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The Survivor

By
Philip Giles
COPYRIGHT.©.philgiles2012
FADE IN.
EXT. 8TH AVENUE - RUSH HOUR - EARLY MORNING
The sidewalk is alive with PEOPLE trying to make their way
to one of the numerous office blocks that line the avenue.
Honking of car horns from the yellow taxi cabs that fill the
road echo off the buildings.
We close in on a DAVID DUNLAP, a tall man in his thirties
wearing glasses and a grey suit. He walks with purpose
through the madding crowd, holding a mobile phone up to his
ear whilst carrying a large cup of coffee. Slung over his
shoulder is a laptop bag.
INT. THE NEW YORK TIMES BUILDING - LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
DAVID walks through the glass doorway, nods at a group of
MEN stood near the reception desk and heads towards the
elevator. He is still talking on his phone.
INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS
DAVID leans against the steel wall of the elevator, he is
still on the phone. Two other MEN occupy the elevator, they
stand in silence next to him.
The elevator bell rings and the doors open; the two MEN
exit.
A MAN and a WOMAN walk towards the elevator as DAVID pushes
the close door button with his elbow. He grins as the doors
close.
INT. NEWSROOM - CONTINUOUS
The elevator doors open and DAVID steps out into hustle and
bustle of scores of PEOPLE rushing around waving paper to
the melody of numerous telephones ringing off the hook. He
hangs up his mobile and smiles.
MALE VOICE (O.S)
David.
DAVID looks to his left as SERGE, a bearded man in his
forties, paces towards him.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2.
DAVID
What’s up Serge?
DAVID and SERGE shake hands.
SERGE
Have you got it? Jill’s been asking
after you.
DAVID nods at SERGE and they both walk towards a glass door
at the end of the room.
INT. EDITOR’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
JILL ABRAMSON, a woman in her fifties, stands behind a large
glass desk. There is a large white A3 piece of card on the
desk with the The New York Times logo at the top. JILL is
moving small pieces of paper around underneath the headline,
"In a 9/11 Survivor Tale, the Pieces Just Don’t Fit".
There is a knock at the door and then it opens. DAVID enters
with SERGE right behind him. JILL glances at the men and
then back at the headline.
JILL
Tell me you have the story that
belongs on this page David.
DAVID puts his coffee on the desk and takes his bag off,
placing it at his feet.
DAVID
Emailed it to you thirty minutes
ago.
JILL turns to her computer and clicks the buttons on the
mouse.
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
CAPTION: "THREE WEEKS EARLIER"
DAVID is sat at a desk, the phone next to him is ringing but
he is transfixed by the computer screen.
SERGE walks over to his desk.
SERGE
Aren’t you going to answer that?
DAVID’S attention doesn’t waiver from the computer screen.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.
SERGE picks up the receiver.
SERGE
David Dunlap’s desk, sorry he’s not
available right now, can you call
back later?
SERGE hangs up the phone and leans over DAVID’S shoulder and
looks at the screen.
SERGE (CONT’D)
What’s got you so engrossed?
DAVID glances up at SERGE.
DAVID
She wanted a story, well I think
I’ve got one.
DAVID stands and walks over to Jill’s office whilst SERGE
sits down in his chair staring at the screen.
CUT TO:
INT. SUBWAY CAR - MOVING - MORNING
DAVE, a tall and handsome man in his early thirties sits
next to TANIA, a blond woman in her late twenties. TANIA is
quite slender and easily a foot shorter than DAVE. DAVE
reads a newspaper as TANIA stares out of the window at the
buildings that pass by in a blur.
DAVE (V.O)
Trust me, she will love it.
EXT. WORLD TRADE CENTER PLAZA - MORNING
TANIA and DAVE walk, a couple of feet apart, through the
busy Plaza towards the North Tower.
TANIA (V.O)
No she won’t, it looks like a cheap
souvenir. Let’s at least take her
out for dinner.
4.
INT. NORTH TOWER - LOBBY - MORNING
TANIA stands watching DAVE as he passes through the
turnstiles and walks towards the elevators, he doesn’t look
back.
DAVE (V.O)
We’re getting this for her okay.
CUT TO:
INT. SOUTH TOWER - 96TH FLOOR - CONFERENCE ROOM - MORNING
A dozen MEN and WOMEN, dressed in business attire are sat at
a large table.
TANIA sits at the head of the table. CHRISTINE (21) stands
next to her writing on a notepad. There is an analogue clock
on the wall above them. The time is eight forty-six.
CHRISTINE exits the room, as the door closes behind her the
building shakes and the lights flicker.
SUIT #1
What the hell just happened?
SUIT #2
I’ll go check it out.
SUIT #2 rushes towards the door.
TANIA
No, no. Let me go.
INT. SOUTH TOWER - 96TH FLOOR - OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
The open plan office is devoid of life, phones are ringing
in numerous partitioned workstations.
TANIA makes her way through the maze of cubicles and past a
bank of elevators.
CHRISTINE stands amongst a CROWD OF PEOPLE at the window.
TANIA
What is it?
CHRISTINE
The North Tower... It’s... It’s on
fire.
TANIA forces her way through the crowd to the glass.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.
A plume of black smoke billows out of a gaping hole in the
North Tower, coiling around the top of tower like a snake.
Long pause as TANIA stares out of the window.
TANIA
(To herself)
One hundred and one, one hundred,
ninety nine. (Beat) Dave.
TANIA’S face is flushed and her forehead is perspiring. She
reaches for her mobile and dials a number, the ringing can
be heard.
MALE VOICE #1(O.S)
Was it a plane?
FEMALE VOICE #1(O.S)
I think so, but how?
MALE VOICE #2(O.S)
Oh my God, look.
A FIGURE appears at one of the windows above the hole in the
building.
FEMALE VOICE #2(O.S)
No. He can’t be...
There is a chorus of screams out of shot as the FIGURE jumps
from the window and falls rapidly through the smoke.
CLOSE ON: TANIA’S face as she stares beyond the screen.
CUT TO:
INT. TANIA’S OFFICE - 96TH FLOOR - SOUTH TOWER - EARLIER
TANIA sits at her desk, typing on her computer as her mobile
rings.
TANIA
Hello.
DAVE (V.O)
I just wanted to apologise about
earlier. Can we meet for coffee in
half an hour.
TANIA glances at the display on her land line phone, it’s
eight fifteen.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6.
TANIA
I can’t talk right now, I’m just
going into a meeting.
DAVE (V.O)
I’ll be in the coffee house
downstairs. Please come.
TANIA hangs up the phone.
CUT TO:
INT. SOUTH TOWER - 96TH FLOOR - OFFICE - MORNING
The black smoke is now so dense that the upper floors of the
North Tower are barely visible. The CROWD has grown larger
and people are jockeying to get to the window.
FEMALE VOICE #2(O.S)
There’s another one.
A FIGURE emerges through the cloud of smoke and plummets to
the ground.
TANNOY MESSAGE (O.S)
All personnel remain at your desks,
please remain at your desks.
