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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1919968
Rated: 13+ · Other · Thriller/Suspense · #1919968
A down-on-his-luck Ad Exec. devises a plan to prevent his wife from receiving alimony.
INT. CAR - LATER

John is driving his car. The snow is coming down fast and
hard around him.

The glow of passing street lights flash over his face, one
by one. His right eye is dark and puffy and he can only
really see well out of his left eye.


EXT. WELLINGTON'S PUB - MOMENTS LATER

John pulls into the parking lot of Wellington's Pub.


INT. WELLINGTON'S PUB - MOMENTS LATER

The door of the pub opens and John enters. He takes off his
knitted winter hat and gloves and STAMPS his feet on the mat
to get rid of the excess snow.

He walks into the bar and finds Anton sitting in a familiar
spot.

Anton pretends to look at his watch, even though he's not
wearing one.

ANTON BRODY
I'm impressed, you're actually on
time.

JOHN AVERY
Yeah. I left early on account of
the storm and all.

As John moves closer, Anton notices John's face.

ANTON BRODY
Jesus, who's Cheerios did you piss
in?

JOHN AVERY
(confused)
What?

ANTON BRODY
I'm referring to that crater in
the middle of your head, John,
what the hell happened?

JOHN AVERY
Oh, that's...that's just...I had a
bit of an argument with someone,
that's all.

ANTON BRODY
I'd hate to see the other guy. Sit
down, take a load off.

John sits down across from Anton, his puffy winter jacket
barely fitting in the booth.

JOHN AVERY
So, it's done then?

Anton reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a DVD in
a plastic case. The DVD has 'Avery' scrawled on it in black
Sharpie. He places it in the middle of the table.

John takes the DVD and stares at it, as if he's not sure he
wants to hold it.

An awkward beat.

ANTON BRODY
You thirsty? Can I get you a beer
or something?

JOHN AVERY
Oh, no, that's OK...like I said
before, I'm not really much of a
drinker.

ANTON BRODY
Right...

Anton turns around and signals the waitress by holding up
one finger. She points back and smiles.

ANTON BRODY
You wanna tell me what really
happened? That's one hell of a
shiner you're sporting there.

JOHN AVERY
Listen, I really can't stay, I
need to be heading back.

John starts to get out of his seat.

ANTON BRODY
She still wears her ring, you
know.

John stops, and slides back into his seat slowly.

JOHN AVERY
Beg your pardon?

ANTON BRODY
Her ring.

Anton points to his ring finger.

ANTON BRODY
She was wearing it last night.

There's a moment of silence between the two men.

ANTON BRODY
You know, she really is a great
girl. You should try to patch
things up before you do something
you'll regret.

The waitress comes by with a beer and sets it down in front
of Anton.

ANTON BRODY
Thank you.

Anton takes a long sip of his beer.

JOHN AVERY
Listen, I appreciate...your help
in this, but really, this,
uh...this isn't any of your
concern. If you don't mind, I
think we're done here.

ANTON BRODY
Hey, of course. Sorry for
meddling. Listen, good luck. I
mean it.

Anton extends his hand.

John shakes it.

ANTON BRODY
And hey, listen, I always say that
the greatest compliment my clients
can give me is a solid reference.
I can't exactly list this gig on
my resume if you know what I mean
so...you know, if you have any
buddies that, God forbid, are
going through a tough time, you
feel free to drop my name, all
right? Or if your next marriage
doesn't work out...

John frowns.

ANTON BRODY
Ha ha! But seriously, keep me in
mind.

JOHN AVERY
(sarcastically)
Yeah, I'll do that.

ANTON BRODY
Now you go on home and play nice!
I'd hate to see you get a matching
pair.

Anton points to his eyes.

John slides out of his seat with a frown and walks away.

The waitress walks back over to Anton.

WAITRESS
What the hell happened to your
buddy?

ANTON BRODY
I guess he got what was coming to
him.

Anton smiles at the waitress.

