Cigarette Smoke By Adrian Surujbhan

INT. BATHROOM. DAY ANGLE ON - LOW SHOT ANGELA’S bare feet enter frame. Camera pan up, revealing her to only be wearing a towel. As we reach her upper back and shoulders, she slips the towel off and enters the shower. INSERT: SHOWER HEAD The hot water batters Angela, her dark hair plastered to her body. The soapy water whirl around the drain. INT. BEDROOM. DAY Angela sits before her vanity in a towel. She combs her hair very deliberately, then sets the brush down on the table and reaches for eyeliner. ECU: Eyeliner, mascara, lipstick. MEDIUM SHOT: Angela, bare back, slips on a black cocktail dress and zips up the back. CU: Angela slips her feet into a pair of black pumps. FREEZE FRAME: TITLE CARD. EXT. PAY PHONE. NIGHT FRANK stands leaning against the wall with the phone to his ear. A cigarette turned nervously between his fingers. FRANK I understand that. I do. But it’s been a week now and I don’t know where you’re head’s at, but I’m ready to come home. How can you say that? You can’t believe that. I know you enough to know you’re just trying sting me here. You’re swinging in the dark. You want me to beg, cause I’ll beg. You want to hit me on the nose and ask me if I learned my lesson, I have. I’ll do whatever it is I have to, for you to forgive me. For me to come home. And you know that. You know I’ll do whatever I have to. No? So, what do (MORE) (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

2.

FRANK (cont’d) you want me to say? What’ll it take? What do I do, you tell me... Well, when you finally figure out how to dig me out this hole then you let me know... Frank removes the phone from his ear, then seems to debate whether or not to hang up. He does. INT. CAR. CONTINUOUS Frank sits in his idling car near the pay phone, as the radio plays softly. He blows his cigarette smoke out the open window as he grips the steering wheel tightly with his free hand. He reaches for a bottle of liquor wrapped in a paper bag from the glove box and takes a few swills. His hand slides into his coat pocket and removes a business card. INSERT: BUSINESS CARD; PERRENIAL MANAGEMENT 416 788 0112 Frank flips the card over. Hand written is; Ask for Angela! :) Frank reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a hard candy, a scrap of paper and a few loose coins. EXT. PAY PHONE. CONTINUOUS Frank inserts the change and dials the number from the card. The ringing of the phone overlaps to... INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT Angela sits alone drinking a glass of water and scribbling in a black bound notebook. Finishes writing and closes the book. She seems rather bored by her surroundings. The sound of the opening door catches her eyes as Frank enters. She studies him. Frank does a sweep of the joint before catching Angela. He’s struck dumb by her and it’s a moment before he finally makes to approach her. He stops short before the table.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

3.

FRANK Angela? She doesn’t answer but looks to his face. FRANK (cont’d) Frank. No response besides a nod. Frank, realizing this is about as much as he’ll get, slips into the chair across from her. FRANK (cont’d) You look very pretty. Angela sips on her water. FRANK (cont’d) What is that? What are you drinking? ANGELA Just water. FRANK Don’t you want something a little stronger? It’s on me of course. ANGELA I’ll stay with water. FRANK You don’t drink? ANGELA No. FRANK How come? ANGELA I don’t know. Don’t see the point, I guess. A waitress approaches. FRANK Uh - She’ll stay with water, I need booze. Old fashioned, darling. No ice. The waitress splits.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (3)

4.

FRANK (cont’d) This is nice. Is this like a - a regular place? ANGELA I guess. I come here pretty often. It’s close to home. I like the food. FRANK Where do you live? No response. FRANK (cont’d) You said the food was good, what do you like? ANGELA The soups are good. Baked chicken. Scallops. Wellington. FRANK I don’t like soup, I’m not a soup person. Angela shrugs. FRANK (cont’d) How long you been with this outfit? ANGELA Quite awhile. Two or three years. I was on vacation for a few months but now I’m back. FRANK Vacation? Where’d you go? ANGELA Nowhere really. Niagara falls for a week. FRANK Vacation for a few months and all you did was go to Niagara falls? ANGELA Well, I didn’t actually see the falls. I just like being there. Close enough to smell the water in the air. It’s very nice.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (4)

5.

