Would you want to be the girl who is in love with a dying boy?
In A Dream
A Screenplay By WearRED4AIDS
Based on the short story "Just One Minute In A Dream..." By Timothy B.
HOSPITAL, PRESENT DAY.
In a hospital bed, we see Eric, an energetic male in his teens. He has dark hair with vibrant blonde highlights. With bright ocean green eyes, Eric is a very happy person but is also very frail, thin and has trouble with the mobility of his legs.
Eric is just slowly opening his eyes and looked towards the ceiling. The ceiling tiles are similar to the ones he remembers from his old classrooms. They were strange, cheap and had the weird holes in them with white stucco. He looks around and sees the sunshine streaming into his usually depressing room.
Eric: (aloud, smiling) Good.
Seeing the sunshine makes Eric even happier because to him, nothing ever goes wrong on sunny days.
Enter the nurse, a verbose woman in her early thirties who enjoys talking about random things about her day. As she began examining Eric's pulse, blood pressure and temperature, she started to talk to him.
Nurse - I saw a beautiful bluebird yesterday in my garden. It sang such a merry song; it would surely cheer up anyone in these dreadful wards…
She stopped speaking realizing what she had just said to him, somehow forgetting he was a patient of one of these "dreadful" wards. Realizing how sorry she felt, Eric comforts her.
Eric - Oh, its okay. I’m only visiting, remember.
Eric ends his sentence with a sly wink. The nurse continues to work on him but she remains uncomfortably silent. He wonders why she stays this way. It seems like everyone acts morbid around him. In reality, he still didn’t know why he was stuck here. His whole life is one hospital bed after another.
FLASHBACK. ERIC AT AGE 6
SCHOOL - DAY
We see Eric sitting in a chair in his school's gymnasium. A doctor is giving Eric a needle. Needles never really bothered him. Whenever he was required to get one, he acted like a big tough boy who could take anything. Every time, the doctor would stick him with the needle and Eric would go home, just as happy as he was before. We see a flash of summer memories of Eric having fun with his friends followed by scenes of Eric on a regular school day.
Weeks would go by with Eric living a regular life. Later on, Eric begins to get severe fevers. We see Eric's memories of his mother using a thermometer on him many times and the temperature turning out too high each time. In repeated attempts to bring his fever down, Eric's mother brings him cold foods and beverages including ice cream and slushies. Eventually, she gives up and decides to take him to the hospital.
For the next eight years, Eric spends his time going from hospital to hospital, never getting to sleep in his bed back home. Christmases, birthdays, Easters and Halloweens were spent lying down in his uncomfortable hospital bed, looking at the cheap stucco tiles.
HOSPITAL - PRESENT DAY
Today would be slightly different for Eric. A new program would be taking place at the hospital. Volunteers were coming in to read to patients. He knew it was for people older than him but they always had visitors.It seemed like no one had ever come to visit Eric here.
The thought of having a visitor made Eric smile and soon his eyes began to get a heavy feeling. He eventually drifts off into a deep sleep.
Enter the nurse again who is sticking her head through the door of Eric's room.
Nurse - Eric! Wake up!
Eric opens his eyes, slightly uninterested in the reason why the nurse has disturbed his happy slumber.
Nurse - (To someone outside the room) This is Eric, one of our more unique patients. He’s not contagious and I’m sure he will make you smile. Come on in dear, it's okay.
Eric's ears perk at the last sentence. He assumes the nurse had been talking to a girl because of her use of the word "Dear". This would be the first time he would have a girl visiting him other than his mother, the nurses and the doctors.
He strains his body to lift his limp legs to let himself sit up.
Enter CHRISTY, a young girl with long hair which catches the light in a shimmering way. She has a walk where she moves her small hips with her head held high like a model. Bewitched, Eric can't help but stare.
Christy - (In a demanding tone) What are you looking at?
Ripped away from his adolescent dream, Eric replies with a single word.
Eric - Oh.
Christy - So for like the twentieth time now, what do you want me to read to you?
Eric, having been taught very little from years outside of school, chooses the first book he sees.
Eric - That one.
Attempting to suppress a laugh, Christy responds.
Christy - Are you sure?
Confused but not wanting to look like a fool, he reassured her.
Eric - I'm sure.
Christy proceeds to burst into laughter.
Christy - Okay, this book is by Judy Bloom.
She stops talking as she continues to laugh harder than before.
Christy - Okay, Okay, Okay. It’s called “Are you there God? It’s me Margaret.”
