JOAN OF ARCADIA "Don't Judge a Joan" ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. MALL - ROTUNDA - DAY A very grumpy Luke drags along beside Joan as she scopes the storefronts. LUKE Tell me again why I let you talk me into this? JOAN Mom said you needed new shirts and you said you hate the ones she picks out and then-- LUKE Okay, okay. They stop walking. JOAN So? Go buy. In there. She points as if she's telling a dog to sit. LUKE I could be finishing the rest of my essay on solar flares and magnetic fields. JOAN (exasperated) I'm going in here. You go in there. Spend money. Meet me back here in half an hour. LUKE Twenty minutes. He checks his watch and it BEEPS as he sets the timer. JOAN I need thirty. LUKE Do you even have your watch on? JOAN No. But I'll be here in thirty minutes. I promise. Luke nods over his shoulder at his backpack. LUKE I'll study while I wait for you. They head off in different directions. CUT TO: INT. MALL - FOREVER 21 - LATER This is the cheapest of cheap chain stores for teenagers. In the minimal floor space, a bunch of high school girls pillage the jammed racks. Among them is Joan, who isn't having a very inspired shopping day. She removes a blue, long-sleeved cotton shirt from the rack and holds it up for appraisal. Apathy. Joan struggles to replace the shirt on the rack. A perky, blonde SALESGIRL approaches Joan. The girl is a walking endorsement for the store: skimpy blouse (the kind with only strings tied at the back) and tight white jeans. She carries several outfits on hangers. SALESGIRL (in a chipper, high voice) Oh! Let me get that for you! JOAN Thanks. SALESGIRL I think you should buy these. She holds out the clothes She was carrying. JOAN (not getting it yet) Excuse me? SALESGIRL You have $44.87 and all of these things cost only $42.29. That's including tax. I'm, like, totally the bargain girl in that clearance section. Rock-bottom prices! Joan realizes she's talking to God, but she doesn't take the proferred garments. SALESGOD They'll look awesome! Promise! JOAN Can you talk like a normal human being. Please. SALESGOD I'm just trying to help. JOAN So, what? Now you're picking out my clothes for me? Next, you'll be telling me what to put on in the morning. The Salesgirl scrutinizes the clothes. Chooses two things and offers them to Joan. SALESGOD This outfit tomorrow morning. Joan regards the selection. There is not enough fabric there to constitute an outfit. We're pretty sure of that. JOAN Are you crazy? SALESGOD Those who think so just don't understand how I work. JOAN I'm not wearing that. The Salesgirl gives Joan a baleful stare. Joan caves. JOAN (CONT'D) Okay. Tomorrow morning. Got it. SALESGOD And these for later. She shoves the clothes toward Joan. JOAN I thought I was done with people making me wear what they wanted me to wear. SALESGOD I don't make you do anything. JOAN Fine. She takes the clothes and heads for the register. SALESGOD One more thing, Joan. JOAN What? SALESGOD Cut class tomorrow morning. JOAN To do what? The Salesgirl shrugs. SALESGOD At least two periods. JOAN (suspicious) Are you allowed to tell me to break the rules? SALESGOD I'm allowed to do anything I want. JOAN And I'm allowed to get detention. SALESGOD Just trust me. I know what I'm doing. JOAN I wonder sometimes. She stomps off. The Salesgirl looks after Joan. Shakes Her head and sighs. She takes the blue shirt out from under Her arm and examines it. SALESGIRL Who would wear this? Ew. Joan turns around. JOAN I heard that! Off her annoyed expression, we CUT TO: MAIN TITLES CUT TO: INT. GIRARDI HOME - JOAN'S ROOM - MORNING CLOSE ON Joan's face as she tucks her hair behind her ear. Her gaze is steady and worried. We PULL OUT To see the cause of her worry: a red halter top that bares her shoulders and back. And a belted denim mini-skirt that is very mini. It sits low on her hips. Joan sucks in her stomach, not pleased with the outfit, though it actually looks pretty good on her curvy body. She picks up a coat from her bed and puts it on. The coat comes down, covering more of her legs than the skirt does. Joan regards herself in the mirror one last time. Takes a breath of resolve and we CUT TO: INT. GIRARDI HOME - KITCHEN - A FEW MINUTES LATER Will is in his own hurry, searching for keys, grabbing a banana from the counter. Joan blasts through the kitchen like a whirlwind, her coat buttoned tightly around her. WILL You're going to be late! JOAN (to herself) If you only knew. She runs out the door, leaving him in her wake. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA HIGH - SCHOOL OFFICE - DAY Helen stands at the counter filling out some paperwork. Sensing a presence, she glances up. Does a double-take. HELEN Joan? You missed two class periods. Did something happen on the way here? JOAN I'm fine, Mom. I just had some things I had to do, that's all. HELEN What kinds of things? You didn't tell me-- She notices Joan's outfit peeking through the now open coat. She comes out from behind the counter and stands staring at Joan. HELEN (CONT'D) What are you wearing? JOAN Can we not talk about this right now? I have to get to class. HELEN What's a few more minutes when you're already two hours late? Where did these clothes come from? JOAN I bought them. HELEN You bought them? JOAN Mom, can we talk about this later? Trying not to waste the taxpayers' dollars here. Helen sighs. HELEN We will talk about it later, believe me. JOAN Can I just have my pink slip? HELEN Yes. Helen goes back to the other side of the counter and tears a pink slip off a pad. Signs it. Frustration is evident in her every gesture. HELEN (CONT'D) You may also have a yellow slip. Helen pulls a sheet of paper from a drawer. JOAN (horrified) A yellow slip?! HELEN The punishment for cutting class is detention. You know that. JOAN Mom! HELEN I have to do it. JOAN Great. Joan takes the slips and walks toward the door. JOAN (CONT'D) (glancing ceilingward) Thanks a lot. CUT TO: EXT. ALLEY - MORNING It's a grim place--the walls of the adjacent buildings covered in graffiti, garbage strewn everywhere. But saddest of all is the small body propped against a dumpster. It's a kid, maybe 12. He'll never see the world again. Will stands morosely, transfixed by the corpse. WILL It never gets easier. An OFFICER kneels beside the body and picks up a syringe with a gloved hand. He drops it into an evidence bag. WILL (CONT'D) How does this happen? I wish I knew. So I could stop it before it gets started. OFFICER Dealers. You gotta start with the dealers. WILL No. Before that. Something made this kid look for the dealer in the first place. The officer nods, pretending to get what Will is talking about. WILL (CONT'D) Who made the 911 call? The officer consults his notes. OFFICER The call came from Havenhurst Street. About two blocks from here. We can take care of it, Chief. WILL I'd like to be in on this one. If you don't mind. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA HIGH - HALLWAY - DAY Adam stands at his locker getting his books for the next class. Joan approaches from down the hall. JOAN (calling out) Hey, Adam. Adam looks up, not registering at first. Then he absorbs the fact that Joan is dressed very oddly. ADAM Jane? He stares unabashedly as Joan finally draws near. JOAN What are you looking at? ADAM I -- JOAN Look, don't -- just don't give me any flack about it, okay? ADAM Why are you...? JOAN (impatient) What? Grace saunters up. ADAM You don't usually wear stuff like that. JOAN Can't I change my wardrobe without everyone wigging out? What's the deal? GRACE The deal is that we're judged by irrelevant things like what we wear when, in fact, clothes are simply a superficial representation of our inner lives. The deal is that the government has taken away my right to play video games all day instead of coming to school when, in fact, my reading level is already above that of 90 percent of Americans. Does that seem counter-intuitive to you? Joan just stares at her, unsure of how to respond. Adam still can't take his eyes off Joan. JOAN I missed class this morning, can I copy notes from one of you? ADAM What's going on with you, Jane? Joan clutches her books to her chest protectively, trying to cover her body. JOAN Joan. GRACE Stop staring, Rove. You're harrassing her. ADAM I wasn't harrassing her, I was just... (to Joan) You look nice. He fumbles in his backpack and hands Joan a notebook. ADAM (CONT'D) Here. JOAN (not meaning the notebook) Thanks. Joan stands up straighter and takes the notebook from Adam before walking away. She ignores some girls nearby who GIGGLE and WHISPER to each other as she passes by. ADAM What's with her today? GRACE What's with you? Grace stomps off, leaving Adam in total confusion. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA HIGH - LUKE'S ENGLISH CLASS - DAY The bell hasn't rung yet and the kids in the class are just messing around, chatting. Except for Luke, who has taken the opportunity to sneak in some quality time with his chemistry textbook. Suddenly, another student, COLIN, grabs Luke's book. COLIN Nerdboy's studying chemistry! Don't you ever stop? This is English class. Luke grabs for his book as the rest of the kids look on with amusement. LUKE Give that back! COLIN Can't do without it, can you, Girardi? Colin opens the book and reads. COLIN (CONT'D) (reading dramatically) Covalent bonds cause the reactive substance to bond to the substrate... LUKE Give it back. I'm serious. COLIN Oh, you're serious. The other students GIGGLE. COLIN (CONT'D) You're also sad and pathetic. The bell RINGS and the flustered teacher, MISS GRAVES hurries in. MISS GRAVES Everyone to your seats. We have lots to do today. Colin tosses the book toward Luke, but Luke fumbles the catch. The book drops to the floor with a BANG. MISS GRAVES (CONT'D) Is there a problem? LUKE Sorry. I just dropped my book. The students TITTER, trying to control their laughter. Luke sends a pissed off glance toward Colin. Miss Graves stands at the front of the classroom and sets down a large carboard box that has been decorated with pictures and designs. MISS GRAVES Today we're going to work on a project I call the "Don't judge a book by its cover" box. She holds up the box. MISS GRAVES (CONT'D) This is mine. You can see I've decorated the outside with pictures of things you might know about me. But on the inside... She shifts the box to show them the inside of the box. MISS GRAVES (CONT'D) ...are things you might not know. Like the fact that I have an herb garden or that I watch Star Trek and I have a crush on Picard. The class LAUGHS. MISS GRAVES (CONT'D) When we show people our insides, we expose ourselves to their judgment. And that's what I want you to do. COLIN So people can make fun of us! MISS GRAVES (correcting) So people can see who you really are and appreciate you for those qualities. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA POLICE DEPARTMENT - DAY Will sits across the table from a 12 year-old boy, NICK. They are alone in the room as if in an interrogation. The boy can't even pretend to be tough. He continually glances toward the door. NICK It wasn't my fault, what happened to Digger. (breaking down) We've been friends since we were six. WILL I know it's hard, but tell me exactly what happened. Nick wipes his nose on his sleeve. Will grabs a box of kleenex from the corner of the desk and holds it out. Nick takes several tissues. NICK Digger got some new stuff and he came over to my house early so we could do some before school. We went out to the alley so our parents wouldn't catch us. He took more than I did, but, I don't know, it was wacked. Totally wacked. WILL Then you ran home and made the call? NICK Yeah. I didn't know-- I mean, I was high and-- If I'd been thinking straight, maybe... Will waits for a moment, heart breaking. WILL Who sold him the drugs? NICK Some guy from Arcadia High. That's all I know. Off of Will's grim expression, we CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA HIGH - CAFETERIA (DETENTION) - AFTERNOON Joan enters the cafeteria. She's late, and there are already kids sitting at the cheap, picnicky tables. A stuffy-looking teacher, MR. WEYBURN, presides over his delinquents like a disapproving warden. MR. WEYBURN Joan Girardi... He gives her a sharp glance that withers Joan. She slides into a seat at a nearly empty table. MR. WEYBURN (CONT'D) No. Not there, Miss Girardi. Seating is assigned here in detention. Joan stands. Mr. Weyburn points, indicating a seat next to a very cute boy, BRETT. MR. WEYBURN (CONT'D) Right there. Joan shrugs. There are worse fates. She sits next to the boy and they smile at each other in that way people do when they are both suffering at the hands of an evil teacher. Brett, in fact, smiles in more than sympathy. He lets his eyes wander over Joan. She notices and adjusts the halter top self-consciously. BRETT (whispering) I like that outfit. MR. WEYBURN Now that we're all here. We can get started. Ladies and gentlemen, detention is a time to make up for your negligence. If any of you have forgotten your pencils, I have plenty. There are no excuses. Homework for the next two hours. Begin! Mr. Weyburn takes a seat at a nearby table and opens a book. Brett leans over and whispers to Joan. BRETT What did you do to piss them off? JOAN (whispering) I cut class this morning. BRETT I'm flunking math. JOAN I don't blame you. Suddenly, a dark figure looms beside them. MR. WEYBURN Miss Girardi, I