TANIA holds CHRISTINE’S arm as she fights her way through
the CROWD and away from the window.
TANIA and CHRISTINE pass the SUITS from the conference room.
TANIA
We all need to get out of the
building, now.
The SUITS continue to struggle for a place at the window.
TANIA, still holding on to CHRISTINE’S arm, crosses the open
plan office towards the elevators. TANIA pauses at the
elevators, glances at a door and rushes towards it.
TANIA pushes open a door and on the wall in front of her is
a sign that reads: "96th FLOOR".
TANIA (CONT’D)
We can take the express all the way
down from the Sky Lobby.
7.
INT. SOUTH TOWER - STAIRWELL - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
TANIA leads CHRISTINE down the narrow concrete staircase.
They walk passed a sign that reads: "78th FLOOR SKY LOBBY"
and exit through a door.
CUT TO:
INT. SOUTH TOWER - 78TH FLOOR - SKY LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
The Sky Lobby is filled with PEOPLE trying to either get
into an elevator or from the elevators to offices.
The doors of an elevator open and the PEOPLE move en masse
towards it. The small group of OFFICE WORKERS from the
elevator fight their way from it, but get lost in the crowd.
TANNOY MESSAGE (O.S)
All personnel remain at your desks,
please remain at your desks.
CHRISTINE is now crying.
TANIA
There’s no need to be afraid, we’re
going to be alright.
FEMALE VOICE (O.S)
Another plane is coming! Another
plane is coming!
TANIA embraces CHRISTINE as her crying becomes hysterical.
CHRISTINE
What’s going on?
TANNOY MESSAGE (O.S)
All personnel remain at your desks,
please remain at your desks.
TANIA
I’ll take care of you.
The deafening roar of a Boeing 767 cancels out the frenzied
screams as the plane nears the window.
CLOSE ON: TANIA’S ghost white face.
TANIA
(To herself)
It’s coming for us... We’re all
going to die.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 8.
The windows explode and the ceiling collapses as the silver
wing of the plane slices through the lobby.
An elevator disappears down its shaft, the severed cable
flailing wildly after it.
CHRISTINE is torn from TANIA’S arms as she is lifted from
her feet and blasted backwards towards the bank of
elevators. Flames are shooting from the empty elevator
shafts.
CLOSE ON: TANIA’S face framed by flames, her eyes shut tight
and her teeth clenched.
TANIA (V.O)
Please let this be over quickly. I
know I’m going to die, just please
don’t make it hurt.
CUT TO:
INT. SOUTH TOWER - 78TH FLOOR - SKY LOBBY - LATER
The air is filled with smoke and debris covers most of the
floor. BODIES and severed limbs are scattered amongst the
rubble around the floor. A fire rages at one side of the
lobby whilst smaller pockets of flames are scattered
throughout.
TANIA is laid face down, the right shoulder and sleeve of
her suit jacket is on fire. CHRISTINE’S prostrate body is
tangled in the debris a few feet from her. CHRISTINE’S head
is almost completely detached from her body.
TANIA (V.O)
These are the very last moments of
my life, why does it have to end
now? Why does it have to end here,
like this?
WELLES CROWTHER, a man wearing a red bandanna over the
bottom half of his face, wanders through the smoke checking
the BODIES of men and women that are strewn around the
lobby. He rushes towards TANIA as she tries to move.
WELLES kneels by her side and firmly pats at the flames on
her arm and shoulder.
TANIA
Stop it! Stop it! Why are you
hurting me?
WELLES extinguishes the flames and helps TANIA to sit up.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 9.
TANIA rubs at her eyes and takes a long look at WELLES. Her
head is bleeding.
TANIA (CONT’D)
Are you real?
WELLES
Just stay awake okay. Stay awake.
He puts an arm around her waist.
WELLES (CONT’D)
I’ve found a stairway. I’m going to
show you the way, can you get up?
Are you able to make it to the
stairs?
TANIA
I think I can.
WELLES helps her to her feet. TANIA’S right arm dangles
limply at her side. He puts her right hand in the pocket of
her suit jacket and they walk through the smoke.
TANIA stops after a few paces and wipes the blood from her
face.
TANIA
I don’t think I can go on.
WELLES
Just keep moving.
They continue to trudge along slowly.
The sound of coughing can be heard coming from somewhere up
ahead in the smoke.
As they move through the smoke the silhouette of a MAN
slumped against a wall is visible ahead of them.
TANIA
Wait.
She kneels at the MAN’S side.
MAN
Please give this to my wife.
The MAN drops a ring into TANIA’S hand.
CLOSE ON: The wedding band is inscribed with a name of which
we see only the last few letters and the word "Forever".
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 10.
TANIA
I’ll find her. I’ll give it to her.
The MAN’S eyes close as his head slumps forwards. TANIA
places the ring in her pocket.
WELLES places his hand on TANIA’S shoulder.
WELLES
The stairway is just ahead, we’re
almost there.
INT. SOUTH TOWER - STAIRWELL - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
TANIA, leaning on WELLES’ shoulder, emerges from the smoke
breathing heavily.
WELLES
I’ve got to go back. Other people
up there need help. You’ll be fine
now.
WELLES turns and hurries back up the stairs and disappears
into the smoke.
TANIA descends a few steps and then stops. She sits down on
a step, resting her head against a wall and closes her eyes.
CUT TO:
INT. WEDDING DRESS SHOP - DAYTIME
TANIA stands in front of a full length mirror wearing a
wedding dress and a diamond tiara.
CUT TO:
INT. CHURCH - DAYTIME
DAVE stands at the alter next to his BEST MAN, both in top
hat and tails. The organist is playing Mendelssohn’s Wedding
March to a packed nave.
TANIA, wearing the wedding dress and tiara, walks down the
aisle in time with the music on the arm of her FATHER.
CUT TO:
11.
INT. SOUTH TOWER - STAIRWELL - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
TANIA’S eyes open and she rises to her feet. She continues
down the stair well.
A door opens ahead of her and group of ’ghostlike’ PEOPLE
enter the stairwell. Some of the PEOPLE glance at her as
they march down the stairs calmly in single-file.
The last of the PEOPLE disappears down the stairwell as her
eyelids get heavy. She manages a few more steps before we...
FADE TO BLACK.
YOUNG GIRLS (V.O)
(Singing)
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
the mulberry bush.
FADE IN.
EXT. SCHOOL PLAYGROUND - DAYTIME
Two YOUNG GIRLS spin a rope for a third to skip over. They
are all wearing Catholic school uniforms.
YOUNG GIRLS
Here we go round the mulberry bush.
On a cold and frosty morning.
MALE VOICE (V.O)
Chief, we’re up on fifty one and
the smoke is getting...
CUT TO:
INT. SOUTH TOWER - STAIRWELL - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
TANIA opens her eyes as a FIRE FIGHTER rounds the corner. He
is weighted down with all the equipment strapped to his
back.
MALE VOICE (O.S) (CONT’D)
... Thicker now.
The FIRE FIGHTER rushes up a flight of stairs to TANIA
followed by another.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 12.
