Save the Last Dance | Leisure

SAVE THE LAST DANCE by Duane G.

Adler revisions by Toni-Ann Johnson Current Revisions by Cheryl Edwards (6/11/99)

REWRITE -- FIRST SET OF REVISIONS Cort/Madden Company Paramount Studios 5555 Melrose Avenue Chevalier Building, Ste. 203 Los Angeles, California JUNE 11, 1999

FADE IN: 1 EXT. PENNSYLVANIA COUNTRYSIDE - LONG SHOT - DAY of an empty stretch of land parted down the middle by railroad tracks. An Amtrak Commuter crests the horizon, heads TOWARD us. As it gets CLOSER, we GO IN TIGHTER to see -2 FACE OF SARA JOHNSON 17, pressed at one of its windows. 3 REVERSE ANGLE - REFLECTION IN TRAIN’S WINDOW SARA’S FACE distant and lovely and sad. SUPERIMPOSED against an endless stream of sky and trees. The train speeds up and SARA’s face flies by, disappearing FROM FRAME. 4 INT. AMTRAK TRAIN - MOVING - DUSK A zaftig BLACK WOMAN clumsily negotiates the aisle. Stops at the first of a few empty seats left in the car. WOMAN This seat taken? ANGLE ON SARA looking up, around. She shakes her head, clears her backpack and magazines from the seat beside her. The Woman drops down, settles in. A long silence. The Woman glances at the American Ballet magazine on Sara’s lap. Tries to make conversation. WOMAN I love ballet. Never had the body for it. Do you dance? Sara folds her arms, turns away mumbling under breath. SARA Used to. Sara gazes out the window. The world outside begins to dissolve melting into images from another time, another place. Her eyes stare blankly OUT AT us, blinded by her memories. 4 3 2 1

2. 5 FLASHBACK - INT. AUDITORIUM - KINDERGARTEN RECITAL - DAY 5 A stage full of five-year-olds in tights and tutus. A little girl performs center stage. She’s remarkably poised, remarkably good. CAMERA PANS TO the audience. A woman in an Irish clover necklace springs to her feet clapping loudly. The little girl’s eyes catch the glint of the necklace’s gold. Mommy. She flashes a megawatt smile, ends the dance with an unscripted bow, as we... DISSOLVE TO: 6 INT. BALLET CLASS - EVENING (FIVE YEARS LATER) Young Sara, lithe and earnest, dances. A budding beauty blessed with long limbs and natural grace, she makes it look easy. Gliding past the envious stares of classmates, she scans the hall for a glint of gold. Finds it in the back of the room where her mother, Glynn, stands watching her. Their eyes connect with mutual smiles and those smiles CARRY us TO: 7 INT. SARA’S EXETER HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY A pair of flexing feet in ballet slippers on a hardwood floor. PAN UP and PULL BACK to reveal Sara at 17, dancing in the space opened up by cornered furniture and rolled up rugs. As Glynn looks on, Sara completes the routine with a pirouette. She spins out of it with a preoccupied frown on her face. GLYNN What’s the matter? It was good. 7 6

SARA (checks her stance in mirror) Everybody there’s going to be good, Mom. I have to be better. (then, beginning again) My knees still knock when I do my free form. Did you notice that? GLYNN I noticed that it was fine. SARA (escalating frustration) It’s not supposed to be fine. It’s supposed to be special. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

holds onto her tightly.. I bet they notice that. GLYNN For luck tomorrow. Not that you’ll need it. Sara flops down on the sofa beside her. The Woman regards her. Glynn removes the clover chain from her neck. chokes up. Sara knows what it means to her. 8 They cling to INT. Sara.ON SARA . Come on. That I don’t do anything special enough to get in. 7 CONTINUED: SARA (CONT’D) And it just lays there. Glynn. She pulls the window shade. eyes shut. WOMAN Nice. GLYNN (giving up that battle) I’ve got something for you. GLYNN You’ll get in. the memory fades. not one to choke up. (CONTINUED) 8 .. Linger. the necklace. No pouting. free form sucks. Mouth closed. fastens it around Sara’s. each other. Her fingers travel to the clover necklace at her throat.DUSK (PRESENT) In the blink of her eyes. shifts in her seat. My 7 SARA Don’t lie because you love me. She throws her arms around Glynn.3. SARA I love the necklace but you’re still the best luck I’ll ever have. Sit. it doesn’t do anything. No peeking. The necklace is Glynn’s talisman. That it doesn’t do anything. You dance like an angel. Closes her eyes. AMTRAK TRAIN (MOVING) .

takes the steps two and three at a time. chomping on a wad of gum./EXT. SARA (stupefied) Lindsay. The Woman’s wearing a crucifix. LINDSAY Wanna pray? You’re leaving for Philly after first period. auditions today. 9 FLASHBACK . 8 CONTINUED: SARA Oh. BUS/RURAL ROAD . praying nobody sees them.INT.4. Father. Amen. She’s ready for them. We should pray. no. bursts it with her teeth. Sara sits next to her best friend..LATER THAT MORNING Sara exits with a bouquet of roses. aligns her head with Lindsay’s.J. She’s 9 She indicates it.MORNING A sea of young white faces.. Please make them ready for her. 8 . WOMAN Mine either. 17. LINDSAY ’Awesome. A jock entertains the troops with two straws up his nose. Even if she screws up. Lindsay grabs Sara’s hand and bows her head. Glynn’s waiting in a flower van at the curb. Smiles. 10 Sara. 10 EXT. Lindsay. Thanks. Not here. embarrassed. another bubble) God’s gotten me outta all kinds of shit.’ (sure shrug. Doesn’t always work. EXETER SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL . He oughta be able to get you into Juilliard. It’s a good luck charm. S. LINDSAY. turns from the jock to Sara with a bubble in bloom. I won’t see you.

You’re definitely movin’ up in the world. Glynn takes note of the roses in Sara’s hand. (CONTINUED) 12 .’ (gently) Sweetheart. Ellison. we talked about this. Too scared. If we just kept going until we get to Philly. GREYHOUND BUS STATION (READING. out-of-season yellow ones. Smiles at Sara. He actually told me to break a leg. GLYNN Roses from the principal. 11 INT. She’s too angry. traitor? SARA Ellison -. SARA Right. PA) CONTINUOUS ACTION Glynn pulls the van into the parking lot./EXT.Mr. I’ll get there as soon as I can. drizzle. This is the hardest. most important day of my life and all you can do is get there as soon as you can. Sara doesn’t smile back. Thanks. GLYNN Where’d you get those. The back of the van is filled with flower arrangements. Sara looks through the windshield. GLYNN Ruin everyone’s Valentine’s Day and not have a shop when I get back. That’s your definition of great? I can see the headline now: ’Starving Artist Kills Unfit Mother. 12 EXT. even droopy. Sara looks at her and Glynn instantly feels guilty.5. kiddo. It’s starting to 11 SARA Know what would be great? If you didn’t drop me off at the bus station. FLOWER VAN (DRIVING)/RESIDENTIAL STREETS Sara and Glynn. is beyond cool. Mom.

12 CONTINUED: SARA So I guess I’ll see you later. Glynn calls after her. They look at each other. A phalanx of parents and dancers are clustered around a sign posted on the door: JUILLIARD SCHOOL OF DANCE AUDITIONS. Sara stares at it. We move back in time through their pages. She taps her toes. GLYNN I won’t miss your audition.WAITING ROOM . 14 FLASHBACK . she watches the Woman beside her flip through the American Ballet Magazine. Happy Valentine’s Day.6. I’ll be there. 13 INT. I’ll be there.. powerful performance. GLYNN Hey. (CONTINUED) 15 14 13 . The Judges are mutely but clearly impressed.NIGHT (PRESENT) Feigning sleep. in costume. checks her watch. Sara.STAGE/AUDITORIUM MOMENTS LATER Sara on stage. From the corner of her eye. They embrace and she hops out the van.INT.. Re-checks her watch. Swim? SARA You can’t swim. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA . Where’s her mother? 15 INT. MOZART’S "Elvira Madigan" (Andante) CUES UP. She looks past a row of Juilliard JUDGES into the audience. A moment. AMTRAK TRAIN (MOVING) . okay? If I have to swim the Susquehanna. She transforms her nervousness into a notable.ON SARA . OF PENNSYLVANIA . flips through a magazine. UNIV. Sara finally smiles. Sara begins her technical.DAY Sara. 12 GLYNN I’ll float then. An official with a clipboard walks toward her. Mom. One of them looks directly at her. No glint of gold.

16 INT. stumbling. OF PA) . unsure on her feet. She sits. attempts to stand. OFFICE (UNIV.CONTINUOUS ACTION SHOOTING THROUGH office window. Their equivalent of maybe next year. The theme.. She keeps glancing in the back of the auditorium for Glynn.. Some driving. it’s um.7. Rushes backstage. She shakes her head. DRESSING ROOM .. eyes like stones. Cramming her ballet gear into a duffle bag when the official (of the clipboard) approaches her. and finally finishing with those damned knocking knees. Sara chokes two words out. The trooper talks. Fighting tears. The trooper and the official catch her as she falls. The Judges. CLASSICAL NUMBER. recovering. SARA Thank you. The Judges exchange a look.. dread and disbelief spread over Sara’s face. New MUSIC CUES UP. Searching for her port in the storm.DAY Sara in street clothes. She touches Sara’s shoulder gently. Sara tries to elevate her body above the music. Says something we do not hear. Knowing but somehow continuing. As he does. perfunctorily nod. 18 17 15 . Her legs buckle beneath her. pretty selfexplanatory. 15 CONTINUED: JUDGE Is there anything you’d like to share about your free form before you begin? A motif. 18 INT. AUDITORIUM . Wondering where her mother is and knowing how badly she’s dancing. but she’s nervous..BACKSTAGE . Her mother’s not there and her free form sucks and she doesn’t have a theme. Shit! SARA Well. she hurries past waiting dancers angrily unhooking the clover leaf chain from her neck.. A state trooper in a rain slicker offers Sara a chair. 17 INT. a theme? Sara’s stomach drops to her feet.

24 TRAIN It’s SQUEAL OF BRAKES as it maneuvers into the station. which is visible in the f. 23 VAN’S WHEELS Hydro-planing.INTERCUT . clenching her fists. PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE . oblivious to the stare of the Woman beside her.Glynn’s van -. 25 VAN The SQUEAL of its BRAKES as Glynn loses control and smashes into the back of the eighteen wheeler in front of her.MORNING A torrential rain. AMTRAK TRAIN .NIGHT (PRESENT) A glowing moon in a clear. squinting through the downpour. 19 EXT. star-specked sky.8. 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 . the SOUND OF SQUEALING BRAKES commingle as the Amtrak Commuter pulls into Penn Station.caught in it. 21 EXT. 26 TRAIN across space and time.NIGHT Sara.g. we can see Glynn’s face. 22 TRAIN’S WHEELS GRINDING. 27 INT. A flower van -. Holding her breath. Waiting for the sound to stop. intense and determined. AMTRAK TRAIN . slip-sliding. SHOOTING THROUGH the driver’s side window. 20 TRAIN CHUGS toward Baltimore’s Penn Station.

29 28 SARA One big one. 30 INT. Roy looks at her. ROY Looks like they’re unloading. They all look like strangers. Sara watches his bow legs stiffly advance. cracks the window. PENN STATION (BALTIMORE) . ROY’S PICKUP/STREET . ROY Guess you got stuff. Roy takes her backpack.NIGHT A heavy silence. takes a last drag from his cigarette. Steam from the train’s engine is sucked into the fog. 28 EXT.PLATFORM . A beat. She walks through it. Roy starts to turn on the radio. a handsome.You hungry? We can stop somewhere if you want. AMTRAK TRAIN . stops himself. Baggage.9./EXT. ROY Hi. Roy searches their faces. She wants to run. SARA Hi. Two suitcases. They see each other. drops and stomps it. SARA I’m kinda tired. -. (CONTINUED) . He lights a cigarette. Can’t. SARA Slept through most of it. Passengers disembark from the train. Sees him. Roy weakly waves. laconic man of uncertain style. 30 They walk. 29 EXT. Walks toward her. 37.NIGHT ROY JOHNSON.SAME TIME A conductor helps Sara to the platform. ROY Have a good ride? Sara self-consciously tucks her hair behind an ear.SARA AND ROY .

wasn’t it? SARA Uh-huh. We got a pretty good idea about each other. it ain’t like we’re movin’ in with strangers. That’s what you were doin’. Roy switches on the radio. SARA Thought you were moving to Fells Point. We’ll work this bachelor-father thing out. 31 EXT. He and Sara each lug a suitcase from the truck. Her eyes wander up and down the street. You don’t have to pretend this is easy. 30 CONTINUED: ROY I didn’t like leavin’ you so soon after the funeral. I mean. I mean. her expression indicating otherwise. ROY Fell through. Roy’s too new at this to hold up both ends of the conversation. Roy worries her. The silence deepens. Sara peers out the windshield. Baltimore City.NIGHT Roy’s truck pulls up to a string of disrepaired rowhouses with pristine white marble steps. nods thoughtfully to himself. I feel bad too. (off nothing) Everything’s upside down right now but don’t worry. Sara. It worries her. The streets are getting progressively gritty and dirty. Helped you say good-bye. we both got hit by the same bolt of lightning.10. The neighborhoods are changing. hang on the corners. All of them have black faces. 31 30 . right? Sara looks askance at him. BOND STREET (SOUTH BALTIMORE) . It surprises her. Hell. I could’ve hung around. ROY Look. I wouldn’t have if you hadn’t asked me to go. ROY That’s what I figured you were doin’. A moment. A few people roost on their stoops. They’re on the fringes of a ghetto. Roy takes another drag.

an ancient set of drawers. On the other side. Girl’s gotta have closets. it out. wanting something to do.NIGHT The second floor of a two-story house has been turned into a one-bedroom studio. You grew up on me. The ROY Things change.11.LIVING AREA . 32 Check Suitcase in hand. She stands in the middle of nothing.MINUTES LATER Sara walks in. there’s hardly any furniture. A partition separates the living area from the bedroom. Your own futon. Calls out. (CONTINUED) . right? You even get your own bed. She removes framed photos of Glynn from her backpack. I’ll crash on the couch. places them around the room. Sara walks past a collection of saxophones and several framed pictures of herself. Her "room" is an old futon. Aside from the saxophones and the pictures. SARA You didn’t at the last place. Overnight. 33 INT. 33 SARA Do you have a phone? Roy emerges from the bathroom drying his hands. Sara walks around the partition. ROY’S APARTMENT . SARA You bought a bed? ROY (slight bow) Pardon me. ROY Of course I have a phone. You’ve changed. last place I saw anyway. ROY’S APARTMENT . Doesn’t see Roy. And I made room in the closets for you. 32 INT. But the water’s hot and the fridge is full. Roy lights a cigarette. walks past her. ROY Not much of what you’re used to.

33 CONTINUED: SARA Over the summer. I feel fine. You blew me off for some gig on the road. SARA I feel like calling 33 She’s a wall. Closes the door oh-so-quietly behind her.. Cries like a baby. wide awake. Dorothy. 34 Knock INT. Or walk. Roy’s head aches from knocking into it. He goes to the couch. crosses to the sink. She flips on the light. Buries her head in her arms. the brick wall shatters. 34 35 INT. ROY Are you alright. Drops down. ROY Phone’s in the kitchen. ROY’S PICKUP (SOUTH BALTIMORE) NEXT MORNING Roy and Sara. Patterson kids ride the city Metro. SARA’S ROOM/BATHROOM ./EXT.. Sara? (off the scowl in her eyes) I just wanna know how you feel. Sara crumbles to the floor. A brick wall. her stiff upper lip quivering. She slips out of bed. turns on both faucets. SARA I can take the school bus. finally. creeps on tiptoes into the bathroom.12. Lindsay. A Pop-Tart grows cold on Sara’s lap. (CONTINUED) 35 . Mutters at her.. ROY School bus? That’s the other Oz. Then. As the water flows and the PIPES RATTLE. yourself out. Tomorrow. remember? (before he can respond) Can I call Lindsay? Let her know I got here alright.LATE THAT NIGHT Sara lying in bed. Barreling through the south end.. tongues stuck in gear.

I’ll be busy. 35 CONTINUED: SARA Well. No ballet. You should dance. I got my life on track. Take a break. Roy can hear the lie behind her words. ROY S’alright. Stay on top of your art. You’re all set. Not until you get the hang of things. ROY I called about your transcripts. SARA Like you stay on top of yours? ROY Maybe I ain’t playin’ no grand ballrooms or fancy jazz festivals. I know how to do both. lights a cigarette. Patterson’s got a pretty good Humanities program.I don’t think I’ll have time. . the hang of things. You’re a dancer. Sara looks out the window at a full-fledged ghetto. It’s all to obvious. ROY Not around here you don’t. the right thing. But those days are over. SARA (unconvincingly) I didn’t mean it like that. Not too long a break though.13. cracks the window. Hell. Roy glances over at her. The pain too. but I’m playing. I wish I had half the time I wasted gettin’ wasted. You’ll see. I have to study. but we can find a studio someplace close for after school -SARA -. He He wants to say 35 ROY Good idea.

We realize that and we’ll do what we can to help with the transition. Whatever. Three-thirty.PARKING LOT Roy’s pickup pulls in. Kids malinger outside on the front steps and lawn. He calls after her. I’ll be fine. He hands it back to her on the other side of the detector where Sara stands obtusely and mutely amazed. I am fine. It’s clogged with students. Sara seated across from an ADMINISTRATOR. We PUSH IN. 37 36 Yeah.MORNING THROUGH a window.MORNING Formidably large and surprisingly well-kept. 38 Sara climbs out. SARA (over a shoulder) Sure. ROY -. PATTERSON HIGH SCHOOL (SOUTH BALTIMORE) . Patterson serves the nearby. (CONTINUED) 39 . 38 EXT. 36 EXT./INT. one of the guards grabs her backpack and wordlessly begins searching it. 39 INT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING . She won’t let his eyes connect. predominantly black O’Donnell Heights Projects.14. Sara looks at him. This is a near out-of-body experience for her. SARA You don’t have to go in with me. She walks like a well-rehearsed soldier in a stiff straight line to the school’s entrance. Since I’m all set. When it’s Sara’s turn to pass through. Gone to school. PATTERSON HIGH . It’s no fun being uprooted in the middle of your senior year. Or through him. 37 FROM ANOTHER ANGLE . Roy CUTS the ENGINE.. Roy regards her with weary resignation. ADMINISTRATOR . I mean. I have done this before. Really.Pick you up. two security guards flank a metal detector.MORNING Sara moving TOWARD us PAST a floating mosaic of black faces. Inside the doorway..