She begins to read but Eric can only watch her. She smelled like watermelons, had blue eyes and a long slender, feminine chest. Eric thinks about her and his mind begins to wander.
Eric - What's your name?
Thrown off guard by the timing of his question, she stops reading and replies.
Christy - Oh, it's Christy.
Eric - Christy, could you tell me what it's like to be a regular teenager?
Christy smiles to herself a sweet but deceitful smile.
Christy - I really wish I could but that means I would have to live the life of a regular teenager.
Eric begins to feel ashamed. Here he was prying into this girls' life and she didn't want to talk about it. However, he continues to question on.
Eric - Why haven't you?
Christy - I wish I could tell you but I probably should be going.
Leaving Eric feeling guilty, Christy waves goodbye and leaves the room. As she walks down the hallway, she goes silently into a blank stare. We see:
FLASHBACK - CHRISTY AT AGE 7
Although such sexual acts are not shown, we see images which create the idea that Christy's father had raped her, leaving her mentally damaged.
We see Christy return to Eric's room every few days as they take part in activities including card and board games, looking at photographs and drawing funny cartoons of each other.
One day, Eric finally gathers up enough courage to ask Christy once again about her past.
ERIC - I've got to thank you for spending so much time with me here.
CHRISTY - Oh it's no problem...
ERIC - You're an awesome person and you seem so normal here, why do you say you haven't been living a normal teenage life?
Christy stares at him for a few seconds and begins with a sigh to tell him her story. She talks about how her father was abusive and how every time she is with another male, thoughts of the rape come to her mind.
FLASHBACK - CHRISTY AT PROGRESSING AGES
We see flashbacks of Christy growing older, experimenting with drugs, eventually becoming addicted, and frequent suicide attempts consisting of her cutting herself.
We then see Christy in school, walking through the hallways. Words including slut and whore can be heard coming from schoolmates as she passes by but they are never said directly to her face.
She explains that no matter how hard she tries, people are always looking down on her. We see Eric noticing the faint scars along her arms. They run along and across as well, creating a bizarre, basket-weaved pattern. Eric is transfixed but continues to listen.
We see now see a flashback of Christy entering therapy at the same hospital. Later one, she is seen signing a sheet to register for the hospital's reading program.
We see that Eric is completely stunned and can hardly speak.
Eric - Wow...
It is now that he notices he is embracing her with tear droplets spread on his t-shirt. He holds her tighter. She looks up and almost laughs.
Christy - Here I am pouring my heart out to someone who is dying.
Realizing what she just said, Christy sits up, as if she wants to run out of the room.
Eric - It's okay.
Eric lays her back down and runs his fingers through her fine hair. This was strange to him as whenever he touched his own hair, it was so much different.
Christy - You have really nice eyes. They are like ocean green. I wish I didn't have blue...
Eric holds her closer, beginning to feel a strange new feeling in his stomach. This was something he'd never felt during the durations of his hospital stays. Christy rests her head on his chest but her head feels weightless to him. Together, they listen to the beat of each others' hearts and eventually close their eyes and proceed to fall asleep.
When Eric wakes up, Christy is not there. He finds a letter on a bedside table. Afraid of what is inside, he grasps it. As he reads it, we hear Christy's voice narrating what is written.
I hope you will read this when you wake up. Yesterday was great but it can’t happen again.
I know it won’t make you to sad, but I can’t visit after everything that went on. We could be a great couple if everything was different. If only we hadn’t met in this hospital I think I might have loved you. But I can’t be that girl who is in love with the dying boy.
Eric has trouble grasping what had just happened. Tears begin to swell up into his eyes. Still clutching the paper, he rolls over ad cries. His cries are of long, searing pains of loss even though he never actually had her. His whole life now seemed even more grey. We see Eric's days go by with him spending his nights crying as he does nothing but look at the ceiling.
Weeks begin to pass slowly at first but speed up as time goes by. Eric gets back to the way he was before as smile appears on his face. Fall comes and passes. Christmas is coming soon at this point. Eric looks at himself in the mirror. The doctor had given him a new kind of drug and therapy. He is now able to walk on his own again. He has a head of soft brown hair with blonde streaks traveling through it, a strong chin and a smile. However, he still looks frail and beaten. Eric doesn't notice Christy entering the room with a grin on her face.
Christy - Well, haven't you changed for the better.
Eric turns around to see who he thought was some random woman behind him. When he sees her eyes, the most beautiful blue eyes, she runs into his arms and he embraces her.
Eric - Oh my god! I can't believe it's really you, Christy!
Christy - Wow, you look great!