FIRE FIGHTER
I’ve got this one, Sarge.
SARGE, a fire fighter, nods and waves the company of
exhausted looking FIRE FIGHTERS on.
FIRE FIGHTER (CONT’D)
Okay sweetheart, you’re going to be
okay. I’m going to get you out of
here.
The FIRE FIGHTER glances down at TANIA’S arm.
FIRE FIGHTER (CONT’D)
Can you put your good arm around
me?
TANIA
The seventy-eighth floor, there are
people... People up there who are
terribly hurt.
FIRE FIGHTER
Help is on the way for them.
INT. SOUTH TOWER - STAIRWELL - LATER
TANIA is leaning heavily on the FIRE FIGHTER’S arm as they
take one slow step at a time.
FIRE FIGHTER
You’re doing great.
They take another step and he catches TANIA as she stumbles.
FIRE FIGHTER (CONT’D)
We’re getting out of here. You can
do it okay. Only twenty flights to
go.
TANIA stops walking.
TANIA
I can’t go any further. I’m sorry
but I can’t make it. I can’t make
it.
The FIRE FIGHTER lifts her up.
FIRE FIGHTER
We’re leaving here together, even
if I have to carry you the rest of
the way.
13.
INT. SOUTH TOWER LOBBY - MORNING
Smashed glass from the windows and chandeliers litter the
floor. Burst pipes spray water in all directions and where
the elevators once were, only empty burnt out cavities
remain.
A door swings open with force. The FIRE FIGHTER, carrying
TANIA, enters the lobby and then runs across it towards the
glassless revolving doors.
EXT. WORLD TRADE CENTER PLAZA - CONTINUOUS
A shower of white A4 paper rains down on the scores of
PEOPLE that are screaming and running frantically in all
directions. The remains of those that have jumped from the
upper stories are scattered on the ground.
TANIA, still in the arms of the FIRE FIGHTER, glances up at
the burning towers.
The FIRE FIGHTER hands TANIA off to a ROOKIE fire fighter.
FIRE FIGHTER
Get her to an ambulance.
The FIRE FIGHTER turns and runs back through the revolving
doors of the South Tower.
A succession of rattling explosions getting rapidly louder
drown out the screaming and shouting.
TANIA looks up at the South Tower, it is collapsing floor by
floor.
The ROOKIE, with TANIA in his arms, runs at full tilt
towards an ambulance and dives under it as a sea of dust,
glass, steel and other debris engulfs the Plaza.
CUT TO:
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
SERGE leans back in the chair, runs his hands through his
hair and lets out a loud sigh.
DAVID stands behind him.
DAVID
What d’ya think?
SERGE spins in the chair.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 14.
SERGE
Is this legit? I mean we
interviewed all the survivors a few
years ago, didn’t we?
DAVID
I know, so how did we miss her
right?
DAVID pulls a chair from another desk over and sits down
facing SERGE.
SERGE
What are you thinking?
DAVID
I’m going to write a piece on her
for the September eleventh edition.
SERGE glances back at the screen.
SERGE
But it’s already been covered by
the Daily News, two years ago. It’s
old news.
DAVID stands up and tries to pull his jacket from the back
of his chair but SERGE is sat on the sleeve. SERGE leans
forwards and spins the chair round to face DAVID.
DAVID
There’s still mileage in this,
believe me.
SERGE smirks and shakes his head at DAVID.
DAVID (CONT’D)
Just dig up her number for me.
INT. NEWSROOM - EVENING
DAVID is sat at his desk looking at the computer screen,
scrolling through page after page with the mouse.
SERGE steps out the elevator and walks over to DAVID.
DAVID
I can’t believe I didn’t recognise
her. I met her in two thousand and
five when I wrote that Survivors’
Stairway story.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 15.
SERGE places a small piece of paper on DAVID’S desk. DAVID
picks it up, glances at SERGE and unfolds the paper.
DAVID (CONT’D)
Is this...
SERGE
... Of course. She’s part of the
Survivors’ Network so it wasn’t
hard tracking her down.
DAVID picks up the phone dials the number.
Beat.
DAVID
(Into the phone)
Hello, can I speak to Tania Head
please? (Beat) Hi, I’m calling from
The New York Times, my name’s David
Dunlap. I’m interested in writing a
piece about your story and have a
few questions. (Beat) No, I
understand, it won’t take long.
DAVID glances at SERGE.
DAVID (CONT’D)
(Into the phone)
It is literally a couple of
questions, I need to verify some of
the details before the story can go
to print. (Beat) Can you just tell
me Dave’s surname?
DAVID holds the receiver away from his ear and looks at
SERGE.
DAVID (CONT’D)
She hung up.
INT. DAVID’S APARTMENT - FRONT ROOM - MORNING
DAVID is sat on his sofa holding his mobile to his ear. The
ringing can be heard before cutting to an answer machine
message.
ANSWER MACHINE (O.S)
Hi this is Tania, leave me a
message after the tone.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 16.
DAVID
(Into the phone)
Hello Tania, it’s David Dunlap
again. Could you return my call, I
have a couple of questions I’d like
to ask you concerning your husband
Dave and your account of what
happened on nine eleven.
EXT. 8TH AVENUE - EVENING
DAVID walks along the sidewalk, stopping at a crosswalk. He
is on his mobile.
DAVID
I know tomorrow is the anniversary.
(Beat) I’m not harassing you.
(Beat) I’m sorry you feel that way
but all I want is for you to answer
a few questions.
The lights turn red and the traffic stops. DAVID walks
across the street.
DAVID (CONT’D)
They’re standard questions, it’s
not my intention to upset you. All
I want is background information on
Dave. Like what his last name is?
DAVID looks at the screen of the mobile, the display
indicates the call has ended.
DAVID (CONT’D)
(To himself)
Not again.
EXT. 34TH STREET - LATER
DAVID stops on the corner of 8th and 34th Street. A mobile
phone ring tone can be heard. DAVID reaches into his pocket
and pulls out his mobile. Tania’s name flashes on the LED
display. DAVID answers the phone.
DAVID
Hello Tania, I didn’t expect...
FEMALE VOICE (V.O)
... This isn’t Tania. My name is
Janice Cilento, I’m Tania’s
therapist, your calls are really
distressing her.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 17.
DAVID
I don’t see how, I’m not asking her
to describe her ordeal. It’s just
basic questions about her husband.
JANICE (V.O)
You have to understand what these
people go through. This is too
stressful. The timing is bad.
DAVID
Why can’t she answer the questions?
JANICE (V.O)
You need to back off!
DAVID glances around the quiet street.
DAVID
Why can’t she answer the
questions?!
JANICE (V.O)
I’ll make a deal with you. If you
leave her alone for now, I’ll ask
her to talk to you after the
anniversary, and she can answer
your questions then. We just need
to get her through tomorrow, okay?
DAVID
Fine, I’ll leave her alone, for now
but I want these questions
answered.
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
SERGE is sat at David’s desk as DAVID exits the elevator and
strolls over to him.
SERGE
Still haven’t spoken to her have
you?
