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#204 : La routine

Scénario: Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

Réalisation: Michael Robison

L'entrainement se fait de plus en plus dur pour Kyle, poussé au bout de ses limites par Tom. Quand à Josh, il est trés excité par la promesse que son père lui a faite: lui offrir une voiture...

Popularité


3.67 - 3 votes

Titre VO
Balancing Act

Titre VF
La routine

Première diffusion
02.07.2007

Première diffusion en France
23.10.2007

Vidéos

Kyle et Amanda scènes (vo)

Kyle et Amanda scènes (vo)

  

Josh et Andy scènes (vo)

Josh et Andy scènes (vo)

  

trailer (vo)

trailer (vo)

  

Leah Cairns scenes

Leah Cairns scenes

  

Diffusions

Logo de la chaîne SciFi

France (redif)
Jeudi 15.06.2017 à 19:10

Plus de détails

THE TRAGER HOUSE
Kyle's Room

[In the early hours before dawn, Kyle is asleep in his bathtub. No alarm goes off, but when the clock on his desk turns to 4:30 am, he opens his eyes at the same time.  Glancing at the clock, he gets out of the tub and quickly puts on a pair of sweatpants and tennis shoes. Grabbing a jacket, he pulls it on and opens the bedroom window.]

VOICEOVER
Life is made up of routines.  For as long as I lived with the Tragers, my routine had been simple - until now.  I wanted to explore and develop my potential, which meant strengthening my mind and body so I could use my abilities without harming myself.  But I had to do it in secret.

[Glancing over his shoulder for a moment, Kyle climbs out of the window.]
 
TRAINING IN THE CITY


[In the middle of a shopping/apartment district, the streets are virtually empty this time of the morning.  Foss watches as Kyle runs up and down a staircase over and over again.]

VOICEOVER
The early morning and after-school hours were the only times I could meet with Tom Foss.

FOSS
Faster, faster!  Pick it up!

VOICEOVER
I was the athlete-in-training.

FOSS
I didn't come out here to watch you walk it!  Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!  Better.

VOICEOVER
And he was my coach.

FOSS [yelling]
Faster!!

VOICEOVER
While I was finishing my morning routine, the family was just starting theirs.

[At home, the alarm clock rings in Stephen and Nicole's room.  She gets out of bed, but Stephen rolls over for a few more minutes.]

I had to get home before they knew I was gone.

[Finished with training for the morning, Foss slaps Kyle on the shoulder and says goodbye. Watching for a moment as Kyle waits to cross the street, Foss heads out in a different direction.]

THE TRAGER HOUSE
Kitchen

[Awake and dressed, Nicole is making coffee and breakfast for everyone.]

NICOLE [calling out]
Lori, let's go!
Kyle?  Breakfast!

[Not knowing if he is awake yet, Nicole heads towards Kyle's room.  In the meantime, Kyle is running home as fast as he can.]

VOICEOVER
But life is far from a perfect science.  Statistically speaking, we're all about to slip up.

Kyle's Room

[Going into his room, Nicole can see that Kyle is not asleep in the bathtub.  She walks over to window he left partly open and starts to shut it.]

KYLE [behind her]
Good morning.

NICOLE [turns around]
Good morning.

KYLE
Breakfast ready?

[Nicole senses something's up with Kyle. He is wearing a long bathrobe and his hair is wet as if he just got out of the shower.]

NICOLE
You okay?

KYLE
Just hungry.

NICOLE
Then come eat.
[She smiles and walks out of the room]

KYLE
Be there in a minute.

[Kyle opens the robe and pulls down the sweatpants he had rolled up his legs.  Taking off the robe, he is still wearing the sweat-stained t-shirt from his training session with Foss.  Going to the window, he pulls it shut and locks it, glancing back towards the kitchen and Nicole.]

VOICEOVER
This was my life, my routine.  And making it work was going to be a lot harder than I thought.

[Theme Music]

The Kitchen

[Lori and Nicole are sitting at the kitchen counter, eating breakfast and sipping coffee.  Kyle comes in fully dressed with his jacket on, ready for school.]

LORI
Hey, Kyle.

KYLE [opening fridge]
Hey.  Is Josh still asleep?

LORI
You're kidding, right?

NICOLE
Stephen took him to take his driver's test this morning.  The first appointment.

KYLE [pours himself some orange juice]
That's right, I forgot.

LORI
How?  He hasn't shut up about it all week.

[Stephen and Josh get home and come into the kitchen.]

NICOLE
Hey, how'd it go?

LORI
You totally bombed, didn't you?
 
[Stephen makes a dour face as if it went badly.]

JOSH
If by "bombed", you mean a direct hit, as in I nailed it.

KYLE
Did you pass?

JOSH
Yes, I passed.  [holds up his new license]  In fact, the instructor said I was the best she'd ever tested.

STEPHEN [pats Josh on the shoulder]
He was very impressive.

NICOLE [holds up her palm to Josh]
Aw, way to go, Josh.

JOSH [hi-fives her]
Thanks.

LORI
Lemme see that.  [takes license from him and looks at it]  God, that's frightening.  [returns license]
[in the background, the phone rings]  I'll get it.

JOSH
You do realize what this means, don't you?

KYLE
You can drive.

JOSH
Yes, my obvious friend, that is true.  But more importantly, Dad gets to make good on his promise of buying me a new car.

STEPHEN
Oh great, you remember that.

LORI [from other room]
Dad, it's for you.

[Stephen leaves to go answer the phone.]

KYLE
A car?  That's a pretty big birthday present.

NICOLE
It sure is.

