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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1211089
by Dillon
Rated: 18+ · Script/Play · Western · #1211089
A diabetic cowboy, his nutritionist, a real estate agent, and her psychotic former lover.
INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - EVENING

EDMUND in his walkway opens his door to find LEONARD
leaning against his porch railing and smiling, arms
crossed.

EDMUND
Cowboy!

LEONARD
Look how fat you got, Edmund.

LEONARD and EDMUND hug, patting hard on shoulders.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
Where the hell's that wife of yours?

EDMUND
Oh, never mind, never mind. Cheryl's
sister took ill, so she went up to Parma
for the week.
(laughs)
I cannot believe you're in Cimarron!

LEONARD
Well, I am!

CUT TO:



INT. EDMUND'S DINING ROOM - LATER

EDMUND and LEONARD sit over a pasta dish, finishing off a
meal.

LEONARD
The biggest part for me is all the damn
traffic.

EDMUND
Yeah, yeah.

LEONARD
I mean, I been in traffic before, but
never had to live around it like this. If
I want a walk in the morning, you gotta
stand around in a line and wait for a
ding before you can even get across the
road.

EDMUND
You thinking about getting a car?

LEONARD
No, nah. No use for one, I don't think.

EDMUND
Well, it's hard, Leonard. You know,
living in the city without one. I mean,
everything's scattered around-

LEONARD
Yeah, but I got the bus for that sort of
thing.

EDMUND
We'll see how you feel in a year.
(Takes a bite)
Leonard... You look awful.

LEONARD
(sighs)
Yeah, I-

EDMUND
Bags under the eyes, and doughy,
jaundiced- I'm not kidding, Leonard, it's
bad.

LEONARD
Yeah.

EDMUND
I can't believe you even let it get this
far.

LEONARD
Yeah.

EDMUND
It's, uh- I mean, I'm gonna help you with
everything, obviously. But, I tell you,
it's not gonna... The diet is gonna be
very, very hard. But I'm not gonna pump
you up full of pills or nothing like
that, alright? Any other doctor in this
city, I guarantee you that's what they
do. But whatever I do say you got to do,
then you got to do it, no questions.
Alright?

LEONARD sighs, leaning back.

EDMUND (CONT'D)
And I always been right there with you as
far taking it easy with all that stuff,
you going at it your way, and everything.
But if you and I don't start getting
really, really desperate here, I mean,
you're gonna be dead. Fast.

LEONARD
(nods)
I- Yeah...

EDMUND
So that means you gotta promise me,
Leonard. No complaining. I mean, well, no-
you can complain, but you still
absolutely got to do whatever we find out
you got to do. You know?

LEONARD
Well, Edmund, I reckon that's why I'm
here.

EDMUND nods his head.

EDMUND
Leonard, of course I know you can swing
it. You're tough.

CUT TO:



INT. EDMUND'S LIVING ROOM - LATER

Sitting towards a window, EDMUND sips wine, LEONARD sips
water, sprawled out on parallel recliners.

LEONARD
Look at this place you got, here, Edmund.

EDMUND
Yeah, yeah. It's not bad, is it?

LEONARD
It's horrible.

EDMUND laughs.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
It's nothing but glass and flowers.

EDMUND
It's a little bit fruity, huh?

LEONARD
I can't believe Cheryl talked you into
it.

EDMUND
Well, to be honest, I was basically too
busy setting up the practice to notice.

EDMUND rises from his chair and walks around the room.

EDMUND (CONT'D)
But now that you mention it, the place
*could* use some fixing up. I think a-
(spreads his arms out against
a wall)
- big head of some sort right here. Bison
or a moose or something. That'd be
something.

LEONARD
Until Cheryl ties a bonnet around it's
ears-
(EDMUND laughs)
- plucks it's eyebrows. Sticks a daisy in
its mouth.

EDMUND, still laughing, sits back down.

EDMUND
Yeah, I guess that's one of the catches
for the whole domestic scene. But I don't
let it get to me. Houses, doing stuff to
houses, that's sort of girly stuff
anyway.

LEONARD
Girly stuff?

EDMUND
Well, you know, I figure if the wife
cares about the decor more than the
husband- more than me- then maybe she
ought to be able to do with it- well,
what she wants. 'Cause it's kind of a...
you know, a woman's thing.

LEONARD
(leaning forward in his
chair, no longer relaxed)
That's bullshit. No, no. Who taught you
to think like that?

EDMUND
Well, I just mean-

LEONARD
Women are terrible homemakers. Terrible.
They got absolutely no taste.
I mean, I know what I want out of a
house. I know what my house ought to look
like. And it sure ain't nothing like
this. What with the plants, and the vases-
I mean, candelabras? Look at how much
junk you got in this room, Edmund. Does
that look good to you? No, it just looks
girly. Fact is, women don't know the
first thing about putting a house
together, so they just pack it full of
clutter and hope we don't notice. But
guess what? I'm a man, and as it should
happen, I know how to make a living room
feel nice to sit in without drowning it
in a bunch of useless accessories.

EDMUND
Well...

LEONARD
There it is.

EDMUND
Wanna decorate my house?

LEONARD
(laughs)
I'll pass, doctor.

EDMUND
(shifting)
Speaking of which, Leonard, where are you
staying?

LEONARD
Oh...
(shakes head)
Y'know, just a hotel until I find
somewhere else.

EDMUND
Now, come on, Leonard, we got the guest
room.

LEONARD
No, no-

EDMUND
Just for a couple of weeks while you
figure out what you're doing, it wouldn't
be-

LEONARD
I'm not gonna impose.

EDMUND
Hey, it's not an imposition at all,
Leonard.

LEONARD
I don't mean in the polite way, I just
wouldn't feel comfortable, that's all.

EDMUND
It's a very nice room-

LEONARD
Seriously, it's not in the cards.

EDMUND looks at LEONARD and sips his wine.

EDMUND
Well, if that's how you feel.

LEONARD
That's how I feel.

EDMUND shrugs, reclining. LEONARD regains his relaxation,
lying back in his chair again.

EDMUND
Then, from the sound of it, you got a
hell of a house hunt ahead of you.

LEONARD
Oh yeah. You bet.

EDMUND
Fortunately for you, we've been having a
ton of rentin' in Cimarron this year. In
fact, the Guardian just done this big
report-

LEONARD
I ain't looking to rent, Edmund.

EDMUND
What's that?

LEONARD
Nope. Not renting. Landlords and all of
that. No thank you.

EDMUND
You're gonna buy a house in Cimarron?

LEONARD
Well, if I'm gonna keep on seeing you
from here, then I'm gonna need a castle
to call my own.

EDMUND
(exhales sharply)
Buying property, Leonard... that's a big
deal.

LEONARD
Not really.

EDMUND
You gonna get some help?

LEONARD
Ah, you mean like a-

EDMUND
Like an agent, yes.

LEONARD
Don't know. Been considering. I've heard
all about the... But, to be honest, I'd-
I'd really rather not.

EDMUND
I assumed you wouldn't. Except, of
course, I'm looking at it like this:
(holds up a finger)
New in town.
(holds up a second finger)
Got no car.
(holds up a third finger)
Drifting from hotel to hotel. Cowboy,
under the present circumstances, I
wouldn't really say you got much of a
choice.

LEONARD
Hmm.

CUT TO BLACK.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
Hmm.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S ROOM - NIGHT

TRAN lies on her back and stares at the ceiling, THOMAS
lying next to her, asleep, turned on his side.

TRAN (V.O.)
With Thomas, everything moved quickly.
Straight off, we just did coupley things.
He helped me move, we went out to the
theater, and when I took him to meet my
mom- he was basically living with me at
this point- but she was so happy she
cried. I had to translate all night, and
when we were going home, she held me and
wept. And I felt happy, but weird.

ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
How come?

TRAN (V.O.)
I didn't know. Then, one night, I was
looking at him, and I just thought, 'Fuck
you, Tran. Look what you did.'

ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
What did you do?

TRAN (V.O.)
Well, for some reason, I listened to my
mother. All these years, I thought I'd
been ignoring her, but here I was,
falling in love with a guy who I hated to
listen to, didn't like looking at, and
couldn't stand touching, all because
of... well, you know- the money. I was
disgusted with myself. I'd think, 'Do I
really care about security? Or is this
just some weird, tacky, shallow fetish
thing that's somehow been coded into my
brain?' I knew that I didn't care about
him at all. That was certain. He was just
Sexton of Sexton and Holmes, and that was
it. So, in between the nausea, the self
loathing, the restless nights, I decided
to bring it up.

