break.

 

MARIANNE

Well did you even take a moment to sit down at all today? You’ve been on your feet all morning and afternoon.

 

DIANE

(assuringly)

I’m okay. I can handle a few more hours.

 

MARIANNE

Well, just remember I got everything under control if you need to rest for a moment or two.



 

DIANE

(annoyed)

Why are you treating me like some china doll?
 

MARIANNE

Oh, Diane, I know you’re no china doll. Just making sure you’re alright is all. You look pale.

 

Diane

I just need to hydrate a bit more. I’ll go ahead and grab me one of the water bottles from the break room.

 

Diane walks back to the break room and looks in the mirror long and hard. She fights to keep on a strong face. She indeed looks very pale and tired.

 

The scene switches to Veronica who is sitting in her home office where she works as an entertainment magazine editor. Her office overlooks Diane’s land on the bottom of the hill.

 

The phone rings and Veronica picks it up.

 

Veronia

This is Veronica Green

(Beat)

Hey, Sweetheart, I was just going to call you and see if you wanted to come over tonight for dinner. You and your sister.

(Beat)

Yea, I know it’s Monday night, but seeing as you two are on summer break from college, I didn’t think it really mattered. I’ve barely seen you girls since you got home.

(Beat)

Well what about your sister? Does she have plans?

(Beat)

Oh. Well, alright.

(Beat)

No, that’s okay. Don’t cancel with your friends. But I want to see you girls soon. You’re more than welcome to stay over here with Blake and I for a few nights, you don’t have to stay with your father for the entire summer break.

(Beat)

Well just let me know when you kids can come. I miss you two.

(Beat)

Yea, alright, I’ll let you go. Tell your father I said hi, and let your sister know I love you both and want to see a whole lot more of you girls.

(Beat)

Yes, I’ll tell Blake you said hi. Love you, Sweetheart. Goodbye.

 

Veronica hangs up the phone and is visibly upset. She looks at the picture on her desk of her standing with her two daughters before she sighs and then goes back to typing on her computer.

 

The scene switches to Blake’s place of business. He is sitting behind a large desk inside of an auto garage which he is the owner of. A young man named Al Sanders approaches Blake’s desk. He is in his late twenties and is Blake’s favorite employee.

 

SANDERS

Hey, you scheduled me for this upcoming Saturday. I was supposed to have that day off for my kid’s birthday.

 

BLAKE

(remembering)

Shit.

 

SANDERS

I requested it weeks ago.


 

BLAKE

(annoyed)

I’m sorry, Sanders, it’s just-- Veronica and I. It’s our eighth anniversary on Saturday.

 

SANDERS

Eigth? That’s not really a special one right?

 

BLAKE

If you ask me, no.

 

SANDERS

But she’d freak out if you didn’t celebrate. I understand.

 

BLAKE

No, it’s not like that. (sighs) We do alright when it comes to the fighting, but she’s very very good at giving you the silent treatment and making you feel guilty over the smallest stuff.

 

SANDERS

So no, then? I gotta work?

 

BLAKE

(thinks for a moment) Nah, go ahead and celebrate your kid’s special day. Veronica should understand, right? I mean, it’s not like we’re some young couple. We’ve both been married before. She should be tired of the whole anniversary thing by now. I know that I am.

 

SANDERS

You’re the man, Blake. Thanks.



 

BLAKE

Don’t mention it. I have a twenty-seven year old son. Haven’t seen him in a decade. I don’t want the same thing to happen with you and your son. I hope he has a great birthday.

 

SANDERS

Aw shit, you never mentioned you had a son before.

 

BLAKE

I don’t really think about it that much to be honest. And quite frankly, I don’t think that makes me a bad person.

 

SANDERS

Gosh, man, I’m sorry.

 

BLAKE

It’s alright. It’s yet another thing that Veronica rarely argues with me about, but I can tell that she silently judges me everyday. She’s real close with her kids.

 

SANDERS

Maybe you and your son could become close again too. You know what they say: “it’s never too late”.

 

BLAKE

That’s what Veronica thinks. I just know it.

 

SANDERS

He’s twenty seven, you said? Heck, He could be married with kids of his own.


 

BLAKE

(defensive, but jokingly)

Hey I’m still too young to young for that.

 

SANDERS

Those face wrinkles say otherwise. (laughs)

 

BLAKE

Get outta here and get back to work before I put you back on for Saturday.

 

Sanders walks away laughing to himself. Blake feels his face to feel for wrinkles but is slightly smiling at the same time.

 

Scene Five

 

It is getting somewhat dark outside. Diane arrives home from work to see that a goody basket has been put on her patio. She reads the tag and sees that it is from Veronica and Blake. She is visibly annoyed and begins to walk up the hill to Veronica and Blake’s home.

