LOVE, CUPID AND THE 23RD FLOOR

Written by Ben Long

1646 Central Church Rd. (423) 585-7105 Bl2d21@yahoo.com

FADE IN: INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT A large window in an upper class apartment overlooks the Portland skyline, Oregon not Maine. Ice CLATTERS in a glass from the kitchen. GABRIEL (O.S.) I can’t believe it, my first assignment and I blow it. I tried, I really did, it was that damn elevator. She shouldn’t have... DANIEL (O.S.) That’s not up to us, only they can decide. We’re here simply to make it stick. Granted when you’ve got one this easy... SIGH. GABRIEL I know it was perfect. DANIEL (O.S.) Alright settle down, just start from the beginning. DANIEL and GABRIEL suited up, appear out of the kitchen and walk down the hallway into the last room on the right. The door halfway closes behind them. They stand at the foot of a bed looking over a still body. GABRIEL It started as expected terribly. Smoke rises from underneath their snap-brimmed fedoras. CUT TO: FLASHBACK - INT. APARTMENT BUILDING LOBBY - DAY PAPARAZZI stand crammed outside the door, camera’s FLASH and muffled questions call out. Amidst the chaos out squeezes an actress in her early twenties LIBBY MARTIN a year past her prime and closing in on average looking. The DOORMAN quickly allows her in. DOORMAN Ms. Martin.

2.

LIBBY I’m so sorry, truly. He quickly struggles to shut the door. PAPARAZZI Libby, are you happy to be single? Libby turns and for a moment to mentally stab him, then storms off. Heading for the steps she notices the doorman giving way to the raging tide. Reluctantly she ducks into the elevator. ELEVATOR Libby presses 23. Just before the door closes an awkwardly charming GRANT TAYLOR, a typical twenty five year old with the exception of his Cary Grant style fedora that he will never pull off, steps on and presses 19. GRANT Thanks, some crowd huh? Libby nervously and disdainfully rolls her eyes. LIBBY You’ve got to get off. She press the 2 button. The elevator stops and the doors open. GRANT Excuse me. LIBBY You have to get off, what ever you’re going to ask. I have no comment for you. GRANT Hold on, this is a mistake. LIBBY Nope no mistake. Now please. Libby begins digging through her purse and pulls out a can of perfume. Grant smiles at it first then realizes her actual hostility and backs out of the elevator. HALLWAY Libby quickly presses the close button.

3.

GRANT You know you’re really putting me behind. The doors start to close. GRANT (CONT’D) You can’t treat people like this. Grant stands their a moment bewildered. GRANT (CONT’D) You’re kidding me. He turns and hurries off down the hallway. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Grant waits for the elevator with a large plant in his hands. The door DINGS and he grabs the plant just before he enters he notices Libby biting her nails nervously and remembers. GRANT Excuse me I know this must look strange... LIBBY The plant or you? GRANT You’re not going to kick me off are you? LIBBY Nope. Grant smiles and starts to step on. LIBBY (CONT’D) Because I’m not letting you on. Grant stops and gives Libby time to enjoy her little joke. GRANT You’re joking right? Libby pulls out the perfume and the doors begin to close. Grant sets the plant back down, a very annoyed rage fills his eyes. CUT TO:

4.

INT. STAIRS - DAY Grant sits on the steps smoking a cigarette, behind him a small no smoking sign sits. A DOOR opens a few floors above him forcing him to put it out but a part of the ember falls inside his shoe. Quickly he rips off his shoe. Libby looks down from the top of the stairs and sees a shoe less Grant lying on the ground holding his foot. LIBBY If you’re going to smoke at least open a window. Grant quickly recognizes Libby. GRANT That’s funny, I wouldn’t have thought you for the manners type. LIBBY Sorry about that, I don’t like elevators. I despise them really. GRANT Why? You act like you own that one. Libby smirks and rolls her eyes at the barb. LIBBY I’m not sure, something about the idea of falling at any moment gets to me. GRANT Depends on why you’re falling. LIBBY Very clever, good luck with, whatever it is you’re doing. Grant realizes how ridiculous he looks, embarrassed he smiles. Libby continues on her way down the stairs. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - DAY Libby walks through the lobby heading for the stairs and notices Grant waiting at the elevator. She lets out a sigh of anxiety and walks over. The door opens and the two step on.

5.

