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The Appointment

Written

by

Danno Nell

               Copyright  2001-2002 J. Daniel Nell
                 

               FADE IN:

               INT. PROFESSIONAL OFFICE -- AFTERNOON

               - Montage -

               Of dolly shots revealing AWARDS, DIPLOMA's, SPECIAL PICTURES, 
               etc. intermixed with:

               EXT. CITY STREET/BUSINESS DISTRICT -- AFTERNOON

               - Montage - (cont.)  

               Shots of life outside this office, such as, three "suspects" 
               sitting on the curb with hands handcuffed behind their backs, 
               a man and woman in a heated argument, two gang members in 
               the midst of a fight, etc.

               EXT. FRONT OF SMALL DOWNTOWN OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

               A Modest section of retail/office space on a downtown street 
               where a TRANSIENT stands quietly holding a SIGN "stranded, 
               need $25 GOD BLESS".

               ANGLE ON

               YELLOW CAB which swiftly pulls to the curb.  Without 
               hesitation, the rear door opens and out steps NICOLE, a well 
               dressed business women (turtleneck & Long pants) who has a 
               cell phone surgically attached to her ear..

                                     NICOLE
                         No I'm here now
                              (beat)
                         But this is not going to take more 
                         than a few minutes. 

               From her satchel, Nicole pulls a $20 and hands it to the 
               cabby and moves on; The cabby seems pleases with the 
               renumeration, he smiles and drives off.  

               Heading towards the entrance to the office, Nicole's eyes 
               lock on the SIGN loosely grasped by the transient, who stands 
               between her and her destination. 

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         Yes, I know it's an hour appointment, 
                         but I can accomplish in 15 minutes 
                         what it takes most people an hour to 
                         do. 

               Stopping directly in front of the man, Nicole doesn't hesitate 
               to snatch the sign from the man and take a closer look. 
               Speechless the Transient's jaw drops.

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          2.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         Besides, I've got the Henderson 
                         appointment in
                              (looking at watch)
                         56 minutes and I'm not going to be 
                         late.

               Diving back into her bag, Nicole stuffs the sign inside and 
               pulls out 2 bills, 

               ANGLE ON

               a $20 & $5 that Nicole pulls from her satchel and places in 
               the Transients hand.

               With that Nicole moves on.

               ANGLE ON

               the Transient who seems confused, although a smile quickly 
               comes to his face as he looks back at Nicole. 

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         No, don't push anything off until 
                         tomorrow, 
                              (beat)
                         Now I'm going inside, I'll call when 
                         I get out.

               Nicole hangs up the phone and enters the office 

               INT. PROFESSIONAL OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

               A modest professional office, complete with couch, coffee 
               table, magazines and JANICE, a retirement age woman, who's 
               warm smile invites even the coldest person to feel welcome.

               Janice, the office secretary, pears at a computer screen 
               through fragile glasses, which sit atop the end of her nose, 
               as she types on the keyboard.

                                     JANICE
                              (not looking up)
                         Can I help you?

               Nicole sizes up the place.

                                     NICOLE
                         I have a noon appointment with Dr. 
                         Bradshaw, 
                              (pause, no response)
                         I'm kinda short on time, so if you 
                         could just let him know I am here.

               Janice stops typing and gazes over her glasses at Nicole.

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          3.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     JANICE
                              (hesitation)
                         Dr. Bradshaw always begins on time, 
                              (focus returns to the 
                              computer)
                         Your group is through the door.

               Nicole takes a few steps towards the door, then

                                     NICOLE
                         Did you say group?

                                     JANICE
                         Yes dear, they're through the door, 
                         you can go on in.  

                                     NICOLE
                              (with attitude)
                         Wait a minute, I'm suppose to be 
                         meeting with Dr. Bradshaw, not with 
                         a group of people.

               Not even looking at Nicole, Janice finishes typing, takes 
               off her glasses and goes to the door.  Quietly she opens the 
               door and slips inside, closing the door behind.

               Nicole patiently fidgets, periodically looking at her watch, 
               a long moment passes before....

               Janice reappears from the office and sits back down, returning 
               to work.

               A moment passes....

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                              (angrily)
                         What is going on here, where is 
                         Doctor....

