by Mary Ellis
Short, had to be 10 pages. Focuses on the birth of a first child and the parents choices.
INT. KITCHEN. DAY
GARY and STEPHEN stand with an assortment of cutlery and utensils on a counter in front of them. GARY picks up a fork, a spoon, a tin opener and a bread knife. He gets a stopwatch out of his pocket.
GARY- You should have really gone shopping, we haven't got much of a range to train with here. Go easy with the bread knife.
STEPHEN- Believe me I was going to.
GARY- Where's Angela anyway? I thought her maternity leave had started?
STEPHEN- It has. She's just at her ante-natal class.
GARY- Aren't you supposed to go them as well?
STEPHEN- She asked me to come, but we'd already arranged to do this.
GARY- Oh okay... Well anyway, this is the order: spoon, tin opener, fork and knife. Ready?
STEPHEN nods and GARY presses the stopwatch.
GARY (CONT'D)- Go!
STEPHEN quickly tries to rearrange the items into order, he reaches to put the bread knife into the line up and drops it. It lands and goes through GARY's shoe.
GARY (CONT'D)- Aaaargh! I think you owe me a bigger chunk of that money now!
STEPHEN- I'm so sorry! I'll drive you, come on, lean on my shoulder to the car.
GARY leans on STEPHEN and they hobble out of the room with the knife still stuck in GARY's shoe.
INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT
STEPHEN and ANGELA are sat down and watch 'Who wants to be a Millionnaire?'. STEPHEN takes notes and doesn't pay any attention to ANGELA. ANGELA is heavily pregnant and has her feet resting on a pouffe. The baby kicks hard and she rubs her belly soothingly.
ANGELA (to her belly)- Ouch! That was a big one. Stephen?
STEPHEN stares at the screen.
ANGELA (CONT'D)- Stephen, could you pass me my drink please?
STEPHEN's eyes never leave the screen, but he passes her drink over to her without spilling.
ANGELA (CONT'D)- Thanks. At least you can be bothered to do something for me today. (muttering) Unlike the hoovering or the washing up.
TV- Which of these is not an aphrodisiac? A- Strawberries, B- Garlic, C- Apples, or D- Broccoli?
STEPHEN- Apples, easy.
ANGELA- You should have come to the class today, it was really informative.
STEPHEN- It's just breathing Ange. Hardly intellectually stimulating.
ANGELA glares at the TV furiously.
TV- You said B- Garlic. That was incorrect, the correct answer was C- Apples.
ANGELA mutes the TV and looks at STEPHEN angrily.
ANGELA- It wouldn't hurt you to take an interest.
STEPHEN- I missed one.
ANGELA- I shouldn't have to go with my sister. It's humiliating.
STEPHEN- (muttering) Single mothers do it all the time.
ANGELA- I'm fucking married! God only knows why though.
ANGELA stands up with difficulty and storms out. STEPHEN grabs the remote and un-mutes the TV.
INT. KITCHEN. DAY
GARY and STEPHEN are surrounded by bags of shopping on all counters.
GARY- Fastest finger training is underway.
STEPHEN- Gary, is this really neccessary?
GARY- After yesterday's failure? Yes.
They both look at GARY's foot which is in an orthopedic shoe and heavily bandaged. GARY gets out a pomegranate, a bottle of washing powder, a jar of coffee and a punnet of blueberries; he places them down randomly on a spare surface.
STEPHEN- Sorry about that.
GARY- Leave it. In this order: Blueberries, wash stuff, pomegranate and coffee.
GARY gets a stopwatch out of his pocket and presses the button.
GARY (CONT'D)- Go!
STEPHEN rearranges the shopping into the stated order as fast as he can. GARY stops the clock when her finishes.
GARY (CONT'D)- 4.35. Better. Next one.
GARY gets salt, butter, milk and a potato out.
INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY
STEPHEN is sat down and reads a general knowledge book. ANGELA stands and watches him in the doorway.
ANGELA- I'm getting strange cramps Stephen.
STEPHEN (smiling)- Braxton Hicks.
ANGELA- Just cause your smart, doesn't mean your a doctor.
STEPHEN- Go to the hospital if you're really worried.
ANGELA looks at STEPHEN confused.
ANGELA- You wouldn't come with me?
STEPHEN- Course I'll be there for the actual birth, but I'm not running to the doctors every time you feel a weird kick or twinge.
ANGELA- But I'm worried.
STEPHEN- I'm telling you it's nothing. So drop it or go to the hospital.
ANGELA leaves and STEPHEN picks up his keys. He puts the book on the coffee table, takes a deep breath and follows ANGELA out rolling his eyes.
INT. STUDIO. DAY
STEPHEN stands in the centre of the studio being debriefed by a TV runner. ANGELA watches from the back, and drinks from a bottle of water. She occasionally grimaces and takes deep breaths. GARY hobbles in and stands next to her.
GARY- How is he?
ANGELA- A prick.
GARY- Normal then. And you?
ANGELA- Weird pains all morning. Like he gave a damn.
ANGELA drops her bottle of water which GARY picks up, panting and holding her stomach. Her waters break. GARY hobbles over quickly to STEPHEN, whispers in his ear and they walk back fast to ANGELA. ANGELA takes deep breaths.
STEPHEN- What's going on?
ANGELA- Look at the friggin' puddle!
STEPHEN- It had to be today didn't it?
