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Jason Mills 1228 Dickinson Dr., Coral Gables, FL (786) 514-6327
FAR FROM FARGO
FADE IN: INT. DRUGSTORE CHECK-OUT - DAY NIKKI ANDERSON, attractive, 22, shoulder-length black hair, leans on the checkout counter, chin in hand. A sleeveless, red, drug store smock, partially covers her gothic attire. She wears eyeliner, lipstick, and armsocks. Behind Nikki, SIENNA WARREN, pretty, early 20’s, bleach blonde hair, pushes a SHOPPING CART CARRYING CIGARETTE CARTONS to the cigarette display. NIKKI P.O.V. -- DRUGSTORE AISLE TWO YOUNG MEN search through a shelf of heart-shaped boxes. Valentine’s Day decorations hang from the ceiling and walls. RETURN TO SCENE Nikki stares emotionless. NIKKI: I can’t believe how much we charge for those over-priced chocolates. I feel guilty, Sienna. Sienna leans into the shopping cart, opens up a carton, and begins to restock the display with individual packs. SIENNA: I feel guilty selling these damn cigarettes. Nikki turns toward Sienna. NIKKI: I mean, on the fourteenth they are twenty dollars, and then on the fifteenth they are seven. Sienna shrugs and continues shelving the cigarettes. SIENNA: Guys want to get laid. NIKKI: At that price, Ferrero Rocher should guarantee it.
Nikki lifts a cigarette carton from the cart, opens it, and helps stock the display. Sienna turns her head to Nikki. SIENNA: Thanks Nikki. (beat) What are you up to this weekend? Nikki rolls her eyes. NIKKI: The same thing as every weekend... Sienna stops unpacking the carton, tilts her head and stares at Nikki. SIENNA: Can’t you leave your mom alone for one weekend and do something fun? NIKKI: Come on, Sienna. How could I? Sienna shakes her head and continues shelving the cigarettes. SIENNA: Promise me you’ll take a night out soon. NIKKI: I promise you the day M.S. leaves my mom alone for a night, I will too. Right now, it’s dangerous enough leaving her alone for work. Nikki shrugs. NIKKI: (CONT’D) Anyway, my sister and her boyfriend are coming down from Grand Forks for dinner tomorrow. So I’m sure I can look forward to being tormented with their sentimental bullshit. Sienna shelves the last pack of cigarettes and throws the empty box to the floor. She jumps on the box and crushes it. SIENNA: Well, I’ve got good news. Sienna grins mischievously. Nikki raises her eyebrows.
SIENNA: (CONT’D) It’s five. Our shift is over! Sienna lifts her smock over her head, throws it at Nikki, and runs off. NIKKI: God, I hate my life. INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT ROBBIE MEYERS, 22, athletic with short brown hair and dressed in formal attire, sits at a table. STEPHANIE ANDERSON, 19, pretty, petite, and wearing a dinner dress, places her hand on Robbie’s shoulder, kisses his cheek, and laughs. Nikki, wearing a black formal dress, walks beside SUSAN ANDERSON, 40’s, weathered face, who is hunched over a walker. As they slowly approach the table, Robbie and Stephanie stand up. Stephanie hugs Nikki, and Robbie carefully hugs Susan. ROBBIE: Mrs. Anderson! Good to see you. Robbie pulls out Susan’s chair. ROBBIE: (CONT’D) Here, let me help you. Robbie helps Susan take off her jacket, and supports her while she sits. SUSAN: Thanks, Robbie. Stephanie sits down, while Nikki folds the walker. INT. RESTAURANT -- LATER Dirty plates, an empty bread basket, and half-filled glasses of water are spread across the table. Robbie has his arm around Stephanie, while Nikki leans back in her chair, staring at her cup of water. Susan leans forward. SUSAN: How’s hockey going, Robbie? Stephanie beams. STEPHANIE: Oh my gosh, Mom! You should have seen the goal he scored last week. (MORE)
4. STEPHANIE: (CONT'D) It was amazing! There’s no question he’ll make whichever minorpro team he’s trys out for in the fall. Robbie smiles and shrugs. ROBBIE: How’s life for you, Nikki? Nikki looks up, surprised. NIKKI: Ummm...It’s been alright. Nikki looks around. looking at her. Stephanie, Robbie, and Susan are all
NIKKI: (CONT’D) I mean, I’m burned out some days. Most days actually. Maybe I just need a little excitement. I -STEPHANIE: -- Well, I’ve got something exciting to tell you. Stephanie is smiling from ear to ear. She turns to Robbie.
STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) I don’t think I can wait anymore. Robbie smiles and nods. Stephanie reaches for Robbie’s hand and holds it. She turns back towards Nikki and Susan. STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) We’re getting married! Susan shrieks and covers her mouth. and Robbie rises to hug her. She stands up carefully,
Nikki’s mouth drops as Stephanie gets up and hugs her. STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) Can you believe it, Nikki? I’m getting married! I’m... NIKKI:
Nikki forces a smile. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I’m really glad for you, Stephanie.
Stephanie runs to Susan and hugs her. The two laugh together, as Robbie wraps his arms around them. A WAITER approaches. Seeing Robbie, Stephanie, and Susan embraced, he hands the bill to Nikki and walks away. Nikki turns over the bill and her eyes open wide. NIKKI: (CONT’D) Holy hell! INT. NIKKI’S CAR -- NIGHT (TRAVELLING) Nikki sits in the driver’s seat, looking out the front window, one hand turning the steering wheel slightly. Susan, in the front passenger seat, looks at Nikki. SUSAN: I can’t believe my little girl is getting married! Did you see how happy she looked? Yep. NIKKI:
Nikki pushes down the signal light and shoulder-checks. EXT. CITY STREET -- CONTINUOUS A black 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier smoothly drifts from the middle land to the left lane as its left signal flashes. SUSAN: (V.O.) Aren’t you proud of her, Nikki? INT. NIKKI’S CAR -- CONTINUOUS Nikki pushes her leg down, and the car starts to slow. NIKKI: I guess. (beat) She’s too young though. The car stops. Nikki, her elbow on the car door dash, leans her head in her hand. Susan shrugs. SUSAN: She’s not that young. I mean, I was her age when I got married.
NIKKI: We know how well that turned out. Susan scowls, shakes her head, and turns to face the passenger side window. SUSAN: You’re unbelievable. NIKKI P.O.V. The windshield wipers wipe the falling snow. On the street corner, two street signs read UNIVERSITY DR. and MAIN AVE. The traffic light turns from red to green. A Chevy Silverado in front of Nikki’s car idles for several seconds. RETURN TO SCENE Nikki slams the HORN. Move! NIKKI:
INT. ANDERSON HALLWAY STEPS -- LATER Nikki, dressed in a grey t-shirt and black boxers climbs the top three hallway steps and enters the HALLWAY Where she walks to the first door on her right. She stops, watches Susan sleeping, and gently closes the door. She continues walking to the first door on her left and enters NIKKI’S BEDROOM Where she steps on clothes covering the floor. Posters of Goth-rock bands cover the walls, except over her desk where a PICTURE of Edward R. Murrow hangs. The desk is cluttered with papers and in the center a laptop glows. Nikki walks to the desk, picks up a catalogue, steps to her bed and sits down. NIKKI P.O.V. The catalogue reads NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY. Her hand flips the page and touches a letter which reads: CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY. RETURN TO SCENE
A tear runs down Nikki’s cheek. the tear.