Christy's eyes lower to the metal leg braces Eric is wearing. She bursts into tears and flings her arms around him once again. She hold him close as she begins to sob into his chest.
Christy - I'm so sorry, I'm a horrible person! Please forgive me, please...
Eric's eyes begin to crest with tears.
Eric - Christy, please forgive me.
Christy - Forgive you? Why?
Eric - Forgive me for being the dying boy. Forgive me for not being good enough. But, forgive me most of all for how horrible I am. Forgive me for falling for you.
Christy and Eric spend the night crying in each others' arms. The next few days are lost in Eric's mind, hot and cold days of sitting together, sneaking out and sneaking back in. He found a life he had never had before.
HOSPITAL - CHRISTMAS EVE
Christy walks into his room smiling at Eric as a feeling of romance is felt in the air.
Christy - We're going to take a little drive. Is that okay?
Eric smiles and grabs his coat. Walking down the corridor with her, he feels a funny pain in his side and stops.
Christy - Are you okay?
Eric - I'm okay, just a cramp I guess.
They walked out into the cool night air. It had been a while since he had gone outside and it felt wonderful to be free again.
CHRISTY'S CAR - EVENING
Christy sits behind the wheel of her car and smiles at Eric once again. She winks.
Christy - Ready for the ride of your life?
Eric smiles back but is soon caught off guard as she floors the accelerator. He yells over the revving engine.
Eric - Woah! Is this a good idea?
Christy - No! But you only live once!
Christy heads off for the freeway and Eric was now along for the ride. The cool night whizzes past them in a blur. Eric feels his heart jump up to his throat. His arms feel like dead weight but his adrenaline is going now. Christy weaves in and out of traffic, the lights pass by which don't bother Eric until he sees red and blue lights. A siren blares behind them.
Eric - What's that?!
Christy - Police.
Eric - POLICE!?
Christy smiles at him and hits the gas harder.
One thousand thoughts now fly through Eric’s mind. He was too young to go to jail, do they arrest the passenger? What was going to happen? He then remembers he is dying. He finds it funny how it is suddenly dawning on him, he didn’t want to die in jail.
Like a quiet voice in a crowd, something says to him, "you’re going to die, so run while you still can." It starts off like a whisper and soon it grows into a roar giving Eric the feeling he needs to continue. It blocks out all other thoughts. All he can think of is her. He looks her in the eye and smiles.
Eric - Go faster.
They continue to drive with police on their heels for nearly an hour. Christy suddenly turns off the freeway onto a dirt road. The scene is different now. It is snowing with evergreens sparkling n fresh snow. They proceed to go up a hill which, to Eric, looks more like a big crystal. Christy stops the car and looks at him.
Christy - Do you need help getting out?
Eric - I'm not a handi-
He stops midsentence and gingerly pulls himself out.
"CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN" - NIGHT
The cool air hits him and the sight takes his breath away. On top of this mountain, it looks like Eric and Christy can touch the stars which are shining with a majestic look to them. Everything is dark and Eric does not even feel Christy put her hands on his shoulders. He stands looking at the hues of green, blue and black which fill the sky, which would eventually fill his dreams. He stammers, nearly unable to speak.
Eric - This...this is...
Christy - Amazing...?
Eric - Is this Heaven?
Christy looks into Eric's eyes.
Christy - I hope it is. If it was, we would be able to be here forever.
Eric is surprised by what happens next. She pulls him close and he can feel the beating of her heart. He can now smell her shampoo and perfume. He feels her breath on his neck as her face is inches from his. He can see a hazy reflection of himself in her eyes. With silence around them, she begins to whisper to him.
Christy - I am in love with you
Eric - I love you, Christy.
Eric feels her arms wrap around him and her lips meet his. He feels all of his fears, worries and anxieties just drain. He has found heaven. She is in his arms.
Eric thinks of everything. This kiss will last him a lifetime, a kiss he would never forget, his first kiss.
CHRISTY'S ROOM - MORNING
Christy wakes up early. She wants to wake Eric up so she floats through her room. Pulling a pair of jeans and a shirt on, she heads out the door.
ERIC'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING
Christy reaches Eric’s room. There is something new, the door is closed. He had told her before that he hated to keep the door closed. She smiles and assumes it was just the nurses wanting to let him rest. The hospital is busy and last night was long. They had held and kissed, then watched the sun rise. She drove him back, and went home to sleep. She had only slept for a few hours as she couldn’t close her eyes with her pulse still racing.