DAVID
Her therapist, that Janice woman
said she’d call me when Tania was
ready to talk.
SERGE
That was four days ago.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 18.
DAVID
I know, it’s time to tackle this
from another direction.
SERGE
The Network.
INT. DAVID’S APARTMENT - FRONT ROOM - EVENING
DAVID is slouched on the sofa with a bottle of beer in his
hand; his suit jacket is draped over the arm. The Yankees’
game is playing on his large screen TV.
His mobile rings and he answers.
DAVID
(Into the phone)
Hey Serge, whatch’ya got for me?
DAVID takes his notepad and a pen from his jacket pocket.
DAVID
Oh come on, my mother can pitch
better that.
DAVID bites the lid of his pen off and spits it on to the
floor.
DAVID
(Into the phone)
Yeah, they’re losing... Where?
Okay, tell him I’ll be there. See
if you can arrange a meeting with
Richard Zimbler as well.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
DAVID is sat on a park bench in front of the Strawberry
Fields Memorial. A young GIRL and BOY are running in circles
around the mosaic memorial. The children’s MOTHER and FATHER
are sat on the bench nearest to DAVID’S.
GERRY BOGACZ, a balding man walks towards DAVID. DAVID rises
from the bench and shakes his hand.
DAVID
Thank you for agreeing to talk to
me Gerry.
DAVID and Gerry sit down on the bench.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 19.
GERRY
I haven’t said anything yet... To
be honest I’m not sure what you’re
actually after, your colleague was
very vague.
DAVID
Just some answers to some very
straight forward questions.
Questions that no one seems to be
willing to answer.
GERRY
How do you know that I’ll be any
different?
The young BOY falls over with a thud, looks up at the GIRL
and laughs. He climbs to his feet runs around in circles
again.
DAVID
I don’t, but I am hoping. (Beat)
How did you meet Tania?
CUT TO:
INT. 520 EIGHTH AVENUE - SEPTEMBER SPACE SUITE - EVENING
Half a dozen rows of seats fill the suite, not many of them
are filled. A group of PEOPLE are huddled near to the
entrance.
There is a clock on the wall, next to the entrance.
CLOSE ON: The clock, it indicates that the time is five
fifty and the date is "28th Jan 2004"
The huddle of PEOPLE part as a portly WOMAN wearing a green
tailored pant suit, her head bowed, enters the hall. Most of
the PEOPLE try to talk to the WOMAN as she passes them. She
stops to shake hands with a MAN.
MAN
This is Gerry Bogacz.
The MAN gestures towards GERRY. The WOMAN raises her head,
it’s TANIA.
TANIA
It’s good to finally put a face to
the voice.
20.
INT. 520 EIGHTH AVENUE - SEPTEMBER SPACE SUITE - LATER
Only a dozen of the chairs are filled, TANIA sits in the
front row, the MAN one side of her and a WOMAN on the other.
GERRY is stood at the front of the room behind a lectern.
GERRY
Then it is agreed, our group, from
this day forth, will be known as
the World Trade Center Survivors’
Network.
There is a small ripple of applause.
GERRY (CONT’D)
And our mission statement is as
follows.
GERRY reads from a sheet of paper.
GERRY (CONT’D)
The Survivors’ Network seeks to
provide a forum for personal
contact between survivors’ as a
means to empower them both to deal
with the circumstances of the
aftermath of the attacks and find
renewed purpose in that aftermath.
The PEOPLE in the audience, including TANIA stand and
applaud GERRY and each other.
EXT. EIGHTH AVENUE - NIGHT
GERRY and TANIA walk down the quiet street through the snow.
GERRY (V.O)
I was three blocks away before I
dared even to look back. They were
gone, both of them. There was just
a big cloud of dust where they
should have been.
CUT TO:
21.
INT. TICK TOCK DINER - CONTINUOUS
GERRY and TANIA are sat in a booth with two cups of coffee
on the table between them. TANIA has hold of GERRY’S hand,
his face is flushed and his eyes are red.
GERRY (CONT’D)
I should have done more, I should
have helped, but I didn’t.
A WAITRESS walks over with a coffee jug and TANIA waves her
away.
GERRY (CONT’D)
It’s been more than two years. I
used to try and share my experience
with my wife but it doesn’t... She
doesn’t...
TANIA
Don’t blame her. It’s difficult for
her to understand, she wasn’t
there.
GERRY
I know.
TANIA
It’s tough, I hardly left the house
for two years after. It does get
easier and the group is here to
support you now. We’ll all get
through this, together.
CUT TO:
EXT. PENN STATION - EARLY MORNING
TANIA and GERRY stand under the large Madison Square awning
out of the falling snow.
GERRY (V.O)
I’ve tried on several occasions to
go back there, to Ground Zero. Not
sure it would actually help but...
They let the families that lost
someone go there, but never the
survivors. It’s like we don’t
matter.
GERRY waves down a yellow taxi.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 22.
GERRY (V.O) (CONT’D)
We’re living victims.
GERRY opens the door for TANIA and she climbs in to the
taxi.
The taxi drives off down the street and GERRY stands
watching it for a beat before walking into the station.
CUT TO:
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
The young BOY and GIRL are sat in the centre of the
memorial, on the mosaic word, "Imagine", playing. The MOTHER
is sat with them. DAVID and GERRY are both sat on the bench.
GERRY
Some of the work she’s done for the
survivors and the network has been
nothing short of miraculous. If it
wasn’t for her we may have never
got the opportunity to return to
Ground Zero.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - DAYTIME
TANIA and GERRY stand amongst a group of twenty SURVIVORS
outside the tall metal fence that surrounds what was the
World Trade Center Plaza.
GERRY
It’s taken two and half years but
we’re finally allowed back. I still
don’t know how you managed this.
TANIA just smiles at him and then leads the group through
the gates and into the compound. GERRY stops at the gates
and stares up at the cloudless sky.
GERRY (CONT’D)
(To himself)
Just like it was that day.
TANIA stops and waits for him as the others walk on a few
more paces.
23.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - CONTINUOUS
GERRY and TANIA lead the SURVIVORS into the vast urban
wasteland and down the concrete ramp towards the "floor" of
the six-story deep pit.
GERRY looks down into the pit.
GERRY
Someone recently called this place
a hole in the city’s heart. I can
see why.
GERRY looks over at TANIA, she is comforting CARRIE COEN
SULLIVAN, an attractive woman in her late twenties.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - "THE FLOOR" - DAY
TANIA bends down and picks up a handful of dirt and lets it
run through her fingers before she joins the other SURVIVORS
and GERRY. They all stand in a circle, some looking to the
sky, some to the ground whilst others close their eyes.
TANIA
(To Gerry)
Last year I was here with the
families that lost someone special,
like Dave. This year though, I’m
here trying to cope with the scars
of surviving.
GERRY
(To Tania)
It feels strange here, as though
I’ve somehow come home.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - "THE FLOOR" - LATER
GERRY takes TANIA’S hand as he looks to the sky. RICHARD
ZIMBLER, a slim man in his fifties, holds TANIA’S other
hand.