don't see you working... Joan looks up, a pained expression on her face. She SIGHS and reaches for her books. Mr. Weyburn goes back to His seat. Joan is about to begin her work when she notices a girl sitting across the table and down a couple of seats from her. MELANIE is completely strung out, as if she's been up for days. She gives Joan an evil, evil look. Puzzled, Joan turns to her work. Brett knocks her with his elbow and hands her a note. INSERT NOTE In Brett's cramped handwriting: "I'm hanging with friends later. Wanna come?" BACK TO SCENE Joan hesitates. Casts a look toward Mr. Weyburn. He stares at Joan knowingly. Trying to be sneaky, Joan shelters the note behind her arm. She writes a response. Her eyes dart toward Mr. Weyburn. MR. WEYBURN (CONT'D) (mouthing silently) Say yes. Joan realizes He's God. Joan shakes her head no. MR. WEYBURN (CONT'D) (mouthing) Do it. Joan rolls her eyes, then considers the note. INSERT NOTE Joan's hand crosses out the "Sorry, I can't" and replaces it with: "I'd love to." BACK TO SCENE Mr. Weyburn gives Joan a thumbs up. Joan sighs, going back to her textbook. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA HERALD - BREAK ROOM - DAY Kevin wheels up to Rebecca as she's getting a cup of coffee. REBECCA Hey, Kevin. What's up? KEVIN I have a problem with this story. He hands her the article. REBECCA The high school sports thing? KEVIN I don't think the reporting is accurate. REBECCA The facts are off? KEVIN Not exactly. I'm talking about the story itself. The paper is supposed to be objective, but we don't even get to hear the players' side of the story. Andy walks by. ANDY (in passing) What do you know about sports, Girardi? It's like a slap in the face. Rebecca shoots Andy a dirty look. Kevin recovers and addresses Rebecca. KEVIN I played varsity basketball and baseball for three years. This is just... wrong. The team isn't a bunch of junkies. Speed, steroids, cocaine -- those are some serious allegations. REBECCA I'll talk to him, but your job is to check the facts, not to editorialize. KEVIN His job is to report the facts. Ask him if he even interviewed the players. Kevin backs up, daring Rebecca not to take up the challenge. CUT TO: EXT. ARCADIA HIGH - LATER Joan bursts out of the doors as if she's being released from prison. Melanie, the girl from detention, exits a moment later, running to catch up with Joan. She grabs Joan's arm. JOAN What the-- She jerks her arm out of Melanie's grasp. MELANIE I know what you're up to. JOAN Excuse me? MELANIE You think you can just move in on my boyfriend? JOAN I'm not-- MELANIE I won't go down without a fight. So hands off! Got it? Joan opens her mouth to speak, but no words come out. MELANIE (CONT'D) Good, we understand each other. She turns on her heel and retreats. Joan watches for a moment, bewildered. JOAN (to herself) Okay... I've pissed off the psycho girlfriend. She wanders toward the street where Helen waits, watching, in a parked car. Slowly, Joan opens the door and gets in. INT. CAR - CONTINUOUS Joan tries not to look at her mother. They sit in silence for a long moment. Helen's face is stony. JOAN Aren't you going to drive? HELEN Are you going to tell me why you cut class this morning? JOAN I don't know. I just did it. HELEN You don't have a reason? JOAN Do I need one? HELEN For skipping class? Yes, you do. JOAN (totally honest) I can't explain it, Mom. Sometimes there are things I need to do. I know it doesn't make sense... HELEN I can't just let this keep happening. I keep telling myself I know my daughter. She's a good person and I don't need to worry about her. But... I am worried. JOAN I swear I'm not doing anything bad. And I promise I won't be late tomorrow. HELEN You know, I was always the good girl who did everything her parents wanted her to. And then, one day I woke up and decided I didn't want to do that anymore. JOAN That's not really why-- Nevermind. HELEN When you wear things like that, you attract attention. And it might not be the kind you really want. JOAN You think I look bad, don't you? HELEN That's not what I meant. JOAN (defensive) I think I look nice. And other people do, too. HELEN I just don't want you to get hurt. JOAN I won't get hurt. I promise. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. GIRARDI HOME - JOAN'S ROOM - EVENING Dressed more like usual Joan in a small t-shirt and a knee length skirt, Joan regards her image in the mirror, dissatisfied. She scrunches her face in distaste. Someone KNOCKS on the door. JOAN Yeah? LUKE (O.S.) It's Luke. JOAN Come in. Joan holds up another shirt and eyes it critically. Doesn't even turn around when Luke comes in. JOAN (CONT'D) What do you want? LUKE Can I have some of your magazines for this project I'm doing? JOAN Sure. She drops the shirt and scans the floor. Picks a few magazines up and tosses them on the bed. LUKE I have to cut them up. JOAN I'm done with them. LUKE Thanks. He picks the magazines up. Joan scrutinizes another shirt. LUKE (CONT'D) What are you doing? JOAN What does it look like I'm doing? LUKE How should I know? Are you going out? JOAN How do I look? LUKE (shrugging) Fine. JOAN I look like an old lady. LUKE Did mom say it was okay for you to go out? JOAN Does it matter? LUKE You're acting really weird lately. Actually, not just lately. What was with that outfit today? JOAN What? I'm not allowed to change my mind about who I am? LUKE You just do it a lot. He moves toward the door. JOAN You could use a little change yourself. Luke hesitates. Almost says something, then changes his mind. Instead: LUKE Good luck getting out of the house. CUT TO: INT. GIRARDI HOME - KITCHEN - SAME Helen chops vegetable for dinner. Will leans wearily against the counter chatting with her. WILL I don't want to do a locker search, but I might have to. I don't have anything else to go on. HELEN I know it goes against your democratic principles, but don't you think it's worth it? WILL I don't like choices like this. I'm doing somebody wrong, no matter what I decide. Is that the price of keeping our kids safe? HELEN If it is, I'm willing to pay it. Will cocks his head, caught by her tone. WILL Something you want to tell me? Helen wilts, as if some tension within her has been released. She ceases chopping. HELEN Will, Joan cut her morning classes today. I had to give her detention. WILL What was her excuse? HELEN She didn't have one. And you should've seen the way she was dressed! Like some...tramp. WILL Our Joan? HELEN Yes. Our Joan. I'm beginning to feel like I don't even know my kids anymore. She raises her hands to her face. HELEN (CONT'D) I don't know. Will takes her in his arms. WILL I'll talk to her later. CUT TO: INT. GIRARDI HOME - LUKE'S ROOM - LATER Luke sits at his desk in a showdown with a carboard box. The box is, as yet, undecorated. Suddenly, Luke gets up and throws the box on the floor. He tries to crush the cardboard by stomping on it, but his foot keeps skittering off the edge of the box, rendering him unsuccessful. Finally, he simply kicks the box across the room. Or, at least, he tries to. Kevin wheels over the threshold of the room. KEVIN Way to get out the aggression. LUKE Who said you could come in? KEVIN Your door was open. Thought I'd make sure everything was okay in here. I heard some domestic violence. LUKE (testy) Is there something I can do for you? KEVIN Actually, since I'm here, I could use your expertise for this article I'm checking. Do you know anything about how crystal meth is made? LUKE (bored, reciting) Sure. You buy a bunch of muriatic acid at the hardware store, you get some lye, some ether--starting fluid is good, and some ephedrine from the drugstore. You basically precipitate the ephedrine out of the pills and then evaporate the liquid. To make methamphetamine, you cook the stuff with red phosphorous and... Presto. I could make it in the kitchen. KEVIN Wow. LUKE Any high-schooler could do it. KEVIN My brother the potential drug dealer! LUKE Any other chemistry questions? KEVIN (not getting it) That's it for now. He begins to turn his chair around. LUKE How come Joan can change who she is anytime she wants, but I'm always the same old Luke? Geek Luke who everyone goes to with their science questions. KEVIN You do know a lot about science. LUKE (fed up) There's more to me than that! KEVIN You can change anytime you want. LUKE If it's so easy, why don't you do it? KEVIN Maybe it isn't so easy for me. CUT TO: INT. GIRARDI HOME - KITCHEN - SAME Joan breezes into the kitchen, where her parents are still talking. She has put a coat on, so her outfit can't be seen. At that moment, the phone RINGS and Will gets up to answer it. HELEN Dinner's almost ready. She notices that Joan has her coat on. HELEN (CONT'D) Where are you going? Joan's almost out of the room. JOAN Just going to meet some friends. HELEN (all business) Joan. Joan stops, but doesn't turn around. JOAN Yeah? HELEN Is this a meeting for school? JOAN It's for an assignment. I'll be