The Donahues Episode 275

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ryan tries to find a Christmas gift for his crush while maintaining his existing relationship with Sarah, Sarah visits her biological father to figure out her relationship issues, and Jacob gets
annoyed when Ethan uses him as a prop at his Christmas Party.







“Christmas will drown your love like a storm down from above. On your fading memories of a normal life. Oh, while I thought to make you mine, believing in the line that your heart would melt with time”

  • James Murphy


(We start with a shot of Ryan writing a letter at his desk in Kimberly’s house)


RYAN: (Narration) Dear Clarissa. I know you probably don’t want to hear from me. But I desperately want to hear from you. So take it or leave it. I couldn’t stop thinking about you- (Cut to a shot of Ryan driving Sarah in his car, on an interstate highway. Sarah is looking out the window and Ryan seems distracted) in the days after we spoke. Your impeccable brown skin, your lightweight curly hair, your innocence, and your deep passion. (Cut to Ryan making out with Sarah on his bed, at the Donahue household) I know I barely know you, and this doesn’t help you unsubscribe from the idea Robin put in your head that I’m a creep, but, once I return from Christmas break, I want to get to know you better, in a purely platonic fashion. (Cut to a shot of Ryan opening up his toy chest in his room and pulling out a bottle of whiskey) I know you’re nineteen, so we can’t get a drink or anything, but, maybe- (Ryan starts taking swigs from the bottle) we could get coffee or something. (Cut to Ryan putting ornaments on the Christmas tree in his living room, along with Jacob, Madeline, Kimberly and Luke) Luckily, you have plenty of time to think about it. I know I will. (Cut to Ryan walking towards a mail slot at the post office, with the envelope labeled “CLARISSA RODRIGUEZ, 61 SHERRI ANN AVENUE, NASHUA, NH, UNITED STATES 03064”) Signed Sincerely, Ryan L. Donahue.


(He is about to drop it in the post office box, but then halts)


RYAN: Wait, I could just send this in a Facebook message.


(Ryan walks away, taking the envelope with him. Cut to Ryan, Sarah, Eric, Michael & Brennan at a bar in Hansbay. They are all holding beers around their table, as “Jingle Bell Rock” plays in the background. Michael shakes his head as he looks in his drink)


MICHAEL: Goddamn home town bars, of course they’re going to play Christmas music.


SARAH: You’re totally right, bars in Plattsburgh still play Run The Jewels at Christmas.


MICHAEL: What is that?


SARAH: …Just ask Ryan.


MICHAEL: Ryan, what is Run The Jewels?


(Ryan looks up)


RYAN: …Sorry, what? I spaced out.


MICHAEL: Come on, man, this is the first time we’ve all been together in literally forever, and you can’t even pay attention?


RYAN: Sorry, I was just… (Ryan looks at Sarah) worrying about, grades and stuff.


SARAH: Grades?


ERIC: How’d you do this semester?


(Ryan sighs)


RYAN: I actually did great, three As and a B.


MICHAEL: Who are you?


SARAH: He’s my good little schoolboy.


(Sarah kisses Ryan on the cheek)


RYAN: Please don’t call me that.


SARAH: Who wants a gold star? Huh?


RYAN: Not me. Michael, what have you been doing?


MICHAEL: I’ve been driving Lyft in New York City. And I only came back because every cabby down there now wants to murder me.


SARAH: Well, welcome back. I’m sure you can find plenty of work here, with drunken high school sophomores and such.


RYAN: From my experience, I think they’re content to just drive drunk.


MICHAEL: Damnit, you’re right. There really is nothing in this town.


RYAN: That’s what I’ve been saying. We should’ve just stayed in Plattsburgh.


SARAH: But then THIS couldn’t have happened, Ryan. Stop being a whiny bitch, and let’s enjoy the company of our friends, okay?


(Ryan sighs)


RYAN: Sorry, guys.


MICHAEL: It’s fine, dude.


ERIC: Can we just go see The Last Jedi?


SARAH: No, we still have to wait for Michelle to get here.


RYAN: Why is she here? She doesn’t even have a relationship with her parents.


(Michelle walks over and sits down)


MICHELLE: I kinda like for them to know I’m here, consciously avoiding them.


RYAN: Hey, what’s up, Michelle?


MICHELLE: Not too much. Can we go somewhere with less Christmas music? I know a biker bar on Colony, it’s the closest we’re gonna get. Only thing is, we’d need to pick up biker clothes, and stuff.


MICHAEL: (Sarcastically) Yeah, I think I have a couple hundred bucks on me, let’s do it.


RYAN: Can we just sit and drink and not think too much? Like a real family?


ERIC: I second that.


(Cut to later, when Ryan is pulling up to Amy’s house, with Sarah in the car)


RYAN: Well. Fun night with the boys, huh?


SARAH: Yeah, I suppose. Are you sure I can’t stay over at your mom’s house?


RYAN: We have the whole family over, there wouldn’t be room. I don’t want you to have to sleep on a pull-out futon with me, those things are bad for the back.


SARAH: We don’t have to sleep, you know…


(Sarah strokes Ryan’s chest)


RYAN: …What? Are we gonna, fuck literally all night? Until the sun comes up? And get zero hours of sleep? I’m not tantric, Sarah.


SARAH: Just forget it.


RYAN: Sar-bear, I’ll see you in a day or two, okay? Don’t worry.


(Sarah sighs)


SARAH: Alright.


(Ryan kisses Sarah on the mouth, and then she gets out of the car, and walks into her house. Ryan starts driving away, as he listens to “Boogie” by BROCKHAMPTON. Cut to Ryan stumbling into his house, late at night. He goes upstairs, and takes out a bottle of Jim Beam from his toy chest and takes a swig. Cut to him, climbing into bed, opening his laptop, and going through Clarissa’s Facebook pictures. Cut to a shot of his phone’s alarm 11am alarm going off. He grabs his phone and presses “stop”. Cut to him walking into the living room, wearing a shirt and sweatpants. Kimberly, Luke, Madeline, Jacob and Renee are sitting down on couches and chairs, looking at Ryan. Jacob has glasses on)


RYAN: …Did you guys start a cult without me, or something?