RICHARD
I was five blocks over in my
apartment, I saw the smoke from
Tower One. I just froze. I had no
idea what had happened, and then...
TANIA squeezes his hand.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 24.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
The second plane, it just... I
watched it as it... I couldn’t
close my eyes.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - "THE FLOOR" - LATER
TANIA stares at a patch of ground in the middle of the
circle of SURVIVORS’.
TANIA
As I came down the stairway, it was
like Dave was somehow guiding me.
That and the thought of wearing my
wedding dress down the aisle kept
me going.
Long pause.
CYNTHIA SHEPHERD, a boyish looking black woman in her
forties, glances at GERRY to her left; he stares at the
ground and shakes his head gently from side to side.
GERRY
(Mumbling)
Go ahead Cynthia.
CYNTHIA glances around at the faces of the other SURVIVORS
and then to the sky.
CYNTHIA
My husband was in Trade Center one
when the plane hit. I remember
standing in the Plaza as they fell.
I didn’t want to look, I didn’t
want to see them but they were
landing all around me.
CYNTHIA glances across at CARRIE who gives her a nod.
CYNTHIA
Each time I looked down I just
prayed that it wasn’t him.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - "THE FLOOR" - LATER
The circle of SURVIVORS break up and they wander off in
different directions.
GERRY, TANIA and CARRIE walk together in silence as others
place flowers and cards where the Towers once stood.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 25.
CARRIE stops and looks around at the size of the site whilst
GERRY and TANIA continue on to the footprint of where the
North Tower once stood.
GERRY stands behind TANIA as she takes a piece of paper from
her pocket, unfolds it and kneels on the ground. Her lips
move as she mutters the words on the paper.
CUT TO:
EXT. GROUND ZERO - LATER
TANIA leads the SURVIVORS up the ramp to the metal fence,
stopping as she reaches the gate. CARRIE walks up to TANIA,
tears rolling down her face, and hugs her.
The other SURVIVORS huddle round TANIA, taking it in turns
to hug her.
As the last of the SURVIVORS exits the metal gates GERRY and
TANIA look back down at the pit.
TANIA
This smiling face is a mask Gerry.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle
of the night and I think I’m back
on the seventy-eighth floor
crawling through the flames.
CUT TO:
INT. THE NEW YORK TIMES BUILDING - LOBBY - DAY
DAVID is stood in the middle of the busy lobby shaking hands
with CARRIE and RICHARD.
The trio make their way towards the elevators.
INT. NEWSROOM - CONTINUOUS
The trio exit the elevator and walk through the hectic
newsroom towards an office.
INT. OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
DAVID is sat at one side of the desk, RICHARD and CARRIE sit
opposite him.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 26.
RICHARD
Do you have any idea the state
she’s been in since you started
chasing her. I’m not here to answer
your questions, I’m here to ask you
to leave her alone.
CARRIE
She is on the brink. We’ve only
just had the anniversary, I can’t
believe how insensitive you’re
being. Don’t you have any
compassion?
DAVID
I’m not trying cause her or any of
the survivors grief, it’s just...
RICHARD
... You know full well how much
good she’s done, you’ve written
articles on our campaigns. She went
to Thailand and helped out after
the Tsunami. She even took Giuliani
and Pataki on a tour around the
sight.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - DAY
TANIA, GERRY, RICHARD and JANICE CILENTO, a blond woman in
her forties, stand in a huddle away from the CROWDED
entrance of the Tribute WTC Visitor’s Center.
TANIA
I’m not sure I can do this.
RICHARD
They wouldn’t have picked you if
they didn’t think you could do it.
TANIA
But what if I start to cry?
JANICE
Everyone will understand.
The CROWD parts as a dozen MEN in black suits lead RUDDY
GIULIANI, GOVERNOR PATAKI and MAYOR BLOOMBERG out of the
center and to a lectern. The CROWD are applauding and
cheering.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 27.
TANIA
I’m so nervous.
GERRY
You’re going to be great. You’re a
pro.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - LATER
The CROWD has settled down and are staring in unison at
GIULIANI who is stood at the lectern.
GIULIANI
The Tribute Center is the
absolutely appropriate way to deal
with the site. It’s at the core of
what has to be done here. The
future generations are going to
judge us by how we do this.
CLOSE ON: TANIA, her hands are shaking, GERRY puts his hand
on her shoulder.
GERRY
(Whisper)
You’re a natural.
GIULIANI
If we do it right, then we will
have paid part of our debt to the
people that we lost here. If we do
it wrong shame on us. And this does
it right. This is the spirit of
September eleven being preserved
forever and ever.
INT. TRIBUTE CENTER - LATER
GERRY and JANICE stand with TANIA. Twenty or so PEOPLE,
including PATAKI, BLOOMBERG and GIULIANI, are walking
towards them.
TANIA
They’re coming. Wish me luck.
JANICE
You’re going to be awesome
sweetheart.
28.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - LATER
TANIA is stood in front of the group of PEOPLE. PATAKI,
BLOOMBERG and GIULIANI stand at the head of the group.
RICHARD, JANICE and GERRY
TANIA
... Two angels took care of me that
day, I didn’t know who they were.
CUT TO:
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
The phone on DAVID’S desk is ringing; he answers it.
DAVID
Hello, David Dunlap’s office. David
speaking... Oh. Hi.
SERGE is chatting to a couple of MEN at another desk, DAVID
waves him over.
CUT TO:
INT. TAXI CAB - MOVING - EVENING
TANIA and JANICE are sat in the back seat. TANIA stares out
of the window.
JANICE
Their son saved your life. It’s a
gift that you can meet them and
they can meet you.
TANIA continues staring out of the window.
JANICE (CONT’D)
If my son had died, I would be
thrilled to hear whatever you had
to say.
TANIA turns to face the JANICE and lets slip the slightest
of smiles.
29.
INT. PRINCETON CLUB - EVENING
TANIA and JANICE are greeted by the MAITRE D’ and led over
to a table at the back of the dining room.
Already sat at the table are JEFF and ALISON CROWTHER, both
are in their sixties. They stand and shake hands with JANICE
and hug TANIA warmly.
JANICE
Hi, my name’s Janice Cilento. I
hope you don’t mind that I’ve come
along Mrs Crowther? I’m here to
support Tania.
WOMAN
Of course not. Call me Alison. This
is my husband Jeff.
They all sit down. A WAITER arrives at the table.
WAITER
(To Jeff)
May I get you any drinks.
INT. PRINCETON CLUB - LATER
Empty plates lay in front TANIA, JANICE, ALISON and JEFF.
ALISON
Welles always loved going fishing
with his grandfather when he kid.
JEFF
He also used to dream of becoming a
full-time firefighter. He got a job
with Sander O’Neill and Partners as
a equities trader and enjoyed it
but I think his heart was always
with becoming a ’jake’.
INT. PRINCETON CLUB - LATER
The table is cleared of plates. JANICE, ALISON and JEFF all
stare at TANIA, captivated. They are all weeping.
TANIA
He told me I’d be okay. To keep
going down. He said he had to go
back up and help other people.
