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“WAKING UP” TEASER OVER BLACK: JEREMIAH (V.O.) Until that night, I was just a normal Midwestern teenager. FADE IN: INT. WECKENSIE HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Dark and filled with video game paraphernalia. JEREMIAH WECKENSIE (15) - that pale, skinny kid you always saw hanging around the art room in high school and thought looked intriguing - plays Guitar Hero with a group of FRIENDS. JEREMIAH (V.O.) I hung out with friends. He crows with glee when the screen announces “YOU ROCK!” INT. WECKENSIE HOUSE - JEREMIAH’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Moody, with walls that are plastered with original artwork. Jeremiah sits on the bed with a GIRL (15). He kisses her, obviously having done this before. JEREMIAH (V.O.) I went out with girls. His hand moves toward her breast - but she slaps it away. INT. WECKENSIE HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY Jeremiah watches a Chicago Bears game on TV with his LITTLE BROTHER (8), in full fan gear. JEREMIAH (V.O.) I watched football. He watches the screen while his brother watches him adoringly. INT. WECKENSIE HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY Crowded with gadgets bought off the Home Shopping Network. Jeremiah’s solidly-built FATHER (40’s) argues with him over the report card he’s holding.
JEREMIAH (V.O.) I fought with my parents. His timid MOTHER (40’s) tries to intervene, but they ignore her and keep screaming. INT. WECKENSIE HOUSE - JEREMIAH’S BEDROOM - DAY Jeremiah, alone in his room, stands in front of an easel, painting. This is his happy place - this is what he loves most in the world. And he’s really good, too. JEREMIAH (V.O.) Just a normal teenager. CLOSE ON JEREMIAH’S peaceful expression. INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM - O.R. - NIGHT DOCTORS and NURSES swarm around a bloody and unconscious Jeremiah, trying to revive him. JEREMIAH (V.O.) But in one night, it all changed. Jeremiah flat-lines. EXT. BLACK TUNNEL Jeremiah approaches the end of a dark tunnel toward a bright light. THREE SHADOWY FIGURES await him, waving him forward. JEREMIAH (V.O.) I could see them in the distance, waiting for me. ON JEREMIAH, as he shakes his head and turns away. INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM - O.R. - NIGHT A doctor quickly uses a defibrillator to resuscitate Jeremiah. His heart starts beating again. E.C.U.: JEREMIAH’S EYES Slowly, they flutter open. JEREMIAH (V.O.) But I wanted to live. END OF TEASER
3. ACT ONE INT. HOSPITAL - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - DAY A small, semi-private room. Several flower arrangements and cards fill the bedside table. Jeremiah, a bandage wrapped around his head, opens his eyes to discover his AUNT GRACE (late 50’s), with long salt-and-pepper hair and an aura of peace, sitting next to him. JEREMIAH Aunt Grace? What’re you doing here? GRACE Shh - lay still, Miah. Your ribs are still a little bruised. JEREMIAH What happened? Grace’s smile falls. GRACE You don’t remember? Jeremiah thinks. There’s a FLASH and we-CUT TO: INT. WECKENSIE CAR - CHICAGO SUBURBS - NIGHT (FLASHBACK) A solid, well-used American vehicle. Jeremiah is in the driver’s seat, with his father in front and his mother and little brother in back. He and his father are in the middle of another heated argument (M.O.S.). There’s another FLASH, and suddenly everyone is SCREAMING---Jeremiah steers, trying to avoid something, and just when the car seems about to hit an oncoming TREE, there’s another FLASH and we-CUT TO: INT. HOSPITAL - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - DAY (PRESENT) Jeremiah turns to Grace, expressionless. JEREMIAH It was my birthday. They let me drive ‘cause I got my license. Grace’s eyes fill with tears.