FRANK That’s all you did? ANGELA It was more like a sabbatical. Just getting my bearings. The waitress returns with a glass of water for Angela and Frank’s old fashioned. FRANK Not bad. WAITRESS Can I take your order? Frank whips out the menu and quickly peruses. Angela is ready with hers. ANGELA Can I get the house salad and the baked chicken? Waitress scribbles down the order and turns to Frank. FRANK I guess I’ll have... (sigh) I’ll have the pesto. Waitress takes the menus and splits. Awkward silence. FRANK (cont’d) What’s that? Frank points to Angela’s notebook. ANGELA Notebook. FRANK What do you write? ANGELA Nothing. Just notes. FRANK Notes? Like what? ANGELA It’s for a book.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (5)

6.

FRANK A book? You’re writing a book? A book about what? ANGELA I dunno. Just writing whatever comes to me. About me and my life. FRANK Your life? You mean the life? ANGELA (sighs) That too. FRANK That would be an interesting prospective. The inside look from a pro and all. Awkward silence. FRANK (cont’d) Did you know I used to be in publishing? ANGELA How could I? FRANK Well, I was and I still have a few friends and if you wanted I could make a few calls. Set up a meeting... If you wanted. ANGELA (beat) That’s very generous but I’m not looking for anything like that. It’s more for me than anything. FRANK What do you mean? ANGELA I just like to write. It makes me feel better. FRANK Like... cathartic or something?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (6)

7.

ANGELA I suppose. But I don’t really know why it helps, it just does. Frank leans in and lowers his voice. FRANK So, after tonight... will I be in your book? ANGELA (beat) It doesn’t really work like that. FRANK Any of your clients end up in that thing? ANGELA Sometimes. The really memorable ones. FRANK You don’t think I’ll be memorable. I don’t wanna toot my own horn or anything... But I don’t think you should gloss over what hasn’t happened yet. ANGELA (long beat) What do you do now? FRANK Sorry? ANGELA You said you used to be in publishing. What are you in now? FRANK Television. ANGELA Sounds like a lateral move. What do you do in television? FRANK Producer. ANGELA Anything I might have seen?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (7) FRANK Probably not. A lot of pilots, some of them good. None of which have been picked up. Angela sips on her water to break up another awkward silence. ANGELA I have to use the washroom.

8.

Angela picks up all her things and strides to the restroom. Frank watches her, completely enamored by her every step. He leans back in his chair after she disappears and takes a sip of his old fashioned. INT. BATHROOM. CONTINUOUS ANGLE ON - LOW SHOT Angela’s feet can be seen from under the stall door. She exits and checks her reflection in the mirror. She turns on the faucet and washes her hands. She uses the air dryer. INT. RESTAURANT. CONTINUOUS Angela sits back down at the table. FRANK Service is slow here. ANGELA It’s worth it. FRANK How long are we gonna have to wait? ANGELA It varies. Frank checks his watch. ANGELA (cont’d) Do you have somewhere to be? FRANK No. I just - I think I may be getting a call tonight... I just It’s important.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

9.

ANGELA What kind of call? Frank smiles, even laughs a little. The thought of this particular discussion with present company makes him smile. FRANK (beat) Well - uh - waiting for a call from my wife. Angela isn’t at all surprised by this.

ANGELA Where is she? Out of town? FRANK No, no. We’re - uh - going through a little separation and I think it might be coming to a close. ANGELA You must be excited. FRANK You have no idea. A enough time on a hotel mattress and I’ll just about lick her feet. ANGELA Some people like that. Frank laughs. ANGELA (cont’d) What happened? FRANK Nothing, really. Just a matter of time. ANGELA Maybe you should be waiting for the call. FRANK It’s my last night of freedom. I figure I ought to sew my oats before they go stale. Awkward silence.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (3)

10.

FRANK (cont’d) Jesus, I’m starving. I don’t know if I can wait much longer. Angela looks off to her right. ANGELA Well, don’t eat your arm. She’s coming right now. The waitress approaches with their plates. EXT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT Frank and Angela exit the restaurant and approach Frank’s car. INT. CAR. CONTINUOUS They sit quietly. Frank, with a cigarette. ANGELA Could I have one of those? Frank nods, extracting a pack from his pocket and handing her one. She places it between her lips and he lights it for her. ANGELA (cont’d) Thanks. FRANK Don’t mention it. They sit back in silence, each taking long drags from their cigarettes. FRANK (cont’d) So, where do we go from here? ANGELA There’s a motel I like to use up the road. FRANK I’m actually at the hotel around the corner. Is that all right? Angela nods after a beat. Awkward silence.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

11.