ANGELA gives him a look.
STEPHEN (CONT'D)- Well it did. Just for the irony.
ANGELA- Well I didn't plan it!
STEPHEN- Nobody did. That's the problem.
ANGELA- Well I'm sorry my pregnancy didn't fall in with your television career, I'll make sure it does next time!
STEPHEN- There won't be a next time, that's why this is so vital.
GARY- Someone just called for an ambulance.
ANGELA- Thanks Gary. Just tell them you can't do it today Stephen, they'll understand.
STEPHEN- But I've been training for this for 4 months.
ANGELA- And I've been preparing for birth longer. This is more important!
STEPHEN looks quickly at the TV runner and then ANGELA.
ANGELA (CONT'D)- I need you. You said you'd be there.
STEPHEN looks to his side again.
ANGELA (CONT'D)- Fine! Go and be on the bloody show, and I'll give birth alone, like we're back in the 60's again!
She gives STEPHEN a dirty look, grimaces and takes a deep breath. GARY shakes his head at STEPHEN and follows ANGELA out. STEPHEN runs his fingers through his hair, and jogs back to the TV runner.
INT. STUDIO/HOSPITAL. DAY
'Who wants to be a millionnaire?' music plays. STEPHEN wins the fastest finger round.
ANGELA sits down in a wheelchair at the hospital. She pants furiously, GARY holds her hand. NURSES rush around them.
STEPHEN answers questions in the chair.
ANGELA in labour, GARY cuts the cord.
INT. HOSPITAL DOORS. NIGHT
GARY and STEPHEN stand outside the maternity ward. STEPHEN holds a bunch of flowers in one hand.
GARY- She's real mad. And I don't blame her.
STEPHEN (shaking, talks fast)- I feel like I need to explain...I was nervous about becoming a father. It happened too quickly. It was baby talks all the time, getting the nursery ready and everything. Then I got the call, I'd even forgotten I'd applied, and suddenly I had this big chance to prove to everyone I could provide for a family. I can answer general knowledge questions, I can't build a crib, or change a nappy. So I took the first escape route from thinking about it that I could. And I'm sorry if I haven't been a good friend to you, I know I certainly wasn't the husband Angela needed.
GARY- Your wife should always come first. Not a game show, not winning a huge pot of money. Nobody has a problem with you going on the show but when you can't say no to watching the birth of your first son-
STEPHEN- I've got a son?
GARY- You'd have found out yourself if you hadn't stayed. Let me tell you something, you were the best father-to-be right up until you stopped trying.
GARY turns to exit the corridor.
STEPHEN- It wasn't worth missing that. But chances like that don't come everyday, and it just felt like I had no choice but to take it.
GARY- You've always got a choice.
STEPHEN- Check your post when you're home.
GARY exits the corridor.
GARY (O.S.)- Good luck.
INT. HOSPITAL WARD . NIGHT
STEPHEN walks into the ward slowly with the flowers. ANGELA sits up in bed and holds a baby. He sits down in the chair next to her, she ignores him.
STEPHEN- I am so so so sorry. I know it is unforgivable what I did.
ANGELA- Missing the birth of your first child for a game show? Yeah I think the divorce courts would consider that reason enough too.
STEPHEN looks down in shame at his knees.
STEPHEN- Did it all go alright?
ANGELA (sarcastically)- Yes. It feels just like I've been to the spa.
STEPHEN looks away awkwardly.
STEPHEN- Can we still call him Chris?
ANGELA gives him a angry look.
STEPHEN (CONT'D)- Sorry.
STEPHEN puts the flowers into a vase from the bedside cupboard. ANGELA watches him.
STEPHEN (CONT'D)- Fuscias.
ANGELA- I already named him.
STEPHEN's hands pause on the vase.
ANGELA coos at the baby. STEPHEN finishes with the flowers. He smiles. He sits back down in the chair.
STEPHEN- Can I hold him?
ANGELA (sarcastically)- Do you really want to? Or B would you just like to forget you have a wife and son.
STEPHEN- Yes. I really do want to hold him.
ANGELA pauses and hands the baby over. STEPHEN stares at him in wonder.
ANGELA- He has your nose.
STEPHEN- Lets hope he gets his priorities right better than I do.
ANGELA- He's no son of mine if he doesn't.
STEPHEN- I really am sorry.
ANGELA- You won't miss the next one. Otherwise I mean it, we're done.
STEPHEN- Next? I didn't realise we were planning any more.
ANGELA- Well I figured that you'd make it up to me by agreeing to another one.
STEPHEN smiles at her. ANGELA tries to give him an annoyed look, but laughs instead.
ANGELA- Well. Was it worth it?
STEPHEN- In one way, not in others.
ANGELA- Stephen. Just tell me.
STEPHEN gets a cheque out of his back pocket and hands it to ANGELA. Her face drops in shock.
STEPHEN- Not quite a winner.
ANGELA- I didn't need a winner, I needed you. How will we spend it all?
STEPHEN- Already did.
ANGELA (loudly)- What?!
STEPHEN- Put it in a trust fund.
ANGELA leans over to kiss STEPHEN.
ANGELA (CONT'D)- Well you might have missed the actual moment, but you were giving him a good start in life. In your own special way of course. But promise me, no more millionnaire madness. We're not meant to be rich, deal with it.
STEPHEN- What about a trust fund for the next kid though?
ANGELA gives him a despairing look.