ELEVATOR Grant presses the buttons and the doors close. Libby continues to glance over awaiting a conversation. However Grant simply stares forward. The elevator stops at his floor and he steps off. LIBBY You’re not going to say anything? GRANT And chance not making it to my floor. No I’m just happy I made it, maybe next time I’ll try hello. Libby smiles and bites her lip flirtatiously as she watches Grant walk away. BACK TO THE PRESENT. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Gabriel and Daniel stand in the kitchen as the kettle to SCREAMS. DANIEL So this is where you get the call? GABRIEL Not yet, a few days went by before they met again. DANIEL And? GABRIEL That’s when they made the agreement. CUT TO: FLASHBACK - INT. HALLWAY - DAY Grant bolts out of his room into the hallway and sees a group of people loading into the elevator. GRANT Hold it, wait. The door closes just as Grant reaches it.

6.

GRANT (CONT’D) Damnit. Grant bangs against the door then checks his watch and runs for the stairs. STAIRS Grant frantically runs down the steps, halfway down he passes Libby making her way up. She smiles but Grant continues on giving just a wink. GRANT You can’t run from your fears. Libby leans over the railing and watches him run down the steps. LIBBY I’m not. Libby turns back to the steps. LIBBY (CONT’D) I just prefer the stairs. Libby continues up the steps. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - NIGHT A sullen Grant walks across the lobby to the elevator. As he presses the button he notices Libby walking out from the stairs. GRANT You’ve got to be getting tired of that. LIBBY Maybe if I went down them like you. What was that about anyway? Grant looks away from Libby. GRANT I was suppose to be somewhere at three and as usual I forgot. LIBBY Did it work out okay?

7.

GRANT No, no it didn’t. LIBBY I’m sorry. GRANT We’ve all got are hang-ups, you’ve got elevators, I’ve appointments. LIBBY I’ll trade yah. Grant smiles at the thought, DING the elevator doors open. GRANT Well I’ll see you later. LIBBY Yeah. Grant gets on as Libby walks across the lobby. Just before the door closes Grant stops it and calls out to her. GRANT How about we help each other? LIBBY How’s that? GRANT I’ll meet you here everyday... Grant checks his watch. GRANT (CONT’D) Four and we’ll ride up together. LIBBY I’m usually busy at four. How about six? GRANT I can do six. LIBBY Great, see you at six. Grant steps back into the elevator and smiles as the door closes. CUT TO:

8.

INT. LOBBY - EVENING Libby waits at the elevator door, after a moment she checks her watch and glances around the room. Suddenly Grant stumbles through the doors into the lobby. GRANT Wait, I made it. He quickly rushes over to the elevator out of breath. LIBBY No you didn’t make it. You’re six minutes late. GRANT That’s darn good for me. The two step onto the elevator. ELEVATOR Grant removes his hat and presses 19 then looks over to Libby. GRANT 23? LIBBY Yes. The two stand in silence for a moment. LIBBY (CONT’D) Now what? GRANT Well I was thinking about that today and I figured we’ve got enough time for about one question and answer. Silence again. LIBBY Well what’s the question? GRANT I didn’t get that far. Libby smiles briefly

9.

LIBBY Okay what’s your name? GRANT Good one. Grant Taylor and I know who are. Libby Martin, America’s darling girl all grown up. LIBBY Ugh, just call me Libby. DING. GRANT Well it was nice to meet you Libby. LIBBY Likewise Grant, same time tomorrow? Grant nods, puts his hat back on and starts down the hallway. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant and Libby step onto the elevator. GRANT Favorite food? LIBBY Steak. You? GRANT Sushi. LIBBY Gross, I can’t eat anything raw. GRANT Come on it’s not that bad. Libby disgusted sticks out her tongue. DING Grant tips his hat and exits. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING The two ride in the elevator. GRANT Pet peeve?

10.

LIBBY Cell phones, I hate them, I refuse to have one. GRANT So much for asking for your number. Libby smiles and relaxes her grip on the hand rail a little. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant stands in the elevator, the door opens Libby with her back to him looks around checks her watch. GRANT (CONT’D) Any day now. She quickly turns around and smiles in relief. LIBBY You had me worried. GRANT Are you kidding, this is the best part of my day. Libby smiles shyly and steps. The two remain quiet for a moment. Simultaneously the two turn to each other. LIBBY Favorite desert? The two pause for a moment. LIBBY Yes, sort of, not really. GRANT Doughnuts. LIBBY That’s not a desert. GRANT Sure it is, it tastes great, it’s got sugar and it’s awful for you. LIBBY I meant like cheesecake or something. GRANT Do you like sports?

11.

GRANT I stand firm on doughnuts. DING, Grant smirks and exits the elevator. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant leans against the railing as Libby does a cute dance for him. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant happily follows Libby into the elevator. GRANT (CONT’D) Best day? Libby ponders for a moment. LIBBY The first time I got a part in a movie. My agent called as I was on my way to work, I just started balling. I almost ran into the car in front of me. You? Grant thinks for a moment. CUT TO: EXT. SUBURB HOUSE - DAY A GRANT’S DAD carries a new bike as YOUNG GRANT runs down the driveway to him. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Libby smiles endearingly at him. LIBBY That’s sounds sweet. DING. GRANT It was.