 

Veronica is standing outside the house washing her windows. She looks somewhat tired but is hard at work.

 

DIANE

(unkind)

Hey, you got me a gift?

 

VERONICA

It was the least I could do. Blake called and told me what happened.

 

DIANE

(angrily)

Of course he did. Cause my situation is everyone else’s damn business.

 

VERONICA

Look, Blake and I aren’t the type to gossip or anything. But we are husband and wife so we share things with one another. He was just very concerned about what happened this morning. You can’t really blame the man. His sister had a neurological disorder, and his ex wife was anemic. He was always very concerned about them both. He still is.

 

DIANE

I’m sorry.

 

VERONICA

It’s okay, Diane.

(Beat)

Look, I have no idea what you’re feeling inside, this is a terrible, terrible happenstance. But I promise that I understand you’re going through a rough patch. I really will keep you in my prayers.

 

DIANE

I don’t need no prayers.

 

VERONICA

(sweetly, with care)

God listens to situations like yours. Sometimes it can be your saving grace to remember that.

 

DIANE

You know it takes everything I have in me not to roll my eyes on you right now.

 

VERONICA

Well, we don’t have to agree on religion or agree on anything at all, but I will pray for anyway.



 

DIANE

Alright, well, I best be going back down the hill now. Thanks for the goody basket, but no more favors okay?

 

VERONICA

How about just one dinner? I thought my daughters might want to come over but they have dinner plans with their friends.

 

DIANE

I’ll have to decline tonight.

 

VERONICA

I insist. Don’t look at it like a favor. You can even help set the table if it makes you feel better.

 

DIANE

You people really don’t give up, do you? Not just you and Blake, but my Doctor too. And my employee Marianne. Always insisting on doing things for me like I’m some fragile little thing.

 

VERONICA

(slightly laughs) People are good at heart.

 

DIANE

(scoffs)Surely you don’t believe that.

 

VERONICA

Of course I do. My daughters are both in law school, my husband is constantly taking care of the house and the bills, my co-workers are respectful and talented writers-- people are good at heart.

 

DIANE

I could go and list all the people I know too, and it would prove just the opposite.

 

VERONICA

Well you can do it over dinner.

 

DIANE

Alright, I suppose. Only cause your daughters ain’t coming.

 

VERONICA

Blake will be home any moment. I actually better finish washing these windows tomorrow so that I can take that chicken out of the oven and start setting the table.

 

DIANE

I got the table.

 

VERONICA

No--I mean--you really want to?

 

DIANE

Yea, give me some work to do. I don’t need to be pampered or nothing like that, I was raised to work.

 

VERONICA

Alright, go on ahead inside and I’ll just finish up this one window here.

 

The scene fades into a ten minutes later sequence. Veronica is dumping her bucket of dirty window water into the grass as Blake’s truck pulls into the driveway. He gets out at his own leisure.

 

BLAKE

Good, you got that spot off the window.

 

VERONICA

Yea, that was disgusting. Still, don’t know what it was.

 

BLAKE

I got you a little something today. Picked it up on my lunch break.

 

VERONICA

Again? You didn’t have to.

 

Blake hands Veronica a small box. She opens it to reveal a shimmering silver bracelet. Her smile is beaming and wide.

 

VERONICA

Blake, oh my gosh. I’m so spoiled. This is too much. You just got me those earrings last week.

 

Blake kisses her cheek half-heartedly.

 

BLAKE

(mumbling)

Think of it as an apology gift.

 

VERONICA

An apology gift? For what, silly? Did you think I was mad at you?

 

BLAKE

Well, I’m going to have to go into work on a certain day that you may not be very happy with.

 

VERONICA

What? When?

 

BLAKE

On Saturday.

 

VERONICA

(confused) You’ve worked on Saturdays before, why would I be mad at that?

 

BLAKE

Veronica, I have to work this Saturday, May, twenty-first.

 

VERONICA

(still confused)

Okay….

 

BLAKE

Look, just tell me. Tell me you’re mad.

 

VERONICA

Blake, what are you talking about? Mad about what?

 

BLAKE

Damn it, Veronica, you’re so passive aggressive.

 

VERONICA

Well right now I feel very confused. What’s so special about Saturday that I’d get mad at you for going to work?

 

BLAKE

You’re mocking me, aren’t you? You’re pretending not to know because I’ve forgotten in the past.

 

VERONICA

Well now I’m gonna get mad if you can’t just tell me

 

BLAKE

You seriously don’t know?

 

VERONICA

No!



 

BLAKE

Our eighth anniversary! Remember? You asked me to take you out for the weekend to the lake or somewhere nice.

VERONICA

(stares at Blake long and hard)Our anniversary is June eleventh, not the twenty first of May.


