The class watches as Carl sprays a deck of cards
randomly about the floor. Carlie and BEN (12), stand at
opposite ends of the room. Carl motions Carlie aside. He
puts on a happy face for her, his thoughts on other more
pressing issues. CARL Here's the deal, Carlie. I'll give you five bucks if you can pick up those cards with out speaking a word. When I say go. CARLIE Got it.
Carl nods his head. Carlie notices his change in
demeanor. Across the room he takes Ben aside. CARL Here's the deal, Ben. I'll give you twenty bucks if you can pick up those cards with out speaking a word. Can you do that? BEN Twenty smackers? For reals? CARL For 'reals'. When I say go.
Ben starts off, Carl grabs him by the arm, almost too
hard. CARL When I say 'go'. BEN You said go! CARL Wait until I announce it.
Carl settles in with his students on the floor. He waves
a limp hand. CARL And...go.
Ben takes off, diving to the floor to capture cards as
Carlie takes her time. Carlie looks over at Carl who
shrugs. Ben and Carlie push each other about, trying to
Carlie pokes Ben on the shoulder. She points to the
clock. When he looks away, she steals all of his cards.
The class laughs. Ben pushes Carlie down with a loud
thud. Carl jumps up, back to the present and out of his
funk. CARL Whoah! Ben! BEN You said get the cards.
Carl rushes to Carlie, helping her up. CARL I didn't say clock your partner! BEN What? She stole my cards. CARL That was funny. Pushing someone to the ground. Not funny. CARLIE Not funny.
Carlie wobbles, using Carl to stand. He brushes off her
back. CARL Are you okay? CARLIE I think so. CARL Over and out Ben. You're done.
LATER As kids file out of the classroom, Carl pulls out
a band-aid from a first aid kit and applies it to her
scraped elbow. CARLIE You offered him more money, didn't you? CARL Yes, I did. CARLIE You should have offered me the larger amount. CARL You're probably right. Did your Mom say yes to the extra time with me? I have the perfect piece for you. CARLIE Yes! My Grandmother knows today might go longer. CARL Then get your stuff. CARLIE Can't we do it here? CARL We need to be on stage so you can hear your voice in a larger space. CARLIE But my Grandmother. CARL Get her. She can sit in the audience. CARLIE What am I going to read? CARL Patience Grasshopper.
INT. COLLEGE - THEATRE STAGE - DAY
Carl hands out sides to a children's play. In the wings,
Grace sits with a needlepoint canvas and clip-on light.
She takes a moment here and there to look up from her
work. CARL I know some of you will think I've cast you in the wrong parts, speak your beef now because I don't want any arguments later.
HEATHER, blond and ambitious, raises her hand before she
receives her part. CARL Heather, you've had the biggest part in the last two sessions. We're giving it to someone else this time. HEATHER You'll regret it.
Carl exchanged glances with Carlie. She smiles back at
him. CARL No, I don't think I will.
Heather takes the handout from Carl. HEATHER Servant? I get the Servant?
Portly GUS leans in. GUS There are no witch parts in this play, Heather.
Grace laughs quietly to herself, continuing to
needlepoint. Heather crosses her arms in disgust. CARL Protest noted. If Roger can't handle his lines, you can have them. HEATHER Me? As Aladdin? CARL We can always rename it to "All About Heather".
Grace stifles a louder laugh with her hand. CARL Everybody happy now? Good. Let's do a quick read through. Carlie, would you please read the stage directions?
Carlie takes the master script. Heather glares. HEATHER I see how it is. CARL Care to enlighten all of us? HEATHER Daddy's little girl.
Carl and Carlie make the same questioning face, making
them appear all the more alike. Grace looks up when
there is no response. She notices the look between Carl
and Carlie. CARL I'm not sure- CARLIE I told you, sir, crazy as a soup sandwich. CARL Whatever, let's get started. Madam?
Carlie wipes a bead of sweat from her brow, clears her
throat and begins the play. Grace's eyebrows furrow in
thought. She looks down to see a stitch missing. GRACE Damn.
She attempts to right her mistake.
EXT. COLLEGE - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
Lucy's car pulls into a parking space.
INT. COLLEGE - BUILDING - HALLWAY - NIGHT
On the classroom door, Lucy reads a message handwritten
by Carl: "We're on stage, next door. Back entrance
INT. COLLEGE - THEATRE STAGE - NIGHT
Backstage left, Lucy sneaks up on Grace. LUCY Where's my little diva? GRACE Oh my. I nearly died. Why-- LUCY I wanted to surprise Carlie. Maybe we could all go out to dinner afterwards.
Lucy sneaks a peek of the rehearsal through a gap in the
curtain. She sees Carlie, but only Carl's arm. GRACE She still has her private lesson after this class. LUCY Right. Right. Is there a soda machine around here somewhere? GRACE Through that door, to the left. LUCY Don't tell her I'm here. I want it to be a surprise.
Lucy leaves, passing a waiting parent. Seconds later the
class disbands. CARL Next time bring your diaphragm, Gus. People are paying big money in the back row for your performance. Sara, no more gum, no more candy, and certainly no more liquor in class please. SARA, a pig-tailed girl, rolls her eyes. SARA AND GUS Yes, sir. CARLIE Be right back. CARL You have the bladder of a mosquito.
Carlie steps off stage, heading to the lobby. GRACE (O.S.) Bathroom? CARLIE
(yelling) Yes, Ma'am.
Grace sets her canvas down. She approaches Carl, rubbing
her tired hands. GRACE She's changed so much since taking your class, Mr. Ferguson. She even does her homework on the bus so she can be prepared for you. CARL Carlie's a ball of fire. Not unlike myself when I was her age. GRACE You were a drama queen too?
Carl laughs. CARL I appreciate the effort you've put in to getting Carlie here. She's one in a million.
A door opens backstage. Lucy walks on stage, tapping her
soda can. She looks up and sees Carl. Her soda can falls
to the floor. CARL Hello, You. GRACE Lucy, this is Carlie's-
Carl envelopes Lucy into a fierce hug. LUCY Hello, You.
Grace's jaw drops in confusion. Lucy pulls back in
disbelief, putting her hands on his face. CARL I can't believe it. LUCY This whole time...
They hug once more. Eyes shut, they have light speed
flashbacks of each other.
IN THE AUDIENCE/HOUSE
Carlie freezes in the aisle. She sees them embrace. CARLIE Oh no. Not now. Please not now.