Kristina Furey

Entry II of "The List"

EXT. BUSY SIDEWALK-NIGHT

(Consider MAROON FIVE’S” HARDER TO BREATHE” for background music)

Jenny is crying and walking aimlessly down the sidewalk.  She is wearing a heavy coat.

She walks by a “bum”.

The bum puts his hand out. 

Jenny opens her purse, gets out her wallet, pulls out all the money she has and hands it to the bum.

The bum takes it.

Jenny pauses, looks him over, takes the turtle out of her pocket, then removes her coat and hands it to the bum. 

BUM:  Thank you Ma’am.

Jenny smiles at the bum and walks off towards a pay phone.  She pats her pockets down and looks down at her feet for a second, as if in defeat.  She musters up a half smile and walks back over to the bum. 

JENNY:  Can you spare thirty-five cents? 

(He reaches into what was her coat pocket and drops two quarters into her hand.) 

JENNY:  Thank you sir.

She walks back over to the phone and slumps against the wall.  She has started to hyperventilate.  She takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and puts her right hand over her heart.  She holds her breath for about five seconds and then begins blowing the air slowly out of her mouth.  She picks up the phone and begins to call DR. WELLS, her therapist.

We hear the phone ring. 

HALF THE SCREEN CUTS TO DR. WELLS HOUSE

DR. WELLS is standing in her living room with a glass of wine.  There is classical music in the background. 

DR. WELLS:  Dr. Wells?

JENNY:  Hi, (She sniffs) it’s Jenny.

DR. WELLS:  Jenny, what seems to be the problem?

JENNY:    (Crying and hyperventilating) I had an argument with my dad.

DR. WELLS:   and how did that make you feel?

JENNY:   Bad!

DR. WELLS:  Come on Jenny, you know what I’m asking, “What kind of an egg do you feel like?

JENNY:  Rotten?

DR. WELLS:  Come on Jenny.  I think the correct response here would be scrambled.

JENNY:  Uh, huh.

DR. WELLS:  say it with me…

They say it together

DR. WELLS:  Scrambled!

JENNY:  Scrambled!

DR. WELLS:   Good girl!  Now, take a deep breath and from the diaphragm… “I want to be a sunny side up egg!”

JENNY:    (Jenny looks around at the people walking by and says it quietly.)  I want to be a sunny side up egg.

DR. WELLS:  Come on, say it like you mean it!

JENNY:   (She says it with her hand over her mouth and the mouthpiece of the phone, as if telling a secret.)  I can’t.

DR. WELLS:  Sure you can.

Jenny sees a man giving her a strange stare.  She moves her hand that was covering her mouth and chews on one of her nails. 

DR. WELLS:  Jenny?

JENNY:  (She says without moving her mouth, in a soft little girl’s voice.)  But there’s people around.

DR. WELLS:  Claim it!  Let me hear you claim it!

JENNY:  (Loud)  I want to be a sunny side up egg!  (People around her give her a strange look.)

DR. WELLS:  That a girl.  Now tell me, why are you so scrambled?

JENNY:  (Breaks into crying again.)  Because today (sniff) I lost my job and my boyfriend has been sleeping with his secretary…

Dr. Wells pours herself a shot and downs it.

JENNY:   I just had another argument with my dad.  Tomorrow,  I turn thirty and I should have arrived by now.  It’s like prom night all over again…

DR. WELLS:  (She lights a cigarette and speaks with the cigarette dangling out of her mouth.) Prom night, now we’re making progress, what happened prom night?  (She inhales and continues to smoke.)

JENNY:  (Spoken without pausing between sentences) I dreamt of it since I was a little girl and how I’d wear a pretty dress.   I’d be beautiful with a great boyfriend but I fell asleep in the sun the day before and got such a bad sunburn.  My eyes swelled up, my scalp peeled and it looked like I had the worst dandruff.  I looked like a lobster in the red dress I bought, (She pauses to sniff), but none of that mattered because, (sniff) because, I was going stag!  (Jenny bawls.)

DR. WELLS:  (Wipes a tear from her eye and downs another shot.)  Oh Jenny, the only thing you missed out on by going stag was the part where you lose your virginity in three very uncomfortable minutes, to the guy, who the very next day says, “We’re going to separate colleges in separate states, so we may as well break up now.”