 

Blake stands there, opening his mouth to speak, but then shuts it and Veronica turns away to enter the house.

 

Inside the house, Diane is finishing up with setting the table.

 

VERONICA

Well, let warn you, if you think Blake was annoying this morning, just wait until you have dinner with him.

 

DIANE

Why, he messy when he eats or something?

 

VERONICA

Well, yes, but on top of that, tonight he’s especially in rare form.

 

DIANE

What happened?

 

VERONICA

He comes home panicking that he has to work this weekend on our anniversary. But get this, our anniversary is next month and on a totally different date, one that he picked initially.



 

DIANE

Boy, I can already feel the argument coming on. You seem like the type of woman who’d win it every time.

 

VERONICA

No, I’m really  that person. I don’t have it in me to argue over stuff like that.

 

DIANE

But you’re angry, right?

 

Pause

 

DIANE (cont’d)

Oh I get it, you’re pissed, you’re just the nice lady who’s too sweet to say anything about it.

 

VERONICA

Hey, come on, he did get me this bracelet here.

 

Veronica opens the small bracelet box she is holding to show Diane.

 

DIANE

Well I think it’s very sweet you come up with reasons to defend him.

 

VERONICA

Of course I defend him. He’s my husband.

 

DIANE

I know that. I’m just teasing you anyway.

 

Blake finally enters the kitchen and places a small briefcase on the counter.


 

BLAKE

(pleasantly)

Oh, hey, Diane, I didn’t expect to see you here tonight.

 

DIANE

And I didn’t expect to be here.

 

BLAKE

Well this is a surprise. A new Monday night tradition maybe?

 

VERONICA

(teasing)

I’m surprised you remember it’s Monday.

 

BLAKE

Veronica I--

 

VERONICA

I’m kidding, relax. Anyway I made chicken for dinner. There’s also green beans and mashed potatoes.

 

BLAKE

Is there beer?
 

VERONICA

Yes, of course. In the fridge

 

BLAKE

What about you Diane, want a cold one?


DIANE

I’d better pass. Believe me, I’d love one, but I think my days are just about gone.

 

BLAKE

Nonsense. You’re younger than Veronica and I.

 

DIANE

It just ain’t my night. Wouldn’t want to fall over again.

 

BLAKE

Well, what about you Veronica?

 

VERONICA

Not today, Blake.

 

BLAKE

I know you’re gonna end up drinking that red wine.

 

VERONICA

You got your thing, I got mine. And wine is my Friday thing, not Monday.

 

Blake walks to the fridge and takes out a beer.

 

BLAKE

And now it’s time to dine.

 

The three of them sit down at the dinner table. Diane’s facial expression indicates that she feels awkward at first. Veronica is able to sense this.

 

VERONICA

So, Diane, not to put my nose where it doesn’t belong, but when do you begin chemo.

 

DIANE

(sighs) I’m gonna say this once and I am not gonna sit here debating or defending it. I am not doing chemo.

 

Veronica and Blake attempt to hide their shock although it is quite obvious that they both disagree with her decision.

 

VERONICA

Are you-- gonna call your family?

 

DIANE

You knew my mother and my daddy. You attended the funerals. You know my family’s long dead.

 

VERONICA

Don’t you have a sister?

 

DIANE

Who told you that?

 

VERONICA

Your father mentioned it when he was alive. He used to read my articles and my advice columns back before I became editor. He said you had a sister.

 

DIANE

She’s dead.

 

VERONICA

She is?

 

DIANE

Well to me she is. I know she’d say the same.

 

VERONICA

(upset and disagreeing)

Now, come on. Don’t talk about your family that way. That’s your sister.

 

DIANE

Says the woman who just mentioned something about keeping her nose out of my business.

 

BLAKE

Honestly, Veronica, she probably has good reasons for not talking to her sister. Don’t try and dig any deeper.

 

DIANE

She lives in Chicago. Filthy, polluted place. I haven’t seen her in years and years. She moved away with her boyfriend when she was twenty never to return to this small town again.

 

VERONICA

You hate her just cause she moved away with a boyfriend? The small town life isn’t for everyone.

 

DIANE

I hate her cause she moved away with my boyfriend. The only man I ever loved.

 

Blake

Shit. Pardon my language, but that’s some family drama you’ve got there.

 

Diane

No apology necessary. Drama is right, and now I try my best to avoid it and leave it in the past.

 

Veronica

(sweetly) I’m sorry Diane. But you don’t think you can forgive her all these years later? I think if she knew you were sick she would mend things with you.

 

BLAKE

Veronica, you are so full of love for your family, you don’t know what it’s like to have broken relationships. Just accept it’s not your area of expertise. You may have written advice columns before but those days have passed.