[Someone honks their horn in the front of the house.]

JOSH [to Kyle]
That's us.  [Kyle stands up with toast in his mouth]  Soon, we'll be the ones pickin' people up.  [turns around and points to Kyle]  Oh, and after work, I wanna go scope out some dealerships.  Are you in?

KYLE
Absolutely!

[As he grabs his backpack, Josh spins around and dramatically hands a brochure to Nicole.]

JOSH
For Dad; some light reading.

[She looks down at the brochure.  It advertises a brand new red Corvette.]

NICOLE
Ah.  Okay.  Have a good day, guys.

[The front door slams as Kyle and Josh head off for school.  Walking into the kitchen with the phone hanging in his hand, Stephen stares straight ahead.]

NICOLE
Stephen, what is it?


STEPHEN
That was the office.  The company was sold this morning.

NICOLE
Sold?  I didn't know it was for sale.

STEPHEN
Neither did I.  Some big conglomerate snatched us up.

NICOLE
Well, what does this mean?

STEPHEN
Well, it means...I just lost my job.

THE RACK


[After school, Kyle walks in and straight to a small table where is Amanda is sitting by herself studying.  Josh is working his shift at the counter in the background.]

KYLE [stops at table]
Hi, Amanda.

AMANDA [not looking at him]
I don't wanna talk to you.

KYLE
That's okay, I'll talk to you.

AMANDA [looks up]
No, I mean I don't want you to talk to me either.

KYLE
I just wanted -

AMANDA [cuts him off]
You're still talking.

[Kyle just stands there for a moment, not sure what to do. Then slowly, he walks away, looking back over his shoulder at her. Meanwhile, at the counter, Andy is waiting to get Josh's attention. He is leaning on the counter reading an automobile magazine.]

ANDY
A little service here.

JOSH [not looking up]
[sighs]  Hang on a sec.

ANDY
You must just rake in the tips.

JOSH
The extra 20 cents isn't worth it.
[Andy slides the magazine towards herself and picks it up.]
Hey -
[He snatches the magazine back]

ANDY
Fantasizing about your dream car?

JOSH
Just narrowing down my choices.

ANDY
You're actually getting a car?

JOSH
It was my birthday this week.  And it's all systems go for my parents and with the state of
Washington.

ANDY
It's incredible who they let behind the wheel these days.

JOSH
Don't worry.  I brake for minors.

[Andy gives him an "oh, very funny" look.
Waiting for Josh's shift to end, Kyle is still hanging around and looking at the activity board.  Lori comes up to him.]

LORI
Hey.  Did you clear things up with Amanda?

KYLE
Didn't get a chance.

LORI
I saw you talking to her.

KYLE
No talking allowed.
 
LORI
She'll get over it.  Just give her a little real estate.
[He doesn't understand]
You know, give her some space.

[Kyle takes a big step backwards and looks towards Amanda.  Lori glances over her shoulder and Amanda looks up at both of them watching her.]

KYLE
Is space what you wanted from Declan?

[Behind them, Declan is at a table with a few friends.]

LORI
What I want from Declan is an explanation.  Or at least a distraction.  I need to do something to get him off my mind.

KYLE [points at the board]
How about something from here?

LORI [makes a face]
I'm not really the activity board type.  I mean, have you seen the people who post these flyers?  Totally hideous.

[At that moment, a nice-looking guy tacks up a flyer for guitar lessons, smiles at Lori and leaves.]

The guitar, on the other hand, is a very sexy instrument.

[She tears off one of the tabs on the flyer with a phone number]
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Living Room
 
[Stephen is in the living room reading through e-mails about that morning's buy-out.  Nicole comes in and sits on the edge of the desk.]

NICOLE
What's the latest?

STEPHEN
Everybody's still in shock.

NICOLE
Not even a hint this might happen?

STEPHEN
I thought things were goin' great.  I mean, I was expectin' a big bonus at the end of the year, but now I'm lookin' for a job.

NICOLE
You'll find something.

STEPHEN
Well, hon, at my level, jobs aren't easy to come by, and everything else is a big cut in pay.
[Nicole hangs her head and sighs.  He reaches for her.]
Hey, I got a lot of good contacts out there.  I'll put the word out right away.

NICOLE
We should tell the kids.

STEPHEN
No, there's no point in worrying them.  Let me line up something first.

NICOLE
Okay.

[She smiles encouragingly at him and leaves him to the computer.]
 
THE RACK
 

[Standing in front of a magazine rack and pretending to have his nose stuck in a comic book, Kyle keeps sneaking glances at Amanda.  Every time she looks up, he glances away.  Then when she glances away, he starts looking at her again.  Finally, she gets up and goes over to him.]

AMANDA
What are you doing?

KYLE
Giving you space.

AMANDA
No, you're staring at me.

KYLE
I just want to say one thing.

AMANDA
You may want to say it...but I'm not ready to hear it.  [she goes back to her table]

[At that moment, Kyle's cell phone rings.  Opening it, he has a text message from "T" that simply says, "You're late."  Declan watches Kyle checking his phone. At the counter, Andy and Josh are still talking about the future car.]

ANDY
When are you looking for this offensive and irresponsible gas-guzzling heap?

JOSH
Right after my shift, with Kyle.

ANDY [looks towards the door]
Looks like you're flying solo.
[Josh looks at the door, too, just in time to see Kyle leaving.]
There goes your wingman.
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE

[In the loading area of the old warehouse, Kyle watches Foss carrying a long metal pole.  Following him, he pulls on a pair of heavy work gloves.]

KYLE
What are we doing?

