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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1771788
Rated: 13+ · Script/Play · Comedy · #1771788
Can a gleefully rude homeless man open Stan's eyes to his last chance at happiness?
This is a “spec script”. This is what you sell to producers for a film to be made. Some formatting has been lost, but the screenplay format is correct in my script software. In case you’ve never read a script before, just want you to know what a couple of the notations mean. These are basic notations for setting up scenes.


INT. - Interior
EXT. – Exterior
V.O - Voice Over
O.S. – Off Screen

You must say Day or Night to set up the scene as well.

Montage = scenes where there is no real dialog all in a row to show passage of time.

Sequence = cutting to several scenes in a short period of time – used for dramatic effect.

Please read entire script BEFORE offering a review. Don't feel compelled to give a higher rating just because of the high GPs. I need real feedback. Looking for good constructive criticism (believable characters, plot strength etc, overall feelings) so perhaps you'll see this in a theater near you someday *Smile*. Thanks for looking!

FADE IN:

EXT. 1ST CLASS SECTION OF FLYING BOEING 777-200LR - DAY
Floating castles of cumulus clouds roll through a sky of
celestial beauty. Upon closer inspection, through the 1st
class window of a TransWorld Airlines plane, is the unclear
profile of JIM BARRETT, a clean cut business man in his
mid-thirties, who takes no notice of the view outside.
Instead his head is bent.

INT. PLANE (SEAT 11A) - DAY
Passing through the window and into Jim’s space, from Jim’s
point of view he is typing a business contract on his
laptop. A stock market ticket scrolls across the bottom of
his screen. Out of the corner of his eye, a rolling cart and
the legs of flight attendant, AMY, mid-twenties comes into
view. He still types.

AMY (O.S.)
(cheerily)
Good morning, Sir. Something to
drink?

JIM
(looks up)
I’ll take an orange juice, please.
Amy smiles at him, pulls out the carton and begins to pour
the juice.

JIM
Are you new?

AMY
(cocks her head to side)
Yeah, I am. How did you know?
(leans down & lowers voice)
Do I seem that nervous?

JIM
No, you’re fine. I just take this
flight all the time. Julie
generally works 1st class.

AMY
Julie was nice enough to let me
have this run. This way I can make
it back in plenty of time to pick
my daughter up from daycare. I’m
Amy.

JIM
(offers his hand)
Jim Barrett. Nice to meet you, Amy.
Amy shakes his hand and then passes him the the orange juice
with a side smile.

AMY
You, too, Mr. Barrett.

JIM
Just "Jim" is fine. I’m sure I’ll
be seeing you quite a bit now. So,
you just have one child?

AMY
(laughs)
That’s enough for now, trust me.
She’s at the little hellion stage.
I live for her laugh though.

JIM
I have one daughter as well.
Although mine’s at the age when she
laughing at me and not with me.
Whether it’s my clothes, music
selection, you name it; I don’t
have a clue.

Amy laughs.

JIM
Good luck today. I’m sure you’ll do
great.

She smiles warmly at him.

AMY
Thanks, Jim.

Amy pushes her cart on to the next passenger.

AMY (O.S.)
(faded)
Something to drink, Ma’am?

Jim opens up his internet browser and pulls wsj.com up on
the screen when something catches his eye in monitor’s
reflection. Puzzled, he slowly turns his head to find flames
emitting from the engine furthest from him. Urgently, he
twists in his seat to Amy -


JIM
Amy!

But she wouldn’t hear him as an explosion rips in their
ears. Amy is thrown to the ground as passengers yell in
terror. Jim looks out of the window again - 2/3 of the wing
has disappeared and plane starts descending like a bullet.
Amy tries to stand and get her bearings. Over the noise, Amy
yells out -

AMY
(nervous)
Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your
seat belts and stow any laptops and personal
belongings beneath the seat in front of you.

Jim exits the internet and then the proposal on his
computer. "Do you want to save the changes to Landry
Contract?" He clicks "No" and quickly opens up his email
program as the intercom system comes on.

MALE PILOT (O.S.)
Flight attendants, please prepare
all passengers for crash landing.

Jim creates a new message. Types the letters "rb" into the
"TO" section - ’rbarrett73110@yahoo.com’ automatically
populates. Jim types feverishly -

ON THE MONITOR:
"Sweetheart I don’t have much time.
Please know that I love you with
all of my heart. Kiss Samantha for
me and know I will always watch
over you both. Your pain will just
be starting while mine will have
already ended. For that I am so
sorry. I’ll love you both forever."

Clicks "send". A dialogue box shows the message was sent
successfully. He closes the laptop as Amy comes over. She
grabs hold of the seat in front of him to keep steady even
as the plane continues its sharp decent.

AMY
(voice cracking)
Jim, please place the laptop under
your seat and get into crash
position.

Jim puts the laptop under the seat, but takes Amy by the
hand as she tries to move on.

JIM
You can stop working, Amy. We’re
about to die.

Amy looks at Jim in astonishment and fear. He pulls her
closer.

JIM
It’s okay. Just relax.

At this, a calmness slowly overtakes her face as she looks
in Jim’s eyes. She looks out to the rest of the passengers,
but then kneels on the floor, rests her head against his
shoulder and quietly sobs without another word. Moving down
the aisle, prayers and sobbing accompany the high screaming
of the plane’s engine.

EXT. FOREST - DAY
A deer walks in the woods. Her head perks up in search of
something unknown. When the sound of the oncoming plane
approaches, she darts away as the sound grows more
deafening. The plane hits the ground, exploding on impact,
digging a trench and wiping out trees in its path.
When the plane comes to its final rest, the crackling and
roaring flames overcome any other sound. Large chunks of
debris litter the forest. Smoke overtakes the entire area.

INT. LARGE LAW OFFICE - DAY
Rita, a pleasant looking woman with dark hair, about 35
years of age, is seated anxiously in one of two traditional
looking guest chairs in front of a large traditional wood
desk. Behind the desk sits TOM MORAN, a large Irish-looking,
well-dressed lawyer in his early fifties.

Rita’s daughter, SAMANTHA, about 14 years old, is seated on
a couch which is right by the door to the office. She is
wearing headphones and scrolling through her music selection
paying no attention to the proceedings in the room.

RITA
I don’t understand.

TOM
I’m sorry, Rita, but I double
checked - it looks like Jim never
completed the process with the
insurance company.

Rita wraps her arms across her belly and starts to rock a
bit.

TOM
He does have a decent amount saved
up in his retirement plan, and you'll
qualify for Social Security.
However, I’d recommend that you
sell that big house of yours.

RITA
Sell? Our house?

Rita looks back at her daughter for a moment and then lowers
her voice.

RITA
I can’t sell the house, Tom. This
is where Samantha grew up. She just
lost her father - I can’t have her
lose her home, too.

TOM
There’s still a sizable mortgage
payment, Rita, and you’re a
stay-at-home mom. You said yourself
that you don’t have a degree or any
real business skills to speak of
since Samantha’s been born.
Even if you go back to work, I can
assure you, the only way you could
afford it is if you work 16 hour
days - then she will have lost you
as well.

Rita turns to look at her daughter once more. She continues
to sit on the couch listening to her music, still oblivious
to the conversation.

TOM (O.S.)
(fading)
Think about it, Rita. I know a good
agent who can help you. Of course,
there’s the other alternative we
discussed this morning.

Rita stands up and shakes her head.

RITA
Don’t, Tom. Don’t even put the idea
in my head again.

TOM
All I’m saying is you’d probably at
least get a settlement.Many of the
other victims’ families are already
positioning themselves for a case.

RITA
(pacing, arms crossed)
For years I’ve said how ridiculous
all the lawsuits are in this
country. I can’t go back on that
just so I can get some blood money.
It was a tragic accident. Those
other people might be willing to
drag it out and relive this misery,
but I’ve got to put it behind me
and move on with my life.
I have a gut feeling that any money
these people get in the end, will
hardly seem worth rehashing that
awful day for years to come.
Tom nods his heads.

TOM
Fair enough.

Rita looks at her daughter once more.

RITA
Go ahead. Give your realtor friend
a call.

Tom stands up and moves around his desk. He gives Rita a
hug.

TOM
Okay, then. I’ll give him a call
this afternoon

She gives him a halfhearted smile.

RITA
Thank you, Tom. For everything.
She waves her hand in front of her daughter to gain her
attention.

RITA
Come on, Samantha.

Her daughter slowly rises and walks out of the room without
a word.

RITA
I’m sorry. She’s just not herself
right now.

TOM
Don’t think I would be either.

Tom follows Rita to the door.

TOM
Take care of yourself. This isn’t
going to be easy for the two of
you.

Rita nods her head.

TOM
I’ll be in touch shortly.

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - NIGHT

SUPER: 38 YEARS EARLIER
The screams of a woman giving birth echo out into the hall.
Clock in the hall says 11:59.

MALE NARRATOR (V.O.)
STANLEY HIGGINS had been late only
once in his entire life. He was
always on time...always. In fact,
even when he was due to be born,
his mother pushed him screaming
into the world - ON TIME...

SUPER:
(O)ctober (N)inth, (T)welve (I)nstantly, (M)idnight
(E)xactly. (The first letters come together spelling ’On
Time’)

The clock hits midnight and the woman’s screams subside and
are replaced by a baby’s cry in the hall.

NARRATOR
Stanley would rather be dead than
late.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - DAY

SUPER: 43 YEARS LATER
Stanley, 43, is sleeping under a solid color comforter on
his bed, which looks barely slept in. The electronic alarm
clock sets off at 6:00. Before he has a chance to turn it
off, an old-fashioned alarm clock with hammer and bells
rings out for attention on his dresser.

He turns off the first alarm, gets out of bed in a v-neck
t-shirt and pajama bottoms to turn off the second alarm.
Before he reaches that alarm, another electronic alarm goes
off - this time in the adjacent bathroom.

INT. STANLEY’S BATHROOM - DAY
Stanley turns off the alarm and turns the cold water on in
the sink. He cups both hands under the running water and
splashes it on his face. Stan inhales sharply and his eyes
go wide with the shock. He wipes his face with a towel and
turns on the shower where, naturally, there’s another clock
suctioned to the tile wall.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - DAY
Dressed in suit and tie, Stan proceeds to slip on not one,
not two, but three watches: two metal linking mens watches,
and the third one, more slender. He checks the time - all
confirm 7:50.

INT. STANLEY’S KITCHEN - DAY
Stan grabs some change from a basket on his nearly clutter
free kitchen counter. He drops the change in his pants
pocket, picks up a briefcase from beside a small kitchen
table for two, and heads out the door.

EXT. STREET IN SMALL CITY - DAY
The sun shines on Stanley as he walks out through the double
glass doors of his brick apartment building while looking at
his watches, which now read 7:55. He smiles, puts his hand
in his suit pocket and jangles the change as he walks.

MALE NARRATOR (V.O.)
This has been Stanley’s comfortable
routine for the past 15 years - the
security blanket that warms him
each day. What Stanley does not
know is that his blanket is about
to be stripped away...forever.

Still jangling the change, Stan strides toward his usual bus
stop. He slows upon noticing a scruffy man, HOMELESS GUY,
wearing a long, dirty dark green overcoat with an airplane
pin on the lapel, ripped jeans and sneakers. The dirt on his
face makes his age difficult to determine - he could be 40,
or just as well be 60.

Surprisingly, he’s perusing the financial section of a
newspaper while sitting against a building behind the bus
stop’s single black metal bench and large matching trash
receptacle. Not surprisingly, beside him sits a brown paper
bag with the open top of a liquor bottle peeking out. Stan’s
jangling change is immediately silenced.

Stan takes a seat on the bench in front of homeless guy. He
looks as though the marriage of body odor and liquor
entering his airspace is about to make him lose his
breakfast. He looks at his watches: 8:03.

HOMELESS GUY
(cheerily)
Good mornin’.

Stanley makes a half-turn, enough to see the man’s rotting
teeth peek out from his haphazard beard. Stan turns his gaze
back to the asphalt, a preferable site, before answering
unenthusiastically.

STANLEY
Good morning.

Guy’s newspaper rustles a bit throughout their conversation.

HOMELESS GUY
Nice day, isn’t it?

STANLEY
(without looking)
Mmhmm.

HOMELESS GUY
What’s your name, mister?

STANLEY
(another half turn)
I don’t have any money.

Guy chuckles a bit, and then speaks slowly almost as if
speaking to a child.

HOMELESS GUY
I didn’t ask you for your money. I
only asked for your name.

STANLEY
(turns back)
Stanley.

He looks at his watches: 8:05.

HOMELESS GUY
Stanleeeey...?

STANLEY
Just Stanley.

HOMELESS GUY
Okay, Just Stanley. Mind if I call
you Mr. Stan? You look like a Mr.
Stan to me.

STANLEY
I don’t really care what you do.

HOMELESS GUY
(beat as newspaper rustles)
Want to know my name?

Stan sighs, looks at his watches again and says nothing.

HOMELESS GUY
Of course, not. Well, it’s
Guy...Homeless Guy.
Guy laughs to himself as Stanley looks down the street for
the bus - for salvation. The newspaper continues to rustle.

HOMELESS GUY
You live around here?

Stanley seems to consider for a moment whether to answer.

HOMELESS GUY
Hey.

Stanley resigns and rolls his eyes as he quickly responds.

STANLEY
Yeah, I live around here.

HOMELESS GUY
Never been down this way before.
This is a nice spot. Lot more trees
here than downtown.

STANLEY
Mmhmm.

HOMELESS GUY
So Mr. Stan, what do you do for a
living?

Stanley picks up his briefcase and opens it, pretending he
has a report to read.

STANLEY
I’m sorry. I need to read this
before a meeting I have this
morning.

HOMELESS GUY
(scoffs)
Hell, you don’t have to make up
shit to shut me up, you know. I
have more important things to do
than keep your ass entertained
anyway.

With this, Guy continues to manipulate his newspaper just
out of view. Knowing he’s been caught in a lie, Stan just
puts the report back in his briefcase, snaps it shut and
looks at his watches - 8:09. He looks down the street and,
to his great relief, sees the bus approaching.

HOMELESS GUY
(serious)
It’s only a matter of time, Mr.
Stan.