JACOB: No, I just want everyone to sit down and, listen to me, for a second.


(Ryan furrows his brow and sits down)


RYAN: By all means.


(Jacob clears his throat)


JACOB: I’m deploying back to Afghanistan in January.


(Kimberly closes her eyes and shakes her head)




(Luke rubs her back. Ryan rubs his temples)


RYAN: That’s just fuckin’ perfect.


JACOB: It wasn’t my decision.


MADELINE: So now we’re supposed to have a merry Christmas knowing your going back into a warzone?


RENEE: If you only knew how hard he tried to get out of this.


RYAN: Why the hell are you wearing glasses?


JACOB: My contacts haven’t come in yet.


KIMBERLY: What are you-?! You’ve always been my 20-20 boy, what are you talking about?!


RYAN: I can’t…fuckin’ deal with this right now.


(Ryan gets up and runs upstairs)




LUKE: Let him go.


KIMBERLY: He’s making this about himself, what is wrong with him?!

JACOB: Didn’t we hire a professional to answer that question?


KIMBERLY: He doesn’t respond to my texts!!


LUKE: Probably because that’s against the law, honey.


JACOB: Listen, I made it out of one tour, I can make it out of another. Now, can we just enjoy this Christmas while I’m still here?


(Kimberly swallows her emotion)


KIMBERLY: Of course, sweetie.


MADELINE: We can do that.


(Kimberly and Madeline get up to hug Jacob. Cut to Ryan, in his room, scrolling through Clarissa’s photos. He then checks if she’s responded to his Facebook message. She hasn’t. He then goes back to furiously scrolling through her photos. He happens upon one that shows a limited-edition vinyl copy of My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade. The date reads “September 21, 2015” and the caption reads “Want. So. Bad. But. Can’t. Have. ARGH.” Cut to Ryan’s eyes lighting up. He closes his laptop, grabs his keys, and runs out the door. Cut to Ryan driving quickly down the road)


NPR: You’re listening to VPR News in Washington, I’m Bob Kinzel. The Federal Communications Commission approved a plan yesterday to repeal the Obama-era policy of net neutrality, so if you’re listening to this in our online podcast form, you need to pay $14.99 to continue listening until the end. Thank you. In other news-


(Cut to Ryan parking in the parking lot of a record store in Hansbay. He quickly walks inside of the record store and walks up to an overweight record store employee with piercings and a Misfits t-shirt)


RYAN: Excuse me, I need…


EMPLOYEE: …What’s up, boss?


RYAN: I need, uh, you know what, I’ll just look for it.


EMPLOYEE: Nah, dude, it’s cool, what’s the name?


(Ryan clears his throat)

RYAN: It’s, it’s a limited-edition vinyl copy of The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.


EMPLOYEE: …Why aren’t you in school right now? I thought today was the last day before Christmas break for Hansbay High kids.


RYAN: I’m not in, High School, it’s for my…sister. For Christmas.


EMPLOYEE: Alright, well, man, I would know if we had that. They don’t make them anymore, and they’re super rare. Good luck finding one.


RYAN: …Alright, thanks.


(Ryan starts to walk away)


EMPLOYEE: Hold on. (Ryan turns to the dude, as he picks up a few vinyl copies of the Chainsmokers’ “Memories…Do Not Open”) We got way too much Chainsmokers vinyl, do you wanna just take it off our hands, for free?


RYAN: That’s alright, just throw them away.


(Ryan leaves. Cut to a montage, set to “Welcome to The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance, of him frantically searching through record stores, parking at different ones, driving on highways, filling up with gas, searching through record selections, pushing people aside in crowded record stores and malls. Finally, as the song wraps up, we see Ryan walking, exhausted, into a record store called “Exile On Main Street- Barre’s Record Store Of Choice”. Ryan walks up to the front counter to see Kristel, his ex-girlfriend, behind it. They both look shocked)


KRISTEL: Holy shit.


RYAN: …Hi. Hello, Kristel.


KRISTEL: What are you…doing?


RYAN: …I assume you meant to say “how are you doing”?


(Kristel shakes her head)




RYAN: …Well…how are you?


KRISTEL: I’m, fine, Ryan, can I help you?


RYAN: How are you and Elias?


KRISTEL: We broke up. Is that what you wanna hear? We broke up well over a year ago.


RYAN: It’s not what I wanna hear, Kristel, come on. I’m over us, you know that.


KRISTEL: You were over us before I ever broke up with you. (Kristel scoffs) And now what? You’re with Sarah again, right?


RYAN: Yes. And I’m actually getting her a gift.


KRISTEL: Do you live in Barre now?


RYAN: No, I’m still in Plattsburgh. Well, Hansbay right now.


KRISTEL: You drove an hour to get this gift? Are you sure you didn’t track me down?


RYAN: Kristel, I’ve been to almost every record store in the state to track this record down, now that I think about it, it was at least somewhat likely I would run into you.


KRISTEL: Fine. What is it?


RYAN: it’s The Black Parade, by My Chemical Romance. Limited edition.


KRISTEL: …Black Parade? Seriously?


RYAN: She likes it! Not everyone dreams about being pissed on by G.G. Allin, alright?


KRISTEL: Fine, well, you’re in luck, I think we may have it.


RYAN: Oh, thank God! Show me to it!

(Kristel comes out from behind the counter and walks with Ryan over to the “M” section. She scavenges for a few seconds and pulls it out)


KRISTEL: Here. Happy?


(Ryan grabs it and holds it to his chest)


RYAN: Never happier in my life. Thank you so much, Kristel, how much?


KRISTEL: It’s a hundred and fifteen dollars.


(Ryan looks at the record)


RYAN: …Shit!


(Kristel grabs it and puts it back)


KRISTEL: I guess there’s always next year-


(Ryan grabs it back)


RYAN: No. I’ll take it. I brought something just in case this happened.