FOSS
Fighting equipment.

KYLE
For what?

FOSS
Your next challenge.
[He drops the pole on the ground next to a beat-up car, then walks over to a large pile of junk.] 
Balance, coordination and weights.
[He picks up and hands Kyle a large concrete block out of the pile.]

KYLE [grabs block and lays it on the ground behind him]
You had me run 7,642 steps this week.  Now I'm going to be lifting cement?

FOSS [hands him another block]
Baylin's body gave out because it couldn't keep up with his mind.

KYLE
Baylin's body failed internally.  Weight training isn't going to stop that from happening to me.
[Foss keeps handing Kyle concrete blocks which he takes and adds to the other ones behind him.]

FOSS
Mental and physical strength are connected.

KYLE
Look, I don't mind doing the work.  But do you even have a plan?  We should look at Baylin's journals.  Maybe he knew a better way.

FOSS
I've seen what's in his journals.  It's formulas, equations.  You can learn that yourself.  But this kind of conditioning, I can teach you.

KYLE
What else do we need?

FOSS [pointing]
Grab that.
[Kyle gets one of the large metal poles stacked up against the old car.]
That's right.  Inside.

[Kyle smiles at him and carries the pole inside the warehouse.]
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Lori's Room
 

[Searching through her closet, Lori grabs a pair of green pom-poms and throws them on the bed.  She finds pair of ice skates in the closet and turns to toss them on the bed as well just as her mother starts to walk in front of her.  They both freeze, then Lori throws the skates on the bed and starts digging through the closet again.]

NICOLE [watching]
Lookin' for somethin'?

LORI [holding a baton]
The guitar Dad got me.  Have you seen it?

NICOLE
Well, I think we sold it at the garage sale, which, if I remember correctly, you told me to.

LORI [tosses baton on the bed]
Oh yeah, crap.

NICOLE
Well, if you wanna play, I'm sure you can borrow your Dad's.

LORI
I guess.  Do you ever just feel like there's nothing interesting about you?  Like, you hope people look at you and say, "Hey, that Lori Trager, she's really good at...whatever."  [Nicole looks over at the pile on the bed.]  Everything I ever tried to be good at is in this closet.  [pulls a small box out of the closet]  And most of it is in the original wrapping.  [tosses the box on the bed.]

NICOLE
Why do I get the feeling this sudden interest in guitar has something to do with Declan?

LORI
Because you're a super psychologist?

NICOLE
Have you tried talking to him?

LORI
Yes.

NICOLE
Did you try warm and fuzzy or go straight for aggro-crazy teen girl?

LORI [makes a face]
Um, I'll take aggro-crazy for a thousand?
[Her expression turns serious]  I just wanna know what happened with us.

NICOLE
Then really talk to him.  You might not like what ya hear, but at least you can get some closure and move on.

LORI
How would a girl survive without a mom like you?
 
NICOLE
They get by.
Hey, have you seen Kyle?  I'm supposed to bring him to the mall to buy Josh a present.

LORI
I saw him rush out after school, but I don't know where he was going.

NICOLE [sighs]
I love you.  [kisses her on the cheek]

LORI
I love you.
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE

[In Foss's self-designed training area, Kyle steps carefully from the top of one wooden post to another.  Yoked across his shoulders is the long metal pole, weighted on each end with concrete blocks.  Struggling and grunting, he carries the heavy load from post to post.  After a precarious landing on one of the posts, he gathers his strength and steps faster across the posts left in the course in front of him.]

KYLE [grunting]
Two thousand...four hundred...and one!!  [pauses]

FOSS
Square it.

[Clenching his teeth, Kyle glares at Foss.  Maneuvering faster from post-top to post-top while performing the math is difficult.]

KYLE
Five million, seven hundred, sixty-four thou - 
 
[Kyle loses his footing and crashes down to the floor, landing hard.]

FOSS [yelling]
You lost focus!

KYLE [struggles up, holding his left shoulder in pain]
I was trying.

FOSS
Well, try harder.  An ordinary mind can convince the body to withstand the most extreme conditions.  You should be able to handle more.

KYLE
Like carrying 200 pounds while doing a math drill?

FOSS
I know what I'm doing.

KYLE
Except you're not the one doing it.

[He grunts as he picks up the training-pole and drops it on top of one of the posts.  The heavy crash echoes in the warehouse.]

FOSS
I've done a lot worse.

KYLE [looks at him]
What do you mean?

FOSS
I was in a re-con extraction unit in the service.
 
KYLE
What's that?

FOSS
That is military speak for rescue and torture.

KYLE [sarcastically]
Which one were you trained for?

FOSS [stares hard at him]
We're done.

[He walks away.  Kyle grimaces and clutches his shoulder again.
With his coat on and ready to leave, Kyle finds Foss standing at a work bench with some of his equipment.  Foss glances up when Kyle comes over.]

KYLE [looking around]
After I leave, do you just stay here?  It must get lonely.
[Foss doesn't answer him.]
In your old apartment, I saw a picture: a woman and a little girl.  Are they your family?

FOSS
They were.  [He draws in a quick breath]

KYLE
You're not together anymore.

FOSS [still concentrating on his equipment]
They were killed by a drunk driver. 
[Kyle and Foss eye each other a moment.] 
Look, you should go.  They'll be looking for you.

KYLE
You know, if you ever need anything.  I mean, you're here all alone and this neighborhood seems kind of...

FOSS
Don't worry about it.

KYLE
I'm just saying, if you're ever in trouble, you can call me.
[Foss grins to himself]
Okay, don't call me.  Text message.  Three stars.  All right?

