Ellie waits every day for a call that will change her life.
ROMANCING A PAYPHONE
By Jami Lynn Pack
EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET- 1968- DUSK
It's drizzling and the street is empty and quiet except an occasional cab and the constant hum of the interstate.
CLOSE UP of ELLIE MCKNIGHT as she leans against an old payphone. The 22-year-old pulls the hood of her yellow rain jacket to cover her dark hair. She is not traditionally pretty but has a young, vibrant look about her.
CLOSE UP of Ellie as she picks up the receiver and places it against her ear, then quickly puts it back.
EXTREME CLOSE UP of her hand as it rests on the receiver for a few moments then she sighs. PAN out as she crosses the street and enters an apartment building.
INT. ELLIE'S APARTMENT- DUSK
The door to the apartment opens and Ellie hangs up her raincoat. The apartment is small and old-fashioned but clean and tidy. JOEY MCKNIGHT, Ellie's 25-year-old brother, turns from a baseball game and watches his sister enter the kitchen. He takes a swig from his beer bottle and scratches his bare arm as he hears dishes clanging together
JOEYEllie comes out of the kitchen with a dish rag to finish the all-too-familiar conversation.
Let me guess, he didn't call, did he?
No, he didn't smarty-pants. But he will.
JOEYJoey turns back to his baseball game and Ellie shakes her head in frustration.
I will give you one thing, you are loyal. (He takes another drink) Nothin' like all these other tramps runnin' around this town. But he ain't gonna call.
(Pulling the dish towel tight)
He promised he would call when he could. He's a sailor and doesn't have access to phones. You know that Joey.
Yes, and I know you have been out there (pointing at the window) every night for a year and he hasn't called. He's not goin' to call. Give it up already.
(Stepping toward Joey then changing her mind)
You don't know him like I do. We had an amazing connection. (Smiling) He'll call, you'll see.
You sure do live in a fantasy world.
EXT. ELLIE'S PAYPHONE- DUSK
Ellie stands in her familiar spot leaning on the old payphone picking at her chipped fingernail polish and adjusting the lapel of her new red jacket. The phone rings and startles her. She grabs the phone and fumbles it before frantically getting it to her ear.
ELLIEEllie gently hangs up the phone. She waits for a cab to pass before crossing the street. She stops at her apartment building placing her hand on the door. She changes her mind and keeps walking down the street adjusting her lapel once more. PULL BACK on Ellie's coat disappearing into the city. PAN the New York City skyline.
Hello? Hello George?
No. This is George's wife, Betty. This is the number he gave me to reach him on his leave in New York. Who is this?
Ellie stands unable to speak and closes her eyes.
Hello? Who is this and how do you know my husband?