(They walk back over to the cashier’s desk. Kristel scans the record, and the price pops up on the display. Ryan hands Kristel a credit card that reads “KIMBERLY ALTMIRE, CARDMEMBER SINCE 2005, GOOD THRU 05/20”. She sticks it in the code reader, and it goes through. She hands it back to Ryan)


KRISTEL: Go ahead and sign. (Ryan takes the stylus and signs “Kim Altmire” on the display. The receipt prints and Kristel hands it to Ryan) Thank you, Mrs. Altmire.


RYAN: Thank you, Kristel.


KRISTEL: Quick question.


RYAN: Yes, I want a bag.


KRISTEL: No, that’s not it. (Kristel puts the vinyl in a bag and hands it to Ryan) After Christmas, may I message Sarah about more of our great deals here? We have a huge sale on Blink 182 eight-tracks I’m sure she’d be DYING to hear about.


(Ryan gulps)


RYAN: No, I don’t think that’s necessary.


(Kristel nods)


KRISTEL: I didn’t think so. (Kristel takes out a pack of American Spirit blues) ELIJAH, I’M TAKING MY BREAK!




(Kristel walks outside, as Ryan watches her. Cut to Kristel smoking outside, bundled up. Ryan walks outside and looks at her)


RYAN: …You’re not gonna tell anyone, are you?


KRISTEL: I could give a shit, Ryan.


RYAN: …Are you sober?


KRISTEL: Yes. I can tell you’re not.


RYAN: …Have a great Christmas, Kristel. (Ryan gets in his car, backs up, and drives away. Cut to Ryan, holding a package labeled “CLARISSA RODRIGUEZ- 61 SHERRI ANN AVE, NASHUA, NH, U.S.A, 03064”, at a post office. He brings it up to the counter) Deliver this, please. This is how this works, right?


(Cut to Ryan in his room, listening to “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance on his computer. Kimberly barges in)



(Ryan closes his laptop)


RYAN: Agh! I just got nostalgic, okay?!?


KIMBERLY: Ryan, I just got a call from Wells Fargo saying they tracked suspicious activity on my credit card!




KIMBERLY: When the hell did I spend over a hundred dollars in Barre, Vermont?!


RYAN: Well, you were probably Christmas shopping so much, you got delirious, and, forgot where you were going. So.


KIMBERLY: Don’t gaslight your own mother, Ryan.


RYAN: You’re being hysterical, you should lay down.


KIMBERLY: Are you buying drugs?


RYAN: On, your, credit card?!


KIMBERLY: Isn’t medical marijuana legal in New Hampshire?! I mean, “Exile On Main Street” sounds like some weirdo drug den, for damn sure!

RYAN: No, mom, it’s a record store.


KIMBERLY: And what’d you buy there?


RYAN: A gift, for Sarah, I’m sorry, but I didn’t have money for it.


KIMBERLY: So why didn’t you ask?!


RYAN: Because, I was ashamed of being so poor, so very poor.


KIMBERLY: No, I want a real answer. You’re shameless about asking for money, you usually just text me dollars signs when you want it. What’s the real reason for stealing my credit card?! And keeping this a secret?!


(Ryan sighs)


RYAN: …I…there’s… (Ryan gulps) there’s a girl. I bought it for her.


KIMBERLY: …A girl? And why couldn’t I know about this girl? (Ryan stares at Kimberly, and realization washes over her) Oh, honey.


(Kimberly sits on Ryan’s bed)


RYAN: It’s none of your business.


KIMBERLY: Honey, why would you do that to that poor girl?


RYAN: She’s interested too, mom.


KIMBERLY: No, Jesus, Ryan, I’m talking about Sarah.


(Ryan sighs)


RYAN: I didn’t want to involve you.


KIMBERLY: Well, you did. And I can tell you from firsthand experience, that it’s not worth it.


RYAN: Firsthand experience?


KIMBERLY: Why do you think Luke and I split for a while?


(Ryan furrows his brow)


RYAN: Oh my God, I did not have to know that.


KIMBERLY: I only tell you so you know that people could get hurt if you continue down this path. You should either let go of this girl, or let go of Sarah.


RYAN: Well, don’t tell me anymore, especially if I know the guy.


KIMBERLY: Oh, you know him.


(Kimberly pats Ryan on the leg and leaves the room. Ryan shudders. We cut to when Sarah kissed Ryan in his car. She gets out of the car in front of her house, and he drives away. She sighs, puts her hands in her jacket pockets, and walks up to her house. She unlocks the door, and slips in to see Irville and Amy wearing ugly Christmas sweaters festooned with Christmas lights, along with a myriad of ghosts in similar clad. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is playing. They turn to Sarah and cheer)


MAYOR SATCH: There’s my baby girl!

AMY: Sarah, get your itty bitty patootie over here!


SARAH: I’ve never wanted to vomit so quickly after walking into a room.


AMY: Don’t be a negative nelly, get over here!

(Sarah walks over and Amy hugs her, while Councilman Edelman and Councilman Graves, both holding drinks, chuckle)


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Hello, Sarah, I’ve heard a lot about you.


SARAH: Probably from the papers, when I went missing, right?


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Well. Not only that.


COUNCILMAN GRAVES: I’ve also seen a lot of your Facebook photos, going way back, so. It’s not just that, dear. I’m Chexton, by the way.


SARAH: No, you’re creepy, by the way.


MAYOR SATCH: Hey, Sarah, why don’t you make us a few Root Beer Floats with rum, huh?


SARAH: What? Do people drink that?


MAYOR SATCH: I’ll pay ya a dollar, Sarah, pleaaase! (Sarah scoffs and goes to the kitchen) Sorry, she has a sourpuss sometimes.


COUNCILMAN GRAVES: Oh, I’m sure that’s not true.


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Graves, what the hell is wrong with you?


(Cut to Sarah opening the fridge to see ice cream, root beer and a bottle of Dunc’s Mill Rum. She takes out the root beer, and closes the fridge, to reveal a 16-year old kid wearing an ugly sweater)


SARAH: Jesus!


KID: Sorry. The name’s Hunter. Hunter Edelman, I’m Edelman’s son.


