Rebekah Anne Bettencourt

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And here, we have my very first attempt at screenwriting.
This was entered into the first year of Project Greenlight where it went to round two but was eliminated.

Unlike the other scripts, you will note the lack of any musical cues, as these were added in a later draft that was lost (along with my other scripts when I erased the wrong memory card).

Please note that the script's ending is NOT the same as the book (Unwritten Rules) will be (the subplot and narrative are entirely different).

and so ,with that, yet another story line about a girl.

EXT. AIRPORT RUNWAY—EARLY MORNING EXT. AIRPORT TERMINAL

FADE IN

OS INTERCOM VOICE
Welcome to Spokane International Airport…parking is restricted to the parking garage…there is no parking allowed in the loading and unloading…

INT. AIRPORT TERMINAL

Extremely busy at this early hour: the concourse is alive with people walking to their respective gates.

INT. FRONT TERMINAL

From a side door, ERIC STRADLIN--sixteen, brown hair--runs into the building. He quickly scans one of the overhead monitors and takes off running towards the concourses. He slows down at the metal detectors and airport security, but in less than a few seconds, he’s off again.

INT. CONCOURSE B

Eric weaves around people as he runs down the length of the concourse.

EXT. RUNWAY

A plane taxis to the runway, ready to take off. INT. CONCOURSE B
Eric stops short of the glass wall at the end of the concourse. He looks to the gate number, 13, and the destination, Denver, and hangs his head as the plane on the runway begins to accelerate for takeoff.

He looks up to the glass and sighs. EXT. TERMINAL
Eric walks out of the terminal and steps into a passenger side of a car parked next to the curb.

INT. CAR

VOICE OVER
…no parking in the loading and unloading zone…

JASON NAUMOWICZ--sixteen, shifts into drive and slowly drives away.

Eric looks out the window, to the sky.

JASON
You okay?

ERIC
No, Jase, I'm not.

JASON
The fact that she’s not here would mean…?

Yep.

ERIC

JASON

Not to play devil’s advocate but didn’t I tell you this would happen one day.

Jason wrestles with his seatbelt as they drive out onto the highway.

ERIC
No, you just said that I'd get my heart and ass broken.

Eric looks back to him.

JASON
Yeah and look at you.

Jason accelerates the engine as he takes a swig from a
Mountain Dew.

ERIC
Didn’t even say goodbye.

Eric takes out a folded envelope from his pants pocket.

JASON
Now that’d be a weepy scene: Two teenagers professing their undying love to each other: “I’ll never forget you…we’ll always have the summer…” or some other romantic novel-like crap.

Eric turns back to the window to see what little of the plane can be seen before Jason drives turns onto the highway.

ERIC
Why did she have to leave?

EXT. HIGHWAY

Jason accelerates as they approach the town of Airway
Heights.
INT. CAR--SECONDS LATER JASON
It's only seven o'clock, you want
to run by Yoke's and pick up some donuts and a mocha?

Eric lowers his head down.

JASON (CONT'D)
Come on, Strad, buck up on it, will you? Let's go in, have a double
shot cappuccino grab a cinnamon twisty or two and we'll drown your sorrows in caffeine and sugar.

Eric nods.

JASON (CONT'D)
All right...girl problems be damned.

Jason pulls the car into the parking lot of “Yoke’s Pac’n
Save”.

INT. STORE

Whatever.

ERIC

Standard grocery store layout. Some customers shop for a few items. The store’s intercom beeps once, followed by a garbled message.

Jason skips over to a case in front of the registers and grabs a coke.

JASON
Like I said, unlike you--blinded from whatever you saw in her--I saw this day coming from the start my friend.

What?

ERIC

JASON

Yep, ever since you gave her that French fry at McDonald's...that’s when this disaster--

ERIC
Disaster?

Eric walks to the deli counter as Jason goes to the donuts.

JASON
Hell yeah, man. Did you ever notice that she had you leading on every word she said.

ERIC
No.

Jason opens the glass doors of the donut case as he speaks

JASON
Think of it: She went to another school and you were like her little puppy, her robot. She had you
remote controlled so bad, she--.

ERIC
She did not have that much control over me.

A store employee walks up to the counter in front of Eric.

ERIC (CONT'D) (to employee)
Double mocha.

JASON
Pshh, that's what you think.

Jason lifts a plastic bag up and throws six donuts into it.

JASON (CONT'D)
You know that freshman kid who’s pretty much blind? Even HE could see how pussy whipped you were.

Eric winces in front of the employee.

He meets up with Jason halfway to the donut case.

ERIC (whispered)
We never did anything.

JASON
Really? You two didn’t--

ERIC
We didn't do any--forget that. How do you-

Eric walks back to the employee behind the counter, who hands him a tall coffee cup with whipped cream pouring all over the top.

ERIC (CONT'D) (to employee)
Thank-you.

The guys walk to the checkout lines.

JASON
I, Strad, have seen it all--

ERIC
But, have never done any of--

JASON
Beside the point. I have been the conscience observer and have
noticed every potential disaster in your love life.

ERIC
Enlighten me, oh Cyranno.

Eric pays for his coffee by tossing two dollars to Jason. Jason continues to talk to Eric as he is paying the clerk, virtually ignoring her.

JASON
You concentrate too hard on things. Your mind is like an engine stuck
in fifth and running low on oil.

ERIC
What?
(to clerk) Thank-you.

EXT. PARKING LOT

They stop and stand in front of the front doors for a few seconds.

JASON
Think about it, you caused her to leave you, man.

ERIC
Ow, ow...say, Jase, could you, if you will, pull your knife out of my back?

JASON
She just wasn’t the one for you man, you two didn’t go well together and, you know, like you were both loner like people…wait, no, she was outgoing you were the…I’m sorry, I’m right, it was your fault…

ERIC
Thanks, Jason, mind putting some arsenic in my coffee? I want to do myself in before school starts.

They both start walking back to Jason’s car.

JASON
Just forget about her, there’s no scoreboard thing, it’s emotion, it’s male PMS, whatever.

INT. CAR

Jason passes the doughnuts to Eric and turns the engine over.

ERIC
So, now what do I do?

CONTINUED:

JASON
You do what every idiot does: get back up on the horse and you go for the eight seconds of pleasure again...I hear Nola's free.

Jason floors the car to the edge of the parking lot and guns the engine as he debates when to cut through traffic.

ERIC
We have zilch in common.

JASON
Marissa?

Eric shakes his head.

JASON (CONT'D) Umm, Aimee Hein?

ERIC Don't go there.

JASON
You're not making this easy.

Jason screeches the tires and pulls back onto the road.

ERIC
It's not supposed to be easy, Jase. I lost someone I cared a great deal about and not only do you decide it’s a great time to badmouth her but you're trying to fix me up with someone else on the same day!?

JASON
Just trying to help.

ERIC
I would appreciate it if you’d let me decide when I want to get my hopes up again...

JASON
Speaking of getting things up...I
know Adrienne's free right now.

Eric sighs, leaning his head to the side.

EXT. SCHOOL

The Reardan-Edwall School District sits all on one campus. Buses crowd all around the front of the school. Kids run to friends in the courtyard and then file up to the building. High School and some Jr. High students can be seen on the other side of the street, smoking.

EXT. PARKING LOT

Eric grabs his books from the back seat and opens his door. Jason walks to the door before Eric can get out of the car. INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY
Eric walks down the hallway and to his locker. He opens it up and places his binder on the bottom.

Two pictures fall out. One is a picture of SAMANTHA and the other is a picture of them together. He begins to rip the pictures.

MRS. BALUM, 55, a teacher, walks out of her classroom and sees Eric ripping up the picture

MRS. BALUM

Confetti?

ERIC

Umm, no Mrs. Balum.

MRS. BALUM
You might want to clean this up, Eric.

ERIC
I will, Mrs. Balum,

MRS. BALUM
Good thinking, Mr. Stradlin.

Mrs. Balum picks up a piece and hands it to him.

MRS. BALUM (CONT'D) Oh, she's cute.

ERIC
Yes...she is, was...whatever.

MRS. BALUM
Let me see if I understand this. Did you have a breakup with this girl?

ERIC
You could say that.

MRS. BALUM
I’m sorry to hear. Hmm, maybe it works out for the best.

ERIC
We can only hope.

MRS. BALUM
Yes, well let’s get this up, okay, Eric? See you in first period.

He crumples the remaining picture into his hand, along with some of the scraps.

Yes ma'am.

ERIC

Yells and the sound of feet stomping can be heard as Eric picks up the remains of the picture.

INT. GYMNASIUM

The stomping increases as more and more STUDENTS pile into the gym. Five sets of bleachers are pulled out, all filled with students.

CHEERLEARDERS and the members of the student council stand on the side wall of the gym: Eric Stradlin, NICK LANDT, JOHANNA JOHNSON, KRISTY SHERLOCK AND MONTY SOLIDAY.

NICK
Everyone have a pleasant summer?

Monty looks at the crowd as he talks.

MONTY Just hung out.

Kristy stares down at her nails as Eric walks by her on his way to the podium in the center of the gym.

JOHANNA Went to Seattle.

NICK
How about you, Eric? How was yours?

Eric turns around.

ERIC
It was peachy before this morning.

Johanna and Nick looks at each other in question.

Eric walk to the podium. The Principal, MR. CAIN--a man in his late forties--stands next to it.

MR. CAIN Welcome back, Eric

Thank-you.

ERIC

MR. CAIN

We’re about to being in a moment. Any last minute preparations?

Eric shakes his head and then looks to the other members of the council, who are now sitting down in chairs next to the podium.

The gym soon becomes quiet as Eric takes the microphone.

ERIC Welcome back to RHS.

The students cheer.

Eric looks down at the podium before he continues.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I wish to welcome all incoming freshman and new students to RHS. I am ASB president Eric Stradlin-- and, as I promised last year, I am open to discussions on making this school better for everyone.

Eric looks through the crowd, trying hard not to concentrate on anybody.

ERIC (CONT'D)
This year, your ASB student council: Nick Landt, Kristy Sherlock, Johanna Johnson, Monty Soliday, and myself will be your servants. This year, we hope to bring a greater good to the school and make RHS known not only for it’s athletic prowess but for it’s
humanity and strength. Now, I would like to welcome our principal, Mr. Cain.

Mr. Cain walks up to the podium as everyone in the gym claps. Eric leaves the gym as Mr. Cain begins to speak.
MR. CAIN Welcome, students...

EXT. FRONT WALK OF THE SCHOOL

Eric storms out of the building and walks down the steps a few feet away. He looks up to the sky for a second, before lowering his head down.

REBEKAH(13), a girl with red hair, stands behind him. She looks at him with curiosity.

REBEKAH What’s wrong?

ERIC
Nothing.

Eric walks a few more paces towards the road.

REBEKAH
Is that why you’re walking away?

ERIC
I’m walking away because I don’t want to talk to

anyone.

REBEKAH

It might help, to talk to someone.

ERIC I doubt it.

He turns around.

Hello.

REBEKAH

Eric stares with a blank look but then he returns to his sullen mood again.

ERIC
Shouldn’t you be in class?

REBEKAH
I suppose so. What about you?

ERIC

Probably.

REBEKAH

Why aren’t--

She moves closer to him and brushes her hair back.

ERIC
I don’t want to talk about it, I-

Eric nods and then breathes deeply, loudly exhaling.

REBEKAH She’s gone, isn’t she?

ERIC

What?

REBEKAH

Some people talk when they’re hurt.

Eric takes the envelope out and begins to rip it to shreds.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
And then some people live in hurt.

Rebekah begins to walk away.

ERIC Yes, some do.

He throws the pieces into the air.

REBEKAH
Sometimes it helps to ask for someone to listen...

ERIC
No one ever listens…

REBEKAH
They can’t listen if you won’t talk.

Eric continues to look ahead. INT. SCHOOL--TEN MINUTES LATER
A bell chimes off, signaling the start of another class. Eric sits in THE PIT--or, an alcove built into the hallway as a place to sit at lunch or just lounge around.

Eric has several binders around him. He thumbs through several notebooks until he reaches a particular page. Hastily, he writes down several notes and then gets up.

INT. LIBRARY

Eric stands a few feet away from Kristy, Nick, Johanna and
Monty, who sit at a table.

ERIC
Sorry to take you all out of class on the first day, but I have an idea that I want to run by.