FRANK (cont’d) You know, I - uh - I think I’m a little nervous now. ANGELA That’ll go away. FRANK So it’s normal? ANGELA Most of the time. Some guys are used to it, probably more used to it then I am. And others are just trying to see what it’s like, so they get a little nervous. Just like the first time. FRANK (beat) You know, I think I’d like to read your book. ANGELA I’m not really comfortable with that. It’s private. Frank gives her a coy little smile, which she finds irritating to no end. ANGELA (cont’d) (beat) Are you ready? FRANK As I’ll ever be. Frank turns the keys in the ignition and steps on the gas. INT. HOTEL. NIGHT Frank and Angela approach the elevator. Frank hits the elevator button. INT. ELEVATOR. NIGHT Angela and Frank stand on opposite sides of the elevator. Angela looks to the floor, clutching her notebook and purse. Frank looks at Angela, hands in his pockets.

12.

INT. HALLWAY. CONTINUOUS Frank and Angela exit the elevator and down the hallway to a far room. Angela stands sentinel as Frank unlocks the door and lets her in. He closes the door behind them. FADE TO BLACK: INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Frank leans against the headboard as Angela sits at the far side of the bed with a cigarette. INTERCUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK Frank kisses Angela’s neck from behind, tossing her purse and notebook to the floor. He pushes her down onto the bed. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Angela passes Frank her cigarette, which he outs in the nightstand ashtray. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK Frank slips Angela’s dress off her shoulders as she her head turns to a picture on the wall. Frank slips the dress further down her body, but she focuses on the picture. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Angela slips on her underwear as Frank throws on his t-shirt. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK Frank kisses down Angela’s body and stops. A scar is located on her lower abdomen. A C-Section scar. FRANK What’s this? ANGELA It’s nothing.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

13.

FRANK It’s pretty fresh. Frank and Angela lock eyes. She runs her fingers across the scar. She looks around, not quite sure where to look. Very self conscious. Frank opens his mouth to speak, but decides against it. Instead, he kisses the scar and continues down her body. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Frank falls into a chair as Angela stands in front of him slipping on her dress. He pulls out his wallet and counts a couple hundred, which he hands to Angela. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK Angela, on top as Frank leans back with his eyes closed, completely at peace. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Frank zips up the back of Angela’s dress. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK OVER: Frank, running his hands through her hair. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Angela slips on her shoes. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT - FLASHBACK Frank sits on the bed, leaning against the headboard with a cigarette as Angela lay on her belly, still staring at the picture on the wall. FRANK That was fun. ANGELA Mmm-hmmm. FRANK Did you have a good time?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

14.

ANGELA Mmm-hmmm. Awkward silence. ANGELA (cont’d) What does your wife look like? Frank, taken aback, recoils, regroups and mumbles; FRANK Uh - I - What do you mean? ANGELA I was just curious. What does she look like? FRANK I don’t know. She’s pretty, I guess. Kind of... dainty. Slender. ANGELA Who does she look like? FRANK You mean like someone famous or something? ANGELA Yeah. Everybody kind of looks like someone famous. What famous person does she look like? FRANK I don’t really know. She... used to look a little like (snaps fingers) The girl from Message in a Bottle. ANGELA (beat) Robin Wright Penn? FRANK Yeah, but now she looks more like... I don’t know who she looks like now. ANGELA What did you do?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (3)

15.

FRANK (sigh) I said some terrible things. ANGELA Did you mean them? FRANK Yes. I mean, I didn’t mean to say them... but they were my words. God knows if I believe them or not. But you know sometimes you sit there and thoughts run in and out of your head... Sometimes the days just to long. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Frank helps Angela with her jacket as she grabs her purse and notebook from the floor. FRANK Ready? ANGELA As I’ll ever be. Frank opens the door for Angela. INT. HALLWAY. CONTINUOUS Angela walks down the hallway towards the elevator. She hits the button and waits. The elevator opens and she enters. The doors close... EXT. HOTEL. NIGHT Angela exits the hotel with an unlit cigarette between her lips. She attempts to light it, but can’t get her lighter to work. A BLOND WOMAN walks into frame, her face is unseen. BLOND WOMAN Need a light? ANGELA Uh - Sure. Blond woman reaches into her purse and lights Angela’s cigarette for her.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2) ANGELA (cont’d) Thank you. BLOND WOMAN Don’t mention it. Blond woman enters the hotel, Camera tracks her. INT. HOTEL. CONTINUOUS

16.