Lifting her hand, she wipes
EXT. ST. LUKE’S HEALTH CENTER -- DAY Nikki and Sienna walk on short green grass. which reads: ST. LUKE’S HEALTH CENTER. Sienna looks at Nikki and shakes her head. SIENNA: I still can’t believe you want to put your mom in a nursing home. Nikki tilts her head and faces Sienna. NIKKI: I don’t want to, Sienna. I just don’t know what else to do. Nikki and Sienna reach the entrance. Sienna reaches out, pulls open the door, and Nikki walks inside. INT. ST. LUKE’S HEALTH CENTER ENTRANCE -- CONTINUOUS Sienna walks inside and the door SLAMS behind them. Nikki and Sienna walk into the RECEPTION ROOM Where a RECEPTIONIST, female, early 30’s, leans over a desk. Nikki and Sienna walk towards her. Sienna covers her nose. SIENNA: Ugh! It smells awful in here. It’s like death took a shit. The receptionist looks up and glares. and smirks. NIKKI: Not death, Sienna. Nikki faces Sienna, They pass a sign
Nikki and Sienna stop in front of the desk. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I’m here to meet with the Social Services representative. The receptionist points to the left and waves her finger.
RECEPTIONIST: Second door on the right. The receptionist looks back down at her desk. Sienna turn and walk down the HALLWAY Which is dimly lit. Framed paintings hang on the walls. Nikki and
Sienna runs her right hand through her hair. SIENNA: How does your mom feel about this? Nikki winces. NIKKI: We haven’t talked about it yet. She’s still upset about me flying to Northwestern this weekend. Sienna puts her hand on her forehead. SIENNA: Shit! That’s this weekend? Nikki glares. NIKKI: You promised you’d check on her. Sienna drops her arm to her side, and shakes her head. SIENNA: Yeah, I know. I will. Nikki and Sienna stop in front of a door with a nameplate which reads: SOCIAL SERVICES. Nikki KNOCKS three times. EXT. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY CAMPUS -- DAY TOUR GUIDE, female, early 20’s, wearing a purple and yellow track suit, walks backwards facing twenty TOURISTS. Standing at the front of the group, Nikki turns her head towards a tall university building on her left. The tour guide stops walking, and points to her right. The twenty tourists stop walking and turn their heads left. COLLEGE STUDENTS walk past the group.
INT. ANDERSON ENTRANCE -- DAY Sienna leans on the entrance door, her right hand holding the doorknob. Susan stands in front of Sienna, and presses down on her quad cane. SIENNA: You’ll be okay here alone until Nikki gets back? Susan nods. SUSAN: I’ll be fine. Thank-you, Sienna. Sienna turns the doorknob, and walks out the door. NOTE: INTERCUT Susan’s and Nikki’s action. Susan turns and walks into the LIVING ROOM -Where she sits on a couch facing the T.V. In front of her a REMOTE sits on the coffee table. Susan leans forward, takes the remote, points it towards the T.V. and press a button. She presses it again. She flips the remote over, slides open the back, bangs the remote, and the batteries fall out. EXT. HECTOR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Nikki, dressed in a black, knee-length button-up jacket, stands on the sidewalk in front of the airport exit. She is carrying a black gym bag over her shoulder. A yellow taxi stops in front of her. She steps forward and opens the back door. INT. ANDERSON HALLWAY STEPS Susan climbs the top steps to hall, her right hand clutching the railing and the left hand pressing down on the quad cane. INT. TAXI (MOVING) Nikki sits in the back seat as folk music quietly plays. She leans her head back, and turns to look out the window. The light from the passing streetlights outside shines intermittently on her face.
INT. SUSAN’S BEDROOM Susan pulls out a box of batteries from an open drawer. INT. TAXI (MOVING) Nikki sits up, and leans close to the window. She blows, and the window fogs. Lifting her finger, Nikki draws a smiling heart. She leans her head back and faintly smiles. INT. ANDERSON HALLWAY STEPS Susan walks down the steps, pushing on her quad cane with her right hand and holding the box of batteries in her left hand. EXT. ANDERSON DRIVEWAY Nikki, carrying her gym bag, stands on the driveway pavement, and SLAMS the taxi door shut. She waves at the taxi. INT. ANDERSON HALLWAY STEPS Halfway down the steps Susan’s knee buckles. EXT. ANDERSON DRIVEWAY Nikki quickly runs on the sidewalk towards the house as the taxi backs out of the driveway. INT. ANDERSON HALLWAY STEPS Susan’s head bangs the floor at the bottom of the steps. EXT. ANDERSON ENTRANCE At the front door, Nikki turns the doorknob, leans on the door, and walks inside. INT. ANDERSON ENTRANCE -- CONTINUOUS Susan lays on the floor. Blood trickles down her face, from a cut on her forehead, pooling beneath her face. Her left arm is wedged beneath her body, and her legs are propped up on the bottom steps. The quad cane is lying to her left and batteries are strewn across the floor. She falls.