JOHANNA
How will this meeting be marked?

ERIC Official...however, Rob’s rules will be suspended for the moment.

Kristy nods and leans forward as Eric passes out photocopies.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I’ve been going over the minutes and schedules from last year. This is a model for a tutor session to be done in school as part of a study. The student is assigned to someone in the junior high as a tutor. The instructor’s grade will
be directly influenced by the grade their charge gets.

Johanna raises her hand.

Comment.

JOHANNA

Yes?

ERIC

JOHANNA

It’s the first day of school, Eric...Don’t you think this is a bit too much to do to start the year off?

KRISTY
She’s right, this would have to get the approval of several teachers, administrations, and—

ERIC
They are next on my list. I am volunteering myself as chief guinea pig to do this and if there are no more questions, let’s vote.

Monty raises his hand.

MONTY
I would like to propose we move this idea into the next phase.

NICK

Second.

ERIC

It has been properly moved and seconded that we go on to the…um, next step. All in favor say: Aye.

THE COUNCIL

Aye.

ERIC

Motion passes. Are there any other orders of business?

JOHANNA

No.

NICK

It’s the first day of school, Eric.

JOHANNA
I move that we adjourn this meeting so we can all get back to our classes, despite how depressing
they may be right now.

CONTINUED: (2)

KRISTY Second.

ERIC
Properly moved and seconded. Meeting adjourned. Thank-you all.

Eric runs out of the room. INT. PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE
Mr. Cain’s office is lined with bookshelves, a banner with “RHS” on it and a large desk. Mr. Cain sits behind the desk as Eric glances around the room.

MR. CAIN
And when did you want to start this?

ERIC
As soon as we have someone who needs the help.

MR. CAIN
Let me get back with you on it, Eric. I need to look this over. See me later in the day, say seventh period?

ERIC
Do you think it shows promise?

MR. CAIN
It’s a wonderful idea.

He slides the papers back to Eric

MR. CAIN (CONT'D)
Wish we could have started it last year when it was proposed. Again, let me get back with you on it. It’s close to third period and I have a few meetings to attend to.

ERIC
Thank-you for the vote, sir.

They shake hands.

MR. CAIN Anytime, Mr. Stradlin.

Eric leaves the office.

EXT. SCHOOL--NOON HOUR

A chime rings out and students file outside the High School. Eric and Jason walk out a second later.
JASON You did what?

ERIC
I proposed a tutor program.

JASON
Dude, it’s the first day.

ERIC
I need something to take my mind off of her, Jason. If I’m bogged down in work, even if it’s someone else’s--I’ll feel better.

They stop walking.

JASON
I’ll let you do all my homework for me, save you the trouble.

ERIC Not really.

Walking continues.

JASON
Nice rousing speech...what happened to the one you were going to say that had the joke about Davenport?

ERIC
Felt like crap this morning. Didn’t feel like--

JASON
--Which is why you didn’t go to English I assume. Hey, these things pass.

ERIC
Yeah, sure they do.

JASON Soon, you’ll be thinking...”whatever happened to what’s-her-name?”

ERIC
I doubt anything, or anyone, is going to make feel better.

Jason stops walking and looks at Eric.

JASON
I can tell you how to feel better.

ERIC
Hmmm?

Jason moves his hand in front of Eric’s face.

JASON Forget about her!

ERIC
I can’t do that.

JASON
Sure you can...Incidentally, Aimee’s free.

ERIC
YOU go out with her then.

JASON
Just trying to help you.

ERIC
I’m doing all right.

JASON
You’re not putting up much of a front.

ERIC
What, do I have it written on my face or something? Is there a mark of “pathetic” across my forehead?

Some other students look at him and then turn back to their own conversations.

They continue walking to the store.

ERIC (CONT'D) So, Aimee’s free, eh?

JASON
Yeah, you should ask her out.

HIGH SCHOOL BALCONY

Eric leans on the railing and looks at the PE class below. He sees AIMEE HEIN playing volleyball down below.

ERIC
Maybe. Maybe he’s right. If I ask
Aimee out I--

He walks down the stairs but stops halfway.

ERIC (CONT'D) She’d never go out with me though...but I’ll never know until..

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--AFTERNOON

Jason runs down the steps to his car. INT. CAR
Eric sits in the passenger’s side and writes in his notebook. He scribbles out: “WHY!” and “what do I do?” all over a sheet of paper, until the paper begins to rip. Jason does not
notice before Eric closes the book.

Jason opens the driver’s side and slams the door closed.

JASON
I can’t believe this crock of crap.

Hmm?

ERIC

Eric looks up form his notebook.

JASON
It’s the first day. The first friggin’, frickin’ day and I have three assignments in Algebra Two. Three! Mr. Wilson’s a sadist.

ERIC Can’t be that bad.

JASON
Gets worse: English and a chemistry paper--it’s the first damn day of school and I have chem! We’re
going to have a cram session, at your house, of course. Let’s get the preparations.

ERIC

You mean?

JASON

Yep. Gotta get the food.

Jason turns the engine over and they drive out of the parking space and onto the road.

INT. GROCERY STORE--THIRTY MINUTES LATER

The guys walk into the same store they were in nine hours earlier.

JASON
So, did you get your tutor thing started?

ERIC
Mr. Cain was in a meeting I haven’t talked to him since this morning.

JASON
Bummer. Ok be right back man. Think of something to get.

ERIC
I’ll be over at the deli.

JASON
Be right there with you.

Jason and Eric split up, with Jason going down the candy aisle and Eric walking to the deli case.

He looks down at the foods, picks up a sandwich and then places it down when he hears a voice behind him.

REBEKAH Feeling better?

Eric turns around to see the same girl from earlier

ERIC
Umm, yeah, yes, thank you.

REBEKAH

Good.

ERIC

And how was your day?

REBEKAH
One day it will get better.

ERIC

What will?

REBEKAH

ERIC. Oh.

My day. Everyday

WOMAN’S VOICE

Becky!

Both teens look behind them to see a rather large women, LAURA, age 39, yell in their direction.

LAURA
Becky! Get over here!

REBEKAH (to Eric)
Maybe I’ll see you again.

ERIC Yeah, maybe.

LAURA Becky, now!

Rebekah walks away from Eric, turning around every few feet-- each time connecting right with Eric’s eyes--until she meets up with the woman and turns the corner. Jason walks up from behind, surprising him.

JASON
You got your heart set on something?

ERIC
Yeah...I mean, no, can’t decide.

JASON There’s always pizza.

Eric reaches down and picks up a double-pack of pizza.

ERIC Sounds good.

JASON

Pepperoni?
Combo. Cool.

ERIC JASON

INT. ERIC’S HOUSE--KITCHEN--AN HOUR LATER

Jason sits on the counter as Eric takes a pizza out of the oven and places it on the island in the middle of the kitchen.

JASON
So, you’ve thought about asking her yet?

Aimee?

ERIC

Eric takes a roller-blade from out of one of the drawers and hands it Jason.

Yeah.

JASON

Jason cuts huge slices into the piece.

ERIC
I think I will.

JASON
Really?

Jason hops off the counter and grabs two plates from a cabinet.

Eric nods.

JASON (CONT'D)
You two have a lot in common.

ERIC You think so?

JASON
Oh yeah. So, how you gonna ask her?

ERIC
I thought maybe I’d get her a flower, I don’t know, write a poem or something.

JASON
The romanticism thing...I suppose that might work.

Eric throws half of the pizza onto one plate and the other half on the second plate.

INT. LIVING ROOM

The two walk into the living room. Eric sits on the floor, in front of a coffee table, where he sets his plate down. Jason sits down on the couch and places his plate down on the same table.

Eric then gets up and walks back to the kitchen

ERIC (from kitchen)
What do you want to drink?

JASON
Pepper?

Jason takes a bite of his pizza and burns his mouth on the cheese.

ERIC (from kitchen)
Got it.

Eric walks in with two sodas. He opens one and hands it to
Jason.

He immediately drinks it.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I suppose there’s your subject for your chem paper. You okay?

JASON
Yeah. Dude, burned my mouth.

Eric opens his soda and takes a drink. He then opens his
English book and scans the first few lines of text.

JASON (CONT'D) Did you see Richard?

ERIC

No.

JASON

Man, he was all wasted-up. Don’t know what he was smoking all summer.

Eric nods as he continues to read.

Jason props his English book up on his chest and reads the same page as Eric does.

ERIC
What should I do with all of my pictures of her?

Jason doesn’t look up from his book.

JASON
Dartboard--we’ll go get some darts tomorrow.

Eric sighs.

JASON (CONT'D)
They’re not going to do you any good to keep them. Just going to make you depressed each time you look at them.

ERIC
Yeah.

The front door opens up. Eric gets up to see who it is. INT. FRONT HALLWAY
MOM, (40) and (DAD), 42, walk into the front room.

MOM
Hi, Eric, Jason, how was your first day?

Okay.

ERIC

Eric’s dad closes the door behind him.

MOM
You decide to eat without us?

Eric shrugs his shoulders.

DAD

Homework?

Some.

ERIC

Eric walks back into the living room, his parents follow.

INT. LIVING ROOM

MOM
On the first day?

JASON Tell me about it.

MOM
Hello, Jason. How was your day?

JASON
I’m ecstatic, so much that I can’t wait until the end of the year.

DAD (to Eric)
Where did you go this morning?

MOM
Why were you up so early?

ERIC
I went to the airport.

MOM
Why?

Eric sits down in front of the coffee table again. His father leaves the living room and into the kitchen. His mom stops at the doorway and looks at him.

ERIC Samantha left today.

MOM
I didn’t know she was leaving. Weren’t you two going out?

Jason looks toward Eric for a second and then back to his book.

ERIC
Yes, mom, we were.

MOM
Well, I’m glad to see that you two were able to see each other one more time, she was such a nice girl.

She exits to the kitchen.

JASON
You never told them you were going out with her?

ERIC
I did, many times.

JASON
Teenage love--just a sliver next to nothing in the eyes of a parent.

ERIC Shut-up and read.

EXT. ERIC’S HOUSE--THE NEXT MORNING

Jason drives up and honks the horn. Eric walks out of the house and gets in.

JASON
Took you long enough.

ERIC
You just got here.

JASON Yeah, yeah--

Jason looks behind him and backs up.

JASON (CONT'D)
But, I was going to be there early today.

Why?

ERIC

JASON

Try to plead to Dr. Norby about the chemistry paper.

He floors the accelerator and drives onto the road.

ERIC
You didn’t finish?

JASON
Dude, I didn’t even begin. I was working on Algebra until one am.

Ouch.

ERIC

JASON

You look well rested.

ERIC
Yeah, right. I spent all night putting everything that reminded me of Sam in a box.

JASON
So, you can one day look through it and see all that might have been? Told you not to do that.

ERIC
I can’t just throw it all out.

JASON
Just remember, Aimee. Find Aimee today.

Eric nods.

ERIC
You really think I have a chance?

JASON
Sure, like I said, you two are like on the same level.

EXT. CAR

Jason accelerates faster down the gravel road and into the distance.

INT. MR. CAIN’S OFFICE--AN HOUR LATER Eric stands in front of Mr. Cain’s Desk.
MR. CAIN
Sorry to delay our meeting until today.

ERIC
It’s okay. To be honest, I’m surprised that it was considered so quickly.

MR. CAIN
We also have a student for you.

Eric nods.

ERIC
Really? When do we begin?

MR. CAIN
Mrs. Jorgensen will be taking care of all the details. You’re to meet with her this afternoon.

ERIC
Thank-you. This will work well.

MR. CAIN
I think so too. Of course, later on in the year, it will be more prevalent--but for now, let’s see how you come out. You are aware
that you will be expected to document all of your studies for Mrs. deLaubanfels?

ERIC
Thank you again, I uh, better get ready for third.

MR. CAIN
Of course.

Eric walks out of Mr. Cain’s office and into the hallway.

ERIC (to himself)
Yes!

INT. HALLWAY

Eric runs right into Aimee Hein as she is hurrying from her class. Her textbook slams to the floor before her.

AIMEE

Ow.

Sorry.

ERIC AIMEE

It’s okay, I--

ERIC
No, it’s my fault, I’ll get it, I--

Eric bends down and picks up her book. Aimee doesn’t look up to him as she tries to pick them up herself.