JENNY:  Oh, Dr. Wells, I’m so sorry!  (She continues to bawl and then notices people are staring and slowly, starts to collect herself.)

DR. WELLS:  Oh hey, how did you think I got into this line of work?  If you’re going to work with screwed up people, you’ve got to be a little screwed up yourself.  Get some rest and this big problem will be smaller in the morning.  (She puts out her cigarette.)

JENNY:   I need a refill on my sleeping pills.

DR. WELLS:  I’ll call it in for you.  Give me a call if it gets bad, otherwise I’ll see you on Thursday and get a job.  Oh, and make sure they have good benefits.

CUT TO:

INT. JENNY’S APARTMENT-TWO AM

There’s a clock on the wall.  The sound of the clock ticking is loud.  The clock shows  that it is two.

Jenny sits in her dark kitchen. 

Jenny is rolling a prescription container back and forth across her table.

Jenny rolls the container toward herself and attempts to open it.  It does not budge.  She attempts again, putting a little more muscle into it.  It still does not budge.  She attempts again, putting a little more muscle into it.  It still does not budge.  She bangs it on the table and tries again.  No luck.  She gets angry at it and throws it across the room. 

The container hits the wall and bursts open.  Pills fly everywhere.  Jenny runs over grabs the container and starts picking each pill up and blowing them off as she drops them back into the container.  She places the container back on the table and fills up a glass of water.  She pours the pills into her hand dumps them into her mouth.

The phone rings.

Jenny’s eyes look over at the phone.

The phone rings a second time.

 Jenny closes her eyes.

The phone rings a third time.

Jenny picks up the phone and answers with the pills in her mouth. 

JENNY:  Hello.  (Muffled by the pills in her mouth.)  Uh huh…  (She spits the pills across the room.  Then without pausing between questions, says) But I just saw her on TV.  But how could that happen?  Did she win?...  (She pauses for the answer.)  She knew she won but she never made it to the party?  (pause) Uh huh, anything, what can I do?  (pause)  Of course I will.  Hold on… (Jenny writes on a piece of paper.)  Okay, I’ll take the first flight I can get on.  I’m so sorry Mrs. Norton.  (She hangs up.)

JENNY:  She should have made it.  She never made it to her party.

CUT TO: 

INT. AIRPORT BAGGAGE CLAIM-NOON

Jenny has her bag already when NELLY NORTON, Rebecca’s mother approaches her with another woman, SOPHIE CALLAWAY, Rebecca’s agent.

MS. NORTON:  Jenny, I don’t know what I would do without you.  (She reaches out to hug Jenny.  They hug.)  You’ve always been such a good friend to Rebecca.  (She moves a strand of Jenny’s hair out of her face as she speaks to Sophie.)  Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without her.  (Then to Jenny) This is Rebecca’s agent.  She’s making the service arrangements.  I’m going back to the hotel but their booked.

SOPHIE:  Hi, Sophie Callaway.  We’ll drop Nelly off and I’ll take you to Rebecca’s. 

JENNY:  Hi.  (She extends her hand out to shake Sophie’s.  When Sophie doesn’t reciprocate she picks up her luggage.)

MS.  NORTON:  I figured you could stay at Rebecca’s.  (They start to walk.)  There’s no one there, I just, I just couldn’t.  (Ms. Norton starts to cry.)

MS. NORTON:  (Collects herself) There are other hotels…

JENNY:  (Looks Ms. Norton in the eye.)  No, I’d like to stay at Rebecca’s.

 

CUT TO:

INT. SOPHIE’S CAR-AFTERNOON

Sophie’s driving.

Ms. Norton is in the front passenger seat.

Jenny sits in the back, behind Ms. Norton.

SOPHIE:  So, Nelly tells me you and Rebecca were best friends?

JENNY:  Yes.

SOPHIE:  So, what do you do?

JENNY:  I um, I’m between…

MS. NORTON:  She’s a great singer!  She and Rebecca wrote a one-act operetta in high school and Jenny acted in it, while Rebecca directed and Jenny has a beautiful voice.

SOPHIE:  Oh, really?  So, have you performed in anything I would have heard of?

JENNY:  Well, actually, I… haven’t…

MS. NORTON:  Oh and she wrote the music for the operetta and their friend, what was his name, with the keyboard, Schroeder?