12.

He lingers a moment then exits. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant and Libby both enter the elevator visibly angry. LIBBY Worst day? Grant looks forward and even bigger scowl grows on his face. CUT TO: EXT. SUBURB HOUSE - DAY Young Grant rides his bike on the sidewalk, a group of KIDS run over, knock him off and take his bike. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING DING, Grant GRUNTS and walks off the elevator. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING A SWEET OLD LADY stands in between Grant and Libby. GRANT Best date? The old lady smiles. SWEET OLD LADY I was sixteen. CUT TO: EXT. LOOKOUT POINT - NIGHT A young couple in a 1950’s convertible, lookout at the city lights. The YOUNG MAN slowly places his hand on the GIRL’S leg. CUT TO:

13.

INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING The sweet old lady exits smiling, a mortified Grant and Libby stare straight ahead. LIBBY I want to change my answer on the worst day question? GRANT Me too. The door closes. BACK TO THE PRESENT. INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT Daniel and Gabriel sit in the living room drinking their tea. DANIEL How much time did you have left at this point? GABRIEL Three days, I decided that something had to be done, so I... DANIEL That’s against the rules. GABRIEL Something had to be done, I was running out of options. She was suppose to be afraid. Gabriel sips his tea, then sets it on the table. CUT TO: FLASHBACK - INT. ELEVATOR - EVENING Grant and Libby stand in the elevator neither speaking. DING GRANT Would you like to go to dinner? LIBBY Can you make it? GRANT We’ll see, six?

14.

Libby nods as Grant walks off the elevator. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - NIGHT Libby scans the lobby for Grant. DING, grant stands next to a set table inside the elevator. GRANT Hungry? Libby smiles as grant pulls her seat out for her. LIBBY Absolutely. ELEVATOR Grant pulls out a note and presses the floor numbers written. LIBBY I haven’t eaten here before. GRANT Oh you’re going to love it. DING, a WAITER hands them two glasses of water and steps off. LIBBY You know the atmosphere is quite nice. GRANT Yeah personally, I think it’s the music that really pulls it all together. DING, the door opens and the WAITER lays two plates down in front of them. WAITER Pollo caprese. GRANT I went ahead and ordered for you, I hope you don’t mind. The door closes. LIBBY Not at all.

15.

The two try their food through the next couple of floors. LIBBY (CONT’D) This is really good. GRANT Best restaurant in all of Portland. LIBBY Very exclusive. What’s it called? GRANT Going up? Libby smiles and takes another bite. DING, a YOUNG COUPLE looks on. GRANT (CONT’D) Sorry it’ll be clear on the way down. The door starts to shut and the girl slaps the man on the arm. GIRL Why can’t you do that? Libby laughs as Grant smiles affectionately at her. GRANT Alright the question of the day is, what is your most embarrassing moment? Libby ponders a moment. LIBBY Well I wasn’t the coolest kid in school. GRANT (Sarcastic) Really. Libby tosses some parsley at him. LIBBY Anyway, I finally got asked to prom and I was so excited. I had my new dress on and my date was such sweet guy. It was the first time I felt sexy. So we get to the dance and we’re having great time. (MORE)

16. LIBBY (CONT'D) Then suddenly the music stopped right as I was letting out a big fart.

Grant’s eyes widen as he tries to hold back. LIBBY (CONT’D) Everybody heard it. Grant starts laugh. LIBBY (CONT’D) Sadly school didn’t get much easier after that. DING, another WAITER takes the plates and places two deserts before them. LIBBY (CONT’D) Okay your turn. GRANT I was a freshman. CUT TO: FLASHBACK - INT. DORM ROOM - NIGHT Grant makes out with SKINNY GIRL on a couch. After a moment Grant stops and awkwardly licks his lip. GRANT Shit. SKINNY GIRL What? GRANT I think my nose is bleeding. The skinny girl gets up and runs to mirror and turns on the light. Blood surrounds her mouth, she SCREAMS and runs out of the room. Grant remains on the couch holding his nose. END FLASHBACK. INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT Libby cracks up laughing. LIBBY What did the poor girl do?

17.

GRANT I don’t know I never saw her again. LIBBY Aww. DING, the 23rd floor light illuminates above the door. LIBBY (CONT’D) This is my floor. GRANT You have a choice, you can get off here or continue up to the 30th floor Libby stands and presses the 30 button. CUT TO: INT. 23RD FLOOR HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Gabriel waits outside the elevator. The number passes 23 and a bewildered panic comes over his face. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS Grant finishes his dinner. LIBBY What exactly is one the 30th floor? GRANT The roof. LIBBY Oh, the roof? GRANT Yes. LIBBY I don’t do well with heights you know. GRANT I know the suddenly thought of falling.