               ANGLE ON

               the door to the Doctors office opens and a middle aged 
               professionally dressed woman appears.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Mrs. Warner?

               Nicole is a little taken back and unsure what is going on.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW (CONT'D)
                              (extending hand)
                         Hi, I'm Dr. Bradshaw.

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          4.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     NICOLE
                              (looking at Janice)
                         There must be some mistake, 
                              (beat)
                         I had a 12 o'clock appointment with 
                         a Dr.  Ray Bradshaw, 
                              (to Dr. Bradshaw)
                         And it is not for a group wine 
                         session.

               Dr. Bradshaw takes it in stride...

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (smiling)
                         I know the name sometimes confuses 
                         people, but I assure you I am that 
                         person and you are scheduled for our 
                         12 o'clock group session.

                                     NICOLE
                         Look, I don't need therapy, and I'm 
                         certainly not going to pay to listen 
                         to others problems, 
                              (beat, gathers her 
                              thought)
                         Okay, I just need a letter stating 
                         that I'm okay to go back to work,
                              (beat)
                         So just write me out a little letter 
                         saying that you saw me and I am not 
                         going to go kill anybody and I pay 
                         you for the whole hour. 

               Nicole laid her cards on the table and waits for a response

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (smiling, extending 
                              her hand)
                         I apologize for wasting your time 
                         Mrs. Warner, 
                              (beat)
                         I took you on as a favor to an old 
                         friend and can see that that was a 
                         mistake, now I have to get back to 
                         the group, please see yourself out.

               Dr. Bradshaw turns and retreats back to her patients, leaving 
               Nicole to hang out and dry...

                                     NICOLE
                         Did what I think just happen, happen?

               Janice looks up at Nicole with a look of "What are you still 
               doing here".

               Nicole looks at her watch

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          5.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         I do not believe this.

               Nicole storms out of the Office

               EXT. PROFESSIONAL OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

               The street is much as it was before except the Transient is 
               now gone.

               Nicole comes flying out of the office, takes a few steps and 
               stops, gives it a second thought, then turns around walk to 
               the door, grabs the door handle, gives it a third thought, 
               stomps her foot, turns and walks away, again she stops, this 
               time throws a little tantrum

               INT. PROFESSIONAL OFFICE -- MOMENTS LATER

               The office is as it was only moments ago, Janice still types 
               away.

               A moment passes...

               Nicole enters from outside, walks across the office and 
               through the door in which Dr. Bradshaw disappeared only 
               moments before, slamming it behind her.

               ANGLE ON

               Janice who continues to go about her business, as a smile 
               slowly appears

               INT. DR.'S OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

               A standard shrink's office, with 5 chairs in an arch replacing 
               any comfortable chair or couch.  At the head of the arch 
               sits our good Dr. Bradshaw.

               The office is decorated with all of the pictures and plaques 
               that were in the opening montage.

               In front of the door stands Nicole, who is now on center 
               stage.  Every eye in the room is trained on her.

               A moment of silence passes before....

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Mark?  Please continue

               The groups focus returns to MARK, while Dr. Bradshaw glances 
               back at Nicole.

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          6.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


               ANGLE ON

               MARK is 45 year old teddy bear, large in stature, a little 
               gruffy looking, but sweet as can be. Mark looks emotionally 
               drained, like he hasn't slept in 2 weeks.

                                     MARK
                              (shyly)
                         Okay, well again my name is Mark 
                         Hess, I'm a Battalion Chief with the 
                         13th fire house.
                              (beat)
                         I've been a fireman for 26,
                              (beat)

               ANGLE ON

               Nicole, who finds an empty chair along the wall where she 
               sits down.

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                         My dad was a fireman for 31 years, 
                         me and my brother are both fire 
                         fighters.
                              (beat)
                         I even married the chiefs daughter, 
                         and my only son just became a fireman 
                         at the 12th fire house.

               Dr. Bradshaw again looks at Nicole who body language tells 
               the whole story, legs crossed and arms folded, she is very 
               closed and distant from the rest of the group.

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                              (beat)
                         I don't really know much else.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Thank you Mark,
                              (beat)
                         Jenny?  Would like to go next.

               JENNY is a soft looking 20 year old, petite and almost 
               fragile, she bears the marks of a battered spouse, both 
               physically and emotionally.