GRACE You’ll be coming to live with me now. She pulls him into an awkward hug, her tears dripping on his back. CLOSE ON JEREMIAH, as he flinches with pain at her touch, but still does not cry. EXT. CEMETERY - DAY A snow-covered suburban cemetery. A group of MOURNERS cluster near the only fully green patch to be seen. EXT. CEMETERY - WECKENSIE GRAVESITE - CONTINUOUS - DAY The snow has been thawed in order to create three, fresh, side-by-side graves. VINCE (V.O.) So how come you couldn’t go to the funeral again? You seem fine now. JEREMIAH (V.O.) On account of, you know, that defibrillator thing. Doctor Gilman wants to watch my heart for another week yet. Grace stands next to the graves for the burial service, surrounded by the other mourners. INT. HOSPITAL - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - SIMULTANEOUS - DAY Jeremiah, his head bandage now long gone, sits with his bespectacled friend VINCE (15), who wears mourning clothes. These two have the easy comfort (and the lack of things in common) of life-long friends. Jeremiah flicks numbly through the TV channels. Empty candy wrappers surround them, and Jeremiah is currently sucking on a lollipop. His food, however, sits untouched. Vince clears his throat. VINCE Well, you know, your birthday’s actually All Saints Day. So, technically, since your family died after midnight, they died on November second. All Souls Day.
Jeremiah looks at Vince, who doesn’t know whether to smile or look concerned back. VINCE (CONT'D) The day for honoring the Faithful Departed. JEREMIAH Is that supposed to cheer me up or something? Vince has no idea what to say. Jeremiah sighs. JEREMIAH (CONT'D) Where’d you learn all that anyway? VINCE Um...Wikipedia. Jeremiah looks away from Vince and resumes flicking through the TV channels. JEREMIAH You always were a dork. Vince doesn’t know how to respond. With a look of determination, Jeremiah switches off the TV. EXT. CEMETERY - WECKENSIE GRAVESITE - SIMULTANEOUS - DAY The OFFICIATE motions to Grace. She pries a clod of dirt from the barely-thawed ground to toss onto the matching caskets. EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY Busy with the usual winter hubbub. Grace, bundled up in winter clothes, exits the doors, with a HOSPITAL ORDERLY wheeling Jeremiah in a wheelchair close behind. They get to a waiting CAB, and Jeremiah jumps out of the chair, good as new, and climbs in the backseat. Grace nods her thanks to the Orderly, and moves toward the other side of the cab. After a moment, the car pulls away. INT. CAB - DAY Jeremiah and Grace sit in the back, heading for O’Hare. Jeremiah stares out the window. Grace leans over.
GRACE (whispering) You sure you don’t want to stop at the cemetery and say goodbye? We have time. He looks over at her. She’s sniffling and wiping at her nose with a tissue. I’m sure. JEREMIAH
Grace gives him a significant look, but he ignores her and looks back out the window. EXT. GRACE’S CAR - EL CAMINO REAL - DAY A nice hybrid heads north toward San Francisco. INT. GRACE’S CAR - CONTINUOUS - DAY Jeremiah stares out the window, now from the passenger seat, at the sunny California scenery. Grace drives, occasionally glancing at him with concern. They’re now dressed in lighter clothes to suit the warmer weather. JEREMIAH So I really have no choice? I mean, I’ve never even been to Colma. Grace takes a frustrated breath and forces a smile. This is not the first time she’s heard this. GRACE Sorry, kiddo. I’m your only living relative, so you’re stuck with me. He doesn’t respond. They drive past the town sign: IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE IN COLMA! Grace watches Jeremiah for his reaction. He frowns slightly at the sign, confused. Then they drive past a graveyard on the right, with a large sign that reads: HOLY CROSS CEMETERY. Jeremiah turns his head so he won’t have to look at it---but they’re also passing CYPRESS LAWN MEMORIAL PARK on the left. Grace opens her mouth to speak, but then reconsiders. Another set of gates announces the HILLS OF ETERNITY on their right.
Then GREEK ORTHODOX on their left. Then HOME OF PEACE. And GREENLAWN MEMORIAL PARK. Jeremiah turns to Grace. JEREMIAH What the hell kind of place IS this?! GRACE Colma’s a necropolis, Miah. He gives her a dark look. He doesn’t know what that means. GRACE (CONT'D) A city of cemeteries. (all she can think to say) You’ll get used to it. Now SALEM CEMETERY is right outside his window. Jeremiah looks down at his lap. GRACE (CONT'D) It’s actually very peaceful here. After all, death is a natural part of life. JEREMIAH (shakes head) What the fuck? GRACE You watch your language! He shoots her an angry look. JEREMIAH You couldn’t tell me this before, you know, we actually came here? GRACE I didn’t think it really mattered that much. He looks at her with disbelief. JEREMIAH I don’t fucking believe this.