It’s not just the words. it’s just a city. She’s hoping nothing in her face reveals the rising panic in her heart. Sara starts down the hallway. Cool. they was jackin’. SARA’S POV as she MOVES FORWARD.. 40 INT. And they definitely don’t sound like her. HALLWAY . taking this netherworld in. Only they don’t dress like her. right? Mrs. steps in. But the brick wall doesn’t move an inch. TEENAGER #1 Yo. A cooler cool. Any questions? About school? MRS. For real. Sara feels too safe behind it. They dress like commercials for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. eavesdropping on other conversations. Kids like her. man. She’s surrounded. A crush of KIDS -. Alone. Every inch of her feels afraid. Sara regards Mrs. Stall that shit! Sara walks on. 39 MRS. The Administrator introduces her to Sara. the Guidance Counselor. MRS.mostly black with a sprinkling of white and Latino faces thrown in. TEENAGER #2 Fools got caught for real too.. check it. Matter-of-fact. Besides. Gwynn looks at her squarely. GWYNN Not even about Baltimore? SARA I’m not gonna be here that long. GWYNN Concerns? SARA No. Like they breathe static electricity. Not really. It’s how they say them: Loud. Gwynn with polite petulance. Ten years in five days. 39 CONTINUED: There’s a KNOCK at door.15. (CONTINUED) 40 . Ten rides in five days. the muthafuckers wasn’t playin’. GWYNN.MORNING Clutching new textbooks.

with about a million braids in her hair -. Sara’s thoughts are jolted by two black girls squeezing by. 43 INT. But Chenille’s gone. They keep going as if they don’t see her. She’s eager to make a friend. If Patterson were a monarchy. Welcome to mass avoidance at Patterson High. SARA’S POV . 42 ANOTHER CORRIDOR Sara memorizes the schedule of classes in her hand.MORNING The room’s seen better days. 41 AT SARA’S LOCKER .swoops Sara’s backpack from the floor. Thrusts it at her. Probably better teachers too. JURASINSKI looks out at his American Literature class and sees nothing but tenure. One gets the sense that the All-American Home Boy is almost as enraptured with himself as the sycophants around him. She passes a clutch of students who surround a kid in the middle like a horseshoe. JURASINSKI’S CLASSROOM . MR. turning on his dazzling smile and abundant charm for the crowd. She closes her locker. One friend. SARA (cautions a smile) Thanks. Dark. starts to say something else. pretty. knocking it against a locker.PATRICK REYNOLDS Eye candy: Tall. No one seems to see her. Heartbreakingly handsome. Don’t put your shit on the floor.tall. CHENILLE -. He sure holds court like one. Sara gets a fleeting glimpse of him. Patrick would be king. One clips Sara’s elbow as she passes. CHENILLE That’s how easy it is to give to charity around here.LATER 41 40 Sara’s back is to a black girl striding purposefully toward her. 40 CONTINUED: That’s it! The entire student body is energized. (CONTINUED) 43 42 .16.

. JURASINSKI Thank you. The class shifts in their seats. Johnson.17. Straightup fag. The way kids look at new kids.S. Jurasinski looks for someone to put on the spot. a flagrant Patrick wannabe. Mr. peeping her. 43 CONTINUED: JURASINSKI In Cold Blood represents a turning point in our country’s literature. He took hard core crime out the ghetto and dropped it in America’s back yard. Capote mixed true events with things he couldn’t know. Mr. Take the cap off and tell me why that is. dissenter. Everyone looks at her. (CONTINUED) . sits next to him now. We recognize him from the hallway kids wrapped up in Patrick. A small murmur goes up. Ricard.) White folks back then felt safe.. If this is over your head. He truly believes he’s being profound. You can catch up later. Ricard. The first of its kind. Snookie. Capote scared ’em. Anyone else? No volunteers. WIDER to include the class. J. That’s what makes the book special. Johnson. Thoughtfully twirls it on a finger. so he made them up. That Compote dude who wrote it? Sweet tooth. JURASINSKI Ms. the voice of a PATRICK (O. Mr. Over this. He removes his baseball cap. Your genius grant is in the mail. FAVOR "SNOOKIE" RICARD. SNOOKIE Gay rights. 43 SARA It’s a non-fiction novel. Sees the new girl in a back corner. He gets into her line of sight.

You? PATRICK Lots of people like who? Hello. unadulterated teenage cacophony. 43 PATRICK That’s all of it. Mr. JURASINSKI She can have your pass. Give her a pass to the lib’ary.! Girl needs to bone up. SNOOKIE Mr.18. Looking at her.LATER Hundreds of voices unleashed in pure. ANGLE WIDENS as Jurasinski quiets the class. Not that she noticed. pretty. Didn’t think so. A defensive save. He has nice eyes. Ricard. HALLWAY OUTSIDE OF CAFETERIA . SARA Lots of people read them. J. Sara’s in a queue of kids. Capote wasn’t first.NOON 44 Lunchtime. Yeah. Looking. Since you obviously never use it. Wasn’t nobody tryin’ to read them though.. Richard Wright and James Baldwin did the same thing. PICK UP Sara among a cattle drive of boisterous students. He’s sitting on the other side of the classroom. God. SARA That is part of it. ON SARA flushed in the face. Patrick sees right through it. working her way down the line. 45 CAFETERIA . Pissed. 43 CONTINUED: Sara cranes to see him. Embarrassed. The room erupts in laughter. (CONTINUED) 45 . Then.. It’s pretty-boy.FOOD LINE . 44 INT.

like Chenille. She stands with a food tray. 47 46 45 49 . 47 NERD TABLE Barely. pathetically populated but surprisingly diverse. Girls only. 51 A girl we will King Patrick and his loyal 48 Full. 50 WHITE TABLE Notable for its glaring absence of color.19. are rugged and regular. INTO the heart of the dining hall. They. subjects horse around. overflowing. TO the cashier. 48 HIP-HOP TABLE Loud. They know who they are. looking for a place to sit. 45 CONTINUED: She’s as invisible and anonymous as ever. fun. 49 POPULAR TABLE Over which a glacial beauty we will come to know as NIKKI DAVIS presides. HER POV Table cliques of the cafeteria. come to know as TONI sits there. END OF SERIES OF SWEEPING SHOTS. SERIES OF SWEEPING SHOTS 46 JOCK TABLE Two tables pushed together. And then PUSHING IN ON -51 CHENILLE’S TABLE She’s there with a group of girls who eschew pretense. CAMERA TRACKS her FROM the line.

Just look around. 53 AT NERDS’ TABLE . -.20. CHENILLE You finished? Sara leaps up with a quick.. grateful nod.. SARA It’s Sara.and that’s from the neck up. indicates Sara’s tray.A.O. And you’re boring her from the ears down. I know you’re new to the table. It’s Sara. We don’t take ourselves seriously. Sara. The cafeteria is half as full. Sara shudders with relief. 52 ANGLE ON SARA eyeing Chenille’s table.S. invisible again.LATER Time has passed. Sara sits among the NERDS.. They sit down in the only empty seats. She flashes a knowing smile at her. As she and Chenille walk through the cafeteria. Half the student body is D. Sara backs off. ON CHENILLE glimpsing Sara from the corner of her eye as Sara walks away. Clara. Beats a hasty retreat from the table. half as noisy. surprised to see Chenille standing there. She feels rescued. We’re the Y2K generation and nobody takes us seriously. Sara looks up. She gets there but two black girls are faster. She’s trying to eat but a snooze button is talking her to death. God! SARA Thank you! (CONTINUED) .) Yeah.. 53 52 CHENILLE (O. WONK . but think about it. a friendly if verbose group. Screwing up courage as she approaches it.

And it’s Chenille. SARA’S POV ." four squared off sections outside the cafeteria. showing off.21.KIDS OF QUAD And OVER the sound of HIP-HOP MUSIC. BACK TO SCENE SARA What’s it called? What she’s doing? CHENILLE A dance. She turns away from Chenille.. SARA Asshole.. SARA (a look.and they run the gamut -. Sara rolls her eyes. gradually focusing on -PATRICK playing cards with Snookie at one of the picnic tables. CAMERA PANS UP to reveal Nikki. Other kids -. He grins. the.. horsing around.. making out. (CONTINUED) Mutters loudly to 54 53 . a pair of feet. She’s demonstrating some moves to the girls from the popular table.are seen in clots.. 53 CONTINUED: CHENILLE (laughs) Gotta watch where you sit. turns away. girl. Moving. the step.. Nikki’s dancing her ass off.. knows that) No. He glances up to see Sara. QUAD . She trails off as she catches someone in the corner of her eye. Dancing.MOMENTS LATER Sara follows Chenille into the "QUAD. Let’s catch some air before the bell rings. There are a few dryrotted picnic tables scattered around. herself. sneaking smokes. 54 EXT. But you’re still welcome.. Glowering at him. I mean.

NIKKI You comin’ tonight? Patrick keeps playing his hand. Close to him. Real smart. much amused. standoffish and conceited. (infuriated by his silence) Look. Thinks he’s so. SARA (covertly indicates Patrick) He’s in one of my classes. Sexy. laugh. So cute. smart. (as he’s ignoring her) Is it because of me? Everybody on the committee thinks it’s because of me. NIKKI You already skipped three meetings. ANGLE SHIFTS TO PATRICK as Nikki approaches him. she’s the stuff of wet dreams and futile longing..22. Enjoys a 54 . In this crowd. Real trip. CHENILLE I don’t know about cute but he is smart. (MORE) (CONTINUED) Responds very coolly. Regardless. He’s my brother. Patrick. Snookie watches her.. She sits down next to Patrick. SARA So you know him? CHENILLE Patrick Reynolds? Hell yeah. you gotta be more specific. Us. 54 CONTINUED: CHENILLE Asshole beaucoup. I know him. too. PATRICK Gotta work. Chenille waits for Sara to swallow her tongue.

17. Once and done. I want a happy ending.. Shoot. ’Bye. Snookie holds his breath. about to say something. man. I’m in charge of the prom. Patrick cuts him off. He and Malakai grin at each other.. Nikki. The hood of the ’hood. after I say it been real frigid ’round here since y’all broke up. PATRICK You already fired my ass. So show up. way she canceled your ass like a stamp for that Howard U dude. Over. Knock handshakes. Now might be the time to forget mistakes that was made. Fighting words. Don’t make me fire your ass. That was harsh. Here he comes. indicates cards. PATRICK Hit me and shut the hell up. Patrick throws out a card. up to no good. Powerfully built and edgy with insolence. Snookie? SNOOKIE (pounding his heart) ’Cause I’m about you. Malakai is like a tightlywound coil -.you never know when he’s going to snap. Snookie oogles her departure. 54 CONTINUED: NIKKI (CONT’D) You’re in charge of the music. PATRICK Why you sweatin’ me. But their shit’s over. You been with the girl since ninth grade.23. peers at Patrick. THEIR POV MALAKAI RHINEHART. Aww. ANGLE WIDENS and we see Patrick is happy to see him. She stalks off. (CONTINUED) 54 . SNOOKIE I’ma shut up. Tuck an’ duck. Out. heading toward them. ’Specially since she broke up with you. shit. turns slowly to Nikki with a withering stare in his eyes.

man? Feelin’ strong about being back? MALAKAI Not at this motherfucker. Out a week and where am I? Fucking home sweet high school. Space. You can have it. MALAKAI Shut the fuck up and step your lame ass off. PATRICK You gonna stay though. crosses Patrick’s face. man. of guilt. A flash of commiseration. comedically obliges.. PATRICK What happened to you at lunch. I never knew a year could be such a long time. PATRICK So you’re hangin’ in. 54 CONTINUED: MALAKAI Medicine man. CAMERA TRACKS them walking back toward Patterson. Malakai slips the cigarette from behind his ear. You heard me. how chill it is to have you back? We ain’t been bad without cha. Right? A moment. Shit. Malakai. nods. 54 MALAKAI Judge says it’s school or JuVee and I sure as hell ain’t goin’ back there. Jail away from jail. Snookie haughtily. They’re at the doors now.24. openly lights and starts smoking it. Patrick understands it. Short-hand. Snookie. Malakai puts his cigarette out on the floor as they step in. man? MALAKAI Business. SNOOKIE (interjecting himself) Did I tell you. (CONTINUED) . Most of the kids have gone..

waiting for her. slams the door. Let’s do it.CONTINUOUS ACTION Sara climbs in.SARA’S "ROOM" . Then at Roy. 56 55 54 Yeah. Waves! Chenille looks at Sara. PATTERSON HIGH .25. 55 EXT. SARA He’s embarrassing. 57 INT. 54 CONTINUED: PATRICK You up for some hoops after school? Break your free-throw back in. Sara gets a sinking feeling that drops like a stone when she looks across the street. Roy’s parked at the curb. (as he pulls off) Tomorrow I catch the bus. Both of them ignore it. ROY’S TRUCK . ROY How’d it go? SARA Fine. man. CHENILLE (laughs) He is. For you. MALAKAI Up for it? Hell-the-fuck yeah.NIGHT Sara’s moving the partition around. Roy looks over at her. 56 INT. A CAR HORN starts to blare. ROY’S APARTMENT . Chump the chumps like we used to. But it goes on like a musical number. Then he waves at her. unaware of how annoyed she is with him. Trying to build another wall between her and Roy. trying to make her room more like a room./EXT. (CONTINUED) 57 . She rolls her eyes and he HONKS AGAIN.THAT DAY (AFTER SCHOOL) Sara exits with Chenille. She’s a clenched fist inside. CHENILLE That’s your old man? Now he’s cute.

INSERT .) Just come here. ROY What do you wanna do? You wanna hang out with me? Go to my gig. They’re the best. Grinning from ear to ear. There’s no escaping him. What does he want? 57 Sara lets out a heavy sigh. Roy.S. So. Looks inside. ROY School night. Got it. BACK TO SCENE Roy regards her expectantly. What do you feel like? (whimsically) Lamb Chop Suey? Tropical Tuna? Primavera Paradise? SARA I had a big lunch. ROY (O. closes the freezer door. Sara. You can if you want. Right. They’re in unruly. deflated. Roy.) C’mere a minute. stacks. She walks into the kitchen.S. trails her into the living area. SARA What? ROY (O.INSIDE FREEZER It’s full of frozen dinners. I asked at the market.26. Sara’s clenching again. 57 CONTINUED: Hey. Sara crosses to the freezer. Roy’s in front of the open freezer door. lopsided . SARA It’s a school night. He motions her over. ROY Hungry and Healthys.

The dervish ends in her "room. Snookie straggle through the dreary jungle of concrete lawns and blighted high rises on the way to school. SNOOKIE I need a date -Why? CHENILLE Your hand busy? 61 60 59 58 SNOOKIE -.For the prom. Sara takes her first good look around. I can see us now. Sara stares at the shoes until her eyes blur. It drives home where she is. (CONTINUED) . My personal prom queen. one askew kitchen chair. Wall to wall. Several layers into a suitcase. 59 INT. are evident everywhere. Chenille. ROY’S APARTMENT . And if it wasn’t for that kinda undue attitude. Scrubbing away what’s churned up inside. Slams the door shut.CLOSE ON EMPTY T. A box of Sugar Puffs cereal lands at her feet.LIVING ROOM .KITCHEN . A mess. Something else out of place. 61 EXT.NIGHT An empty beer bottle.LATER Roy’s gone.SARA . Then she snatches them up and entombs them deep inside her closet. like the bombed out police substation on one of its corners. 58 INT. She opens the freezer to unearth a dinner and starts an avalanche of falling food. ROY’S APARTMENT ." where she finishes unpacking. Vestiges of Roy’s meal. Chenille. jams everything back into the freezer. ANGLE WIDENS as Sara enters. cleaning the apartment. She picks it up. DINNER TRAY . It’s quiet now but the scars of past battles. SHOCK CUT TO: 60 SARA in a whirlwind. she comes to her ballet shoes. It’s overwhelming. O’DONNELL HEIGHTS PUBLIC HOUSING PROJECTS MORNING Patrick.V. What she’s lost. you could be the lucky girl. The sight hits her like a slap in the face.27.

61 CONTINUED: CHENILLE You must be lookin’ in your dreams./EXT CITY BUS/BALTIMORE STREETS . He’s somewhere else. PATRICK I ain’t gonna be doctor nothin’ if I don’t get in and I’m not in ’til I get my letter. Patrick. 62 INT. Doctor college after that. 63 62 . man. behind them. 61 SNOOKIE Defend me. She’s invisible to them.g. Singing. BUS STOP (NEAR PATTERSON HIGH) . keeps in stride above them. Inside’s more interesting. They continue on like this. CHENILLE It’s in the mail. If I hadn’t got left back that time. Sara. PATRICK I got my own problems. 63 EXT. Patrick’s the only one to see her and their eyes briefly connect. Chenille. rapping. SNOOKIE What problems? You goin’ to college. seated by a window. and Snookie walk past. Okay? SNOOKIE (wishfully thinking) I probably coulda been a doctor too. Help me. Becomes serious.MORNING The bus is crammed with kids. doesn’t bother looking out. man. You large. Snook.28.MORNING Sara alights just as Patrick. and jousting with each other. Some even manage to read. CHENILLE That time? What? Fifth and sixth grade don’t count? Patrick finally laughs. Sara watches with immunity. the ruins of their world in the b. The kids cut up. Then his face changes. He hops a low wall. Snookie glances at Patrick.