SARAH: Oh. Hi.


HUNTER: Sarah, right?




HUNTER: I remember seeing you in the papers.


(Sarah sets the Root Beer down, and removes three cups from the cupboard)


SARAH: Well. It’s good to meet fans of my trauma. Do you want an autograph?


HUNTER: No, I just think, well, I think you’re really pretty. And, I admire you a lot.


(Hunter places his hand on Sarah’s hand. Sarah looks at Hunter’s hand)


SARAH: …You sure you’re not Graves’ kid?


HUNTER: No, I would never want to be that.


SARAH: Hunter. (Sarah pulls her hand away from Hunter’s) I’m twenty-two years old. What are you, like, twelve?


HUNTER: I’m sixteen. That’s legal, in this state. I’ve done research.


SARAH: It doesn’t matter anyway, because I have a boyfriend.


HUNTER: Oh. Then why aren’t you with him right now?


SARAH: …I don’t know, honestly.


HUNTER: …You know, I lied to you, Councilman Edelman’s not really my father. I mean, he raised me, but, I don’t know my real father. Hell, it could be Graves for all I know. He sleeps with a lot of people. Most of them your age. I wish I knew him better. I wish I knew why he left my mom. (Hunter sighs) Anyway, if you change your mind, I’ll be working out my hormones in the second-floor bathroom.


(Hunter heads upstairs. Sarah looks contemplative. She then puts the ice cream and root beer back in the fridge, and instead heads out the back door. Cut to her driving her car on the highway)


NPR: Senate Republicans appear to have the votes to pass tax reform, and will likely have it on the President’s desk before Christmas. The passage of tax reform would be the first major legislative achievement of President Trump’s administration, it would also be a politically empowering achievement, and most importantly, it would screw over almost every person that voted for him.


(Sarah turns off NPR, and puts on “Who Dat Boy” by Tyler, The Creator. Cut to Sarah pulling up to a house in her car. She gets out, and looks at the house’s unkempt, brown front yard. Every house in the neighborhood has Christmas lights except this one. Sarah walks up to it and knocks. She waits a few moments before Andrew Blumenthal, Sarah’s father, answers wearing a robe, donning an unkempt beard, disheveled hair, sweatpants and a Nirvana t-shirt with holes in it)


ANDREW: …Sarah?


SARAH: Hi, dad.


ANDREW: What are you-?


SARAH: Can I come in?


ANDREW: Of course.


(Sarah walks into her father’s living room, where his TV is playing an episode of Rob’s show, “My Four Exes Fight Over My Stuff” on ABC. It shows Rob relaxing on a pool chair while four spray-tanned valley girls cat fight over an older iPad)


ANNOUNCER: Previously, on Rob Altmire’s “My Four Exes Fight Over My Stuff”-


ROB: Girl, girls, if you break it, then neither of you can have it. But still, don’t be afraid to get nasty.


(Andrew mutes the TV)


ANDREW: Sorry about that.


(Sarah sees an empty bottle of Whiskey on the table, along with numerous empty or half-empty beers)


SARAH: How have you been, dad?


ANDREW: I’ve been…trying to find work. I started a paper route, but I…forgot to deliver, shit.


SARAH: Dad, how does that happen?


ANDREW: I don’t know. I’m a wreck, Sar-bear. It’s probably why your mother has hardly let you see me the last four years.


SARAH: It wasn’t her, dad.


ANDREW: If you’re here to talk me off a ledge, you’re off to a bad start.


SARAH: I’m not. I’m here for some relationship advice.


ANDREW: Sarah, you’re my daughter, and I love you, but asking me for that is like asking the Pope for whorehouse recommendations.


SARAH: Just hear me out. I’m in a relationship right now, and well, I want to know something. How did you know it was over with mom? Like, when did you first sense it? What set it off?


(Andrew pauses, takes a swig of whiskey and licks his lips)


ANDREW: Probably when she threw a glass at my head.


SARAH: Come on, dad, before that.


ANDREW: Honestly…I felt a decline once it felt like we were, making conversation. Like, we were co-workers or something. (Sarah furrows her brow) Does it feel like that with Ryan?


SARAH: …How’d you know I’m with Ryan?


ANDREW: I follow you as closely as I can, Sar-bear. (Andrew puts his hand on her knee) On Facebook.


SARAH: Oh, okay.


(Andrew pats her knee and takes his hand off)


ANDREW: My best advice is to be honest. If something is bothering you, just confront him about it. The downfall of your mother and I’s relationship is we kept our emotions bottled up. I, for instance, never told her how much more I loved booze than I loved her.




ANDREW: It’s true, Sarah. Truth hurts.


SARAH: And what did she bottle up?


ANDREW: Generalized rage. Thinly hidden by a folksy, Midwest demeanor. To this day, what motivates that rage is a mystery.


(Sarah laughs)


SARAH: Yeah, that’s about right, dad. Thanks for this.


(Sarah hugs Andrew. Andrew sheds a tear. Cut to Mayor Satch standing in front of a podium in front of city hall, with reporters and citizens standing before them, and the city council and Mayoral officials standing behind him. The City Hall is decorated with lights, and they are all standing beside a large Christmas tree covered in unlit lights)