Susan is gritting her teeth as she pushes against the floor with her right arm. Her chest is heaving. Nikki drops the gym bag and runs to Susan. Mom! NIKKI:
Nikki kneels beside Susan. NOTE: INTERCUT ends. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY Susan lays in bed on her back, eyes closed, her left arm in a sling. In the corner of the room, Nikki sits on a large padded chair with her legs folded under her body. A blanket loosely covers her lap, as she watches Susan. Nikki’s eyeliner has run forming a black line from her eyes to her cheeks. To her right is a small table where car keys, A MAGAZINE and a CELL PHONE lay. There are also TWO WOODEN CHAIRS beside her. There is a faint KNOCK. Nikki turns her head right to face the open door. Stephanie, wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, gingerly walks to the chairs. She smiles sympathetically. Hey. Nikki smiles weakly. Susan. STEPHANIE: Stephanie sits beside Nikki and faces
STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) How is she? Nikki sighs and Stephanie turns to face Nikki. NIKKI: She has a bad concussion, a broken collarbone and some cracked ribs. Nikki faces Susan. NIKKI: (CONT’D) She’s in a lot of pain. It’s good she’s finally getting some sleep. Nikki throws off the blanket, pulls out her legs, and stands.
NIKKI: (CONT’D) I look like hell. I’m going to try and clean up a little. Stephanie nods as Nikki walks away. BATHROOM Nikki looks at the mirror behind the sink, while water flows from the tap. In her right hand is a blue wash cloth. She raises her right hand, closes her eyes, and wipes her face with the cloth. Faintly, a cell phone RINGS. HOSPTIAL ROOM Stephanie leans against the wooden chair, holding a magazine. On the table to her left, the cell phone RINGS loudly. She reaches out and grabs the phone off the table. She flips the phone open and holds it to her ear. STEPHANIE: (into phone) Hello? WOMAN’S VOICE (V.O.) (over phone) Hello. Is this Nikki? STEPHANIE: (into phone) Nikki’s busy right now. I’m her sister. Could I take a message? WOMAN’S VOICE (V.O.) (over phone) Yes, please. This is Patricia from St. Luke’s Health Center. Stephanie sits up straight. Susan rolls slightly.
WOMAN’S VOICE (V.O.) (CONT’D) (over phone) I’m calling in regards to her adult care request. Could you have her call at her earliest convenience? Stephanie scowls and her jaw tightens. STEPHANIE: (into phone) Sure. Thank-you.
Stephanie closes the phone, and throws it at the padded chair. She stands up and walks toward the bathroom. BATHROOM Nikki is wiping her face with the blue towel. The door opens and Stephanie, stepping inside, grabs Nikki’s arm and pulls. Come. STEPHANIE: (CONT’D)
Nikki, not wearing make-up, squints at her sister. She throws the towel on the bathroom counter as she and Stephanie walk briskly out the door. HOSPITAL HALLWAY Stephanie pulls the bedroom door shut and releases Nikki’s arm. They stand facing each other. STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) Why the fuck is St. Luke’s calling? Nikki places her hand on her forehead. Shit. NIKKI:
STEPHANIE: When were you planning on telling me about this little plan of yours? NIKKI: There’s no plan, Steph. checking.
I was just
STEPHANIE: I can’t believe that you would sell Mom out like that. Did -Nikki stretches her arms out in front of her. NIKKI: -- Stephanie, I didn’t -STEPHANIE: -- Did you ever think about how lonely she’ll be? Do -Nikki drops her arms to her side.