                                     JENNY
                              (nodding)
                         I'm Jenny Presc 
                              (catching herself)
                         Miller, I'll be 20 tomorrow

                                     DEVIN (O.S.)
                              (smoothly)
                         Happy Birthday 

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          7.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


               ANGLE ON

               DEVIN, an 18 year old, who's attire properly reflects that 
               he is a High School Varsity Football Player;  Who's as 
               attractive as he is built, and he is used to getting the 
               girls.  Devin has a line of stitches above his right eye, 
               about 2 inches long

               This dialog is meant to show Devin's immaturity, and to build 
               up his "Macho manliness" 

                                     JENNY
                              (smiling, to Devin)
                         I'm a single mom, 
                              (proudly)
                         I have a two year old boy,
                              (beat)
                         And we are staying over at the women's 
                         shelter.

               Devin quickly looks away and slides back into his seat, 
               realizing the blunder he has made.  

                                     JENNY (CONT'D)
                              (back at group)
                         I am working on getting into the 
                         community college this spring, I 
                         want to become a social worker and 
                         help people.

               Jenny sits back and folds her arms. 

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Thank you Jenny, 
                              (Beat)
                         Devin now would you like to share?

               Devin's entire body language changes, sitting forward, he 
               becomes very animated and "In control".

                                     DEVIN
                         Well what can I say?  I'm the star 
                         quarterback at South High, we're 
                         number one in our division,
                              (cheering)
                         Go Cougars!

                                     NICOLE
                              (laughing)

               Dr. Bradshaw looks at Nicole with a look of disapproval

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                              (quietly)
                         Sorry.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (to Devin)
                         What about your family?

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          8.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DEVIN
                         Well, I'm the middle of 7 children, 
                         I've got three older brothers and 
                         three younger sisters, that's about 
                         it
                              (beat)
                         Oh yeah, I've also got a dog
                              (pointing both fingers)
                         Butch!

               Devin again slides back into his seat.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Thank you Devin
                              (beat, to everyone)
                         Now that everyone has had the chance 
                         to get to know a little about everyone 
                         else, is there anyone who would like 
                         to share why they are here today?

               Silence fills the room as each person waits for another to 
               volunteer

                                     JENNY
                         I'll start

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Thank you Jenny.

               Courageously Jenny continues 

                                     JENNY
                         Well it's probably no secret why I'm 
                         here,
                              (beat)
                         It's kind of hard to hide the fact 
                         that I've been used as a punching 
                         bag.

               Jenny begins to hide her face with her hand, but musters up 
               the courage to face what has happened to her and pulls her 
               hands down.

                                     JENNY (CONT'D)
                         Me and Johnny met the first day of 
                         High school, everyone knew we would 
                         get married someday.
                              (beat)
                         We were always really careful, but 
                         after two years together, I became 
                         pregnant 
                              (beat)
                         We knew things would be tough, being 
                         as young as we were, but we loved
                                     (MORE)

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                                     Written By: J. Daniel Nell          9.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     JENNY (CONT'D)
                         each other so much. Gradually things 
                         became worse 
                              (beat)
                         He hit me the first time when I was 
                         two months pregnant, but he was really 
                         sorry, I mean, he begged for me to 
                         forgive him, 
                              (beat)
                         I had never seen him like that before, 
                         so I didn't think it would happen 
                         again; and he was really good to me 
                         for six or seven months. 
                              (beat)
                         Then he went out and got drunk with 
                         his friends, he said he was going to 
                         celebrate his little boy
                              (beat)
                         I was nine months along, my due date 
                         was two weeks away, but I went into 
                         labor that night
                              (beat, self control)
                         After he kicked me in the stomach 
                         for ruining his life.
                              (beat)
                         After the baby arrived he was really 
                         good to me.  It didn't start again 
                         until about a year later when I caught 
                         him with my best friend.
                              (beat)

               Jenny begins to break.

                                     JENNY (CONT'D)
                         I left him two weeks ago after he 
                         hit our little boy, I had never hit 
                         him back until that night.
                              (beat)
                         All I remember was grabbing him by 
                         the collar and screaming at him
                              (beat)
                         I got out of the hospital 2 days 
                         ago.
                              (half smiling)
                         Me and my son we celebrated, because 
                         we started our new life.