MAYOR SATCH: Thank you very much, gathered citizenry. As you may know, I fired nearly everyone in the Mayor’s office a few weeks ago, and so nobody was there to remind me to do this tree lighting at the beginning of the month. So, I’m doing it five days before Christmas! So, enjoy while it lasts! (Crowd applauds) As for Jewish Christmas and Muslim Christmas, I’m gonna have to research what kind trees you guys use. I’m confident it’ll be very interesting! So, without further ado, Amy? (Amy brings over the plug and the outlet on the end of an extension cord. Mayor Satch plugs it in, and the tree lights up, causing the crowd, city council and city hall officials to applaud. Photographers then take pictures. Mayor Satch tries to kiss Amy on the mouth, but she turns and he kisses her on the cheek. Then he awkwardly pats her on the shoulder and returns to his podium) We’ve had a wonderful first year here in the Mayor’s office, and there are a few people I want to thank for the success we’ve had this year. First of all, my wife Amy. (People applaud, as Amy nods forward) She is the apple of my eye. No, the turnip of my stew. (The applause subsides) No, the pear of my pear tree. Yes. She’s that. And then I, of course, want to thank Councilman Edelman, leader of the Democrats in the city council. (Applause roars as Edelman bows slightly) And Councilman Graves for being, and remaining, a Democrat. (A smattering of applause as Chexton bows dramatically) And I also want to thank my Republican colleagues, especially these two, Ethan Donahue and Jennifer Cusick, the power couple of Hansbay. (Confused applause, and some gasping, as Ethan and Jennifer look at each other in shock) Oh. Uh, perhaps, you weren’t supposed to know about that. Um. Anyway. Thank you to Chairman Sloane as well. (A smattering of nervous applause for Sloane) He’s, great. Anyway, enjoy the Christmas Party tomorrow, everyone.


(Cut to Ethan looking through his blinds at his house. Jennifer is sitting on the couch, with Jacob and Renee, as a Christmas tree sits in the corner, with presents beneath it)


ETHAN: The press is definitely stalking us.


(Cut to a few news vans parked outside Ethan’s apartment. A reporter is in the front seat of a truck, with a laptop, gazing at the window with a smug smile on his face)


REPORTER: You can’t hide forever, Donahue.


(Cut back to the apartment)


JENNIFER: That guy is such an idiot.


(Ethan backs away from the window)


ETHAN: I didn’t want people to know for a reason!


RENEE: The tabloids care about an intra-city council relationship?


JENNIFER: The tabloids are desperate for news in this town, anything will do. The local news once devoted six segments to the opening of a new Starbucks on Buckley street.


ETHAN: In their defense, it’s super convenient. (Ethan sits next to Jennifer and put his arm around her) So, this is my girlfriend Jennifer.


JENNIFER: Great to meet you two.


JACOB: Pleasure.


ETHAN: What did you need to tell me that couldn’t wait until Christmas Day?


JACOB: Well, I already told mom, Ryan and Maddie, and I didn’t want you to hear it from them.


ETHAN: Go ahead.


JACOB: I’m deploying back to Afghanistan in January.


ETHAN: …Ah. Well. That makes sense, you’re in the army, and Trump escalated the war. Honestly, you’re lucky you’re there, because I’ve read about North Korean war scenarios, and it’s a son of a bitch.


RENEE: You’re taking this pretty well, Mr. Donahue.


ETHAN: Of course, I’m worried, but, this is what you signed up for.


JENNIFER: Thank you for your service to capitalism.


JACOB: You’re welcome.


ETHAN: You know what? Let’s make the most of our time together before you deploy. Would you two like to come to the City Hall Christmas Party tomorrow night?


(Jacob and Renee look at each other, and then look back at Ethan)


JACOB: I don’t see why not!


JENNIFER: I could give you a couple.


ETHAN: Shhh, it’s gonna be great.


(Cut to Ethan and Jennifer, dressed nicely, walking up to City Hall as photographers take pictures, and reporters shout questions)


REPORTER: How long have you two been dating?!


REPORTER 2: Which one of you plans to run for Mayor in 2020?




ETHAN: I don’t comment on ongoing investigations.


(Ethan smiles and they walk into City Hall. Then, Jacob and Renee walk by, and none of the reporters recognize or care to question them. They walk into the City Hall. Cut to a ball room within City Hall, the city council, city hall officials, Mayor Satch, all living former Mayors, Amy, Jacob, Renee, their invited guests, and others are socializing. Christmas Decorations and Christmas Music abound. Cut to Mayor Satch, former Mayor Alexander, former Mayor Ethan Donahue, former Mayor Michael Chapman, former Mayor Maxwell Sullivan, former Mayor Antonio Cardova and former Mayor Nicholas Warren all in a semi-circle, dressed up, talking, and holding drinks as reporters film them)


MAYOR SATCH: Now, isn’t this remarkable? We have all the living former Mayors of Hansbay gathered in one place. We have former Mayor Evan Alexander, of course, Evan, say “hi”.


(Evan lifts his drink)


EVAN: I hope I’m the first of us to die.


MAYOR SATCH: Former Mayor Ethan Donahue.


ETHAN: I was only Mayor for four weeks, but it counts.


MAYOR SATCH: Former Mayor Michael Chapman, our first and so far, only African-American Mayor.


MAYOR CHAPMAN: Only African-American person, for a while, too.


MAYOR SATCH: How old are you, Mike?


MAYOR CHAPMAN: Seventy-seven.


MAYOR SATCH: Woo-boy, what a survivor. Former Mayor Maxwell Sullivan, he was the Mayor that lead Hansbay through the cell phone scare of ’89.


MAYOR SULLIVAN: People thought it was the Soviets trying to cook their brains.


MAYOR SATCH: Former Mayor Antonio Cardova, was the last Mayor during the Cardova Crime Family’s control of the city, and he was just released from twenty-five years in prison, and I’m honestly not sure why we allowed him to come.


MAYOR CARDOVA: You like baseball?


MAYOR SATCH: And finally, there’s former Mayor Nicholas Warren. He served from 1961 to 1969, and is NINETY-SIX years old!

(Everybody applauds, as the decrepit, incredibly old man with a walker, raises his hand just barely to wave)


MAYOR WARREN: My greatest accomplishment was, establishing a curfew for married women!


MAYOR SATCH: Oh, geez, let’s just take this picture and get it over with, huh?


(They all pose, and photographers snap the photo. They all relax after the photo is taken, and Jennifer walks up to Ethan and kisses him. Jacob and Renee walk up too)


JACOB: Good to meet you all.


MAYOR SATCH: Alright, reporters, thanks, you special people, but let us former Mayors have bro-time, huh?


RENEE: Since you’re all men, of course.


REPORTER: Councilman Donahue, did you switch to the Republican Party due to your romantic entanglement with Ms. Cusick?