FADE TO BLACK


INT. BERNSTEIN'S OFFICE - DAY

John's divorce lawyer, ETHAN BERNSTEIN, is sitting behind a
large oak desk. Bernstein is a portly, Jewish man, with
thinning grey hair and large, round glasses. He is dressed
in a blue suit with a matching blue tie. He's reviewing a
document closely.

John is sitting across from him, wearing dark sunglasses to
cover his swollen eye.

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
Now, if I understand you
correctly, Mr. Avery, which I
think I do, you're saying that
you're seeking an at-fault divorce
against your wife...what is
it...Rachel?

JOHN AVERY
That's right, yeah.

Bernstein looks up at John, his glasses perched on the edge
of his nose.

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
You do understand, Mr. Avery, that
such a thing can't just be...
conjured up from thin air. A good
deal of proof is required to
determine that such a course of
action is, uh...what's the word
I'm looking for...

Bernstein snaps his fingers in thought.

JOHN AVERY
Warranted?

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
Sanctioned, actually. The point
I'm trying to get across here,
sir, and forgive me for speaking
in absolute truths with you, the
point I'm trying to get across to
you is...it's not going to be just
a... walk in the park. Absolute
proof will be required to
determine that she did indeed
conduct this alleged,
uh...malfeasance. The commission
of unlawful act, if you will.

JOHN AVERY
Actually...I do have proof. Pretty
solid proof, as it happens.
There's a video.

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
A video?

JOHN AVERY
A video, yes. Of my wife.

Bernstein looks confused.

JOHN AVERY
With another man.

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
Well! Mr. Avery, I would say that
is a rather...irrefutable piece of
evidence, if such a thing were to
exist. This video...how did it
come to be in your possession?

JOHN AVERY
I hired someone. A private
investigator. Listen, when can
this be done? I'd like to get
moving on this thing right away.

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
Well, I'm afraid, sir...it's
highly unlikely that anything more
can be done today. There's all
manner of paperwork that needs to
be filed in order to...forge ahead
in such a manner. This video you
speak of, might I ask where it is?

JOHN AVERY
Oh, I left it at home...shit, I
wasn't sure...

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
It's exactly where it belongs, Mr.
Avery. I would caution you to
keep a close eye on that
particular piece of evidence,
don't let it out of your sight, if
at all possible. What I can do
for you, is set up a follow-up
appointment in, say...one week
from today. Let's call it seven
days; five business days. That
should allow for ample time to get
all of our proverbial ducks in
order, hmm?

JOHN AVERY
Ducks?

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
Mmm, yes. Mallards. Waterfowl.
They must be in order, Mr. Avery,
in order for us to proceed.

JOHN AVERY
A week, seriously? You can't get
this moving any faster?

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
As I explained, there are all
manner of processes and procedures
in place that do need to be
followed to the letter. I's to be
crossed and T's to be dotted, that
sort of thing. Patience, in this
case, would be of a virtue, Mr.
Avery. Let's agree to meet again
in one week's time. Five business
days. I would ask that you bring
the video with you at that time so
that it can be entered as
evidence.

JOHN AVERY
Fine, one week then.

Bernstein smiles as John gets up to leave.

As John is walking out:

ETHAN BERNSTEIN
"Knowing trees, I understand the
meaning of patience. Knowing
grass, I can appreciate
persistence."

John stops briefly to listen to Bernstein's parting words
before continuing his exit with a frown.


INT. ANTON'S APARTMENT - LATER

BEDROOM

Close shot of Anton's face. He's lying on a bed, which is
SHAKING VIOLENTLY. He looks disinterested, and lost in
thought.

WOMAN
Oh God...Oh God! Baby, I'm almost
there!

Seen from Anton's point of view, a woman that we've never
seen before, is sitting on top of him, GRINDING her hips
against his.

WOMAN
Ahhhh!

The woman slides next to Anton and slips under the sheets.

WOMAN
That was...exactly what I needed.
Mmm, I'm so sleepy now. I
think...I'm just gonna...