 

VERONICA

I absolutely know what it’s like to have a flawed relationship. Why do you think Hank and I divorced all those years ago?
 

BLAKE

Veronica, your ex husband still lives five miles down the road and you bake him a pie for every holiday and send him a free subscription to your magazine.

 

VERONICA

It’s healthy to maintain a good friendship. That’s my point. Family is family. He’s still the father of my kids.

 

BLAKE

You may have gone through the world’s most simple divorce but you don’t know what it’s really like to be estranged from family.

 

VERONICA

Because I’d never let that happen. Family is everything.

 

BLAKE

You don’t think my son was everything to me? You don’t think I tried to keep him from running away? Because every time you open your mouth here it sounds like that’s what you’re saying.

 

DIANE

I agree with Blake here. I loved my sister too, but it was her that ended things.

 

BLAKE

Exactly. Sometimes there is nothing you can do.

 

VERONICA

(bossy)

The phone’s right over there.

 

BLAKE

(scoffs)It’s not that simple and you know it.

 

VERONICA

It is, though.

(Beat)

It’s not about simplicity anyway. It’s about fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of feelings and emotions. Fear of the past and the uncertainty of what might become of the future.

 

DIANE

I don’t fear no feelings. And I definitely don’t fear no future.

 

VERONICA

(calmly)

Then pick up the phone and call your sister. You beat leukemia twice, surely you aren’t afraid of one call.

 

BLAKE

Veronica…

 

VERONICA

You too, Blake. Call your son. You manage your own shop and keep us in this big house. If you can do that you can make a call.

(Beat)

I want to meet him. I should have known him when he was nineteen. He should’ve been standing up at our wedding.

 

Veronica rises from the table and looks back.

 

VERONICA (cont’d)

You two wanna prove how strong you are? I’ll be back in a few minutes.

 

Veronica leaves the room confidently without looking back.

 

BLAKE

She’s lost her marbles this time.


 

DIANE

(rudely)

What is that menopause? Thank God I’ll get out of experiencing that.

 

BLAKE

No, this has nothing to do with her body I’ afraid.

 

DIANE

You’re telling me that this is normal for her?
 

BLAKE

She’s a bit more intense today than usual, but, I mean, she’s always preaching something. That’s the Veronica way.

 

DIANE

That’s gotta be annoying.

 

BLAKE

You bet it is. But she’s the woman I fell for and married.

(Beat)

Don’t tell her I said that.

 

Awkward pause

 

DIANE

So are you gonna do it them?
 

BLAKE

What?
 

DIANE

Give into your wife and call your son?

 

BLAKE

I don’t know.

 

DIANE

You’ll probably never hear the end of it if you don’t.

 

BLAKE

(laughs) Nah, she won’t bring it up again for a long time. You just wait. She’s not a nagger. She doesn’t argue to get her way. I’ll just feel guilty for a week or two and that’ll be enough for her. Believe me, it’s worse than any argument and she knows it.

 

DIANE

But do you do think she’s right?
 

BLAKE

About making amends? Yea, I guess so. She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to kids.

 

DIANE

How did we get here to this conversation anyway? I don’t really even care to discuss this any further.

 

BLAKE

Neither do I.

 

DIANE

(defending herself)

I mean, my sister was in the wrong, why shouldn’t she be the one calling me to make amends all these years later? She stole the guy.


BLAKE

Exactly.

 

DIANE

And wasn’t your son the one who was wrong.

 

BLAKE

(somewhat hesitant)

Well, I don’t know. Yea. Maybe.

 

DIANE

You ain’t gotta tell me if you don’t wanna. And I mean that. I ain’t no Veronica who wants to know the story and tell you how to fix it.

 

BLAKE

It’s okay. I can tell you. There ain’t really that much to it.

(Beat)

My son. Russell was his name. Russell Green. When his mom divorced me, he was seventeen years old, almost finished with high school. He was hurt, of course, as any kid would be when their parents separate. But what I didn’t understand was why he took his anger out on me. I was the one who wanted to stay married. I loved my wife like no tomorrow. She was a good woman. A lot crabbier than Veronica, but as good a wife that I could have ever wanted. Beautiful too. But Russell told me I didn’t love her enough. That I didn’t make her as happy as I could have. But it just wasn’t true. I got her everything and anything that she wanted. I think that Russell was also mad that when she left me, she also sort of left him too. Left town for good. She didn’t even leave for another man, just because she wanted to. I’ll never understand why she wasn’t happy enough. There was nothing more I could have done, but my son thought there was, and I lost him because of it.

 

DIANE

Well shit. That’s quite a little, family soap opera you’ve got there.

 

Blake

Yea, but you see, he blames me for a divorce that I couldn’t have avoided or stopped. So how am I in the wrong here not to call him?