back soon. Helen takes a step toward Joan, but is distracted by Will, who is finishing up on the phone. Joan sees her opportunity and slips out of the house. WILL No, I want to be there. Hold off for ten minutes. He hangs up. Helen turns back to the door, but Joan is already gone. WILL (CONT'D) I have to go. Myers picked someone up who might be a lead on this drug case. He gives Helen a kiss on the cheek. WILL (CONT'D) I'm sorry about dinner. I'll be home as soon as I can. CUT TO: INT. DINER - NIGHT Joan removes her coat to reveal an outfit similar to the one she wore to school. She slides into a booth where Brett is waiting. A flashy guitar is propped up beside him. JOAN Sorry I'm late. She looks around. JOAN (CONT'D) I thought you were meeting some friends... BRETT I'm meeting you. You look great. JOAN (flustered) Thanks. (nodding toward it) Is that your guitar? BRETT You like it? JOAN (nodding) I didn't know you played. BRETT Let me sing you a song... (singing and strumming) Lady... from the first time I saw you... Joan LAUGHS, embarrassed. CUT TO: INT. ARCADIA POLICE DEPARTMENT - SAME Melanie sits in a chair beside an officer's desk. Her eyes are red, but she's alert, leg bouncing nervously. She's totally wired. Will stands talking to an officer nearby. OFFICER We found her in the park with an empty syringe. High as a kite. She didn't have anything on her, so we can't nail her for possession, but she might have a lead on the other case. WILL Thanks. I'll talk to her. Will approaches the desk and sits in a chair next to Melanie. She remains silent, but continues to fidget. Will examines a report. WILL (CONT'D) (reading) Melanie Waterson. (looking up) Do you go to Arcadia High? MELANIE Don't I get a lawyer or something? WILL You aren't under arrest. MELANIE They told me I had to come with them. WILL We just want to ask you some questions. A 12 year-old kid O.D.'d in an alley yesterday. I'm trying to find out who's selling to kids that young. MELANIE I don't know anything. WILL Who's your dealer? MELANIE Why would I tell you? Anyway, it's not like this is a regular thing. I'm not an addict. WILL I hear that a lot. Want to show me your arm? MELANIE No. WILL I'm going to find out sooner or later. Whether you tell me or not. It's a question of making my job easier or more difficult. MELANIE Didn't you hear me the first time? Why would I tell you anything? WILL To save a life. Maybe even yours. Melanie looks Will in the eye. MELANIE (matter-of-fact) My life isn't worth saving. Get someone else to rat out their dealer. CUT TO: EXT. PARK - LATER Joan and Brett sit on a bench. Joan holds the guitar as Brett tries to teach her what to do. He's very close, arms around her. BRETT Put your fingers like this. Yeah. He begins kissing her neck. She pulls away a little. JOAN Brett? Aren't you dating Melanie? BRETT We broke up. She's just in denial. JOAN She seemed upset. Brett takes the guitar and sets it down. He edges closer to Joan and takes her hand. BRETT I've wanted to go out with you for a long time. JOAN (pleased) Really? BRETT Yeah. I noticed you around. JOAN It seems like maybe you and Melanie need to figure stuff out. Maybe this is her mission... JOAN (CONT'D) Maybe you're meant to get back together. BRETT Let's not talk about Melanie. I'm so over her. He leans in to kiss her. She accepts this, but when Brett reaches under her shirt, she jumps up. JOAN Whoa. Okay, don't do that. BRETT What are you freaking out for? JOAN I don't know. Joan gathers her coat around her body. BRETT Come on, Joan. He stands and grabs her hand. Tries to kiss her again. She pulls away. Something has changed and it isn't good. JOAN I really have to go. BRETT (insistent) I want you to stay. Joan backs away. JOAN I'm sorry. I can't. BRETT (calling after her) You're a tease, you know that! Joan gets her cell phone out of her bag and dials a number. JOAN Please, Kevin, pick up. Please. INTERCUT WITH INT. GIRARDI HOME - KITCHEN - SAME Kevin helps Helen clean up after dinner, wheeling dishes to the sink. When the phone RINGS, he does a fancy wheelchair move and speeds toward the phone. KEVIN Girardi Residence. JOAN Kevin? It's me. I need a huge favor. KEVIN A favor'll cost you. Let me think what I can make my little sister-- JOAN Kevin, please. KEVIN (concerned) Okay. What do you need? Joan wanders the empty park, scared and alone. JOAN Come pick me up? I'm at Fitchburg Park. Please? FADE OUT. END ACT TWO
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