JENNY:  His name was Sean.  We just called him Schroeder.  That was his last name.  He played the piano and was a big fan of Beethoven, so we called him Schroeder. 

MS. NORTON:  That’s right, like that little peanut boy.

SOPHIE:  MMM, How cute.  Well here we are.

They turn into the hotel parking lot and stop at the front entrance. 

A doorman gets the door for them.

Nelly and Jenny get out.

EXT. HOTEL-AFTERNOON-REESTABLISH

Sophie opens her door,  gets  out of the car and stands on her side of the car.

JENNY:  Let me walk you in.  (To Ms. Norton)

SOPHIE:  (In a monotone voice) No, she’s in good hands and we’ve got to get going.  I have a ton of plans to take care of before tomorrow.

MS. NORTON:  (Pats Jenny’s hand) She’s been such a help.  I don’t want to hold her up. 

JENNY:  What’s your room number?

MS. NORTON:  Oh my, I think I’m having a senior moment.

SOPHIE:   (Walks around the car and tips a doorman.)  Make sure she gets to her room please.  Jenny, we need to go.

The doorman walks Nelly inside.

CUT TO: 

CAR INT.-AFTERNOON-REESTABLISH

Sophie is in the driver’s seat and Jenny is in the front passenger seat.

SOPHIE:  (Starts the car and begins to drive.)  This is not some small town funeral being planned.  This is going to be huge.  Everyone that is anyone will be there.  (She looks at Jenny and narrows her eyes.)  It’s interesting Jenny, (She focuses back on the road.)  Rebecca never spoke of you.  Yet ,Nelly seems to think you were her best friend.  Hmm…   Let me tell you what I think.  I think you’re just some little bumpkin that thought she’d fly out as the bereaved best friend in an attempt to get your fifteen minutes of fame.  Well Rebecca and I…  Well we were close.  I’m the one planning her funeral and so long as you’re here you will do as I say, understood? 

Jenny looks quizzically at Sophie.

SOPHIE:  (does a small, closed mouth, throaty laugh.)  You wouldn’t want me to have to expose you as the fraud you are, would you now?

Jenny remains silent, looking at the road ahead.

SOPHIE:  Open the glove compartment and take out the white envelope. 

Jenny complies

SOPHIE:  (grabs a key out of the envelope.  It is connected to the other keys by a key ring.)  Here is the key to the house.  I have disabled the alarm.  Attached is a key to the car, which you can find in the garage.  You will need that to get to the service tomorrow.  I have also enclosed directions in the envelope.  Oh, and my card is also in the envelope.  Have you written the eulogy?

JENNY:  (Not making any eye contact.)  I haven’t had a chance.

SOPHIE:  Then that is the first thing you are to do, and call me so I can edit it for you as soon as you are finished.  I expect to hear from you no later than six tonight.  Well here we are.  (She pops the trunk open from inside the car and stares at Jenny.)

Jenny peeks at Sophie from her peripheral vision.

SOPHIE:  (Widens her eyes in annoyance.)  Go!  (Jenny opens the door and as she does Sophie repeats)  No later than six!

CUT TO:

INT. REBECCA’S HOUSE-AFTERNOON-REESTABLISHED

Jenny enters through the front door into the foyer, puts down her suitcase and slowly walks toward the stairs leading to the upstairs.  There are pictures along a wall of the stairs.  She touches the banister.  She pauses, looks up, and then looks around.  There is a big mirror and more pictures in the foyer.  There are pictures of a happy Rebecca with other happy people.  Sophie is in some of them.   Jenny touches one of the pictures of Rebecca. 

JENNY:  I don’t get it Rebecca, how did you get involved with Sophie, or did she not show you that side of her?  I hope you never treated anyone like she’s treated me.  What am I saying?  You couldn’t have.  Remember when we befriended that girl Ramona, that everyone used to tease and how they stopped, once we stuck up for her.  How we beat up that bully that wouldn’t stop and made him promise he’d stop teasing her or we’d tell the whole school what a wimp he was.  (She sees a picture of Rebecca holding a bald child.)  No, you couldn’t have changed that much.  (Jenny looks away from the photo and wanders down the hall into the kitchen, all the while talking to the empty house.)  Okay, help me out here Rebecca, who did you become?  I need to find out or Sophie’s gonna annihilate me. 