Her voice stops him cold. PATRICK (very casually) That’s too big. in safety goggles and gloves. This should 65 66 INT. CHEMISTRY LAB . All three begin to walk. watch Snookie clown his way through.H6. The security guard shakes his head. You’ll need a partner. Sara just looks at him MR. She glints at him. his head. Johnson. HILL We’re cooking today. Ms. MRS. 65 Snookie regards Patrick’s smile. HALLWAY NEAR ENTRANCE (PATTERSON HIGH) CONTINUOUS ACTION Patrick and Chenille pass through metal detectors. Snookie. She tries to slink into a seat. Sara picks up a beaker. Gwynn coming up from behind.O2) on the blackboard. MR. 64 INT. grits through her teeth. shakes 64 INT. She has no idea -. doesn’t see Mrs. points at one of several formulas (C2.MINUTES LATER The class.29. HILL. Mr. Reynolds -Patrick -. The teacher. She moseys on.and no intention of admitting it. GWYNN (as Patrick and Chenille look on) Light on your feet? Good. Patrick bounces a smile off unsettled Sara.will show you the ropes. bobbing and jiving. Stares at the blackboard. CHEMISTRY LAB . This is your first lab. ANGLE ON SARA AND PATRICK He’s holding two vials.LATER THAT MORNING The class has donned lab coats and is ready to begin when Sarah rushes in. Be sure they dance into my office next week. be fun. (CONTINUED) 66 . gives her a disapproving look. has partnered up.

Don’t give me that. looks at her. her lip. HILL Everybody back in Her face is red. Picks up a vial. She settles on one. Flips through her textbook. Patrick grabs a wet towel. PATRICK Know the difference between ethyl glycol and methyl acetate? Both got three elements. She’s biting 66 PATRICK I misread the component. Watches her consternation with bemusement. Hill rushes up to them. he looks sternly at Patrick. Panicked. Some of the liquid splashes on Sara’s lab coat. she drops the vial into their sink. MR. C2 versus C3. A small smile forms on his face. trying to make a connection. You were screwin’ around! (CONTINUED) . 66 CONTINUED: SARA I know it’s too big. leans over and whispers. Patrick. HILL (even more angry now) You? You misread a component. MR. The class stops cold. PATRICK I wouldn’t do that if I were you. C3 could blow a vial right out a person’s hand. quickly wipes it off. Picks up a vial of powder. But then the contents of the beaker begin to ominously bubble. Patrick slides to the farthest end of the table. Once he’s sure Sara’s fine. goes back to her vials.30. Sara thinks he’s messing with her. two parts the same. He can’t believe she dissed him. What happened? your seats! Patrick stares at Sara. It’s that first part. Sara turns away from it. It instantly goes up in smoke. She puts the beaker down. Patrick grabs her hand. SARA (yanks her hand back) Who died and made you teacher? Patrick pulls back. Her eyes shift from it to the blackboard.

68 PATTERSON HIGH . Clearing the teacher. 67 SERIES OF CLOSE CUTS Chenille on balance beam. Sara looks at Patrick. Except for Nikki. Until the teacher swerves around. Hill regards her wearily. The class loves it.END OF SCHOOL THAT DAY Sara. pliable rubber bands.." 67 INT. ANGLE WIDENS to reveal a stout white girl on a balance beam. OPEN CLOSE ON a girl’s plump ass. and Nikki). She stands there with her arms folded. Tentatively approaching the balance beam. He turns to Sara. catch up to her. Mindful of all the eyes on her.) Alright. 67 67 66 Agile. All waiting to see the new girl fall on her ass. And then TIGHTER STILL on Sara. Awed. Heading down the steps with other students. Squirming in too-tight gym shorts that hug the cheeks. (CONTINUED) 68 . . Self-assured. 66 CONTINUED: Hill’s tone is searing. TEACHER (O. both middle fingers in the air.TEACHER AND CLASS Reacting with shock and surprise. Good. competent but average. Chenille and Diggy break through the logjam. Diggy pivots around. Hops off. the stout girl ("DIGGY") slides off the beam. Gives up the double bird with much attitude. Simmering. Chenille. She flounces across it on her tiptoes. From somewhere around her. walks past the teacher with her head demurely cast down. supple. Looks out.NIGHT Over the sound of GRUNTING.. Diggs.. Hanging on for dear life. She’s trying to say something but the words won’t come out. Sara swings herself onto the beam with aplomb.S. Envious. Her legs and body are strong. Ms.. Nikki on balance beam. weakly mouths "thanks. then walks off pushing the curious class back to their stations. SARA’S POV . a WHISTLE BLOWS. Amid snickers. Does a flawless split.31. Trying to get her legs to stand up on it. Time! WIDEN to see the teacher and her class (FAVOR Sara. all the bated breaths. GYMNASIUM . Cheers it.

She steels herself. crack some joke about her nearly blowing him up. A nice twinkle. SARA I don’t know. Chenille breaks their eye play. Egg-cuse me? So. Sorta members only. Mostly. CHENILLE Thinks she’s down. 68 CONTINUED: CHENILLE Girl.. Snook dee’s sometime. Regards Sara CHENILLE You should hit Feetz with us tomorrow night. What was all that doublejointed cheerleader shit? This is Diggy. then Patrick. (CONTINUED) . It’s a club. curiously. 68 CHENILLE What’s up with that? SARA (awkwardly) Nothing’s up with it. CHENILLE Come on and hang out. loping her way.32. He’s going to say something. I used to kind of dance.. But Patrick just stares at her with a twinkle in his eyes. DIGGY I am down. He can get you in. DIGGY Un-der-ground. She grabs Snookie’s arm.... Sara’s not entirely immune to it. (yelling) Yo. Sara. how you get your legs to twist like that? DIGGY (wildly gesticulating) Yeah. Ballet. Snook Sara sees Snookie. pushes Patrick aside. indicates Sara. Chenille makes an impressed face..

68 SARA Look closer. Look at her. Shit. SARA That’s okay. I will have your I. give Snook twenty dollars. How you think you gettin’ in? On your looks? (rolling his eyes) Chenille. Probably around you. Sara glares. Snookie . I dance in circles. The twinkle in his eye is gone. I think maybe you should wipe the crust from your eyes.D. Eye-dee. put on the spot. CHENILLE So we’ll hook up at my house. All the way up. Loud-talkin’ me and broke as a damn promise. 68 CONTINUED: CHENILLE She needs to get hooked up for Feetz. She’s about solving the problem. Regards Snookie with a sweeping scowl.D. Chenille’s stays on point. Snookie’s jaw drops. CHENILLE You gonna pay the man or what? SNOOKIE She ain’t got it. Patrick looks directly at Sara. replaced by fair warning. Go together. SARA I don’t even know where it is. I can’t just be gettin’ any green in. your girl is weak. Patrick cracks up. I got my rep to watch. SARA For what? SNOOKIE I. And if I still look green. snatches it. PATRICK Feetz ain’t no square dance. pulls out the money.33. Sara. Snookie shrugs affirmatively. Sara. Diggy too.

She’s got a head full of rollers. jittery purpose down this poverty stricken street. ROY You’re takin’ chemistry? SARA Right now it’s taking me. As soon as Sara hears the front DOOR CLOSE. She keeps going.34. Sara walks into this world of shadows and despite a trepidation.SARA’S ROOM . She’s frantic and unsure about choosing the right one. 71 70 .NIGHT Approaching the malignant edifices as the Heights begin to come to life. He leaves. 70 EXT. She’s walked too far to turn back.NIGHT Sara. Maybe I’ll call between sets. shrug. Well. 71 EXT. But can feel the eyes on her.. the other rips through outfits. In a skin-tight miniskirt and a bolero jacket. See ya in the mornin’.. ROY I’m splittin’.SARA . she jumps up. "BLACK" STREET (SOUTH BALTIMORE) . 69 INT. One hand rips the rollers from her hair. finds something fascinating about the possibility of real danger. Doesn’t meet anyone’s eye. or death. Looking more eighties than nineties. strips down to bra and panties.NIGHT Roy walks in to see Sara on the futon in her pajamas reading a book. O’DONNELL HEIGHTS PROJECTS . (as she barely looks up) Whatcha readin’? SARA Chemistry. ROY’S APARTMENT . ROY Give yourself some time. She walks with tentative. depending how luck’s running. Sara really looks up. races to the closet. Gives him an angelic. sluggish 69 SARA I’ll be asleep. more cute than cool.

.35. FROM ANOTHER ANGLE GRANDMOMMA DEAN enters with a toddler ("CHRISTOPHER") in her arms. I look okay? Chenille gives her the once over. REYNOLDS APARTMENT/HALLWAY . Chenille kisses Christopher. Now don’t get him all riled up.. And handsome here is Christopher. Sara takes it in. Sara looks tentatively at Chenille. 72 SARA . Slammin’.the apartment is surprisingly quaint and extremely neat. MOMMA DEAN Hello.NIGHT Chenille triple unlocks the door. short-cut leather coat over it. Despite her white locks. CHENILLE You look okay.. waist-length dreads and she’s wearing a dashiki lounger. Also known as Momma Dean. CHENILLE (fussing over Christopher) Grandmom. Chenille. She sports snow white. SARA Hi. Sara. Sara. hands him off to Momma Dean. Grandmom. I’m leavin’. CHENILLE Slammin’ outfit. yours? CHENILLE He sure ain’t Momma Dean’s. lets Sara in./INT. (then) Moma Dean. 72 EXT. Inspects Sara. is he. SARA Is that. Decides to lie. Chenille is dressed in hugely baggy militarystyle pants and a tube top with a form-fitting. she doesn’t look old enough to be a grandmother. She hands Christopher to Chenille.. They exit. Yeah. It looks a helluva lot better than Roy’s place. SARA Cool outfit. I want to get some sleep tonight... Sara’s surprised -. kind. Her eyes are open..

then yanks Sara’s miniskirt down around her hips. Sara’s eyes go wide. Your Sara takes off the bolero.36. SARA Wait. SARA She’s ugly. Give it here. Gestures at Sara with her head.D.he’s the worst. SARA It’s from the GAP. She’s fat! 74 CHENILLE She’s twenty-one too.NIGHT They’ve been talking. Okay? 74 EXT. 73 INT. CAB/STREET (MOVING) . Take it off. CHENILLE Gimme that ’89 Madonna shit./EXT. You look country in it. jacket. Best mistake I ever made. Sara and Chenille get out. Intently. SARA I’m not walking in there in my bra. CHENILLE It’s country. Chenille suddenly whips off her coat.NIGHT A curbed cab. Sara’s torso is clad in a long-sleeved cotton tee. (hard for her) Do I really look alright? An unspoken thing passes between them. (CONTINUED) . Kenny -Christopher’s father -. sharing. Chenille has. Triflin’. listening. Chenille frowns at it.. I have to ask you something. 6TH AND BROADWAY (EAST BALTIMORE) . I ain’t got all night.. PUSH IN ON photo of obese white girl with an untamed trailer trash perm. hands Sara her I. Let’s hop. Chenille. Chenille digs into her pocketbook.SARA AND CHENILLE . Chenille ties it around her own neck. Sara’s been Liking this confidence they’re 73 CHENILLE . He’ll be one in July. Well.

37. 74 CONTINUED: Chenille thrusts her leather coat at her. Sara can’t believe what she’s doing, getting (un)dressed on a public street! She pulls off the tee, slips on Chenille’s coat. Buttons it as far as the buttons go. Looks down. Half her chest is exposed. 75 EXT. ALLEY (EAST BALTIMORE) - SARA AND CHENILLE - NIGHT Gaining on what looks like an abandoned warehouse. Chenille snorts at the roped off queue of kids waiting to get inside. Rope dopes. CHENILLE C’mon. 75 74

She leads Sara to the door of FEETZ. The Sumo-sized MAN guarding it knows Chenille, digs her. His grin exposes gold-capped teeth. Chenille. always. DOORMAN Lookin’ fine. As

CHENILLE Too fine to stand in line? The Man grins, opens the rope, lets them in -- "in" being just inside the front door. A BOUNCER there collects the $10.00 cover charge. Checks their I.D. He hands Sara’s back with a smirk. BOUNCER Changed your hair. He waves a metal detector over their bodies, nods to yet another bouncer who escorts Sara and Chenille through yet another door. 76 ANOTHER ANGLE They march a short distance to an old elevator where a group of kids wait. Bouncer #2 engages the elevator. Everyone piles in. 77 INT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS ACTION Sara holds onto her stomach as the CREAKY ELEVATOR descends and the MUSIC below rises. The elevator’s vibrating with music. (CONTINUED) 77 76

38. 77 CONTINUED: SARA (an inside to Chenille) Can’t get much more underground than this. 78 INT. FEETZ CLUB - CONTINUOUS ACTION A smoky hole in the wall, filled to the brim with kids. Mostly black kids with a few whites and Latinos melting in. They share a common goal: To clog the dance floor, flaunt their outfits and get nasty with the music of the masters: Tupac Shakur, NAS, Lauryn Hill, Puff Daddy, etc. Here, the boundaries of dirty dancing are pushed, from erotic to vulgar; loving to lascivious. ANOTHER ANGLE Sara and Chenille. Sara’s excited. She loves that she has to shout to be head over the music. CHENILLE Let’s get our table ’fore it gets crashed and I hafta hurt somebody. Sara’s bewildered. She doesn’t see any tables. She follows Chenille to the back of FEETZ. Sees six or seven tables. All of them have reserved signs. Most of them are filled. SARA What are you, some kind of V.I.P.? Chenille indicates the deejay booth. Snookie’s in it. 78 77

CHENILLE Snook hooks me up whenever he dees. They walk past a SLACKER in lycra pants and a big Army shirt. He licks his tongue at Chenille, grabs at her protruding butt. She swirls around, grabs his crotch hard enough to get his attention. The Slacker is squirming in her clutch. SLACKER Aw’right, aw’right. You got it. CHENILLE Got what? (MORE) (CONTINUED)

39. 78 CONTINUED: CHENILLE (CONT’D) (as he can’t think of anything but the squeeze on his balls) The right to walk past your greasy, tickle dick self without your paws on my ass? ’S’that how I got it? Chenille bobs her head right in his face. Sara can’t believe it. A few people have stopped and are looking. The Slacker nods hastily. Chenille releases him, gently smoothes out his shirt. CHENILLE That’s how I thought I had it. (a fly wave) See ya. She and Sara continue on to back-of-the-club tables. Stop at a reserved one. An adjacent table sports Nikki, her three girl crew... and Diggy. All nurse drinks. Nikki snake-eyes Sara. NIKKI What is up with this place? Seems like they’re lettin’ anybody in. Yeah. CHENILLE And they started with you. 78

The three girls and Diggy snicker. Nikki gives Chenille a look. Turns back to Sara with a snide smirk. Points out her crew. NIKKI I’m Nikki. Alyssa. Jasmin. Tiff’nee. You know Diggy, right, Marsha? SARA Sara. It’s Sara. And I know you. We have a class together. NIKKI That don’t mean you know me. CHENILLE Quit it, Nikki. NIKKI Quit what? I ain’t walkin’ on eggshells just ’cause you brought the Brady Bunch to the Negro Club. (CONTINUED)

CHENILLE Oh. DIGGY Alright.ENTRANCE . FEETZ . Uh-uh. Nikki. NIKKI Tell her to chill. The three girls scoot loyally after her.40. That’s why she always fits in. runs her arm in the space between Chenille and Nikki like a referee. wench. Females flock to flirt with Patrick and Malakai. CHENILLE I can say a lot more. Nikki glowers 78 NIKKI I’m pretty sure you came with one. who both swell like sponges. I’m pretty sure this one doesn’t have any Negroes. She ejects herself from the table. Whatever shit it is. 78 CONTINUED: SARA (kiss-my-ass polite) Maybe you came to the wrong spot. Diggy goes with the flow. soaking up the attention. 79 INT. Keep runnin’ your mouth. Nikki. walks off. Nikki’s not taking any chances. As Chenille bucks. no. 79 . DIGGY Why you burn her like that? CHENILLE ’Cause I can’t stand her ass and the way she played my brother. I need a drink. Diggy gets up. Chill.SAME TIME Patrick and Malakai enter with two high school dropouts we will learn are ARVEL and LIP. y’all. at her. Chenille cracks up mainly to back Sara up. Diggy springs up from her seat. Let’s walk. I’ll lay all your shit bare. Sara. Sits down at Sara’s and Chenille’s table. She always got somethin’ to say. You did not just call me a Negro.

That’s him.41. Chenille rolls her eyes half-heartedly. Don’t look. Don’t jump off. A tall. Hook me . up. NIKKI Let’s dance. She makes a silly face at Chenille as Kenny sidles up to her. nudges Sara. It’s comin’? CHENILLE No. You lyin’. shouts: Rum and Coke. She’s in love with him. tugging Sara along. She sees him. PATRICK (pulling away) Let’s not. Chenille turns back to Sara. angular twenty-something MAN on the far side of the bar sees her. Sucks her teeth. KENNY (MAN) What’s up? CHENILLE Where’s my money. FEETZ . Kenny? KENNY I’m a little short this week. (CONTINUED) CHENILLE No ice.BAR . Enough to let him whisper in her ear. He’s walking through when Nikki appears from nowhere. grabs his arm. CHENILLE Comin’ over.SAME TIME Chenille pushes her way to the bar. Before she’s swallowed up by the crowd. She shakes her head firmly but her eyes do tell. It’s comin’. ON PATRICK splitting off from Malakai and a girl clinging to him. Kenny? 80 So of course Sara does. KENNY Lemme rap to you about the situation on the dance floor. sweet-talk her away from the bar. 80 INT.

Patrick rolls his eyes as he glances at Sara. You’d know that if you really drank.42. Sara’s knees straighten. She turns into his smile. Toward Sara. Don’t let me leave her hangin’. leave’em-weak-in-the-knees smile. SARA Rum and Coke. 80 CONTINUED: Oh? NIKKI It’s gonna be like that. SARA It’s just a beer. PATRICK Then it should be the best beer. straight up. Hugely fly. PATRICK It ain’t anymore. asshole’s back.’ The closeness of his voice startles her. help me out. The look is like. That cocksure. PATRICK What’s that mean? Whatever. He ambles up as she shouts into the bartender’s ear. Anything. CAMERA TRACKS him going deep inside the club. Patrick. Bad choice. Nikki. Not to He walks off. He’s almost at the bar when he sees Chenille on the dance floor with Kenny. her spine stiffens. He wants a drink. She looks fly. me.S. (CONTINUED) The . And a beer. SARA Whatever. She shrugs a smile. I don’t care.) ’Anything. then cocks her head over at the bar. 80 PATRICK How’d you think it was gonna be? That you was gonna drop me and pick me up whenever you felt like it? NIKKI It ain’t all that serious. before he really sees her. PATRICK (O.