30.
INT. PRINCETON CLUB - LATER
JEFF shakes JANICE’S hand. ALISON hugs TANIA and then hands
her a red bandanna.
ALISON
I didn’t think it was possible to
feel any closer to Welles than I
did, but you’ve made it so. Please
keep in touch.
TANIA
I promise.
JEFF
We hold a memorial concert every
September. Some of the other people
Welles helped attend, Judy Wein and
Ling Young. Perhaps this year you
could come too?
TANIA
Yes, of course. It would be an
honor.
They all walk towards the exit, TANIA lagging slightly
behind the others. JANICE, ALISON and JEFF reach the door
and wait a moment for TANIA.
TANIA
There’s one more thing. (Beat) I
kept my jacket... The one I was
wearing that day. It’s the last
thing the man that saved my life
touched and I couldn’t bring myself
to throw it away. It’s burnt, but
if you wish... You can have it.
ALISON, in tears again hugs TANIA.
JEFF
That’s a real touching gesture my
dear. I mean if you’re sure?
CUT TO:
INT. NEWSROOM - DAY
DAVID is sat at his desk talking on the phone. SERGE is sat
at the desk behind him playing with a pen.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 31.
DAVID
(Into the phone)
Thank you Miss Cilento, if we could
continue this in person, later
today, that would really help.
DAVID hangs up the phone and spins in his chair to face
SERGE.
DAVID
We’re on.
CUT TO:
INT. OFFICE - DAY
DAVID is sat the opposite side of the desk from RICHARD and
CARRIE.
CARRIE
We all watched her as she came back
up the ramp, she was chatting with
Governor Pataki as though she’d
known him for years.
EXT. GROUND ZERO - DAY
TANIA and the GROUP walk up the ramp. As they approach the
top TANIA stops them, they all stand looking down into the
"pit".
CARRIE is stood with RICHARD and GERRY at the top of the
ramp.
TANIA
I was lucky to have my angels that
day but... My fiance died in the
North Tower.
CUT TO:
EXT. NEWSROOM - DAY
DAVID scribbles notes on a pad.
DAVID
Fiance? I thought she was married.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 32.
RICHARD
Her and Dave had a service in
Hawaii just before the attack,
August I think, but it wasn’t
legal. They were actually due to
get married in the October.
DAVID
It’s Dave that I’m actually
interested in. Just basic stuff
really, like what’s his surname?
CARRIE
You’ve been harassing her over
Dave’s surname? It’s...
RICHARD
... Carrie, no.
CARRIE
What harm can it do really?
RICHARD
I’m sorry David but you have to
understand, his family are very
private.
DAVID
And who told you that, Tania?
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
The MOTHER and FATHER hold the BOY and GIRL by the hands as
they lead them away from the memorial.
DAVID and GERRY are sat on the bench.
GERRY
Not long after she joined the
chat-room she sent out an email to
me and the other administrators of
the forum. She was complaining
about a man she believed was a
faker.
DAVID
A faker? What someone who wasn’t
even there, claiming to be a
survivor?
DAVID leans back on the bench grinning to himself.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 33.
GERRY
Yeah, she found it sickening and
couldn’t understand why anyone
would want to be a part of this.
DAVID
What happened to them?
GERRY
We banned him and changed our
acceptance policy for the forum.
(Beat) Do you mind if we walk
somewhere, I need to stretch my
legs.
DAVID watches as GERRY stands up and walks a few paces.
DAVID gets up and follows him.
GERRY
That was just the start...
EXT. 104 W 27TH STREET - DAY
The bright sun shines down on CROWDS of people filling the
street. There are colourful stalls and booths lining the
roadside.
TANIA and GERRY are stood in a small booth on the corner,
both are wearing ’Survivors’ Network’ t-shirts. GERRY is
drinking a bottle of water, there are numerous empty bottles
in a bin by his feet.
TANIA
The others are becoming
dissatisfied with the direction the
Network seems to heading.
GERRY
How so?
TANIA
They’re questioning your
performance as co-chair. Everyone
appreciates that you founded the
group but we no longer seem to have
a direction.
GERRY takes a final mouthful of his water and tosses the
bottle in the bin.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 34.
GERRY
Go on.
TANIA
They want to push harder for the
Survivors’ Stairway. You haven’t
been a strong enough voice at the
nine eleven memorial committee. And
trying to encourage the group to
open dialogue with the local Muslim
community hasn’t won you any
favors.
GERRY
And how do you feel about all this?
TANIA
I defended you of course.
TANIA glances off into the CROWD.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
GERRY and DAVID stroll passed the fountain on Cherry Hill.
GERRY
I just remember thinking, what had
I done wrong?
A horse trots past pulling a small carriage with a YOUNG
COUPLE sat in it. The MAN sat in the drivers seat tips his
top hat at GERRY and DAVID as they pass.
GERRY (CONT’D)
The more I look back on it, the
more it hurts me. I had no idea she
could be that way.
INT. MEETING ROOM - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
GERRY is sat at the back of the room, on his own. RICHARD
and TANIA are stood at the front talking to CARRIE and
JANICE. There are half a dozen rows of chairs, mainly filled
with SURVIVORS, between GERRY and the front of the room. On
a table at the side of the room is a ballot box.
RICHARD steps up to the lectern holding a sheet of paper.
RICHARD
In no particular order, the
Survivor’s Network board members
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 35.
RICHARD (cont’d)
for the next twelve months are as
follows.
GERRY glances at the faces around the room, no one returns
his look.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
Peter Miller.
PETER, an old gray haired man, stands up and walks over to
the lectern and stands next to RICHARD.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
Tania Head.
TANIA joins RICHARD and PETER.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
Myself, Richard Zimbler. And
finally...
GERRY leans forward in his chair.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
... Lori Mogol.
Lori, a woman with black scraggly hair, stands up from the
front row of seats and joins the others at the lectern.
The SURVIVORS stand and applaud the new board members as
GERRY exits the room.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
DAVID is staring at RICHARD as he looks down at the back of
his hands on the desk.
CARRIE
I don’t agree the group had lost
its way but the voting was fair.
CARRIE looks at RICHARD and places her hands on his.
CARRIE
Are you alright?
RICHARD glances up at CARRIE.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 36.
RICHARD
Carrie, I’m sorry.
RICHARD looks across the desk at DAVID.
RICHARD (CONT’D)
Tania sent out emails to a some of
the members. Me, Peter, Lori, Elia
and Brendan. She convinced us not
to vote for Gerry as she felt we
needed a change of direction and
leadership.
DAVID
So she manipulated you into ousting
Gerry Bogacz from the group that he
set up?
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
GERRY leans on the handrail at the centre of Bow Bridge,
looking down into the water. DAVID leans with his back
against the rail.
GERRY
I wasn’t the only one she forced
out.
DAVID
How so?
GERRY
I remember the Network doing the
Tunnel to Towers five K run. Tania
walked it with a lady called Lisa.
Yeah, Lisa Fengal.
DAVID turns and leans over the rail.