She enters the room to find the bed empty. She looks around. None of his posters are still up and his clothes aren't folded on the chair. Where was he? Christy approaches one of the nurses.
Christy - Where's Eric?
Nurse - Oh dear, you must be Christy. This is for you.
The nurse pulls a note from her pocket. We hear Eric narrate as Christy reads what is written on it.
You showed me the world outside of the hospital last night. And I am glad. Thank you. There is so much I haven’t seen. Nor, will I ever see. The doctors tell me I have a few hours left. I’m glad you are at home...
But the things I want to say now, well if there was time, I would say them all in this letter. You showed me that I have a life I could live. I wish I could be there this morning. But everything has changed. I wish I could turn back the years. I wish you could forgive me. We could stay together, on top of heaven, and we could conquer the world, or at least, conquer love. Anything you could say would not change how I feel.
I knew I was going to die, and before last night I was afraid. I did not see, I could not see past the fear. But now I see stars. And now I see you, and we are together on top of that hill.
At this point the writing was no more the scrawls, looping and dancing across the paper, however she forced herself to read the last few lines…
I really hate this, I don’t want to die without seeing you, but if I do, just please, remember I love you, remember… I love you… I love you…
Christy feels the hot feeling of tears streaming down her face. She had dreamed of them having a long healthy life.
CHRISTY'S HOME AND NEIGHBOURHOOD - PROGRESSING DAYS
Days just don't pass for her. All through the holidays, he is all she can think of. There seems to be a void. He should be here. Why wasn’t he here? Christy falls into a shallow state. She doesn't wish to wake in the mornings.
“Another sunny day,” she thinks to herself, “Nothing good ever happens on a sunny day.”
Her parents don't even notice her pain. She goes for long walks, and spends all day locked in her room. She isn't eating or doing anything she enjoys. She writes poetry, with lines that read "my bleeding heart" and "my sorry dreams". As hard as she tries, she cannot bring herself to face the world without Eric. Weeks begin to slowly pass. She never even realized she had missed his funeral. She had not been there to say goodbye.
CHRISTY'S SCHOOL - PROGRESSING DAYS
School starts and she begins to withdraw herself even more. She used to be in the drama club, and everyone thought it was strange how she just stopped showing up. She was given a lead role in this year’s production of “West Side Story”. Her friends don't understand why she is like this. Christy’s best friend, Shandra, did not even recognize the person who had once been like a sister to her.
SCHOOL CAFETERIA - FEBRUARY - DAY
Shandra - Christy, what has gotten into you lately?
Christy shrugs, paying more attention to her lunch than her friends.
Christy - Oh, I don't know. I've just had a lot on my mind, that's all.
Shandra yells at her.
Shandra - Well, when you come back down to Earth, let us know! I'm so fed up with you! Do you think you're better than everyone else here because of that guy, Eric?! Do you?!
Christy looks up at her friend with the tears beginning to form again.
Christy - Don't you ever bring Eric up...
Christy is unable to find the right words to continue. She gets up and runs out of the cafeteria into the cold outdoors. She does something she never thought she would do.
CHRISTY'S HOME - DAY
Instead of running to her room, Christy runs to her father who is sitting in his chair, watching television. She looks at him and hugs him, crying into his shirt like she had done when she was younger.
Christy - I'm sorry Dad...I'm so sorry.
He holds her close, gently stroking her hair like Eric had done. He speaks to her in a warm, gentle voice.
Dad - Tell me what's wrong.
She begins to spill the truth, how she had lied to Eric about how horrible her life was, how all she wanted was him. She explains how she had left Eric to be with another guy, how she came back to him because she had been dumped, and she couldn’t be single. It all came spilling out.
Her father looks into her eyes.
Dad - A person can lie as easily as to speak the truth but the truth takes courage. A lie takes cowardice. Why would you lie to him?
Christy - I don't know...I just wanted him to like me.
She spends the night crying into her father’s shirt. She wakes up the next morning tucked into her bed. She rolls over to see the sun pouring in her window. There is something strange though. She can't seem to figure it out.
CHRISTY'S SCHOOL - FEBRUARY 14TH - DAY
She gets to school and she notices everyone acting strange. She doesn't find out why until her homeroom. It is Valentine's Day.
Christy - Joy...
Guys are seen looking for last minute dates for tonight’s dance. Everyone knows they are going to be asked. Christy knew it was just a matter of time.
She is in the library when it happens. A boy named Jason enters and walks over to her. Brushing his hair out of his eyes and giving a killer smile, he speaks to her.
Jason - Hey.