AIMEE

Thank-you.

ERIC

Where are you rushing off to?

AIMEE
To third period, I--

From behind her, a guy comes up. He is about seventeen years old.

You okay?

GUY

AIMEE

Oh yeah, fine, I. (to Eric)
You don’t have to do--

Eric hands her textbook to her.

ERIC No problem.

They walk away together with nothing more to say to Eric.

ERIC (CONT'D) (whisper)
Of course it works out like this.

Eric’s smile slowly falls away.

INT. CLASSROOM--AFTERNOON

Mrs. Jorgensen’s classroom is sparsely decorated. A list can be seen on her chalkboard with a number of names on it. ERIC walks in as Mrs. Jorgensen, age 60, sits down at her desk.

MRS, JORGENSEN Hello, Eric.

ERIC Hello, Mrs. J.

MRS. JORGENSEN What can I help you with?

ERIC
Mr. Cain said that you’d--

MRS. JORGENSEN Oh yes, the tutoring…yes

Mrs. Jorgensen puts on her glasses, which are hanging from a chain around her neck.

MRS. JORGENSEN (CONT'D) Rebekah Anne Bettencourt, she’ll be your student.

Eric hastily writes down the name on the corner of a piece of paper.

And here--

MRS. JORGENSEN (CONT'D)

She grabs a textbook from her bottom drawer.

MRS. JORGENSEN (CONT'D) Here is a textbook.

Thank you.

ERIC

MRS. JORGENSEN

What made you decide to do this, Eric?

ERIC
I thought I could help others, you know?

MRS. JORGENSEN
I’ll have her meet you in the library at 12:50 tomorrow.

ERIC
Great, and I’ll look over the book and we’ll work it from there. Thank- you.

MRS. JORGENSEN You are welcome.

Eric walks out of the room and down the hallway. INT. HALLWAY
He passes by several classrooms as he walks down the hall. As he passes by one room he is nearly struck by a notebook that flies out of the room. A girl, RENEE, comes out of the classroom, giggling.

RENEE Oops, sorry.

She runs behind him and grabs the notebook.

Eric looks back at her for a second before opening the doors and leaving the building.

As he leaves, REBEKAH and another girl, JENNIFER, step out of the classroom.

REBEKAH What happened?

JENNIFER
You almost smacked that guy.

Rebekah looks at Eric as he walks out of the building. She takes a step toward him as Renee tap her on the shoulder

RENEE
Your notebook, Rebek.

REBEKAH
Thanks.

The three girls walk back into the classroom. Rebekah steps back into the room as she continues to look down the hall.

INT. GYM--MINUTES LATER

Jason is in the gym, shooting hoops when Eric walks up to him.

JASON
Hey Strad, how’s it going?

ERIC Jason, a second?

JASON
Sure man.

Jason shoots the ball once more and then walks to the side.

JASON (CONT'D) What? Oh...what I said about Aimee...forget it she’s--

ERIC
I figured that out.

JASON Sorry bout that.

ERIC
It’s okay. If I’m destined to be a lonely person then fine. After all, Ernest Hemingway didn’t need anybody.

Eric starts to walk out of the gym. Jason follows him
INT. HALLWAY--CONTINUED JASON
Didn’t Hemingway cut off his ear?

ERIC
That was Van Gogh--and he gave it to a girl he loved.

JASON
What a great Hallmark card idea: Let me take you around the world, my dear; you have a piece of my heart, now take a bit of my ear. Splash!

ERIC
Whatever, but that’s how I’m going to take life now...by myself.

Eric begins to feed coins into the coke machine.

JASON
So that’s it then? Samantha dumps you and you become reclusive?

ERIC
Better to live the life of a hermit than a love struck fool.

JASON
You need to write that down.

Eric slams the button for coke, but nothing comes out.

ERIC
No, what I need is to get starting on my tutoring--fill my mind with something else than....than...

JASON

Sex?

ERIC

Love, lust, liking....damn it, where’s my coke?

Eric slams the machine again.

Jason puts in another nickel and hits the button again. A can slams to the bottom of the machine. Jason then bows and walks back to the gym.

Eric opens the soda, the cola sprays all over him. He sighs and then walks away.

INT. UPPER BALCONY

Eric stands against the railing, over-looking the gym floor below. His backpack slung over his shoulder.

ERIC
If I jumped now...how long would be before I’d bleed to death? Maybe if I timed it right, I could slam my head on the water fountain...double impact.

He steps away from the railing and walks towards the staircase.

EXT. SCHOOL--AFTER SCHOOL

Eric meets up with Jason at the front door. The two walk down to Jason’s car.

JASON His name is Paul.

ERIC
Who’s name is Paul?

JASON
The guy with Aimee.

ERIC
Should I congratulate him?

JASON
Just thought I’d tell you.

Jason unlocks the doors and both guys climb in.

ERIC
Well, as I said before, I’m standing my ground. I’m not going to see anybody. I can’t be hurt if I don’t get involved.

JASON Your life, Strad.

Jason starts the car and pulls out of the high school. He turns the wheel sharply, nearing missing three girls who are walking behind. They are the same three girls that Eric had seen earlier in the day.

Jason leans out and looks behind him.

JASON (CONT'D) Get out of the road!

One of the girls, RENEE, flips him off. Eric looks behind him and thinks he sees someone he’s seen before, REBEKAH.

JASON (CONT'D)
You wish!

Jason shifts into drive and pulls away.

JASON (CONT'D) Pre-teen bitch.

Eric looks in the side mirror at the girls. Rebekah looks back at him in the reflection.

INT. ERIC’S ROOM--EARLY EVENING

Eric’s walls are bare, as a lot of it was devoted to Samantha-
-and those pictures are now down. He walks over to his desk and sits down in front of television. He then reaches over and flips the switch on a white box, the television comes on to reveal a videogame: “Mortal Kombat”

He carelessly moves the stick left and right, not really caring what happens. Eric throws the game controller down. He stares at his reflection in the television for a second.

ERIC (whispered)
Why do I still think about you?

He turns off the game and moves over to his desk. He then takes out the last picture of Samantha that he has: a picture of the two of them. He hastily destroys the picture: rips it into small pieces and then throws them into the air.

He then sits back down at his desk and opens the English book he was given and begins writing in the margins.

ERIC (CONT'D)
Well, Rebekah, let’s hope you’re a failure at English.

EXT. HOUSE--NIGHT

Eric begins to throw a medium-sized cardboard box into the trash. He stops for a second then goes ahead and dumps it.

INT. CLASSROOM--THE NEXT DAY

Eric sits in the back of his English class, reading from two different books, he isn’t paying attention.

MRS. BALUM

Uh, Eric?

ERIC

(no emotion) Yes, Mrs. Balum?

MRS. BALUM
Would you mind explaining to the class what the author of the story was talking about?

ERIC Loneliness, Mrs. Balum

MRS. BALUM

How so?

ERIC

No one is around him, everyone is gone--he is remembering all the good times, or what might have been, now that no one else is around.

MRS. BALUM Well, very good, but, I’d
appreciate it if you paid attention in class. Please, Eric?

ERIC
Yes Ma’am.

Mrs. Balum turns and starts to walk back to the front of the room.

JASON (whispered)
Nice save, did you read the story?

ERIC (whispered)
I’m living it.

INT. GRADE SCHOOL LIBRARY-AFTERNOON

Eric walks into the grade school library with his folder and a textbook. He looks around the room and then sees a girl at a table. He makes the connection of who she is: the girl he has seen a few times already, Rebekah.

ERIC
Hello, Rebekah...Becky, right?

REBEKAH
Rebekah. No one calls me Becky except for my step-mother.

ERIC
Okay, Rebekah. I’m Eric.

Eric sits down on the other side of the table from her.

REBEKAH
It’s nice to see you again.

ERIC
Thanks. Let’s begin, shall we?

REBEKAH

Sure.

ERIC

So, you're having trouble in
English?

He taps the cover of the book with his pen as Rebekah nods.

REBEKAH
Not really, well, not yet...I just think that Mrs. J doesn’t really likes me.

How so?

ERIC

REBEKAH

I don’t know for sure, but, isn’t it a little strange that on the second day of school, I’d be given a tutor?

ERIC
I see your point.

REBEKAH
Not that I don’t mind it. I mean it gets me out of her class, maybe I can learn more from you.

ERIC
Well, what we’re doing is a tutoring session--designed as a work study. The grade you get will reflect upon me.

REBEKAH
So, if I fall asleep and don’t learn anything...?

ERIC Then I fail too.

REBEKAH
I see. So it’s kind of like a relationship?

Eric looks at his watch.

ERIC
Well, umm, we-we have a limited amount of time so let’s begin.

She leans toward him.

REBEKAH
Tell me a bit about yourself, Eric.

ERIC
Umm, I mean, let’s begin on the book--

REBEKAH
We will. I just thought that maybe we’d get to know each other a bit more, be a bit friendly, instead of the teacher-student thing.

ERIC
I’m a junior, sixteen. Umm...

REBEKAH
What kind of music are you into?

ERIC
Doesn’t matter, all types.

REBEKAH
What do you like to do for fun?

ERIC
Reading, listening to music, writing poetry.

REBEKAH You’re a poet?

ERIC

A little.

REBEKAH

Maybe we can share a poem or two.

Eric opens the book to a page that is marked with a clip.

ERIC
Sure. Let’s go on to page twenty- three, we’ll skip the first few sections and begin with the short story, “The Power of One”

Rebekah opens her textbook and glances at Eric for a second. His eyes glance away from his page turning to see her, but he then returns his consciousness back to the book.

EXT. SCHOOL--AFTER SCHOOL

Eric stands next to Jason’s car.

JASON Strad, how’d it go?

ERIC
Good, I feel all right. Our first day went well, I even got to assign homework.

JASON You’re harsh, Strad.

They get into the car.

ERIC
No, she’s very astute, very into it.

She?

JASON

ERIC

Yeah, her name’s Rebekah.

JASON
Really? What did you talk about?

ERIC Nothing really.

JASON
Hmm, well, if grilling junior high kids with English makes you happy, Strad...

ERIC
I’m going to work on some lessons over the weekend.

JASON
The fun doesn’t end with you, does it?

ERIC
This is going to be great, and nothing is going to go wrong with this.

Jason nods as he starts the engine. INT. REBEKAH’S HOUSE
Rebekah walks into her home, slips her shoes off and turns on the light in the living room. The house is small and sparsely furnished. She walks down the hallway, on bare wood floors,
to her room. There is no one else at home.

INT. BEDROOM

Rebekah’s room has only enough room for a small bed, a dresser, and a small closet. She places her backpack on the floor and walks to her dresser, opens the top drawer and takes out a large, tattered notebook. She then sits down on her bed and begins to write on a blank page of the notebook,
slowly. She continues to write until she hears the front door open.

Rebekah? INT. LIVING ROOM

MALE VOICE

Rebekah’s father, DANIEL BETTENCOURT, age 44, walks in.
Daniel wears a plaid flannel shirt and has a cigarette in his mouth. He kicks Rebekah’s shoes away from the side of the door.

Rebekah walks in to the living room.

REBEKAH

Yes?

DANIEL

Pick your shoes up, put them in your room.

She nods and picks up her shoes. Daniel walks into the kitchen and looks at the sink, which has three small plates in it.

DANIEL (CONT'D) Why aren’t the dishes done?

REBEKAH
I just got home from school, dad.

He points to the sink as Rebekah walks into the kitchen.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
Can I do it later? I have homework.

DANIEL
Just clean it up, and then you need to gather up all the clothes around the house.

REBEKAH But Laura--

DANIEL Just do it, Rebekah.

He walks out of the kitchen and into the living room where he sits down on the couch and presses a button on a remote control.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Rebekah walks by him, gathering clothes without saying a word. The sound of a washing machine can be heard a few seconds later. She then walks by him again, on her way back to her room.

DANIEL
Have you started on the bathroom yet?

What?

REBEKAH

DANIEL

The bathroom, it’s a mess.

REBEKAH I didn’t do it.

DANIEL Go clean it up.

REBEKAH
Dad, I--

Now!

DANIEL

Rebekah nods her head and walks back to the hallway.

Daniel stares blankly at the television—it doesn’t turn on.

DANIEL (CONT'D) Damn life…damn house.