It’s a big, mostly empty, looking kitchen.  There is a phone with a sticky note pad and pen next to it.  There is a door to the exterior of the home off the kitchen. 

JENNY (She opens the freezer and the refrigerator.)  Wow, she was a vegetarian?

INT. DINING ROOM-ONE MOMENT LATER

JENNY:    (Looking around) Who surrounded herself with beauty.

INT. LIVING ROOM ONE MOMENT LATER

JENNY:    And she had great taste.  (She admires the curtains and sofa.)

INT. FOYER-ONE MOMENT LATER

She walks up the stairs glancing at photographs.

Photos were to Rebecca, what trophies are to athletes.

JENNY:  Her life was full.  (She touches a photo.)  Full of accomplishments.  (She touches another)  Full of excitement.  (She touches another one.)  And full of happiness. 

INT. REBECCA’S BEDROOM-ONE MOMENT LATER

Jenny is entering Rebecca’s room.

JENNY:  With great optimism and hard work she rose to the top of her field. 

This is the first room we see that really looks lived in.  There is a book, “Maiden Voyage,” on the night table.  There is a vanity table complete with mirror and makeup lights and plenty of make-up stuff on the table. 

JENNY:  (Turning on the makeup lights.)  She lit up the room with her smile.  (She walks over to a dresser and picks up an energizer battery.)  She was full of energy.  (She opens the top drawer of the dresser, an underwear drawer.) Full, of energy.  (She quickly shuts the drawer and heads over to a little secretary’s desk.  She opens it.)  She was well organized and self disciplined.  (She opens a drawer and takes out a piece of paper, with a list on it.  We see the list.  Jenny reads it.)  What’s this?  “By the time I’m thirty I will…  Break things off with Professor Vickers.”  I forgot about him, oogy.   “Perform in a summer stock play.”  Uh huh.  “Get a job with The Washington Post.  Find a strong woman role model and establish strong contacts.  Start a recycling program.  Make friends with a W. H. F. S, employee. “  Mandy, (whispered) no that’s not it.  Oh, but she was so cool!  “Get my own place.  Get my own car and learn stick shift.”  Braver than me.  “Speak fluent Russian and visit Russia.  Make thirty thousand a year.”  I’m still not making that much.  (pause) She always managed to accomplish her goals. 

Jenny notices another list and picks it up.

JENNY:  “By the time I’m forty, I will. Support a good cause, volunteer, help others.”  (pause)  “Write a song and sing it in public.  Write an award winning screenplay.”  You did it.  I’ll check this one off for you.  “Make the cover of a magazine.  Date a celebrity.”  Hmm.  “Learn to sail.  Get a pilot’s license.”  Interesting?  “Be closer to my mom and work on my relationship with Dad.”   Oh, he never deserved to have a daughter.  “Get married and start a family.  Have a real (pause) orgasm?  With a person, not, mechanical device.”  Okay, well, that explains the devices in the drawer.

Jenny sits down on the bed.  She looks around the room. 

JENNY:  I’m sorry.  I never returned your phone calls or the letters you wrote me.  I just, I didn’t want you to see (Jenny begins to cry) what a failure I was.  You believed in me.  (pause) I wish I could have left like you did.  I wish you were here now.  You were the best friend I ever had.  I guess you left me again.  (pause) I tried to leave me.  (She looks around the room.)  Is that it God?  (She looks up.)  Is it because I tried to take my life?  (She looks at the lit up makeup mirror.)  So you took hers?  Well I’m the one!  (She slams her fist against the bed.)  I’m the one with no future!  (She grabs a pillow and hurls it across the room, then drops her head into one of her hands and cries.)  How can you be so cruel?  (She picks her head up and brings her hand to her mouth and rocks back and forth.)  She, she wasn’t done.  (She grabs the list and looks sadly at it.)  She should have at least been able to finish it.  (She looks at the list and shakes her head no.)

CUT TO:

 

 

INT. REBECCA’S FOYER-NIGHT

SOPHIE:  Hmm, not bad.  Now Ms. Norton and I will take the limo, you take Rebecca’s car and when the funerals over, so is your fifteen minutes.  I will have Ms. Norton and some close friends over after but you are not expected.  At the church you will sit with Ms. Norton and me.  At the cemetery, I will be sitting with Ms. Norton.  You will stand with all the others.  That said, I’m going home to get my beauty sleep.  Tomorrow’s a big day.