Christy responds engrossed in her book.
Christy - Hi.
Jason - What are you reading?
Christy - Oh, it's Shakespeare.
Joking and holding his arm out mimicking a Shakespearian play, he replies.
Jason - Oh, you're into that "to be or not to be" stuff?
Christy - I find the plays are really true. They're full of irony, like life.
She is now falling victim to his charm. He begins to show off his famous smile again.
Jason Well, do you have a date for tonight?
Christy - Oh...of course not, unless you want to go with me.
She had stalled, thinking of saying no but wasn't sure what else she was going to do. She ended her sentence with a sly wink. He replied, beginning with a joking tone.
Jason - Of course not, unless you want to be picked up by me at seven?
Christy smiles and gives him her address. She sarcastically speaks to him
Christy - Oh, I can so wait to see you at seven.
As Jason rejoins his friends, Christy gathers her books and heads home. She only has six hours to get ready.
CHRISTY'S HOUSE - EVENING
Christy waits on her porch. It is 6:50. She is wearing a cocktail dress she had picked up. She loves how it fits and knows she is going to be a real head turner tonight. Her mind begins to wonder off to Eric when Jason comes tearing around the corner. He is driving a fast little sports car. It must be his fathers' because there is no way Jason is able to afford a car like this. Christy continues to sit on the porch and tries to look unimpressed.
Walking towards her, Jason greets her, taking her hand.
Jason - You ready?
Taking his hand as they glide towards the car, she replies.
Christy - Yes..
All thought of Eric have now flew from her head.
CHRISTY'S SCHOOL - NIGHT
Arriving at the school, Jason opens the doors for her and generally treats her like a queen. She is loving every minute of it. They gracefully entered the gymnasium.
To her, Jason is amazing. He wasn’t afraid to dance with her, he wasn’t afraid to look like a fool and he had that wonderful smile. She can feel herself falling for him. Every slow dance, she pulls him closer. By the end, she is resting her head on his shoulder. The lights, the atmosphere. Everything is perfect. He pulls her aside.
Jason - Hey, me and my friends are going to one of the senior parties now. If you want, I can take you home.
Despite knowing there are dangers at those kinds of parties, she shakes her head.
Christy - No, I’ll go with you.
Jason continues to act like a gentleman. As they step outside, Christy looks up to the sky and sees the stars shining down on her.
SENIOR PARTY - NIGHT
At the party, things get worse. Jason gets involved in the drinking games,and wins but has had way too much. Christy leaves these games to talk with some other girls. She looks over at Jason, and through the swoons of “Your so lucky he asked you” and “He’s so hot, you’re so lucky…” she thinks of Eric. Was this what she really wanted? Was this everything she had wanted? No, it wasn’t. She realizes that she wants to be up on that mountain right now, in Eric’s arms. The longer she thinks of it, the further from the party she gets. She walks up to Jason.
Jason - Jason, I want to go home.
Stammering, attempting to get up, he nods.
Jason - Alright.
Normally, Christy knew never to get into the car with an intoxicated driver. All that was on her mind now was Eric. All she wants to do is to go home and drive to the mountain so she can cry in silence.
Jason’s gentleman behavior seems much more shallow now and his smile really isn't all that perfect. His jokes aren't as funny and he isn't being so great to Christy. She fails to even notice how he was driving. He is pre-occupied with Christy and alcohol. He begins to accelerate to get Christy home faster so that he can return to the party. Christy doesn't even see the car in front of them, approaching quickly…
It happens in what seems like slow motion. Christy sees everything as if she is standing on the sidelines during a football game. The car strikes Jason’s, causing it to fly off into the meridian, and then it rolls twice. Christy sees it all, watching the car flip. She is horrified only to realize, she had just seen herself die.
And from watching people rush to the wreck, to pull her limp body from the steel cage, she feels a hand on her shoulder. She turns away from the gruesome scene to see Eric. When she goes to look back to the crash she realizes they were no longer on the side of the road. No longer were they anywhere anybody really cared. They are alone atop the crystal mountain, together in each others' arms, together in heaven…
YEARS LATER - DAY
A boy and his girlfriend are seen walking through the cemetery. As they walk, they think of the deceased people and read epitaphs.
Boy - Look at these two.
The first read:
November 19th 1988- February 14th 2006
I’ll wait for you on our crystal mountain…
Than the one next to Eric’s read:
May 2nd 1987- February 14th 2007
I’ll wait for him on our crystal mountain, and just a minute in our dream...
We will find heaven, together,
In love with the dying boy…