Stanley stands up and furrows his brow wondering what Guy is
talking about, but says nothing. Squealing brakes announce
the arrival of the bus as it pulls up twenty seconds later.

The bus driver is Rita, who looks just a bit older. She
cranks the handle and opens the door with a smile.

RITA
Good morning, Stan.

For a moment Stan seems to have forgotten all about Homeless
Guy, as he warmly returns Rita’s smile.

STANLEY
Morning, Rita.

He steps up into the stairwell, then wipes out as Homeless
Guy blurts...

HOMELESS GUY
Have yourself a wonderful day, Mr.
Stan!

Rita leaps out of her seat to assist Stan as he grimaces in
pain.

RITA
Oh, my God.
(she gives Stan a hand)
Are you alright?

STANLEY
I’m fine.
(shoots Homeless Guy a glare)

Just fine.
Homeless Guy smiles, then puts on a sailor hat he made out
of the newspaper. Stan gets up, walks up the stairs and
shows Rita his bus pass.

RITA
Okay, how many times do you have to
be told? You don’t have to show me
your pass every single day. I think
I can trust you by now.

STANLEY
Habit.

Stan sits in the first row on the left side of the bus and
places his briefcase on the seat beside him. There are about
15 people on the bus - typical on his daily commute. Rita
closes the door and puts the bus in gear.

They begin pulling away, but Stan can’t help himself from
stealing another look at Homeless Guy donning his new hat.
He’s rewarded with another glimpse of Guy’s rotting teeth
and a friendly wave.

Stan quickly looks away. Rita gives Stan a curious look in
the rear view mirror.

RITA
You sure you’re okay?

STANLEY
Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks.

RITA
Thank God. I’d been looking forward
to this day. It would have put a
real damper on it if paramedics had
to peal you off my stairs and haul
you off to the hospital.

STANLEY
Why? What’s happening today?

RITA
(feigning surprise)
You don’t know?

STANLEY
Know what?

RITA
Just like a man not to remember an
anniversary.

A mixture of confusion and nervousness takes over his face.

RITA
Relax, Stan. The anniversary means
more to me than you. Today I’ve
been driving this route for five
years.

Stan sighs and smiles in relief.

RITA
Which means I’ve been chauffeuring
you around for the past five years.
He thinks about this for a moment.

STANLEY
(disturbed)
Has it really been that long
already?

Bus pulls up to another stop where an elderly couple is
waiting.

RITA
Well, you know what they say about
time when you’re having fun.
The elderly couple quickly gets on and moves to the middle
section of the bus to take their seats. Rita closes the door
and leans conspiratorially toward Stanley.

RITA
FYI...that’s how you use the
stairs.

STANLEY
Thanks for the tip.

Rita laughs to herself as she pulls away.

RITA
So, after today, for five years of
accident-free service, I get an
extra $100 a week.

STANLEY
Sounds like a nice deal.

RITA
Especially when you only make $4.25
an hour. Now I can give up
moonlighting as a hooker.

Stan’s eyes widen and he looks out the window in horror.

RITA
Stan! I’m joking!

He again smiles in relief and looks at his watches.

RITA
So, do you remember our first day?

STANLEY
I probably didn’t make a very good
impression.

RITA
After you informed me that the
previous driver was the best one
ever, because he never made you
late, or after you told me you
could walk to work faster than I
was driving?

STANLEY
Sorry about that. I just don’t like
to be late.

RITA
I know. I’m just hassling you,
Stan. Punctuality is a respectable
character trait. Don’t think I
fault you for it.

Just out of curiosity, I’ve been
wondering - have you ever been late
- for anything?

STANLEY
(looks away out the window)
Just once.

RITA
(amazed)
Just once? In your whole life? Wow.
So, what were you late for?

STANLEY
(still stares out the window)
I’d really rather not talk about it
if you don’t mind.

RITA
Sure. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to
pry or anything.

STANLEY
Don’t worry about it.

He looks at his watches and stares out the window. Rita
watches him in the mirror with curiosity.

EXT. STANLEY’S OFFICE BUILDING - O’NEIL ACCOUNTING - DAY
The bus pulls up with a squeal in front of the 8-story
O’Neil office building. A digital clock and temperature
display outside the building shows the time as 8:33. The
door opens and Stan steps down the stairwell.

RITA
See you tomorrow.

STANLEY
Yup.

He steps away from the bus, walks across the wide sidewalk,
and pushes through the revolving door of the building.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
An elevator door opens and Stanley walks out. He navigates
through a maze of contemporary low paneled cubicles, which
are nearly devoid of any employees aside from couple of
suits in one cube. Upon seeing Stan, they begin snickering
as he approaches.

The one seated at the desk is GEORGE ANDERSON, mid-forties,
balding and wearing a suit one size too small and a decade
past its prime. The other, leaning his behind against

George’s desk with his arms folded, is BRIAN O’NEIL,
mid-twenties, tailored suit, confident up-and-comer in the
company. The height of his cockiness appears comparable to
his seeming lack of work ethic.

BRIAN
(points to clock on wall)
Hey, Stanley, what the hell
happened? You’re 20 minutes late.

George tucks his head and laughs. Stanley continues to walk
past and looks at the clock, which indeed reads 9:20.

STANLEY
Do you really think that one hasn’t
been tried before, Brian? Next time
you might want to recruit a few
more employees to come in and
actually look busy if you want me
to believe that I might actually be
late.

Stan keeps walking and covertly pulls up his sleeve to sneak
a peek at the time anyway, 8:38, while Brian pushes off of
George’s desk and begins to follow him.

BRIAN
I’ll keep that in mind. Guess I
keep forgetting how goddamn smart
you are, Sherlock.

STANLEY
Listen, just because you’re in line
to take the company over in 25
years doesn’t mean I have to take
shit from you now.

Stan arrives at his cubicle, which is all business -
displaying no personal pictures whatsoever, unlike the other
cubicles. He puts his briefcase on the worksurface and turns
to meet Brian’s glare.

STANLEY
Don’t you have some photocopies you
need to take care of?

BRIAN
Hey, don’t you think you should
talk to me with just
(pinches thumb and forefinger
together)
a little more respect?

STANLEY
I offer my respect to people who
deserve it.

BRIAN
(pissed)
Wow, maybe you’re not as bright as
my dad thinks. You obviously don’t
realize I could have your ass fired
in the next five minutes.

STANLEY
And you obviously give far too much
credit to the belief that you’re
more important to this company than
I am...just because your last name
matches the one on the building and
all the stationary around here.

Brian looks around the office to make sure no one is within
earshot. He glares at Stan and lowers his voice.

BRIAN
(points at Stan)
I strongly suggest you watch your
tone around me in the future. You
really don’t know what I’m capable
of.

Brian takes his leave, heading into one of the office suites
on the side and slams his door.

Stan rubs his neck and then turns on his computer. While it
boots up he removes a pile of folders from his briefcase
when the elevator door opens. Out steps Frank O’Neil, 60ish.
With a nicely tailored suit and close-cropped gray hair, he
carries himself as the owner of the place. But the smile
that he displays upon seeing Stan reveals he is not the
unapproachable boss - for some, at least. As he draws near
to George’s cube, he loses his smile -

FRANK
Good morning, George. My son in
yet?

GEORGE
Uh, yes, sir. I think he just went
into his office.

FRANK
Can you tell him I’ll need two
extra copies of that report we
discussed for the meeting at eleven
this morning?

GEORGE
Sure, Mr. O’Neil.

George gets up and starts walking in the direction of
Brian’s office while Frank proceeds to Stan’s desk. Stan is
getting his paperwork organized.

FRANK
Morning, Stan.

STANLEY
(looks up)
Oh, hey, Frank. What brings you
down from the ivory tower today?

Frank leans up against Stan’s desk.

FRANK
Come on now. Don’t make it sound
like I’m not in touch with my
people or something. And let’s not
forget, you’ve been invited to join
us up in said ivory tower on more
than one occasion. But you just
keep snubbing me at every turn.

STANLEY
(pulls up a spreadsheet on
computer)
I told you before, I work better
among the masses. I don’t need the
hassle of worrying about people
conspiring to get my corner office
on a daily basis.

FRANK
Well, we know we’ve already beat
that horse to death. That’s not why
I’m here.
Stan turns to Frank, leans back in his desk chair, folding
his hands on his stomach.

STANLEY
So what’s up?

FRANK
Kathy wants you to come to dinner.

Stan sighs and turns away.

STANLEY
Talk about beating a dead horse.

FRANK
Now hold on a second. She just
wants you to meet her niece. She’s
a really sweet girl, late thirties
and, quite frankly, if she weren’t
my niece -

STANLEY
Please tell Kathy ’thank you’, but
she’s been trying to play
matchmaker for me for the past ten
years. I’m just not interested.

FRANK
It’s been more than three years
since she’s tried to set you up. At
least that what I was informed of
this morning as I tried to eat my
breakfast.

STANLEY
It’s my fault what happened to
Sharon, Frank - not your wife’s
fault. She’s off the hook. Just
because we were on our way to your
house doesn’t make you responsible.

Frank looks over to see George going back to his desk.

FRANK
(lowers voice)
Don’t you think I’ve told her that?
It doesn’t change her wish to try
and make it better again.

STANLEY
Is that it? I have to work on
Premier’s Year End.

FRANK
You won’t even come for the free
meal?

STANLEY
I’m a single guy, and you pay me
pretty damn good. Free meals aren’t
on the top of my priority list, but
thanks.

Resigned, Frank gets up.

FRANK
Maybe I should cut your pay in
half. Then you’d need a two-income
household to survive.

Stan gives him a look that says he’s done. Frank walks away
while speaking almost to himself -

FRANK
Okay. I’m going. I should make you
call Kathy to let her know.

Stan turns back to his screen and starts typing as other
workers start emerging from the elevator.

INT. BUS - NIGHT
Seated near the middle of the bus, Stan gazes out of the
window with a bored expression. The brakes squeal as the bus
comes to a stop where a band of about ten teenagers, boys
and girls about 17 or 18, are hanging out outside of a
convenience store.

As passengers board, Stan catches sight of two of the teens
as they start making out. At first he turns his head away,
but then slowly turns his gaze back at them. He can see the
girl from the back, the boy’s hands grace her hips. As the
door to the bus closes, the boy catches Stan staring.
Without a break in his lip-locking stride, his raises one
hand to give Stan the bird.

Embarrassed, Stan snaps his attention away from the young
couple to read one of the advertisements over the bus window
- a Trojans condom ad. He instead finds refuge by turning
his attention to his lap just as the bus pulls away.

INT. STANLEY’S KITCHEN - NIGHT
We hear a key slip into a door lock, followed by a door
opening and closing. Stan drags himself into his kitchen,
puts his briefcase down and throws his keys in the basket
hitting the loose change that’s in it as well.

He opens the freezer to a stockpile of frozen dinners. He
removes one without looking at what kind it is, rips it open
and pops it in the microwave before leaving the room.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
In t-shirt and boxers, Stan watches the news with his remote
control in hand. A female NEWSCASTER, 30s, speaks to the
audience in a serious tone.

NEWSCASTER
Though a tragic day for those
involved at the Pheasant Farms Mall
shooting, there are some residents
in the area counting their
blessings this evening.

The Giovanni family was on their
way to the mall just as the
shooting began.

A large MRS. GIOVANNI, about 40, is being interviewed. She
stands flanked by her son and daughter, both about 8-10
years old. Behind them, yellow police tape surrounds the
perimeter as several onlookers go between observing the
aftermath of the shooting and checking out the television
camera.

Several emergency vehicle lights flash as she speaks with a
slight Italian accent, and a few tears in her eyes.

MRS. GIOVANNI
We were supposed to be here when it
all happened. But the traffic was
very bad, and we ended up running
late.

She hugs her children with each arm and kisses them both on
the head

MRS. GIOVANNI
I never thought I would be so
happy because I was late.

Stan immediately shuts off the TV, leaving him mainly in the
dark. He takes a deep breath, slides beneath the covers and
clasps his hands behind his head. He thinks back to his ride
home.

FLASHBACK:
Wrapped up in their own world, the two teenagers kiss each
other passionately on the sidewalk. As we move around the
couple, after about 20 seconds, the two teenagers change
into Stan and Rita.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
In the dark, Stan reaches over to his nightstand, slides the
small drawer open and pulls out a bottle of lotion.

EXT. STANLEY’S BUS STOP - DAY
Homeless Guy is again perched against the wall of the
building at Stan’s bus stop - newspaper again in hand.
Noticing Guy, Stan’s shoulders visibly shrink, and his step
slackens. He walks over to the bench and sits down.

HOMELESS GUY
(looks over top of paper)
Well, nice to see you again, Mr.
Stan.

Stan ignores him and already starts looking at his watches.

HOMELESS GUY
Come on, now. Not even going to
acknowledge my existence? That’s
not very polite.

Guy places the newspaper on the ground before taking up the
brown bag beside him. He makes his way over to the bench,
and cranes his neck around to face Stan.

HOMELESS GUY
This seat taken?
Without waiting for a response, Guy nearly sits on Stan’s
lap when he doesn’t move over. Horrified at the gall of this
man, Stan quickly moves out from under him. Guy offers the
bag to Stan with a smile.

HOMELESS GUY
Take a pull?
Stan looks at the bag with disgust.

STAN
No thanks.

Guy pushes the bag closer to Stan’s face.

HOMELESS GUY
You sure?

Stan sighs, peeks at his watches again and then up the road
in the direction where the bus will be coming.

HOMELESS GUY
Did you really forget the time in
that ten second spell from the last
time you checked? Hell,
(points at Stan’s wrist)
might as well be ticking time bombs
on your wrist.

Stan catches a glance at Guy and turns away because the
smell is overwhelming.

HOMELESS GUY
(chuckles)
Oh, I apologize. Don’t have regular
access to toiletries these days.
(gets up)
I’ll move back over here - out of
nose-shot. Sometimes I even catch a
whiff of myself and, wow, I never
knew it could get so bad.

Guy sits back down against the building and takes up his
newspaper. Stan continues his silence campaign as Guy’s
newspaper begins to rustle.

HOMELESS GUY
I’d also like to apologize, Mr.
Stan. Didn’t mean to startle you in
front of your girlfriend yesterday.
Stan fidgets in his struggle to keep silent, but quickly
loses the battle.

STANLEY
What are you talking about?