18.

LIBBY Precisely. GRANT Not to worry, it’s all been taken care of. Anxiety begins to wash over Libby’s face. CUT TO: EXT. ROOF - NIGHT Strings of lights hang over the roof top lighting a small dance floor. Libby and Grant step out of the roof door. GRANT I promise it’s safe. Libby smiles and relaxes as the music begins to play. The two dance at the end Grant leans in and kisses Libby. BACK TO THE PRESENT. INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT Daniel moves to the edge of is seat. DANIEL What we’re you doing? That would have been perfect. GABRIEL She wasn’t suppose to go up. She was suppose to get off on her floor, quickly feel guilty and run down the steps to his floor. Where she would be waiting for him. DANIEL You couldn’t have gone up there? GABRIEL No the elevator was too crowded. DANIEL Okay, so this has been over twelve days now correct?

19.

GABRIEL At midnight that night the deadline had passed. DANIEL Okay you missed the deadline, it’s happened to all of us. This is the part I don’t get. Why did you stay around afterwards? GABRIEL I wanted to see if they really needed us. DANIEL Of course they do. We’re more than a bunch of babies with bows and arrows. Gabriel glares out the window at the city. CUT TO: FLASHBACK - INT. LOBBY - EVENING Libby walks over to the elevator where a sign reads UNDER MAINTENANCE. She looks around for a moment and walks to the stairs. Moments later Grant enters the lobby and reads the sign he turns around waits for Libby. CUT TO: INT. OFFICE - DAY Grant sits in a conference room watching the clock pass six. CUT TO: EXT. SIDEWALK - DAY Libby stands on impatiently waiting on the DIRECTOR. LIBBY How much longer? DIRECTOR It’s going to be a while sorry.

20.

Libby hears church bells CHIMING in the distance. A soft panic comes over her and she turns to an EXTRA. LIBBY What time is it? The extra checks his watch. EXTRA Six on the dot. Libby sadly sighs and takes a seat on a bench. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - DAY Grant waits at the elevator when it opens Libby walks out. The two stop surprised by one another. GRANT Hey. LIBBY Hi, I haven’t seen you in a while. GRANT I know, I’ve been swamped at work. LIBBY Me too. GRANT When will you be free again? LIBBY I’m actually leaving for the airport, I’ve got to go on location for a couple of weeks. GRANT Oh, well I guess I’ll see you when you get back? LIBBY Yes for sure. Libby leans in and kisses him on the cheek. LIBBY (CONT’D) I’m sorry. Grant smiles and starts to walk onto the elevator.

21.

GRANT See you soon. The door closes and Libby hesitates to continue for a moment but does. BACK TO THE PRESENT. EXT. ROOF - NIGHT Gabriel stand on the roof looking out over the city. DANIEL It’s a shame, it goes so fast. GABRIEL Can it without us? DANIEL Maybe a long time ago, but I’ve never seen it. The connection must be made. GABRIEL But they were perfect for each other. DANIEL It’s not are call. GABRIEL It doesn’t seem fair that’s all. DANIEL Fate is always fair, it goes up and it comes down. It’s as consistent as the tides. Lightning FLASHES in the distances as a storm moves in. CUT TO: EXT. APARTMENT - DAY Rain pours down as the Doorman opens the door for GRANT carrying his last box. Grant places the box in the back of a moving truck and closes it up. DOORMAN Is that everything?

22.

GRANT Yeah. Grant looks up at the building a moment then puts on his hat. GRANT (CONT’D) Except for my heart, it’s stuck somewhere on the 23rd floor. Grant walks around the truck and gets in. CUT TO: INT. NEW LOBBY - DAY Grant sets a two boxes on the ground and waits for the elevator. DING, he grabs the two boxes and steps onto the elevator ELEVATOR A HOODED GIRL shares the elevator with him. GRANT You lived here long? The girl doesn’t respond, Grant takes the hint and looks forward. The girl then removes her hood. Grant stares on shocked to see Libby. They stare deeply at each other for a moment. LIBBY I’m sorry I didn’t come back. GRANT I’m sorry too, I don’t know what happened. It just all fell apart. Like the cards were stacked against us. LIBBY It certainly seems that way doesn’t it. To tell you the truth I’ve never been a fan of fate. Grant moves closer to Libby. GRANT It’s such a silly thing. Libby steps to Grant.

23.

LIBBY Never helped me any. The two kiss then suddenly the lights flicker and the elevator stops. The couple smiles and continues kissing. FADE OUT.

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