               Dr. Bradshaw hands Jenny a kleenex and Jenny wipes away her 
               tears.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (solemnly)
                         Thank you Jenny, I appreciate the 
                         courage it takes to share.
                              (beat)
                         Who would like to share next?

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          10.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DEVIN
                         I will.

               Devin is now very humble, his voice resinates in a very low 
               tone. 

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Okay.

                                     DEVIN
                         First I'd just like to say
                              (to Jenny)
                         I'll be more than happy to beat the 
                         crap out of him if you'd like.

               Jenny smiles

                                     JENNY
                              (shaking her head)
                         That's okay

                                     DEVIN
                         You just let me know,
                              (beat, as if avoiding 
                              the subject)
                         I'm here, I guess, because my parents 
                         though it would be a good idea for 
                         me to talk to someone

               Devin looses it immediately, crying profusely.  However, he  
               gains his composure rather quickly.

                                     DEVIN (CONT'D)
                         I was involved in a car accident
                              (fighting away the 
                              tears)
                         I wasn't driving, Marty was, he's my 
                         best friend
                              (beat)
                         Paul and Mark were in the back seat, 
                         we had all been drinking
                              (laughing)
                         We were all pretty slammed
                              (serious)
                         I don't even know where we were going, 
                         but Marty reached back to smack Mark,
                              (beat, silence)
                         We ran a red light
                              (beat)
                         I don't think the old couple even 
                         knew what hit them
                              (beat, through tears)
                         No one told me until the next day 
                         that Marty didn't make it.
                                     (MORE)

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          11.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DEVIN (CONT'D)
                              (beat)
                         It should have been me not him, I 
                         was suppose to be the designated 
                         driver that night,
                              (angrily)
                         But I got wasted anyway, I drank 
                         twice as much as Marty, 
                              (beat)
                         He wouldn't let me drive, and now 
                         he's dead, and I get to live with 
                         that the rest of my life.

               Silence fills the room. 

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         I had the chance to talk with Devin 
                         in our one-on-one session yesterday, 
                         and he has found a wonderful way to 
                         begin dealing with the loss of his 
                         friend,
                              (to devin)
                         Would you mind sharing what you told 
                         me?

               Devin begins to gain his composure. 

                                     DEVIN
                         Paul and Mark and myself got 
                         permission to take the two cars and 
                         build a memorial on one corner of 
                         the intersection where the accident 
                         happened, 
                              (beat)
                         We got someone to donate a crane 
                         which we used to place one car on 
                         top of the other, then we welded 
                         them together and had a stone memorial 
                         put right in front of the vehicles 
                         that told about the accident and the 
                         people who lost their lives.

               Nicole still sits there closed to the emotions that the rest 
               of the group is sharing.  Looking at her watch, she shakes 
               her head in frustration.

               Mark notices Nicole's disrespect and glares at her for a 
               moment.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Thank you very much for sharing that 
                         Devin,
                              (upbeat)
                         Well were about half way through our 
                         first session as a group, I think
                                     (MORE)

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          12.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DR. BRADSHAW (CONT'D)
                         here would be a good place to take a 
                         breather.  There are some refreshments 
                         on the table in the back, we'll get 
                         started again in a few minutes, so 
                         go help yourselves.

               Everyone somberly gets up and makes there way to the back 
               table, while Dr. Bradshaw steps out of the office.  

               Nicole watches everyone for a moment then pulls out her cell 
               phone and makes a call.

                                     NICOLE
                              (quietly)
                         Hi, it's me
                              (beat)

               Mark hears the call and again glares at Nicole, who sees 
               Mark and just turns around. 

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         Call Henderson, tell him I will be 
                         there at quarter after, I got stuck 
                         here longer than anticipated.
                              (beat)
                         No, it's a group thing and the Doctor 
                         won't write the letter unless I sit 
                         thru everyone wine.

               Nicole has just noticed Dr. Bradshaw, who stands at the door

               Nicole turns back away.

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         Just make the call

               Quickly she hangs up the phone.  Making her way over to the 
               table, Nicole finds a couple of broken chocolate chip cookies 
               left and no cups.