HOMELESS GUY
The cute little brunette who drives
the bus.

STANLEY
She’s not my girlfriend.

The newspaper continues to rustle as Guy goes between
looking down at the paper and back up at Stan.

HOMELESS GUY
Well, hell, that’s your own fault.
Nice looking, experienced woman
like that....MmMmm. If I were still
a good looking fellow like you, I’d
ask her out by...
(looks at empty wrist)
about 5 minutes from now, get her
some flowers - looks like the
yellow Tulip type -
(stands back up)
pick her up by six tonight,
(spins around)
dance by about nine,
(smiles & gyrates hips)
and then have her in the sack by
midnight.

STANLEY
You’re disgusting.

HOMELESS GUY
No. I’m a man. Oh, wait, that’s the
same thing, ain’t it?

Stan says nothing. Guy sits back down and works on his
newspaper again. After a couple of thoughtful moments - the
bus comes into view.

HOMELESS GUY
No. You’re right. She’s a special
one, I can tell. The respectable
type...I’d have to wait a bit
longer to get her in the sack -
say, 2 am?

Bus pulls up and Stan rises from the bench.

HOMELESS GUY
It’s only a matter of time, Mr.
Stan.

INT. STANLEY’S BUS - DAY
Rita opens the door and Stan steps up. Just as he’s about to
put his foot down, he notices pieces of paper on each step.
On the first stair is the outline of a shoe on the right
side of the paper and instructions on the left "Lift foot,
place here (an arrow points to the outline), read next
step". On the next step is a sheet of paper with another
outline of a shoe, this time on the left, with the same
instructions. Stan looks up at Rita.

RITA
(jokingly)
Now take it a little slower today,
okay?

Stan smiles, boards the bus and sits down. Rita closes the
door and starts to pull away. Stan looks over to Guy, who’s
waving his newspaper Tulip like a metronome.

Driving along the usual route, Rita is looking in the rear
view at Stan. She opens her mouth to say something, but then
thinks better of it. She opens her mouth again.

RITA
Stan, can I ask you a personal
question.

STANLEY
Depends on how personal, I guess.

RITA
Why don’t you drive? You certainly
dress like you can afford a car.

STANLEY
Why do you think I don’t drive?

RITA
Did you ever?

STANLEY
Sure. I’m that guy that gives you
great pleasure to flip off.

RITA
So’d you lose your license for
speeding or did you become one of
these earthy crunchy guys who don’t
want to add more greenhouses gases
than necessary to good ole Mother
Earth?

STANLEY
Amaxophobia.

RITA
What?

STANLEY
Amaxophobia.

RITA
What the hell is Amaxophobia?

STANLEY
It’s a fear of driving in cars.

RITA
(laughing)
Get out. You just made that up.

STANLEY
No, it’s real. I assure you. I used
to drive, but I can’t anymore.

RITA
Why not?
STANLEY
(looks out window)
Just can’t bear the possibility of
causing others harm I guess.

Rita studies him in the rearview mirror for a moment.

RITA
Why? Did you hurt someone, Stan?
(he’s still looking out
window)
You don’t have to tell me...if you
don’t want to.

STANLEY
(turns back to Rita)
Yes...I hurt someone.

RITA
I’m sorry.

STANLEY
Nothing for you to be sorry about.
(beat)
I’ve never really spoken about it -
to anyone.

Stan looks back out the window as Rita pulls up to the bus
stop. She lets on a single passenger and takes off again.
Rita goes back and forth between watching the road and
glancing at Stan before she speaks up.

RITA
An event makes you stop driving,
and you talk about it to no one?
Stan returns her look in the mirror.

STANLEY
I didn’t feel like rehashing
a painful subject with people I
knew. Or worse, with people I
didn’t even know. I simply chose to
move on with my life.

RITA
You moved on? Again, an event stops
you from driving, ever again, and
you talk about it to no one?
Stan remains silent for a moment.

STANLEY
Maybe I will talk to someone about
it - someday.

RITA
So let’s talk, Stan.

STANLEY
(scoffs)
I can’t talk about it now.

RITA
Why not?

STANLEY
I haven’t even thought about it.
I’m not ready.

RITA
Don’t think. Just start talking.
(looks at him in mirror)
How long has it been?

Stan shifts in his seat and rubs his neck. After a moment he
wipes his palms on the front of his slacks and replies -

STANLEY
A long time. Sometimes it seems
like forever. And then sometimes
only like yesterday.

Someone rings the bell for the next stop. Rita pulls over to
let the passenger off. She speaks as she closes the door and
pulls away.

RITA
I’m still listening, Stan.
It takes Stan a moment to consider. He puts his arms across
his chest.

STANLEY
I was married once.

Rita raises her eyebrows in surprise.

RITA
You were?

STANLEY
Eight whole months...

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Small, tidy bathroom. SHARON, an attractive young woman in
her mid-twenties, applies her mascara in the bathroom
mirror.

STANLEY (O.S.)
Come on, Sharon, or we’re gonna be
late.

SHARON
(relaxed)
Almost ready.

Stanley peeks his head around the doorway. He watches her
face in the mirror and for a moment forgets himself.

STANLEY
You do this to me on purpose, don’t
you?

SHARON
I told you - I’m not arriving an
hour early anymore just to sit and
wait outside in a car. It won’t
kill you to be a little late for
once.

Sharon begins to apply lipstick.

STANLEY
It might not kill me, but dinner at
my boss’ house is kind of a big
deal. I want to make a good first
impression.

Sharon finishes applying the lipstick. She turns, saunters
over to Stanley and wraps her arms around his neck.

SHARON
You’ve been invited to your boss’
house for dinner - that means
you’ve already made a good first
impression.

They both lean in for a kiss.

STANLEY
(breaking the embrace)
Come on. We really have to get
going. Supposed to be there by
7:00.

Sharon rolls her eyes a bit, picks up her watch from the
side if the sink, slides it on her wrist and snaps the light
off.

INT. CAR - NIGHT
Stan and Sharon drive along a rural road. Houses are close
enough together, but not close enough to make out someone
dressing in an open window.

Stanley guns the engine. He passes by a speed limit sign
which reads "40". Sharon leans over exaggeratedly to take a
look at the speedometer, which is pushing 65.

SHARON
Might want to ease off the gas
there a bit, Earnhardt. Speed
limit’s 40 here.

Stan looks at the car clock: 6:55.

STANLEY
Almost there. We might just make
it.

A moment later Stan comes up fast on another car, tailgating
with a vengeance. He swings the car over the dividing line a
couple of times to see if the car is passable. Unable to see
far enough ahead, he exclaims -

STANLEY
Come on!

SHARON
(exasperated)
Stan, will you relax, please? And
slow the hell down.

STANLEY
If we’d left when I asked you to, I
wouldn’t be in such a goddamn rush.

SHARON
(under her breath)
If you weren’t such a freak about
being on time, we wouldn’t be in
such a goddamn rush.

STANLEY
(shoots her a glare)
What was that?

SHARON
Nothing. Just watch what you’re
doing.

At this, Stan honks his horn at the law abiding driver and
swings hard to the left to pass him around a corner. He guns
the car to pass when another car flashes into view.

SHARON
(braces against the dash)
Stan!

With the car on his right, Stan has no alternative but to
swing further to the left, but the cars still collide,
sending Stan’s car into a multiple flip off the side of the
road and into the woods. Glass and metal explode in Stan’s
ears before the car rocks to a stop on its side.

Stan is still strapped in his seatbelt. The passenger side
is smashed in, and Sharon is smashed with it. Stan’s
forehead is covered with blood.

STANLEY
(dazed)
Sharon?
(no answer)
Sharon, are you okay?

He lifts and turns his head with great difficulty. Sharon’s
lifeless eyes stare back at him - her neck is broken. The
radio continues to play. Stanley looks at the clock: 7:01.
Stanley passes out.

INT. BUS - DAY

RITA
(looking upset)
I’m so sorry.

STANLEY
It was a long time ago.

Rita pulls up to Stan’s stop. Stan grabs his briefcase with
his right hand and stands up to walk toward the door, but
Rita doesn’t open it. He looks at her. She takes up his free
hand in hers and squeezes it affectionately.

RITA
(stares up intently in Stan’s
eyes)
You’re a good man, Stan. You must
know that it was just an accident.

He looks at her for a moment and offers a half-hearted
smile.

STANLEY
In that case...I’m not so sure. But
thanks for listening, Rita. See you
tomorrow.

Rita nods her head with a sympathetic look, releases his
hand and opens the door. Stan steps off and makes his way
toward the building.

EXT. STANLEY’S OFFICE BUILDING - O’NEIL ACCOUNTING - DAY
Stanley walks zombie-like toward the building and through
the revolving doors as the bus pulls away.

INT. LOBBY OF OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stanley starts walking over to the elevators where a couple
of coworkers are waiting, a YOUNG WOMAN, in her late
twenties, and a YOUNG MAN, about the same age. They are
standing within flirting distance.

YOUNG WOMAN (O.S.)
(laughing flirtatiously)
I know. That was hysterical.
Stanley walks up and stands off to the side a bit.

YOUNG MAN
Hey, Stan.

STANLEY
(a bit slow to respond)
Hey.

The young woman offers Stan a smile. Though she’s obviously
in his eyeline, he seems not to notice, so she quickly
retracts the smile and looks toward the elevator door as it
begins to open.

YOUNG MAN
You okay, man? You don’t look so
hot.

STANLEY
What? Yeah, sure. I’m fine. Excuse
me.

Stanley turns and makes a beeline for the lobby restroom,
his eyes reddening with every step. He slams open the
restroom door.

INT. OFFICE RESTROOM - DAY
Stan rushes into the bathroom and quickly surveys beneath
the stall doors to see if anyone else is in the room. When
he finds the room clear, he rushes into one of the stalls
and slams the door behind him. He places his briefcase on
the ground and sits on the edge of the toilet. Cradling his
forehead in his hands and he begins sobbing.

CUT TO:
Stan opening the stall door and looking at his watches:
8:54. He quickly turns the water on and splashes his face.
His red eyes make him look like he’s been drinking for
hours. He grabs a couple of paper towels and swiftly dries
his face before heading for the door.

INT. STANLEY’S OFFICE - DAY
The elevator door opens and Stan steps out. Brian sees him
come out, looks at his watch (8:58) and makes a trajectory
toward Stan.

BRIAN
(walking & smiling)
Hey, Stan!
(points at watch)
Cutting it a bit close there today,
aren’t ya buddy?

Stanley brushes hard into Brian’s shoulder as he walks
toward his desk. He sits down, opens his briefcase and
starts his work.

EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
Stanley is already sitting on the bench. Guy is doing his
usual with the newspaper.

HOMELESS GUY
I notice you’re a bit later than
usual lately. Been going an extra
round with Mary Palm in the
morning?

STANLEY
I used to get a little peace and
quiet here. Have to stay home to
get that now.

HOMELESS GUY
I’m hurt. You don’t enjoy our
little chats?

STANLEY
Not particularly.
Guy manipulates his paper some more.

HOMELESS GUY
(beat)
You know, Mr. Stan, I was just like
you once.

STANLEY
(scoffs)
I highly doubt that.

HOMELESS GUY
No, really, I was. Happier now,
though.

STANLEY
You can’t be serious.

HOMELESS GUY
(smiles)
Homelessness: don’t knock it til
you try it.

He takes a pull from his liquor bottle.

HOMELESS GUY
No more life-sucking meetings,
bills, taxes, kissing up to bosses
who don’t give a God damn about
your real hopes and dreams.

STANLEY
No one to love you.

HOMELESS GUY
Well now, who can you say really
loves you? Besides your mommy, I
mean.

Stan stays silent for a moment and looks at his watches.

STANLEY
Plenty of people love me.

HOMELESS GUY
Hey, I’ve got lots of friends too.
Being homeless doesn’t make me any
less charming and lovable than I
was when I had a regular roof over
my head.

Stan turns to look over at Guy. He rewards Stan with a flash
of his smile and a few bats of his eyelashes. Stan rolls his
eyes and catches a glimpse the bus approaching. He gets off
the bench.

HOMELESS GUY
It’s only a matter of time.

STANLEY
(irritated)
Why do you keep saying that? What’s
only a matter of time?

HOMELESS GUY
Why "it", of course.

STANLEY
You’re infuriating.

HOMELESS GUY
That’s funny. That’s what my wife
used to say.

STANLEY
(under his breath)
I’m sure she did.

The bus pulls to a stop. Rita opens the door and gives Stan
a curious look as he boards.

INT. BUS - DAY
Rita takes note of Stan’s irritated look as he boards.

RITA
Hi Stan. Everything okay?

STANLEY
Sure. Why?

RITA
Nothing. Just checking.

Stan looks confused by Rita’s comments. As he goes to sit,
he sees Guy holding a large newspaper heart in front of his
chest. Stan shakes his head and falls into his seat.

The bus chugs along, and just prior to reaching the next
stop, the engine begins to sputter.

RITA
Oh, no. Come on, baby. Don’t do
this to me now.

Rita gives the bus more gas and the engine gets worse until
eventually the bus stops altogether.

STANLEY
What’s wrong?

RITA
(pulls out cell phone)
Don’t know. I’m calling the
terminal now to send over a new
bus.

Stan begins rubbing his neck as Rita dials.

STANLEY
You can’t fix it?

Rita puts the phone up to her ear and gives Stan a crazy
look.

RITA
Do I look like a mechanic to you?
(into phone)
Oh, hey Steve. Can you send another
bus over and get mine checked out?
The thing just died on me.
(beat)
I have no idea.
(beat)
Okay, thanks.

Rita stands up and faces the passengers.

RITA
The other bus should be along soon,
everyone. If you can just sit tight
for a bit. Sorry for the
inconvenience.

Stanley squirms in his seat and continues rubbing his neck
as the time passes. Once his watches hit 8:31, he snatches
up his briefcase and stands up with urgency.

STANLEY
Open the doors please, Rita.

RITA
They really can’t be much longer,
Stan. Please, just sit down and re-

STANLEY
I said open the goddamn doors.

RITA
(eyebrows furrowed)
Okay, okay.

Rita opens the doors and Stanley leaps off the stairwell
onto the sidewalk, and takes off down the street. Rita looks
out at him like she’s just caught the Pope wearing a pink
tutu.