NIKKI: -- I was only -STEPHANIE: -- Do you ever think about anyone other than yourself? Stephanie immediately stops scowling and unclenches her jaw. I’m sorry. STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) I didn’t mean that.
Nikki turns right, walks across the hall to a bench, and sits down. Stephanie follows her, and sits beside her. Nikki stares at the floor. She lifts her head and faces Stephanie. NIKKI: What are you afraid of, Stephanie? STEPHANIE: I don’t know. I guess all these changes scare me. Nikki nods. NIKKI: You know what I’m afraid of? Stephanie shakes her head. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I’m afraid of never having a chance to change. Nikki’s eyes fill with tears. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I’m afraid of living my entire life trapped in this God-forsaken city. Nikki turns her head away as tears rolls down her cheek. NIKKI: (CONT’D) Most of all though, I’m afraid of losing hope. I’m afraid of nursing a bitter soul, and growing old before my time. Nikki lifts her hand and wipes her eyes. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I don’t know what I’m going to do, Steph. But I have to do something.
Nikki sniffs, stands up and walks to Susan’s door. NIKKI: (CONT’D) I’m going home to get some sleep. You’ll watch Mom? Stephanie looks down and nods. INT. RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA -- DAY A stage is at one end of the arena, as thousands of GUESTS sit in the arena seats. A “CLASS OF 2007” banner hangs above the stage. On stage, the SCHOOL PRESIDENT, male, mid-fifties with graying hair, stands behind a podium with microphone. He leans close to the microphone. SCHOOL PRESIDENT: Congratulations Class of 2007. world is waiting! The
Hundreds of green and white balloons are released from the stage as the guests stand and CLAP. INT. ITALIAN RESTAURANT -- LATER Robbie, dressed in a tuxedo, sits at a round table with Stephanie to his right and Nikki to his left. Across from him is Susan, her left arm in a sling. Half-filled champagne glasses sit on a white tablecloth. A bouquet of flowers rest in a vase at the center of the table. Robbie looks at Susan. ROBBIE: It was a weird. We were waiting for so long, and then the walk across was, what, fifteen seconds? Susan smiles. Stephanie lifts her left hand and places it on Robbie’s shoulder. Robbie turns to her and smiles. STEPHANIE: You were definitely the best looking guy on stage today. Robbie laughs. Nikki rolls her eyes.
ROBBIE: He swallows
Robbie lifts his glass of champagne and drinks. and turns to face Nikki. ROBBIE: (CONT’D) How are you doing, Nikki? Stephanie leans forward against the table. NIKKI: Ummm...I’m hanging in there. news really but -No
STEPHANIE: -- I’ve got some good news for you. Stephanie is smiling from ear to ear. She turns to Robbie.
STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) Can I please tell her? Robbie nods. Stephanie turns back toward Nikki.
STEPHANIE: (CONT’D) We’re moving to Fargo. Nikki quickly sits up straight, her eyes wide. NIKKI: What about your hockey? Robbie shrugs. ROBBIE: I’ve chased my dreams. Not everyone has gotten that opportunity. Once we’re married, we’re moving in with your Mom. SUSAN: If you promise to enroll at Northwestern. Nikki laughs, and turns to Susan. NIKKI: You knew about this? Susan smiles and nods.
Nikki stands up, and walks over to Stephanie, who stands up. Nikki hugs her tightly. Nikki closes her eyes, and smiles as tears run down her face. Thank-you. NIKKI: (CONT’D)
INT. NIKKI’S CAR -- DAY Nikki sits in the driver seat, her left hand clutching the steering wheel, a coffee cup held by her right hand. The back seat is filled with boxes, bags, and suitcases. Nikki presses her leg down gently as the car stops. She lifts her right hand to her mouth and sips from the cup. NIKKI P.O.V. The street signs read UNIVERSITY DR. and MAIN AVE. No cars are waiting. The light changes from red to green. Nikki smiles, presses her leg down, and the car starts moving. EXT. INTERSECTION -- CONTINUOUS Nikki’s car drives through the intersection. FADE OUT.