TRAN turns to THOMAS.

TRAN (CONT'D)
Thomas?

THOMAS
Hmm?

TRAN
Can we talk?

TRAN (V. O.) (CONT'D)
And then everything came out.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING

THOMAS and TRAN stand far apart, facing each other.
THOMAS looks animalistic and full of adrenaline, TRAN
looks tired and calm.

TRAN (V.O.)
At first he was angry, and he screamed at
me.

THOMAS
You're like a frightened little girl who
just jumps all over the fucking place!
Trying to hitch your hat on another post,
well, it's time to learn a lesson, Tran!
No more just bouncing on to whatever
stupid, childish whim is sounding good
that day, okay? Because this is
adulthood, and you're hurting *people*,
now- Not silly characters at your little
fucking tea party!

CUT TO:



EXT. TRAN'S HOUSE - MORNING

TRAN stands in her doorway, THOMAS paces up and down the
walkway to the street.

TRAN (V.O.)
Then he was afraid, and he bargained with
me.

THOMAS
Look. Okay? Look- A lot of this is just
normal couple shit, and tons of people
can work through this. Normal people. I
mean, if you want, we could see a
counselor. Or- Shit- just talk it out
like human beings. Diplomatically,
alright?
(walks up to TRAN)
I love you.

CUT TO:



EXT. THE STREET - MORNING

THOMAS sits in his car, TRAN stands outside by the door.
The window is down, and THOMAS speaks through it.

TRAN (V.O.)
Then he was sad or angry again or maybe a
little of both.

THOMAS
(tears throughout)
What we had was very important to me,
Tran, and that's all I want you to know.
I'm gonna think about you until the day I
die and even though you- you fucking
*ripped* me apart, Tran, even though you
fucking *destroyed* me- I'll never get
over you, because you were the best thing
that ever happened to me- ah!
(pounding on his car horn)
Fuck fuck fuck fuck!

CUT TO:



TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING

The telephone rings.

TRAN (V.O.)
He started calling my house constantly.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE

The telephone rings.

TRAN (V.O.)
Then my office.

CUT TO:



INT. THOMAS' HOUSE

EXTREME CU: THOMAS' MOUTH TALKING INTO A RECEIVER

TRAN (V.O.)
He'd tell me about going off of his
medication, and this was medication I
never new he was on in the first place.
He'd tell me he knew about boyfriends I
had that didn't exist. He'd say that he
was ready to accept my apology.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING

The telephone rings.

TRAN (V.O.)
Then, I stopped answering.

The telephone finishes ringing.

CUT TO:



EXT. THE STREET - DAY

TRAN walks along a sidewalk, carrying a purse, looking
relatively happy in the sunshine.

TRAN (V.O.)
I became extremely good at ignoring him,
the calls slowed down, and life was
picking up again. I didn't date, and I
still don't. I didn't want to, and I
still don't. Every now and then, I'd hear
from a friend who'd say, 'Oh, Thomas has
been sending out chain e-mails about
you,' or maybe I'd swear I'd see his car
driving off when I got home from work one
day, but it was all easy enough to put in
the back of my mind. Then, weeks down the
line, I got a different call.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON

TRAN's telephone rings. After scanning the caller ID, she
clicks on the receiver.

TRAN
Hello?

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

A SUITED EXECUTIVE sits with his feet on his desk, phone
in hand

RAYMOND
Hello, Ms. Pham?

TRAN
(on the other end)
Yes?

RAYMOND
This is Raymond Haverstock, I'm with the
legal department at Sexton and Holmes
insurance. Is this a good time?

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN holds the phone, looking confused, furrowing her
brow.

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

RAYMOND hasn't moved.

TRAN
(on the other end)
I guess so. What's this about?

RAYMOND
Well, Ms. Pham, we understand that you
may be very valuable to us regarding
pending litigation against a-
(reads a sheet of paper in
front of him)
Thomas Sexton. You know Thomas, yes?

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN
Uh- I did, yes. I'm sorry, can you
explain what this is?

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

RAYMOND
Sexton and Holmes is pursuing legal
action against Mr. Sexton involving a
series of- ah- dramatics, which followed
his termination.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN laughs.

TRAN
Termination? You fired your boss?

RAYMOND
(on the other end)
Excuse me?

TRAN
(still chuckling)
So is it just gonna be Holmes Insurance
from now on?

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

RAYMOND uncrosses his legs and replaces them on the
ground.

RAYMOND
I'm sorry, I don't think I understand.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN
Well, I mean, what happened? Shareholders
got angry? I mean, 'terminated,'- he
didn't even resign?

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

RAYMOND
Oh, wait, do you...
(a pause)
I'm sorry, Ms. Pham, how well do you know
Thomas?

TRAN
(on the other end)
What do you mean?

RAYMOND
No, I see how you could get that mixed up-
Uh, Thomas Sexton, he's not Vilmos
Sexton, the cofounder.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN suddenly looks a bit shocked, still working it out.

TRAN
I-... What's Thomas, then?

CUT TO:



INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME

Laughing, RAYMOND replaces his legs on top of his desk.

RAYMOND
Thomas is a former filing clerk of ours.
Did he actually tell you he ran the
place?

RAYMOND laughs.

RAYMOND (CONT'D)
No, but when we canned him, he tried to
set fire to his desk, and then got into a
brawl with a security guard, so we're
seeking damages. Anyway, we heard he'd
given you some trouble, and were
wondering if you'd be interested in
serving us as a character witness?

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN holds the phone an inch or two away from her head,
which waves back and forth as if dizzy. She sighs
repeatedly.

TRAN
(quickly)
No.

TRAN slams the receiver and holds her head, embarrassed.

CUT TO BLACK.

TRAN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
After that, I stopped hearing from Thomas
altogether.

CUT TO:



INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT

TRAN emptied a bottle of wine and is currently pulling
the cork from another.

TRAN
I figured he found out that I found out
and decided to avoid me.
(grunts, popping out the
cork)
I didn't tell anyone about the whole
ordeal. I deserved to feel like an idiot.
Even though it was completely obvious the
entire time that I was being lied to, I
had bought too far into the American
dream. A learning experience altogether.

TRAN pours herself a glass.

ART DECO ONE STORY
People. And love.

TRAN
(sipping)
But now, now it's all back and it's all
worse. The calls started again full
force, the e-mails. I found him-
(laughs)
I found him on my yard. He'd broken into
my house and pulled everything out onto
the lawn. I don't know if he was stealing
my things, or if he was gonna start a
bonfire, or what.

ART DECO ONE STORY
My word! Did you call the police?

TRAN
No, but he thinks I did. When I got back
home, everything was still outside, but
he'd left, and he'd put some vague,
threatening note in my mailbox about
'Keeping things private.'

ART DECO ONE STORY
You should call the police.

TRAN
No...

ART DECO ONE STORY
What? Why not! Don't stand up for this
creep- don't be one of these battered
housewives from the Lifetime movies.

TRAN
It isn't that, I just I can't! I don't
have the time, the energy, or the
strength to deal with any of this.

Beat.

ART DECO ONE STORY
(quietly)
But aren't you afraid?

TRAN chuckles, looking at her glass, now nearly empty.
After a moments pause, she abruptly tears up, lowering
her head.

TRAN
(weakly)
Yes.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - MORNING

LEONARD CHRISTIAN pulls open a drawer and throws a large
phone book on his bed, walking into the bathroom.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER

LEONARD brushes his teeth, humming "Yellow Rose of
Texas."

LEONARD spits.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

LEONARD thumbs to the back of the phone book, into the
yellow pages.

In the R's, he passes by different sections.

LEONARD
(under his breath)
Rabbis... Racecourses... RCCh...
(slowly)
Real. Estate.

Scanning up and down the pages, LEONARD's finger stops on
a large, eye-catching advertisement.

In the ad, DEBBI WAGNER, an enthusiastic looking woman in
her late forties, points to the viewer, towering over
several houses. Her name features prominently on the top
of the image, and on the bottom, the text reads "Real
Compassion. Real Experience. Real Estate.