ETHAN: You know what, Chris? My son, Jacob here- (Ethan puts his hand on Jacob’s shoulder) is going to be re-deployed to a warzone in a matter of weeks, and you have the nerve to ask an inane question like that? Frankly it’s insulting to his sacrifice.


(Jacob looks confused)


REPORTER: Sir, I didn’t mean to-


ETHAN: Get away, it’s a private party, go away.


(The reporters shrug and walk away)


ETHAN: Sorry you had to see that.


JACOB: That’s, fine, I guess.


MAYOR WARREN: You’re in the army, sonny boy?


JACOB: Yes, Afghanistan. What about you?


MAYOR WARREN: I was in the Air Force. I bombed Dresden.


JACOB: Where’s Dresden?


ETHAN: Jesus, Jacob, it’s in Germany.


JACOB: Oh. Sorry. Thank you for your service.


ETHAN: Why don’t we, move around a bit. Nice to meet you all.


(Ethan, Jacob, Jennifer and Renee wave and walk away. Cut to Jacob, Renee and Ethan walking together)


RENEE: No one here seems to want to be here.


ETHAN: That’s what parties are like when you’re an adult. A necessary evil. Hold on, we should speak with the head of the Chamber of Commerce real quick. We’ll be right back; you guys stay put.


JENNIFER: I love this guy. He drips with avarice.


(Ethan and Jennifer walk offscreen, as Jacob and Renee stop dead in their tracks)


RENEE: What was that back there?

JACOB: Yeah, that whole thing about my war service? That was weird.


RENEE: I didn’t like that. Should we say something?


JACOB: Just forget it. He’s a politician, through and through. (Cut to a shot of Ethan, Jennifer and the Chamber of Commerce guy rubbing shoulders and laughing) Look at him greasing up that Chamber of Commerce guy.


RENEE: It’s a little gross.


(Cut to a close-up of Jacob’s eyes, and then a medium close-up of Ethan sticking his hand in the Chamber of Commerce Guy’s pocket, and pulling out blood, that drips down his hand. Cut to Jacob shaking his head and closing his eyes. He then opens them, and sees them back-slapping regularly again)


JACOB: It really is.


(Former Mayor Chapman walks over to Jacob and Renee)


MAYOR CHAPMAN: What’s it like having him as a father?


JACOB: He’s always been very supportive, from the beginning.


MAYOR CHAPMAN: He must’ve wanted something from you, then. I swear, him and Sarandon were the two most conniving sons of bitches in politics when I was Mayor.


RENEE: I don’t think that’s a very nice thing to say about a man’s father.


MAYOR CHAPMAN: You’re right. I’ll just go back to drinking in the corner with the other black people. Oh wait.


(Mayor Chapman takes a swig of his Gin & Tonic, and walks away. Ethan then walks over to Jacob & Renee)


ETHAN: Come, I want you to meet Todd Truesdale, from the Chamber of Commerce.


JACOB: Okay.


(Ethan brings Jacob and Renee over to Todd Truesdale)


ETHAN: Todd, this is my son and daughter-in-law, Jacob and Renee.


JACOB: It’s cool to meet you, Todd. (Jacob shakes Todd’s hand) That’s a tight grip.


TODD: I guess I don’t know my own strength! (Todd laughs) Outside of business anyway, I’m very powerful. How are you, young lady?


(Todd shakes Renee’s hand)


RENEE: Super, thanks for asking.


(Todd unclasps her hand)


ETHAN: Jacob is in the army, and has served a tour in Afghanistan.


TODD: Shit! And I thought I was a heroic man!


JACOB: You thought that?


TODD: I still do! But clearly, you deserve that somewhat more! (Todd shakes Jacob’s hand) Thank you for your service.


JACOB: Thanks, Todd. I’m gonna go get a drink.


(Jacob grabs Renee’s hand and walks away)


TODD: Merry Christmas!


ETHAN: It’s an especially Merry Christmas for you, huh, Todd? This tax bill looks pretty damn good.


TODD: No kidding, I’m already investing the savings into jobs.


ETHAN: Really?


TODD: Yeah. Yacht washing jobs!


(Ethan and Todd laugh as they clink their glasses. Cut to Clarissa in her kitchen in Nashua. She is brewing coffee from a Keurig. It finishes brewing, she takes the coffee cup and pours milk into it. She then starts drinking it as she sits down on her couch and opens up the laptop on her coffee table. In the living room, there is a stack of drums with Christmas lights strung around them. She then looks around and goes to Ryan’s Facebook page. Her mom then walks in)


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: Clarissa, what are you doing?


(Clarissa exits out of the page, and looks behind her)


CLARISSA: There’s no crime against stalking. At least, not Facebook stalking.


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: Honey. (Her mom sits next to her) I was a young woman like you once. I get having a crush, but you can’t obsess over a guy who has a girlfriend.


CLARISSA: I’m NOT obsessed.


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: Honey, you’ve been googling him non-stop.


CLARISSA: Well, did you know he was kidnapped by terrorists several years back? And that his dad was given asylum by Vladimir Putin?!


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: That’s probably a different Ryan Donahue, honey.


(Clarissa sighs)


CLARISSA: You’re probably right. (Clarissa closes her laptop) I don’t think he’s happy with his girlfriend, though.


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: Men are naturally dissatisfied. Kinda like how your dad can’t decide whether to hide or embrace his receding hairline.


(Clarissa and her mom laugh, as the doorbell rings)


CLARISSA: Do you want me to get it?


MRS. RODRIGUEZ: Would you? (She throws off her shoes) Working at a Catholic School when you’re not religious is exhausting.


(Clarissa stands up and walks to the door. She opens it up, to see a UPS truck driving off. She looks down to see a package. She furrows her brow, picks it up, and sees the return address being in Hansbay, Vermont)


CLARISSA: Oh, wow. (Clarissa brings the package quietly upstairs, and into her room. She opens it, and pulls out the My Chemical Romance deluxe vinyl. She throws it on the bed, and tries to keep from screaming. She breathes in an out to calm herself down, and she smiles widely) Agghh! Damnit! Why do you have to make this so hard?!!?!


(Cut to Councilman Edelman holding a vodka cranberry while speaking to Mayor Alexander at the Christmas Party. Edelman is clearly a little drunk)


EVAN: I’m telling you, Robert Mueller is an Obama lackey. Trump should fire him for Benghazi alone, to be honest. He had something to do with that, right?


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Fuck that. You know who should be fired?


EVAN: Let me guess, Trump?


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Fuckin’ Donahue! He’s a back-stabbing, self-obsessed piece of shit!


EVAN: I mean, yeah. Did you just figure that out, or-?


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: It took me way too long to see it. Now all I wanna do is- (Edelman appears to throw up in his mouth) plug a hole in him. With these suckas.


(Edelman holds up his fists)


EVAN: …Ah.


(Ethan, Jennifer, Jacob and Renee walk over)


ETHAN: Evan, Councilman Edelman, how are you? Have you met-


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: You know, I used to be CHAIRMAN Edelman.


ETHAN: Heh. I did know that. Anyway-


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: Until you came along, you back-stabbing prick.


ETHAN: Whoa, hang on-


COUNCILMAN EDELMAN: You’re a traitor, you know that?!

ETHAN: I can’t believe you, Edelman. (Ethan puts his hand on Jacob’s shoulder) How dare you scream at me in front of my war hero son, who is deploying in a few weeks-


JACOB: War hero!? You know what? (Jacob takes Ethan’s hand off his shoulder) I’m not gonna be your fuckin’ prop, dad. We’ll be outside.


(Jacob takes Renee’s hand and walks away, as Ethan turns)


ETHAN: Wait, Jacob, come back! (Ethan turns to Jennifer) Wait here.




 (Ethan turns to Edelman)


ETHAN: We’ll continue this argument later.




(Ethan walks away, as Edelman keels over to vomit on the floor, to everyone’s revulsion)


EVAN: My God, I was just about to pay off these shoes!

(Cut to Jacob and Renee standing outside City Hall, wearing heavy coats in the freezing cold, as it snows outside. Jacob is smoking a cigarette)


RENEE: I think you did the right thing, babe.


JACOB: I’m beginning to regret it just because of how fucking cold it is out here. And also, the deviled eggs in there were amazing.


(Ethan comes outside, and Jacob and Renee turn to him)


ETHAN: Jacob, listen-


JACOB: Dad, we hardly see each other, and the one evening we spend together, you use me as a political tool to impress your friends?


ETHAN: That’s not what I intended.


(Jacob turns to Renee)


JACOB: Honey, would you mind waiting in the car?


RENEE: Uhhh, sure. I can listen to Christmas music! But none of that secular shit. (She starts walking away) Jingle Bell Rock my ass.


(Renee walks away)


ETHAN: I didn’t intend to do that, I’m just proud of you.


JACOB: So it’s a coincidence that you invoked my name literally every single time you were challenged?


ETHAN: I just felt disrespected-


JACOB: Well, join the club. You know, you were just a little bit older than me during Desert Storm. Why didn’t you enlist? Do you have ANY idea how stressful it is to be in a warzone? The psychological toll it takes?


ETHAN: Of course not. I couldn’t do what you do.


JACOB: Well, then, don’t use it like you use anyone and everything else. As an opportunity.


ETHAN: Please, Jacob, I don’t wanna leave off like this-


JACOB: You know, I already have a family. I don’t need this one anymore.


(Jacob throws his cigarette into the snow, stomps it out, and walks away, leaving Ethan standing there, upset. Ethan sighs, and walks back inside. Cut to Ryan and Sarah sitting on the couch, holding alcoholic drinks, at a Christmas Party, hosted by Brennan Sanford. Michelle, Eric, Brennan, Jason, and more are gathered in Brennan’s living room. Helix’s metal cover of Jingle Bell Rock is playing in the background. Brennan stands up, holding a glass of Egg Nog)


BRENNAN: Excuse me, everybody, listen the fuck up. (Things get quiet) You’re lucky by dad’s in the Bahamas until Christmas Eve, because that means is his medicine cabinet is an open bar. (Some applause and cheering) Please, don’t take all of it. Take some of it. If he notices, I’ll just say he took it, because I am excellent at gaslighting.


MICHELLE: You’re excellent at emotional abuse?


RYAN: I can attest to that.


BRENNAN: Everybody, please enjoy the alcohol, including my signature recipe of Egg Nog and Everclear, or as I like to call it, Eggerclear. (Brennan takes a sip of his drink) LET’S DO IT!!


(People cheer as Brennan sits down. Some people start going into Norman’s bathroom)


SARAH: Do you want something from Norman’s bathroom? I won’t be mad.


(Ryan furrows his brow)


RYAN: No, I’m good with just booze. Thanks, though. I think.


(Ryan takes a sip from his drink)


SARAH: …Ryan, can I talk to you in private?

(Ryan appears nervous)


RYAN: …Sure.


(Ryan and Sarah get up, and walk into a spare bedroom. They see a guy sitting on the bed with his pants down)


SARAH: Oh, Jesus!

GUY: Some girl led me in here, told me to pull my pants down and wait for her to come back.


RYAN: She’s not coming back, dude, just leave.


(The guy pulls his pants up and gets off the bed)


GUY: Sorry.


(The guy leaves, and Sarah closes the door)


SARAH: My dad told me to always be honest in relationships.


RYAN: Irville?


SARAH: NO! My real dad.


RYAN: Oh. The internet?


SARAH: Ryan.


RYAN: You’re not talking about Andrew, are you?


SARAH: Yes, Andrew.


RYAN: What are you being honest about?


SARAH: Well. I feel like you’ve been distant recently.


RYAN: …Define “recently”.


SARAH: The last month or so.


RYAN: Really? That long?


SARAH: Well, what is it? Where has your mind gone to? (Ryan bites his tongue, and pauses for a few moments) …Well!?


RYAN: …I, uh, have something to… (Sarah leans in) my brother is going back to Afghanistan next month.




RYAN: Yeah. Violence has worsened there, and I’m, worried about him.


SARAH: Gosh, I’m so sorry, Ryan.


RYAN: …Thanks.


SARAH: He’s a tough guy, he’ll be fine.


(Ryan nods)


RYAN: He will.


SARAH: …So you still love me?

RYAN: Sarah, of course! I love you more than I ever have. We’ve know each other for almost eight years, and you’ve always been there for me.


(Ryan pulls Sarah close and starts making out with her, as “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” by LCD Soundsystem plays. They get on the bed, and Ryan starts unclasping her bra. Sarah takes his shirt off. Cut to Ethan glad-handing with business executives at Mayor Satch’s Christmas Party. He looks visibly distracted, even as he swaps jokes and slaps backs. Cut to Jacob opening his closet, as Renee lies on the bed in the background. He kneels down and pulls out his U.S. Army uniform, all folded up. Renee beckons him to bed. He puts his fatigues back, and walks over to see Kyle asleep on the bed with Renee. He climbs into bed and lies next to Renee. Cut to Clarissa, sliding her MCR record into a frame, and hanging it on the wall. She sits on the bed, and slides her panties off, as the camera pans down, and away. Cut to Kristel smoking a cigarette in her apartment, watching American Horror Story on Netflix as snow falls outside. She gets bored and pauses it. She takes out her phone, and opens up her list of contacts. She scrolls to “Ryan Donahue”, and we go to a close up on her other hand as it begins to shake. She then scrolls to the contact “Ashton Delay”. But then she shakes her head and throws the phone across the room. Cut to Ethan checking his phone, in his apartment. It says “7:57 PM Sunday, December 24”. He looks over to Jennifer, who has a present. Jennifer hands Ethan the present. He opens it, and it’s a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged)


JENNIFER: (Over music) Remember, Ethan. You are a self-sufficient man. Unsentimental about the people who depend on your hard work.


(Ethan picks up the book and nods. They then start making out, as we cut to Ryan and Sarah lying in bed, naked, obviously having achieved coitus. Sarah kisses Ryan on the mouth. Ryan smiles and gets up. He puts his underwear on and walks into the adjoining bathroom, and closes the door. He looks in the mirror, and as the song wraps up, he silently screams and pulls two bloody clumps of his hair out. Cut to Ryan, Jacob, Madeline, Renee, Kyle, Kimberly and Luke in their living room, around the Christmas tree, morning of December 25th, 2017. Madeline is opening up a present, and it’s a vinyl copy of My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade)


MADELINE: Oh. “Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance on vinyl.


RYAN: Yep. I knew you’d love it.


(Ryan looks over at Kimberly, who smiles)


MADELINE: I don’t, really listen to My Chemical Romance, but, thanks, I guess.


RYAN: Well, you know, it was very expensive, so, watch it.


(Madeline pulls a tag off it reading “$25”)


MADELINE: This tag says it was only twenty-five bucks.


(Kimberly rolls her eyes and shakes her head)


RYAN: Well, that’s a lot of money for some people, you know! Heh. You can exchange it.


MADELINE: Well, thanks anyway.


(Ryan and Madeline hug. As they relinquish their embraces, Kimberly points at a present to Jacob, from Ryan)


KIMBERLY: Open that one! Ryan got it for you.


JACOB: Okay. (Jacob takes the present and opens it. It’s a rainbow flag) Well. What’s this?


RYAN: It’s a rainbow flag. Even though I think the symbol of the LGBT community is a bit too, colorful, and vivacious, I still think it’s important for you to remember that when you’re over there, you’re fighting for me too. And my community.


JACOB: Thanks, Ryan. I love it.


RYAN: Please plant it near a Taliban outpost.


JACOB: Do you want me to come home in a body bag?


KIMBERLY: Agh. Please don’t talk like that.


RENEE: Yeah, Jacob.


JACOB: Sorry.


RENEE: Next up, we got something for you, Kyle.


KYLE: Oh my Gosh, I get presents too?!


JACOB: Yes. Kyle, we’ve done this for two Christmases in a row, you get presents.


RENEE: Are you mad at him?


JACOB: No, buddy, I’m not mad at you, I just want you to know, you deserve presents as much as, and in some cases more than, anyone in this room.


RYAN: I see you.


JACOB: Here.


(Jacob hands Kyle a gift. He opens it, and it’s an Army Man action figure)


KYLE: Cool!

JACOB: See, buddy? So now, when I’m gone, you can act out the adventures I’ll have. Like when I rescue the Power Rangers from your evil stuffed bear. Or when I detonate a Taliban Outpost and kill the survivors.


MADELINE: Don’t you think that kind of ingrains the idea of violence as masculinity in his young, impressionable mind?


RYAN: I do.


JACOB: Can you not, criticize my parenting skills?


KIMBERLY: I actually raised three children, so, may I?




KYLE: Thanks, daddy!

(Jacob hugs Kyle)


JACOB: No problem, son. Go sit with Grandma.


(Kyle runs over and sits on Kimberly’s lap)


KIMBERLY: Hey, buddy! (To Jacob) Sorry, can we wait like fifteen years until we start calling me “Grandma”?


LUKE: Honey, it’s literally what you are.


RYAN: Can I open a present?


MADELINE: Sure. Here.


(Madeline hands a present to Ryan. It reads “From: Mom, To: Ryan”. He opens it. It’s a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates. Ryan takes it out, confused)


RYAN: …Uhhh, thanks?


LUKE: Are you hitting on your son, Kim?


KIMBERLY: No, that must’ve been a mistake. That’s for you, Luke.


LUKE: Oh. Thank you.


(Kimberly stares at Ryan)


KIMBERLY: You see. Luke and I are were separated.


LUKE: They know, honey.


KIMBERLY: And it hurt. It really. (Kimberly stares more intensely at Ryan) Hurt.


(Ryan nods)


RYAN: …Is that so?


LUKE: …Yeah, what is-


KIMBERLY: So I got him chocolates and flowers. Hand them here.


(Ryan hands Kimberly the chocolates and flowers. Kimberly hands them to Luke, and they kiss. As Ryan stares at them. Cut to black)



Submitted: December 24, 2017

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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