Anton looks over at her and sees that her eyes are already
closed. He pokes her gently.

ANTON BRODY
Hey. Hey, wake up.

WOMAN
Mmm...what's up baby?

ANTON BRODY
You're just gonna fall asleep? I
thought maybe we could...I dunno,
talk for a bit or something.

WOMAN
Mmm....OK...what about, baby?

ANTON BRODY
I don't know...just, anything
really. Where are you from?
Originally?

WOMAN
(whiney)
Aww, that's boring! Who cares
about that stuff?

ANTON BRODY
I do...sort of. I mean, It'd be
nice to know a little bit about
you. What sort of things are you
into? Maybe we have a few things
in common, who knows?

WOMAN
Well we both like to fuck each
other, we have that in common. And
we're both GOOD at it!

The woman flashes Anton a devilish smile as she reaches for
his crotch.

Anton squirms away from her reach.

ANTON BRODY
Ha ha! Well, yeah. That's not
really what I meant but...good
point. How long have you been
married?

WOMAN
Ughh! Why do you want to talk
about that? You're really being a
bummer, you know. I know what we
should do instead....and if you
ask real nice, maybe I'll let you
do that thing we talked about.

ANTON BRODY
Actually no, I'm good, I'm a bit
worn out right now, babe.

WOMAN
Whatever.

The woman turns around, away from Anton and lays her head
down on her pillow.

after a beat:

ANTON BRODY
I don't know, you ever feel
like...here you are, you're living
your life the same way you've been
living it for God knows how long
and it...just doesn't call out to
you any more? It's just the same
old thing, day in and day out. For
me, I guess life's just become
routine...paint by numbers, clock
in, clock out. I don't know, I've
never really...committed to
something before. Or someone, for
that matter. Maybe I've just been
afraid of getting hurt. I always
tell myself, Anton, you need to
get out there and try new things,
meet new people. What is it all
leading up to, you think? There
must be some higher purpose, some
reason for us to be here doing
what we're doing. Otherwise,
what's the point? You know what I
mean?

Silence.

ANTON BRODY
Babe? You know what I mean?

Anton looks over and sees that the woman is fast asleep. He
rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

He gets out of bed, puts on his boxer shorts and walks to
the bathroom.

BATHROOM

Anton is SPLASHING water on his face. He dries his face off
with the hand towel and leans against the sink for a few
seconds, lost in thought.

As he's leaning on the sink, he glances into the trash can
and sees the crumpled up PHOTO of John and Rachel. Only
Rachel is visible in the photo the way it's been folded.

Anton reaches down into the trash can and pulls out the
photo. He TEARS off the left side of the photo containing
John's image and throws it away. He continues smiling as he
stares down at the image of Rachel, which smiles back at him
against the backdrop of the bright, sunny beach.


INT. LA VIDA YOGA - EVENING

YOGA INSTRUCTOR
And now we're gonna stretch all
the way down...and hold. Keep
holding for
five...four...three...two...one...
and release.

Rachel releases her pose and is catching her breath as she
sits on the Yoga mat. The spot next to her is empty.

A woman wanders over to the empty spot and starts to sit
down. Rachel moves her purse over to block her.

RACHEL AVERY
Sorry, this one's saved.

The woman scowls at Rachel and walks away.

Rachel looks around the room, searching for Anton. She
doesn't see him and she looks disappointed.

YOGA INSTRUCTOR
OK everyone, next up is the
Ustrasana pose. Make sure you pad
those knees, if you mess this one
up, I promise you, you're gonna
feel it tomorrow.

Everyone in the class starts doing the pose in unison,
except for Rachel. She's still looking around the room.

After a beat, Rachel joins in with the others doing the
Ustrasana pose.


EXT. LA VIDA YOGA - LATER

Rachel is leaving the Yoga Studio, bundled up in a heavy
winter jacket. She heads toward her car and notices someone
walking behind her.