EXT. STREET IN SMALL CITY - DAY
With briefcase in hand, Stan soars down the sidewalk,
passing stores and curious onlookers. His suitcoat flaps up
in the breeze. As he passes by the other bus stops, he
shouts out to those waiting as though he’s saving them from
a fire.

STANLEY
The bus is broken down!

INT. LOBBY OF OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stan pushes through the revolving door and looks up at the
large clock in the lobby - 8:58. He runs at full speed
toward the elevators, missing both as their doors close in
his face. He feverishly pushes the "up" button and then
looks at the display showing the light crawling up each
floor slowly, painfully. Stan can’t wait - he bolts for the
stairwell.

INT. STAIRWELL - DAY
Stan flies up the stairs and pushes through the door.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stan comes through the door and finds six employees,
including Brian, standing by his desk.

MALE EMPLOYEE #1
Shiiit.

BRIAN
(looks over to see Stan)
Ha. Told you he’d make it. Pay up,
gentlemen.

The other employees hand $20 each over to a very happy
Brian. All, save Brian, immediately disperse to their desks
as Stan walks over.

BRIAN
I almost thought hell had frozen
over. I had my song all ready to
go.

As he catches his breath, Stan waves for Brian to move away
from his desk. Brian moves off to the side.

STANLEY
(annoyed)
And what song might that be?

BRIAN
(smirking)
Oh, no. I can’t sing it now. I have
to wait for the big day arrive or
it wouldn’t be appropriate.

STANLEY
Go ahead and just sing it, Brian.
I’m sure you’re just bursting
inside to let it out, so do it.

Brian looks around the office and considers.

BRIAN
You sure you want to hear it?

STANLEY
I’m all ears.

Brian clears his throat and in his deepest baritone voice
sings out loud and clear to the melody of ’Danny Boy’.

BRIAN
Oh, Stanny Boy, the clocks,
the clocks are calling.
From wrist to wrist, and
upon the office walls.
The time is gone, and all
your heart is dying.
Tis time til you must go
and you must fly.

Brian carries the last note and then stops and smirks at
Stan. A couple of people start to applaud and then others
join in as Brian’s singing was actually surprisingly good.
Stan shakes his head and asks -

STANLEY
So is that it?

BRIAN
Well, I’m still working on the
other verses. I figured I’d have a
little more time to work on it.

People get back to work and Stan sits at his desk and waits
for Brian to take a hint and walk away.

BRIAN
So?

STANLEY
So, what?

BRIAN
So did you like it?

STANLEY
Don’t you have any real work to do?

BRIAN
Nothing this fun.

Brian smiles and finally takes his leave. Stan watches him
go into his office and shut the door. Stan rubs his neck,
runs his hand through his hair and starts typing away on his
computer.

EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
Guy is shelling peanuts from a small bag. While eating the
nuts, he makes three point shots with the shells into the
trash can beside the bench. Guy takes a break from the nuts
to take a swig from his liquor bottle. He takes up another
nut, shells it and throws the shell, this time hitting Stan
in the back of the head. Stan snaps around in his seat.

HOMELESS GUY
Whoops. Sorry. Aim ain’t what it
used to be.

Stan turns back slowly. Guy looks at Stan and seems lost in
thought for a moment before placing the bag of nuts on the
ground. He works on his next paper masterpiece.

HOMELESS GUY
So, you know -

STANLEY
(turns angrily)
Listen. Are you going to do this
everyday?

HOMELESS GUY
(feigns innocence)
What?

STANLEY
This.
(waves hand at where Guy sits)
Sitting here everyday. Why do you
need to sit right there? Out of all
the places in this city - right
there.

Guy looks serious for a moment and then looks as though he’s
going to cry before belting out his best Richard Gere
impersonation -

HOMELESS GUY
I got nowhere else to go!

Stanley turns back to the street.

STANLEY
Oh, for Christ’s sake. Do you take
anything seriously?

HOMELESS GUY
You take enough seriously for the
both of us, Mr. Stan.

Stan says nothing and looks at his watches.

HOMELESS GUY
Actually, I did want to speak to
you - seriously - about something
today.

STANLEY
(turns & feigns amazement)
Really??

Turns away again.

HOMELESS GUY
Well, don’t patronize me now. Just
’cuz I’m homeless doesn’t mean I’m
an idiot.

Works on his newspaper.

HOMELESS GUY
You know, there are some people who
only have a fleeting -
(pinches fingers together)
chance to meet that one special
person -

STANLEY
(rolls eyes)
Oh, God. Are you giving me dating
advice?

Without breaking stride, Guy continues -

HOMELESS GUY
- Decide to leave that bar just one
minute too early, and Mrs. Right
walks through the door with her
girlfriends while you’ve already
slipped your key in the ignition.

STANLEY
I don’t drive.

HOMELESS GUY
Mmm, poor example. Just pay
attention, Mr. Stan. You’re already
going home and you never even had a
glimpse of the woman of your dreams
- the one you would have grown old
with.

You see, that’s really the way it
is for some people. Look all their
lives...and nothing.

But you, you get to see the woman
of your dreams every Monday through
Friday, and you do nothing
absolutely nothing about it to
lasso her in.

STANLEY
I assume you’re talking about Rita.
I don’t understand, number one, why
you think Rita is some kind of soul
mate for me and, two, why the hell
you care?

HOMELESS GUY
Because I see the way you look at
those watches each morning - just
waiting.

STANLEY
I don’t like to be late.

HOMELESS GUY
That or you just can’t wait to see
that woman open those doors for you
each day.

STANLEY
Yeah, that’s it.

HOMELESS GUY
You laugh, Mr. Stan, but I don’t
think it’s funny. You know why?

STANLEY
I’m sure you’ll tell me.

HOMELESS GUY
Because it’s sad - that you need
her, and believe it or not, she
needs you, but you just can’t stand
the thought of someone messing with
your little routine - this cocoon
you wrap yourself up in every day
to keep you from dealing with real
life shit.

The bus is in view and Stan gets up slowly.

STANLEY
You know, this is getting
ridiculous. I’m just going to
ignore you from now on.

HOMELESS GUY
That won’t change the facts, Jack.
You need to break free.

The bus pulls up.

HOMELESS GUY
It’s only a matter of time.

Stan turns to see Guy with a newspaper butterfly in hand.
Stanley gets on the bus.

INT. BUS - DAY
Rita gives Stan a more reserved smile than usual as he
boards the bus.

STANLEY
Hello, Rita.

RITA
Stan.

Stan takes his seat and watches Rita as she closes the door
and pulls away. Stan continues to study her. She’s not her
usual bubbly self, so Stan takes the unusual initiative to
start the conversation.

STANLEY
So, have a nice evening last night?

Rita doesn’t appear to notice that Stan is speaking to her.
A bit out of his element, he stares out the window and seems
to just give up before he even starts. But he takes a deep
breath and turns back to Rita again.

STANLEY
Sorry I snapped at you yesterday.
Rita snaps out of her fog and looks at Stanley in the
rearview.

RITA
I’m sorry, Stan. Did you say
something?

STANLEY
Nothing really. You seem a bit
distracted today. You okay?

RITA
Is it that obvious?

STANLEY
I’m not sure what it is. But it
certainly has your attention.

Rita pulls over to pick up a couple of passengers.

RITA
(to passengers)
Good morning, folks.

They nod and take their seats. Rita pulls away and lowers
her voice to Stan.

RITA
It just happens to be the
anniversary of my husband’s death.

STANLEY
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to
press.

RITA
You hardly pressed, Stan. I
wouldn’t have told you if I didn’t
want to.

STANLEY
How long has it been?

RITA
Six years. The longest six years of
my life. I guess that means I
haven’t had much fun in that time.

STANLEY
I know it’s not really my business
- but do you mind telling me how he
passed.

RITA
So long as you promise not to make
a big deal out of it.

STANLEY
Why would I do that?

RITA
Because everyone does. I actually
started lying about how he died to
people that didn’t really know me.
People don’t make such a big deal
out of it when I say he had an
everyday heart attack.

STANLEY
If you’re trying to pique my
curiosity, you’re succeeding
fabulously.

Rita pulls over again and picks up one passenger, JOE, a
businessman in his late thirties.

RITA
(cheerily)
Morning, Joe.

JOE
Hello sweetheart.

Stan raises his eyebrows in curiosity at this.

RITA
What are you doing on the bus so
early today?

JOE
Boss wants us all in for an early
meeting with some home office big
wigs that are in town today.

RITA
Fun.

JOE
Not really.
(glances at Stan)
Guess my usual seat is taken.

Stanley actually looks a bit jealous.

RITA
Yeah, sorry. This is Stan. He’s my
first run co-pilot each morning.

JOE
(offers his hand to Stan)
Nice to meet you, Stan.

STANLEY
(works up a smile)
Likewise.

JOE
I’ll grab a spot in the back.

Rita shuts the door and continues down the route.

STANLEY
Seems like a nice guy.

RITA
Yeah, he is.
(lowers voice)
He actually asked me out a couple
of weeks ago.

STANLEY
Really?

Stan takes a look behind him to size Joe up a bit more.

STANLEY
So, did you guys go out?

RITA
No. I told him I don’t like to date
guys who just divorced the week
before.

STANLEY
He just divorced?

RITA
Third time too. I don’t plan on
trying out for wife number four.
Stanley visibly relaxes upon hearing this.

STANLEY
Maybe you’re the reason he divorced
number three.

RITA
Stan! You make it sound like I’m a
homewrecker.

STANLEY
I meant it as a compliment. Maybe
he thought he’d have a chance with
you if he were single again.

RITA
(chuckles)
If he asks me out five more times
and I’m still single, I might
reconsider my position. That should
give me another couple months to
think about it.

Stanley shifts in his seat to look back at Joe once more,
then turns back to Rita.

STANLEY
So, you almost got out of telling
me about your husband.

Rita becomes serious again.

RITA
Do you remember the TransWorld
plane crash several years ago?

STANLEY
Your husband was on that flight?

RITA
You catch on quick.

STANLEY
I’m sorry, Rita.

RITA
Well, like you said to me about
your wife, it was a long time ago.

STANLEY
I know, but I can’t imagine having
the death of my wife broadcast all
over the news for two weeks
straight.

RITA
It’s one of the more sensational
ways to go, I guess. It didn’t
bother me too much. I made it quite
clear to the press that I didn’t
want to be involved in their
please-feel-sorry-for-me-America
interviews, so they pretty much
left me alone.

Shortly after the crash, though, I
remember getting into an all out
battle with my daughter because I
refused to let her turn on the TV
for a month. I just couldn’t risk
her seeing it on the news. She told
me point blank to stop treating her
like a baby.

Learning that your only child is no
longer innocent shortly after
losing the person you were
expecting to spend the rest of your
life with was a bitter pill to
swallow.

Rita picks up a couple more passengers and takes off again.

STANLEY
I guess I should consider myself
lucky that my wife and I didn’t
have any kids. It was enough trying
to deal with my own emotions. I
would have been too selfish to help
someone else through their baggage
too.

RITA
I’d have to disagree on that front.
God, I would have been even more of
a mess if she wasn’t there to keep
me grounded.

Stan gives an understanding nod, but then keeps quiet for
the rest of the trip.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stan steps out of the elevator. Brian’s muffled voice can be
heard down the hall. Still early, they are the only ones in
the office. Stan begins heading over to his desk, but as he
hears Brian laughing, he pauses for a moment and then takes
a detour by his office.

INT. BRIAN’S OFFICE - DAY
Brian has his feet propped up on his desk with a big smile
on his face.

BRIAN
If he was ever late with a report,
or anything, he’d probably grab the
nearest letter opener and commit
hari kari right on the spot.
(beat)
I’m serious. The guy’s a total nut
job.

Stan knows he is talking about him as he stands by the
doorway.

BRIAN
Okay, I’ll see you at 7:00.
(swings feet from desk)
Love you too, Sam. Bye.

Stan quickly moves away from the door and over to his desk.
Brian steps out of his office as Stan boots up his computer.

BRIAN
Hey, Stan, you’re in early. Oh
wait, you’re always in early,
aren’t you?
(walks over to Stan’s desk)
I guess it’s pretty easy getting
out of bed in the morning when
there’s no one in it worth staying
for.

STAN
I guess you’d know. It must be
really tough leaving your boyfriend
alone in the morning.

The comment gives Brian pause.

BRIAN
What the hell are you talking
about?

STANLEY
Don’t worry, Brian. Your secret’s
safe with me.

BRIAN
Still don’t know what you’re
talking about.

STANLEY
Sam - your boyfriend.

Brian gives Stan a death glare.

BRIAN
Were you just spying on me?

STANLEY
Just passing through. Can’t help
what my ears overhear; especially
coming from a big mouth like yours.
I’m sure a big mouth on a man is
quite attractive to some guys
though.

Stan smiles at Brian and opens his briefcase to take out
some files.

BRIAN
Not that it would be any of your
business, but you don’t know what
the hell you’re talking about.

STANLEY
Like I said, Brian, your secret’s
safe with me. I couldn’t care less.

BRIAN
(leans hands on desk)
Someday my father will find out
what a real prick you are.

STANLEY
(scoffs)
Me?? Take a good look in the
mirror, jackass.

Brian pushes his hands from the desk and stares at Stan, who
is now typing away on his computer paying him no mind. After
a few moments, Brian retreats to his office and shuts the
door. Stan’s mouth turns up in a grin that would make the
Cheshire Cat look depressed.

EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
Stanley sees the bus approaching from up the road a ways.
Guy has his head bent, eyebrows furrowed, as he manipulates
his newspaper. Stan turns to see Guy looking far more
serious than usual.

STANLEY
Well, I guess I should thank you.

HOMELESS GUY
(serious)
And why’s that?

STANLEY
This is the first time you’ve given
me any peace and quiet in over two
weeks.

Guy scoffs at his comment and continues his work.

STANLEY
So...why so quiet today?

HOMELESS GUY
Just thinking. A bit worried.

STANLEY
(chuckles)
You? Worried? About what? That you
won’t panhandle enough for a decent
bottle of gin today?

Stan gets up as the bus pulls over.

HOMELESS GUY
It’s -
STANLEY
(interrupts)
- only a matter of time. I know.