FOSS [looks at Kyle]
Go home.
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Kitchen

[Kyle comes home very late, entering through the back door into the kitchen.  He lays his keys and cell phone on the counter and opens the refrigerator to get a bottle of water.  He turns around when he hears Nicole coming in behind him from the direction of his bedroom.]

KYLE
Hi.

NICOLE
Hi.  [She walks in holding something in her hand at her side]
You're late.

KYLE
I'm sorry.
 
NICOLE
Again?

KYLE
I lost track of time.

NICOLE
Kyle, you know we have rules about curfew.  If you're gonna break them, I expect a phone call.

KYLE
You're right.  I didn't mean to worry you.

[He walks past her towards his room, but turns around when she speaks to him again.]

NICOLE
I was putting away some laundry.  I found this in your room. 
[She holds up Kyle's burnt jacket] 
From the fire. I don't think you should leave it lying around.

[They stare at each other for a moment.]

KYLE
I'll get rid of it.

[She nods and he reaches to take the jacket from her.]

NICOLE
Well, good night.

KYLE
Night. [He leaves]
 
[After he turns the corner, his cell phone on the counter begins to vibrate.  Picking up the phone, Nicole can see that the call is from "T."  She holds up the phone up to her ear, but hesitates for a moment before speaking.

NICOLE
Hello?
[On the other end, Foss doesn't say a word]
Who is this?

[Foss hangs up on her.  She slowly closes the phone and stares straight ahead, worried and concerned.]
 
THE RACK


[Leaning close together at the counter, Josh and Andy are joking around.  They watch a buxom blonde girl walk into The Rack swinging her hips.]

ANDY
Notice the way she struts?  You'd need something sleek and sexy to get her.  A luxury import.  Definitely.

[Josh points to another girl walking up to the counter.  She has no make-up on and is wearing a brown flannel shirt.]

ANDY
Pick-up truck. [Josh laughs]

JOSH [pointing]
And her?

[Another girl is going from table to table with a big smile.  When she sees a friend, she flings open her arms to hug her.]

ANDY
Miss Perky?  Convertible.

JOSH [points again]
Goth Girl?

[A less perky girl dressed all in black huddles by the counter.  She has skull-and-crossbones barrettes in her long black hair and looks around nervously.]

ANDY
Batmobile.  Please...challenge me.

JOSH
Okay.  What about you?

ANDY
Me?  A hearse.

JOSH [laughing]
You are sick.
 
ON THE STREETS OF SEATTLE

[Nicole is walking and trying to hold and dial her cell phone with one hand while her other hand is holding out a large paper cup of coffee.  She is not paying any attention to who's in front of her on the sidewalk.  A woman coming from the other direction walks straight into Nicole so hard that the coffee explodes out of the cup and ends up all over the woman's coat.]

NICOLE
Oh!!

WOMAN
Oh!!

NICOLE [to woman]
Oh, I am so sorry.

[The woman is Emily Hollander.]

HOLLANDER [looking down at her coat]
It's been one of those days.

NICOLE
Are you okay?

HOLLANDER [still looking down at the mess]
Yeah, fine.

NICOLE
Your jacket isn't.

HOLLANDER [looks up for a moment, then back at her coat]
Don't worry about it.

NICOLE
I was just so focused on my phone.  Please let me pay to have that cleaned.

HOLLANDER
Oh, no really, it's not - [looking up again, she stares at Nicole]
I'm sorry, do I know you?

NICOLE [confused]
I...I don't think so.

HOLLANDER
Have you ever lectured at U.W. in child development like, two or three years ago?

NICOLE [smiling]
Actually, I speak there fairly often.

HOLLANDER [smiles]
I knew I recognized you.  I was finishing grad school.  It's Trager, right?  Nicole?

NICOLE
I can't believe you remember.

HOLLANDER [smiling]
Ah, you were so great.

NICOLE
Okay, now I'm definitely paying for the cleaning.

HOLLANDER
I'm Emily.  Hi.  [She extends her hand]

NICOLE [shakes Hollander's hand]
Hi.

HOLLANDER
Hi.

NICOLE [gets a business card out of her purse]
Hi.  Look, you know, I have to run.  But please let me know when you get the bill.  I insist on reimbursing you.  [hands her the card]

HOLLANDER [takes card and licks coffee off her fingers]
You're very kind.

NICOLE
Well, call me.

HOLLANDER
I will.

NICOLE [turns to leave]
Bye.

[Watching Nicole walk away, Hollander smiles smugly to herself.]
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Kitchen
 
[Nicole comes into the kitchen carrying a couple of bags of groceries.  Stephen is sitting at the counter looking at the brochure with the red corvette.]

NICOLE [puts bags on counter]
[To Stephen]  Hey.  Where's Josh?

STEPHEN
Upstairs.

NICOLE [to Kyle, where he is hiding]
Oh, we're clear.  Put it in the fridge.

[Kyle walks in with a big cake box and puts it in the refrigerator.  Taking groceries out of the bags, Nicole sees the brochure that Stephen is reading.]

Please tell me you're not taking him car shopping.

[Kyle watches them as he starts to help Nicole by putting away the groceries she sets on the counter.]

STEPHEN [glances at Kyle]
Nicole...

NICOLE [looks over at Kyle]
A car is a big responsibility.

STEPHEN
Josh is ready.

NICOLE
Well, gas is really expensive these days.  I'm not sure he can afford the gas.

STEPHEN
He'll  be fine.
[Kyle is still listening as he puts away the food.]

NICOLE
But with your recent car trouble...you're gonna...need a new engine.

STEPHEN
So I'll get a new engine.  There are plenty of mechanics out there.

NICOLE
What if repairs take longer than expected?  Then you'd have to borrow my car, and my car doesn't get nearly the mileage your car gets.

STEPHEN
Nicole, I made a promise.

NICOLE
It's just...bad timing. You know, we'll talk about this later.  [leaves]

[Stephen sighs and stands up.]

KYLE [to Stephen]
Sorry you lost your job.

[Stephen looks surprised.]

Cars are expensive and...you can't afford one for Josh since you're out of work and...Nicole doesn't make as much as you.  I mean...get as good a gas mileage as your car.

STEPHEN [chuckles]
Well, to tell you the truth, I'm glad you know.  Walkin' around here the last couple of days, keepin' a secret, just...feels awful.

KYLE
Must have been tough.

STEPHEN
Yeah, but don't worry.  Everything's gonna work out.

KYLE
What are you gonna tell Josh about the car?

STEPHEN [sighs]
I'm not sure.  My dad was notorious for breaking promises.  I don't want to be that kind of father. 

KYLE
You're not.  You're a great father.
[Grinning at Stephen, Kyle leaves the kitchen.]
 
THE RACK

[Outside the building, the rain is coming down.  Lori has just walked out with her guitar case, heading home.  She meets Declan on the sidewalk and they stop when they see each other.]

LORI
Hey.

DECLAN
Hey.  [He notices the guitar case] 
What's up with that?

LORI
I'm taking lessons.

DECLAN [starts to walk off]
Well, see ya.

LORI
Is it so impossible to have a conversation?

DECLAN [turns around]
We're having one right now.

LORI
Don't do that.  You can't just blow me off.  You can't just end what we had and move on like it didn't matter.

DECLAN [angry]
Hey, you erased me!

LORI
I'm sorry about that.  I didn't mean it.
[He looks at his feet while she glances around at the people walking by them.]
Look, we can‘t really talk here.  Why don't you come over later?  I'll be home around 4:00.  And if you don't show up, then I'll know there's nothing left to say.

[Declan doesn't answer her.  When he goes inside The Rack, she throws her head back and sighs.]
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[Sitting in front of an old TV with an antenna, Foss watches a news broadcast very intently.  The TV caption reads:  KACP LIVE NEWS - "Campfire Killing"]

ANCHORWOMAN
Police are still searching for any clues that may shed light on the murder of a hunter found in the woods near Victor Falls almost a month ago.  The victim's throat was crushed.  So far, police have no motive for the killing and no suspects have been named.
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Kyle's Room

[Kyle is sitting in his bathtub with a cold pack on his sore shoulder.  His cell phone rings and it hurts to reach for it.  When he sees the caller ID, he makes a sour face.]

KYLE [answering call]
It's Saturday.

FOSS [from the warehouse]
I know.  I want you to come in.

KYLE
I thought I had weekends to myself.

FOSS
If you slack off for one day, you'll stop making progress.  This isn't a game.  It's about your survival.

KYLE
I'll be there.  [In pain, he gets out of the tub.]

Outside the House
 
[Josh is sitting behind the wheel of Amanda's car, revving the engine and honking the horn.  He is making a lot of racket and a dog keeps barking in the background at the noise.]

AMANDA
Josh, stop hitting the horn!  The neighbors are gonna freak.

JOSH
You are the neighbor.  Relax.  I just wanna hear her purr. [revs engine]
Naughty.  Let me guess:  .357 Magnum, about 5,000 horsepower.

AMANDA
Do you have any idea what you're talking about?

JOSH
Of course.
[Sees Kyle leaving the house and gets out of the car]
Kyle!  Just the guy I was lookin' for.  You ready for tonight?

[Amanda is still there and she looks at Kyle, but doesn't say anything.  He looks at her, too.]

KYLE [looking puzzled at Josh]
Tonight?

JOSH
Dude, my birthday dinner at La Scala.  Killer calamari, awesome shrimp, garlic everything.

KYLE [distracted, looking at Amanda]
Sounds good.

JOSH
Kyle, I'm not sensing your excitement here.  This isn't just dinner.  I get my new ride.  That's a huge lift to both our social lives.  Dinner's at six.  Bring your "A" game.  [goes back inside]


KYLE [to Amanda]
He's really excited about his birthday.  [she smiles and nods]
About Charlie-

AMANDA
Kyle-

KYLE
I should have told you what was going on.

AMANDA
Yeah, well, being someone's friend isn't about what you should've done.  It's about what you do.

KYLE
I know you're hurt.  But you always look for the best in people.  Don't ever lose that.

[He turns and leaves while she absorbs what he said. Meanwhile, Declan pulls up across the street in his car.  Inside the house, Lori waits in her room for him.  The clock next to her chair reads 4:13 and she looks worried as she sits waiting.  Sitting in his car deciding what to do, Declan sees Kyle running down the sidewalk.]

DECLAN
Where the hell is he going?

[With a few last looks towards the Trager house, he drives off to follow Kyle. Cautiously approaching the old warehouse, Declan stops. Secretly he observes as Foss opens the door and lets Kyle inside.  Foss doesn't appear to see Declan's car across the street as he shuts the door.]

THE RACK
 
[Declan has driven straight to the internet café.  Sitting at a table with a computer, he pulls up the search engine and types in "Tom Foss."  He gets back 15,360 results.]
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[Across one wall in the large room, Foss had constructed a climbing wall for Kyle's next training challenge.]

KYLE
I don't have time for this.  Josh's birthday dinner is tonight.

FOSS [throws a climbing harness at him]
Then start climbing.

KYLE [catches harness and looks up at the wall]
From weight training to this?
[Foss doesn't answer; just stares at him and walks off]
What happened? 
[Foss turns around]
You're anxious about something.  Is it Zzyzx?

FOSS [coldly]
Zzyzx is gone.  Stop analyzing...and climb.
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
Josh's Room
 
[Josh checks himself out in the little mirror on his dresser, buttoning and straightening his shirt.  His father knocks on the open door.]

STEPHEN
Hey, buddy.  You got a second?

JOSH
Sure.  Just getting ready for the big night.

STEPHEN [comes in and looks around]
Josh, what happened to your room?

JOSH
What do you mean?

STEPHEN
It's clean.

JOSH
Well, just got tired of livin' in a mess all the time.

[He moves around the room, straightening it up]

STEPHEN
I'm impressed.

JOSH
Is Kyle back?

STEPHEN
Uh, no, I don't think so.  Listen, I gotta talk to you about somethin'.

JOSH [not really listening]
It's like he doesn't care anymore.  The guy's been AWOL all week long.

STEPHEN
Has he?

JOSH
Yeah.  Where have you been?

STEPHEN
Oh, I don't know.  I guess I've been a little AWOL myself this week.

JOSH
I just wish things would go back to the way they were.
 
STEPHEN
Yeah, tell me about it.  Listen Josh, things change.  That can be hard to accept.  But what you need to believe is that things will work themselves out in the end. 
[Josh sighs and nods]
About the car...
 [Suspecting the worst, Josh looks away disappointed.]

FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[Kyle works his way across and up the wall using the new hand and foot holds.  He is anchored around the waist and legs with a harness and rope.  The rope is looped through a pulley. At the other end, Foss grips the rope tightly with both hands.]

KYLE
What time is it?

FOSS
You're fine.  Keep goin'.
[Kyle reaches higher and slips, grabbing another hold to keep from falling]
You're almost there. 
[Kyle gets his footing and continues climbing] 
That's right, keep goin'.

KYLE
The way you've built this wall is impossible.

FOSS
Not for you.

KYLE [keeps climbing, looking towards the top ledge]
If I fall...

FOSS
If you fall, I've got ya.  Trust me.

[Kyle steadies himself to jump up to the ledge at the top of the wall.  He tries to make the jump, but it is too far and he misses.  Swinging back, he smashes into the side of the wall while Foss fights to hold onto the rope and keep Kyle safe.]

FOSS
Again.  Do it!

[Leaping towards the ledge, Kyle misses the mark again.  Holding tightly onto the rope, he swings back and forth until he gets his footing.  Hanging on, he looks down towards Foss.]
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
 
[The front doorbell rings and Nicole walks through the foyer to answer it.]

NICOLE [opens door]
Hey, I'm glad you called.  Come on in.

HOLLANDER [walking inside]
Thank you.
[looks around]  Wow, great house.

NICOLE
Thanks.  So, what do I owe ya?

HOLLANDER [pulls receipt out of her purse]
Oh, um, $26.00.

NICOLE [takes receipt]
Wow,  expensive cup of coffee.  [She gestures towards living room]  Uh, make yourself at home.  I'll get my purse.  [exits]

HOLLANDER
Thank you.

[Hollander walks into the living room and looks around.  She notices the family photographs on the wall and looks closely at Kyle's face in one of the pictures.]

NICOLE [returns, hands her the money]
Okay, here you go.

HOLLANDER [tucks money into her purse]
Oh, thank you.  This is really so nice of you.  And I have to confess I actually had another reason for stopping by.  My sister, Jessi, she's been having some problems, more than just the typical teenage things, and I was hoping that you might be able to sit down with her.

NICOLE
Oh, well, unfortunately, I'm not in private practice, but I'd be happy to recommend another therapist.

HOLLANDER
Oh.  Um...It's just that...our parents abandoned us when we were young, and I was left to raise Jessi by myself.  I've just been having a really hard time lately and, unfortunately, there's a history of mental illness in the family.  You know, I just don't know where to turn anymore.  And you were just so warm, I know that you would be so good for Jessi.  It's just such a shame that you can't see patients on the side.

NICOLE [looks sympathetic; glances over shoulder at Stephen in the kitchen trying to boil rice]
Um... you know, I...I think I might be able to help you.

HOLLANDER [signs in relief]
Oh!  That would be great.
[Nicole smiles warmly at her in return.]

[Outside, Hollander dials her cell phone as she walks down the sidewalk to her car.]

HOLLANDER [into phone]
It's Hollander.  Jessi's got herself a therapist.

FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[The climbing challenge over, Foss and Kyle walk side by side away from wall and discuss the training session.]

FOSS
Don't get discouraged.

KYLE
That jump is too far.

FOSS
You just gotta trust yourself and believe that you can do it.  I know that you can.  Why do you think I push you so hard?

KYLE
I don't want to let you down.

FOSS [stops, faces him]
Well, it's...it's not about that.  You...you keep trying, do your best - you'll get there.  And that jump is too far...for now.  I'll add a few holds, you can work your way up.

KYLE [smiles]
Okay.  I better go.

FOSS
You want a ride home?

KYLE
No thanks.  This is faster.

[Kyle takes off running and jumps on the hood of the junk car in the warehouse.  From off the hood, he propels himself through the shredded plastic covering the open side of the building and lands running.  In just a few seconds, he is already across the street and racing towards home.] 

THE TRAGER HOUSE
The Foyer
 
[Everyone has their coats on and is ready to leave for Josh's birthday dinner.]

STEPHEN [checks his watch]
We should go.

NICOLE
Kyle's not back yet.

LORI
Where is he?

JOSH
Do we ever know where he is anymore?

NICOLE
Let's just give him a few more minutes.

[It is dark outside now and Kyle is running down the street in his neighborhood as fast as he can.]

FOSS'S WAREHOUSE

[Foss is working on the top of the ledge.  He has anchored himself to the back wall with a rope and carabiner so he can lean over the edge to fasten a new hold for Kyle.  The rope is pulled taut between him and the wall, and he reaches over with a drill and tries to screw in the new hold.  Behind him, the metal plate gives way under the strain of his weight and pulls out of the wall.  Foss is sprung over the side of the ledge.  Grabbing the edge with his right hand, his body twists around, wrenching his shoulder as he struggles to hang on.
Gasping in pain, Foss pulls up his left hand to grip the edge.  He lets go with his right and his arm hangs out stiffly from his wrenched shoulder.  Carefully, he pulls his cell phone out of his pants pocket and starts to dial a number.  His fingers are trembling and the phone falls out of his hand and clatters to the floor far below.]
 
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
 
[Kyle has almost made it all the way home.  He stops running when his cell phone rings.  Opening the phone, he sees that the text message is from Tom Foss - it is three stars.
Outside the house, the family is walking to the car.]

STEPHEN
Sorry, Josh, we gotta go now.  Otherwise, we'll lose our reservation.

JOSH [gets into the car]
I don't care anymore.

[Kyle watches his family get into the car and start to leave.  Even though he is upset that he has to disappoint them, he turns around and starts to run back to the warehouse to help Foss.]
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE

[Kyle opens the door and runs into the warehouse.  Above him at the top of the wall, he sees Foss hanging from the ledge with one hand.]

KYLE [looking up]
Foss!!
Don't move!

FOSS [gasping]
Don't...move...
Don't - Aah!
[Kyle quickly climbs up the side of the wall towards Foss]
I can't...

[Kyle perches against the wall, and grabbing one of the holds, he readies himself to make the big jump to the ledge that he wasn't able to reach before.]

FOSS
You can't reach me from there.

[With a yell, Kyle springs upwards to the ledge, grabs it with both hands and pulls himself up over the edge.  He reaches down and grabs Foss's arm.]

KYLE
Okay, let go.  I got you.
[Foss looks up at him scared and unsure]
Trust me.
[Foss clenches his eyes shut and lets go of the edge.  Expecting to fall, he yells out in fear, but Kyle hangs on tightly.]
I got you.

[Grunting and struggling, Kyle pulls Foss up and over to the safety of the ledge.]
 
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
 
[Running back home again, Kyle spots Josh walking down the sidewalk on the other side of the street and crosses over to catch up with him.]

KYLE
Josh! -

JOSH [doesn't look at him]
Save it.  I'm tired of your excuses.

KYLE
I promise I'll make it up to you.

JOSH
Your promises don't mean anything.  You know, I could deal with not getting a car, cause I thought I still had my best friend.  [He glares at Kyle]  I guess I was wrong.  [He walks away]
 
THE TRAGER HOUSE
The Foyer
 
[Kyle walks into the house and shuts the door.  Stephen and Nicole come out of the kitchen to meet him.  They both have extremely serious expressions on their face.]

STEPHEN
Kyle, we need to talk.
We know what's going on.

KYLE [surprised]
You do?

STEPHEN
We understand you're still adjusting, but being part of this family is about trust.  Now if you don't wanna live here with us...

KYLE [very concerned]
Why would you think that?

NICOLE
You're hardly here.  You missed Josh's birthday.  And we know that you've spoken with Mr. Taylor.

KYLE [confused]
Mr. Taylor?

NICOLE
Your cell phone rang the other day, the caller ID said it was from "T."  Was he calling because you don't wanna stay?

KYLE
No, of course I wanna stay.
[Nicole and Stephen looked worried as they wait for an explanation.]
I know I've been distracted lately, but...I never meant to give you the impression that I didn't want to be here.

NICOLE
You know how committed we are to you being part of the family.  We need to know you feel the same way.

[Nicole stares at him and Stephen is very, very upset.]

KYLE [with tears in his eyes]
Nothing is more important to me.
 
Kyle's Room
The Next Morning

[Kyle is wallowing in his bathtub and thinking.  Stephen knocks on the door and comes inside.]

STEPHEN [pulls up desk chair, sits next to tub]
Rough night last night.

KYLE
Josh is still mad at me.

STEPHEN
He's disappointed.

KYLE
Feels like all I do these days is disappoint people.

STEPHEN
I know that feeling.
I just wish I coulda gotten him that car.

KYLE
I wish there was some way I can make it up to him.

STEPHEN [chuckles]
I had this great old junker in college.

KYLE [looks up]
Junker?

STEPHEN
Yeah, this crappy old car.  I remember the day I bought it...they practically gave it to me for free.  [Kyle starts to think of something]  Now that would have been the perfect starter car for Josh.

KYLE
I think I know where we can find one.
 
Outside the House
 

[Blindfolded, Josh is led by Stephen and Kyle as they lead him to the old car from the warehouse now parked outside on the street.]

STEPHEN
Watch your step.
[They stop in front of the car]
Okay, now.

JOSH [takes off bandana and stares at the car]
What is this?

STEPHEN
It's your new car.

[The car is a real heap.  The body is rusted, the hood is crumpled and the fenders are dented.  Missing windows are replaced with plastic taped over the openings.]

STEPHEN
So what do you think?

JOSH [excited]
This is...the coolest thing I've ever seen!

STEPHEN [laughs]
Well, it doesn't run right now, but we're gonna fix it up.

JOSH
Where'd you get it?

STEPHEN
Well, you can thank Kyle here.  He found it.

JOSH [looks at Kyle]
I thought you were too busy.

KYLE
Hey, this isn't just benefiting you.  It's a huge lift for both our social lives.  [Josh laughs]

STEPHEN
I thought the three of us could work on it.

JOSH
Dad, you don't know how to fix up a car.

STEPHEN
That's true, but Kyle just read the manual.
[He hands Josh the keys]
Here, check it out.

[Stephen and Josh walk towards the car, but Kyle turns around when he hears Amanda's car pull up next door.  He watches her get out of the car and walk up the driveway.  When she looks over at him, he smiles and raises his hand to say hello.  She smiles back and waves to him.]
 
Lori's Room
 
[Lori is sitting on her bed strumming the guitar.  Kyle stops in the doorway to listen for a moment, then comes inside.]

KYLE [walking in]
What song is it?

LORI
Song? You're too kind.  It's G, D and C.  [Kyle comes around and sits on end of bed]  Beyond that, it's the great unknown.

KYLE
It sounds good so far.

LORI
Thanks.

KYLE
Can I try?

LORI [gives him the guitar]
Knock yourself out.

VOICEOVER
Each string had a particular sound.  Like a mathematical equation, it was just a matter of recognizing patterns and familiar shapes.  Finding the right formations would translate into musical notes.

[Kyle plucks around on a few strings, getting used to the sounds of the guitar.  It is not very tuneful.]

LORI
Finally, something you're not amazing at.  I never thought I'd see the day.

[At that moment, Kyle begins to actually play the guitar, picking out the melody that he had heard when he first saw Amanda at the piano.  Lori smiles as she watches him play.]

LORI 
Get out.
[Kyle looks up at her]
I'm just kidding.  [He smiles]
Seriously though, give it back.  [He returns the guitar]

KYLE
So what's your song about?

LORI
New beginnings.  And Declan, mainly Declan.  I'm trying to eviscerate him.  It's very therapeutic.

KYLE
So you guys are -

LORI
-Over?  It appears so.

KYLE
I'm sorry.

LORI
Don't be.  Who knows what he's up to these days.
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[Outside the warehouse, Declan is snooping around.  He peers inside through the dingy window and can make out the training course laid out on the floor with the posts and the climbing wall that Foss built.  No one appears to be around.]
 
OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
 

[Crouched on the ground in front of his car, Josh is examining it when Andy stops by.]

ANDY
Sweet car.

JOSH [standing up]
Is it not the greatest?

ANDY [hands him present with a bow]
Happy birthday.
 
JOSH
You didn't have to get me anything.

ANDY [leans against the car]
I know.  [scratches her nose]  It was on sale.
[Josh unwraps the gift and pulls out a large pair of red fuzzy dice on a string.]
I didn't know what you'd like, but I couldn't bring myself to buy those mud flaps with the naked ladies on them.

JOSH [smiling]
I love these.  They're awesome.
[Nods toward the car] 
Wanna check it out?
[She nods]
Cool.

[He walks her around to let her in the passenger side.  Sitting inside the car, he wraps the fuzzy dice around the rear view mirror.]

So what kinda girl do you think I could get with this car?

ANDY [smiling at him]
The kind who appreciates potential.

[Josh looks over at her and then smiles to himself.]
 
FOSS'S WAREHOUSE
 
[Alone in the warehouse, Foss lays on his cot and looks at an old photograph he has tacked up.  He gazes for long time at a woman and a little girl in the picture.  Behind him, Kyle walks in quietly and watches him.]
 
KYLE
How long has it been?
 
FOSS [turns head, then stares up at the ceiling]
[quietly]  Ten years next month.
 
KYLE
You were the drunk driver.
[Foss sits up on the edge of the cot and stares ahead of him]
When you told me what happened to them, your heart rate doubled and your body temperature rose. 
[Foss hangs his head] 
It doesn't matter.  I just...wanna say I'm sorry.
[Foss nods]
 
FOSS
I wanna...thank you for coming back to help me.
 
KYLE
You can count on me...like I count on you.
[Walks up closer behind him] 
But here's the thing.  I can tell when you're not being truthful. 
[Foss turns his head to look at him] 
So if there's something else out there...something you know could bring danger into my life...I need you to tell me.
 
FOSS [nods head]
There's nothing to worry about right now. 
[He looks Kyle straight in the eyes]
 
KYLE
Then let's get back to work.
 
[They resume training.  Kyle's speed and strength increase as he completes the challenges.  All through the exercises, Foss monitors his progress and keeps him safe.]
 
VOICEOVER
We all struggle to find the right path to take in life.  It's not always easy to know what that is or where it will lead us.  In the end, it's the people in our lives that provide us the balance to help us make it through.
 
LATER THAT NIGHT
 
[Declan gets into his car and notices a large envelope sitting on the dashboard.  Opening it, he pulls out several black and white photographs.  Someone has taken photos of him parked in his car outside of the warehouse and peeking inside the building through the window when he thought no one else was there.  The last picture has a yellow sticky in the middle.  Someone has written him a note that reads, "Back off if you care about her."  He removes the sticky from the print.  It is a photograph of Lori - with a large black X drawn over her face.]
 
THE END

Ecrit par Titenoiset

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