Let’s do it then. FAVOR Sara and Patrick. Shakes his head. She starts to dance. stiffly. (closer with a teasing whisper) I’m supposed to be dizzy by now.’ The music’s beginning to feel good to Sara. (CONTINUED) . The knees are going again. tentatively. You’re the whiz kid. Patrick’s a good teacher. (singing.43. PATRICK (chuckles at this. Sara watches him intensely. swings them in time to the music.. facing each other. PARLIAMENT’S funk classic "Flashlight" is playing. Like I don’t know why we’re standin’ still. Patrick smiles at her. 80 SARA I don’t feel like dancing. C’mon. He’s moving already.? SARA Would I be here if I didn’t? PATRICK . PATRICK But you do know how. Sara leans against the bar. he smoothly segues into another less-complicated one. 80 CONTINUED: SARA Whatever you want it to mean.. He coaxes her onto the dance floor. Patrick lets go of her hands. There’s a party on the floor. (as Sara looks lost) Sara! Just like our hands. He leads without leaving her. PATRICK Now move your hips.. at her) Not everything. Whenever she misses a complicated move. Remember? From all those circles you danced around me. The dance crowd is robustly singing the refrain to the song. He grabs her hands. in sync with the crowd) ’Flashlight! Neon light! Stop light! Everybody got a little light under the sun. Starts to dance. right? You know everything.. Not so fast. her body follows his stiffly.

The girls regard her in conspicuous. Oh. Patrick suddenly grabs her around the waist.44. He gets up. 80 CONTINUED: Sara begins to pick-up on Patrick’s rhythm. He just starts swinging. NIKKI It is if I want it to be. (CONTINUED) 81 80 . She licks his ear.. that’s right. doesn’t complain. In a small pocket of the club he sees Malakai. Malakai laughs. And then she starts to feel something else. Nikki maintains her cool but inside her pride is pricking. They stand there for a moment. Patrick reacts to it instinctively. Her eyes never wander from his.SAME TIME Malakai and the clinging girl nuzzle in a back corner. dubious silence. FEETZ . A quickening heart. They both do. He doesn’t explain. She smiles bashfully at him. He is if I want him to be. whispers into it.WALKING TOWARD . A storm cloud comes over it. WIDER as Malakai reaches the dealers. One slips Mohawk a packet of coke. FROM ANOTHER ANGLE Nikki avidly watching Sara and Patrick with Jasmin and Tiff’ny. 81 INT. Then his expression abruptly darkens. two dealers a few feet away. And not from the dancing. MALAKAI’S POV .. A little unsure of the moment. Looking around. They’re talking to an Asian guy with a multi-colored Mohawk. And then there’s a scream! Several of them actually. SARA AND PATRICK The MUSIC changes and their dance ends. JASMIN She’s all up in your nut. That bitch ain’t got shit on me... Nikki. All Sara can do is try to keep up and hang on. A rising beat. a little caught up in each other. It ain’t your nut anymore. the other takes his money. pulls her to him in a sexy spoon dance.

cups his knees as he catches his breath. PATRICK You couldn’t let it slide? (CONTINUED) 82 Holding his 81 . He jumps into the fray. ANGLE ON SARA AND CHENILLE wrangling their way to the front line of the crowd. Diggy not far behind them.PATRICK AND MALAKAI A thick crowd around them. Comin’ here.OUTSIDE VESTIBULE . 81 CONTINUED: PATRICK’S POV . He rushes him from behind. Patrick can see Malakai’s too far gone for talk. own. is standing over his opponent.MALAKAI in full fisticuffs with the two dealers. Squarin’ off in my shit. proceed to beat the living shit out of the two dealers. ON PATRICK leaving Sara. which is -PATRICK pummeling his dealer into cowering submission. PATRICK Man. Only then does he look over at Malakai who. FEETZ . what the hell are you doin’? Tryin’ to get sent back up? MALAKAI They the ones tryin’ shit. nearly lifts Malakai off his feet to swing him away from the dealer’s writhing body on the floor.FIGHT .CONTINUOUS ACTION The exit door bursts open and Patrick and Malakai tumble out. FEETZ . kicking and stomping him with no signs of letting up. dumbfounded and dazzled by what she sees. Patrick bends over. Sara looks on. slicing through a clot of looky-loos until he reaches Malakai.45. 82 EXT. eyes engorged with rage. INT.

you fuck up parole. She smiles too. so be it. Cops and shit. 83 EXT.NIGHT Distant WAIL of SIRENS as Feetz begins to empty out.46. You know that. MALAKAI We fucked those fools up for sure. FEETZ . And if I gotta stomp some niggers in my way. Waiting and watching for Patrick. She smiles with relief. Diggy looks at them. You want that? MALAKAI (regards him coldly) I want what was mine. wrought iron fence. Feetz is my spot. Disappear behind it. Chenille and Diggy. it. you ain’t gonna back to JuVee. Like we did before. They look at each other.FRONT ENTRANCE . they come back strong tomorrow. Eighteen and up. Not too worse for the wear. I’m gone. PATRICK Malakai. PATRICK (crossing to exit door) For damn sure. She leaves. Patrick finds the door locked. 83 . Hardcore lockdown. you definitely got the stompin’ part down. I’ma do business here just like I did before. Share a small laugh. Patrick tries to salvage 82 PATRICK Well. Then Sara sees him. DIGGY It’s about to get real out here. 82 CONTINUED: MALAKAI Let it slide tonight. He and Malakai hoist themselves over a high. Chenille spots Patrick. Kids converge on the sidewalks. man. that’s Jessup. An uncertain but tense moment. PICK UP Sara.

Braveheart.NIGHT Sara. regards Chenille with a false bravado. Patrick and Chenille. They round a corner bordering the Heights. 84 EXT.. Let him handle his own shit before he drags you down in it. I heard you the first five hundred times. STREET . like an order) He’ll walk you. It’s 84 CHENILLE No.47. STREET (O’DONNELL HEIGHTS) . looks dourly at Sara. PATRICK Chenille. Walking home. As much as this makes sense. Would you tell the girl it ain’t okay? PATRICK It’s not okay. Chenille.SARA AND PATRICK . CHENILLE I’ll see you Monday. Sara keeps stealing glances of him. disconcerted with Patrick. Chenille’s preaching to Patrick.NIGHT walking. Patrick. CHENILLE . (to Patrick. it still takes Patrick by surprise. He’s not in the mood. SARA It’s just a few blocks. it’s not okay. PATRICK What? SARA (caught) What? (CONTINUED) Or so she 85 . okay. Yeah. Stop in front of it. thinks. Sara sees it in his face. Tell you like I keep tellin’ you.. I’ma tell you. 85 EXT. okay? (before she can protest) Come on. You need to let Malakai alone.

her. (beat) So. Chenille doesn’t like him. 85 CONTINUED: PATRICK Why you keep lookin’ at me? SARA I have to look somewhere. But you’re from the suburb Mars. You looked so mad. You wanna know somethin’. PATRICK She likes him. SARA Not like that. through thick and thin. PATRICK I was mad and he wasn’t no kid. Way back. You know. SARA Are you laughing at me? Dropping the smile. how’d you like Feetz? (CONTINUED) Looks at But Patrick 85 . the look on her face. SARA It’s not a question. It’s not funny. laughs. It don’t stop her from trippin’ off him now and then. PATRICK That’s not why.48. The streets are deserted. It’s the way you were beating that kid up. We go back. like they say. Might as well look at you. (some kind of wonder) You were really kicking his ass. right? Folks don’t fight there. Patrick shakes his head. But Malakai’s good people. PATRICK My friend was in trouble. Ask somethin’. SARA Maybe he’s my question. Your friend.

She turns from him. the stoop. had a great time. But a lot. She looks at him. Bet you listen to it all the time. Pause on 85 PATRICK Is that ’see ya’ like gee-whiz. 85 CONTINUED: SARA It was great. knowing smile. So. can’t wait to see you again? (MORE) (CONTINUED) .49. PATRICK You passed it. PATRICK Uh-huh. SARA It wasn’t the music I wasn’t used to. PATRICK Once you got used to the music. A look. PATRICK No problem. unsettling. Shit. hoping he didn’t see it. Patrick regards her with a sly. it’s not the first time I heard hip-hop. SARA We passed it. I mean. PATRICK We gettin’ any closer to your crib or should we stop for food and water? Sara snaps out of it. First the flush and now this. SARA Thanks for walking me. She could kick herself. Looks around. They double back to her front door. Patrick. SARA I’ll see ya. Sara’s face flushes. His stare is significant. SARA Not all the time.

. SARA Oh..NEXT MORNING Roy’s making breakfast when Sara straggles in. (she slumps in chair) You gettin’ along at school? Makin’ friends.. don’t make me worry like that about you. She peers at the stove... ROY I came home on my break.KITCHEN .’ I’ll bust a cap in your ass if you ever darken my doorstep again? He makes it impossible not to smile.? (as she nods robotically) . siddown. 85 SARA I haven’t said gee-whiz since I was six.. If you wanna go out. Scrambled eggs and bacon. (MORE) (CONTINUED) He snaps at Stands there holding 86 . Oh? Jesus! You’re hard! Look. 86 INT. 85 CONTINUED: PATRICK (CONT’D) Or is it like ’see ya. The succinct sneer in her voice gets to Roy. Patrick waits until the lights go on inside before he turns around and starts home. her. You’re seventeen. But don’t lie to me. Siddown.50. See any of ’em last night? He slides a plate in front of her. But I really had a great time.. She enters the rowhouse. his. ROY’S APARTMENT . So damned charming. Toast too! A first for him.. On top of everything else. ROY . go out. ROY Figured I’d put a little marrow in your bones. okay? PATRICK Okay.

Finally. Takes her bag.51. a chink in the brick wall. The bomb in your shell? SNOOKIE That was black magic. 86 ROY What’re you gonna do today? Anything special? Nope. tasteless sample. They eat in silence. (CONTINUED) . PATRICK You do the shit to yourself. wryly shakes his head. Patrick. RECORD STORE (EAST POINT MALL) . (sits down. hands Patrick a Jay-Z C. me be the bomb in your The fly girl rolls her eyes.DAY A track from TOP DOGG BLARES from invisible SPEAKERS. Leaves. . man. I’m sorry. He reaches behind the counter. Then Sara looks over at him with genuine if detached remorse. All of the store’s many customers are teenage kids. trying like hell) So how are the eggs? They good? Sara takes a small.D. Roy exhales. I should’ve said something. How nothin’ workin’ C’mon. Snookie. shell.. 86 CONTINUED: ROY (CONT’D) (after long moment) I didn’t mean to yell. It’s gonna work one of these days.. SARA You’re right. 87 SARA Nothing special. in sunglasses and a reversed baseball cap. girl. 87 INT. you for man Let SNOOKIE know I can’t do you? I’m the hardest in showbizness. He’s ringing up (and trying to rap to) a fly girl when Patrick walks in. overhears the overture. Patrick looks at Snookie. clerks behind the counter. nods.

Rang it up on my discount. Dancin’. 88 INT. She juggles them in one hand. Sara.. I mean. PATRICK (half-serious) Nobody’s as fly as me.HIP-HOP SECTION .. She looks up to see Patrick standing beside her.D.D. Last night. I heard some stuff I didn’t have last night. RECORD STORE . PATRICK (what Snookie’s waiting for) Thank you. he sees her in the stacks.D.’s.MOMENTS LATER 88 Sara with a bunch of C. I snatched it up for you. here.’s with another. PATRICK Throwin’ a party? There’s no wiggle room but Sara wiggles anyway.’s. flips through Hip-Hop C. SNOOKIE (as Patrick pays him) You workin’ or what. PATRICK (that twinkle in his eyes) Well. He takes in the C. Snookie. Grins at her. PATRICK Soon as I get outta And 87 As he says this. 87 CONTINUED: SNOOKIE Last one on the rack.52. you were fly anyway. man? On my way. SARA Not as fly as you. his eyes wander around the store. (CONTINUED) . SARA Just adding to my collection.

If you want. unwrapping one of those T. Two black girls having at it. It’s a ferocious match.D. Sara looks back at him. 88 CONTINUED: SARA (dead-serious) Not yet anyway. dinners. (CONTINUED) 90 89 . clothes torn apart. ROY’S APARTMENT .HALLWAY . Hair pulling. spit flying. The far hallway is the ring. Sure. PATTERSON HIGH . slamming..’s. Work on some of your moves. back.KITCHEN . SARA (convincing lie) Not to me. God. After school or somethin’. SARA (into phone) It was so. What? No. Starts to leave. comes to a bottleneck of students..MORNING A fight. Sara cranes her neck to see the action. PATRICK By the way. The dancing! I’m going again. Hammer’s pretty much played out. They’re staring at each other.53. indicates her stack of C. Lindsay. Looks at her. I haven’t seen anybody get shot yet. Patrick laughs. 89 INT.NIGHT Sara’s on the phone. It’s like the nose bleed section of Caesar’s Palace. punches landed. Turns Patrick nods affirmatively. ANGLE ON SARA as she crowns the corner. I didn’t move to Bosnia. SARA Okay.V. 90 INT. 88 PATRICK Maybe we could hook up later.

The expression on her face closes off. Whenever you decide to lose the tan? Her inference clear. Getting it. Mrs. Thinks she found a kindred spirit. that identity crisis Diggy. a bunch of kids in front of and behind her.) Seniors. Be there. The two of us. right? (as Sara warily nods) Toni. P. 90 CONTINUED: ANGLE WIDENS as a security guard earns his hazard pay. Gwynn is holding all diplomas hostage in her office. He separates the two girls who are still swinging at each other.A. a P. Chenille. Toni flashes a brilliant smile. Toni. a reminder before you rise up and change the world. keeps talking. TONY (WHITE GIRL) We freed the slaves and didn’t teach them no manners. Sara shakes her head to herself. You know. happily walks off. address comes on. SARA What happened? The White Girl studies Sara’s suburban clothes and freshscrubbed face.A. I was gonna introduce myself before but you’re always with that crowd.54. Sara looks at Toni. (before Sara can react) You’re Sara. 90 . Getting her. ADDRESS (V. As Sara continues down the hall. What an idiot. ON SARA as a WHITE GIRL standing next to her shakes her head lamentably. TONI (brightly) We should hang out sometime. Her only demand is the pleasure of your company for career D-Day. Sara enters her classroom.O. He throws one into a corner. Sara. too dense to read it. her girls. hurls the other in an opposite corner.

55. STREET/ROY’S ROWHOUSE (SO. Roy. I His body deflates 94 93 92 91 95 SARA How ’bout fuck it? Or should I say fuck her? It’s a fuck-fest. And another NOISE. Foreign and yet familiar. 95 INT. 94 ON ROY The hair on his head stands up. He’s home. Half on it anyway. So I’m sorry. Sara unlocks the door. (CONTINUED) .LIVING ROOM Her father’s fucking somebody! On the couch. don’t. instantly.MOMENTS LATER Sara sits at the table. Alright? SARA Sorry you got caught. Roy enters in a wrinkled T-shirt and battered jeans.DAY Sara walks up the street (passing many black people). Jesus! ANGLE WIDENS as Sara turns away from the spectacle. but not. you changed your mind. There’s a JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL FAINTLY coming from it. Opens it. ROY Don’t talk to me like that. Obviously. ROY I don’t know what to say. Reaches for Roy’s sax. (beat) I thought you were goin’ to your friend’s house after school. His embarrassment is naked../INT. 91 EXT.. In broad daylight! The whore underneath him is moaning. Like grunting. 93 SARA’S POV . BALTIMORE) . Sara. sees Roys’ pickup. She blows the longest. shrillest note known to mankind. walks up a flight of stairs to their apartment. Shit. 92 CAMERA TRACKS Sara as she enters their rowhouse. KITCHEN .

We’re all adults. Embracing. smiles at Glynn. 95 RHONDA I think he means you know about sex.56. Sitting on the edge of her futon. PULL BACK to see Sara. Really? Bats her eyes. I’m real sorry. Let it be over. The disingenuous Rhonda jumps in. honey. holding Glynn’s clover leaf necklace and staring at her mother’s face. She kisses the lucky charm. ROY It’s nobody’s ’fault. observed The "whore" with the Hich C is RHONDA. . Once upon a time we were real rabbits. SARA’S ROOM . bottle blonde barfly kind of way. Roy? Sara looks at her. ROY Shut up. Not bad looking. That we have it and he likes it. Isn’t that what you mean. Missing her. Can’t help it. 95 CONTINUED: ROY Sorry I got. Happy. It’s my fault. She stands between the living area and the kitchen entrance now. weren’t we. Sara tries not to look at her. Please. 96 INT. in a washed out. Roy? Verbal quicksand. Lost. RHONDA Don’t be mad at him. She has to see the whore.. slips the necklace on. Hard..NOT MUCH LATER OPEN CLOSE ON a framed photo of Glynn and Sara (in full ballet costume). 96 Roy can feel himself sinking. Sara glares at him.’ It’s over. Lonely. Rhonda. SARA How often do you have it? RHONDA Things been kind of slow since you got here.

It ain’t like you don’t have good sense. yeah. PATRICK You hangin’ with him now? that’s a good idea. that’s a job. ’Kai? MALAKAI You got a better one? Think PATRICK You could try layin’ all this shit off for awhile. waiting for the next car on a slow day.57. CAR WASH . Snickers 97 TUTE You call this a job. Malakai. Patrick looks up as Malakai and a tall. (CONTINUED) . Malakai lets out a nervous laugh. 97 INT. ("TUTE"). TUTE I need some sticks. Tute takes in Patrick. MALAKAI What other side? PATRICK You know what I mean. slouches over a mechanic’s station studying. A BMW with tinted windows peels into the lot on two wheels./EXT. Approaches Malakai and the man MALAKAI You know Tute. man? PATRICK Actually. ride. in coveralls. The work I do. Malakai. derisively. Looks around. Medicine Man. PATRICK I got it. Tute doesn’t crack a Watch my Patrick looks at Tute enters the cashier’s office. He exits into the lot. I call it a car wash. smile. A few workers mill about.DAY Patrick. Give yourself a chance on the other side. nattily dressed man get out. wiry.

options won’t matter if you don’t keep a clean nose to the grindstone. Your entire point of view. takes out a plate Momma Dean’s left for him. Gwynn. He blows a plume of smoke into the air. (throws Patrick car keys) And don’t forget the rims. Tracking him into kitchen as he crosses to refrigerator. He doesn’t fool Mrs. Mrs. Tute emerges from cashier’s office lighting a cigarette from a fresh pack. But it isn’t. PATRICK (looks her right in the eye) I know that.58. (CONTINUED) 99 . The unflappable Patrick. First thing he does is pick up a stack of mail. workin’. enters. get a full scholarship. then work. still in work coveralls. You have to be ready to change. Lifestyle. takes a breath.DAY Patrick sits across from Mrs. begins shifting through the mail. Patrick. His face registers disappointment. GWYNN Maybe you think it’s enough to have the grades. TUTE We ain’t here for our health. Gwynn. What I’m saying is. the reality check of Patterson High. Change friends. People don’t just up and hand me shit.LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN LATE THAT NIGHT Patrick. Again. MRS. regards Patrick. GUIDANCE COUNSELOR’S OFFICE . 98 99 INT. I ain’t like you. Georgetown makes mulch of students like you every semester. Gwynn. He sits down at the table. REYNOLDS’ APARTMENT . what I can do and where I can do it. Nothing. 97 CONTINUED: MALAKAI I got sense enough to know who I am. 98 You 97 INT.