LEONARD sighs and reaches for the receiver.

Looking back and forth between the yellow pages and
phone, he slowly punches in the number.

LEONARD holds the phone to his ear, which rings.

DESKMAN
(Indian accent, on the other
end)
Hello?

LEONARD
Uh, good morning, is this Debbi...
(looks up and down the page)
Wagner's office?

DESKMAN
(on the other end)
Okay, you have to dial '9' before any
telephone number, or else all of them
just go to the hotel desk, okay?

LEONARD scrunches his eyebrows.

LEONARD
Uh... Okay.

DESKMAN hangs up.

LEONARD hangs up, picking the phone up again and checking
for the dial tone.

Looking at the phone, LEONARD makes a large, deliberate
movement to punch in the number nine before re-dialing
DEBBI from looking in the yellow pages.

The phone rings.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI WAGNER is at her desk, finishing a note while her
phone rings. Scrambling out the last sentence, she picks
up the receiver.

DEBBI
Hello, Wagner Real Estate.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Uh, good morning, this is Leonard
Christian, and I'm hoping to talk to
Debbi.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI
You've got her, Leonard. How can I help
you?

LEONARD
(on the other end)
Well, I'm looking for a house.

DEBBI
Listen to that accent. Where are you
from, cowpoke?

LEONARD
(on the other end)
Texas.

DEBBI
Texas! Where in Texas?

LEONARD
(on the other end)
You wouldn't have heard of it. Near
Galveston.

DEBBI
Oh, you don't say? I've got a girlfriend
lives in Beaumont. What kind of a house
are you looking for, Leonard?

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Well, the right one.

DEBBI
(laughs, on the other end)
Of course. Let's get specific. How many
bedrooms?

LEONARD
Bedrooms? Well, I'm thinking at least
one.

DEBBI
(chuckles, on the other end)
Uh-huh. And no more than?

LEONARD
Uh... I dunno.

DEBBI
(on the other end)
Need a number, Leonard.

LEONARD
Well, I would say a thousand bedrooms
would be too many.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI leans back, laughing.

DEBBI
I think I get your point, Leonard. See, I
love your type- You've probably lived in
the same house your whole life, and now,
for some reason or another, you've got to
move, and all you're looking for is the
one that clicks. You've got no idea what
it looks like, no idea where it is, but
when you see it, you'll know- ding! It's
the one.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
(clears his throat)
Ah, w- Alright.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI
We'll find it, Leonard. Rest assured.
Should I be looking for immediate
availabilities?

LEONARD
(on the other end)
Uh, yes. Definitely.

DEBBI
Alright. Now, here's something we do need
to discuss: Price range.

LEONARD
(on the other end)
Nah, that's not important.

DEBBI
Trust me, Leonard, price is important.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Don't worry about that. Don't worry about
that. Whatever it costs, I can take care
of it.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI
Ooh! Well, well, well, Leonard! Now
you're talking my language!

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Yeah, yeah. But, listen, don't get too
worked up about that. I mean, you know,
don't limit me to a bunch of fancy crap.
'Cause, if you bring me the giant
colonial estate on the waterfront, I'm
not gonna want it.

DEBBI
(on the other end)
Loud and clear, Leonard. Loud and clear.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI
Leonard, if I may ask, where'd you
stumble onto your- uh- your fortune?

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Oh, uh... It's just family money, y'know.
As a young man, my father was- uh,
developing some property and, basically,
he discovered an oil field.

CUT TO:



INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

DEBBI
Wait a minute, was his name Jed?

LEONARD
(on the other line)
Huh? N-no, it was- Harlan.

DEBBI
You know, a poor mountaineer, barely kept
his family fed?

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD holds his phone and stares off.

LEONARD
Uh...
(a pause, then, highly
disappointed)
Yeah.

CUT TO:



INT. BLONDE WOMAN'S OFFICE - MORNING

A bubbly blonde is on the phone.

BLONDE WOMAN
An oil baron? Why, you must be looking
for a house with a cee-ment pond!

CUT TO:



INT. BRUNETTE'S OFFICE - MORNING

Brunette woman is on the phone.

BRUNETTE
So you packed up your bags and moved to
Bever-lee!

CUT TO:



INT. OLDER MAN'S OFFICE - MORNING

A greying old man is on the phone.

OLDER MAN
Son, I think you got the wrong number!
This ain't Californee!

CUT TO:



INT. YOUNG MAN'S OFFICE - MORNING

A young African-American male is on the phone.

YOUNG MAN
Oh, black gold!

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD flinches, inhaling deeply before slamming the
phone onto the receiver.

LEONARD
Son of a bitch.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - MORNING

TRAN
An oiler? That's very interesting.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD looks surprised.

LEONARD
Excuse me?

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

TRAN
(raising her voice)
I said that's very interesting.

LEONARD
(on the other end)
Yeah, yeah- but, I mean, that's it?
Nothing else?

TRAN
Uh... N- no. I mean, you know, it's very
interesting, it's an interesting thing to
do- for him to have done.

LEONARD
(on the other end)
But that's it?

TRAN
Uh-huh.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD stands up and grabs a piece of paper, digging
through his pocket for a pen frantically.

LEONARD
Uh, listen- listen, what was it, Tran
Pham?

TRAN
(on the other end)
Yeah, Tran.

LEONARD
When's the soonest you can take me house
hunting, Ms. Pham?

TRAN
(digging through her date
book)
When's the- ah, it'd be...
(arriving at a page)
It'd be soon, pretty soon.

CUT TO:



INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY

LEONARD is thumbing through a magazine, feet up on a
table. EDMUND enters, tapping the door.

LEONARD
Shit, I was fixing to skeletonize.

EDMUND
I'm sorry 'bout the wait, Leonard.

LEONARD
Fucked up is all.

EDMUND
D'you remember the routine?

LEONARD
Do I re- yeah, Edmund, of course I do.
But now look around. You scrambled
everything up, how'm I supposed to find
the damn popsicle sticks in this room?

EDMUND
Lookie here, Leonard, 'cause I'm just
gonna go through his once.
(points towards the bathroom)
You piss here,
(points at the hypodermic
kit)
You poke yourself there,
(points at the table)
Then you sit down there.

LEONARD
(getting up)
Okay. Okay.

EDMUND
Damn, Leonard, we'd just about have you
on your way if you'd've been on this
shit. What, now I got to wait around for
a year 'till you've finished.

LEONARD
(heading out the door)
Hope I can piss. I been saving up all
morning.

CUT TO:



INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - LATER

LEONARD is seated on the table, EDMUND leans against the
wall, addressing him.

EDMUND
Well, I got a folder full of numbers. If
any of 'em mean something to you, I'll be
glad to share.

LEONARD
Nah, nah. Just... Just the overall-

EDMUND
The overall is bad, Lenny. The overall is
you're about 65, 68 years old on the
inside. Everything's up in arms. Thyroid,
blood sugar, iron, all that shit you
don't care about, it's all bad.

LEONARD
I- yeah.

EDMUND
But I've taken some of my free time
lately, and I've devised a little book
for you.

EDMUND digs a black book out of his coat.

EDMUND (CONT'D)
I need you to live by this, Leonard. This
here is your brand new Holy Bible.

LEONARD
(grabbing the book)
Huh. What's this?

EDMUND
That's the next three weeks worth of
meals for you.

LEONARD
Ah, jeez...

EDMUND
I got everything in there from when you
can drink coffee to what kind of fruit to
cut into your cereal to who knows what
else. So in the back of the book, if
you'd just turn to, to the back.

LEONARD flips the book.

EDMUND (CONT'D)
I went ahead and wrote down a shopping
list for you, Lenny. The kind of stuff
that-

LEONARD
What's pomegranate?

EDMUND
Listen to me. There's some stuff on that
list that you're gonna have to pick up at
Sunshine Market.

LEONARD
Sunshine Market. Alright.

EDMUND
That's the alternative grocery. Organic
health whatnot.

LEONARD
(being as diplomatic as
possible)
Hmm.

EDMUND
I'm just taking advantage of your new
location. Cimarron, we got stuff here
that you just can't find back in Texas.
I'm talking about real superfoods,
Leonard.

LEONARD
Superfoods.

EDMUND
Yeah, it just basically means a food
that's got tons of stuff you're looking
for. Omega-3 Fatty acids, B vitamins,
fiber, that sort of thing. Sweet potatoes
are a superfood, for instance.