He rises out of the chair and walks to his room. INT. BEDROOM
The master bedroom. Disorganized and chaotic. Daniel walks to the dresser and opens the top drawer. He pulls out a small
bag and then sits on the bed.

INT. KITCHEN--TWO HOURS LATER

Daniel sits at the table with the newspaper as his wife, Laura, unloads the clothes dryer.

Rebekah enters the kitchen and sees a mess on the counter that wasn’t there earlier.

DANIEL
What have you been doing?

REBEKAH My homework.

DANIEL

You done?

Yes.

REBEKAH

LAURA (to Rebekah)
Did you wash the clothes?

REBEKAH

Yes.

Why?

LAURA

DANIEL
I told her to, Laura.

Laura walks over to the table.

LAURA Look at this.

She shoves a pink-streaked blouse at Rebekah.

REBEKAH

I’m sorry.

DANIEL

What? What is the problem?

LAURA
This is one of my work shirts, Becky. And you ruined it.

DANIEL Let me see it.

She flings it to Daniel.

LAURA It’s garbage now

REBEKAH

I’m sorry.

LAURA

You’re always sorry, Becky, but you’re always doing something wrong.

REBEKAH
I am not, it was an accident, I
didn’t even want to wash the-

DANIEL
Rebekah, go to your room.

REBEKAH But dad, I didn’t--

DANIEL
Just go!

Rebekah runs out of the kitchen but stops at the door to the hallway.

INT. KITCHEN

Laura picks the shirt up from the table and throws it into the trash.

LAURA
Danny, I don’t know how to handle that kid...what is her problem?

She sits down next to him.

DANIEL
Takes after her mother too much. Can’t throw her out.

Laura mutters unintelligently and sits back down at the table.

INT. HALLWAY

Rebekah lowers her head and slinks back to her room. INT. LIBRARY--MONDAY AFTERNOON
Eric enters the library, but Rebekah isn’t there. He looks around for her, but she shows no sign.

He sighs and is about to walk out of the room when the
LIBRARIAN taps him on the shoulder.

LIBRARIAN

Excuse me?

Eric turns to her.

LIBRARIAN (CONT'D)

Are you looking for Rebekah?

ERIC
No, I mean, yes, yeah.

LIBRARIAN
She’s in the room off to the right, over there.

The librarian points to a room on the other side of the library.

Eric nods and walks to the open door. INT. STUDY ROOM
Rebekah sits at the table, reading her book.

ERIC
What are you doing in here?

REBEKAH
The librarian told me we should be in here, so we won’t disturb others. Like anyone else really cares how loud we get.

Eric closes the door behind him.

ERIC
How was the assignment?

REBEKAH
Not bad, I had all weekend to look it over.

She sits up and closes her book.

ERIC
Me too, so why don’t we discuss it a bit?

REBEKAH
What do you want to know?

He sits down and then sets his textbook on the table.

ERIC
What did the story tell you?

REBEKAH

To hope.

For what?

ERIC REBEKAH

For a better tomorrow.

Why?

ERIC

REBEKAH

Because, if I, like the main character, want more than what I have in my life. No one wants to be alone.

Eric nods at this as the words hand heavy on him.

ERIC
Okay, let’s do this: write down
what you thought, how it applies to you.

REBEKAH
How long does it have to be?

ERIC
A paragraph or two.

She nods as she opens the book and her notebook. She begins to write just as Eric begins to write some notes down.

REBEKAH
Can I ask you a question?

ERIC

Sure.

REBEKAH

What happened?

ERIC
What happened what?

He sets his pen down.

REBEKAH
The other day, when you were on the sidewalk...What had happened
between you and--

Eric sets his pen down and leans back in his chair. She looks back to him.

ERIC
Her name was Samantha.

REBEKAH
Had you been together long?

ERIC Almost two years.

REBEKAH
I’m sorry.

ERIC
She left me a letter, a poem--badly written--but it was a letter
telling me that we were over.
(MORE)

ERIC (CONT'D)
She even wrote down the flight
number, knowing full well what I’d do.

Eric nods.

REBEKAH
You went to the airport and tried to talk to her?

Rebekah leans back in her chair and shyly looks up at him.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
Do you still think about her?

ERIC Trying not to.

Rebekah nods as Eric goes back to writing in his notebook.

REBEKAH
I’ve never had that experience.

ERIC
You don’t want it.

REBEKAH What if I did?

ERIC What? Depression?

REBEKAH
No, love.

Eric stops writing and looks at her. They both lock eyes for a moment.

A bell chimes off. EXT. BUILDING
Eric opens the door and waves to her.

He walks outside and walks toward the high school. A few seconds later he turns to see Rebekah still standing at the door. Their eyes meet for a second--until she turns and runs from the door. Eric turns back around and continues toward the high school.

He stops walking for a moment and looks back to the door. She stands there again.

INT. HALLWAY

Jason runs up from behind Eric, jumps up and plants his arm on Eric’s shoulder--hurdling himself up into the air.

ERIC
How’s the day, Jason?

JASON
Better than last week man, yours?

ERIC Doing good.

The two walk down the hallway. Jason goes to his locker, takes out a book and a gigantic notebook. He then walks down the hallway with Eric.

JASON
You know I am about to take a chemistry test?

ERIC

Already?

JASON

Yeah, already. I’m ready to die
from all of this. I had two choices to take this year: psychology or chemistry. I took chem. How stupid was I? I could be talking about masks and hidden id’s but, no, I have to learn projects like “the
big picture: how it’s all made up“. I’m ready to shred this book and tell the guy who discovered the
atom where he can shove it. The big picture my ass.

The guys part ways. INT. CLASSROOM
Eric walks into Mrs. Jantz’s Home Ec. class. He walks to the corner of the room and stands before MRS. JANTZ, age 46.

ERIC
What do we have today?

MRS. JANTZ
We have photocopies to make.

How many?

This many.

ERIC

MRS. JANTZ

She sets a folder on the desk. Eric’s eyes widen at what she sets down: fifty different sheets of paper.

ERIC

Okay.

MRS. JANTZ

Double sided, fifty copies each...and, I hear the copier is broken, so you’ll have to go up to the grade school.

Eric picks up the folder.

MRS. JANTZ (CONT'D)
Let me know if there’s any issue with you up being up there.

Eric nods and walks out of the classroom. INT. HALLWAY
Eric walks down the hall and just about turns the knob on a door when Renee and Jennifer spot him.

RENEE

Hey!

Eric spins around.

Yes?

ERIC JENNIFER

Are you going out with Rebekah?

ERIC

What?

RENEE

Eric, Right?

Eric walks back to them. Both girls giggle.

JENNIFER
You’re name’s Eric, right?

Yes.

ERIC

RENEE

How old are you?

ERIC

Sixteen.

RENEE

Are you going out with Rebekah?

ERIC
I’m helping her with her English

JENNIFER
You’re not you going out with her?

ERIC

No.

RENEE

Do you like her?

The girls move closer to him.

ERIC
Yes, I like her, but--

JENNIFER
Would you go out with her? She wants you to.

ERIC
Well, I--

A TEACHER, from the other end of the hallway calls out.

TEACHER
Renee! Jennifer! Get back here, now!

The girls both run back, Renee turns around.

RENEE She likes you!

Eric has a blank look on his face as his copies fall to the floor.

INT. ERIC'S ROOM--NIGHT

Eric sits at his desk, reading Rebekah’s essay. An unknown song plays from his stereo in the background.

ERIC
Like Micheals of the story, I have never felt alive within my family...there, there are holes in my family life that I never share with others; I hide them, I do really good at this, sometimes fooling myself. I wake up though, and I know that it's only a dream that life is better. But, if I am to overcome my mountain, as Micheals overcame his, I must try...

Eric gets up and walks over to his bed, he sits up--resting up against the wall. As he reads, Rebekah's house can be seen.

INT. BETTENCOURT HOME

Daniel stands in front of Rebekah, he yells at her and then slapss her across the face.

She stares at him, with no expression on her face as he continues to yell at her and then slap her again, on the opposite cheek. Daniel then yells right into her face, the veins in his neck almost bursting, until he slaps her one
more time, his handprint on her face. His eyes seem devoid of life.

ERIC VO
If Micheals can fight the mountain and reach his love on the other side? Is there a reason why I can't? I know that there has to be someone there for me, if I try to get there, maybe I'll see
him...maybe I'll have the love I've missed all of my life...the love I've never known.

INT. ERIC'S ROOM—CONTINUED

Eric drops the essay and looks blank for a moment. He walks over to his desk, takes out a notebook and begins writing.

INT. STUDY ROOM--THE NEXT DAY

Eric walks into the study room; empty. He walks around the room and then back out into the library. She’s still not there. He leaves the room.

INT. HALLWAY

Renee stands next to the door.

RENEE

Hi

Hello.

ERIC

RENEE Looking for Rebekah?

ERIC

Yes.

RENEE

He nods.

I haven’t seen her, so I guess she’s not at school today.

RENEE (CONT'D) Do you want her address?

ERIC
No, thanks anyway.

He continues to walk down the hallway and out the door. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--AFTERNOON
Eric and Jason walk outside the school.

JASON

What's up?

ERIC

Nothing really.

JASON Bad day, eh?

ERIC
Not really, not the best though.

JASON
Well, don’t ask me about my day. I
got hosed on chem.

They get into the Jason's car.

ERIC

Bummer.

JASON

Bummer? It blows. Norby nitpicked every answer I gave.

Jason turns the engine over and pulls the car out.

JASON (CONT'D)
Eh, maybe I should have you help me or maybe I should just shut-up during class and actually listen.

ERIC That could do it.

JASON
So, what happened, your tutor thing not going like you wanted it to?

ERIC
She wasn't there today.

JASON
Did she have a note?

ERIC
Didn't bother to find out.

JASON
She's probably just sick, or skipping, happens to us all.

ERIC
I want to find out, hang on.

Eric gets out of the car and looks across the street to see Renee--standing along with Jennifer and a few other people-- smoking.

Renee?

ERIC (CONT'D)

He waits for a car to pass and then walks across.

Hey, Eric.

RENEE

ERIC

Where does she live?

Jennifer giggles.

RENEE
Right down this road, turn right at the second stop. It‘s a white house.You can’t miss it.

Jason pulls up to the side of the road.

ERIC
White house, second right. Thanks.
He gets back into the car. INT. CAR

JASON Where are we going?

ERIC
Straight.

Jason drives down the road. EXT. REARDAN
They turn the corner and start looking at the houses on both sides.

JASON White house.
Jason pulls the car over to the other side of the street. They get out of the car and now both get a clear view of a
dilapidated home.

JASON (CONT'D) Is this her house?

ERIC
I think so. Renee said you couldn’t miss it.

JASON
No kidding. I’ll wait for you here.

Eric walks across the street, stopping a few feet from the five steps leading up to the porch. He then walks up, tripping on a cracked step, but recovers.

INT. BETTENCOURT HOME A KNOCK at the door.
Rebekah--wearing a pair of shorts and a large t-shirt--walks over to a mirror, sees nothing on her face and then moves to the door.

She pulls the lock back and opens the door.

ERIC

Hello.

Eric.

REBEKAH ERIC

Feeling okay?

REBEKAH Yes, thank you.

ERIC
Well, I--I just thought I’d come by, Renee told me where you live and--

REBEKAH
Oh, would you like to come in?

ERIC
I would, thank you--I

Rebekah looks behind Eric as she sees her father’s car driving down the road. She looks frantic for a moment, but doesn’t let him see it.

ERIC (CONT'D)
But, I can’t-my ride is impatient.

REBEKAH
Then I’ll see you tomorrow?

ERIC
Sure.

He begins to walk backwards down the steps as Rebekah slowly retreats back into the house.

Bye.

REBEKAH

She closes the door as Daniel’s car pulls into the driveway.

Daniel, not pleased to see Eric, gets out of his car and walks to the front of the house. He does not look at him as he speaks.

DANIEL Who are you?

ERIC
Eric.

He walks up the front steps.

DANIEL

Eric what?

Stradlin.

ERIC

Daniel turns to look at him.

DANIEL
Well, Eric Stradlin, do me a favor and get the hell off my property.

ERIC
Yes sir.

Eric turns back to the car and starts walking.

DANIEL (muttered)
Damn pervert.

Eric stops and turns to see the door slam. Jason walks up to him.
JASON What happened?