Gwynn. here.. -.. 104 TONI TONI I’m moving to Idaho. but I believe in God so I’m not sure about it.Ah-ha! Joke on you.? 102 DIGGY DIGGY A Rock-n-Rap club in L. GWYNN Knowing’s easy. (MORE) (CONTINUED) I hate it 104 103 SPACED-OUT STUDENT That the same as a 101 100 99 102 105 ..59. Soon as I find some investors. Some place fly like the Kentucky Derby. Doing is hard. 105 CHENILLE CHENILLE Beauty school. 101 SPACED-OUT STUDENT Career? job.. BEGIN MONTAGE in which a series of STUDENTS parade in front of Mrs...A. 100 SNOOKIE SNOOKIE Me? I wanna operate on cars... I’m gonna put a tattoo parlor on the roof. 103 SERIOUS STUDENT SERIOUS STUDENT I want to be a lawyer. 99 CONTINUED: MRS.

Things change. GWYNN I know you’re -.. Sitting down. GWYNN To have a sense of direction. I guess.60.B. SARA You can’t direct destiny... everything. 106 MALAKAI MALAKAI Plans? Yeah.. That’s my plan anyway. but I’m gonna work during the day. (CONTINUED) . Nikki. 108 MONTAGE ENDS WITH SARA walking in. MRS.Large here.M. what you’re asking.. I plan not to be poor. go to school at night.C.. 107 NIKKI NIKKI I get into U. GWYNN Do I detect a ’but’? Nikki folds her arms. 108 107 106 105 SARA I don’t think it’s realistic. financial aid. Next question. You enjoy that and it’s fine for now. Things happen. 105 CONTINUED: CHENILLE (CONT’D) I’m a year behind ’cause of my baby.. And the changes change you. regards her obdurately. What’s the point of plans? MRS. But you can’t live your life like a popularity contest. MRS.how do you put it? -.

They dance throughout the conversation. Take a year off. pushes in her ass. SARA Everybody. He starts to move with the music. A hip-hop track BLASTS. O’DONNELL HEIGHTS . GWYNN It was three months ago. PUSH IN ON Patrick and Sara. Sara tries to emulate him. that you auditioned.LATE DAY A low sun over the cityscape of Baltimore. Sara. It’s a slippery slope. two dots that grow larger. if you’re not going to pursue dance. PATRICK Feel the groove. Sara.ROOFTOP . Don’t let the music mess with you. (CONTINUED) . Work. 109 EXT. 109 108 He cinches her waist. GWYNN Be careful with later on. He CLICKS ON a BOOM-BOX resting on the roof’s ledge. Sometimes you can run right on top of it and it never catches up with you. 108 CONTINUED: MRS. MRS. GWYNN (fingering Sara’s papers) I see here that you trained for Juilliard. what are you going to do? SARA (hadn’t thought about it) I don’t know. (the brick wall) Well. SARA Did you always want to be a doctor? PATRICK Who said I wanna be a doctor? Chenille. MRS.61. SARA That was a long time ago. Go to college later on.

Regards him. A releve. Looks appropriately hapless.62.badly. I like kids. SARA I didn’t get it. 109 SARA What kind of doctor do you want to be? PATRICK Pediatrics. Sara can’t help it. Sara smiles. PATRICK No. turns out her legs and lifts one of them in a spiral just below his head. stay with me. dumbfounded. comes out of it swaggering and half-stepping around her. She stops. You’re slackin’. PATRICK Watch your butt. Rises up on full pointe. She blows some stray hair out of her face. The look on his face is worth the pain in her joints. a half-split. SARA I’m brilliant. Regards her. puts her hands on her hips. PATRICK Wouldn’t be the first time. (MORE) With a (CONTINUED) . Show me again? PATRICK What was that shit you just did? He mimes the move -. laughs. So fast Patrick thinks it was a mirage. Sara gives him an impish look. Patrick. He goes into a spin. He stops. twist. SARA Do you have any? Kids. 109 CONTINUED: Keep it tight. Come Screw you. That thing you just did. It happens in two blinks. He stares at her. on. She SARA Over ice. Do you? SARA I wasn’t being smart. Stalemate.

PATRICK Why not? SARA Because I don’t want to talk about it. He nods his head emphatically. She sounds suddenly defensive. Patrick. we just concentrate on this? PATRICK Yeah.KITCHEN . 110 INT. Whatever it is you don’t wanna talk about. (a beat.O. They dance coyly. Doing stretching exercises as she talks on the phone. Another stalemate. seductively around it.63. intrigued. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 110 Can Patrick’s suddenly 109 . LINDSAY (V. Sara shakes her head adamantly. goading her a little) But I think it is a big deal. ’Cause you don’t wanna talk about it? SARA Because it’s not a big deal.NIGHT Sara. PATRICK You used to dance? SARA Uh-huh.) (over phone) I’m still gonna pray for you. And don’t ask me why. Did that whole relieve thing. Used to as in don’t any more. PATRICK That’s why you brought it up. we can concentrate. ROY’S APARTMENT . 109 CONTINUED: SARA (CONT’D) (succumbs to his bewilderment) Ballet. I used to dance.

KENNY Why’s he do that? He’s a baby. KENNY I’m his father. Sort of.64. glares accusingly at her and Kenny as he quits the room. He knows me. CHENILLE He don’t know you. He passes down the hall to Chenille’s room to find Christopher squirming in Kenny’s arms. hugs her knees. 111 KENNY He was screaming.. think. Sara. 110 CONTINUED: LINDSAY (V. you’re in the freaking ghetto. Looks at Chenille. holds him and consoles him until he settles down. CHENILLE They cry. How are you supposed to meet anybody? Sara slides down the wall. Patrick pointedly hands the baby to Chenille. SARA (into phone) I have met somebody. (CONTINUED) . REYNOLDS’ APARTMENT . there’s this guy. Kenny doesn’t know what to do. (meaning now) .NIGHT Patrick enters to hear CHRISTOPHER SCREAMING his lungs out.. PATRICK (walking in) What y’all doin’ to my nephew? Patrick takes Christopher...O. Chenille. What should I do? CHENILLE Come around more often. Kenny regards his son haplessly. Kenny.LIVING ROOM/CHENILLE’S BEDROOM .) (CONT’D) Jesus. 111 110 I INT. Forget the riots. I mean.

The bathroom appears to be empty.MORNING Dripping. out-of-order faucets. C’mon now. You make demands. You can’t put my bizness up your nose on no layaway plan.65.I want you to pick up some of the slack. KENNY It’s not like that. Look. litter-strewn floors are underscored by the spooky flicker of fluorescent lights.GIRLS’ LAVATORY . Sara walks in.S.) Boo the fuck hoo. Kenny! 112 INT.) I don’t get paid ’til next week. GIRL (O. She’s about to enter a stall when she hears the murmur of a voice. She eases forward a bit. graffiti-laced stalls. MALE (O. 111 CONTINUED: See? KENNY I can’t talk to you. up. You know what you gotta do. (CONTINUED) 112 . You want money. Chenille. Then a girl’s whimper. KENNY I’m doin’ the best I can. I get tied CHENILLE You wanna talk about tied up? Try gettin’ up in the middle of the night to change diapers and give him bottles or stayin’ up with him when he’s sick and havin’ to drag your ass to school the next day. you -CHENILLE -. You always have an excuse. CHENILLE It ain’t good enough. PATTERSON HIGH .S. 111 CHENILLE And I can’t depend on you! Am I askin’ you to do anything for him you ain’t supposed to do? KENNY You don’t ask. A guy’s voice.

runs out the lavatory. 114 EXT. Hill. She looks Sara in the eye. his crotch in her face. a little afraid. 112 CONTINUED: Sara ventures carefully forward to the edge of the stall’s open door. A man straddles her. She cranes her neck trying to see without being sen. Shakes her head. INNER HARBOR (DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE) . The Girl jumps up. Malakai zips up his pants. Not unless you want a taste for yourself. The "man" glances out past his shoulder. Hill walks by them unbeckoned. And that can be arranged. He looks right down our throat straight into Sara’s eyes. then to a park across from this where Sara and Patrick are practicing. Sara watches his face as they dance. Don’t. staring at him. HER POV .66. It’s the Girl from the stall. startled. starts to move for him. CAMERA PANS FROM the waterfront TO the bustling crowds of the inner harbor. 113 112 . Exits. Something in her face gives this away. ON SARA SARA What are you doing? Malakai backs up. He leaves. MALAKAI You didn’t see nothin’.DAY A perfect day. HIP-HOP MUSIC softly PLAYS from Patrick’s BOOM-BOX. Someone grabs her arm from behind. Sara’s frozen. 113 HALLWAY She sees Mr.PARK . She turns. Malakai. you don’t say nothin’. PATRICK Didn’t you like it when you ’used’ to dance? (CONTINUED) 114 Sara waits a moment.STALL A GIRL is seated on the toilet. Mr. The Girl sees Sara.

67. 115 A soft smile is all she offers up. SARA Why’d you do that? PATRICK ’Cause I didn’t have one. That school fucked up my entire life. SARA Maybe you weren’t then but you are now. other. SARA That’s a good reason. You said you changed. PARK . PATRICK I used to do wild shit like that.LATER They lay on their bellies in the grass. SARA You and Malakai? Yep. so. PATRICK I stole a bike here once. PATRICK Doesn’t make me different from him. 114 CONTINUED: SARA Yeah I liked it.. Not the way you think it does. It’s a long story. Sara looks at him.SARA AND PATRICK . You don’t wanna talk about it. You seem SARA I don’t get you guys. I was gonna go to Juilliard. (CONTINUED) .. PATRICK We’re not. 115 Close to each 114 EXT. PATRICK Let me guess. PATRICK Most of the time. different.

jumped out the car. SARA Patrick. Me and him got into some shit awhile back. Real bad shit. I know. I owe him that. 115 CONTINUED: SARA I think Malakai’s scary. Maybe Malakai gave up. But he didn’t. struggling to tell him what she saw. (pauses) I knew what he was gonna do that night. know you’re not. And I 115 PATRICK (taking mild umbrage) What you mean by scary? ’Kai’s tough.68. He looks at her and she doesn’t have the heart -. I ain’t just gonna cross him completely off and be like everybody else. ’Kai kept goin’. (CONTINUED) . SARA That means you owe him something? PATRICK He did his time plus most of mine. twirls it thoughtfully in her fingers. Knew the car was hot. I bailed the ride -. SARA No matter how much he messes up? PATRICK We all mess up. She plucks a dandelion from the grass.or the nerve -. got caught. A long moment. I woulda been guilty as him if they had caught me. But he’s still m’boy and he still got a chance.to tell him. if Malakai had served my name up. He has to be. Sara stares at the ground. We held up a gas station off 95. PATRICK Let me finish. He still got a good heart.

69. 115 CONTINUED: SARA I stole a hat once. When I was twelve. My mom found it under my mattress, made me take it back. Gangsta’ Sara. the F.B.I. She looks at him. his nose. PATRICK Stole a hat. Call 115

Smiles.

Twirls the dandelion under

SARA You gonna turn me in? PATRICK I think I’ll wait for you to surrender. (pauses) Were you tight with your mom, Sara? I mean, y’all get along and shit? SARA (guardedly) Yeah...tight... got along and shit PATRICK So she meant something to you. How come you never talk about her? SARA There’s nothing to say. PATRICK (studying her face) Know why there’s nothing to say? Because you don’t talk about her. You won’t talk about her. SARA I’m sorry she’s dead. God! What do you want me to do? Run through the streets screaming? Why not? PATRICK If it helps.

SARA (tersely) Well, it won’t. So drop it. PATRICK And you call Malakai scary. (CONTINUED)

70. 115 CONTINUED: She looks at him. Patrick grins. Sara knocks her legs against his. He knocks his legs back. A silly moment. But it transcends the tension and creates a sweet truce between them. 116 INT. PATRICK’S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT Momma Dean’s fixing dinner. Patrick enters with the mail in his teeth, a load of books in his arms. He dumps the books on the counter, busses Momma Dean’s check on the way to the ’fridge. MOMMA DEAN I know you’re not puttin’ those dirty hands inside my refrigerator. Patrick backs up to the sink. Washes his hands. Impishly dries them on her apron. He sits, begins sifting through the mail. Momma Dean pulls an envelope from her pocket. Waves it at him. MOMMA DEAN This what you’re lookin’ for? Chenille appears in the doorway. Patrick takes the letter. He’s almost afraid to open it. But he does. And as he reads the letter, a slyly relieved smile spreads across his face. He tosses the letter in the air. Grabs Chenille and Momma Dean. And the three of them jump up and down together with joy. 117 INT./EXT. CITY BUS (MOVING) - SARA AND PATRICK - NIGHT Dressed to the nines. They look happy and relaxed, more so than we’ve ever seen. They sit close to each other. Very close. SARA Are you gonna tell me where we’re going? (as he grins, shakes his head) Why is the surprise for me? You’re the one with something to celebrate. PATRICK We can celebrate together. (CONTINUED) 117 116 115

71. 117 CONTINUED: She looks at him. Can’t find any words. So she just goes into her evening bag and pulls out a small box. She hands it to him, a little nervous about how it will be received. SARA I wanted to get you something and I couldn’t figure out what. It’s not much but I hope you like it. Patrick opens the box. Removes a key chain. It’s engraved with the medical emblem (snake & staff, etc.). He regards her, touched. I like it. Wait. PATRICK I love it. Thank you. 117

SARA There’s more.

She leans in, turns the key chain over in his hand. The back side of it is engraved with the words, "PATRICK REYNOLDS, M.D." Patrick locks eyes with Sara, lifts her hand to his lips. Kisses it softly. The gesture is succinct but alluring and, for a brief moment, they’re the only two people in the world. 118 INT./EXT. CITY BUS - SARA AND PATRICK - LATER The bus makes a stop and an older white woman gets on. Sits across from Sara and Patrick who have moved even closer to each other. Patrick’s arm is around Sara’s shoulder. He whispers something in Sara’s ear. She laughs and looks up to see the white woman staring at them with a muted but obvious repugnance. Watching the woman from the corner of her eye, Sara drapes her arms around Patrick’s neck, nuzzles at his ear. Patrick’s eyes widen. Sara, playing this for all it’s worth, folds one of her legs between his and whispers: SARA We have an audience. me. PATRICK (nonplussed) Work with you? SARA (sotto voce, through her teeth) Grab something. (CONTINUED) Work with 118

AUDITORIUM ..72. Her feet freeze. 119 EXT. Feeling stupid for ruining the evening. her eyes remain fixed on the dancers.NIGHT The equivalent of D. 120 INT.. This is where I’m bringing you. SARA (beside herself) I know. then sees the overhead banner -"Boston Ballet. thoroughly disgusted.NIGHT Sara and Patrick watch the Boston Company perform Igor Stravinsky’s "Scenes De Ballet" as choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon." Sara’s heart stops. Patrick and Sara look at each other. She looks at the crowd. The ballet.what else is there? -. burst out laughing. Sara and Patrick walk. feeling bad. She bites her lip.C. 118 CONTINUED: He grabs her ass -.’s Kennedy Center. The yearning that never really left her returns to tug at her heart and project her soul onto the stage. totally engaged and amazed. Into this. but -PATRICK (crestfallen) But what? Sara looks at him. the hall is awash in lights and activity. the dance. PATRICK Surprise. BALTIMORE HALL . Men and women are donned in formal attire. PATRICK (doesn’t understand) You have to go in. Sara? SARA (quietly urgent) I can’t. But while Patrick keeps sneaking excited glimpses of Sara. Patrick takes her and they go in. gets up and moves to the back of the bus. BALTIMORE HALL . The white woman. 120 119 118 . She looks positively catatonic. shakes her head ("but nothing"). They’re both enraptured. A Command Performance. She is utterly. Parking valets hover on the sidewalks waiting for cars. I can’t go in.runs his hand along her side. Patrick looks at her.

I did. They come to a small. which is more. (CONTINUED) .NIGHT Post-ballet. Sara. 121 EXT. the edge of it. PATRICK I thought you would like it. Patrick follows suit. So if you’re gonna tell me somethin’ about not dancing. Patrick. Goofy happy. Patrick’s at a loss. Sara sits down on A long moment. But ballet isn’t a part of my life anymore. introspective. she looks at him. SARA Maybe I don’t want it to be real. Finally. SARA I’m sorry. A long. PATRICK Why not? What happened? You just woke up one day and decided to waste your talent. He can’t decipher her mood and. Sara and Patrick walk. The same look I saw tonight. difficult moment wherein Sara attempts to find the words. 121 SARA I don’t want you to think I didn’t have a good time tonight. PATRICK I saw the look on your face when you did it. PATRICK You ain’t actin’ like you did. SARA I did. SARA (without rancor) How do you know I have talent? Because I did some stupid leg trick. STREET (SOMEWHERE IN BALTIMORE) .73. tries to smile. he’s disappointed by it. She’s quiet. face the pain that comes with them. She looks over at him. at least tell me somethin’ real. secluded bridge.