               Openly frustrated, Nicole grabs a napkin and gathers up what's 
               left of the cookies and heads back to her chair, except that 
               her chair now sits with the rest of the chairs in the group.

               Nicole's body language tells the who story, her shoulders 
               drop and she looks at the ground, she takes a deep breath 
               and then submits to the inevitable, taking her seat with the 
               rest of the group.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Okay, were going to pick up where we 
                         left off
                                     (MORE)

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          13.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DR. BRADSHAW (CONT'D)
                              (beat)
                         Who would like to begin the second 
                         half of our session by sharing why 
                         they are here?

               An awkward silence hangs, until

                                     MARK
                              (raising hand)
                         I guess I will

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Go ahead Mark.

               Mark Gathers his thoughts

               Marks dialog here is very important, His emotions are strong, 
               but he also must keep his composure at all times.  Never go 
               overboard here. 

                                     MARK
                         My wife has been nagging me for months 
                         to come and talk with Dr. Bradshaw, 
                         she thinks it will help me sleep 
                         better, I know it sure couldn't hurt
                              (beat)
                         I don't know how many of your remember 
                         the old warehouse down on 2nd and 
                         Jefferson
                              (beat)
                         It went up on August 11?

               Most everyone acknowledges Mark with a nod in the affirmative, 
               while Nicole, looking around, seems to be a little confused 
               as to what he is referring to.

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                         Well it was a three alarm fire, and 
                         normally 13 wouldn't have gone that 
                         far north, but 9 & 11 were already 
                         battling a blaze on Monroe
                              (beat)
                         Anyway, my battalion was the first 
                         on scene,

               Mark can't even talk about the accident without become overly 
               emotional, he fights the tears back. 

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                         Upon arrival we were informed that 
                         there were upwards of 20 people still 
                         inside

               Nicole begins to get drawn into the account 

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          14.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                              (angrily)
                         There wasn't even suppose to be anyone 
                         in the building,
                              (beat)
                         It had been condemned for over a 
                         year.  But a lot of homeless people 
                         had been living inside.
                              (beat)
                         I sent 7 men in, while the rest pulled 
                         hoses, we hadn't even turned the 
                         first hose on when the entire building 
                         gave way.
                              (beat, fighting back 
                              tears)
                         I lost six of my best friends and my 
                         brother.
                              (beat)
                         We worked in 24 hour shifts, it took 
                         us three days to recover all seven.
                              (beat)
                         Now I don't sleep much, and when I 
                         do, I have nightmares about my son 
                         being in that building,
                              (beat)
                         And I am the one who sends him in.

               Mark wipes the tears from his eyes and hides his face in his 
               hand

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                         I'm sorry, I'm done

               Dr. Bradshaw looks at her watch and contemplates for a moment.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (to Nicole)
                         We haven't heard from Nicole yet

               Nicole shakes her head, it is obvious she is not interested 
               in participating

                                     DR. BRADSHAW (CONT'D)
                         Nicole would you tell the rest of us 
                         a little about yourself and why you 
                         are here today?

                                     NICOLE
                              (unpleasantly)
                         I didn't really come here to share 
                         my problems with a group of people, 
                         I just came to get a letter from the 
                         Doctor.

               Everyone looks at her with some hostility.  While Dr. Bradshaw 
               thinks.

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          15.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Mrs. Warner, if you participate here 
                         today, you'll get your letter.

               Nicole roles her eyes.

                                     NICOLE
                              (Under her breath)
                         Fine!
                              (beat, stands up)
                         My name is Nicole Warner, I am an 
                         only child, both of my parents died 
                         when I was very young
                              (beat, searching for 
                              facts)
                         Um, I was raised by my grandmother, 
                         she was allergic to pets, So I never 
                         had any pets,
                              (beat)
                         Um, I am the top executive at a 
                         fortune 500 advertising agency, I 
                         don't have any hobbies, or play any 
                         sports, that's about it.

               Nicole sits back down and folds her arms

               Everyone stares at her until

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (nurturing)
                         Why are you here Nicole?

                                     NICOLE
                              (angry pause, cold)
                         Well let's see, my boss gave me the 
                         ultimatum, either come here or take 
                         a month off of work,
                              (beat)
                         I don't have time to take a vacation, 
                         so here I am.