ERIC
I think I just met her dad.

JASON
You hit it off well, Strad…just be glad you’re not dating her.

INT. STUDY ROOM--THE NEXT DAY

ERIC sits at the table as REBEKAH walks in.

REBEKAH

Hello.

Hello, I--

ERIC REBEKAH

I’m sorry about my dad, he can be a
jerk.

ERIC
It's okay, I-uh-I liked your essay, very moving.

REBEKAH

Thanks.

ERIC

Can I ask you a question?

Rebekah places her books on the table and sits down.

REBEKAH

Sure.

ERIC

How long have you felt that way?

REBEKAH
I don’t want to talk about it.

ERIC
I'm sorry, I just--

REBEKAH
I hate my life. My mother's dead...away, and my grandparents are not in the best condition either...life sucks, and there's
nothing you can do about it. So, it doesn't matter.

Eric looks at her, speechless

REBEKAH (CONT'D) Let's just get this over with.

Eric sits down at the end of the table and looks at her for a moment before clearing his throat and continuing.

ERIC
Well, I suppose I should read to you my essay, such as it is.

Rebekah doesn't look up as he begins to read.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I can identify with Micheals. At least I know of what he says. I have allowed myself to hide inside
a wall, where nothing can touch me. I do not feel regret, I don’t care about the past, I just know that as long as I hide behind this wall, nothing will harm me and I can go
on like I’m happy.

Rebekah stares at him as he continues to read, her expression lightening with each passing word.

ERIC (CONT'D)
But as Micheals found out, it’s an illusion. Although I would like to believe that it is protecting me, it isn’t. I need to break down the wall and find what I've been missing on the other side.

REBEKAH Nice prose.

ERIC Thank-you, I--

They look at each other for a moment, then Eric walks out of the room.
EXT. GRADE SCHOOL--SECONDS LATER REBEKAH
Eric, wait.

He stops and turns to her.

ERIC
I can’t do this.

REBEKAH
Do what?

Eric walks over to the wall and leans against it.

ERIC
It’s not supposed to go like this.

REBEKAH
You don't hide feelings very well, do you?

He shakes his head

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
I wish I couldn’t hide mine.

She leans next to him looks down to the ground.

ERIC
I try to help people…maybe through them I can help myself.

REBEKAH
Help yourself to what?

ERIC
To forget to take my mind off my problems...if I'm working, then I don't have time to feel miserable.

REBEKAH
Is that why you're helping me, to forget about what happened between you and her?

He looks away from her

ERIC
Started out like that, at least I thought it work like that. But, it’s not...working out like that.

Eric looks at her for a moment, and their eyes lock for a second.

REBEKAH
I know the feeling.

ERIC
I can’t do this anymore. I can’t, I
just can’t.

He runs away from her. Rebekah falls to the ground in silent tears.

INT. RESTROOM

Eric slams into the restroom and goes to the far wall. He leans up to and can clearly be seen crying.

INT. BETTENCOURT HOUSE-AFTER SCHOOL

Rebekah walks into her house and throws her bag against the wall. She then picks it up and walks back to her room.

INT. REBEKAH’S ROOM

Rebekah places the bag in her closet and sits on her bed, silent for a few seconds.

REBEKAH
I don’t know what to think. I would’ve hoped that he would’ve-- would’ve asked me.

She picks up her notebook and opens it, revealing Eric’s name on several pages.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
I felt something when I first saw him, but now I don’t know...I don’t know how he feels about me, I--

She stops talking as the front door opens and slams shut. Startled, she walks into her closet and closes the door, hiding in the corner.

INT. FRONT ROOM

Laura walks into the house. She wears the pink-shaded shirt from the other night.

She walks into Rebekah’s room. INT. BEDROOM
Laura reaches into her pocket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes, but the pack is empty. She pockets the empty pack again and moves to her step-daughter’s dresser, opening the top drawer. She begins to rummage things until she finds what she’s looking for: a small box. The box contains eight
dollars in loose change and Susan B. Anthony’s. She replaces the box and walks out of Rebekah’s room.

The front door closes.

A car engine turns over and drives off.

Rebekah opens the closet and walks over to her dresser. She goes for the small box but stops, knowing that the money is gone.

INT. KITCHEN--EVENING

Daniel and Laura sit at the kitchen table, eating pork chops. Rebekah walks in and immediately goes up to Laura--who is unwrapping a new box of cigarettes.

REBEKAH Why did you take it?

LAURA
Take what?

REBEKAH
My money, all the money I had.

LAURA
I didn’t take any money.

Laura lights the cigarette.

REBEKAH
You bought those with it.

Rebekah points to another pack lying next to Daniel.

DANIEL
She didn’t take any money.

REBEKAH Yes she did, dad.

DANIEL
That’s quite an accusation, Rebekah.

REBEKAH
It’s not an accusation. She did it.

DANIEL
Maybe you should think about this.

Rebekah stutters her answer.

DANIEL (CONT'D)
No, you see we bring in the money
so you can wear clothes and live in this house.
(MORE)

DANIEL (CONT'D)
When you have your own family to
take care of, your own kids to feed then you can talk about money.
Until then, I’d count your blessings.

REBEKAH What blessings?

DANIEL
Are you fed? Clothed? Does someone watch over you?

She looks down.

Yes.

REBEKAH

DANIEL

Again, when you have your own problems to worry about, then you can talk. Until then, you’re our problem.

Rebekah looks at them as they continue eating. Rebekah runs out of the kitchen. Daniel follows her.
REBEKAH OS No, no, no!

An eerie “thud” before silence. INT. BEDROOM
Rebekah lies against her bed, her eyes closed. INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY--THE NEXT DAY
Eric walks into the building, depressed.

Nick yells to him.

Eric! Hmm?

NICK ERIC

NICK
We’ve called a meeting this afternoon concerning the game on Friday. Right after lunch, in the library, okay?

Eric nods and continues on.

Jason walks up to him and slams Eric on the shoulder.

JASON
Drove yourself today, Strad?

ERIC
Yeah

JASON
Mind telling my next time so I
won‘t have to wait?

ERIC
Sorry, just having a lot of things on my mind now.

JASON What’s the problem?

ERIC
My tutoring thing isn’t working the way I wanted it to.

JASON
Not taking your mind off anything?

ERIC It is, but, I--

JASON
You’re stressing out over being anobody, or you’re gonna become one. think you need a better outlet, howabout paintball?

ERIC
I don’t know, Jason. But I have to apologize to her.

JASON
What? You slip her the tongue?

ERIC
No, we just had a problem yesterday.

JASON
Don’t let it bug you, I think that you should just let this all slide off of you, give yourself a week...hey why don’t you back to work at that video store, they’d let you back in a heartbeat.

Eric walks away as Jason stops and shrugs his shoulders--he doesn’t understand what is going on and chooses to not care.

INT. LIBRARY--AFTERNOON

The student council sits in the library. Nick stands before the council.

NICK
And in this way, we can try to bring more people into watch the games and--

Eric runs into the library and moves to the table, his sudden appearance alarms the group.

ERIC
All in favor in whatever Nick says to do for tomorrow night’s game--

NICK And Pep rally?

ERIC
And rally...signify by saying: “Aye”

Aye.

THE COUNCIL

ERIC

Good, motion passes. Any more business? No? Okay, good. Plan
taken in effect for tomorrow night, at the game. Go Indians!

Eric slams his arm into the door as he leaves the library.

MONTY
Was that correct parli?

Kristy nods.

Johanna shrugs her shoulders as she picks up her notebook.

NICK
Umm, yeah, meeting adjourned.

EXT. SCHOOL--A FEW SECONDS LATER

Eric races to the grade school, ramming his body against the front doors as he needs to pull--not push.

INT. LIBRARY--CONTINUED The library is quiet. INT. STUDY ROOM
He walks to the study room--empty.

ERIC (whispered)

No.

Hey!

RENEE

Renee comes up from behind.

ERIC
Have you seen Rebekah?

RENEE
No, she wasn’t at school today.

Eric places his books on the table, turns around and runs out of the room.

EXT. BUILDING

Eric runs out of the side door of the school and continues to run down the sidewalk.

EXT. STREET

He continues to run. EXT. BETTENCOURT HOUSE
Eric stands on the sidewalk in front of the house. He slowly approaches the front door.

He knocks on the door, lightly.

ERIC
Rebekah, are you there?

INT. ROOM

Rebekah turns to her side. A large welt can be seen on her cheek. She opens her eyes at the sound of the second knock.

ERIC (OS)
Rebekah?
She gets out of bed and walks into the living room. EXT. PORCH

ERIC
I don’t know if you can hear
me…but, I’m sorry for yesterday, I, yes, I do this thing to forget
about her, I thought I could just forget it all if I could fill my time with work…but I know I can’t do that, I can’t live like that…I want you to know—

INT. LIVING ROOM

Rebekah stands a few feet from the door. She slowly lifts her hand to the door.

ERIC (OS) I want to tell you--
She hesitates to open the door. EXT. PORCH

ERIC
I’m sorry for how I’ve acted and I
didn’t mean to hurt you.

He walks backward from the porch and away from the house.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I wish I could tell you I loved you.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Rebekah stares at the floor.

REBEKAH (whispered)
Why won’t you tell me?

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Eric sits in the pit—clutching a pencil--as students pass by. He sees multiple couples and people who smile and laugh as they walk by. The laughing and talking cease as Eric snaps
the pencil and stares blankly ahead.

ERIC
How can I tell her?

INT. ERIC’S ROOM

Eric sits on his bed and looks out the window.

ERIC
I don’t really feel this way, I—I don’t think that way…I can’t think this way, I—

He walks to his desk and looks at the essays from the other day.

REBEKAH (VO)
I know that there has to be someone there for me, if I try to get
there, maybe I'll see him...maybe I'll have the love I've missed all of my life...the love I've never known.

EXT. GROCERY STORE--EVENING

The lights on a truck go out and Eric jumps from the driver’s seat. He walks into the store and goes to the floral department and pulls out a white rose with red accents from one of the coolers.

He walks up to the only register open at this time of night. The CHECKER, in her early thirties, smiles at him.

CHECKER For a girlfriend?

ERIC No, not really.

CHECKER You’re sure?

ERIC No, not really.

He gives her a five.

CHECKER
I’m sure she means a lot to you and she’ll love this.

He looks at the red edges of the white flower as he leaves. INT. HALLWAY AT SCHOOL--MORNING
Eric walks in, and places the flower, hidden in a bag, in his locker. He looks at the petal that can be seen out of the top of the bag and then closes the door.

INT. HALLWAY; JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Rebekah walks into the school, depressed. Renee comes up to her.

RENEE
Where have you been?

REBEKAH
Sick.

Both girls walk down the hallway to Rebekah’s locker.

RENEE
You didn’t miss much.

REBEKAH
I never miss anything, Renee. Nothing ever happens at this school.

RENEE
Hey, that guy you’re seeing...

She opens her locker and throws her backpack in.

REBEKAH
I’m not seeing him, I--

RENEE
He was looking for you yesterday.

REBEKAH
Oh.

RENEE
Just, oh? I thought you liked this guy.

REBEKAH
I don’t care anymore, Renee.

She walks away, out the front door, onto the playground-- leaving Renee confused.

EXT. PLAYGROUND

Rebekah walks across the playground, over to a retaining wall. She leans over the top of the wall, looking down

REBEKAH
If I took a running jump...I could do it, I could make sure the fall would kill me.

She slams her fists down on the concrete.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
Damn life.

She turns back to the grade school and walks toward it. She stops halfway to the door.

REBEKAH (CONT'D)
If I have to find a gun...I will.

INT. LIBRARY--AFTERNOON

Eric sits at the table, with his books and the rose sits next to the books. He glances at his watch and then looks to the clock.

He stuffs the paper back into his binder and grabs the flower and his books.

INT. HALLWAY

Eric steps through the vacant hallway and passes by the darkened Multi-purpose Room. A slow SONG can be heard through the door.

He looks into the room and sees Renee and Jennifer.

He then places his books on the floor and carries the flower into the room.

INT. MULTIPURPOSE ROOM

Eric looks at the kids in the room, all seemingly doing nothing.

Rebekah leans against the far wall, she has her hair in front of her face, and is facing the floor.

ERIC

Hello.

She doesn’t look up.