Just before Rita opens the door, Stan steals another glance
at Guy, who is donning his newspaper Pope hat. Guy has his
hands folded in prayer and looks into Stan’s eyes intently.
The seriousness of Guy’s gaze puts Stan a bit on edge.

INT. BUS - DAY

RITA
Top of the morning.

STANLEY
To you too, Rita.

Stan sits down, the doors close, and they’re off. Rita looks
at Stan through the rearview mirror. He looks a bit worried
as he stares out the window.

RITA
How are you doing today, Stan?
Stan snaps out of it and looks at Rita.

STANLEY
Fine. And you?

RITA
Well, since you asked, I’m doing
great. My daughter called last
night - she’s on track for the
Dean’s list again with a 3.8 GPA.

STANLEY
That’s great. Smart like her mom, I
guess.

RITA
Oh, she’s a lot smarter than me.

STANLEY
You seem like a pretty sharp lady
to me.

Rita smiles at this.

RITA
Not sure you’re being entirely
truthful, but my ego appreciates
the sentiment nonetheless.

Stan smiles and looks back out the window.

RITA
Stan, how come all of a sudden in
the last couple of weeks you’ve
finally been really talking to me?

STANLEY
(confused)
What do you mean?

RITA
I mean, you’ve been sitting about
five feet away from me every
weekday for over five years and I
don’t think you knew anything about
me until recently.

STANLEY
I know you have a daughter in
college.

RITA
No fair. And besides, I’m the one
who, again, volunteered that
information.

STANLEY
It’s your business. If you wanted
me to know things, then you would
tell me.

RITA
Come on, Stan. That’s what humans
do. We love to communicate: share
thoughts and ideas. But each day
you’d pretty much just sit there
and say nothing.

STANLEY
You see all these other people each
day, too.

RITA
But you’re the one who sits within
conversation distance.

STANLEY
Maybe I just don’t feel I’m an
interesting person to talk to.

RITA
(chuckles)
Oh, no. You’re interesting all
right. I don’t know one person in
this world that would rather run
all the way downtown because he
can’t wait for another bus.

STANLEY
(almost ashamed)
I was wondering when that was going
to come up. I don’t like to be
late.

RITA
I know, Stan. But do you really
believe it would be the end of the
world if you were?

Stan shrugs his shoulders as Rita pulls up to the next bus
stop. An older WOMAN in her sixties and a middle aged MAN
with his hands stuffed in an oversize jacket get on. The man
has a bit of a glazed look in his eyes. Rita gives them both
a smile and shuts the door.

Rita pulls away from the curb as she watches them both take
their seats. There’s something about the man that puts her
on edge and she watches him in the mirror. Her sixth sense
kicks in as she catches him staring back at her with a
menacing look. He pulls his right hand out of his pocket:
it’s wrapped around the butt of a gun.

RITA
(under her breath)
Shit.

The man stands up and walks toward the front of the bus with
the gun poised at the floor. A couple of passengers in the
back gasp in fright upon seeing the weapon. Rita starts to
slow down.

MAN
(raises gun to Rita)
Don’t you dare slow down, bitch.
You just keep driving til I tell
you to stop, understand?

She dutifully nods her head and presses the gas. The man
turns his attention to the passengers.

MAN
Listen up, people! Let’s make this
real easy. Everyone’s gonna move to
the back so I can keep an eye on
you. Then you’re all gonna reach
into your purses and wallets and
start handing me all of your cash.
All of it.

Just pass it up to the person in
front of you until it gets to me.
And don’t any of you dare fuck with
me. I’ve used this before, and I
have no problem using it on any
asshole who gives me trouble.

Those closer to the front quickly get up and move toward the
back as instructed. Stan looks at his watches and gets up,
but not quickly enough. The robber grabs Stan’s collar and
pulls him past.

MAN
Let’s go, dumb ass!
The passengers start pulling out their money and passing it
down to the robber, who then stuffs the cash in his pockets.
Rita watches from the rear view.

MAN
Come on, hurry up!
(to Stan)
What about you there? I haven’t
seen you make a move toward your
wallet yet.

STANLEY
I don’t carry cash.

MAN
Yeah, sure you don’t. There’s an
asshole in every crowd. Hand over
your wallet.

STANLEY
I’m telling the truth.

MAN
Listen, buddy, let’s just make
sure, okay? Hand it over or I’m
going to shoot this nice lady in
the leg.

He aims the gun at the woman who came on the bus with him.
She starts whimpering, so Stan pulls out his wallet and
hands it over. The robber begins rifling through it.

MAN
Well, shit, dumb ass, you were
telling the truth.

The robber pistol whips the woman anyway, knocking her out.

STANLEY
(attending to the woman)
Hey!

She starts bleeding on the side of her forehead, making the
passengers even more anxious.

MAN
(to Stan)
Remember, that was your fault. Next
time, just do as you’re told.

Ok! Let’s finish this up, people!

Stan is furious. Rita can see it in his eyes that he’s going
to do something stupid. So she swings the bus hard left and
right to throw the robber off balance. Stanley takes the
opportunity and coldcocks him instantly. The passengers
start cheering.

Stan grabs the gun from the man’s limp hand and strikes him
in the head with it even though he’s already knocked out.
The cheering stops. Rita slows the bus to a stop on the side
of the road.

A YOUNG MAN #2 in the back pulls out his cell phone.

YOUNG MAN #2
I’ll call the police.

STANLEY
(looks at watches)
Tell them to meet us at the O’Neil
building downtown.

YOUNG MAN #2
Why? We’re not even close to
O’Neil.

STANLEY
(intently)
Tell them the O’Neil building.

Young Man #2 takes notice that Stan still has the gun in
hand. The passengers look at each other in confusion. Stan
walks back to the front of the bus.

STANLEY
Start driving.

RITA
Stan, you can’t be serious.

STANLEY
Please! Just start driving! I don’t
have time to sit around waiting for
the police to show up.

Rita doesn’t move. She just stares at Stan like he’s a
madman.

RITA
We’re not going anywhere, Stan.
You’re gonna sit down and we’re
going to wait for the police to
arrive. And would you mind putting
that gun away.

He looks at the gun, seeming to notice it for the first
time. He puts it on the seat behind Rita, but then takes her
arm up, coaxing her out of the driver’s seat.

RITA
What are you doing??

STANLEY
I’m sorry. I have to get to work.
You!
(pointing at Young Man #2)
Can you drive?

YOUNG MAN #2
A car.

STANLEY
Come up here.

Rita pushes Stan out of the way.

RITA
(annoyed)
I’ll do it.

Rita sits in the driver’s seat and pulls out into traffic.
Everyone is dead silent. Young man # 2 sits on a bench and
places a foot on top of the robber in case he stirs awake.

EXT. STANLEY’S OFFICE BUILDING - O’NEIL ACCOUNTING - DAY
Rita pulls up and the door opens. Stan steps off and turns
around to face her.

STANLEY
Thank you, Rita. You have no i-

RITA
(while closing the door)
You’ve got serious issues, Stanley.

Rita pulls away. Stan watches as the bus pulls off on the
corner side street beside the building to get out of
traffic’s way. He looks at his watches and moves toward the
revolving door.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stan walks through the revolving doors and heads for the
elevator. While pressing the button, he looks outside
through the glass lobby and sees two police cars pull up
with their lights flashing. The elevator door opens and he
steps inside. He presses the button and the doors close him
in.

The elevator doors open on Stan’s floor. He steps out, walks
over to the window and looks outside to the street below to
see the police cars behind the bus. Rita and the passengers
are outside the bus giving statements to a couple of
officers, while another officer pulls the robber,
handcuffed, out of the bus and directing him into one of the
cruisers.

Stan runs a hand through his hair before walking away from
the window.

LATER:
Stan is printing out about a 100 page report at his desk. He
grabs the paperwork from the printer, fans through the pages
to make sure everything is there and places it in the top
drawer of his pedestal. Brian suddenly appears and notices
as Stan locking the report away in his desk drawer.

BRIAN
My dad wanted me to ask you if the
Networkmaster report will be done
by the 2:00 meeting tomorrow.

Stan gives Brian a look like he’s full of shit. After a beat
-
BRIAN
Helllooooo. Did you hear me?

STANLEY
When have I ever been late with a
report? What do you want, Brian?
Your dad didn’t tell you to ask me
anything.

BRIAN
Jesus. Don’t you believe anything I
say?

Stan looks up in the air contemplating, as if trying to
remember just one time he believed Brian.

BRIAN
Forget it.

Brian walks away and Stan shakes his head.

INT. BRIAN’S OFFICE - DAY
Brian has his laptop out and is writing on a thick stack of
papers in a folder. Through the blinds to the main office
area, he notices Stan get up and move toward the men’s room.
Brian slams the folder shut, grabs it and shoots out of his
office. He walks over to Stan desk. He takes a quick look
around, then pretending to trip, he lets the lot of papers
fly all over the floor by Stan’s desk. Brian shouts out for
effect -

BRIAN
Damn it!

No one seems to really pay attention. As Brian starts
putting the papers back in the folder, he looks at the lock
core on the desk and notes the number code. He startles as
Stan’s voice comes from behind.

STANLEY
Can I help you?

Brian holds up the last remaining papers for show and stuffs
them back in the folder.

BRIAN
Just dropped these. Sorry.

Stan eyes Brian suspiciously as he gets up, walks back to
his office and shuts the door.

INT. BRIAN’S OFFICE - DAY
Brian tosses the folder onto his desk and picks up the
phone. He dials a three digit number. The phone rings.

BRIAN
Hey, Joe. It’s Brian. I think I may
have lost the key to my desk and I
need a new one right away. How soon
can you have one made?
(beat)
That’s great.
(beat)
The code? Hold on, let me check.
Brian pretends to take a moment to look for the lock number
as he swings his legs up onto the desk.

BRIAN
Oh, I see it. It says 145R. Is that
all you need?
(beat)
Perfect. Thanks, Joe.

Brian hangs up the phone with a big grin.

BRIAN
Thank you very much.

INT. BUS - DAY
The doors open on Stan’s bus. Stan’s head is hung in shame
for the benefit of Rita, but instead he finds GEORGE, 60ish,
gruff, and apparently incapable of a smile - the substitute
driver.

STANLEY
Oh, hi. Uh, where’s Rita?

GEORGE
I’m George. Nice to meet you, too.
Rita’s takin’ a little break after
yesterday’s events.

STANLEY
Is she okay?

GEORGE
You her boyfriend?

STANLEY
No.

GEORGE
Then that’s probably considered
confidential. I’ve got a schedule
to keep, mister - you in or out?

STANLEY
Oh, sorry.

Stan steps up and sits down in his usual spot. George turns
in his seat and proceeds to stare at Stan.

GEORGE
(eyes widen)
Do you usually ride for free?

STANLEY
(confused)
What? No.

GEORGE
Then you mind payin’ up?

STANLEY
(fishes for wallet)
Oh, sorry.

GEORGE
(under his breath)
Yeah, think I heard that once
before.

Stan pulls out and displays his pass. George accepts its
authenticity, turns back in the driver’s seat, and pulls
away from the curb.

Stan looks around the bus and sees the regulars are on it.
He’s greeted with looks of disdain. He turns back and looks
out the window; where Guy usually sits, there is no one.
Stan furrows his brow a bit at this.

INT. BRIAN’S OFFICE - DAY
Stan is sitting at his desk working when he takes a look at
the office clock, which reads 1:45. He takes out his keys,
about to open his desk when his phone rings. He stops and
picks it up on the second ring.

STANLEY
Higgins desk.

FRANK (O.S.)
Hey, Stan. Can you get that report
up to me? These guys should be
showing up shortly.

STANLEY
I was just getting ready to come
up.

FRANK (O.S.)
Great. Thanks.

Stan hangs up and finishes unlocking the drawer. He slides
the drawer open to find his file? Of course not.

He opens the drawer wider, bending his head to see if the
file has slipped to the back. After rummaging through a
couple of other files in the drawer, he opens the lower
drawer - nothing. He flips through some files stacked on his
desk increased intensity and panic.

He opens the top drawer again and when he finds nothing yet
again, he slams the drawer shut drawing some attention from
his co-workers. Stan begins rubbing his neck. His eyes then
phase from confusion to revelation, to anger.

A bookworm-looking WOMAN, 30ish, who sits near Stan sneezes
into a tissue and says -

WOMAN
Something wrong, Stan?

As if not hearing her, he springs from his chair with fire
in his eyes, making a beeline to Brian’s office. The door is
closed.

INT. BRIAN’S OFFICE - DAY
Brian is on the phone laughing with his feet perched on his
desk when Stan slams the door open. Brian swings his legs
off the desk.

BRIAN
Ah, hey. Can I call you right back?
Thanks.

Brian looks at Stan with curiosity.

BRIAN
What’s going on Stan? You look like
-
STANLEY
Where is it, you son of a bitch??

Curious onlookers arrange themselves trying to get a view
through the door.

BRIAN
Where is what?

STANLEY
The Networkmaster Report. You stole
it out of my desk.

BRIAN
Once again, Stan, I have no idea
what you’re talking about. Have you
ever considered a therapist for all
these delusions you seem to be
having late-

Stan charges over and starts ripping open Brian’s desk
drawers.

BRIAN
Hey! You want to get the hell out
of my shit!

Stan gives him a death glare. Seeing the gravity in Stan’s
face, Brian holds up his hands, backs away and lets him
continue his search. He goes through each drawer
methodically, pulling out contents as he goes.

BRIAN
I don’t know what you’re looking
for, but you won’t find it in
there.

Stan stops dead.

STANLEY
What’s that supposed to mean? You
hid it somewhere else?

Stan snaps his head around the room, then notices a credenza
with a lock. He looks at Brian and holds his hand out.

STANLEY
Give me the key.

Brian laughs and pulls his keys out of his pocket.

BRIAN
Knock yourself out.
Stan opens the credenza doors and side drawers, but finds
nothing. He looks at his watches, 1:50. He rubs his neck
furiously. He looks over to see the large herd of co-workers
scrambling to catch a glimpse of the action.

He charges back into the main office area and begins tearing
through people’s desks like a tornado. There are a few
slight protests, but most give him a wide berth. He gets to
the desk of the woman who sits by him.

WOMAN
(wiping her nose with a
tissue)
I don’t think you want to look in -

He swings her desk drawer to find a multitude of waded up
tissues. He backs away as if he’d just discovered a bomb in
her drawer.