                                     MARK
                         So your a workaholic?

                                     NICOLE
                              (offended)
                         I'm not a workaholic, I enjoy my 
                         work, like most people enjoy there 
                         vacations
                              (beat)
                         It's not a bad thing

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          16.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                              (to everyone)
                         That's a common misconception most 
                         of us have, to much of anything can 
                         be a bad thing, we all need balance.
                              (beat)
                         Virtually every vitamin and mineral 
                         our body needs to stay healthy, will 
                         also poison us, if in too large of 
                         quantity over a prolonged period of 
                         time.
                              (beat, to Nicole)
                         When's the last time you took a 
                         vacation?

                                     NICOLE
                         I go to New York once a year for a 
                         week.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Oh, do you have family there?

                                     NICOLE
                         No I don't.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Friends?

                                     NICOLE
                         Yeah,

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Anyone not at the World Advertising 
                         Convention?

               Nicole glares at Dr. Bradshaw

                                     NICOLE
                         Look what does it matter if I submerge 
                         myself into my work, or I choose not 
                         to take vacations,
                              (beat)
                         Maybe it's just what works for me!

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Fare enough,
                              (beat)
                         But would you also be open to the 
                         possibility that your way isn't the 
                         best way?

               Dr. Bradshaw just stares at Nicole, waiting for a response.

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          17.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     NICOLE
                         Only if you would be open to the 
                         possibility that your way isn't the 
                         best way.

               With that Nicole gives Dr. Bradshaw a smirk.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         It's not about doing things my way, 
                         It's about trying something new and 
                         looking at the results, then maybe, 
                         just maybe you will find something 
                         that makes you a little happier, a 
                         little more satisfied at the end of 
                         the day.
                              (beat)
                         Then maybe you'll have the desire to 
                         try something else, and then something 
                         else, until before you know it, you 
                         look back and wonder why you didn't 
                         see it before.
                              (beat)
                         Or possibly you look back and say 
                         "What was I thinking, what a waste 
                         of time that was"
                              (beat)
                         But you'll never know until you try, 
                         nothing will every change, unless 
                         you change it.
                              (beat)
                         Are you open to that possibility 
                         Nicole?

               Nicole has heard it all before, she doesn't need a 
               cheerleader.

                                     NICOLE
                              (belittling laugh)
                         I didn't make it to where I am in my 
                         life because my daddy owned the 
                         corporation, or paid my way through 
                         an Ivy League School.
                              (beat)
                         I've busted my butt every single day 
                         of my entire life to get where I am, 
                         how dare you talk to me like I'm 
                         some

               Nicole's anger is steadily building 

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                              (towards Devin)
                         Fuzzy faced little boy who spends 
                         all weekend plastered or

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                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          18.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


               Devin is clearly unsure of the direction of Nicole's remark, 
               as the puzzled look plainly shows.

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                              (towards Jenny)
                         Some pig-tailed little girl who 
                         decided to start my life out under 
                         oppression.

               Jenny is shocked by the remark, so much so that she is 
               speechless.  

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         I've made my own destiny and no one, 
                         not you or some slime ball on the 
                         street is going to take that away 
                         from me.

                                     MARK
                              (raising his voice)
                         Now wait a minute!  What has anyone 
                         of us here done to you?  Especially  
                         these two kids,
                              (beat, disbelief)
                         Why are you even here?  What is it 
                         that your boss thinks so important 
                         to give you an ultimatum?

               Dr. Bradshaw quickly jumps in

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Okay, that's enough, no one should 
                         feel like they have to talk,
                              (beat)
                         This is a place where each of you 
                         can come and feel safe.  Not a place 
                         to
                              (to Nicole)
                         Make judgments about what others 
                         have said or
                              (to Mark and the others)
                         Pry when someone doesn't feel like 
                         sharing.  This is an active 
                         participation session, you'll only 
                         get out of it what you put into it.
                              (to Nicole)
                         It's your choice 
                              (looking at her watch)
                         Now we have a few minutes left, would 
                         anyone else like to share why they 
                         are here?