REBEKAH

Leave me alone.

ERIC
Would you like to dance?

REBEKAH
No, I don’t want to dance, I--

She looks up to see Eric as he hands her the flower.

REBEKAH (CONT'D) What are you doing here?

Eric extends his hand to her and they walk out onto the floor. She moves closer to him and places her hands on his shoulder. He cautiously wraps his hands around her waist.

REBEKAH (CONT'D) Why are you here?

ERIC

For you.

REBEKAH

You came by my house yesterday.

ERIC
I didn’t get to tell you what I
wanted to.

What?

REBEKAH

ERIC

That I love you.

She places her head on his shoulder.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--AFTER SCHOOL

Eric stands next to Jason’s car and waits for Jason to come from the school.

Jason.

ERIC

JASON

Strad, how’s the day been?

ERIC

Wonderful.

JASON

INT. CAR

Really? Come on, I got to get home and then get back here for the game tonight.

The two get in and Jason turns the engine on as Eric fastens his belt.

JASON
Haven’t seen you since this morning. You missed the pep rally.

ERIC
Ehhh, I forgot about the pep rally, I had something else going on.

JASON
Like what?

The car backs out and Jason drives away from the school, down a street parallel to the highway.

ERIC
Busy in the grade school

JASON
Eh-heh. Your project?

Jason reaches into the backseat and pulls out a bottle of
Mountain Dew. He opens it as he makes a turn.

JASON (CONT'D)
By the way, how is that thing with what’s her face? Did you end it or what?

ERIC
Her name is Rebekah.

JASON
Yeah, and how’s it going?

Jason stops at the stop sign as a fleet of buses go by.

ERIC
It’s fine now. In fact, everything’s great. I take back everything I said last week.

They turn onto the highway.

JASON
Hold it, Edgar Allen Poe, what’s with the happy outlook on life?

ERIC
Is it a problem that I feel better?

JASON
Yes, considering the only way you could possibly be this way is either you’re doing meth or you’re going out with someone.

ERIC
It hasn’t gotten that far...well, yeah, unofficially we are I guess.

JASON
What’s the unofficial wording crap for? Either you’re going out or you’re not. It’s like you’re either drunk or you’re not; failed or passed; there’s no freaking middle ground or unofficial-ality or whatever you’re...What‘s her name?

ERIC

Who?

JASON

What’s this chick’s name?

ERIC
Rebekah.

JASON
Rebekah? Wait a minute...THE same one as--How old is she?

Jason takes as a drink from his soda.

ERIC She's thirteen.

Jason drops his soda on the floorboard and just about loses control of the car as he tires to pick up the bottle.

JASON
Are you out of your freaking mind, Stradlin? Thirteen?

What?

ERIC

JASON

She’s thirteen. She’s in junior high, you’re her fricking teacher!

ERIC
Nola’s fourteen and she’s a Junior.

JASON
She’s in High School…remember?

ERIC
So, if she was in ninth grade, it wouldn’t matter?

JASON
Ninth grade is the key here--you: high school man; she, elementary school girl.

ERIC
Is this some sort of unwritten code?

JASON
You’ve gotten yourself into a position. Do you realize they could remove you from position of ASB president?

How?

ERIC

JASON
I don’t know, they got rid of
Nixon, didn’t they?

ERIC
This isn’t anyone else’s business.

JASON
Since when did that matter? People will make it their business. This will make front page. Just because YOU think that there is no problem and just because SHE thinks there’s no problem...you’re both gonna see some problems as soon as people catch wind of this.

ERIC

Why?

JASON

Because people are morons.
Jason takes another drink of his soda. Eric nods.

JASON (CONT'D)
You going to the game tonight?

ERIC

Yes.

JASON

Are you going to be with her?

ERIC

Yes.

JASON

Man, you are just asking for punishment, aren’t you?

ERIC
You know, I thought I could at
least count on you to say that this is good. I would’ve loved to hear you say: “Good, Eric, you found someone—“

JASON
I would if she wasn‘t your student!

EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD--EARLY EVENING.

Jason and Eric get out of the car and begin to walk over to the concessions stand. Their conversation is still going on.

JASON
I think you’re out of your mind.

ERIC
I don’t see the problem.

JASON
Use your other head, Strad.

ERIC
It’s not like that.

JASON
Hey, it’s your funeral.

ERIC
Where do you get these witty one- liners?

Jason looks behind Eric and sees Rebekah. She is wearing a long shirt and jeans. Her hair is parted to the side. Jason drops his jaw a bit but then recovers.

JASON
I just think, I--Hello.

Eric walks over to her and loses his train of thought for a moment and no one says anything until Jason speaks up:

JASON (CONT'D) Jason Naumowicz.

Jason flashes his hand as all three of them continue to walk toward the booth.

REBEKAH Rebekah Bettencout.

JASON
Ah, well, nice to finally meet you.

Rebekah slowly grasps onto Eric’s hand.

JASON (CONT'D) I’m going to begin on the concessions and see what kind of slave labor I have talked myself into. You two have fun.

Jason walks over to the building.

ERIC You look nice.

REBEKAH

Thank you.

ERIC

So, how are you?

REBEKAH Good, thanks, I--

Nick walks up to them. He is in his football uniform.

NICK
What happened to you earlier?

ERIC
I’m sorry, I had a previous, umm, engagement.

NICK
Eh-heh, yeah. Well, we decided to have you do the counting tonight.

Nick hands him a clipboard with several names on it.

ERIC
Counting? Yeah, okay. Let me mark you and me off to start with.

NICK
Johanna and Kristi are over at the other gate. They’ll be there until halftime.

Nick walks away from them.

ERIC
I have no idea on why I’m doing this.

REBEKAH What is it?

ERIC
Some contest that the Student Council is doing...I didn’t pay much attention to it when it was brought up...come to think about it, I didn’t think much about it when I passed it.

They begin walking to the front gates of the football field.

ERIC (CONT'D)
We got a bit before the crowd comes. What do you want to do?

REBEKAH

Come on.

Where?

To talk.

ERIC REBEKAH

He nods as they start walking. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL
Eric and Rebekah sit side by side on the grass.

REBEKAH

Eric?

Yes?

ERIC REBEKAH

I want to ask you something.

Sure.

ERIC

REBEKAH

What do you really think about me?

He turns to her and grips her hand tightly.

ERIC
I think you’re wonderful.

He pauses as she turns around to face him. He looks at her eyes; wide with expression.

He begins to stand up, leading her to do the same.

ERIC (CONT'D)
I just can’t get over how many times I kept seeing you, and, then I just felt that I needed to see you, I wanted to--

Eric moves closer to her and is about to kiss her before she whispers.

REBEKAH
I’ve written poem after poem about someone like you.

ERIC
You haven’t shared any of your poems with me, we’re supposed to--

REBEKAH
My heart holds a secret, one I hold so true. Long I’ve felt to hear the words--I--

They stand, looking at each other for a second, until band music begins to play in the background.

They both look up, listening.

ERIC
The game!

EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD--NIGHT

An announcer tries to give out stats of the team but his voice drowns out by the sound of the pep band.

Eric and Rebekah run up to the gates.
EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD--THIRTY MINUTES LATER REBEKAH

I’m sorry.

ERIC

Oh no, don’t worry, it’s not important--I’ve found a lot of people just by what we‘re doing, walking around.

Rebekah nods as she looks around the crowd. She spies her father several feet in front of them, he doesn’t look their way.

Johanna comes up from the other side of the field.

JOHANNA
I got the other sheets.

ERIC
How many do we have?

JOHANNA
First off, I want to say that I
think this spirit thing is a farce.

ERIC
Why? We all voted for it.

JOHANNA
There are not a lot of people in my class who are in the band, on the team, or are cheerleaders.

ERIC
That would be my class or the seniors.

JOHANNA
Exactly--just so we’re clear on that.

ERIC
Is it my fault that my class participates in everything?

She slaps the papers to him.

JOHANNA
Let’s just say the juniors won and since you’re reading it off the rest of the school can blame you.

ERIC
I have no problem with that.

Johanna turns around and walks back to the field. Eric and
Rebekah follow.

EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD-CONT

Johanna, Eric and Rebekah walk out to where a student stands with a microphone. The teams are leaving the field as the boy hands Eric the microphone. Eric then walks a few feet as he looks down the lists.

JOHANNA (to Rebekah)
Hello, and you are?

REBEKAH

Rebekah.

JOHANNA

Are you new?

REBEKAH

No.

Freshman?

JOHANNA

Rebekah shakes her head as she attempts to look past Johanna, over to Eric.

REBEKAH No, eighth grade.

JOHANNA
Ahhh.

Johanna looks back to Eric.

JOHANNA (CONT'D) How old are you?

REBEKAH
Thirteen.

Johanna squints for a moment.

JOHANNA
Thirteen?

Rebekah nods to her as looks into the crowd and sees her father and Laura. They do not see her.

JOHANNA (CONT'D) Are you and him...?

Yes.

Really?

REBEKAH

JOHANNA

Rebekah nods as Eric joins back them, microphone in hand.

ERIC
Can I get everyone’s attention please? Well, RHS, The votes are
in. For the past week, we have been gearing up school spirit for this game. We had a contest to see which class would show their spirit in attendance to tonight’s game. I would like to congratulate the following class for their overwhelming attendance at
tonight’s game...the Juniors!

There is applause and boos from the crowd--mostly from the high school in the upper classes.

ERIC (CONT'D)
But, everyone did very well, and we’re very excited that Reardan has come out in support for the
Indians. Rally up everyone!

The band begins to play the school’s FIGHT SONG as the cheerleaders call out lyrics to the song.

Eric hands the microphone back to someone else just as
Rebekah pulls him down and kisses him.

Johanna stands aghast for a second.

From the bleachers, Daniel finally notices his daughter--and is furious. He runs down the stairs and tries to confront his daughter on the sideline, with Eric, holding his hand.

DANIEL
Rebekah, what are you doing here?

She doesn’t talk to him, and tries to get Eric to move away.

DANIEL (CONT'D)
Come here.

Rebekah shakes her head.

DANIEL (CONT'D) Eric, is it?

ERIC

Yes sir.

DANIEL

What do you think you’re doing, Eric?

A few people turn to see what is going on.

DANIEL (CONT'D)
You’re using my daughter, aren‘t you?

She takes his hands and motions to walk.

DANIEL (CONT'D)
Rebekah.

EXT. GRADE SCHOOL PLAYGROUND--A FEW MINUTES LATER Eric and Rebekah walk to the swing set.
REBEKAH
I wish I could get away from him…the day you came over, I saw
him drvie up…I wanted so badly that he wouldn’t come home, but--

ERIC

It’s okay.

REBEKAH

I just didn’t you to think I was a little poor girl with bad parents-- which I am.

ERIC
I’d never do that to you.

She sits on the swing, idly swinging back and forth before
Eric begins to push her lightly.

REBEKAH
Quite the story to tell on Monday, isn’t it?

ERIC
Let’s see, kissed by a beautiful girl in front of the whole student body...then having her dad argue about it...almost Shakespearean. And, hey, we’ve let everyone know we’re official.

Rebekah nods as he continues to push her.

REBEKAH
When I’m with you, things are the way I’ve dreamed them to be. I wish everyday could be like this

He stops the swing and moves to the front of the swing. He then crouches down.

ERIC
I have had that dream too.

He stands up, holding onto her hands.

ERIC
And I don’t care what people will think about us together, it’s not their business, it’s not their feelings--it’s ours.

She moves closer to him

REBEKAH I love you.

They embrace.

INT. MALL--SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Eric and Jason walk around the first level of a mall.

JASON
So, Mr. Exhibitionist, what made you decide to do that?

ERIC
It wasn’t my decision.

They step onto an escalator going down.

JASON
Are you telling me it was her idea?

Yes.

ERIC

JASON

Got a wild one, don’t you?

ERIC
She’s not wild, she’s perfect.

JASON
Yes, perfectly illegal--okay, I’ll stop.

Thank you.

ERIC

They walk into an arcade jammed with teenagers and kids.

JASON
Up for a few games?

ERIC
Yeah, let me meet you there, I’m going to go and look at some CD’s for a moment.

Eric points to a music store off to the right of the arcade.

JASON
Okay, catch you in a few.

The guys part ways; Jason goes further into the arcade as Eric walks towards the record store, but then retracts, and instead goes back to the escalator.