WOMAN
I warned you.

STANLEY
(shaking his head)
Why...oh, never mind.

He walks away, slowly rubbing his neck. He looks over to see
Brian again sitting at his desk with his feet elevated. Stan
stops and narrows his eyes at this. Having an epiphany, he
marches back in Brian’s office, waving the palm of his hand
in an up direction as he goes.

STANLEY
Get up.

BRIAN
I think you already covered this
area, chief.

STANLEY
I said ’get up’. It’s over here,
somewhere, because you would have
followed me out of the room if you
didn’t have to protect it.

BRIAN
(scoffs)
You really are one crazy son of a
bitch. You know that, don’t you?

STANLEY
Get up!

At this, Brian nearly falls off his chair. He relinquishes
his territory and steps away from the desk. Stan immediately
plows through the desk drawers again. When he finds nothing,
he rubs his neck slower, calmer. He closes his eyes and
takes a deep breath. Thinking.

Brian is looking at him and then out to the workers. He
gives them the finger circling around the ear and silently
mouths the word "crazy".

Brian quickly ceases the hand motion when Stan opens his
eyes and they are directly on him. Stan crouches down on his
knees and looks on the floor under the desk and then up on
the underside of it, and behold, there is the file, taped
beneath the center drawer. He rips the file from the desk,
stands up and waves it in front of Brian, who just stands
there with a slight smirk.

STANLEY
I don’t care if you’re the
President of the United States’
son: you will be fired for this.

BRIAN
(serious)
Believe me, you’d be doing me the
biggest favor of my life.

Stan looks at his watches, 1:54. He hauls out of the office,
pushing through a couple of onlookers camping too close to
the door. He makes his way to the elevator and pushes the
button feverishly. Brian steps into the threshold of his
office as Stan’s phone starts ringing.

BRIAN
Hey, Stan! I think that might be my
dad looking for that report. Better
hurry!

The elevator opens. Stan jumps aboard and pushes for the 8th
floor. He glares at Brian, who stares back, leaning against
the doorway - his hands planted comfortably in his pockets,
and without a care in the world.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
The elevator doors open on the 8th floor. Stan bolts to find
Frank standing outside of the conference room. He shakes the
hands of two gentlemen in suits, then notices as Stan walks
toward them.

FRANK
Oh, here he comes now. Hey, Stan.
Stan hands Frank copies of the reports. Takes a quick look
and says -

FRANK
I’d like you to mee -

STANLEY
I need to talk to you.

FRANK
Is there something wrong with the
report?

STANLEY
No. Not exactly.

FRANK
Can you excuse me for a moment,
gentlemen.
(pulls Stan aside)
Is this an emergency Stan?

STANLEY
Well, not an emergency, I guess.

FRANK
It’ll have to wait then. I have a
plane to catch in less than two
hours, so I don’t have much time to
go over this proposal. Is it
something that can wait until I
come back on Tuesday?

Takes a deep breath and looks away for a moment.

STANLEY
Fine. I guess it can wait.
Frank pats Stan on the shoulder.

FRANK
Thanks.
Frank turns back to his guests.

FRANK
Shall we get started?
The three men head inside the conference room and shut the
door. Stan walks dejectedly down the hall.

MONTAGE - MISSING RITA
-- Door opens to bus and George is the bus driver. Stan
steps up glumly with pass in hand. He sits and looks out the
window where there is no Guy to be seen. Stan has this to
smile about at least.
-- Door opens again, next day. Still no Rita.

EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
Stan drags himself to the bus stop. As he approaches, he
notices Guy is back in his usual spot, with his usual
morning paper. Stan is not pleased, figuring there will be
numerous stories to be told regarding Guy’s absence.

HOMELESS GUY
(lifting his sleeve to look at
a non-existent watch)
This is a little early, even for
you, isn’t it?

Without a word, Stan takes his seat while Guy begins
manipulating his newspaper.

HOMELESS GUY
So, didja miss me?

Stan continues his silence.

HOMELESS GUY
No ’Hey buddy. How are you doing?
Where’ve you been the last couple
days?’

STANLEY
Actually, I was more like, ’Oh God.
I thought he finally found some
other bus stop to go pestering
people in the morning.’

HOMELESS GUY
Oh, I wouldn’t give up this gig
here for all the whiskey in the
side desk drawers in the entire
Catholic church.

And pestering? You call imparting
all my wisdom of the ages,
pestering?

STANLEY
I’m not one to lie. Just call ’em
like I see ’em.

HOMELESS GUY
Well, I guess you should know - I
plan on ’pestering’ a bit longer,
Mr. Stan.

Stan turns, and Guy rewards him with his gap-toothed smile.


STANLEY
And why would you say that?

HOMELESS GUY
It’s true. You seem like a guy who
needs a little pestering, as you
call it - words of wisdom, as I
call it.

STANLEY
(turns back)
Wonderful.

Stan looks at his watches.

HOMELESS GUY
So where’s your little bus driving
girlfriend been?

Stan turns back around.

STANLEY
How did you know she hasn’t been
driving the last few days? You
haven’t even been here.

HOMELESS GUY
(scoffs)
Ever hear of body language, Mr.
Stan? Walking down the street
today, carrying 50 pound boulders
on each shoulder, I could tell
either your favorite watch broke or
your little sweetheart hasn’t been
around to pick you up in the
morning.

Stan turns back to the street.

STANLEY
It’s a long story. I think I really
pissed her off.

HOMELESS GUY
How do you manage that in a 20
minute bus trip?

Stan doesn’t answer.

HOMELESS GUY
You know, you’re a lucky guy.

STANLEY
What makes you say that?

HOMELESS GUY
You have a great opportunity, and
either you’re blind and not aware
of it or you just don’t bother
acting on it.

STANLEY
Let me guess. I should ask Rita to
go out with me.

HOMELESS GUY
So you aren’t blind after all.

STANLEY
I think we already had this
conversation when you first moved
in.

HOMELESS GUY
So why don’t you just go and ask
the woman out then?

Stan turns back to Guy, who quickly hides his newspaper arts
and crafts project of the day.

STANLEY
Relationships are a complicated
invention by society that hold
people to standards that either
kill the human spirit while trying
to meet those standards or put us
through immense guilt because we
just can’t live up to those
standards.

HOMELESS GUY
Come on, I knew a lot of happy
couples back in the
roof-over-my-head days.

STANLEY
There is no such thing as a happy
marriage. There are those who
divorce and those who stay together
because neither can bear the
thought of the other half making
love to someone else if they break
up.

Guy begins laughing his ass off and takes a pull from the
paper bag perched beside him.

STANLEY
What’s so funny?

Guy composes himself and then says more seriously -

HOMELESS GUY
That’s a great speech, Mr. Stan,
but I know there are two kinds of
men in this world: the kind who
needs to run from woman to woman,
and the kind who needs to be a
knight in shining armor for one
woman for the rest of his life. And
you’re definitely the knight in
shining armor type - whether you
want to admit it or not.

Stan turns away from Guy.

STANLEY
You know absolutely nothing about
me.

HOMELESS GUY
I know more than you realize.

Stanley is steaming at this and looks at his watch.

STANLEY
(to himself)
Never should have come early today.

HOMELESS GUY
I know that you’re afraid.

STANLEY
Afraid? Afraid of what?

HOMELESS GUY
That she’ll mess up your little
routine. You need to stop giving
all your time to those mechanical
slave-drivers on your wrist and
start living your life. Don’t wait
until you have to pay for little
blue pills before you decide to
start having fun again.

Stanley remains quiet for a moment, but the steam is
subsiding.

STANLEY
I was in a relationship - a serious
one - and when I lost her, I swore
to God I would never put myself
through that heartache again.

HOMELESS GUY
Perhaps you could think about it as
mending someone else’s heartache.
Stan gets up as the bus is approaching. Stan turns briefly
to find Guy donning a dunce cap on his head.

HOMELESS GUY
Don’t be one of these, Mr. Stan.

Stan steps to the curb as the bus door opens.

HOMELESS GUY
It’s only a matter of time.

INT. BUS - DAY
Stan has his pass out as his latest routine dictates, but
this time Rita is perched in the driver’s seat. A slight
smile crosses Stan’s lips, but it quickly disappears when he
sees Rita is looking straight out the windshield and not at
him.

She puts the bus in gear before Stan sits down. He falls
forward a bit before he can take his seat. He rights himself
and sits down as the bus chugs along. Stan can’t take his
eyes off Rita. He begins to say something, but stops
himself. After a moment he tries again.

STANLEY
Hello, Rita.

Rita prefers not to acknowledge his existence.

STANLEY
I’m sorry for the way I acted last
week.

The brakes squeal as Rita brings the bus to a jerking halt
by the side of the road, scaring some of the passengers.
Stan’s eyes widen as she slams the gear into park, stands up
and sticks her finger in Stan’s face.

RITA
You know what, Stan? For a moment
you were a real hero to me. I
thought, ’wow, look at him, putting
his life on the line for all of us
- for me. And then when you started
flipping out on me,
(shaking her head, lowering
voice)
I realized you didn’t give a shit
about us. You just didn’t want to
be late.
Do you have any idea how that made
me feel?

He just stares at her in shock. She pokes him hard in the
chest.

RITA
Do you??

STANLEY
(sheepishly)
Yes.

She slowly straightens and begins shaking her head again.

RITA
(scoffs)
No you don’t. You haven’t got a
goddamn clue. And that’s the
problem with you. You’re lucky, you
know that?

Stan raises his eyebrows as he’s been told this twice within
ten minutes.

STANLEY
(beat)
Why?

RITA
You’re lucky I was able to convince
these nice people, just as the cops
were showing up, not to turn your
ass in for hijacking the bus.
(points at his chest)
Because that’s exactly what you
did.

She holds her gaze for another few seconds before he breaks
eye contact. Rita turns away and sits back in her seat. She
takes a deep breath before putting the bus in gear and
drives on.

EXT. STANLEY’S OFFICE BUILDING - O’NEIL ACCOUNTING - DAY
The bus door opens and Stan steps barely out door before
Rita shuts it again and takes off. He stands for a moment as
he watches the bus pull away. With slumped shoulders he
walks into the office.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT
Stan is alone in the main office. He shuts off his computer
monitor and tosses some spreadsheets in his briefcase before
closing it. As he puts his coat on, the elevator dings and
Frank steps out with his briefcase in hand. Stan takes up
his briefcase and they walk toward each other.

FRANK
Hey, Stan.

STANLEY
How was your trip?

FRANK
At least one round of golf a day
and no wife monitoring my liquor
intake? Take a wild guess.

They walk back toward the elevator.

STANLEY
Sounds like you had fun.

FRANK
Sorry I took off before getting
together with you last week. I know
you had something on your mind.

STANLEY
Can we talk tomorrow? I’m beat and
I really don’t feel like bringing
it up right now.

FRANK
Sounds pretty serious.

STANLEY
I think so.

Stan presses the button and the doors open.

FRANK
I don’t think I like the sound of
that.

Stan shrugs his shoulders and they both step in.

FRANK
Well on a good note; nice job
cleaning up that mess at Fischer
and Johnson. No one else would have
made heads or tails of that as
quickly as you did.

STANLEY
No problem. Hopefully, they’ll
never let the books get that backed
up again.

FRANK
Don’t count on it.

Stan gives a little smile.

FRANK
Listen, I wanted to give you a
heads up - the company is going to
present you with a little plaque
tomorrow morning to commemorate
your perfect attendance and on-time
performance for the past 15 years.

Stan seems a bit embarrassed at this as they step out into
the lobby.

STANLEY
I don’t need a plaque, Frank.
Really, it’s no big deal.

Frank laughs and gives Stan’s shoulder a friendly squeeze.

FRANK
No big deal? Quite frankly, Stan,
it’s unheard of. See you tomorrow -
(winks)
nine o’clock sharp.

Stan heads for the revolving door while Frank goes out a
back door donning a "to garage" sign.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Stan is in bed watching the end of late night news. He turns
off the TV and then the lamp on his bedside table. He slides
down in the sheets and shuts his eyes.

MONTAGE - STAN’S NIGHTMARE

INT. CAR - NIGHT
-- Stanley kissing his wife the night of the crash.
-- The car racing around the corner and swerving into the
collision.
-- Stanley seeing his dead wife’s face.
-- Wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Stanley looks dejected
inside the front doorway of his and Sharon’s Colonial house.
He has a bandage on his head and his arm is in a sling. The
other hand is on the door jamb as if he needs it to hold him
up. The rain coming down matches Stanley’s mood.
Stan’s father-in-law, JOHN, stands just outside the
threshold with a black umbrella. He’s wearing a black suit.

JOHN
You have to go, son.

STANLEY
Listen, I told you - I’m not going,
John. I’m sorry, but I just can’t
do it. I couldn’t bear it - to
watch all those people crying over
Sharon - knowing that I was the
cause of her death?

JOHN
No one blames you. Christ, she was
my daughter, and I don’t blame you.
Accidents happen. Now I could see
if you were laid up in the
hospital, fine. But if you don’t go
today, Stan...it’ll haunt you for
the rest of your life.

Stan seems to consider it for a moment, but then just shakes
his head as the whole house comes into view. He shuts the
door and John walks away toward his Lincoln Continental.
Descending into darkness, the voice of John echoes once
again -

JOHN (O.S.)
It’ll haunt you for the rest of
your life.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - DAY
Stanley’s eyes shoot open as he’s sprawled out on his
stomach in his bed. The sheets are uncharacteristically a
mess. It’s raining outside his window. His clock comes into
focus on his nightstand: 8:31.

Stan looks in confusion as he slowly processes this
information. In sudden terror-stricken panic, he dashes out
of bed and checks his other clocks, which now read 8:32,
confirming his worse fear - he might be late for work.

SEQUENCE - THE MAD DASH
-- Stanley runs for his bathroom.
-- Dressed, he grabs the umbrella in the stand by the door
and rushes out of the apartment.
-- Stan dashes outside through the apartment complex’ front
door.
-- Stan runs down the street toward the bus stop.

EXT. STREET IN SMALL CITY - DAY
Guy is dancing in the rain, heading in Stan’s direction.
Both of their coats flap in the breeze. Guy notices Stan and
shouts out happily -

HOMELESS GUY
Hey there, Mr. Stan! Missed you
this morning!