LEONARD
Never liked those damn things, man.
My mother, Ginny, she always trying to
sneak those things in with a cut of beef.
Cover it up in cinnamon, sweet cream
butter- turned my stomach like the tide.

EDMUND
Look, Leonard; I'll come one honest with
you. There are people out there who would
choose to eat this shit on their own free
will. You and I are never gonna be one of
those people. So I think it's best for
you to look at it like this: From now on,
you're just taking medicine. You're not
really eating, you're not really
drinking, just taking your medicine.

LEONARD
Shit.

EDMUND
Listen to me. This isn't good, huh? This
is the last thing you want to be going
through right now, I know it. But we have
an agreement as friends over this, and
you've got to stick to what I say, no
matter what you're feeling inside. Every
other doctor in this town would just have
you crank up your dosage, alright? And I
could tell you to do that, and you'd be
out of my hair next week. I'd rather
stabilize your diet, keep you where you
are as far as the insulin is concerned.
Because if I get you up to some
ridiculous- you know, eight gallons of
that shit every day, well, your blood
sugar's gonna look just fine on my little
clipboard, but the next time you stumble
up on your food or something, you're
gonna have a lot farther to fall.

LEONARD
Yeah.

EDMUND
Speaking of which, you see that red page?
It's, uh, the one in the back.

LEONARD
(under his breath)
How to...

EDMUND
How to do what you do if and when you
have to.
That's sort of your emergency list. So if
my system falls apart and you find
yourself up shit creek-

LEONARD
I think we're gonna cross that bridge
when we come to it.

EDMUND
Yeah, no, I- I'm just looking out for
you, buddy.

LEONARD
(flipping through his book)
Nah, doc, I can see you spent an awful
lot of time setting this up for me.

EDMUND
Hmm. Yeah, it wasn't anything too
extreme. Just when I had some free time.

LEONARD
And like you say, we got an agreement as
friends over this.

EDMUND
Uh-huh.

LEONARD
So what's a couple of weeks of eating
shit, I guess?

EDMUND
(sighs)
Alright. Thank you, Leonard.

LEONARD
Yeah.

EDMUND
So I'm gonna need to keep a close watch
on your numbers if this is gonna work.
And, ah- I'll need you in often.

LEONARD
So we're talking...?

EDMUND
(sighs)
Is three times a week too much?

LEONARD
If anything, that'd make it a lot easier
for me.

EDMUND pats LEONARD on the shoulder.

CUT TO:



EXT. STREET - MORNING

TRAN's car is outside of a park. She looks around, unable
to relax.

After a moment, LEONARD is seen walking towards the car
from through the window.

He leans over, smiling a bit before tapping gently on the
window, startling TRAN. When she gets hold of the
situation, she meets his eye contact and slightly cracks
her window, which he slips his fingers in.

TRAN
Leonard?

LEONARD
Ms. Pham.

TRAN
Hop in.

TRAN opens the power lock, and LEONARD begins to climb
in.

TRAN looks to LEONARD's boots, which are caked in mud.

TRAN (CONT'D)
Oh, gosh...

LEONARD
What?

TRAN
Your- look at your shoes.

LEONARD looks down.

LEONARD
Oh, yeah. Uh... What- should I just...
What should I do?

TRAN
Can you maybe put them in the trunk?

LEONARD
Really?

TRAN
You don't have to. Please, though?

LEONARD starts unlacing his boots

LEONARD
Uh-huh. Sure.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S CAR - LATER

TRAN drives and talks, but throughout, LEONARD seems
preoccupied with his feet.

TRAN
I think you'll like this district up
ahead, Leonard, where we're going. It's
sort of quieter, like what you were
saying earlier? And they've got some lots
that are off the main-ways, and the
people there seem pretty- oh- pretty
real. You know, normal people.

LEONARD
Yeah, alright. Well, I'm wishing us both
good luck.

CUT TO:



INT. SMALL COTTAGE - LATER

TRAN shows LEONARD through a living room/kitchen.

TRAN
Most of the furnishing and the sinks,
and... the counter-tops, the shelving,
the gas heating, it's all new. Just put
in last year-

Vacantly, LEONARD wanders into a room.

CUT TO:



INT. SMALL COTTAGE BEDROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD peers out a window overlooking the yard as TRAN
enters.

TRAN
And I see you've found your way to the
master bedroom, which I think we can
obviously call a highlight for this lot-
As far as closet space, well, there
really isn't any, but it's got a nice
atmosphere altogether, gets a lot of
natural light-

LEONARD
(opening the door)
That's the bathroom? Across the hall?

TRAN
Yes, that's a full bath, and the tile in
there, I think you'll like.

LEONARD
It's not the green like out in here.

TRAN
No, it's a gentle tan, with a white-

LEONARD
What's next?

TRAN pauses for a moment, trying to understand.

CUT TO:



INT. SUBURBAN TWO-STORY - LATER

TRAN, having learned her lesson, now allows LEONARD to
lead the way. As he paces through the house, she follows,
doing her best to talk up the scenery.

TRAN
Okay, that was the family room and we're
heading right for the walk-in closet,
which has some carpeting- it's the only
room in the house, actually, with
carpeting. This is cherry wood on the
floor, it's extremely tough, it doesn't
scratch easily, and it doesn't conduct
sound between the two floors. So, you
won't be hearing, you know, stomp, stomp,
stomp if someone's wandering round
upstairs.

LEONARD nods for a moment before changing directions.

TRAN (CONT'D)
Alright, so this would be the second
bedroom, and it's actually just about as
big as the master. No walk-in, but there
is quite a bit of storage space-

LEONARD
Yeah, it's all a little bit too...

TRAN
Too?

LEONARD shrugs for a moment before shaking his head.

CUT TO:



EXT. MANUFACTURED HOME - LATER

TRAN and LEONARD walk towards the house over stepping
stones.

TRAN
Okay, this is Hesterly street.

LEONARD
Ms. Pham?

TRAN
Uh, Leonard?

They stop.

LEONARD
I really think you're- well, you're very
good at what you do, Tran.

TRAN
Leonard?

LEONARD
No, I mean, you know everything that
there is to know about most of these
places. You've been good about your
homework, I mean, I like how you talk 'em
up. Not even talk 'em up so much as you,

TRAN
Wait a minute, are you firing me?

LEONARD
What? No, no- Tran, that's- that's not
what I'm trying to get at.

TRAN
Because it's okay if-

LEONARD
It's not that, I promise.

TRAN
I- alright.

LEONARD
But all I mean is, since you're so good
at your job and all, and since I respect
you and whatnot, I was hoping that if we
got to a house and it wasn't the one, or
it wasn't right, wasn't what I was
looking for, if I could just go ahead and
let you know so you don't have to waste a
bunch of time telling me about it.
'Cause, you know, I mean, I know you've
got everything- ah-
(tapping his head)
- up there. About the house, I know that.

TRAN
Um, of course, Leonard. I mean, I hope
that if we get somewhere and you simply
aren't feeling it, that you'll tell me.

LEONARD
Yeah?

TRAN
Of course.

LEONARD
Because this isn't gonna be my house.

TRAN
I...

LEONARD
Yeah.

FADE TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

LEONARD is stretched out cross-legged on his bed. After a
moment, he reaches for EDMUND's book.

LEONARD thumbs through the pages, arriving at something
and reading it over before getting up.

As the camera pans across the room, we reveal a mountain
of paper grocery bags, which LEONARD peers into one at a
time, sifting and sorting through.

After a moment, he crouches in front of his minifridge,
opening it and taking a couple of items.

CUT TO:



INT. BATHROOM - LATER

LEONARD sautés tofu in a pan over a hot plate. He looks
in EDMUND's book which is on the counter top, and adds an
extra squirt of organic, low-sodium oil. He sniffs the
air, and coughs.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER

LEONARD sits down with a plate and a fork, scooping the
first bite into his mouth. He chews for about twenty
seconds before gurgling in protest.

LEONARD gets off of his bed and walks off frame into the
bathroom, where we hear him spitting the food into the
the toilet.

LEONARD
(between spitting and
coughing)
Shit, that is-

After a moment, LEONARD reenters the main room, and
collects the plate of tofu from his bed, walking again
off frame.