I was mad. It was raining. She got scraped off the highway for me.. SARA (inconsolable) She was dying while I was dancing and I was mad at her and I’m sorry. I just went out and danced. SARA What I want is to wake up and see my mom. SARA That’s what makes it so bad. 121 CONTINUED: She stares out at the water. PATRICK It’s not your fault it rained or she died. When my life made sense. I didn’t care. I should have but they called my name and I didn’t say anything.. It was my stupid dream and it killed her. Your mom would’ve expected you to do what you did. (CONTINUED) 121 . Even if it took most of our money. It was raining. Sara. She buries her face in her hands.74. When they made sense. For things to go back to the way they were. (a torrent) . That’s what you were there for. regards him forlornly.. (because) And it’s all my fault. racked with tears and guilt.. But she promised to be there. the moon reflected off of it. all of her spare time. And then I didn’t wait for her. But she goes on. I wanted to be a prima ballerina -.had to be. for my fucking audition.. breaking down. Or that you danced. She always did what was right for me. choking on tears. I’m sorry. She was rushing.. All she wanted was for it to come true. It’s hard to reconcile that beauty and the turmoil she’s feeling. I needed her and she wasn’t there. I made her promise. Patrick puts his arms around her.

Sara swipes at her face. with more certainty than passion. her previous bedroom -. Sara? I mean you.. HOLD ON closet door. ROY’S APARTMENT/STREET . SARA’S ROOM . Peers down at her feet. I just don’t think I can do it without her. Sara smiles wanly. They pause on the stoop.. they kiss. SARA I know. PATRICK Then it’s on you to make the dream come true. 123 INT. Like the end of a long day’s journey to home. 123 . still crying. Stares deeply into them.NIGHT CAMERA PANS the room. SARA See you tomorrow? A rhetorical question under the circumstances. A beat before Sara emerges from behind it. looks up at him. Yeah. Neither of them wants the night to end. And so. Gleefully wonderful.75. PATRICK (holding her) Do you want to do it. I do. SARA For my mom. Sara. PATRICK For you..more on display than we’ve seen before. Do you want Juilliard? SARA Yeah.THAT NIGHT Patrick walks Sara to the front door. 121 CONTINUED: PATRICK You still got whatever you had when your mom was alive.. Wiggles them. But it doesn’t matter. PICKING UP small touches from Sara’s past life. Nothing magical or mystical but simply wonderful. She wouldn’t want you to give up. moves her hair from her eyes. 122 EXT. ballet slippers in hand. but she. The moment has named itself. 122 121 For her. certain she looks like shit. Slides them on. She takes a deep breath. Patrick regards her tenderly.

(as she shakes her head) Come on. PATRICK This is the perfect spot for that. But it’s still a good spot. Not that great. SARA I’ll never be ready in a month. Just in time too. 124 EXT.76. SARA I don’t get in shape like that. Sara. cute leg relieve thing. you puttin’ the mojo on yourself. PATRICK Sara. PATRICK Lemme see that move you did. (CONTINUED) . They’re holding auditions in Baltimore next month. what’s it take to get you in shape? SARA Practice.DAY 124 Sara and Patrick negotiate the heavy pedestrian traffic. PATRICK That’s great! She looks at him. That SARA (hates to admit this) It hurts! I’m out of shape and it hurts. exit the complex. You can run around and I can sit under the trees and watch you. shakes her head. (diffidently) I got my application for Juilliard. He leads her to a mall of trees and bike paths. INNER HARBOR COMPLEX (DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE) . Okay? Satisfied? PATRICK (admiring her) That’s what you call outta shape.

extends a leg. She 125 But 124 (CONTINUED) . SARA You don’t understand. My free form still sucks. The bad kind. bends forward from the hip.. Which Patrick can sense. Ballet takes a lot of time.. SARA You will? PATRICK (surprised that she’s surprised) Yeah. I’m so far behind.NIGHT Sara in the mirror dressed in leotards and tights. he won’t let her go there or stay there. I’ll help you. SARA It’s not as easy as that.SARA’S ROOM . a corresponding arm. . PATRICK So I’ll help you with it. MONTAGE SEQUENCE BEGINS OVER THEME MUSIC. It’s still the weakest part of my routine. I used to practice two. Tell me what you need to do and let’s get busy..77. PATRICK Quit whinin’ and catch up then. matter-of-fact. 125 INT. ROY’S APARTMENT . He’s firm. three hours every day. 124 CONTINUED: SARA (a smile in spite of herself) Mojo? PATRICK Negative shit. a lot of preparation.. That hasn’t changed. White folks call it karma. And unsure and afraid.

the backward-most leg buckles. SARA . 129 Struggling to keep up.78. 129 DANCE STUDIO Alone with her instructor. Chenille’s influence is written all over her makeup and her clothes. Starts over. 127 DANCE STUDIO In class. (CONTINUED) 132 Looking better. pretty. Sara enters looking striking. ROY’S APARTMENT . 125 CONTINUED: As she tries to complete the arabesque. 128 STREET On way to and from bus stop. 128 127 126 125 . SARA Let’s skip. Roy stands in the middle of the room. Overlooking Roy. 131 ROY’S BATHROOM Soaking and tending her bleeding feet. MONTAGE ENDS. 130 Practicing as she walks. PULL BACK to reveal Patrick and Roy. very down. 130 DANCE STUDIO . dumbfounded. They leave.LATER Alone with her instructor.LIVING AREA OPEN CLOSE ON a black hand shaking a white one. she blithely tags Patrick. 132 INT. to Roy) Later. She steadies herself. (cursory. 131 Looking good.IN VARIOUS STAGES OF GETTING BUSY 126 PATTERSON FOOTBALL FIELD Hip-hop hybrid with Patrick.

NIGHT Usual suspects. He smiles. 132 CONTINUED: ROY Let’s ’skip’? (mumbling to himself) Three months and she’s skipping? 133 INT. dancing nearby. They move so well together that Snookie. She looks at him nervously. She’s showing her crew a dance. better than anyone else on the floor. PICK UP Sara and Patrick among them. Patrick! (CONTINUED) Fraternizing. Showmesomethin’. Leans in with his drink. ANOTHER ANGLE Nikki and her crew (Jasmin.DEEJAY BOOTH A chrome-domed deejay with a Barry White baritone bellows into his mike as he changes the music. ANOTHER ANGLE Chenille. Nikki hasn’t seen Patrick and Sara.79. Patrick hands Sara a callbrand beer. Alyssa).BAR . Diggy and another black girl. A gallant lie. Their movements are ambitious. ANOTHER ANGLE . nimble. PATRICK Nobody’s watchin’ you but me. Patrick! SNOOKIE Go. Tiff’nee. FEETZ . usual music. give up that cruel. showmesomethin’. openly and contently with her. Practice has made her near perfect. They dance. Eyes on you! WIDER as the dance floor swells with kids. DEEJAY Master P with the ’Ghetto D’. starts chanting: Go. Sara tries to believe it. 133 132 .

Pissed. she starts dancing with him. She’s boxed in. ANOTHER ANGLE . Sara! Chiming in -133 . Go. Sara retreats with daggers in her eyes. pushing.NIKKI standing with her crew dourly observing Patrick and Sara. funk! 134 INT. From a curtain of kids. 133 CONTINUED: FROM ANOTHER ANGLE OF DANCE FLOOR Diggy. Jiggling and wildly gyrating.80. funk. 134 DIGGY Go. and barging her way up to Patrick. Snookie. PATRICK (AND NIKKI) unresponsive as she grinds her body into his. Sara can’t move. still going at it. Malakai indicates Nikki and Patrick with slick satisfaction. Patrick looks at Sara but he’s somehow dancing with Nikki. whispers derisively: (CONTINUED) Hard. ON NIKKI Shoving. Diggy and others prance around them like backup dancers. raw and wild. Sara! PATRICK AND SARA building up a sweat.DANCE FLOOR Sara and Patrick. confidently dancing at fever pitch. FEETZ . SARA standing where she can see but can’t be seen from the dance floor. Without preamble or regard for Sara. DEEJAY (V. Malakai suddenly appears at her side.) Everybody have funk. NIKKI Watch me squash their shit.O.

Sara fiercely jerks away. They remain like this for a moment or two until they slowly begin to dance. 135 INT. She and Patrick enter.. He takes her hand. Eyes on Sara and Patrick.FAVOR PATRICK moving toward Sara. But Sara won’t budge from the spot where she’s standing. A stark. Nikki starts to press herself against Patrick. Both underwhelmed and resentful of what he sees. more emphatically this time. (CONTINUED) 135 Sara stands there.HALLWAY/FRONT DOOR . Walks away. She turns on the lights.? SARA What? PATRICK I’m sorry. 134 . PATRICK AND NIKKI as a SLOW DANCE BEGINS. Answers the unspoken question. Patrick’s lips brush Sara’s ear. He evaporates into the crowd.DANCE FLOOR . ROY’S ROWHOUSE . WIDER ANGLE . You’re milk. PATRICK Sara..81.THAT NIGHT Sara unlocks the door. apologetic expression on his face. 134 CONTINUED: MALAKAI You ain’t never gonna look as good as she does with him. That’s oil. ANGLE PAST THEM ON MALAKAI slow dancing with his flavor of the night. Looks at him. Ain’t no point in tryin’ to mix. Patrick holds her off with both arms. So Patrick slides his arms around her. Patrick grabs her hand again. holds her without moving. We PUSH IN ON them in this little space.

Toni drops down in a chair beside Sara. follows Sara behind the partition into her "room. SARA Wanna see my room? Patrick looks at her. Patrick busses her lips before she enters.. stumble backward to her futon. catches something other than his clothes. down upon it and begin to make love.PATRICK AND SARA DAY CAMERA TRACKS them as they walk down the hall hand-inhand. SARA’S CLASSROOM . He’ll 135 Patrick sits down on the sofa. Kisses her. A SAX SOLO begins playing. SARA Roy’s demo.82. Kinda grows on you. a bit awkward. At the door to Sara’s next class. turns it ON.HALLWAY . Patrick winces in pain. 136 Fall INT. The only one he ever cut. They are officially a couple and they appear to be in love." They stand there for a moment. PATTERSON HIGH . 135 CONTINUED: SARA He’s in D.C. They kiss again. Then: Somewhere between five seconds and forever. The class files in. SARA Sorry. (CONTINUED) 137 . She leans over in a conspiratorial whisper.CONTINUOUS ACTION No teacher is present. alternately sure and fumbling. He cups her face with his hands. Sara crosses to the STEREO.. don’t fuck him. Says this very low. sometimes exchanging greetings with other students. Sara unzips Patrick’s pants. Blues Alley. A beat. nods. be gone all night. He gets up. a bit urgent. She looks at him with an embarrassed grimace. TONI Whatever you do. They begin to take off each other’s clothes. 136 137 INT.

TONI Everybody knows that.’ that’s their motto. 137 CONTINUED: SARA Excuse me? TONI ’Hit it and quit it. 138 INT. And Christmas ain’t even for ’nother six months. PATRICK How can a piece of shit tell? The table cracks up. man. SARA Whose motto? Black guys. Toni. you ignorant fuck. ARVEL and LIP. Where you been? ARVEL Somewhere dreamin’ of a White Christmas. Sara quickly whispers back to 137 SARA Don’t forget. The teacher walks in. along with Snookie and two brain donors. It’s a so-to-speak thang. Tired from work. they all have big dicks and beat their wives.. MALAKAI You been scarce lately. The mood is light. jovial. boy. (MORE) (CONTINUED) 138 . Everybody knows that too..83. SNOOKIE Lip. Patrick strolls in gritty from work. eat at a booth. He slides in next to Malakai. ARVEL You smell.. LIP . RIB JOINT (SOMEWHERE IN BALTIMORE) ..NIGHT Malakai.

138 CONTINUED: SNOOKIE (CONT’D) (looks at Patrick) So to speak? Whassup. This ain’t no goddamn soup line. chews them in his face. boy. That’s why your jaws are gettin’ so tight. man. Patrick. SNOOKIE You the one need his jaws tightened with your pork-ass instigatin’ self. You ridin’? Eastside? PATRICK That’s the wrong side. PATRICK (snatching up one of his ribs) Back out my business. you too busy frontin’. Patrick grabs some of Arvel’s fries. You busted. man? (half joking) That’s why you ain’t got time for your boyz no more. responds coolly. Too busy snowflakin’. ’Kai? I made time for this bullshit. ARVEL (re: Patrick’s roving fingers) Order somethin’. didn’t I? LIP Aww. Patrick lifts one of Malakai’s ribs. PATRICK How am I frontin’. 138 So. MALAKAI (watching Patrick keenly) You tappin’ that white girl. (MORE) (CONTINUED) . PATRICK Y’all hangin’ tonight or what? MALAKAI We thinkin’ about slidin’ through that new rec center opened up on the Eastside.84.

You know how they are. It’s an excuse for some unnecessary mayhem. Mayhem and madness. and whassup out there for anybody who ain’t you. MALAKAI I think it’s funny you think it ain’t necessary. PATRICK How you know? You ain’t tried nothing else. (as Malakai laughs) You think this shit’s funny? Snookie shifts uncomfortably. I got my own shit. Malakai looks at Patrick. Patrick stares at Malakai with disbelief. You act like you don’t know where you are no more.85.Or gives you some. The table stops. Maybe that’s what happens when a white girl goes to your head. LIP -. MALAKAI I ain’t pressed. coldly drops his smile. That’s a black man’s life. Now you sittin’ up here strapped for no good reason. MALAKAI Ain’t nothin’ unnecessary ’bout it. You askin’ for trouble. Shit. 138 CONTINUED: PATRICK (CONT’D) I ain’t messin’ with those fools over there. Malakai glances around. Patrick. Malakai. Arvel and Lip look at Malakai. MALAKAI What you think? I’ma keep walkin’ around waitin’ for some chump to cap me? I’ma protect myself. lifts his shirt to expose a gun. Shorthand. (CONTINUED) 138 . PATRICK That ain’t protection.

ARVEL (peacemaker) Aw’ight. Y’all said what you had to say.NIGHT Sara and Patrick. She’s in her robe. 138 CONTINUED: PATRICK Fuck you. We back to bein’ boyz. PATRICK Yeah. Maybe cymbidiums -orchids. (looks at Malakai) I know what’s out there. ROY’S ROWHOUSE . Sara. PATRICK You’re makin’ this real hard. Patrick. Those ain’t exactly tuxedo colors. but if you did. Chill.. He’s dressed but they’re fooling around as they fix sandwiches. PATRICK What’s your favorite color? SARA Agua. Lip.. post-coital.KITCHEN . ’Kai. But that ain’t gonna happen. Sara drops down on his lap. long as you keep gettin’ in your own way. 139 INT. PATRICK What’s your favorite flower? SARA I don’t have a favorite.86. Have some ribs. Patrick drops down in a chair. SARA I dunno. They’re sort of showboaty but they’re pretty. I also know you can get past it. (CONTINUED) 139 138 . Mauve. PATRICK What’s your second favorite color? SARA Mmm.

Nut. He’s caught. facing him. Sara. (CONTINUED) . Right? We’re ROY He either leaves or I throw his ass out. Sara grabs his arm defiantly. grabs his jacket off the back of his chair. settle on and slice into Patrick. They are too engrossed in this intimacy to hear the FRONT DOOR OPENING. ROY Patrick -. Patrick slides his hands under her robe. He back-talks Roy as he passes him. Roy’s eyes dart between them. Sara responds to him. Sara leaps up. to see Roy until he walks in and sees them. SARA What are you talking about? 139 PATRICK I was tryin’ to get around to askin’ you somethin’ but since I’m some sorta nut. him back. ROY Who the hell are you to tell me how to come off? You’re in my house alone with my daughter.. Patrick jerks his arm free from Sara. man. isn’t it? (a small awkward nod) Well. cups her breasts. She throws her arms around his neck. holds SARA Why does he have to leave? all adults. I think you were just leavin’.it is Patrick. you probably wouldn’t wanna go to prom with me. kissing him. closes her robe.87. Your call.. Patrick doesn’t know what to do. Red-handed. straddling him. 139 CONTINUED: Sara swings her legs around. You don’t have to come off with all ’at. Patrick stands up. I’m goin’. PATRICK Chill. Straight up.

ROY Siddown. that’s where the road ends. Well. You 139 Roy kicks a chair in her path. 139 CONTINUED: It takes everything Patrick has to keep walking until he’s out the door. ruin everything. But you didn’t see him. Snarls. for your information. I don’t want him up here again. as she sits) It’s a free country.88. She tries to stomp off. ROY Don’t start that bullshit! SARA Why’s it bullshit? Because you hang with black guys and play jazz and have the hots for Angela Bassett? ROY Because he was in my house with his hands all over my daughter! SARA Keep telling yourself that. But disrespectin’ me. Sara marches up to Roy. I mean it. Sara. SARA I hate being your daughter. I saw how you looked at him. when are you gonna have the guts to say what you really want to say to me. an order. you can hate me. SARA You mean it because he’s black. It slams behind him. he’s a straightA student with more heart and guts than you’ll ever have! ROY Yeah? Well. Just don’t expect me to believe it. Sara? (CONTINUED) . (not a request. Ain’t like that’s exactly news. furious.