DIANE

You’re not in the wrong, Blake I suppose your son just needed some time to realize that divorce happens, even to the best of families. He’s probably gotten over by now.

 

BLAKE

(frustrated)

Dammit, I just wish I knew how he feels now-a-days.

 

DIANE

Look that’s all I’m gonna say on it. It ain’t none of my business what you choose to do. Nor will I judge you.

 

BLAKE

Well what are you gonna do?

 

DIANE

I’m gonna go home and take a long, hot shower before getting in bed. Tomorrow I’ve got to be at the diner all day.


BLAKE

But what about the phone call, Diane. What are you gonna do about your sister?

 

DIANE

I’m gonna go home and forget about it.

 

BLAKE

You are?
 

DIANE

(assuredly)
Just because Veronica said I should do something don’t mean that I actually should. She isn’t Jesus or nothing, even if you think she can be right sometimes.

 

BLAKE

She has a way of making you do things, you just wait until tonight when you’re lying in bed.

 

DIANE

Look, I shouldn’t have come. I’m not a people person like either of you. My coming here tonight only made a mountain over a molehill problem. Veronica and I have nothing in common at all.

 

Veronica re-enters the room with a slight smirk on her face.

 

VERONICA

Well, we have one thing in common, Diane. We both wanna meet someone.

 

DIANE

Who could I possibly want to meet? Tim McGraw?
 

VERONICA

No. I want to meet my stepson, and you want to meet your niece. That makes us more alike than you know. And I’d hate for you to leave before dessert.

 

DIANE

(almost accusing)

How did you know my sister had a kid? I mean, how’d you know I got a niece?

 

VERONICA

I assumed. Most people have kids. And just because you’re angry over something that happened doesn’t mean that your niece is a carbon copy of your sister.

 

DIANE

Well it’s kind of weird that you know my sister had a girl.

 

VERONICA

Well it was a lucky guess. And your father might mentioned that too.

 

DIANE

The man had a big mouth. Never was his strong suit. And anyway, maybe I do wanna meet her. That doesn't mean we get everything we want in life.

 

VERONICA

(agreeing)

That’s true.

 

DIANE

Life doesn’t always work that way.

 

VERONICA

Yes, sadly that’s true too.

 

Veronica sits back down at the table and sips her glass of water. She no longer looks like she is in the mood to debate.

 

VERONICA

(changing the subject suddenly)

So what do you two think about the chicken? I know I have a tendency to overcook sometimes.

 

DIANE

(confused at subject change)

Tastes great.

 

VERONICA

I’m gonna take the last leg if you guys don’t mind. But both wings are still intact. Blake, honey, I know those are your favorite.

 

BLAKE

(whispers to Diane)

Now she won’t talk about it at all. She proves her point through silence.

 

Veronica smiles to herself briefly as the scene ends.


 

Scene Six

 

Diane lays in her bed the same night, but her eyes are wide open. The clock shows that it is midnight. She tosses, turns, closes her eyes again, but cannot fall asleep.

 

Next door, Blake sits up in his bed. The lights are still on and Veronica can be seen in the background putting a sheer night dress. It looks as if Blake is deep in thought about the conversations that were held at dinner.

 

VERONICA

Well, what do you think about Diane's choice not to go through chemo? I didn’t want to bring it up in front of her at dinner.

 

BLAKE

(distracted)

Huh? Oh, I was pretty surprised that she didn’t want to do chemo.

 

VERONICA

Surprised?

 

BLAKE

Yea. Heck, I mean, the woman basically told us that she was choosing to die. Weren’t you at all surprised?

 

VERONICA

For a minute there maybe I was. But not anymore. It actually all makes a lot of sense to me.

 

BLAKE

Choosing to die when you could live? That makes sense to you?

 

VERONICA

I didn’t say I agree with her choice. I most certainly do not. But she’s a miserable, unhappy woman who cut everything that means anything out of her life. And so, yea, it makes sense as to why she’d make such a harsh decision.

 

BLAKE

(relating to Diane)

Yea, well she wasn’t always that way. Life happens, though.

 

Pause

 

VERONICA

Are we still talking about Diane here, or are we talking about you?

 

BLAKE

Don’t try and turn this on me.

 

VERONICA

Blake, I’m not. But it seems to me like you are taking some of this very personally.

 

BLAKE

It seems like you’re trying to get a rise out of me because you’re still angry I won’t call Russell.

 

VERONICA

(defeated)

I’m tired of talking about your history with Russell because it obviously isn’t going anywhere. So don’t accuse me of doing otherwise. I didn’t turn the conversation around, you did with your little “life happens” comment.

 

BLAKE

Whatever. So are you coming to bed or not?