She glares at him, but then a FLASH of fear suddenly crosses both their faces as they realize they really are stuck with each other. They both look away, and Grace makes a turn onto a local street. EXT. GRACE’S HOME - A FEW MOMENTS LATER - DAY A cute, well-maintained guesthouse - located behind the large, dark, CARO FAMILY FUNERAL HOME. A lemon tree grows in the yard. As Grace’s car pulls up, it is greeted MICKEY (12), and TIMOTHY CARO (8), who welcome banner. While Stuart is rather effacing, Mickey is a brash and bubbly Timothy is very small and delicate for Mickey jumps excitedly. MICKEY There they are! Stuart smiles at her. INT. GRACE’S CAR - CONTINUOUS - DAY Jeremiah takes one look at the funeral home and turns to Grace. JEREMIAH What is this? GRACE (proudly) Home. JEREMIAH What?! Dad always said you worked as an artist. I do. GRACE by STUART (40’s), are holding a giant nondescript and selftomboy. Meanwhile, his age.
He angrily gestures at their surroundings, as if to ask “Well?” GRACE (CONT'D) I’m a make-up artist for the Caro Family Funeral Home. (beat) I get to help people look their best as they meet their Lord.
Jeremiah gives her a deadly glare. She parks the car. EXT. GRACE’S HOME - CONTINUOUS - DAY As soon as the car stops, Mickey drops her end of the banner and rushes to open Jeremiah’s door for him. Timothy follows shyly, while Stuart folds up the banner. MICKEY Welcome to Colma, Miah! Welcome. TIMOTHY
Jeremiah storms to the back of the car without looking at them. JEREMIAH Don’t call me Miah. Mickey’s smile disappears for a moment. MICKEY Sorry. Jeremiah then. Grace pops the trunk and Jeremiah grabs his suitcases, beelining for the front door. Mickey and Timothy follow him. GRACE (to Jeremiah) Be careful! The doctor said to take it easy! I’m fine. JEREMIAH
MICKEY Do you need any help? I can help. I can too. TIMOTHY
JEREMIAH (glares all around) No. Thanks. I can do it myself. Mickey stops walking, her brow furrowed at his tone. Fine. MICKEY
Forced to stop in front of the locked door, Jeremiah turns.
JEREMIAH (to Mickey) Who ARE you anyway? Grace approaches, carrying more luggage. GRACE Miah, honey, these are the Caros. (motioning to each in turn) That’s Stuart, this is Mickey, and this young gentleman here is Timothy. JEREMIAH (smirking) Her name’s Mickey? Mickey crosses her arms defiantly. MICKEY What’s wrong with that? Grace nudges Jeremiah. GRACE Don’t be rude. (beat) It’s short for Michela. MICKEY Miss Gra-ace! GRACE Don’t be ashamed Mickey - it’s a beautiful name. Jeremiah turns away. JEREMIAH Can we just go inside now? Timothy quietly opens the door and Jeremiah walks in without a further word. ON MICKEY, as she melodramatically throws her hands up with frustration. MICKEY What a jerk! She stomps away, back to her family’s house.
Stuart sighs and looks at Grace. STUART I’ll go get her. Grace nods and walks inside, Timothy close behind. INT. GRACE’S HOME - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY Bright and sunny, filled with natural light and cozy furniture. Jeremiah is just reaching the top of the stairs when Grace and Timothy enter. Timothy rushes to catch up with him. GRACE Anybody up for some iced tea? Jeremiah ignores her, but Timothy eagerly nods his head. Grace smiles at him and moves into the kitchen while the boys continue upstairs. INT. GRACE’S HOME - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS - DAY Jeremiah stands on the landing, unsure of which door to enter. Down the hall, a door is slightly ajar, revealing a glimpse of a large, king-sized bed. ON TIMOTHY, as he steps forward and opens a different door, waving Jeremiah forward. BACK ON JEREMIAH, as he takes a deep breath and steps inside. INT. GRACE’S HOME - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS - DAY Comfortable and decorated with San Francisco Giants’ baseball memorabilia. Jeremiah looks around with grudging awe, then drops everything on the bed. JEREMIAH I thought my Aunt Grace had to come to Chicago right away after the accident. He looks at Timothy, who nods. JEREMIAH (CONT'D) Then how’d she have time to decorate for me?