We hear him scraping the remainder into the toilet,
before flushing it all down.

LEONARD returns to his bed and stretches back out.

After a moment, he eyes EDMUND's book, and sighs deeply.

CUT TO:



INT. BATHROOM - LATER

LEONARD sautés another pan full of tofu, this time
squirting a steady stream of the low-sodium oil.

CUT TO:



EXT. TRAN'S HOUSE - NIGHT

A tired looking TRAN walks towards her house, suitcase in
hand. She opens her front door and enters.

After a moment, she exits the house and closes the door
mostly, peeling a note off the peep hole.

THOMAS' NOTE
Finally woken up from a long and
murderous dream. Wondering how to break
it to the therapist. Any thoughts?
- T

TRAN gazes at the note for a moment.

CUT TO:



INT. LEONARD'S HOTEL ROOOM - LATER

LEONARD pricks a needle to his fingertip, dabbing the
blood on an electronic reader.

He looks at the reader for a moment, waiting.

Text clicks on the screen.

ON-SCREEN TEXT
278.

LEONARD
Shit.
(breathing harder)
Shit...

The text clicks out.

LEONARD steadies himself against the bed for a moment
before slowly settling on the ground.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER

LEONARD hasn't lost consciousness, still seated against
his bed, and even looks a bit better. He finishes the
last of his tofu, and pulls himself to his knees,
grabbing the telephone and wedging it between his
shoulder and ear.

Digging a piece of paper from his pocket, he dials a
number.

DESKMAN
(Indian accent)
Hello?

LEONARD hangs up. Allowing his line to reset, he picks
the phone back up, dialing nine before his number.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S ROOM - SAME TIME

The telephone on tran's night stand rings. From off
frame, TRAN reaches over to grab it, pulling the
telephone off with her.

TRAN
(weakly, hiccuping under
tears)
Hello?

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
(softening his voice)
Ms. Pham? Is this- are you alright?

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S ROOOM - SAME TIME

TRAN sighs and whimpers.

TRAN
(with a bit of strength)
How can I help you, Leonard?
(after a pause)
Yes, about the house hunt.
Would you hate me if I canceled for
tomorrow and just met up with you-
(sniffs)
Up with you on Wednesday instead?

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME

LEONARD
Well, actually, that's exactly what I was
calling about. There's some health- some,
I've gotta go see my nutritionist
tomorrow. So I was hoping-
(chuckles)
Yeah, exactly. So Wednesday would be
fine. Okay.
(softer still)
Are you- is everything okay, Tran?

CUT TO:



INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - DAY

THOMAS pulls a chair up in front of a dresser. On top of
the dresser sits a picture frame which is currently faced
away from the camera.

After dragging the chair, THOMAS walks off screen again
before returning with a glass and a bottle of white wine.

THOMAS
(sighing to his picture)
Hello again.
(he corks the bottle and
begins to pour himself a
glass)
I hope you weren't getting too lonely in
that drawer.

CU PICTURE OF TRAN

TRAN smiles, hair shorter, frozen in time.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
But I've sure been doing a lot of
thinking, you know. It's all I have to-
it's all I can do anymore. Is think.
(sipping his wine, darkly)
And at first, I felt afraid of myself. Of
what my life had become, and I thought,
'Holy Mackerel.
How long have you been looking the other
way, Thomas?' I thought, 'You're a sick
man.' I won't get into everything
tonight, but all of these horrible
months, and so many... awful, disgusting
things that I've done, or thought about
doing.
(a bit lighter)
And I couldn't believe it, you know? What
that all meant for me. How could I- Was I
really so far gone that I hadn't even
noticed? That I'd gone crazy? But then I
said- and this was actually out loud, I
said 'Thomas, get better!' I shouted it
at myself! And then there's about five
minutes I can't even remember. I woke up
on the floor, there was a puddle of tears
in my nose. And I felt like a great demon
had left me. And for the first time in a
long time, I looked back on my life, and
everything was unobstructed. Perfectly
clear. And I thought, 'You are better,
Thomas.'
(smiles and shakes his head)
So I called Mary, and I told her that she
was right. That I had tricked myself into
falling in love with her, that what I was
feeling- what I thought I was feeling,
wasn't real.
(building impassion)
But I also told her that she was fucking
abysmal at the job she does- that in four
months, she'd accomplished nothing for
me, and that she needed to find work
where people weren't relying on her to
help them,. I mean, fucking shit, that's
actually dangerous, what she's doing. You
know?
(after a pause, and calm
again)
And then... With all of that taken care
of... Well, it brought me back to you.
And I realized that, not only was I
absolutely, entirely not angry with you,
but that I'd actually never been angry
with you. There was a period when, boy, I
sure thought I was. So I pictured myself,
all of those times, screaming at you or
ranting at you or threatening you, and I
cringed. I felt such a despair, such a
deep, horrible embarrassment. I mean, you
wouldn't believe there were so many
things that I looked back on and
dreaded...
Like, I can't believe I actually asked
you for an apology. I asked you! That was
so... ugly, and wrong of me, Tran. But I
was sick. And then I thought, 'Well, if
I'm not angry at Tran, then what do I
feel about her?' And I thought, 'I don't
know, I don't know.'
(smiles)
But now I think I finally understand...
About us.

THOMAS sets his wine down.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
I wrote this song for me, for my own
sake. But it'd be wrong to hide it from
you, I think. Because it's about us. And
I guess I- I hope you like it.

THOMAS inhales deep and closes his eyes. As he begins,
gentle guitar accompanies him.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
There are only a handful of ways
That I can
Apologize
Been a year of miserable days
But hear me
And watch my eyes
It can be better
Because
It has to be better
Because if one more second
Slips by on my wrist
It can be sweet again
Because
It has to be sweet again
Because I live with my heart now
Instead of my fist
And all the regret
And every last lie
And anything else I said
That was wrong and disgusting and savage
I take it all back
I can be stronger
Because
I have to be stronger
Because if I turn 28 still living a dream
I will be good to you
Because
I have to be good to you
Because I love and I know what I mean
And all the regret
And every last lie
And anything else I said
That was wrong and disgusting and savage
I take it all back

CU TRAN'S PICTURE

THOMAS closes his eyes, still deep in his thoughts.

FADE TO BLACK.

FADE IN:



INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - DAY

LEONARD reads a poster in the examination room.

EDMUND enters.

EDMUND
How about a walk, Leonard?

CUT TO:



EXT. THE STREET - LATER

EDMUND and LEONARD walk along a road. After a moment.

LEONARD
So why isn't it taking?

EDMUND
I knew you were going to say that.

LEONARD
Well?

EDMUND
It *is* taking, Leonard, but it's going
to be gradual.

LEONARD
Lookie, I'm all for gradual, but how long
do I have to go around feeling like death
warmed over?

EDMUND
I know. It's... I don't know, Leonard,
maybe you got to me too late.

LEONARD
Well...

EDMUND
Maybe we've just gotta medicate you from
here on in.

They walk.

LEONARD
That isn't what I want.

EDMUND
I realize.

LEONARD
So stick with the book you made for me?

EDMUND
You can, of course. I won't force nothing
on you. But my professional advice, I
mean- I'd say at this juncture... Flip a
coin.

LEONARD
Mm.

EDMUND
That red page. 'How to do What you do If
and when you have to.' Have you read it?

LEONARD
No.

EDMUND
Well, it says if you can get to a phone,
then call me. And if you can't, then
forget the system, get yourself a hypo,
and save your life.

LEONARD coughs.

LEONARD
Alright.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S CAR - THE NEXT DAY

LEONARD sits in TRAN's passenger seat, TRAN drives.

TRAN
I want to focus on townhouses today,
because I'm getting the feeling that this
sort of southwestern, frilly, clay
pattern thing isn't hitting any of the
right notes with you.

LEONARD
Alright. Townhouses?

TRAN
Yeah. They're really simple lots. Usually
three stories, or two stories, and they
call them that because they sort of tend
to build them into little neighborhoods.
Like a cluster of these little,
inoffensive, towny houses.

LEONARD
Yeah, okay.

TRAN
Okay?

LEONARD
Sounds like it's worth a shot.

TRAN
Okay.

LEONARD
Are you, ah- How are you feeling today?

TRAN
I'm fine. I'm fine, Leonard, and I just
wanted to say that I'm really sorry you
caught me at such a bad time the other
night.

LEONARD
Oh, no, I didn't- ah, don't worry about
that.

TRAN
Well, it wasn't very professional of me,
is all. And I really hope it's not going
to be, like, in the back of your head all
of the time. Does that make sense? Don't
think I'm some sort of loser that you
can't depend on or something, okay?

LEONARD
I don't think that at all.

TRAN
Okay. Yeah. But I'm fine. Thank you for
asking.

LEONARD
Okay.

CUT TO:



EXT. TOWNHOUSES - LATER

TRAN and LEONARD pull up in front of a townhouse.

TRAN
Alright, this is the first lot we're
going to check out today.

LEONARD
Alright.

TRAN
There are...
(checking paperwork against
her steering wheel)
As a matter of fact, three availabilities
here.

LEONARD
Huh.

TRAN
And I myself have only actually been
inside these particular houses one time
years ago.

LEONARD
Alright.

TRAN
So we're kind of on equal ground as far
as that's concerned.

LEONARD
Alright.

TRAN
But, of course, you know me: I did do my
homework. Three bedroom, two and a half
bath, and two decks.

LEONARD
Two decks?

TRAN
That's right.

LEONARD
Nice.

TRAN
Good! So we'll take a look here, and then
I have about four more lots to show you
today. So let's move, move, move!

They climb out of TRAN's car and walk around to the
trunk, which TRAN opens.

LEONARD
(digging out his boots)
I think I'm going to like this one.

LEONARD is cut off by TRAN's cell phone.

TRAN
(digging it from her pocket
and flipping open)
Hello?

TRAN immediately stops in her tracks, launching into
harsh and unsubtitled Vietnamese.

LEONARD stops too, looking confused and a bit shocked
before lacing up his boots.

TRAN's conversation continues on for about half of a
minute, with LEONARD looking around and eventually
putting his hands in his pockets.

TRAN hangs her phone up.

TRAN (CONT'D)
(under her breath)
Fuck.
(to LEONARD)
Alright... I have a *very* small
emergency that I need to take care of,
Leonard. Would you mind coming with me? I
promise I'll only be... Five minutes.

LEONARD
Yeah. Yeah, of course.

LEONARD begins to unlace his boots.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
I think I like this one.

TRAN
Good! Good. And I promise, we'll come
right back here.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S CAR - MOMENTS LATER

TRAN drives, LEONARD sits.

LEONARD
Is anything the matter?

TRAN
(quickly)
No, don't worry.

CUT TO:



EXT. TEN'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

TRAN's car pulls up.

TRAN
I'll be five minutes.

LEONARD
Okay. Is there anything I can-

TRAN
(getting out)
No. Five minutes.

TRAN shuts her car door and walks towards the house.

LEONARD
Okay.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

TRAN enters, closing the front door and walking into the
living room, looking around.

TRAN (SUBTITLE)
(shouted in Vietnamese)
Mom, I'm here but I can't stay! Mom?

TRAN sighs and walks upstairs.



INT. TEN'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER

TRAN slowly opens the door and peeks in to the empty
bedroom.

TRAN (SUBTITLE)
(spoken in Vietnamese)
Mom?

TRAN furrows her brow, and shuts the door.

CUT TO:



EXT. TEN'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - SAME TIME

TRAN leans against the door momentarily in thought.

TRAN heads back downstairs.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S CAR - SAME TIME

LEONARD flips the car radio on and off, which doesn't
respond. He tips his cowboy hat over his eyes, puts his
bootless feat on the dashboard, and leans back.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

A bathroom door is ajar, and TRAN walks towards it. She
gets a glance into the bathtub, and spins around
immediately.

TRAN
Fuck, that's blood. Fuck, that's a lot of
blood. Oh mom.
(turning back to look again,
and whimpering)
Oh, God, mom...

Walking closer to the tub, she stops a few feet in front
of it.

TRAN (CONT'D)
What?

TRAN reaches into the bathtub and pulls out a waterlogged
bottle of red wine, dumping out a mixture of wine and
bath water.

TRAN scoffs in disbelief, turning to the sink and picking
up an open bottle of prescription drugs.

TRAN (CONT'D)
(shouting)
I fucking hate you so, so much!

TRAN kicks the bathtub in frustration and begins to wash
her hands.

CUT TO:



INT. TRAN'S CAR - LATER

LEONARD is back to turning the radio dial on and off. He
sighs once and then hits the dashboard.

CUT TO:



EXT. TEN'S HOUSE

LEONARD climbs out of the car and walks around to the
trunk. After a few moments of trying to pull it open in
vain, he gives up and uncomfortably steps towards the
front door in socks.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

LEONARD opens the door and enters.

LEONARD
(looking around)
Uh...

TRAN (O.S.)
(muffled)
Damn it...

LEONARD
Tran?

No response. LEONARD continues to walk.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - SAME TIME

LEONARD walks down the hall and turns towards the
bathroom.

Inside TRAN has lifted TEN's nude, comatose, wine and
waterlogged body out of the tub, now in plain view of
LEONARD.

TRAN
(surprised)
Leonard, fuck!

LEONARD
Shit!
(turns away and starts
walking)
I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm going back to
the car.

TRAN
Leonard, wait.

LEONARD stops, his back to the bathroom.

TRAN (CONT'D)
Can you maybe get me a couple of towels
first?

LEONARD
Of course, yeah. Towels.

TRAN
Okay, upstairs, take a right, and they're
in the cupboard on the left of the
hallway.

LEONARD
Alright, yeah!
(takes off, and says to
himself)
Upstairs, right, cupboard on the left...

TRAN (O.S.)
(calling out)
Get the big white ones, and thank you!

LEONARD
(to himself)
The big white ones.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

LEONARD piles white towels into his arms, trying to close
the cupboard with his shoulders.

TEN retches off-screen.

TRAN (O.S.)
(calling out)
Leonard?

LEONARD
(shouting)
I'm on my way!

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S STAIRWAY

LEONARD quickly descends

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

With a mountain of white towels, LEONARD slowly
approaches the bathroom.

LEONARD
Okay, I'm here, I'm closing my eyes.

TRAN exits the bathroom alone, grabbing half of LEONARD's
towels.

TRAN
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

LEONARD
Oh, hi there. Sorry again.

TRAN
(quickly)
Don't worry about it.

TRAN re-enters the bathroom.

TRAN (CONT'D)
(from inside the bathroom, as
an afterthought)
I'm sorry.

LEONARD
Should I go back to the car?

TRAN
(ignoring him, still unseen
in the bathroom)
Leonard, my mom's robe is in her room on
the bed, would you mind getting it?

LEONARD
No, of course I wouldn't mind. Just give
me a list of shit to do, and I can help
out, alright?

TRAN
(coughing)
Um, I think that might be it, actually.

LEONARD
Your mom, huh?

TRAN
(sighing)
Yeah.

CUT TO:



INT. BATHROOM - LATER

LEONARD holds up TEN, now robed, while TRAN dries her
hair.

LEONARD
Is she an epileptic or something?

TRAN
Not quite, no.

LEONARD
Huh.

TRAN
This is like, a... Cry for help.

LEONARD
(embarrassed)
Oh. I'm sorry, Tran.

TRAN
(drying TEN's hair harder)
Well, fucking don't be. We're going
through this same old drama every year it
seems like.

LEONARD
You sure you don't want me to call an
ambulance or nothing?

TRAN
I'm sure. She already vomited in the tub.

LEONARD
Yeah, alright.

TRAN
She's going to be fine. I've seen her
barely yawn from twice as many Qualudes
and four times the wine.

LEONARD
You sure, though?

TRAN
(stopping)
She doesn't have insurance, and she'd
never speak to me again.

LEONARD nods.

TRAN (CONT'D)
Yeah. But thanks.

CUT TO:



INT. TEN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

TEN is still out, bundled up on a recliner. TRAN has
changed out of her suit and into one of her mother's
sweaters and jeans. She seems dazed.

LEONARD enters holding two mugs.

LEONARD
(handing her a mug)
Here, I made some tea.

TRAN
Leonard, aw...

LEONARD
Don't worry about it.

LEONARD takes a seat next to TRAN on the couch.

TRAN
You really... Thanks so much for
everything today. I feel very retarded.
But I promise, we will get out to house
hunt, alright?