               Dr. Bradshaw focuses on the only other two people who we 
               have yet to hear from.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          19.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


               GEORGE, a middle aged, balding, nerdy looking fellow and 
               MARTHA, an overweight frumpy looking 30 something. However, 
               both don't look they are going to share anything soon.

                                     NICOLE
                         It's really not a big deal

               Everyone looks a little surprised.

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                         It's nothing like the things you 
                         guys have been talking about.
                              (beat)
                         I work on the 47 floor of the Tri 
                         Towers, and most nights I am the 
                         last one to leave.
                              (beat)
                         But it's never been a problem, our 
                         building is completely secure, you 
                         can't even get in, in the middle of 
                         the day without a pass, let alone at 
                         night.
                              (beat, deep breath)
                         I didn't know it, but a janitor from 
                         the cleaning crew had been watching 
                         me for a while.
                              (beat)
                         That night he waited for me inside 
                         the parking garage,
                              (beat)
                         I didn't realize what was happening 
                         at first,
                              (beat, no emotion, 
                              just tears)
                         He laid me face down on the hood of 
                         my car.
                              (places hand on throat)
                         All I could think about was the knife, 
                         it hurt so bad.
                              (beat)
                         Then he was just gone.

               Nicole wipes the tears from here eyes and looks at the Doctor.

                                     NICOLE (CONT'D)
                              (coldly)
                         That's why I'm here.

                                     DR. BRADSHAW
                         Is this the first time you have talked 
                         about it?

               Nicole is obviously not interested in dragging this out

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          20.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     NICOLE
                         Look, it's not that big of a deal. 
                         I'm not the first person this has 
                         happened to, this is just one of 
                         those things that happens in life,
                              (beat)
                         You forget about, and move on.

               With a crash, Marks chair slams against the wall behind him.

               ANGLE ON

               Mark who stood up with such force that his chair lays limply 
               against the wall.

                                     MARK
                         How dare you,
                              (Tear to Anger & Anger 
                              to Tears)
                         This isn't something that you can 
                         just forget about, it doesn't just 
                         go away
                              (beat)
                         No matter how deep into your work 
                         you get, it will always be there, it 
                         will undermine every relationship 
                         you ever have, it will steal the 
                         intimacy away like a thief
                              (beat)

               Mark had began to calm down, everyone is dumbfounded by the 
               revelation.

               ANGLE ON

               Nicole who begins to break emotionally, tears well up, and 
               her posture becomes very open.

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                         You can't just push it away, because 
                         it will wait until your guard is 
                         down and like a wrecking ball it 
                         will blind side you without notice.

               Mark looks at everyone, and realizes the scene he has just 
               made.  He grabs his chair and sits back down

                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                              (sincerely to Nicole)
                         I have never talked about this to 
                         anyone before
                              (beat)
                         I've never even told my wife.

               Mark explodes with deep remorse and sorrow.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Written By: J. Daniel Nell          21.
                                         Copyright  2002                  


                                     MARK (CONT'D)
                              (wallowing)

               Dr. Bradshaw moves over to comfort him

               ANGLE ON

               Nicole who's face shows the shift, then the release of 
               emotion.

               ANGLE ON

               Mark who is being consoled by Dr. Bradshaw

               ANGLE ON

               Jenny & Devin who now console Nicole

               SOUND FADES as Camera pulls back into the darkness

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               EXT. FRONT OF SMALL DOWNTOWN OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

               The street is as it much was only an hour before. Our 
               Transient is back, with new sign in hand "Stranded need $30 
               GOD BLESS".

               Nicole walks out of the office and sees the Transient back 
               at it.  As their eyes meet, the Transient looks a little 
               embarrassed, but Nicole just smiles.  (For the first time)

               Turning away, Nicole begins to walk down the street and 
               towards the park.  Picking up her cell phone, Nicole dials:

                                     NICOLE
                         Hi it's me
                              (beat)
                         Clear my schedule for the rest of 
                         the day, push everything to tomorrow,
                              (beat, hesitation)
                         And clear the Noon hour for Monday, 
                         Wednesday, and Fridays for the next 
                         month.
                              (beat, smile)
                         I've got an appointment.

               Hanging up the phone, Nicole rounds the corner and enters 
               the park.

               MUSIC QUE 

               CREDITS ROLL

               As Nicole walks through the park.