ROY Well. Hazily indicates Patrick and Sara. ROY Sounds like you have it all figured out. This time Roy lets her. but near enough to sting. (CONTINUED) 140 . because that’s the way things are sometimes. Nikki stands off watching both of them. You took off and never looked back. That bitch is tapdancin’ on my last nerve. Not quite the truth. SARA How the hell would you know? You’ve been asleep for the past thirty-seven years! Now she does storm off. He regards her with regret and guilt. SARA I have you figured out. the way life is. you might as well wake up and get used to it. attentive to each other. all the things you didn’t do? You can’t! I’m here because I have to be and it’s a goddamned nightmare. Sara. Sara and Patrick huddle over a chemistry book.’ NIKKI Love shit.89. 139 CONTINUED: SARA (screaming at him) Want me to say it? You were a piece of shit husband and you’re a piece of shit father! You were never there for Mom or for me. So don’t talk to me about guts. It quiets Roy down. PATTERSON HIGH . MALAKAI The ’Love Boat. Malakai saunters up to her smoking a joint.DAY A break between classes draws the requisite claques and cliques.QUAD OUTSIDE CAFETERIA . You think you can make up all the time you missed. can’t find the words to deny what she’s said. 140 He 139 EXT.

stuck up.. MALAKAI (gaily.90. MALAKAI Yo. 140 CONTINUED: MALAKAI Looks like she’s tap-dancing on your last boyfriend. a she sails off) Ain’t no need in fuckin’ me. PATTERSON HIGH . Looks up.. Never mind. I’m on your side 141 INT.DAY Patrick drinks at a water fountain.HALLWAY . There’s still some tension between them. Druid Hill? PATRICK Hell yeah. She sneers in his face. chagrined though.. (in for the kill) I am a little bit. Nikki. Fuck her too. Me and the boyz fixin’ to shoot some hoops. 141 MALAKAI Gotta skip last period.. I ain’t heard shit. NIKKI About me? MALAKAI Yeah. How you ain’t all ’at since Patrick’s takin’ her to the prom. Stall it. Malakai’s standing there. manages to salvage her pride. Nikki. She got it like that? Naw. bitch. Us against Druid Hill. you. Malakai.. If you interested. with all her inner outrage.. NIKKI Fuck you. He regards her with bemused pity. You lettin’ some white ho’ show you up like that. (CONTINUED) . Stall what? NIKKI What you hear? About 140 MALAKAI Some trash she’s talkin’.

shoves Nikki back. I’ll be back before the bell rings. Snookie and Arvel versus the Druid Hill Two Deuces. begin dribbling imaginary balls down the hall. girl! 145 EXT. uncoordinated bitch. won’t be nothin’! Stay down. INTERCUT WITH: 144 INT. This is heaven for them.91. Stupid. Patrick rebounds. Nikki shoots Sara a murderous look. 143 EXT. She’s on Nikki’s team. They ADLIB insults to the Two Deuces. PATTERSON HIGH . 146 INT. Patrick has the ball.BASKETBALL COURT Malakai dribbles the ball around one of the Two Deuces.GYM Sara takes her defensive position against an opposing player. She blocks a shot but Chenille. her patience out. Not with those suckers. Sara’s playing defense. tries to slam the ball to Nikki. skies it. GYM (PATTERSON) . Passes it back to ’Kai. 141 CONTINUED: PATRICK I got study hall. PATTERSON HIGH . Nikki. DRUID HILL . He passes it to Malakai. They walk off together and. Patrick. DRUID HILL PLAYGROUND . Misses the hoop. Talking shit and playing ball. Basket. It clips Nikki’s head.GYM Sara jumps up.DAY A girls’ basketball game in progress. gets it on the rebound. He takes the shot. shoves her to the floor. Malakai. An unseen BOOM BOX BLASTS the music of JAY-Z throughout. her dignity stunned.BASKETBALL COURT A four-on-four game in progress. successfully blocks the shot. 146 145 144 143 142 141 . after a few steps. Makes it. The best time. Don’t matter anyway. And the fight is on. bounces out of bounds. Patrick and Arvel strut victoriously. Sara looks up at her as some disembodied voice calls out: FEMALE VOICE Don’t start nothin’. walks up to Sara. on the opposing team. 142 INT.

Covered in blood. PATTERSON HIGH . 150 INT. Arvel’s moving into their circle when SHOTS RING OUT. screw you. Malakai high-fives Patrick and Snookie. And don’t say it’s about Patrick because it’s not. Girls. Creepin’ up. It’s a punishing fight for both of them and it only ends when the gym teacher separates them. under her breath) It ain’t over. She matches Nikki blow for blow. Gwynn’s empty one. Looks reproachfully at 150 149 148 147 MRS. snot-nosed and crying.. he likes me.GYM Sara and Nikki tumble to the gym floor. Sprawled on the ground. Sits down. Mrs. He’s okay. The whole world ain’t enough. MRS. bitch. GWYNN I think you need to talk. White girls like you. It’s not about him. Then they see Arvel. It’s about you. 149 EXT.SARA AND NIKKI . And if you don’t like that. NIKKI No. He seems lifeless. GWYNN’S OFFICE .DAY In adjacent chairs across from Mrs.BASKETBALL COURT A car speeds off.BASKETBALL COURT As the dejected Deuces look on. You gotta conquer ours too. 147 EXT. DRUID HILL . DRUID HILL .. He’s okay. SARA Over? I don’t even know why it started. bitch. takin’ our men. 148 INT. Everybody on the court instantly dives to the ground for cover. Malakai nods. Patrick raises up. . The surprise is Sara. them. SARA I like him. looks around. NIKKI (a hiss. Snookie’s crawling to the exit. Gwynn walks in.92.

Yet she drifts by. ROY’S APARTMENT . 151 INT. audible. as if this were the norm. She and Patrick regard each other morosely. Two days. instinctively reaches out to touch her face. But Roy persists and after a moment. bruised and bent over. PATRICK Pretty bad.LIVING AREA/SARA’S ROOM . assess the damage. Chenille comes up behind him. ROY What the hell happened to you? SARA I got suspended. futon. (almost to himself) Can’t even play a got-damned game of ball no more. shoulder. REYNOLDS’ APARTMENT .93. Chenille’s cooking with a sound-asleep Christopher slung over her shoulder. Roy does a double-take. Arvel’s dried blood stained into his clothes.EVENING Patrick walks in. she lets him minister to her. She straggles into her room. 152 INT. Sara sharply flinches away. pats his (CONTINUED) He’s barely 152 . Squeezes.KITCHEN . I think it’s some kind of black female thing. CHENILLE How’s Arvel? Patrick slumps down at the kitchen table. He sis down beside her. Sara? SARA (sardonically) I’m not sure. Roy follows her to the 151 ROY For what? Fighting? (as she nods like "no shit Sherlock") Why were you fighting.DAY Roy’s tuning his sax when Sara enters. Her face is a mess.

153 INT. 152 CONTINUED: CHENILLE You see Sara? She alright? (as he looks up with a question mark) You didn’t hear? Nikki jumped off at her in gym. (gently shutting the door) I’ll see you later. pisses him off. She looks up. ROY’S ROWHOUSE . I’m okay. Given the day. Diondre runs up to him. (CONTINUED) 154 . You the one on punishment. PATRICK Shit! It’s alright. It was fierce. races in. Her eyes implore Patrick. Nikki swings a wet shirt with no intention of hitting him.. 154 INT.. 10. NIKKI Diondre.NIGHT Patrick RINGS the DOORBELL. Patrick’s standing in the doorway. SARA I’m okay. can feel his presence. He bolts from the table and on his way out nearly bumps heads with Kenny. LAUNDROMAT (SOUTHEAST BALTIMORE) . this is the straw on Patrick’s back. what your butt doin’ here? DIONDRE (a taunting twist) I can go where I want. SARA It’s not a good time. looking out. Sara It 153 152 Roy appears in the space behind her.94.. holds out the palm of his hand.EARLY EVENING The laundromat is empty but for a few customers and Nikki. She’s loading clothes from two large baskets into washers when her brother DIONDRE. just enough for Patrick to see her face..HALLWAY . Look. Sara opens the door slightly. He’s grinning from ear-to-ear.

Nikki. An old black woman is avidly. (CONTINUED) . PATRICK How you gonna call it different? She stands up. dollars. PATRICK What if she is? What’s it to you? You didn’t see me trippin’ off that Howard dude and I could have. Patrick walks up to Nikki.95. Patrick looks at her. PATRICK I thought you had somethin’ to say to me. I don’t wanna hear it. NIKKI Whatever it is. tries to dismiss him with a backhanded wave. What you tryin’ to prove. start all this drama. Patrick leans up against a washing machine and for a long moment just looks at her. Nikki? NIKKI You’re the one tryin’ to prove something. NIKKI You thought wrong. Raises her voice. Nikki petulantly follows him there. They sit. DIONDRE Gimme my two 154 Patrick pays him. The walk there has composed his emotions. Diondre darts out. openly watchin’ them. I coulda tripped hard. Nikki clenches. PATRICK Somethin’ must be on your mind for you to get up in Sara’s face. Looks down at him. NIKKI That was different. Stuck up in her shit like she’s somethin’ special. Patrick indicates a bench on the other side of the laundromat. 154 CONTINUED: There she go.

then back at Nikki. Nikki.S. PATRICK I thought I was goin’ someplace good with you. soon as you even think about goin’ someplace good. Now you mad. But you go ahead. NIKKI Please. Patrick rises. And don’t sit there like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about. He holds her hateful stare for a moment. Nikki folds her arms across her chest. PATRICK (glaring at her) You don’t even know what you’re talkin’ about. then walks out. But you ain’t tryin’ to remember that. I know it. So keep your hands off her and that shit to yourself. That’s what y’all always do. You the one called me off. looks at him defiantly. NIKKI I don’t? Y’all black men. Patrick glares in the Old Woman’s direction.) Uh-huh. 154 . NIKKI I don’t think it. She turns on her heels. deny it. Patrick. PATRICK (exasperated) It ain’t got no business settin’ you off! Me and her ain’t got nothin’ to do with you and what you think. first thing you do is find a white girl to take with you. 154 CONTINUED: NIKKI Because she’s white and he ain’t. sees the old woman glinting at him.96. That’s what sets me off. goes back to her machine. OLD WOMAN (O. Why? Because she’s white and I like her? I’m with her. You’re with her because she’s white.

(beat) I got laid off rom B. Chenille. Mad at INT. Kenny. you know your son’s being taken care of. You don’t come around because you don’t feel like comin’ around. He tries to give her some money. That’s way I haven’t been coming around. Kenny looks at her. I been workin’ parttime. You know how you are about money. Money’s tight.I. He’s hurt. herself.97.CHENILLE’S BEDROOM .DAY The lowest common denominator for misery. He leaves. mad at him. You ain’t got to see me to see your son. KENNY And you don’t have no when it comes to me. As long as you out there and I’m in here. 155 INT. is bitch and complain don’t do. REYNOLDS’ APARTMENT . You ain’t got no worries when it comes to him.W. CHENILLE What? I’m supposed to get excited because you decided to skate by and drop a dollar on the dresser? KENNY It’s more than a dollar. She snatches it out of his hand. In the middle of a contentious moment.NIGHT Chenille and Kenny. Chenille’s too mad to see it.. You don’t want the responsibility of comin’ around. And it’s all I got. KENNY I’ll be sure to keep that in mind. CHENILLE Be sick of it. low. Chenille stares at him for a long moment. (CONTINUED) 156 . Her voice is 155 CHENILLE Money ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. FREE CLINIC (SOUTH BALTIMORE) . 156 Chenille stands there. I get sick feelings All you do about what I of that.

as if just remembering that she’s there. When Sara hands her a clean one. They are piled up like cars on a freeway. most them black. sends books and papers flying. Sara takes in the faces of girls younger than herself. Sara can see the veins stand up on Chenille’s neck. waiting to be seen. You gotta stand over her to make sure she puts your name on the damn list. his diaper bag and her backpack. One of his kicks connects with Chenille’s open backpack. Chenille can’t placate him. SARA I’ll get ’em. (with some animus) Probably thinks it’s all Patrick’s fault. Chenille’s carrying a fussy Christopher. Chenille’s finally got control of Christopher but he’s still crying.on the floor.98. reaches for Christopher. Returns to Sara. It’s incomprehensible that this is a place where sick children are brought to get well. Chenille regards her strangely. The noise level is at a peak when Chenille and Sara walk in. 156 CONTINUED: The room is filled with young women. None of it’s on you. CHENILLE So your old man flipped about the fight. 156 CHENILLE Right. (CONTINUED) . SARA I explained about Nikki. Walks to reception to sign herself in. Triflin’ bitch. the grime and gloom of the room. wanting to be helpful. Chenille indicates the receptionist bitterly. Chenille slips off his dirty diaper. and children of all ages. Chenille finishes at the desk. Sara. No. She does. They cross to a corner of the clinic where they sit -. SARA Want me to take him? Chenille shakes her head. CHENILLE That wench. Chenille starts to change Christopher’s diaper. You put it all on her. He starts to wail and flail.

Chenille flashes a look. Sara. SARA (her Irish up) We like each other. (passionately) Patrick’s about somethin’. He ain’t gonna make no babies and not take care of ’em or run the streets. 156 CONTINUED: SARA She started it. Chenille. Chenille glares at Sara. But she had a reason to say what she said. finishes up with Christopher. Understanding.’ The white girl with the rose-colored reasoning. Like it don’t hurt people to see. He’s smart. Not us and other ’people. her voice designed to snatch the blinders off. Not (CONTINUED) 156 . He’s motivated. and you take one of the few decent men left after jail. Here you come. CHENILLE Maybe she didn’t have no business gettin’ in your face. Sara sits there. fuck up his life. She wanted to start it. white and right. SARA So you agree with her? You think I don’t belong with Patrick. trying to fathom the remark. But you and him act like it don’t bother people that you’re together. CHENILLE What I think don’t matter. drugs and drive-bys. A reason? Sara studies her. CHENILLE Black people. He’s for real. understanding. puts a bottle in his mouth. Black women.99. I told you what she said. stupefied. Cradles him. What is the big fucking deal? It’s him and me. He’s gonna do somethin’ with himself. She picks him up. That’s what Nikki meant about you up in our world.

Malakai fires up a cigarette. snapping his fingers and bobbing his head. It’s the decision that’s complicated. I got some shit. He downs his drink. The choice is simple. MALAKAI So what you gonna do? PATRICK How many times you gonna ask me that? MALAKAI It’s payback time. dances up to the bar. Chenille. MALAKAI Eastside ain’t got no firepower. SNOOKIE You see us. but she’s too miserable. Just then Snookie and Sara walk toward them from the dance floor. Something in their faces unsettles Sara but Snookie. Something in Chenille wants to call after her. We go in. 156 CONTINUED: SARA There’s only one world.100. (pauses) I thought we were friends. Quick. walks out. PATRICK Even if I did ride. They have too much on their minds. get out with one spray down. Patrick? (CONTINUED) 157 156 . Either you down or you ain’t. 157 INT. The MUSIC fails to move them. Hedges. Either you m’boy or you not.NIGHT Patrick and Malakai nurse drinks. Patrick takes a long moment. Simple as that. too torn up inside to do it. AK-47. you ain’t got nobody but Lip and Lip will get a nigger’s ass killed. oblivious. She gets up. FEETZ . man. Guess I was wrong.BAR .

man. First Snookie. Malakai isn’t amused. MALAKAI No. Snookie rebuffs him. SNOOKIE Me and Sara lit it up! Y-e-o-w! 157 . bumps his butt against Sarah’s hip. keeps talking to Patrick. She taps Patrick. SARA (a real reflex action) Fuck you.. does a very ungainly half split.101. Gotta go? C yourself the fuck home. Now Malakai’s amused. To me. And you just plain rude and wrong to bring the shit up in mixed company. He flattens Snookie’s ass with the business end of his foot. The move is so swift and sudden Patrick overturns his stool to dive between them. SNOOKIE (springing up) Damn right it ain’t funny. Steppin’ all over his conversation with Patrick. That’s your specialty. into the path of a startled . Malakai lunges for her.. now this bitch. he ain’t ready. Ready? Malakai’s eyes slice into her. MALAKAI I thought you liked it down there. A-B conversation. Sara looks at Patrick. SARA I gotta get home. Sara’s not quite sure what they’re alluding to but she doesn’t want the displeasure of Malakai’s company. He’s talkin’. ain’t it? Crawling? SNOOKIE That was a reflex action. Patrick scowls at Malakai.. Snookie sprawls flat on his face to the floor. Sara and Patrick exchange smiles. He sweeps Sara behind him. man? We’re rappin’. PATRICK That shit ain’t funny.. 157 CONTINUED: MALAKAI (a storm warning) You see us.

You BEEN wrong. he turns and walks away. he reaches down and takes her hand and they walk on like this together. Stands there nose-to-nose with Malakai. Patrick bucks up. STREET . PATRICK Have you lost your motherfuckin’ MIND.MORNING Practice her free form. frightened and frozen. (venomously) Get out my face.SARA AND PATRICK . man? Huh? Have you! Sara. c’mon. Sara makes a misstep.") 159 INT. BUSTA RHYMES’ "Dangerous. MALAKAI You take that bitch’s back and won’t even cover mine? PATRICK ’Cause you wrong. doesn’t know what to do. a hip-hop ballet hybrid. man. SNOOKIE Patrick. It’s no easier to turn away from Malakai than it is to walk away from a lifetime of friendship. They’re both tired. A heavy silence. Sara looks over at him. Both in the danger zone. irritable.NIGHT walking. Patrick stops. But Patrick does. Malakai regards Patrick with a combination of cruel anger and deep. Malakai! MALAKAI No! You wrong. Cold. He’s trying to rise to the occasion. furious with him. gently clutches his sleeve. DANCE STUDIO . 158 EXT. Snookie’s voice weakly creaks out. OVER MUSIC (e. (CONTINUED) 159 158 . Too close for comfort. But Malakai and Patrick stay where they stand. But after a moment. staring him down. and take that ho with you. Patrick doesn’t say anything. You ain’t worth shit no more. at his side.g. genuine hurt. beaten down. They’ve been there awhile.Snookie.SARA AND PATRICK . Sara grits on him. With Sara holding onto his arm. Sara walks over to him.

He crosses the room. PATRICK You messed up. open your pretty brown eyes. Things between us. Things between us and them. (except) I can’t figure things out. 159 CONTINUED: SARA We should keep going. CUTS OFF the MUSIC. I’ll get it right the next time. PATRICK Like what? Like this. Sara? SARA Nothing’s wrong.’ SARA Well. PATRICK No. PATRICK What things? The audition? You ain’t got nothin’ to worry about. (MORE) (CONTINUED) . dance like this. Looks at her. Sara walks over to a window seat near him. I can’t SARA You dictating to me. SARA Things. You gonna get it right now so you can do it perfect next time. So many things bottled 159 SARA I can’t work like this. PATRICK I didn’t know there was a ’them. SARA I know I messed up. Patrick. I told you. up. look the hell around. She glares at him. Flops down. PATRICK What’s wrong. I’ll be there. exasperated.103.

not even Chenille. (CONTINUED) . SARA Why are you getting mad? PATRICK Because I like to think for myself. and I thought you did too. Malakai ain’t never fucked me over.. How can I know? Maybe they have a point. and doesn’t know what to do. that she doesn’t immediately realize it. and loves him.104. PATRICK That’s a fuckin’ ’nough.. Now she’s getting mad. Sara.. She’s crossed the line.. So don’t come off to me like you do. PATRICK They only got a point if you believe they got a point. Nobody wants to see us together. that’s all. you don’t know shit about none of it.. PATRICK First of all. Matter of fact. 159 SARA You’re never gonna run your own life as long as you keep running back to Malakai every time he fucks up or fucks you over. what he been through. so calmly prosaic. I don’t know why they feel that way. you don’t know him. But Patrick responds so deliberately. 159 CONTINUED: SARA (CONT’D) (he’s so nonplussed) Everything’s screwed up. She looks at him. SARA I’m just saying that we should think about this. Sara looks at him. Patrick.. Sara. Second of all. run my own life.