LEONARD
(laughs)
Tran, don't beat yourself up about that.

TRAN
Yeah? But anyway, I... Thanks.

LEONARD
Don't be embarrassed or anything, yeah.

TRAN
If you want to go, I mean, you can. I can
handle it.

LEONARD
Well, I'll clear out if you want.

TRAN
No, I mean, you can stay. I just mean,
you know, if you- don't feel like you
have to baby-sit my mom.

LEONARD
I don't feel like that. And it isn't like
I really have anywhere else to be, 'sides
back to the hotel and whatnot.

TRAN
You're living in a hotel?

LEONARD
Yeah, well, just until I find my house.

TRAN
Oh, Leonard. I'm so sorry I've cancelled
on you twice now.

LEONARD
No, I mean it, don't get down on yourself
about that.

TRAN
Living in a hotel-

LEONARD
I mean it, I'm fine.

TRAN
(sighing)
Tomorrow. I promise.

LEONARD
Don't worry.

They sip tea.

TRAN
Can I ask why Cimarron?

LEONARD
Oh, well... Ah, yeah, I guess I can... I
got some health issues.

TRAN
Oh, I can but out, if-

LEONARD
Nah, I'm not ashamed. I've had Diabetes
for a few years now, and pretty recently,
I had a coma.

TRAN
Man.

LEONARD
Yeah. I'm no good at taking care of
myself, and I've got this nutritionist
who I used to see, until he moved down
here.

TRAN
You followed your nutritionist to New
Mexico?

LEONARD
Yeah, well. He's my friend, too.

TRAN
I think that's really sweet.

LEONARD
I just didn't want to die, I guess. So
can I ask about you?

TRAN
What do you want to know?

LEONARD
Well, like... Are you alright?

TRAN
Leonard, I think my life is falling
apart.

LEONARD nods for a moment, before scooting next to TRAN,
who sets down her tea and leans against LEONARD's
shoulder.

TRAN (CONT'D)
(beginning to cry)
Is this okay? I'll leave you alone.

LEONARD
This is fine.

TRAN
(breaking down)
Mom's a mess, and she just blames
everything on me. And whenever I look at
her, all I can think is, there's you,
Tran: There's you at fifty-eight.

TRAN sobs.

LEONARD
(giving her shoulders a
squeeze)
I wouldn't worry about that, really,
Tran. It's pretty easy to not end up like
your folks, I mean, especially when
they're wrecks like that, no offense.

TRAN
I don't even want her to be happy, I
don't care if she dies tonight- which she
won't. I just want her to leave me alone
forever!

LEONARD
Yeah.

TRAN
And I want Thomas to leave me alone
forever.

LEONARD
Thomas?

TRAN
He's this... Honestly, Leonard, you don't
want to know.

LEONARD
An ex-boyfriend?

TRAN doesn't respond.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
I'm sorry.

TRAN
No, he is. There's... He's a very big
problem.

FADE TO:



INT. TEN'S LIVING ROOM - MIDNIGHT

LEONARD hangs out of the window, whittling away at
another stick. TEN still sleeps on her chair.

LEONARD is torn apart, and watches the moon, mindlessly
sharpening and sharpening.

A light clicks on behind him.

LEONARD
(half dazed)
What's wrong, don't worry, I'm watching
her.

TEN, robed and awake, sees LEONARD in her window and
screams.

LEONARD spins around shocked, and sees TEN.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
No, uh... Don't worry, Ms. Pham! I'm not
here to... uh, y'know, whatever-

TEN screams at LEONARD in Vietnamese

LEONARD (CONT'D)
I'm sorry! I don't speak... that!

TEN points at LEONARD and continues to bark at him.

LEONARD notices he's still clutching his whittling knife.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
(dropping the knife)
Oh, shit! No, no, no, no, no! Ma'am, I'm
not going to hurt you, I- I promise!

TEN backs away, yelling and raving.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
(slowly following her)
You had a little accident earlier, and I
was just trying to help you out a bit,
okay? I'm a friend of Tran's, who's
apparently a very, very deep sleeper...

TEN stops.

TEN
Tran?

LEONARD
(slowly and clearly)
Yeah! Yeah, I'm a friend of Tran's, I was
just trying to help you.

TEN
(extremely labored English)
Friend.

LEONARD
Right. Tran's friend.

TEN
(smiling)
Tran's boyfriend?

LEONARD
What? No, no, that's not quite it.

TEN continues to smile and sits down on the couch,
motioning LEONARD to sit next to her. LEONARD shrugs and
sighs, obliging.

TEN
Oh... Handsome!

LEONARD
Thank you, ma'am, but again-

TEN
Tran lonely. So sad.

LEONARD
I know. Yeah, I know.

After a moment, TEN coos, happily.

TEN
Oh, so handsome!

LEONARD
(chuckling)
Yeah, you mentioned that.

CUT TO:



EXT. TEN'S HOUSE - THE NEXT MORNING

TEN, TRAN and LEONARD walk towards TRAN's car. TEN and
TRAN are arm in arm, LEONARD a few feet to their side.

TRAN says something to her mother in Vietnamese, and TEN
snaps back at her. They argue momentarily before TRAN
sighs and continues to her car, TEN staying on the
sidewalk. LEONARD begins to follow TRAN, but TEN grabs
his arm.

LEONARD turns to meet TEN as TRAN enters her car.

TEN smiles at LEONARD and leans up to kiss his cheek.

LEONARD
Goodbye, Ms. Pham.

TEN
(sweetly)
Goodbye.

LEONARD enters TRAN's car.



INT. TRAN'S CAR - SAME TIME

TEN watches the two from outside.

TRAN
I'm sorry about my mother, Leonard.

LEONARD
She'll be alright, I bet.

TRAN
No, she won't.

LEONARD
Well.

TRAN
Leonard, I need to find you a house, so
I'm going to at least momentarily forget
about all of this so that I can at least
try and help you.

LEONARD
Tran, why don't you take the day, huh? I
think you could use it.

TRAN
Leonard...

LEONARD
I'm fine at that hotel, Tran. But I don't
even think I'm up for a house hunt today,
so I can't begin to imagine how you're
feeling about it.

TRAN
I-

TRAN sighs.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

LEONARD is laying on his bed. He reaches for EDMUND's
book, and turns to the red page. Then, for his telephone.
He dials nine first.

CUT TO:



INT. EDMUND'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME

EDMUND and his WIFE are asleep. The phone begins to ring.
EDMUND wakes up and grabs the phone.

EDMUND
(quietly)
Edmund Collard.
(normally)
Leonard? Alright, sit down, be calm, do
exactly what I say.
(pause)
What? Then... What's this about? Yeah, of
course I'm your friend.

EDMUND exits the bedroom.

CUT TO:



INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

EDMUND turns on a light and sits on his couch.

EDMUND
Leonard, you're not making any sense.
(pause)
What? Well, Leonard, that's great! Who is
she? Uh-huh. Yeah. Oh... Oh, I see.
(clears is throat)
Well, I mean, have you met this guy? No,
I mean, well... he could be tough. Or
big. Is he from the city? Well, you're
from the country. Did he hit her or
anything?
(pause)
Huh. Alright. Well, you're from Texas,
Leonard. Own that. Just come at him as
Texas as you can possibly get and you'll
probably scare the bastard shitless.
(laughs)
No, it sounds like you're crazy about
her. No, no, don't sweat it, Leonard,
that's what I'm here for. Hey, while I've
got you, how's the diet holding up?
(pause)
Oh. Of course I understand. Yeah, we'll
talk later. Good luck with everything,
pal.

EDMUND clicks the phone off and heads for his bedroom.

EDMUND (CONT'D)
It's nothing, Cheryl. Go back to sleep.

FADE TO:



INT. TRAN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

TRAN's phone rings. She clicks on a light and picks up
her receiver off of the night stand.

TRAN
(tired)
Hello? Oh, hey Leonard.
(yawns)
No, it's fine. I'm sorry, what's that?
(pause)
Oh. No, of course that's no problem. No,
I mean it. I mean, you're basically
setting the schedule here, so if you
don't mind the extra night in a hotel,
then who am I to...
(pause)
Yeah, of course we can reschedule.
(pause)
Uh, well, actually, I do have something
going Friday morning. Yeah, I know. But
how about after two? Would that work for
you? Okay. Yeah, okay.
(pause)
No, you really shouldn't worry about
that. Maybe another day is what I need,
who knows? Alright, yeah.
(pause)
Hey, Leonard... Everything going okay?
(she nods)
Just checking. Alright. Then Friday it
is. Okay, Leonard. Goodnight.