TIMOTHY (shrugs) She didn’t. ON JEREMIAH’S confused reaction. But before he has time to question further-GRACE (O.S.) Iced tea’s ready! Timothy runs out of the room and downstairs. Jeremiah, now intrigued, turns to follow him. But as he’s leaving, he catches a glimpse of his pale, tiredlooking reflection in the mirror and stops. INDISTINGUISHABLE ECHOES of angry voices begin to bleed into the present, until, finally, one phrase becomes clear: JEREMIAH (V.O.) I HATE you... I wish you were dead... At this, Jeremiah shakes his head as if waking from a daze, and leaves, closing the door behind him. INT. GRACE’S HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER - DAY Everyone is sitting around, finishing their iced tea. Mickey has been enticed back into the group, but sits as far from Jeremiah as she can, glaring at him occasionally. STUART What grade are you in, Jeremiah? Ninth. JEREMIAH
STUART So you’ll be going to Jefferson? Jeremiah shrugs and glances at Grace, who nods. STUART (CONT'D) That’s right by Mickey’s school. Mickey sighs as if this is the worst thing ever. Stuart gives her a look. STUART (CONT'D) You should show him around. Mickey looks at him, her disgust extremely clear.
But he returns her glare with a very firm look - this is something she has to do. She sighs heavily. Fine. MICKEY (CONT'D)
Jeremiah looks to Grace, who nods encouragingly. GRACE I think that’s a great idea Mickey’s lived here all her life. Jeremiah looks back to Mickey, who does NOT look excited. JEREMIAH (shrugging) Whatever. Timothy smiles at him while Mickey moans quietly. EXT. GRACE’S HOME - LATER - DAY Jeremiah, Mickey, and Timothy stand on Grace’s lawn, each holding a bicycle. MICKEY So what do you wanna see? Colma’s famous for its cemeteries. Jeremiah shudders. JEREMIAH I’ve already seen a bunch of those. MICKEY You sure? There are some pretty cool people buried here, like Joe DiMaggio and Wyatt Earp... Um, yeah. JEREMIAH
ON MICKEY, as a FLASH OF CONCERN crosses her face. MICKEY Oh wait - is it because of your family? I’m sorry - I didn’t think--
Jeremiah just glares at her. Her eyes widen and she stops talking. Then she climbs on her bike and stands for a moment, thinking. A devilish grin crosses her face. MICKEY (CONT'D) Okay. If you’re not into cemeteries, I know exactly where to take you. She begins to bike away. Jeremiah and Timothy scramble to follow. EXT. LUCKY CHANCES - DAY A dark building with buzzing neon lights. A few cars are parked in the lot, even though it seems to be more of a nighttime destination. A couple PEOPLE stand outside smoking. Mickey pulls up, proudly. JEREMIAH What’s this? MICKEY This is Lucky Chances. Our casino. TIMOTHY (whispering) Mickey - why’d you bring us here? We’ll get in trouble. Mickey shushes him. JEREMIAH Casino? In a place like Colma? MICKEY Well, we’re not that far from San Francisco. People come here from the city all the time. Jeremiah has a hard time believing this. JEREMIAH People actually leave San Francisco to come to Colma? MICKEY For your information, they take the BART here every day, some of them. And get drunk. And sometimes have fights.
Timothy tugs on his sister’s sleeve. TIMOTHY Mi-ckey. I think we should leave. Just then, EVAN DYKEMAN (15), the charming bad boy who could burn down his family’s house and get away with it, and TARINI NAYAR (15), a deceptively intelligent and seductive Indian girl, emerge, laughing, from the back door. They’re stumbling in the way teenagers do when they want you to know that they’re drunk. Evan pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights up. ON JEREMIAH, who can’t help but stare. TIMOTHY (CONT'D) Isn’t that Evan? Who’s that girl with him? Mickey shrugs and frowns darkly. MICKEY If she’s with the Dyke Man, then probably no one good. (beat) Let’s go. JEREMIAH (without breaking his stare)
She glares at him. Then she looks at Timothy. MICKEY You were right - this was a bad idea. She begins to pedal away, and Timothy quickly joins her. Eventually, Jeremiah breaks his stare and sighs. He follows them. Evan and Tarini watch them leave. EXT. CONVENIENCE STORE - LATER - DAY Jeremiah, Mickey, and Timothy are having a break, standing around drinking Slurpees. Timothy is really quiet. MICKEY Hey Timbo - why so glum? He shrugs. She kneels in front of him.