Sophie leaves through the front door.

JENNY:  Ugh!  (She slams her body against the closed door and locks it.  She takes the list out of her pocket and looks at it while sliding her back down the door to a seated position on the floor.  She yells.)  There’s not enough hours in the night for you to get your beauty sleep!

CUT TO :

EXT. CHURCH-TWO IN THE AFTERNOON

There are a lot of people loitering around the front of the church.  Some of them are with the media.  Juliette Carter is one of them.  She is with her CAMERA MAN.

CAMERA MAN:  And cut.

JULIETTE:  Okay, I’m going to head in now.  You’ll have to wait out here.  (She waves her finger at him, the way one would wave a finger at a naughty child.)  No camera men allowed.  (Then she reaches into her cleavage to pull out her microphone.) 

CAMERA MAN:  No, don’t!

Juliette stops.

CAMERA MAN:  At least we can hear what’s going on inside. 

JULIETTE:  Oh Honey, you are good!  I hope I haven’t disconnected anything.  (She pushes it back in and speaks into her breasts.) Can you hear me?  Can you hear me now?

EXT. CHURCH-A MOMENT LATER

Jenny’s walking through the crowd and into the church.  She wears an ill fitted, cheap suit.

CROWD MEMBER:  Who’s she?

ANOTHER CROWD MEMBER:  Oh, she’s no one.

Celebrities, ALICIA HUTTON, BRANDON DEVERAUX, and ELSA VANDERHOOF, walk in separately.  People are shouting at them to look so they can snap their pictures.

 

INT. CHURCH-TWO THIRTY IN THE AFTERNOON

The crowd of mourners is seen from Jenny’s point of view.  She is standing at the podium looking towards the people congregated there.  Two thirds of the people in the church are wearing some kind of ribbon or pin representing their various causes. 

She sees Alicia Hutton, checking her reflection in a compact mirror.

The crowd is completely silent.  Jenny’s heartbeat can be heard pounding loud and racing and her breath is heavy. 

Jenny sees Brandon Deveraux.

She focuses again on the rest of the crowded church.  It starts to sway and blur and then dark patches like puzzle pieces start to black out her vision.

INT. CHURCH-TWO THIRTY ONE IN THE AFTERNOON

Jenny is seen from the crowd’s point of view.  She is standing at the podium.  She starts to sway.  The crowd gasps. 

A priest starts to move towards her. 

Jenny puts up her hand to stop him.  She mouths, “I’m okay.”  She closes her eyes for a second and opens them. 

She sees Juliette Carter, apparently talking to her breasts.

JENNY:  The meaning of life, I’ve often questioned, what that is.  Rebecca was a beautiful woman, just thirty years old, who was full of life and invested so much of her life in the lives around her.  I don’t believe she ever took a moment for granted  (Tears start to fall from Jenny’s eyes.) or a person.

Elsa Vanderhoof is polishing her big diamond ring and checking her manicure.

JENNY:  She always saw potential in everything and everyone.  Even as a teenage valedictorian, she was wise beyond her years.   She had encouraging phrases like, “Tell yourself and everyone else you can do anything and if they call you on it, consider yourself blessed because then you get the opportunity to really learn something,” or “Every day is a new opportunity to learn and a chance to change the past because in the future, this will be the past.”

She took her kindness and wisdom to new levels when she was a journalist.  She would write about people and never criticize whom they were or why they chose to do what they chose to do.  She merely wrote with heart about the energy that person brought to the world.  As her friend, I’ve kept every article she ever wrote and I even have a couple of articles other people wrote about her.  In one, the author wrote, “She went about her journalism; much like an artist capturing the soul of their model and leaving its imprint on canvas.”  We can still look around us and see Rebecca’s soul’s imprint on everything and everyone she touched.  She has been a great friend to me and perhaps her greatest gift to me was her life because in her life I am able to see, the meaning of life.  I accept this gift (her voice begins to weaken) and the sadness that comes along with it.  Thank you Rebecca,  (whispered) even in death you have a way of putting things in perspective for me. 

CUT TO:

EXT. AERIAL VIEW OF THE CEMETARY:

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

 

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