INT. MALL

Eric stops in front of a jewelry store and stares at the glass cases in front of the store before walking in.

REBEKAH (VO)
I wish everyday could be like this

INT. JEWELRY STORE

There are a few customers in the store, but the SALESPERSON
behind the counter immediately notices Eric

SALESPERSON May I help you?

ERIC
No, I’m, I’m just looking.

SALESPERSON Anything in particular?

Eric looks at a gold ring in the case before him and places his hand over it.

Eric nods.

SALESPERSON
Oh this one, yes it is beautiful.

SALESPERSON
Yes, and not too expensive I might add.

She unlocks the case and lifts the ring up to Eric.

SALESPERSON Four hundred dollars.

ERIC I’ll take it.

SALESPERSON One moment.

He eyes the small diamond in the band and then looks back at the salesperson.

SALESPERSON
It’s very beautiful. I hope she says yes.

ERIC I hope so too.

Eric continues to look at the band as the clerk places it a small blue box.

INT. ARCADE

The arcade is dark and noisy. Eric weaves through the crowds until he finds Jason, standing on a skee-ball alley, placing the wood balls into the 100 point hole.

Jason steps off the alley as Eric stands at the end, noting the mass pile of tickets.

JASON Where did you go?

ERIC
Just looking around.

JASON
I’ve probably got a thousand tickets.

ERIC
What are you going to do with them?

Jason bunches up the tickets and shoves a pile into Eric’s arms while he takes the other. They both walk over to a counter where there are ridiculous amounts of cheap toys.

An arcade attendant walks up to the other side of the counter.

ATTENDANT May I help you?

JASON
(to attendant)
Yeah, still looking though. (to Eric)
Hey, Eric’s there’s a ring--you could give it to your girlfriend-- call it your engagement.

ERIC Maybe I will.

JASON

What?

ERIC

I’ve thought about getting married, someday.

JASON
Like when, next week?

ERIC
Haven’t thought that far.

JASON
Then, there’s the honeymoon.

ERIC
Why does it always have to go there with you?

JASON Because, it happens.

ERIC
What, love? Marriage?

JASON Teenage pregnancy.

ATTENDANT
I’ll be back. Let me know when you’re ready.

The attendant walks away.

ERIC
Well, yeah, that happens to some.

JASON
Why would you want to be married?

ERIC It’s love, Jason.

INT. MALL--MINUTES LATER

JASON is walking with a bag full of candy and other “stuff” a few steps away from Eric.

JASON
I’ve tried to understand your idea of “love”. Every year you have some sort of crush on somebody, okay, crush is a weak word, but go with
me here--

ERIC
And Sam was a crush?

JASON
No, Sam was your warden, it was like you were in jail.

They stop in front of the same jewelry store.

JASON
Let’s note facts: You commit a crime, you’re arrested, you get an attorney, set before a judge, verdict is rendered, you’re sentenced, and you’re given a number and life without parole.

ERIC
So marriage is like a prison sentence?

JASON
Yes, without the metal toilet. You meet somebody, you fall in love, you buy a ring, you go before a judge, verdict is rendered, you’re sentenced and given a number and life without parole

ERIC
It’s no wonder you don’t have a girlfriend.

They continue walking.

JASON
A girlfriend is one thing, a fiancé is another; AND, you’ve only known her for a week. Granted, sometimes weird things happens and people get so close they get married in no time...but usually they’re older
and--geez why are we talking about this? I feel like I should go rent a tux.

ERIC
One day, you just might.

JASON
The day you get married, or when I hear that you‘re going to get married, I’ll buy you one. Hell, I’ll buy her friggin dress too.

ERIC
Have you ever read Romeo and
Juliet?

JASON
We had to, Strad, in ninth grade.

CONTINUED: (2)

They leave the mall. EXT. PARKING LOT

ERIC

Then you see what I mean?

JASON
What, getting married, she drinking hemlock and you stabbing yourself? Let me inform you about the laws in this state--

ERIC
In the state of Washington you have to have parental consent if you’re under seventeen.

They stop at Jason’s car.

JASON
I don’t want to know why you know that. You’ve been thinking about it, haven’t you?

ERIC

No.

JASON

Liar. You want to be the prince charming, save the girl from the wicked step-mother. Okay, fine, if you were a cartoon.

They both climb in.

ERIC
I’m not trying to do anything like that, I, we--Jason, I really love her and we want to spend the rest of our lives together.

JASON
Did you tell her that?

He nods as Jason starts the car.

JASON
You’re whipped--again!

INT. BETTENCOURT HOUSE

Rebekah sits on the couch, writing in her notebook as Laura storms in, Daniel follows

LAURA
It’s a two dollar bill, Daniel. two goddamn thousand

dollars!

DANIEL

I’ll take care of it.

LAURA
How? We can’t afford this bill. What the hell were you thinking? How long were you going to hold this from me?

DANIEL It’s my card.

LAURA
But we pay for it, Danny. We!

Daniel sits down on the couch, next to Rebekah.

DANIEL

Laura--

LAURA

No, I’m not going to take any excuse you have, Danny, not this time. This bill is--How the hell are we supposed to make our lives any better when you spend our money?

Rebekah tries to ignore their fighting but Daniel takes her notebook and throws it across the room.

DANIEL
Rebekah, go to your room.

She walks across the room, picks up her notebook and walks out of the room, into the hallway.

LAURA
That’s another thing. Every time I want to talk about us, our family, you have to bring her into it.

DANIEL
Laura, look, if she could get married, I’d get rid of her, I’d tell her to go and never come back, but what kind of father would I be if I did that?

INT. HALLWAY

Rebekah looks down at her hand and then walks to her room. INT. ROOM--CONTINUED
She closes the door and sits on her bed, her eyes closed.

REBEKAH (whispered)
I do.

She bows her head down.

EXT. REARDAN HIGH SCHOOL--MONDAY MORNING

Eric and Jason arrive at school to find Rebekah standing before them.

Hola.

JASON

ERIC

How are you doing?

He walks up and kisses her.

JASON Please, save it.

REBEKAH

I’m okay.

ERIC

Come on, I’ll walk with you.

JASON See you later.

ERIC
Yeah.

He takes her hand as they start walking across the school lawn.

REBEKAH
How was your weekend?

ERIC
Oh it was great, I missed you though.

REBEKAH I missed you too.

ERIC
Well, at least we’ll see each other this afternoon.

REBEKAH
I wish you could be in all of my classes.

ERIC
There’s always next year.

REBEKAH
I guess this changes our, wait, won’t they think it rather strange that we’re--

ERIC
Our relationship is not going to interfere with that. I can continue helping you and you’ll still…what does it matter--

REBEKAH If we’re a couple?

They turn the corner up to the other building.

ERIC
If we love each other.

REBEKAH
You make it seem like we’re married.

ERIC
Why, do you want to be?

They stop in front of the junior high school as the bell rings.

REBEKAH
I’ll see you this afternoon. I love you.

ERIC
I love you too.

Renee and Jennifer meet up with Rebekah at the door of the school. Eric returns to the High School.

INT. HALLWAY

Johanna is the first person to meet up with Eric as he walks down the hallway. She stops him in his tracks

JOHANNA We have a problem.

ERIC

What?

JOHANNA

Friday night.

ERIC
What about it? The contest? What? The class gets recognition, nothing more. What?

She walks him over to the side of the hallway.

JOHANNA
Let me rephrase: Damage control.

ERIC

Of what?

JOHANNA

Eric, close to seven hundred people saw you, in plain view, frenching a thirteen year-old.

Eric nods to her.

JOHANNA
It goes a little further actually
If you ask different people.

Eric glances at other students walking down the hallway.

ERIC
I know I’m going to hate to ask this. But what exactly are you hinting?

JOHANNA
Do I really have to tell you?

ERIC
No, I--

Eric sees Mr. Cain approaching. Johanna’s eyes widen.

JOHANNA
Oh my God.

ERIC
Well, the Reardan-Edwall rumor mill is in full swing now, isn‘t? The faculty knows too...a new record.

JOHANNA Are you worried?

ERIC
About what? What’s the worst thing they can do to me?

INT. MR. CAIN’S OFFICE

Mr. Cain closes the blinds as Eric sits down.

MR. CAIN
Do you know why you’re here, Eric?

ERIC Not really.

MR. CAIN
I don’t either, that’s what I’m trying to find out before--

A knock at the door. Mr. Cain answers it.

REBEKAH
Hello, sir. May I speak to you, please.

MR. CAIN
Umm, it may be some time I--

REBEKAH
Please, because it’s about us.

MR. CAIN

Us?

She looks to Eric.

MR. CAIN

You’re Rebekah.

REBEKAH
Yes.

He motions for her to come in. Eric stands up for her. Their eyes immediately note to Mr. Cain something as he sits back down.

MR. CAIN
As principal of this school, I am required by law and as a friend to my students, to keep things under control. Now, I would like to know what is going on.

ERIC

Nothing.

MR. CAIN

Am I correct that there is something between the two of you.

ERIC What do you mean?

MR. CAIN
Eric, she was your student.

Rebekah and Eric look at each other and to him.

MR. CAIN
Yes, effective now. You can no longer tutor her.

REBEKAH
Why?

Eric sighs and hits the back of the chair. He sub-consciously holds Rebekah’s right hand.

MR. CAIN
Because, there has been a trust violated. In a teacher-student relationship, this is unacceptable. Yes, I’ve heard a story going on about the two of you. I personally do not believe in it.

Rebekah looks up to Mr. Cain as he speaks to Eric.

MR. CAIN
As your friend, it doesn’t matter to me what your relationship might be. But, as an educator, as a principal, I have to safeguard the lives of the students on this campus. Eric, you are to go to Mrs. deLaubanfel’s room so we can place you into a class.

REBEKAH
You can’t do that, we--

MR. CAIN
I’m sorry, but this has to be done.

REBEKAH

Why?

MR. CAIN

It’s a law. To be honest, there greater penalties...but at this point, what is said here will stay here.

Yes sir.

ERIC

Rebekah doesn’t reply as she walks out of the office with
Eric.

INT. HALLWAY--CONTINUED

There are a few students, straggling in the hall

ERIC
How did you know to come down here?

REBEKAH
Mrs. J tried to say something to me about Friday night, and she mentioned you, so--

ERIC
Well, from what everyone thinks, we were busy that night.

They walk to the side door and stop.

REBEKAH
I’m sorry. I guess I won’t see you this afternoon, will I?

ERIC
I’ll see you after school. I have a surprise for you.

REBEKAH What is it?

ERIC
I have to show you. Will you meet
me in front of the High School this afternoon?

REBEKAH Right after school?

ERIC
Yes and like we said, it doesn’t matter what people think, nothing will change how I feel about you.

She reaches up to him and kisses him; intened for a second, but it lasts longer.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--AFTERNOON

REBEKAH walks down to the front of the High School. Eric stands at the edge.

Hello.

REBEKAH

ERIC

That word, right here.

She walks over to him.

ERIC
I want to ask you something.

He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out the small box. He then passes it to her.

What?

REBEKAH

Rebekah looks at him, puzzled on why he is acting this way. She takes the lid off the box and exposes a small blue case. Then, she opens the small case, to reveal a gold band.

REBEKAH
It’s beautiful. Are you asking me to...I, I--
You’re, you’re--

ERIC
Yes, I am.

He takes the ring from her hand, kneels down in front of her and slowly places it on her finger.

The others around react in various ways. One GIRL stops and watches.

ERIC
When I first saw you, I felt something. But, I decided to sulk about a thing I could never change. I tried to build up a wall around
my pain, I never wanted to be with anyone--But I kept seeing you and you broke through that wall, right here, on that day. Rebekah Anne, will you marry me?

There is complete silence as Rebekah steps towards him and kisses him on the lips before she whispers:

REBEKAH Yes, I will.

EXT. JASON’S BACK PORCH--EVENING

The Naumowicz home has a concrete half-court constructed in the back. JASON is outside, shooting hoops when Eric wearing slacks, shirt and tie walks on to the court.

JASON Hey, Stradlin.

ERIC

Hey.

JASON

What are decked out for?

ERIC
I‘m meeting Rebekah‘s parents.

JASON
She wants you to meet her parents?

Jason passes him the ball, Eric checks it back.