MICKEY (CONT'D) Wanna go see Artemis? Timothy brightens. Can we? TIMOTHY
Mickey turns to Jeremiah. MICKEY One more stop before we go home? JEREMIAH (shrugs) Sure. Timothy smiles at him. It’s obvious he’s got a new idol. EXT. PETS REST CEMETERY - LATER - DAY Mickey pulls her bike to a stop in front of a graveyard with miniature monuments and a neon sign reading “PETS REST CEMETERY.” MICKEY Here we are. Timothy hops off his bike and carefully props it against the fence. Then he walks inside. Mickey goes to follow him, but Jeremiah refuses to move. MICKEY (CONT'D) Not coming? ON JEREMIAH as he shakes his head, no, trying not to show any emotion. ON MICKEY as, despite herself, another FLASH of concern crosses her face. MICKEY (CONT'D) These aren’t people, you know. Just animals-JEREMIAH --I just don’t want to, okay? His face is flushed with anger. ON MICKEY, as she makes a real effort to snap her mouth shut without retaliating.
17. She turns, without another word, and leaves to follow her brother, who has gotten to the site he was looking for. Timothy kneels down on the grass and begins carefully petting a SLEEPING CAT, made of marble. His lips move, but he can’t be heard from where Jeremiah is standing. It’s obvious this is going to take awhile. EXT. PETS REST CEMETERY - LATER - DAY Jeremiah has given up standing, and now sits on the shoulder of the road with his back to the cemetery and his bike lying next to him. He tries to amuse himself by throwing pebbles at targets across the street. Suddenly, Mickey and Timothy are beside him, climbing on their bikes. Jeremiah jumps up to join them. Without a word, they all begin to bike away, with Timothy in the lead. After a minute, Mickey falls back beside Jeremiah. MICKEY We used to have a cat. Jeremiah just looks at her. She nods and picks up her speed again. He follows slowly behind, shaking his head with disbelief. INT. GRACE’S HOME - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - NIGHT Jeremiah sits in bed, reading a baseball yearbook he got from one of the shelves. There’s a KNOCK at the door. Yeah? It’s Grace. GRACE Hey kiddo. Ready for bed? (notices what he’s reading) Oh - glad you like the set-up in here. Jeremiah doesn’t look up. Grace waits an awkward moment. GRACE (CONT'D) Okay then. Don’t stay up too late. JEREMIAH
She tries to smile, but when she doesn’t get a response, she just closes the door. ON JEREMIAH as he just keeps looking at the yearbook. INT. GRACE’S HOME - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - LATER - NIGHT Jeremiah fights to keep his eyes open. His book falls to the floor. But his eyes are too heavy. Finally, they close. INT. WECKENSIE CAR - CHICAGO SUBURBS - NIGHT (FLASHBACK) We’re back in the car. Jeremiah is yelling at his father, while his mother tries to intercede from the backseat. Meanwhile, Jeremiah’s little brother covers his ears with both hands and cries. FATHER I just don’t understand how I could have a son like you! Jeremiah glares at him. JEREMIAH And I HATE you. I wish you were dead-There’s a FLASH, and his mother is screaming. She throws herself protectively over his little brother. MOTHER (bracing herself) Jeremiah! Look out! Jeremiah turns back to the road and his eyes widen with fear. INT. GRACE’S HOME - JEREMIAH’S ROOM - NIGHT (PRESENT) Jeremiah jerks awake. He looks around, and when he realizes where he is, he jumps out of bed and leaves the room. INT. GRACE’S HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER - NIGHT Jeremiah sits on the couch in his boxer shorts, the blue of the TV screen flashing on his face. He’s obviously trying to stay awake, but he keeps nodding off. Finally, he gets up and walks into the next room.
INT. GRACE’S HOME - KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER - NIGHT A small, but efficiently-organized space. Herbs and flowers sit on the ledge of every window. Jeremiah opens the fridge, scanning its contents. All he sees is health food and sugar-free drinks. He slams the door shut. Then he looks around the room -HIS POV: The coffee pot. Bingo. INT. GRACE’S HOME - LIVING ROOM - LATER - NIGHT Jeremiah is back on the couch, eyes wide open, with a pot of coffee sitting on the table in front of him. CLOSE ON JEREMIAH, as he shakily sips from the cupful he holds and keeps his eyes glued to the TV screen. END OF ACT ONE.