GERRY (CONT’D)
Tania had worn a t-shirt with
Dave’s face on. Turns out that Lisa
knew Dave.
EXT. LIBERTY STREET - DAY
TANIA, wearing a t-shirt with Dave’s face on, is walking in
a small group of Survivors including GERRY and RICHARD. A
young woman, LISA, is walking with them.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 37.
LISA
I’ve heard you talk about Dave
before but, I had no idea it was
the same person.
TANIA slows her pace, almost grinding to a halt.
LISA (CONT’D)
I used to work with him across town
before he was transferred to the
Trade Center One office.
TANIA stops walking, LISA stands with her. RICHARD glances
over at TANIA and walks to her side.
TANIA
I can’t talk about this. It’s too
painful. And I’m too fragile.
TANIA is swaying slightly, RICHARD puts his arm around her.
RICHARD
Come on Tania, lets get you some
water.
LISA walks on with GERRY.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
RICHARD is sat staring out of the window as DAVID glances at
CARRIE.
RICHARD
That was the last involvement Lisa
had with the group. Tania
campaigned to have her removed and
we went along with it.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
DAVID is sat at a table squeezed into the corner of the busy
coffee shop. There are two cups of coffee in front of him.
JANICE enters and glances around at the faces of the PEOPLE
occupying the tables. DAVID stands and JANICE walks towards
him.
DAVID
Hi thanks for coming Miss Cilento,
I won’t keep you long. I only have
a few questions and your answers
could really help your friend.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 38.
JANICE
I’m not so sure I’d call her that
anymore.
INT. CAR - MOVING - DAY
JANICE sits behind the wheel, TANIA is in the passenger seat
and LINDA, a pale woman with white hair, is sat in the back.
TANIA
How could I refuse them? I had no
choice but to agree.
LINDA
You’ll be fine.
TANIA
Shut up Linda, I can’t do it.
LINDA slumps back in the rear seat.
TANIA (CONT’D)
You’ll have to read the speech for
me.
Long pause.
TANIA (CONT’D)
No, they’re expecting me to give
the speech so I’ll do it.
Long Pause.
TANIA (CONT’D)
No. I can’t. Linda...
LINDA
... No, Tania. You’ll read and
you’ll be fine.
INT. GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DAY
The Gothic nave is filled with rows of pews, almost all are
filled. TANIA is sat in the third row between JANICE and
LINDA.
JEFF and ALISON stand at the front of the nave, either side
of a sculpture made from candles and metal of a phoenix
rising from the ashes of the the twin towers.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 39.
JEFF
Our thoughts were how fitting to
use the phoenix bird as a symbol.
JEFF glances across at ALISON who smiles weakly back at him.
JEFF (CONT’D)
A symbol of rebirth. Rising from
the ashes. Rising from a piece of
steel that was once part of the
World Trade Center.
TANIA fans herself with a program and fidgets in her pew.
TANIA
(Whispering at Linda)
I can’t do it. I can’t.
LINDA rubs TANIA’S back gently.
LINDA
(Whispering at Tania)
Tania, you can do this. You must do
this.
INT. GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - LATER
LING YOUNG, a Chinese woman in her late forties, stands at
the head of the nave. Burns cover both of her arms.
LING
When my building was struck, I was
on the seventy-eighth floor. There
was no one alive except a couple of
us. We didn’t know where to go. You
look around and there’s no place to
go. So we just kind of decided to
wait it out to be rescued. All of a
sudden, out of nowhere, this young
man with a T-shirt said he’d found
some stairs and he wanted us to go
with him.
TANIA is breathing heavily and fanning herself harder. LINDA
picks a piece of paper from between them and studies it.
TANIA looks at LINDA, her eyes wide; LINDA nods.
40.
INT. GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - LATER
LING YOUNG is still stood at the altar.
LING
... And he led us down to the
sixty-first floor. The lights were
on and the air was clear. He told
me that I’d be fine and that I
could make it down the rest of the
way. Then turned and went back up
the stairwell. I would like to
thank Jeff and Alison for raising a
kid with such courage. Without him
I would not be here, in front of
you today.
JEFF and ALISON walk over to LING and embrace her.
LING walks down the aisle and takes a seat in the fourth row
behind TANIA, LINDA and JANICE.
JEFF
Alison and I are really honoured
that we were able to meet, this
past winter, a delightful person, a
wonderful young woman, who was also
trapped on the seventy-eighth-floor
sky lobby, and she’s here with us,
thank God.
The PEOPLE in the pews applaud as TANIA and LINDA walk to
the altar.
ALISON and JEFF put an arm around TANIA as LINDA places the
piece of paper on the altar.
LINDA
Hi, I’m Linda and I’m going to ask
Welles for some strength here
because I’m going to be the one
reading what Tania wrote, and it’s
an honour to be up here because I
have an incredible friend now
thanks to him.
LINDA glances at TANIA, smiling at her.
LINDA (CONT’D)
When Alison and Jeff asked me to
speak today, I sat down and stared
at a blank screen, and I cried,
unable to find the right words to
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 41.
LINDA (CONT’D) (cont’d)
say. What exactly do you say to the
family of the man who saved your
life and gave his in the process?
But then I thought about...
CUT TO:
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
DAVID takes a drink from his cup. JANICE is looking at a
sheet of paper.
JANICE
... what Welles would do if our
roles were reversed and he was
asked to do this for me. This is
what gave me the strength to be
here today.
DAVID
Very poignant. May I?
JANICE hands DAVID the sheet of paper and he glances over
it.
DAVID (CONT’D)
The story they want to hear, year
after year, is the story of the man
in the red bandanna, whose courage
stood taller than the twin towers
themselves... This is powerful
stuff.
INT. GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DAY
TANIA, JEFF and ALISON stand behind LINDA, embracing.
LINDA
... Welles’ story will live on
forever. In many ways, I feel
Welles and I can keep each other
alive. He took charge on September
eleven and saved my life, and now I
keep him alive with my memory of
him. Welles, you are my hero. I
live my life to make you proud.
The PEOPLE in the pews all stand and applaud. LINDA joins
JEFF, ALISON and TANIA in their embrace.
42.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
DAVID offers the copy of the speech over the table to JANICE
but she waves it away.
JANICE
Keep it, I have another copy.
DAVID puts the speech in his laptop bag.
JANICE (CONT’D)
A few weeks later Linda called me,
she was really distressed. Tania
had started a new course of therapy
called flooding and...
DAVID
... That’s where you record your
traumatic experience on tape and
play it back until you become
desensitised to it?
JANICE
Quite, but Tania had convinced
Linda to listen to the tape with
her.
DAVID
Okay.
JANICE
No, not at all. Linda watched from
the sidewalk as the planes hit the
towers. After that she became
dependent on alcohol whilst trying
to wash the images from her mind
but that didn’t work. What did work
for her though, was helping Tania
deal with her post nine eleven
life. It took her mind off her own
trauma.
DAVID
But surely she only had tell Tania
she couldn’t do it.
JANICE
She did.
43.