 

VERONICA

Of course I am, it’s passed twelve and we both have to work tomorrow.

 


BLAKE

Really, cause you’re just standing in the middle of the room?

 

VERONICA

I was changing.

 

BLAKE

Well, come to bed. I’m tired.

 

VERONICA

Are you sure “come to bed” is what you really want to say? Cause your tone is telling me “sleep on the couch”.

 

BLAKE

Stop it. We’ve never been those people.

 

VERONICA

And we’re not going to become them

 

BLAKE

(changes his tone sarcastically)

Come to bed, Veronica, my beautiful, sweet, annoying, and only somewhat crazy wife. Is that better?

 

VERONICA

Yes. Thank you.

 

Veronica climbs into her side of the bed and leans to shut off the lamp. She pulls the sheets up over her. Both of them lie there in silence for a long moment, eyes still open.

 

VERONICA

Blake?

 

BLAKE

(hesitantly)

Yes?

 

VERONICA

I really love the bracelet you got for me.

 

Blake slightly smiles and leans over to kiss Veronica on the cheek. He then rolls over with his back towards her.

 

The scene changes back to Diane lying in bed, still wide awake.

 

DIANE

(whispering to self)

This is so stupid.

 

She sits up abruptly and grabs the phone on her nightstand, clutching it tightly in her hand.

 

Diane

(aloud, annoyed)

This is fucking insane. Someone is going to try and tell me what I’m supposed to do before I die.

 

She angrily dials a number and then puts the phone to her ear. It rings twice before a woman picks up.

 

LIZA (voice on phone)

Hello?

 

There is music in the background. Diane’s face goes into complete shock.

 

LIZA

Hello?

(Beat)

Hello?

 

Diane hangs up the phone quickly.

 

DIANE

What am I doing? This is nuts.

 

The scene switches to Liza, the woman who was on the phone. She hangs up the phone and looks back at a group of four people. All of them are dressed somewhat trashy. Two of them are men, one is a woman, and the other is a teenage girl.

 

LIZA

Prank call or something like that. Turn the music back up.

 

A man turns up the music and the people on the couch continue to drink out of red solo cups, clearly having a good time. They are in a small apartment living room that has bare walls and limited decor. The scene focuses on the teenage girl who has dyed black hair and intense black eye liner. She also has a red solo cup, but appears to be having less fun than the others. Her name is Jane.

 

JANE

Mom, it’s getting late. The neighbors are going to complain if we blare the music any louder.

 

MAN #1

That’s the point, man. That’s when you know the party is getting real.

 

JANE

No it isn’t, that’s when the cops come and arrest you people for giving me alcohol.

 

LIZA

Hey, she’s right. Which one of your dipshits gave my teenage daughter a drink?

 

MAN #2

Uh, you did. You’re just to wrecked to remember.

 

LIZA

Hey, you wanna see wrecked, look in the mirror.

 

JANE

Mom, it’s okay, I barely drank any. And I can handle it.

 

LIZA

I know you can, you’re your mother’s daughter.

 

The phone rings again.

 

LIZA

What the heck? Who keeps calling me?

 

JANE

Gimme the phone, Mom, I’ll take care of it.

 

Liza hands over the phone to her daughter. Jane leaves the small living room and enters the kitchen where it is quieter. Her mother and the guests continue to enjoy themselves.


 

JANE

Hello?

 

DIANE

Liza? Is that you?


JANE

No, this is Jane, her daughter. Do you need something?

 

The scene switches back to Diane who is sitting up in bed with one hand over her mouth in shock, the other hand holding the phone.

 

JANE

Hello?

 

DIANE

I’m still here.

(Beat)

Your Jane? Her daughter?

 

JANE

Yea.

 

DIANE

How old are you, Jane?

 

JANE

Sixteen. Why? Who is this?

 

DIANE

(nervous, stammering)

I-- I know your mother.

 

JANE

Do you live in the building? Is the music too loud?

 

DIANE

What? Music? Oh no, why, are you having a party?


 

JANE

Yea. You must not know my mother that well if you don’t know about her Monday night bashes.

 

DIANE

Monday night bashes? Doesn’t she got work tomorrow? I mean, to be honest I didn’t think anyone would pick up the phone because of how late it is.

 

JANE

We’re night owls around here. And, no, my mom doesn’t have to work tomorrow. She’s a bartender. She has Monday night parties because she doesn’t have to work Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

 

DIANE

Don’t you got school tomorrow?

 

JANE

Yea, but I only got another week and a half of school until summer break. Thank God.


DIANE

So you best be studying for finals. What is this your junior year? This is the year that matters most.

 

JANE

(sarcastically laughs) Yea. It is. But I’ve given up long ago.


DIANE

(judgmentally)

I don’t like hearing that.