STANLEY
I don’t have time to talk!

HOMELESS GUY
(to himself, matter-of-factly)
Of course, you don’t.

Just as Stan is about to cross Guy’s path, Guy swings his
right leg out in front of him, catching his ankle. Stan
comes crashing down just off the curb and into a huge puddle
- a puddle that’s been collecting tar, gas, oil and all
kinds of shit. And now that shit is all over Stan’s light
gray, newly pressed suit. He can taste mud on his lips.

HOMELESS GUY
(smiling)
It’s only a matter of time.

Stan remains prone for a few moments looking at the filth. A
rage washes over his face and he turns his head to Guy with
murder in his eyes as he slowly rises.

STANLEY
You have no idea what you’ve just
done!

Guy loses his smile.

HOMELESS GUY
I’m sure I do.

Stan looks in the direction of the bus stop, seemingly
contemplating going to work in spite of his current dress
code problem. He takes a deep breath, but his shoulders lose
a couple of inches in height as he heads back toward his
apartment complex; resigned to his fate that for the second
time in his life, he will be late.

HOMELESS GUY
(calling out)
Good luck, Mr. Stan! I’m sure
everything will be just fine!
(to himself)
Just fine.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
The elevator doors open to Stan’s floor. Wearing a darker
suit, Stan stands alone in the elevator. His head is
hanging. For a moment it looks as though he’s not going to
move, but just as the doors begin to close, Stan swings his
arm up to stop it.

He steps out and finally lifts his head to see a
congregation of people chatting by his cubicle - including
Frank. He looks at the clock on the wall: 9:38.

MALE VOICE (O.S.)
There he is!

Everyone turns and watches Stan as he walks like turtle over
to the group. Frank does not look pleased. Brian, on the
other hand, is trying hard not to show how ecstatic he is
when his father turns toward Stan.

FRANK
(bellows)
You’re late, Stan.

STANLEY
I’m so sorry, Frank. I, I tripped
and -

Frank throws his hand up in a stop gesture. The anger in
Frank’s face slowly twists into a grin.

FRANK
This has got to be the best
goddamned joke I’ve ever had the
pleasure to witness.
(slaps Stan on the back)
Fifteen years in the making.

Stan’s co-workers start laughing, and when Frank starts
clapping they all join in - all except a deflated Brian.
Stan is completely surprised by their reaction. He allows
himself a slight smile - the world wasn’t going to end
because he was late after all. Frank throws an arm around
his shoulder and gives him a warm squeeze.

FRANK
Welcome to the real world, Stan.
Where shit is sometimes out of our
control, and we just deal with it
as best we can.

Stan smiles wider and nods.

FRANK
Okay, let’s get this cake cut and
get back to work.

On Stan’s desk is a sheet cake with "Thank You for Your
Dedication Stan", a stack of paper plates, a knife and
several plastic forks. Beside the cake is a plaque reading
’In Appreciation of Stanley J. Higgins’ On Time Performance
and Dedication for 15 Years’. Beneath the ’15 Years’ is a
Post-it note reading ’minus 1 day’.

Stan continues to smile as he takes up the knife and begins
cutting the cake. Brian walks into his office and shuts the
door.

EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
Stan walks over to the bus stop and takes notice of the
empty spot that Guy generally occupies. He chuckles. No
trace of anger from the previous day’s encounter resides on
Stan’s face. He seems lighter, happier.

He begins pacing back and forth behind the bench for a
minute. He moves his lips rehearsing something, but can’t be
heard. The bus pulls up before he has a chance to sit down.
The doors swing open and Rita looks straight ahead without
taking much notice. He steps up into the bus.

INT. BUS - DAY
Stan sits in his seat. He notices the usual look of disgust
from a couple of the regulars on the route.

STANLEY
(clears throat)
Rita?

Rita ignores him.

STANLEY
(louder)
Rita?

RITA
Um, hmm?

Rita pulls over to pick up a couple of passengers. They show
their passes and walk by to take their seats. Rita pulls
away from the curb. Stanley takes a deep breath and places
his briefcase on the floor. He gets out of his seat and
pulls himself up to his full height before taking up a
position right beside Rita.

RITA
(glances in irritation)
Stan, please get behind the yellow
line while the bus is in motion.

He doesn’t move.

RITA
Oh, great. Another bus-jacking?

The passengers look at Stan in curiosity as he crouches
beside Rita.

STANLEY
Rita.

Rita glances over at him, and then back to the road.

RITA
Yes.

STANLEY
I can’t take back what I did. I
know my behavior was inexcusable.

RITA
(scoffs)
Well, you’ve got that right.

STANLEY
Especially to someone who means as
much as you do to me.

RITA
(feigns surprise)
I mean something to you? Oh, you
mean because you rely on me to get
you to work on time.

STANLEY
No. Something much more than that.
And until yesterday I was blind to
it.

Something wonderful happened to me
yesterday. Something I’d always
imagined to be my worst nightmare,
has freed me in a way I never
thought possible. I realized that
for the last five years, I’ve been
spending each weekday morning with
the woman of my dreams - but that I
never had the guts to ask if she
would mind spending even more of
her time with me.

Rita looks over at him in surprise. A moment too long, for
she nearly hits a car in front of her when it stops short.
She slams on her brakes. Stan just catches himself by
grabbing hold of the money collection machine.

RITA
Are you okay, Stan?!

STANLEY
I know I’m a little late, but will
you go out to dinner with me
tonight, Rita?

Rita is speechless before she begins to beam. She nods her
head in acceptance. Stan smiles back and takes one of her
hands off the wheel and kisses it. He sits back in his seat
smiling like she’s never seen him smile before.

Rita pulls over to let on a couple of passengers. She
watches Stan in the rearview mirror as they board. When she
pulls away, she starts to laugh.

STANLEY
What’s so funny?

RITA
It’s funny that I’m about to date
someone at O’Neil’s.

STANLEY
Why is that so funny?

RITA
Because my daughter’s been dating
someone at your firm for a couple
of months now.

STANLEY
Really? Who?

RITA
Son of the owner, actually. Brian
O’Neil?

Stan starts having a coughing fit.

RITA
Are you okay?

Realizing his gaffe with Brian -

STANLEY
(to himself)
Sam...Samantha.
(to Rita)
Yes, I’m fine. Just a scratch in my
throat.
(clears his throat)

RITA
So do you know him?

STANLEY
Who?

RITA
Brian, silly.

STANLEY
Oh, yeah. I see him around the
office. We don’t really work close
together though.
.
Rita seems to consider her thoughts for a moment.

RITA
(lowers her voice)
Don’t tell anyone...but, he’s
thinking of leaving. He’s miserable
there.

STANLEY
Really? Why?

RITA
Says there’s some guy who’s been
there for ages that his dad insists
on giving all the big projects to.
Says he never has a chance to prove
himself with this guy around.

Knowing full well who Brian is referring to, he asks -

STANLEY
(beat)
Did he happen to mention who it is?

RITA
No. I don’t think he ever said the
guy’s name. Not that I can remember
anyway. Did you know he graduated
top of his class?

This does catch Stan in genuine surprise.

STANLEY
Can’t say I did.

RITA
(smiling)
My daughter sure can pick ’em, I
guess.

Stan looks out the window.

EXT. STANLEY’S OFFICE BUILDING - O’NEIL ACCOUNTING - DAY
The doors open to the bus and Stan steps out. With Rita
smiling, he turns to her -

STANLEY
So, 45 Longwood?

RITA
Yup.

STANLEY
7:30 okay?

RITA
Perfect.

Stan smiles and walks away. Beaming, Rita watches him for a
moment more before closing the bus doors.

As Stan walks through the revolving doors of the office, his
expression grows more serious.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Stan boots up his computer when his phone rings.

STANLEY
Stan Higgins desk.

BRIAN (O.S.)
My dad said to ask you to go to his
office when I saw you come in.

Stan looks over and sees Brian in his office through the
half-opened blinds.

BRIAN
I saw you - told you. Done.

Brian hangs up the phone before Stan says -

STANLEY
Thanks, Brian.

Stan watches Brian pick up a large stack of papers from his
desk and move to the window. He just stands there for a bit
lost in thought. Stan watches him curiously as he places his
briefcase under the desk. Brian is still standing at the
window when Stan makes his way toward the elevator.

INT. OUTSIDE FRANK’S OFFICE - DAY
Stan knocks on Frank’s door.

FRANK (O.S.)
Come in.

Stan walks in while Frank is scrolling his mouse and looking
at his computer monitor.

FRANK
Oh, good morning, Stan.

STANLEY
Brian says you wanted to see me.

FRANK
Yeah, just have a seat. I’ll be
done in a second.
Stan sits in one of the guest chairs. Still looking at the
computer, Frank says -

FRANK
That was something else yesterday -
you being late.

STANLEY
Uh, oh. Is this the reprimanding
you really wanted to give to me
yesterday?

FRANK
No, I still think it was great.
Just commenting, that’s all.

Frank leans back in his executive chair.

FRANK
We still haven’t talked about what
was on your mind. Don’t want you to
think I don’t care, so let’s talk.

Stan considers for a second when a knock comes at the door.

FRANK
It’s open.

Brian comes in with the stack of papers Stan had seen him
pick up from his desk. Brian gives Stan a quick glance
before handing the reports to his father.

BRIAN
Here are the annual reports you
wanted.

FRANK
Thanks, Brian.

Brian starts to leave.

STANLEY
Uh, Brian? Can you hold on just a
sec?

Brian turns with some trepidation. And with good reason as
he knows Stan has yet to rat him out about hiding the
Networkmaster report.

STANLEY
Frank, what I actually wanted to
talk about was the Networkmaster
project.

Upon hearing this, Brian looks at his father with a bit of
fear.

STANLEY
Moving forward, I think this would
be the perfect job for Brian to
handle.

Both O’Neil boys look at Stan in confusion.

FRANK
(surprised)
You do?

BRIAN
(a bit shocked)
You do?

STANLEY
Well, he’s been around the block a
few times with me now on similar
projects. And he’s obviously got a
gift for numbers, don’t you think?

Brian looks like a deer caught in headlights.

FRANK
Well, yes, but this could
potentially lead to much more
business - if done right. And we’re
on a tight deadline to get
everything worked up.

STANLEY
What do you think, Brian? Can you
handle it?

Brian looks slowly from Stan to his dad, and then back Stan
again.

BRIAN
Um, yeah. Sure I can.

STANLEY
(smiles)
Great. It’s settled then. That is
if your father approves.

Frank hesitates for a moment, as Stan turning down work is
completely foreign territory.

FRANK
Uh, yes. Yes, of course. That’s
fine, so long as you know you might
have to put in a few long days this
week, Brian.

Brian finally allows himself a smile.

BRIAN
Sure, no problem, Dad.

FRANK
Okay, then. We’ll meet later this
morning to go over some more files
their courier dropped off yesterday
afternoon.

BRIAN
Okay, great.
(beat - then to Stan)
Thanks, Stan.

Stan smiles at Brian, and Brian heads out the door and shuts
it behind him. Stan gets up from his chair.

FRANK
Are we done? That’s what you wanted
to talk about?

STANLEY
That’s about it.
Stan heads for the door.

FRANK
Wow, I have to say, Stan, first
being late yesterday, and now
turning down a major project - you
must have hit your head pretty good
yesterday.

STANLEY
(smiles)
Knocked some sense into me I guess.

Stan opens the door and leaves.

INT. STANLEY’S BATHROOM - NIGHT
Stan is dressed in a nice pair of slacks and a V-neck
sweater. He’s finishing combing his hair and, being a bit
out of practice, tries on a couple of smiles.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Stan snaps off the bathroom light as he comes into his room.
His three watches are on the top of his bureau. He puts on
the first two without a beat, but he then pauses at the
third - the slender one with the metal links.
He retrieves the third watch from the dresser and studies
it.

FLASHBACK:

EXT. CAR - NIGHT
Off the side of the road in the woods, Stan’s overturned car
wheels are still rotating.

INT. CAR - NIGHT
Sharon’s lifeless eyes stare back at us. Upon her limp arm
is a watch: the slender watch Stanley has been wearing with
the other two watches.

INT. STANLEY’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Stan opens his top drawer. He places Sharon’s old watch
carefully inside and then slowly shuts it in. He takes a
deep breath and seems to be reconsidering. He reopens the
drawer, quickly this time. But he doesn’t retrieve the watch
- instead he removes one of the remaining two watches from
his wrist, hastily tosses it inside the bureau and slams the
drawer closed. He rushes from the room and flips the light
off.

EXT. RITA’S HOUSE - NIGHT
Stan walks up the street to a well-kept three story house
with a full front porch and small front yard. He’s holding a
half dozen yellow Tulips, and checks the address on a piece
of scratch paper. When the number on the house confirms a
match to the address on the paper, he stuffs the paper in
his pants pocket, takes a deep breath and proceeds up the
stairs.

There are three doorbells. Each bell has a name taped under
it. He places his finger over the one marked "BARRETT", then
stops. He stands back for a moment and starts rubbing his
neck for about 20 seconds. He seems about to start
hyperventilating, when the light in the hallway comes on and
we hear footsteps bounding down the stairs. Stan snaps to
attention as the door practically flies open.

RITA
So did you plan on just hanging out
on my porch all night?

STANLEY
I’m a bit nervous.

RITA
I know. That’s why I came down. I
saw you walking up to the house, so
when I didn’t hear the bell at the
appropriate time - I thought I’d
help you out a bit.

STANLEY
(smiles)
Thanks.

RITA
And for the record, Stan...I’m
nervous, too.

They exchange smiles just as Rita notices the flowers.

RITA
Oh, my God!

Rita exclaims so emphatically, she scares the crap out of
Stan.

STAN
What??

RITA
Yellow tulips! You got me yellow
Tulips??

STAN
Oh, God, what? Are you allergic or
something?

Rita sighs and seems nearly ready to cry, but smiles and
looks into Stan’s eyes.

RITA
(shakes her head)
No. They are my absolute favorite.
(jokingly)
Have you been stalking me??

STANLEY
(shakes head)
There may have been times I wanted
to, but no.

Rita laughs,pulls him inside by his free hand, and shuts the
door.