TRAN hangs up her phone and pauses a moment before
clicking off her light and heading back to sleep.

FADE TO:



INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER

THOMAS is sifting through his refrigerator when his phone
begins to ring. He shoots up and pivots, walking over to
answer.

THOMAS
Hello? Yes, speaking.
(pause)
I'm sorry? Uh... Who is this? Do I know
you?
(a long pause)
Fucking... How did you get this number?
No, that is important.
(cutting him off)
Hey, hey, hey- Look, mister, you don't
know the half of that situation- no, shut
up! Look, I may have done a few things
that I'm not proud of, but don't you go
barking at me about something that's-
that you don't- it's not even any of your
fucking business, mister!
(pause)
What?
(pause, exhaling)
Okay... Well, why should I?
(pause)
I'm sorry, is that a threat?

After a short pause, THOMAS sits down on the floor of his
kitchen, looking struck.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
Alright. Fine. Hang on a second.

THOMAS pulls a pad of paper and a pen off of his kitchen
counter.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
Go ahead, I guess.

CUT TO:



INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER

LEONARD zips up his coat and secures his cowboy hat.

From his belt, LEONARD produces a six-shooter revolver,
punching out the chamber and giving it a spin to see that
it's loaded. It is.

LEONARD nods, gives himself a pat over, and exits the
room.

CUT TO:



EXT. THE PARK - DUSK

A nervous THOMAS SEXTON walks towards the center of a
park.

He looks around, but visibility is low.

THOMAS stops and checks his watch. Standing in place, he
continues to look around uncomfortably.

LEONARD is perched against a tree behind THOMAS

LEONARD
Sexton?

THOMAS jumps and spins, staring at LEONARD.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
Just relax.

THOMAS
Alright. I'm here.

LEONARD
That's right, Sexton.

After a moment, LEONARD holds his gun to THOMAS,
approaching him.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
So, lookie here, dirtbag, you've gotta be
taken care of.

Horror washes over THOMAS's face, then tears.

THOMAS
Oh God!

THOMAS curls into a ball and rocks, screaming into the
grass.

THOMAS (CONT'D)
No, no, no, please! Ohhhhh, God...

LEONARD
Look at me. Hey! Sexton, look at me!

THOMAS continues to yelp and hyperventilate.

THOMAS
No... Why... Ah no...

LEONARD kicks THOMAS in his side a few times to roll him
over, gun aimed at his head.

LEONARD
Get up and look at me, you piece of shit!

THOMAS' eyes are sealed shut and he weeps and babbles.

THOMAS
Oh, fuck, no... Ohh... God...

LEONARD lowers his gun for a moment, looking THOMAS over.

LEONARD
Shit... You're young.

THOMAS
(in between snot and coughs)
What?

LEONARD
I suppose you would be... She's young,
isn't she?
(sighs)
How old are you, Thomas?

THOMAS
(hysterics)
I don't wanna die, Leonard, don't kill me
please!

LEONARD holds his revolver out to his side, letting
holding it by his finger.

LEONARD
Sexton, look at me! I'm not even holding
the gun at you anymore, okay?

THOMAS
No!

LEONARD
Sexton, look at me.

THOMAS barely begins to open his eyes, wincing tight.

THOMAS
No... Leonard don't kill me...

LEONARD
For right now we're just gonna talk,
alright?

THOMAS whimpers.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
But for God's sake, Thomas, if you carry
on weeping and spitting, I'm gonna shoot
you like a fucking dog, right in your
head.

THOMAS dry heaves.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
Hey, but right now, you and I, we're just
talking.

THOMAS
(finally, after a few deep
breaths)
Just talking.

LEONARD
That's right. So get up.

THOMAS
I... yeah.

THOMAS gets to his knees and pulls himself up.

He meekly looks LEONARD in the eye, face to face.

LEONARD shakes his head after a moment.

LEONARD
I hate you.

THOMAS
(submissive)
Yes.

LEONARD
You're scum.

THOMAS
I'm scum.

LEONARD
I scrape shit like you right off the
bottom of my boots and I do it with the
rustiest, crustiest knife I own, you
understand?

THOMAS
I understand.

LEONARD
You're on some... Whatever, some sort of
bullshit, personal, dramatics trip, and
you never stop to think that you're
torturing that girl? That you're
destroying that girl?

THOMAS
I never think, Leonard, I never think.

LEONARD
Shut up and let me talk.

THOMAS
Yes, sir.

LEONARD
She's a ghost. She hasn't lived a day in
a long time, Sexton, and I don't like
that. And I hate you. So one way or
another, we're getting you out of her
life. For good.

THOMAS' lip begins to shake again.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
Cut that out right now.

THOMAS lowers his head, nodding.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
You don't have the right to associate
with her, Sexton. Not anymore. She's
precious, and beautiful, and intelligent,
and you're a fucking leach. You are dirt.

LEONARD sighs, THOMAS still looking down.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
But I ain't gonna kill you. 'Cause you're
just a kid.

THOMAS finally responds.

THOMAS
Well... What, then?

LEONARD
You're leaving town. Tonight.

THOMAS
I- well... How?

With is gun, LEONARD points to THOMAS' car.

LEONARD
That's your vehicle, right?

THOMAS
Yes, sir.

LEONARD digs into his back pocket and pulls out a roll of
100 dollar bills.

LEONARD
You're taking this money, you're getting
in your vehicle, and you're driving-
(points east)
- that way until you hit water. Ocean.

THOMAS sniffs, then coughs. LEONARD holds out the roll of
bills, and after a moment, THOMAS takes them.

THOMAS eyes his bills, then LEONARD.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
What?

THOMAS
(pointing east)
Why that way?

LEONARD
That's east. That way you drive into the
sunrise.

THOMAS gulps, his lip shaking for a moment before he
takes a big breath in and nods his head.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
So go on. Git.

THOMAS holds his roll of bills and turns around, walking
towards his car. Fifteen paces behind, LEONARD follows.

LEONARD stands behind THOMAS' car as he fires up the
engine.

THOMAS waves out the back window and begins to drive off,
LEONARD watching.

CU LEONARD'S EYES

The sound of THOMAS' engine gets quieter and quieter. As
it just about fades, LEONARD coughs and winces.

FADE TO BLACK.

Text clicks on-screen.

ON-SCREEN TEXT
Four months later.

FADE IN:



INT. LEONARD'S TOWNHOUSE - AFTERNOON

LEONARD CHRISTIAN looks healthy.

The on-screen text clicks off.

LEONARD is grabbing his coat and putting on his hat, when
his cell phone rings.

LEONARD pulls out his phone.

LEONARD
(flipping it open)
Hello? Edmund, what's going on? Uh-huh,
I'm just heading out. I know. I'm running
a little late.
(pause)
Yeah? Well, what'd she make?
(laughs)
It sounds awful.
(pause)
No, no. I'll be there in twenty.

LEONARD hangs up his phone and tucks it back into his
coat, leaving his room.

Out of his bedroom window, we watch as he climbs into a
brown sedan, turning over the engine and heading off.

LEONARD's telephone rings. After four rings, the machine
picks up.

LEONARD (CONT'D)
(machine recording)
Hey, you reached Leonard Christian. Let
me know after the beep.

The machine beeps.

TRAN
(over the machine)
Leonard? It's Tran. I hope you're doing
well. I know it's- it's been a few- a
while. So I hope that... we can-
(pause)
Look, what you did wasn't right, okay? We
don't- nobody acts like that in the real
world, right? I mean, you know that.
(sighs)
But there's too much Texas in you, or
whatever. It's not important. Look, I'm
not condoning this in any way, but- ah, I
felt like I had to call, because-
(sighs)
Leonard, in a very fucked up way, you
kind of saved my life here. I don't know.
I guess I'm kind trying to say thanks.
And that I hope the move went well for
you.
(a pause, now with a bit of a
broken voice)
Leonard, for both of our sake, please
don't call me back, okay? Bye.

The machine clicks.

CUT TO BLACK.
© Copyright 2007 Dillon (wazawaii at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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