ERIC
Our other meetings haven’t been very good, so--

JASON
How many gun barrels to you want on your back? It’s not a good idea to get acquainted with your girlfriend’s parents.

Jason shoots and misses the basket; Eric rebounds.

ERIC
I don’t think so.

JASON
I do, but it’s not my ass that’s going to get branded.

Eric shoots the ball, landing the basket.

JASON
You need fourteen more to win.

INT. JASON’S GARAGE--A FEW MINUTES LATER

Jason and Eric get into Jason’s car and back out. INT. CAR--CONTINUED
Jason picks up his cell phone and taps out three buttons

JASON
Mom, we’re going to Reardan, see some people. Be back in a few, okay, love you, bye.

The car drives down the hill. INT. REBEKAH’S ROOM
Rebekah sits in her room--with a phone to her ear. The line rings, but their is no answer on the other end.

She hangs up as Daniel walks in. He sees the reflection of the gold band on her hand.

DANIEL What is that?

REBEKAH

What?

That.

DANIEL

He grabs her arms, forcing her wrists together and drives the cigarette into her wrist. Rebekah screams and kicks at her father as he steadfastly holds it against her skin.

REBEKAH No, please...

DANIEL What is this?

REBEKAH It’s a ring

DANIEL
I know what it is, why are you wearing one?

REBEKAH Because...I’m, I’m engaged.

DANIEL
You’ve been nothing but a pain in
my ass for the past thirteen years. What have you done now? Have you been knocked up?

REBEKAH
What?

She looks up at him, crying.

DANIEL
Damn it, of course you have been. Sit down!

Daniel forces her into the corner.

DANIEL
Just like your mother, screwing your life up. When did it happen, Friday?

REBEKAH
We didn’t do anything.

DANIEL
Do you expect me to believe that some teenage bastard is going to just want to marry you?

REBEKAH
We will one day. You even said that when I have my own family I-

DANIEL
The hell you are. You are still my daughter and I will tell you what
you can and cannot do.

He slaps her across the face and slides down the wall in pain.

INT. FRONT HALL

Laura walks into the house and places down her purse, she hears the yelling in the hallway.

LAURA What is going on?

DANIEL
Do you want to tell her?

Rebekah shakes her head no.

DANIEL Fine, I will.
(to Laura) Rebekah is engaged.

What?

LAURA

DANIEL

(to Rebekah)
Call him, tell him to get his ass over here.

Daniel walks out of the room, Laura follows him into their room.

INT. BEDROOM

LAURA

What the hell is going on here?

DANIEL Nothing, Laura.

He opens a nightstand drawer and takes out a pistol.

LAURA
Daniel what are you doing?

He opens another drawer, revealing the clip.

DANIEL (to Rebekah)
Becky, get your shit together and get out of here!

LAURA

Danny?

DANIEL

Starting over, Laura. If she thinks that she can be an adult, I’m damn well making her. She wants to be hooker, fine. I don’t care anymore.

LAURA
The gun?

He walks out of the room, running into Rebekah in the hallway.

Out!

DANIEL

He grabs her by the arm and pushes her to the front room.

REBEKAH

Dad, no.

DANIEL

Out of my house!

He opens the front door and shoves his daughter from the stone porch. She falls, her head slamming onto the last two concrete steps.

Her eyes look up at her father as he walks back to the house. His face is indifferent as he points the gun straight ahead and fires.

Rebekah’s eyes close.

EXT. BETTENCOURT HOUSE--TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Eric and Jason arrive, but they are stopped halfway down the block by a sea of cars and emergency vehicles.

They get out of the car, amidst the other cars and people
that are standing around, pointing to the Bettencourt house-- which is surrounded by police and yellow tape.

JASON
This does not look good.

Eric goes to the south end of the house.

ERIC
Rebe--

Jason runs around the perimeter of the yellow tape. An officer stops him.

OFFICER
Don’t come any closer.

JASON

But I--

Now.

OFFICER ERIC

(from a distance)
Jason!

Jason runs back to the front, meeting Eric halfway back.

JASON Right here.

ERIC Did you find her?

JASON
No man.

Eric follows Jason back to where the officer was. The two guys run right up to the officer, who is now talking with a SHERIFF. At house, a gurney is being carried down the steps, followed by another--each have a shrouded, wrapped body.

The two stand in disbelief.

JASON What the hell?

Eric stares in the direction of the house, he sees the markings of blood on the front porch. He doesn’t see Jason’s attempt to talk to an officer.

JASON
A girl, thirteen, where is she?

OFFICER

Who?

JASON

The girl who lives here. Where is she?

The officer leaves without answering. Jason--ready to flip the officer off--turns back to Eric.

JASON Come on, Strad--

ERIC Jase--could she--

Eric motions to the gurneys.

JASON
No, man, she’s alive. If we have to go to every hospital in Spokane-- then....then we’re going to.

They run back to the car. Jason shifts into reverse and backs down the block at high speed, until he can turn around. The car then speeds away, en route to Spokane.

INT. HOSPITAL--AN HOUR LATER

The teens run into the Emergency Room area of a hospital and head to the front station. An ATTENDANT looks up from his boards as they walk up.

ERIC
I’m looking for someone who was brought in earlier.

ATTENDANT

Name?

ERIC

Eric Stradlin.

ATTENDANT The patient?

ERIC Rebekah Bettencourt.

Relation?

Fiancé.

ATTENDANT

ERIC

Jason’s eyes widen at Eric’s words.

ATTENDANT
One moment

The attendant walks away from the station and down the hallway.

Say what?

JASON

ERIC

I was going to talk to her dad about it tonight.

JASON
Serious?

Eric nods as the attendant comes back with a DOCTOR in scrubs. The doctor looks to Eric.

DOCTOR

Mr.--

Stradlin.

ERIC DOCTOR

Come with me, please.

The two walk down the hallway.

ERIC How is she?

DOCTOR
She has several fractures, some head trauma. Do you know what happened?

ERIC
No, but she’s alright, isn‘t she?

DOCTOR She’s stable.

ERIC
Will she be okay? I can see her?

DOCTOR
We’re still working on relieving the pressure on her brain.

ERIC
Can I see her, please?

They stop walking in front of a room. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM
The door opens slowly as both men enter the room. There is no sound emitting from any of the equipment except a whir every few seconds.

Rebekah lies--asleep--beneath several feet of tubing, tape and medical equipment.

Eric stands next to her.

ERIC (whispered)
We’ll make it through this. I’ll keep my word, I won’t let you leave me, I--

Hey.

JASON

Eric turns around to Jason--he tries to hold his composure, but he’s unable to. Jason moves to hug his friend.

ERIC
Tell me this is a nightmare, Jason and that I’ll wake up and...

JASON
Wish I could, Strad

Eric and Jason turn to her.

ERIC
So do I.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM--HOURS LATER

Eric sits, his eyes closed, until a small voice wakes him.

Eric?

REBEKAH

Eric rises from the chair, and slams his knee against the bed-
-hard.

REBEKAH Are you there?

ERIC I’m right here.

He tries to reach her hand.

REBEKAH
I thought I heard you.

ERIC
Yes.

She opens her right eye, the other is wrapped.

REBEKAH
When will we.. marry?

ERIC
Right now if you want to.

REBEKAH
I’ve always wanted one at Chri-at
Christmas

ERIC
You’ll have it, we will.

REBEKAH
Rebekah Stradlin....I’d love that much, I--

ERIC
And I love you, I wish I was there to stop, to stop--

REBEBKAH

My dad.

ERIC

Did he--No. Why? Why did he--

REBEKAH I love you.

She slowly closes her eyes and grips his hand weakly.

ERIC
No, no, please, talk to me, I--

The doctor walks into the room, followed by Jason.

ERIC She was awake.

DOCTOR
The pressure is not going down as quickly as we like it to be. We’re going to perform a few more tests. I would like you to go to the waiting room, Mr. Stradlin, if you please.

No, I-

ERIC

JASON
Come on, Strad, we need to talk.

ERIC
She was awake, Jason.

JASON
I know, come on.

Eric walks out of the room, looking back at Rebekah as he does.

INT. HALLWAY

The two walk down the hallway, back to the waiting room. Eric stops and looks out the window.
JASON You hungry?

ERIC

No.

JASON

Come on, let’s go get something.

ERIC

I’m okay.

JASON

No man, you’re a wreck. We’ll get a cup and come back--you need it.

Eric looks back at the room and then nods.

JASON
It’ll do you good. She’ll be fine. They’re just observing her. Tests, right?

Yeah.

Come on.

ERIC

JASON

The two walk down to the elevator. INT. CAFETERIA
Jason and Eric sit at a table. Each of them has a cup of coffee.

JASON
When were you planning on getting married?

ERIC
I don’t know, legally, I know it could never happen...but in heart, you know?

JASON
Damn. You know, I envy you, Strad.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM

The room is abuzz with activity. Five monitor systems screech as personnel run in and out of the room. They continue to point to a section of Rebekah’s head, but no voices are
heard.

INT. CAFETERIA

Eric looks back to Jason through the steam of the coffee.

ERIC

Why?

JASON

You know what you want in life. I
can’t I say I do.

ERIC
I’d give anything to have saved her from whatever happened, I--

He takes a drink from his cup and closes his eyes. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM
The heart monitor tone emits a sullen tone. The staff continue to work as fast as they can.

INT. CAFETERIA

JASON

CUT TO:

Well, I meant what I said...one white dress to order.

ERIC
I’m not going to make you--

JASON
The hell you are, man. The three of us are going to find one. I don’t care about the cost of it, we’ll do it.

ERIC
Thank you. You’re right, things will be fine. Rebekah will get better, and she can stay with me.

JASON

Good idea.

ERIC

So even if we can’t really be married, not for awhile at least, I can wake up and see her everyday.

JASON
What do your parents think of this?

Eric looks back up to the hospital as Jason starts to get up.

ERIC
They don’t know anything about it yet.

Eric nods.

JASON
Oh. This is going to be a surprise.

JASON
Are they ready for a daughter-in- law?

ERIC
We better get back.

JASON

Yeah.

INT. SURGICAL SUITE

CUT TO:

A new room, same staff working. There is a large amount of blood loss from Rebekah’s temple.

The heart tone flutters--attempting to keep rhythm. The medical staff continue their pace until the ECG shows nothing and the doctors stand motionless.

INT. HALLWAY--THREE MINUTES LATER

Jason looks ahead and sees the doctor standing at the end of the hallway--the doctor shows no emotion

Oh-no

What?

JASON

ERIC

(to Doctor) Where is she?

Eric runs ahead of Jason, past the doctor and into the empty room.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM

Rebekah?

ERIC

DOCTOR Mr. Stradlin.

ERIC
No, I don’t want you to tell me.

The doctor motions them to follow him down the corridor. INT. HALLWAY
The three walk down the hallway, to an elevator.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY

The guys run ahead of the doctor and pass two more who are leaving a surgical ward.

INT. SURGICAL SUITE

Eric is first in the room. He lowers his head down at the sight before him.

Jason wrestles into the room as well. He notes the blood around the table as he stands behind Eric.

ERIC
No.

He turns to Jason and yells, his voice cracking into a falsetto.

ERIC
It’s not supposed to be like this.

He walks over to the table and places his arm around her, his hair brushes against the dried blood in her hair.

Eric cries out as everyone stands motionless around. Rebekah’s ring can still be seen on her hand.

He turns to Jason.

ERIC
We were going to be...I bought her the ring the other day, I couldn’t wait to give it to her...Today... I gave it to her today.

He walks back to her.

ERIC
I don’t want to say goodbye to you.

Her eyes are closed; her face, fallen.

Eric falls to his knees and cries. Jason stands above. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--EARLY MORNING
Eric, Jason, Renee and Jennifer stand in front of the school, along with hundreds of students and adults behind them. Eric holds onto a single rose with red edges and places it on a granite marker. Others come by and do the same until,
everyone is gone....

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL--ANOTHER MORNING

Eric stands alone in front of the school, the wind slowly blows through his hair as he kneels down in front of the marker that reads: “My heart holds a secret, one I hold so true. Long I’ve felt to hear the words, to hear you say ‘I love’”

END

ERIC (whispered)
I love you too.

Rebekah Anne Bettencourt written by Sean McKissack
copyright 11/16/1992 and revised 5/20/01 [email protected]



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