Rachel turns to find Anton grinning ear to ear.

RACHEL AVERY
Wasn't sure I'd see you again.

ANTON BRODY
Is that right?

RACHEL AVERY
I figured maybe you'd had your fun
and you were done with me. Onto
your next conquest.

ANTON BRODY
Ha ha! I'm afraid my life isn't
nearly as exciting as you seem to
think it is.

Rachel smiles.

RACHEL AVERY
You missed an interesting class.
Maxine started to lose it on this
woman in the back that wasn't
paying attention, I was sure she
was gonna throw her right out the
window.

ANTON BRODY
Something she's certainly capable
of, that woman is truly a man
among men.

Rachel laughs.

RACHEL AVERY
I've been thinking about last
week...

ANTON BRODY
Oh really? And what about it were
you thinking about?

RACHEL AVERY
Just...all of it, I guess...

ANTON BRODY
It was certainly all worth
remembering. You know, I was just
thinking, I know this great place
around the corner from here,
really fantastic place to enjoy a
glass of wine...interested in
joining me?

RACHEL AVERY
Um...I don't think I'm really fit
for public consumption right now.
Look at me, I'm in my LuLus!

ANTON BRODY
I don't think they'll mind.
Besides, I like you in your LuLus.
Makes your ass look fantastic.

Rachel puts her hands on Anton's face and kisses him.

RACHEL AVERY
My ass always looks fantastic.

They both laugh.


EXT. LA REVE RESTAURANT - MOMENTS LATER

Anton holds Rachel's hand as they walk up the slippery
stairs to the front entrance of the restaurant. The name on
the front of the building is "La Reve".

Anton grabs the door for Rachel.

RACHEL AVERY
What service!

Anton has to keep holding the door as people come and go,
oblivious to the fact that he's not the paid doorman.

An angry woman STOPS ABRUPTLY, right in the middle of the
doorway.

ANGRY WOMAN
Frank, COME ON! I'm leaving,
let's go.

The woman stands there, searching feverishly through her
purse.

ANGRY WOMAN
We have to be at my mother's in
twenty minutes! I don't care if
the Penguins are playing, you can
listen to it in the car! Oh for
fuck's sake!

Anton gives Rachel a look of discomfort and Rachel bursts
out laughing.

The woman turns to Rachel and then to Anton. She shakes her
head and STORMS out of the building in a huff.


INT. LA REVE RESTAURANT - MOMENTS LATER

Rachel and Anton are standing over the booth they've been
led to. Anton removes Rachel's jacket, revealing her workout
clothes beneath.

The Maitre'd gives them an unapproving look and walks away.

Rachel and Anton take a seat across from each other.

RACHEL AVERY
Wow, this really is a nice place.
Real classy. Usually when I go
out for dinner it involves a
dollar menu and a ball pit.

ANTON BRODY
(smiling)
I've never felt as sorry for
someone's life as I do right now.

RACHEL AVERY
Excuse me? MY life? My life's
not so bad, you know, let's talk
about YOUR life. Just who are
you, Anton Brody? I feel like I
don't know anything about you.

ANTON BRODY
That's because you DON'T know
anything about me.

RACHEL AVERY
Well, OK, so tell me...what do you
do for a living? Let's start
there.

The waiter approaches.

WAITER
Good evening, my name is Pierre
and I'll be serving you tonight.
Have you had a chance to look at
our drink menu yet?

ANTON BRODY
I'm in the mood for a red. We'll
have a bottle of
red...something...I don't know,
something with a woody nose. The
woodier the better.

Anton smiles at the waiter.

WAITER
(awkwardly)
Very good, sir.

The waiter walks away.

RACHEL AVERY
You know, some girls don't like a
man that orders for them. What
makes you think I even like red
wine?

ANTON BRODY
Well, Rachel, it just so happens
that everyone likes red wine. It's
a scientific fact. Look it up if
you don't believe me.

RACHEL AVERY
I'll choose to believe you. A
woody nose, though?