INT. HALLWAY IN RITA’S HOUSE - NIGHT

RITA
So, listen. You’re 15 minutes
early, and I’m not quite ready yet.

She pulls him up the stairs.

RITA
You mind waiting for a few minutes
while I finish up?

Stan marvels at their hands together as they walk up the
stairs to the second floor. As they reach her door, Rita
turns looking for an answer.

RITA
Stan?

STANLEY
(snapping out of it)
No. Of course - take all the time
you need.

Rita remains stopped in front of her door.

RITA
(turning serious)
Stan?

STANLEY
Yes?

RITA
Before we set off on...whatever
this will turn out to be - a one
time experiment or the first day of
spending the rest of our lives
together - can I just get one thing
out of the way?

STANLEY
Sure, I guess. What is it?

Rita stands on her tiptoes, places her hand behind his head
and pulls him in for a kiss. Throwing Stan offguard, he
keeps the kiss bordering on polite. They both pull away
after a couple of awkward seconds. Stan watches Rita as she
gives him a small smile, but behind the smile is some
obvious disappointment.

RITA
Thought it would be better to just
get it out of the way, so we’re not
obsessing over the moment as the
end of our date approaches.

She starts to go inside the apartment when Stan pulls her
back, looking intently into her eyes.

STANLEY
Can you forget about that last
twenty seconds. I’m sorry, Rita.
I’m very much out of practice.

Rita smiles, warmly now. Stan pulls her back in and puts his
all into their second kiss. When they break, Rita is clearly
lightheaded, making Stan quite proud of himself.

RITA
We’re gonna be late for our
reservation you know.

He shrugs his shoulders.

STANLEY
Who cares.

Rita takes Stan by the hand again, leads him into the
apartment and closes the door.

INT. RITA’S KITCHEN - NIGHT
Rita walks into the kitchen wearing Stan’s sweater and a
pair of jeans. Stan follows behind her. He’s barefoot,
wearing his slacks and his v-neck t-shirt.

RITA
Can I get you a drink?

STANLEY
I think I’m already drunk.

RITA
How about some orange juice, then?

STANLEY
Sounds good.

Rita takes out two tall glasses, fills one glass all the way
and the other only halfway. She hands the full glass to
Stan. They both take a drink.

STANLEY
So where’s Samantha tonight?

RITA
She went away for the weekend with
some friends of hers.

STANLEY
Including Brian?

RITA
Probably. I didn’t ask too many
questions. She’s an adult now, so I
try not to grill her about what she
does and where she goes anymore. If
she wants me to know, she’ll tell
me. And for the most part, she
does.

Rita takes another sip and sets the glass down.

RITA
Let me show you her room. She has
loads of pictures in there, so you
can at least see what she looks
like. I can’t wait for you to meet
her.

INT. SAMANTHA’S ROOM - NIGHT
The door opens in the dark.

RITA
Don’t let her know I let you in
here.

Rita switches on the light.

RITA
She’s not the neatest person in the
world, so she’d probably strangle
me.

STANLEY
(raising eyebrows)
I think I’ve felt that wrath
before.

There are several framed pictures, as well as a few posters
of various landscapes around the room. Small Origami fills
an entire wooden bookcase. In the center of the top shelf is
a picture of Samantha and her dad.

STANLEY
Wow, she’s really good at Origami.

RITA
(smiles sadly)
That was actually her dad that did
all those for her. That picture
there -
(points to pic on shelf)
- was the first time he tried to
teach her how to do it.

Stan looks closely at the photo. There is a young Samantha,
about six years old, sitting on her father’s lap. They are
both smiling and showing their end results. His is a tulip,
with crisp fine lines. Samantha’s is an amateur attempt to
replicate her father’s flower, but she’s clearly proud of
it.

Stan’s brow suddenly furrows. He squints and leans in to
take a closer look at the father. Rita watches Stan
curiously before speaking.

RITA
What is it, Stan? Something seems
to be bothering you.

Brow still furrowed, he shakes his head, then picks up the
photo.

STANLEY
I don’t know. Your husband...he
seems very familiar to me.

RITA
(beat)
Well, they did show photos of the
plane crash victims for quite
awhile.

STANLEY
(shakes head)
I don’t think that’s it.

RITA
He did work downtown. Maybe you saw
him there?

STANLEY
No.

He looks at the eyes and the man’s smile once more - and
then it hits him. Though he had to look past the missing
teeth and the layers of dirt, the face was clearly that of
Homeless Guy. His eyes widen and then return to confusion
again. He spins to Rita.

STANLEY
Rita! Your husband. You said he
died in a plane crash?

RITA
(with trepidation)
You know he did. Why?

He looks at the picture again and shakes his head in thought

STANLEY
I swear...I swear this is the guy
that’s been driving me crazy -
(looks at Rita)
- at the bus stop for the last few
weeks. Are you sure your husband
died in that crash, Rita?

She looks at Stan like he’s a complete nutcase.

RITA
Jesus, Stanley. Of course I’m sure.
You know, you’re kind of freaking
me out here.

STANLEY
How do you know for sure?

RITA
(irritated)
He was identified by his dental
records.

Stan looks confused again - sure that Homeless Guy is the
man in the picture. He walks over to another picture of her
husband and picks it up for inspection.

RITA
Which bus stop are you talking
about anyway?

STANLEY
(scoffs)
The one you pick me up at every
day.

RITA
You’re the only one at that stop
every day.

STANLEY
He doesn’t get on the bus. He’s
just some homeless guy. He keeps
sitting against the wall - behind
the bench.

RITA
(irritated)
I know what you mean. And like I
said, you’re always the only one
there, Stan. I’ve never noticed any
homeless man there with you.

Stan picks up one more photo, this time with all three of
them. Her husband’s face is unmistakably Homeless Guy. Stan
shakes his head.

STANLEY
I can’t explain why you never saw
him, but I’m not crazy, Rita. This
man was the one who convinced me to
ask you out. He was the one who
told me to get you Tulips.
(softer)
He was the one who said I should be
with you...that we both needed each
other.

Rita looks Stan in the eyes. Seeing his sincerity, she
softens and begins to cry. Stan grabs her by the hand and
starts walking toward the door.

STANLEY
I’m sorry, Rita. You said you have
a car, right?

RITA
Yes, why?

STANLEY
We need to take a ride.

Stan shuts off the light as they head out the door.

EXT. RITA’S HOUSE - NIGHT
Stan is jogging down the porch steps with Rita in tow. Her
compact car is parked on the road under a streetlight. As
they reach the car, Rita walks around the front to get to
the passenger side - Stan slows suddenly. Rita unlocks the
door with her remote and opens the door. She gets halfway in
the car when she notices Stan standing outside the passenger
side.

RITA
Are you okay with this? Riding in
the car?

STANLEY
(beat)
I was just perfectly fine with it
until I just started thinking about
it.

RITA
Remember, Stan...don’t think about
it - just do.

Stan still stands there for another moment.

RITA
Don’t think. Just do.

Stan deeply inhales the night air. He then quickly opens the
door, sits down and shuts himself in. He looks outside the
window as Rita moves in beside him. She looks at him.

RITA
You okay?

Stan still looks out the window.

STANLEY
First time I’ve been in a car in
years.

He looks over at her with a crocked smile.

STANLEY
So far so good.

Rita smiles back.

RITA
Oh, good. I wasn’t looking forward
to cleaning up the dashboard and
car mats if you got sick.

STANLEY
I’ll warn you to let me get the
door open if it comes to that.

RITA
Appreciate it. So where are we
going?

STANLEY
Start heading downtown.

Rita puts the car in gear. The car pulls away and drives
down the quiet street.

EXT. BRICK BUILDING - NIGHT
Rita’s car pulls in a small parking lot. She parks and she
and Stan get out. They walk over to the main entrance of the
building, which has a commercial glass door with an intercom
system beside it.

RITA
This is the last shelter within 10
miles. This is the last one he
could conceivably go to.

STANLEY
This has got to be it then.

They ring a buzzer on an intercom system. After about 20
seconds, the male voice of the SHELTER DIRECTOR, 50s, comes
over the speaker.

SHELTER DIRECTOR (o.s)
Sorry, but you’re late. We’re not
taking in any more residents this
evening.

Stan presses the intercom button to speak.

STANLEY
We’re not looking for a place to
stay. We’re looking for someone...
(looks at rita)
a relative who’s missing.

After a beat.

SHELTER DIRECTOR (o.s)
I’ll be down in a sec.
Stan steps back away from the intercom and looks through the
glass door.

RITA
So what if he’s not here?

STANLEY
Has to be here.

Stan sees a man in corduroys and a knit sweater come into
view. Stan steps away from the door a bit.

STANLEY
(to himself)
He has to be here.

The director unlocks and opens the door.

RITA
Thank you. We know it’s late.

SHELTER DIRECTOR
So who is missing?

Stan glances at Rita for a moment before answering.

STANLEY
My uncle. He loses it sometimes and
takes off. You can’t miss him. He’s
always wearing a long green
overcoat and a pin on the collar
that looks like bird wings. He’s
about six feet, has a beard and
he’s obviously missed too many
dental appointments.

Director shakes his head.

SHELTER DIRECTOR
Doesn’t ring a bell. We have lots
of guys with beards and dental
issues, but no one with a coat and
wing pin. Do you have a picture?
That might help.

STANLEY
No, I don’t.

At this the director looks at Stan with suspicion.

SHELTER DIRECTOR
You say he’s a relative, and yet
you don’t have one photo to show
me.

This stops Stan in his tracks.

RITA
We don’t have any photos of him in
the last ten years. He looks
nothing like he did back then and
he refuses to be photographed
anymore.

Though still a bit suspicious, he gives Rita the benefit of
the doubt.

SHELTER DIRECTOR
Look, I’m the director here, and
I’m sorry, but I just haven’t seen
anyone fitting that description.

RITA
Okay. Thank you.
Stan still stares. Rita takes him by the arm and gives him a
little jab.

STANLEY
(to the director)
Yes, thank you.

The director closes and locks the door as Rita and Stan make
their way back to the car. The both get in. Rita puts her
key in the ignition and watches Stan as he looks out the
window in confusion.

STANLEY
I didn’t imagine him, Rita...he was
real.

Rita smiles at him. She leans back instead of turning on the
car.

RITA
Stan, do you believe in angels?

Stan looks at her with furrowed brows.

STANLEY
I’d be lying if I said I did.

RITA
When I was eight, I lost my
grandmother, who was very close to
me.

A couple years later, I was riding
my bike and I flew out into the
road without looking. A car
screeched to a stop only a couple
inches away from me. I still fell
because it scared the crap out of
me.

The driver got out of the car and
once he saw I was okay, he started
yelling at me for my stupidity.
While this guy was yelling, I saw
my grandmother standing on the
sidewalk behind him - plain as day.
She was clearly terrified, and
shaking her head at me. I wasn’t
even listening to the driver
anymore. I didn’t want to take my
eyes off of her, but when the man
shifted his feet he blocked her
from view for only a couple of
seconds and she was gone.
When I told my mother that night
what had happened, she said it was
just my imagination: that I was
scared and my grandmother always
made me feel safe. But I know what
I saw.

And I was convinced it was her,
because it happened once more, for
just a few seconds at my high
school graduation. She looked much
happier that time.

When we were back in my apartment,
I started crying not because I
thought you were crazy, but because
I believed you. I believe in
angels, Stan. And if I never saw
this man with you at the bus stop,
what do you believe?

Rita holds his gaze. He’s speechless. He looks out the
window as Rita starts up the car and pulls away.

SUPER - ONE YEAR LATER

EXT. BANQUET FACILITY - DAY
In a wooded area, the double doors to a banquet facility fly
open. People are clapping and saying goodbye to Stan and
Rita as their reception comes to an end.

Frank is among the well wishes along with his wife. Brian
walks out the door holding Samantha’s hand. He let’s go of
her hand and quickly catches Stan as he makes his way over
to his luxury car.

BRIAN
(offers his hand)
Have a great trip, Stan. Thanks for
having me.

Stan shakes his hand and responds lightly -

STANLEY
Don’t thank me, you were sitting on
the bride’s side, don’t forget.

BRIAN
(laughs)
Right. But you can’t blow me off
too much longer, another six months
and you’ll be my father-in-law.

Frank overhears his son.

FRANK
Hey, this is supposed to be a happy
occasion for Stan, Brian. Don’t
spoil it.

Frank gives Stan a hug. Kathy is beaming as she follows with
a hug of her own.

KATHY
I’m so happy for you.

STANLEY
I did this so you could concentrate
on other things that didn’t involve
setting me up with women.

KATHY
(laughs)
I appreciate that.

STANLEY
We have to get going. Thank you for
all your help with the wedding.

Frank and Kathy nod their heads.

FRANK
It was our pleasure, Stan.

Stan gets into the driver’s side of a car and Rita moves
into the passenger side, pulls the seatbelt over her
shoulder and opens the window. Frank bends to say -

FRANK
Don’t rush back.

RITA
Don’t worry. I’ll make sure of it.

Stan turns on the engine. As he reaches to pull on his own
seatbelt, he catches a glimpse of Guy donning his long green
overcoat and a smile as he stands beside one of the large
trees peppering the area. Stan’s eyes go wide and he loses
his grip on the seatbelt as he turns to his new wife.

STANLEY
Rita!

Catching her by surprise, she responds -

RITA
What? What is it?

Stan immediately points in the direction of the tree, but
Guy is nowhere to be found. Stan cranks his head around, but
sees nothing.

RITA
What was it?

After another beat, Stan smiles, then looks at Rita.

STANLEY
(shaking his head)
I don’t know exactly. Thought I saw
a deer or something. It must have
taken off.

RITA
(looks at her watch)
We better take off or we’re gonna
miss our flight.

STANLEY
Right.

He takes Rita’s hand in his and leans over to give her a
kiss, which emits cheers from the crowd. They both smile as
they break off the kiss. Stan puts the car in gear. He waves
at the guests with his right hand, as does Rita. As they
pull off, people start going back inside the hall to collect
their belongings.

Across the way, Guy is leaning against one of the trees with
his arms folded. He watches the car drive as it
drives further away, and then finally out of sight. His lip
turns up in a crooked smile as a single tear streams down
his face.

FADE OUT
© Copyright 2011 RadioShea (laylao89 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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