 

JANE

Well, I don’t even know your name, lady. Not to be rude or anything.

 

DIANE

Forgive me. I’m Diane Wills.

 

JANE

Wills?
 

DIANE

Yea.

 

JANE

I’m Jane Wills. That’ weird, isn’t it?

 

DIANE

Actually it ain’t so weird at all. I’m your aunt, you see.

 

Pause


 

JANE

What? My aunt? What on Earth are you talking about?

 

DIANE

I’m your mother’s sister, Diane.

 

JANE

Holy shit.

 

DIANE

She never mentioned me?

 

JANE

No. She said she was an only child.

 

DIANE

You ain’t ever seen a photo album or nothing like that? Our parents took lot of pictures of us when we were little.

 

JANE

No. We don’t have stuff like that over here. I guess you could say that we’re not all that sentimental.

 

DIANE

Huh. Well, that shouldn’t surprise me.

 

JANE

Why did you call?
 

DIANE

Answer me something first, okay? Tell me, do you like it there? In Chicago?

 

JANE

I don’t know.

 

DIANE

Do you like it there with your mom?

Jane doe not reply.

 

DIANE

Alrighty then.


JANE

Alrighty, what? I didn’t respond.

 

DIANE

(calmly)

I know you didn’t. But I get it. She’s cool mom, right? Party mom. The mom all the kids wish they had. But I bet you’ve come to realize that it ain’t all that it seems, now is it?

 

JANE

(exhales deeply) Why did you call? Answer me this time.


DIANE

To tell your mom something.

 

JANE

Yea, well, it’s not a very good time. Tell me instead.

 

DIANE

Alright. I got cancer for my third time and my days are numbered. I wanted to see if things could be made right.

 

JANE

Jesus. I’m sorry.

 

DIANE

Don’t feel sorry for me, darling. But I wanted to see if your mother had any interest in speaking to me before it’s too late.


 

JANE

Well--

 

DIANE

You don’t think she would wanna speak to me. I get it.

 

JANE

(insistent)

But I want to. I’d love to meet you. I never had an aunt. Or an uncle. Or even a father. Or grandparents.

 

DIANE

You never met your father?

 

JANE

He went to jail for domestic violence and involuntary manslaughter. I don’t know if the violence was towards my mother or someone else. I never really asked.

 

Pause

 

DIANE

(shock)

Timothy Caldwell? He went to jail for violence and for a killing?

 

JANE

Yea, that was my father.

 

DIANE

(still shocked)

I dated him. I loved him. I never would have thought he could do something so terrible

(Beat)

You know, that’s one reason that your mom and I stopped talking. She stole him sorta. Moved to Chicago with him.

 

JANE

Well you must be a little surprised at the news.

 

DIANE

Yea, and it takes a lot to surprise me.

 

JANE

Does it make you less mad at my mom? Knowing that the man she stole from you ended up being a total loser?

 

DIANE

I guess a little.

 

JANE

How about I ask her to call you back in the morning? When she’s sober.

 

DIANE

Yea. That sounds better. It’ll give me some time to prepare. I haven’t spoken to her since she was twenty years old and living here in the country.

 

JANE

(hopefully)

Well, I’ll have her call. I’ll beg if I have to. I didn’t think that we had any family left.

 

DIANE

Alrighty then.

 

JANE

It was nice meeting--I mean, speaking with you.




 

DIANE

A pleasure, darling. Now you get to bed and finish up your school year strong.

 

JANE

I’ll try, Aunt Diane. Talk to you later.

 

Diane puts down the phone slowly. She is clearly very deep in thought and amazed at how the conversation had gone.

 

DIANE

(repeats to herself)

Aunt Diane?

 

She lays back down in her bed, half smiling.

 

DIANE

Aunt? I’m actually an aunt?

 

She lays there for a minute before rising up again, unable to settle down. She leaves the bed abruptly and goes into her kitchen. She is still smiling as she takes out a bottle of wine and pours herself a glass. She then sits down at the table to begins to sip out of the glass.

 

The scene switches back to Jane and Liza’s apartment. Just like her sister, Liza is shown drinking out of a red solo cup and then pouring herself yet another cup full. She is sitting with her guests on the couch, laughing over a story that one of the guests is telling. Jane comes back into the living room and hangs up the phone. She immediately turns to her mother.

 

JANE

Mom, when do you think this party will be over?

 

LIZA

Over? I don’t know, why?

 

JANE

Cause we gotta talk about something.

 

LIZA

We don’t talk on my nights off, we have fun. No serious stuff.

 

JANE

(annoyed)

But it needs to be addressed.

 

LIZA

Jane, just get back to partying and relax. Enjoy yourself. You’re lucky that I let you hang with the grown ups.