INT. JANICE’S APARTMENT - FRONT ROOM - NIGHT
JANICE is sat on a sofa, an open bottle of wine is on the
coffee table in front of her next to an empty glass. She
holds a cordless phone to her ear.
JANICE
What did she say?
LINDA (V.O)
She asked why I should be scared?
She’s the one who went through
hell. All I have to do is listen to
the tape... She said I was selfish
and that no one in the group really
liked me and that they all talk
behind my back.
JANICE
I’ll talk to her in the morning,
just try and get some sleep.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
JANICE glances around the busy coffee shop as DAVID jots
something on his notepad.
JANICE (CONT’D)
I should have been firmer with
Tania but I wasn’t, I let it slide.
I can’t believe that I always
defended her, no matter what. Even
if I knew she was wrong. I just put
it down to her trying to cope with
all that had happened.
DAVID
I would still really like Dave’s
surname.
JANICE takes a slip of paper from her pocket and hands it to
DAVID.
JANICE
All the details she gave me are on
here, but what I’m about to tell
will change your article
completely.
DAVID looks at the details on the slip of paper whilst
typing into his phone.
44.
INT. JANICE’S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING
JANICE is laid in bed, asleep. The LED display on the
cordless phone on the bedside cabinet lights up as the ring
tone sounds.
JANICE rolls over and reaches for the phone, her hand
fumbling around before finally grasping it.
JANICE
Hello?
JANICE opens her eyes wide, blinking a few times as she sits
up.
JANICE (CONT’D)
Okay calm down Tania... Tania you
need to calm down.
JANICE picks up her watch from the bedside cabinet, and
looks at the time.
JANICE (CONT’D)
Tania... Tania... Breathe. You have
to calm down. I can hardly
understand what you’re saying.
JANICE climbs out of bed and walks to the window, pulling
the curtain to one side letting in the morning sunshine.
JANICE (CONT’D)
Slowly and calmly tell me what’s
wrong.
JANICE walks towards the bedroom door and exits the room,
entering the...
INT. JANICE’S APARTMENT - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
JANICE walks towards an open door at the end of the
corridor.
JANICE (CONT’D)
What again? Okay. (Beat) No, I’ll
speak to him.
JANICE walks through the open door and enters the...
45.
INT. JANICE’S APARTMENT - BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
JANICE stands at the sink, the phone is wedged between her
shoulder and ear as she pours a glass of water.
JANICE (CONT’D)
It might be an idea to seek some
legal advice as well. Let me call
him first though and see if I can’t
get him to back off.
JANICE pops the lid off a pot of pills and takes one,
washing it down with the water.
CUT TO:
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
DAVID is smiling wryly. JANICE takes a sip of her coffee.
DAVID
Me, I guess?
JANICE
Yeah. After you were rude to me
again I told Tania to see a lawyer.
DAVID
What did he or she have to say?
Restraining order in the post is
it?
The WAITRESS walks over to their table with a pot of coffee
and tops up JANICE’S cup. DAVID puts his hand over the top
of his cup and glances up at the WAITRESS; she walks to the
next table.
EXT. 6TH AVENUE - DAY
JANICE stands outside a Manhattan high rise, glancing up and
down the busy street. The brass plaque on the wall behind
her reads, "Furgang and Adwar Attorney’s".
TANIA walks along the street, she is accompanied by her
MOTHER, an old Spanish woman.
JANICE hugs TANIA and greets her MOTHER with a smile and a
handshake.
46.
INT. ELEVATOR - ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
JANICE stands beside TANIA and her MOTHER. TANIA giggles
like a nervous school girl.
TANIA
I have a confession to make.
JANICE
What is it?
TANIA
I’m not a U.S. citizen.
JANICE looks at her expectantly.
TANIA (CONT’D)
Don’t you understand?
JANICE
Understand?
TANIA
That’s why I’ve been avoiding that
journalist. If he finds out and
prints it I could lose my job or
worse, get deported.
JANICE looks at her for a beat and then laughs.
JANICE
Oh Tania! No one is going to care
that you’re not a citizen.
TANIA takes a deep breath and smiles whilst her MOTHER
shakes her head.
TANIA
(To her mother)
No importa.
INT. FURGANG AND ADWAR OFFICES - RECEPTION - CONTINUOUS
The room is adorned with mahogany furniture, marble statues
and expensive looking artwork that hangs on the walls.
TANIA leads her MOTHER out of the elevator. ADWAR, an
attractive woman in her thirties, paces towards TANIA and
then shakes her hand firmly. JANICE waits a beat and then
exits, ADWAR shakes her hand.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 47.
ADWAR
I’m sorry, but you’re not family,
so you won’t be able to come into
the meeting.
JANICE
That’s not a problem, I’m just here
as her friend. To be supportive.
ADWAR leads TANIA and her MOTHER into a room and the door
closes behind them.
JANICE sits down in a plush leather armchair and picks up a
magazine from the mahogany coffee table in front of her.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
Same.
JANICE
I waited there for two hours and
then...
DAVID’S phone rings.
DAVID
... Sorry, but I really need to
take this.
DAVID answers his phone.
JANICE glances at around the coffee shop.
DAVID
(Into phone)
Why doesn’t that surprise me?
(Beat) I understand, you can assure
them from me that I will respect
their privacy I won’t print that,
Okay.
DAVID hangs up the call and places the phone on the table as
he laughs to himself.
JANICE
Tania came out of the office a
couple of hours later and asked me
to join them.
48.
INT. FURGANG AND ADWAR OFFICES - OFFICE - DAY
ADWAR stands behind the desk. TANIA joins her MOTHER on a
sofa and JANICE sits down in a leather armchair.
TANIA and her MOTHER exchange words in Spanish.
ADWAR
You know, Tania, that it’s okay
that you didn’t really work in the
World Trade Center but had only
been visiting when the terrorist
attack happened, right?
JANICE glances across at TANIA and then back at ADWAR.
ADWAR (CONT’D)
And you know that no one will hold
it against you that you only knew
David for a couple of months and
weren’t married to him, right?
JANICE looks across at TANIA.
JANICE
What the hell is this woman talking
about?
TANIA shrugs her shoulders and smiles like a naughty school
girl at JANICE.
ADWAR
And no one is going to hold it
against you that you embellished a
few things here and there. You know
that, Tania, right? Everyone tells
a white lie now and then.
TANIA gazes at ADWAR and reaches for a piece of candy from a
bowl on the table in front her.
JANICE
(To herself)
I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
DAVID stares at JANICE; she looks flushed and is hold her
cup tightly in both hands.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 49.
JANICE
I was numb. I couldn’t believe that
she’d been lying to all those
people for all of that time. I
started to doubt everything she had
ever told me about nine eleven. Had
it all been lies, the job, Dave?
DAVID glances up from his notepad.
DAVID
Dave was real, but according to his
parents, they’ve never heard of
anyone called Tania Head. And as
for her job at Merrill Lynch, they
have no record of her. Have you
informed the Network because this
is going to press tomorrow and it
might not be the ideal way for them
to find out.
JANICE
I’ve spoken to the board members
and they’re passing the message
around.