ANTON BRODY
Ha ha! I just like fucking with
these pretentious waiters. I bet
he goes back there and freaks out
when he can't find one that says
'woody' on the bottle.

RACHEL AVERY
Ha ha! I bet he does....back to
you though...what DO you do for a
living?

ANTON BRODY
A variety of things.

RACHEL AVERY
Well, that's very mysterious. A
variety of what things?

ANTON BRODY
Well, right now I'm actually
working on a novel.

RACHEL AVERY
So...you're a writer? Wow I would
not have guessed that. If I had
to guess I'd have
said...travelling salesman.

ANTON BRODY
Seriously?

RACHEL AVERY
You've got a look about you. Have
you written anything I might have
read?

ANTON BRODY
No, I highly doubt that...so far
my resume consists entirely of...
unpublished works.

RACHEL AVERY
Oh OK, so you're a broke writer. I
get it.

ANTON BRODY
(winks)
I get by.

RACHEL AVERY
Have you always lived in
Pittsburgh?

ANTON BRODY
Yeah, my whole life. I gotta tell
you though, lately, this weather
has really started to get under my
skin. To be honest, I've always
wanted to live on the West
Coast...spend my days out in the
warm sun and my nights relaxing on
the beach. Maybe open up a little
coffee shop or something and work
on my writing in my spare time. I
don't know...it's a pipe dream, I
guess.

RACHEL AVERY
That sounds perfect. Maybe I
could come visit.

Anton smiles wide at Rachel.

The waiter walks up with a decanter of wine and two glasses.
He pours a small amount of wine into Anton's glass and
offers it to Anton.

Anton takes the glass and swirls it around pretentiously
under his nose.

ANTON BRODY
I thought I asked for a woody
nose?

WAITER
I'm sorry sir, I--

ANTON BRODY
This will have to do.

The waiter looks annoyed.

The waiter pours two glasses and walks away.

Rachel and Anton share a quiet laugh as the waiter walks
away.

ANTON BRODY
I notice you're not wearing your
ring.

Rachel awkwardly hides her ring finger and puts her hands
under the table.

RACHEL AVERY
You're right. I'm not.

ANTON BRODY
How long have you been married? Do
you mind if I ask?

RACHEL AVERY
Far too long...

Rachel looks around the restaurant awkwardly.

ANTON BRODY
Hey, I'm sorry, that's a shitty
subject, we don't have to talk
about that.

RACHEL AVERY
No, it's OK. It's the elephant in
the room, right? I found out he's
been...John, my husband...I found
out he's been cheating on me.

ANTON BRODY
No kidding.

RACHEL AVERY
No kidding. He, uh...he came home
late one night. Well, a few
nights actually. Said he was
putting in a lot of overtime, some
big new client that had to close
by the end of the week. I bought
it, why not right? Made sense at
the time. The Friday of that week
though, I borrowed his car first
thing in the morning to run out to
get some milk. I looked in the
back seat...she left her purse
behind.

ANTON BRODY
Ouch...How did you react?

RACHEL AVERY
How do you think? The second I
got home I screamed at him, asking
for an explanation. He made up
some bullshit excuse. I can't even
remember what it was now, it's not
important. I could tell he was
making it all up on the spot, he's
a terrible liar.

Rachel stops to wipe away a tear.

RACHEL AVERY
Anyways...what's done is done. And
now, here I am, sitting with you
in this fancy restaurant. And all
the while it seems like I should
feel like a total asshole for
being here with you, but...I just
don't care. I don't feel the
least bit guilty about it. It
feels right, somehow.

ANTON BRODY
Hey, listen...

Anton lifts a glass.

ANTON BRODY
To new beginnings.

RACHEL AVERY
I can drink to that.

They CLINK their glasses together and they both take a swig
of wine and smile at one another. Rachel puts her hands
back on the table and Anton puts his on top of hers.

RACHEL AVERY
It tastes a bit woody, I guess.

They both laugh.
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