 

Jane sits back down on the couch, hesitantly, listening to her mother.

 

JANE

(whispering to herself)

Lucky… Yea, sure.

 

Scene Seven

 

Diane opens her eyes. You can hear her alarm ringing somewhere in the background. She is sitting at the kitchen table with her head down where she fell asleep the previous night. She picks up her head and notices that there is daylight pouring through the kitchen window.

 

DIANE

(muttering)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done that…

 

Suddenly, she moves her hand to her stomach, jumps up, and runs over to the kitchen sink where she throws up.

 

The phone rings but Diane ignores it, obviously still feeling very nauseous. She pours herself a glass of cold water and takes a few sips. She catches her breath.

 

The phone rings again. This time Diane looks at it. She debates whether or not to answer. After the fourth ring, she picks it up.

 

DIANE

Yea, hello?

(beat)

Jane, now’s not a good time. Can you give me a call in about an hour?

(beat)

Wait...what? Slow down. I can’t understand a thing you’re saying.

 

Diane takes the phone and sits down in a kitchen chair. She listens very carefully and her jaw slightly drops. Her eyes water up.

 

DIANE (cont’d)

Oh my God.

(Beat)

You stay put, Jane. I’ll get on the next flight out. What’s your address?

 

The scene changes and Diane is shown banging on Veronica and Blake’s door, frantically. She is breathing heavily. Blake opens the door.

 

BLAKE

Diane, good to see you. If you need another ride to work this morning, you’re right on time.

 

DIANE

My sister’s dead.

 

Blake’s expression changes immediately.

 

BLAKE

You found this out last night?

 

Diane

(rapidly explaining)

No, last night she was still alive. I talked to my niece, Jane, around midnight and she said she’d call me back this morning. And she did, but her mother drank herself to death over night. I don’t even know what to do.

 

Blake gently places a hand on Diane's shoulder which is shaking.

 

DIANE (cont’d)

(anxiously)

I don’t mean to bother you, but I don’t know how a book a flight, I never even left the state. I don’t even have a computer at my house, I only got one in the break room at my diner.

 

BLAKE

(gently)

Okay, calm down. Come on in, Veronica should be downstairs in a minute. She usually takes care of all that stuff when we go on vacation. She can show you how.

 

DIANE

Thank you.

 

BLAKE

I’ll go and get her, actually.

 

DIANE

No, no, don’t. I can wait if it’s just for a few minutes.

 

BLAKE

Well, I’ll go on ahead and fire up the computer in Veronica’s office.

 

Diane stands in the fawyer and places a hand on her stomach. For the first time, she is shown hurt and weakened. She continues to breathe heavily.

 

Blake enters Veronica’s home office and turns on the computer. He is suddenly shown very nervous and unsettled, clearly fearing that the same thing could possibly happen to his son. He takes a moment after turning on the computer and just stands there. He looks specifically at the picture of Veronica and her daughters and how happy she looks to be with her kids.

 

Veronica comes down the stairs in the fawyer.

 

VERONICA

Diane. This is a surprise.

 

DIANE

She died last night, Veronica.

 

Pause

 

VERONICA

Who died? Your sister?

 

DIANE

Yes.

(Beat)

Fuck it. You were right. I should have called her sooner.

 

VERONICA

(calmly)

Oh, Diane, it’s not about that anymore.

 

DIANE

(almost yelling)

Yes it is! Maybe if I had called a year before, a month before, even a day earlier, this wouldn’t have happened.

 

VERONICA

(assuring)

You called. You picked up that phone. You took my advice and that is better than doing nothing.



 

DIANE

(trying to fight back emotions)

My niece has no one else, Veronica.

 

VERONICA

What about the man you said your sister stole from you? Wasn’t that the father of your niece?

 

DIANE

(now frantic)

He’s an abuser and a murderer. He’s in prison.

 

Blake re-enters the room.

 

BLAKE

The computer is on. Veronica, you can help her book a flight, right?

 

VERONICA

Of course. Come on, Diane, let’s go.

 

Diane lets out a soft cry before following Veronica into the office.

 

Scene Eight

 

The scene opens on a tall apartment building in Chicago. Jane is shown standing in the living room doorway as paramedics zip Liza into a body bag. Her eye liner has run down her face.

 

PARAMEDIC #1

You got anyone you can call?

 

Jane nods her head slowly, crying.

 

JANE

My aunt is coming. She’s flying out. But it might take her the day.

 

The paramedics lift Liza onto a stretcher and remove her from the apartment unit. Jane remains in the living room and does not follow. She lowers herself onto the ground and looks around the room at the mess that is still left over from the previous night. She lays her head on the soft carpet and closes her eyes.

 

The episode ends.

















































 

 






 


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