The Blond woman approaches the front desk and the CONCIERGE behind it. BLOND WOMAN Hi, I’m looking for Frank Sullivan. INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT Frank sits on the bed, leaning against the headboard and sipping on a glass of mini bar booze. He’s content. A shit-happy grin across his lips. A knock at the door. He downs the rest of his drink and places it on the nightstand. As Frank approaches the door, he sweeps his hair back and flattens his shirt and reaches for the knob. As he opens the door; FRANK You forget somethFrank stops mid sentence. He stands stunned in the doorway. The Blond woman stands before him, her face revealed. FRANK (cont’d) Rachel... What are you doing here? She will now be known as RACHEL. She shrugs. FRANK (cont’d) Just in the neighborhood? RACHEL I dunno. I thought I’d go for a walk... I ended up on a bus and... I got off outside the hotel. Can I come in or are we going to talk in the hallway? Frank stands aside, letting her in, still a little punch drunk. He closes the door behind them. Angela sits on the bed. Frank, not sure what to do, stands awkwardly.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: (2)

17.

FRANK Why didn’t you call? RACHEL I come all the way over here, that’s a pretty big gesture and that’s what you wanna say? FRANK I don’t wanna talk you into something. RACHEL Ask me why I’m here? FRANK What’s going on? RACHEL See? You don’t listen. FRANK Why are you here? RACHEL I was doing your laundry. INT. BEDROOM. DAY - FLASHBACK Rachel walks around the bedroom throwing discarded clothes into a hamper. RACHEL(V.O) It was all over the place and it just got me more pissed off. I kick you out and I’m still doing all the work. So, I figured I’d wash them and that would be the end of it. INT. HOTEL ROOM. CONTINUOUS Rachel sits with her legs crossed as Frank stands, not quite sure what to do with his hands. FRANK I don’t understand. RACHEL Well -

18.

INT. LAUNDRY ROOM. DAY - FLASHBACK Rachel throws the whites into the washing machine. RACHEL(V.O) I’m washing them. About four loads. INT. LAUNDRY ROOM. LATER - FLASHBACK Rachel sits on the washing machine reading a book. RACHEL(V.O) And as I’m sitting there in the laundry room and I’m reading my book. The washing machine starts rocking abruptly, the load is too heavy. Rachel looks up as the rocking of the washing machine intensifies. She has a curious expression. She drops her book and heaves a breath. INT. HOTEL ROOM. CONTINUOUS Frank stands confused. Rachel plays with the hem of her dress. RACHEL And I started thinking about you. And I wasn’t angry anymore. She motions him to come and sit next to her. He does. RACHEL (cont’d) Some people. They live like once it’s over they’re going to get a scorecard on how well they did. Like it’s something you play. Maybe it makes it seem like it’s not for nothing. But it is. We don’t get a lot of chances to be happy. And when we put ourselves in situations like this one, right now. We make it few and far between. I don’t wanna play it like that. Cause when they call your number there isn’t any room to wonder about why you let things slip through your fingers. INTERCUT TO:

19.

EXT. BUS STOP. NIGHT Angela stands alone at the bus stop with a cigarette. RACHEL(V.O) I thought a lot of things about my life for a long time. You have dreams about what and when and how wonderful it’ll all be. And then it happens INT. BUS(MOVING). NIGHT Angela sits alone by the window at the back of the bus, rocking gently. RACHEL(V.O) - You wake up in a few years that feel like days and everything you thought would happen, hasn’t. And everything you wanted, gone. And all you can do is bitch and moan about love lost and time wasted and run the clock. EXT. HOUSE. NIGHT Angela walks the front walkway to a townhouse and up the stairs. RACHEL(V.O) But I don’t wanna play it like that. We’re young and we don’t have to let it stay that way. We can be anything. We don’t have to settle for shit. Angela puts her keys in the door and enters. RACHEL(V.O) (cont’d) We don’t have to stand around with our hands in our pockets and whistle a happy tune to cover up how unhappy we are.

20. INT. HOTEL ROOM. CONTINUOUS Rachel and Frank stare into each other, laying down on the bed. RACHEL You know what I mean? Frank pauses, thinking carefully. He opens his mouth to speak but no words come. Instead he kisses her. FRANK I’m sorry. RACHEL I am too. FRANK I’m tired. RACHEL I am too. FRANK We’ll stay here? RACHEL We’ll stay here. FRANK Turn off the light? RACHEL Turn off the light. Frank reaches over to the nightstand and flicks off the lamp. Frank and Rachel hold each other in the dark. FRANK Goodnight. RACHEL Goodnight. INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT Angela slips her feet out of her black pumps. Angela zips down the back of her dress and slips it off. Angela removes her makeup before the vanity mirror.

21.

INT. BATHROOM. NIGHT Angela exits the shower and wraps a towel around her. She exits the bathroom, Camera tracking in front of her, slowly panning down. LOW SHOT: Angela’s bare feet walk out of frame...

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful