L. Samantha Leidig
February 19, 2017
IMF 52400 Winter QTR 17

INT. MATT’S HOME- MID MORNING

Matt walks in frantically looking for his binder. It is in the study. He is starting a new set of courses. He left the house in a hurry this morning and forgot the binder full of new student information. As he rushes in, he takes notice of the bags next to the dining room table. He stops.

MATT
(Yelling)

Lily! What is going on?

Lily is in the spare bedroom. She is tossing the last of her things into a backpack. She hears Matt yelling and bristles before walking out to face him.

MATT
(Yelling)

Don’t just stand there! You better tell me what the hell is going on right now! What are all these bags doing here?

She puts her head down as her eyes well up with tears.

LILY

I’m leaving, Matt. I can’t do this anymore. I apprecia-

Before she can finish her sentence, he slaps her jaw. Her hand goes up to her face. She is crying.

MATT

So let me get this straight-I take you in once the shelter puts your chinky-nigger ass out, I help you get through school, and make sure you eat everyday, buy you clothes to wear, take you around my friends, and this is how you show your gratitude? Interesting. Sure, I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve flown off the handle, but what you were planning to do isn’t right.

Lily is standing there listening, replaying in her mind the first time he put his hands on her. What he is saying about taking her in is true. The shelter refused to keep her there since she didn’t have a kid. They only catered to women with children. Professor Gamble, as she used to call him, got wind of her situation and decided to help her. She was a good student who had fallen on hard times. She wasn’t bad to look at either.

LILY

No one is saying you didn’t look out for me. You did! But I don’t want to depend on you. And the way you treat me is ridiculous. Let me go. You can have your place back and you won’t have to take care of me anymore, or explain me to your yuppie friends. Do you know what this has been like for me?

MATT sits down on the floor, covering his face with his hands. Lily takes some time to survey the well-kept home she is leaving behind. It is gorgeous. The dining areas they are conversing in were designed by his late mother. She was famous for her eclectic decorating skills. It earned her lots of money.

MATT

LILY, please don’t do this. I don’t have anyone. My mom and dad are gone. I have this house, and a couple people in my life who pretend to like hanging out with me. I know it isn’t real. You never knew your real family. I was hoping we could create our own so you wouldn’t have to think about that anymore. Please, Lily.

She wipes her nose with the back of her hand and winces as her hand slightly brushes her lip. There is blood.

LILY

I’m sorry to crush your dreams, Professor Gamble, but there won’t be a family. I’m getting out of here so you can’t slap me around anymore and then try to make up for it by taking me to the symphony, or to one of your family villas. Remember that one time you had me pretend I was the help? God, I’ve been stupid.

MATT
(Yelling and crying uncontrollably)

He stands.

I get it! I fucking get it. I messed up! I’m begging you!

LILY steps past him as he is on the ground begging for her to stay. She has her backpack on, and that is the only thing she leaves with. When the door slams behind her, MATT doesn’t follow.

EXT. TARA’S APARTMENT BUILDIING- EARLY AFTERNOON

LILY exits the Uber. Her account is still attached to MATT’S, so there was no trouble getting a ride from his place to TARA’S. She walks up to the callbox and enters 0405. She is buzzed in. Lily takes the elevator up the fourth floor and knocks on TARA’S door. There is a doormat that says “Fuck Off” beneath her feet. She tries to smile, but her lips are too swollen. TARA comes to the door. Her eyes bulge at the sight of LILY’s face. She drops her sushi.

TARA

Holy fuck, LILY. Again?

Lily throws her hands up and leans her head to the side.

LILY

Are you going to let me in?

TARA

Only if you tell me this thing is really over.

LILY

It is, I promise. Please.

TARA pulls LILY inside and hugs her. Both girls begin to cry. Once they gain composure, TARA walks LILY over to her black velveteen couch. They sit.

TARA

You know you can stay here, right? Where’s all your stuff?

TARA’S brow wrinkles as she reaches for a cigarette and lighter on the table. There are butts and ashes everywhere.

LILY

I left it there. He was going on and on about how he wanted us to have a family and all that. I couldn’t listen to it anymore, so I just walked out. This is a fresh start for me. I don’t need any of the things he bought.

TARA

So, what’s the plan? I never have any plans, but I am hoping you do. You have a degree. Gonna try and get a job?

TARA lights her cigarette and blows the smoke over her shoulder. LILY looks at her, admiring her coolness.

LILY
Of course. Just not here. I’m leaving.

TARA

So you do have a plan then.

LILY

Yeah, to get far away from here. I don’t want MATT coming after me. He is crazy, and every now and again, he confuses abusing me with loving me. I don’t know what he is capable of. He’s probably at his lectern right now pontificating with his new students about why women voted for Trump as though he didn’t destroy my face this morning. What an asshole.

Tara rolls her eyes.
TARA

An asshole that you willingly slept with and allowed to keep kicking your ass all through undergrad.

As soon as the words came out, TARA realized she had gone too far. LILY looked at her friend and tried not to cry. She turned her head to feign looking out the window so TARA wouldn’t see how hurt she was.

LILY
(voice cracking)

You’re right. Thanks for always being so honest. Gutter rats like me have to settle for what we get.

Lily stands up.

TARA

Hey, listen. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just wanted you to see you had just as much to do with this as he did. You let him do this to you, Lil.

LILY
(Speaking through sobs)

What was I supposed to do? Leave town? Lose my scholarship? I was the only Gates Millennium Scholar at Fort Hays!

TARA

Lil, you’re Asian! That’s not a big deal! It’s what you guys do!
LILY smiles. They both break out in loud peals of laughter.

LILY

I’m only half Asian, you bitch. Or as MATT likes to call me, a chinky-nigger.

TARA

TARA gives LILY an incredulous look.

What? You can’t be serious.

LILY

I swear on the mother I’ve never seen.

TARA

Damn. Do you want me to get Axel to kick his ass?

LILY

No. He will self-destruct pretty soon. That guy is a mess. Not even an endless supply of money can fix certain things.

TARA

You’re right. Look how messed up I am. Good thing my parents don’t come to visit very often. They would die if they saw this place, or learned about my new obsession with Wicca. It’s not exactly the Nigerian way. Let’s not even mention Axel.

A scruffy looking man comes out of a back bedroom. He is not wearing anything but boxers. His long curly hair is impairing his vision, causing him to step on a pair of TARA’S studded boots.

AXEL

TARA, Jesus Christ! Why do you have to keep your fucking boots in the middle of the hallway. This is the second time I’ve hurt my foot!

TARA lights another cigarette.

TARA

You don’t have to stay here, babe.

As he makes his way out to the living area, he sees LILY. He smiles.

AXEL

Sorry Lil, I didn’t mean for you to hear me talking like that. Those shoes are going to kill some-

He stops in his tracks. He sees the blood on LILY’S lips. He stops in his tracks.

AXEL

Just say the word and I will kill that son of a bitch. I’m not like you guys. I have nothing to lose. I’m just a country piece of sh-

LILY puts her hand up.

LILY

AXEL, it’s okay. I’m done. I left this morning.

AXEL

Are you going to stay with us?

LILY

No. I am getting out of here.

TARA

Can you please just stay the night? I don’t want you slinking around town for that monster to get ahold of you again.

LILY

TARA, I want to go now. I’m looking forward to starting my new life. I’ve been going through hell forever, and I think it’s time I get in control of my situation without leaning on anyone else. Besides, I am a college-educated woman. The world is my oyster, right?

AXEL

Can we at least get you something to eat?

LILY

Nope. I only came by to say I was leaving. I didn’t want to just jump up and go without you knowing. I think I’m just going to hop on bus and ride away. Once I decide where to stop, I will call you guys. Give me a hug.

AXEL and TARA both hug her.

INT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION BATHROOM- LATE AFTERNOON

LILY stands in the mirror dabbing her lip with a wet napkin. It melts in her hand, and she throws it to the ground, cursing under her breath. She brushes her hair back with her hand. She looks at herself briefly and walks out. She goes to the ticket counter.

CLERK

How can I help you?

LILY
She leans into the window.

Can I have a map?

CLERK

Are you on the run or something?

LILY

No, I’m just not sure where I want to go.

CLERK
(Purses lips)

I can’t think of a reason why anyone would want to leave the beautiful town of Hays, Kansas, but here is a map.

The clerk slides the map to LILY. She holds it to her chest like a gift.

LILY

Thank you.

She walks over to a bench. It is filthy. She decides to stand. She looks at the map and quickly makes a decision before walking back to the ticket counter.

LILY

May I have one ticket to North Hollywood, please?

CLERK
(Under her breath)

One ticket to Sodom and Gomorrah, coming right up.

Lily chuckles and takes her wallet out of her backpack.

LILY

That good, huh?

The clerk rolls her eyes at LILY and begins to process the ticket. She gets her information, and LILY pays her with a debit card. The clerk hands her the ticket.

CLERK

Be blessed.

LILY

Same to you.

INT. GREYHOUND BUS- EARLY EVENING

The bus isn’t even half full. LILY takes a seat near the back. She looks at all the people, wondering if anyone else is running like her. She can’t tell. Some look drug-addled, some just look plain tired. She pulls out her sketchbook to begin immortalizing the scene, and changes her mind. She leans her head against the back of the seat, and closes her eyes, leaving the madness of the day, and Hays, Kansas behind as the bus pulls away.

EXT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION-EARLY AFTERNOON

It took almost a whole day to get to California. The starts and stops woke her up each time, but she was always able to go back to sleep. The stress must have made her more tired than she thought. LILY stepped off the bus using her hands as a visor. The sun was beating down on her as she stood in the station parking lot. She surveyed the scene and looked around for somewhere nearby to eat and wash her hands. There was an Indian place right next door, and a diner across the street. The diner had a busted out window. She opted for Indian.

LILY
Table for one please.

The waitress looked at her with disdain. Maybe she could tell LILY hadn’t taken a bath in over a day. She smelled a little, and hadn’t brushed her teeth.

WAITRESS

Follow me please.

She walks LILY to a table in the back of the restaurant. She is the only patron there. After a few minutes, the waitress comes back with a glass of water.

WAITRESS

(Looking away from LILY)
Have you made a choice yet?

LILY

Yes, I will have the potato curry. And a glass of carrot/ginger juice.

WAITRESS

Menu please?

She holds her hand out for the menu and promptly walks away. Lily gets up after her and goes to find the bathroom. She takes her toiletry bag out and tends to her teeth and armpits. When she gets back to the table, the food is there waiting. She eats quietly before taking out a pen and scribbling on a napkin. To do: 1) find shelter for tonight 2) get a change of clothes 3) find a computer to use

WAITRESS

Are you all done?

LILY

Yes, thank you. I’ll take the bill please.

WAITRESS

Good.

LILY
(Under her breath)

What a great start to my new life.

LILY uses her debit card to pay for the food. She walks to the front and takes out her cell phone. She lets TARA and AXEL know where she is. They vow not to share the information with anyone else. She walks back into the Greyhound office looking for a directory. There are multiple cab listings on it. She uses one to request a car. The driver shows up about ten minutes later. He hops out of the cab and shakes LILY’S hand.

CAB DRIVER

Hi there! Any bags?

LILY

No. Just me and my backpack. I travel lightly.

CAB DRIVER

I gotcha.

They both get in the cab. He turns to look at her.

CAB DRIVER

Where to?

She sighed.

LILY

The cheapest and closest place I can take a shower.

CAB DRIVER
(In a mocking tone)

The YMCA?

LILY

Okay, where can I take a bath and sleep?

CAB DRIVER

Wanna try the Econo Inn? It’s just around the corner.
LILY

Sounds perfect.

CAB DRIVER

No problem. Meter is running.

They ride down the street and LILY looks out the window taking in the scene. There is a library, a few grocery stores, and sidewalks lined with mothers and strollers. These same sidewalks are littered with the occasional credenza or mattress.

CAB DRIVER

I hope you’re used to homeless people and trash all over the place.

She sits back.

LILY

Where I come from, I am the trash. This is nothing.

She opens her back backpack and gets her sketchbook out, turning to the last page. At the very bottom is a message written in beautiful script. “One day you will understand.”
-Qing Tsang.

LILY

This is a new beginning for me. I am looking for something.

CAB DRIVER

Like what, an acting gig?

LILY

No, I am looking for my family.