PATRICK Who the fuck are you to say he’s lost? Malakai had my back when you were busy gee-whizzin’ in the woods with your backward-ass. 159 Her VOICE ECHOES in the empty SARA The hell with you too! 160 EXT. redneck friends. Patrick doesn’t say anything at first. you’re gonna wind up lost too.105. until he erupts. 161 INT. Patrick! Everybody but you can see that. PATRICK The hell with you. studio.SARA’S LOCKER/HALLWAY LATER THAT DAY Sara’s at her locker. She walks a few paces.HALLWAY OUTSIDE SARA’S CLASSROOM . Patrick walks up to her.. awful moment before they continue on their respective ways. tries to smile past the dour expression on his face. SARA Hi. Their eyes connect for a brief. But then: (CONTINUED) 161 . PATTERSON HIGH . You know what? Sara yells after him. She looks at him. . looking pretty much like she feels. 159 CONTINUED: SARA I know he’s lost. glares at her. SARA They weren’t rednecks! Patrick yanks his boombox off the floor.160 DAY Sara exits.. And if you keep reaching back for him. PATTERSON HIGH . Like shit. Sees Patrick.

understanding what this means. and. 163 INT. Sara. then up at him.DAY Sara. Having seen the encounter between Patrick and Sara. listen carefully. Trust me on that.106... for once. Patrick and Snookie. She picks up Chenille and her girls at one table. ANOTHER ANGLE . TONI Lovers’ quarrel? You’re better off. gets in it instead. SARA Toni. because nobody likes a fucking asshole.. 161 CONTINUED: PATRICK Thought you might need this on Saturday.CONTINUOUS ACTION Sara. she’s as smug and overbearing as ever. That menace to society would’ve broken your heart and spent all your money in a news flash.. walks out. She resists the urge to slap the smile off Toni’s face. CAFETERIA . Nikki and her crew at another. She storms off leaving Toni. She won’t let him see how it shatters her. somehow very transformed into -.. speechless. I ain’t gonna be able to make it.. 162 INT. Carrying a food tray. Sara stares at her. He hesitates. Toni. Sara continues down the aimlessly into the. The walls have been veritable billboards for the senior prom are everywhere. uncomprehending at first.HALLWAY/CAFETERIA . You’re a simple bitch and you don’t have any friends.TONI approaching Sara’s locker. black or white. But Sara turns her back on him and Patrick walks away. He hands her an audio cassette of her free form music.. PATTERSON HIGH .. eyes searching for a place to sit. finally. Caught up in a throng of kids and separate from them.decorations hallway almost 162 She 161 163 . Sara dumps her food into a trash can. Sara gazes at it. as if he wants to say something else.

NIGHT Sara’s on the futon. (this raises a small smile) Well. her. I meant to. SARA (quietly miserable) I was gonna tell you about the audition. Roy. The MUSIC COMES ON. picks up an envelope from Juilliard. Sara regards him quizzically. flipping through a photo album. ROY I saw the return address. She pushes the tape from Patrick into an ancient recorder. 164 INT. Sara. how long you plan on hating me? Maybe I’m an optimist but I hope there’s some kind of timetable. She takes to the floor.DAY Sara. I know I shouldn’t have but at least now I have an excuse to tell you how proud I am of you. Roy sits down next to 165 164 ROY You bummed out about it? (as she shakes her head) You’re a worse liar than I am father. ROY Tomorrow’s the big day? Uh-huh. Waits a beat before he comes in. Roy knocks on the partition. He looks at Sara. It was open. She keeps flipping. Her face is like a pinched nerve. Pictures of her and Glynn. (CONTINUED) . I don’t wanna bug you. Roy goes to her dresser. 165 INT.. ROY I was wondering. Got curious..107. She wants to cry. SARA The big day. I read it. I just came in to say good luck. She tries to dance. She’s clutching the photo album. DANCE STUDIO . Alone. SARA’S ROOM .

Patrick can’t dance for you. wipes her tears. Did everything in a hurry and still thought I had all the time in the world. ROY Well. tries to console her) . SARA I wanted somebody there who loves me. He’s not coming tomorrow and I want him there and I don’t know what to do. I’m pissed at him. it ain’t like I deserve a perfect daughter. Roy regards her softly. (CONTINUED) .108.. crying. I miss Mom. It’s not like I’ve been the perfect daughter. Patrick’s pissed at me. she’s 165 SARA I don’t hate you.. herself. You look up one day and all you got to show for yourself is a pretty little girl who hates your guts and won’t talk to you because too much time went by. This is your chance to be the dancer Juilliard came to see. Be a father to you. Sara draws back from Roy. But time flies. the irony implicit. I screwed up.. (as Roy takes her in his arms. (close to a confession) I didn’t give you much to work with.. You’re the bottom line out there. Collects ROY You want him there. Sara. significantly. But whatever he brings to the table. To be in love with your mother. I miss her. I understand that. Sara’s eyes well up. 165 CONTINUED: SARA You’re not so bad. Before she can stop herself.

. holds his wife’s hand. believes him. Malakai straightens his body. when he does. MALAKAI I got a good reason now. their concern for Arvel a shaky ground for conciliation. (trying to be strong.I.U. holds him there. Patrick! Is he gone? Patrick steers Malakai away from the waiting room. she 165 INT.EVENING Patrick’s bouncing on his knees. whatever’s left of Malakai’s soul crumbles. shit. in a gentle but firm way. Stands up to see Malakai frozen in the doorway. ’Your friend’s gonna make it. HOSPITAL . 165 CONTINUED: ROY I love you.. PATRICK They just got bad news. Arvel’s mother kneads a Kleenex. cocks his head slightly. 166 For the first time in her life. man..C. speaking to Arvel’s parents. who are clearly stricken. right? That what’s his nurse said. stoic.’ Did that bitch lie to me! Talk to me. man? (MORE) (CONTINUED) 166 . Patrick eases his grip. WAITING ROOM/CORRIDOR . Patrick hugs her. Studies Patrick in this crooked. her face etched with tears. MALAKAI Why his mom’s cryin’ like that? Arvel’s gonna make it. Arvel’s father. She told me herself. He’s gonna pull through.109. backs him against a wall and. They don’t need to hear it again. A stronger man would probably cry. derisive way. Sara looks up. he ain’t. put off by the palpable grief. Thing is. Arvel ain’t gonna walk again.. Patrick crosses over to him. In that moment. He looks at Patrick with aggrieved disbelief and then a building anger. faltering) Arvel’s fightin’. They retreat quietly into the corridor. they don’t think.

166 CONTINUED: MALAKAI (CONT’D) (off Patrick’s silence) Aw’ight. You care. He starts to walk off.. She got a serious jones for you.. Patrick guides Christopher down a slide. The gleeful squeal of them is everywhere. You do what you think is the right thing. doesn’t get far before Patrick calls out. I’ma do what I know is the only thing. I mean it and then I don’t mean it. 167 EXT.. PATRICK Malakai. When it’s on. (catches her son with a whee!..110.DAY Groups of children scatter around worn-out playground equipment. then) You know how I go off on folks sometimes. PLAYGROUND (O’DONNELL HEIGHTS PARK) . PATRICK (monotone) I don’t care what you said. I’ll be there. CHENILLE Why you so quiet? (off Patrick’s brooding look) Patrick Reynolds ain’t got nothin’ to say? That’s a first. college boy. Your ass is on your back and your lips are on the ground. CHENILLE Patrick. (a fleeting hesitation) . baby brother. Am I lyin’? (CONTINUED) 167 166 . And not just about what I said. Chenille catches him at the bottom. Christopher can’t get enough of this ride and Patrick and Chenille repeat the routine throughout their conversation. Chenille. (as he looks at her) You seriously like Sara. Guess she told you. Like what I said to Sara.

Holding Christopher. PATRICK (very low. PLAYGROUND . KENNY It cut me. Patrick regards Chenille impassively. Chenille looks up. what you said.SWINGS . Ain’t no blame or shame in that. soundly snoozing. Whatever point it is you tryin’ to make. They slowly swing throughout. CHENILLE To where? To who? Malakai? (sucks her teeth) You ain’t through with that fool yet. You know what? You’re the fool.LATER They’re side by side on swings. CHENILLE No. CHENILLE I’m sayin’ you can’t help who you love. PATRICK He’s not a fool. Patrick. Chenille bobs him up and down on one end of it. At least you found somebody who loves you back. Patrick. (CONTINUED) 168 Hands Christopher 167 . Christopher’s nestled against Kenny’s chest. 168 EXT. 167 CONTINUED: PATRICK It’s besides the point. She’s snuggling in Christopher’s face when the other end suddenly drops to the ground. a broken smile) I still gotta go.CHENILLE AND KENNY . PATRICK I gotta go. You think you let Malakai down and all you did was try to pull yourself up.111. Disappear. Sees Kenny. Chenille. to her. She and Christopher move on to a seesaw. Check you later. Chenille watches Patrick walk out of the playground.

the downtown skyline. So was I.SATURDAY EVENING of the building. PUSH IN and FAVOR Roy among them. CHENILLE I know I come down on you hard about money. 168 CONTINUED: CHENILLE (means this) I shouldn’t have. 170 INT. You were wrong. too. BALTIMORE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS . Gently rubs Christopher’s brow. 169 EXT. Further back are the families and friends of other dancers. I need to do better. other dancers. Ain’t no doubt about that.112. KENNY You always trip. KENNY I love my son.SARA Warming up. KENNY (jokingly) So you don’t want any money? CHENILLE I didn’t say all that. I was trippin’. I’m used to that. etc. her. He smiles. BACKSTAGE AREA . Chenille smiles at him. 169 You know Looks at 168 CHENILLE I always knew that. don’t you? Yeah. but I would rather you spend the time.. Chenille.. 170 171 INT. (CONTINUED) 171 . BALTIMORE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS . Seriously.ESTABLISHING SHOT . that. Her eyes wander from the clock to the stage door. around her.AUDITORIUM SAME TIME The house lights are on. Besides. you were right. all in costume. Several seats in the front row are taken up by judges for Juilliard.

" She stares at it. Patrick gets into the car. STREET (O’DONNELL HEIGHTS) . 173 EXT. a set of keys fall out of his jacket into his lap. Lip’s in the backseat. (as Malakai glances at him. 172 PINCE-NEZ Sara Johnson. Malakai has a "40" between his legs.. LIP Here we go. not understanding) This ain’t helpin’ nobody. his present from Sara. I mean it. Patrick starts to open the door. Pulls his gun.. 173 MALAKAI (furious) What you mean you out? You think I’ma let your punk ass bail on me again? Patrick starts to open the door. and dangerous. He looks at Malakai. 171 CONTINUED: A sign on it reads: "JUILLIARD SCHOOL OF DANCE BALTIMORE AUDITIONS. Malakai pulls up in Tute’s BMW. Patrick takes a short swig.. Malakai grabs him by the jacket. Patrick picks them up.113. STREET . SQUEALS around corners. No one in the car is saying anything. The CAR CAREENS down the street.NIGHT RAP MUSIC blasts ON the RADIO.NIGHT Patrick’s waiting on the sidewalk. ANGLE . PATRICK Pull over. Stop the car. As he does this. passes it back to Lip. shit. Malakai speeds up. I’m out. fingers the clover leaf necklace with an unsettling sense of deja vu. 172 171 EXT.WOMAN with a PINCE-NEZ with a clipboard. Finally comes to a red light.DRIVING . He sips from it. Stops. navigating among the dancers with a clipboard. ’Kai.BMW . (CONTINUED) ../INT. Awww. Looks at the key chain. Patrick looks at Malakai and now he sees him. It takes off down the street. passes it to Patrick. Sees that he’s lost and desperate. She calls out: Johnson.

Without looking back. 173 CONTINUED: PATRICK What you gonna do. Patrick stops. Sara starts to sway. Her line. Grieg’s Peer Gynt (Morning). Opens the door. But Malakai can’t do it. BALTIMORE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS .. She nods down at the judges. Inside Malakai slumps over the steering wheel. He takes off like a bat out of hell. A CAR HORN goes off in a persistent drone. 173 MALAKAI Shut the fuck up. As he walks. he can hear the sound of GUNFIRE behind him. Patrick’s face flinches at the sound of it. STREET . ’Kai? You gonna shoot me? Go ahead! You’ll have to! Let him out! LIP We don’t need him. Her MUSIC begins. a bullet through his head. 176 INT.114. STREET Patrick heads down the street. moving like an angel through the soft cloud of this music. (CONTINUED) Announces her. 175 EXT. 174 EXT.SAME TIME The BMW’s tangled around a street lamp. 176 175 174 . and then the sound like an EXPLOSION. Stands there for a moment. Patrick jerks himself loose. Sara walks onstage.. looks out into the audience. hoping. Her eyes anxiously search for Patrick.AUDITORIUM NIGHT Pince-Nez leads Sara to the stage. Malakai cocks the gun. Then he’s walking again. Wouldn’t do it. He can feel it trained on his back as he gets out the car. proportion and balance are impeccable. And then he’s running away from the mayhem behind him.

her eyes filled with trepidation. NAS’S "We Will Survive" and JAY Z’s latest) and snatches of CLASSICAL. LAURYN’S HILL’S doo wop. Her voice is a shaky whisper. She is doing what a dancer should do -. energy and persuasion.g..JUDGES perking up. The Judge turns around.115. REVERSE ANGLE . Doesn’t move. my music.. speaks to her. opening herself up to the music like a flower. 176 . Looks down at the judges. shouts to someone we can’t see: STERN JUDGE Cue Johnson’s music. ANGLE . (clears her throat) Emotion. She finally walks up to the edge of the stage. igniting their imagination. Can’t. they have... She completes every turn and twist and leap with confidence.. (CONTINUED) Looks out. 176 CONTINUED: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (Tanz der Schwane) begins and Sara slowly blossoms..JUDGES One of the more imperious-appearing JUDGES removes his glasses. taking notes. STERN JUDGE You prepared a free-form? SARA Yes. SARA stands there. SARA finishes with a flawless arabesque. Sara’s still trying to catch her breath.engaging the audience.. JUDGE Does it have a theme? SARA Emo. Yes. attentive to her.. drawing them in.. sir. MUSIC UP: A remix of hip-hop (e.

ANGLE WIDENS to reveal him coming forward. She lifts her head slowly and the ANGLE WIDENS to reveal -(CONTINUED) . As her MUSIC cues up.116. astounded. Turns to the SARA Sara stands in the middle of the stage breathless. I wasn’t ready. Patrick’s eyes softly take her in. Rushing for the stage. Sara’s eyes focus on him. He smiles at her. Patrick slowly backs away from the stage. PATRICK You can do it. She nods. She starts out strong and gets stronger. you start it over again? REVERSE ANGLE The Judge waving off the MUSIC. Shaken. It STOPS. I’m ready.) She’s ready. not even when she was practicing with Patrick.S. every experience she’s had. to elevate its meaning and transform her dance. 176 CONTINUED: SARA I’m sorry. The MUSIC ENDS. He regards Can 176 STERN JUDGE Are you ready now? Before she can respond. sir. Every emotion she feels. sweating. PATRICK (O. Patrick’s voice booms from the back of the auditorium. He pauses at the apron of it. comes to life in a way that we’ve never seen before. (because) Ain’t nobody watchin’ you but me. Looks up at Sara. She smiles back. Sara impatiently. The lights go up. Sara begins to dance. She peers down at him. judges. Her body has finally found a way to get inside this kind of music. Yes.

JUDGES struggling to maintain their and the proceeding’s decorum.. But welcome to Juilliard. ANGLE .117. looks down at the judges. caught up in the throes of this excitement. enthusiastically react.. you’re crazy! Sara pulls Patrick back. PATRICK All due respect. please! (to Patrick) Young man! Get off the stage. . as he bounds onto the stage and. The judges react and the audience gasps.... The Judge smiles. Roy jumps to his feet. Walks alone to the edge of the stage. Patrick hugging Sara. since the audience.. then simply says: Thank you. STERN JUDGE Proudly and loudly clapping. Patrick’s coming toward her.SARA overwhelmed beyond belief.. has begun to loudly. Just like Glynn. 176 STERN JUDGE I can’t say this on the record -yet. Ms. STERN JUDGE Ladies and gentlemen. overjoyed. WIDER to reveal the room. 176 CONTINUED: Patrick letting out a giant whoop. She flies into his arms. free and happy. which is her love for Patrick. if ya’ll don’t let this girl in. composed and professional again. But the triumph of her performance and the sheer bliss of the moment are transcended by something deeper and clearer. SARA Very much.. (CONTINUED) . Turns back to him. Johnson! Sara stops. She regards the judges with a beaming resolve and a ballerina’s curtsy.

NIGHT OVER SLOW MUSIC (possible theme song): Sara (in a gown) and Patrick (in a tux). under them large poufs of cotton clouds hang. as we: DISSOLVE TO: 177 INT. deliberately back to Patrick. 176 CONTINUED: SARA’S FACE lovely and radiant as it breaks into a cheek-to-cheek smile. star-like lights.. Gazing at each other. Sara and Patrick.. Glittering. Nikki with whom we shall perceive to be the Howard University guy.SENIOR PROM . PICKING UP: A surprisingly dashing Snookie and the fly girl. HOTEL BALLROOM . CAMERA PANS the floor. 177 176 THE END . As they dance. WIDER to reveal the entire dance floor. he bravely but rather too abruptly dips her.. Seniors dance in traditional and cutting edge tuxes and mouth-watering. Emotional.. WIDER as she walks slowly. Looks at him. eye-popping versions of dresses and gowns. mirrored balls dangle over the main floor. CAMERA FAVORS and PUSHES IN ON.. with them in each other’s arms. kissing and hugging him.. futuristic romantic illusion. And we see that it’s the senior prom. In any event. The room’s dressed up like a dreamy. And then she throws her arms around his neck.. Diggy (in a glitter tuxedo and spiked hair) and her date.. twirls her around and around. The SONG ENDS FADE OUT.118. The ceiling’s ablaze with tiny. he looks slightly bored. Just looks. Chenille with Kenny. Patrick swings her into the air. smiles at Sara as she and Patrick dance by. Dancing (as if they had danced from the last FRAME INTO this one). Stops. They are beautiful.

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