One Scene Treatment – Kennedy J.
The sound of a pencil lightly scribbling on a piece of paper echoes over the black screen. As time goes on, the sound begins to grow louder and angrier, like nails on a chalk board.
Until suddenly, it stops…However, after a beat, the sound of a piece of paper being torn in half fills the silence and a pair slipper covered feet underneath a desk replaces the once black screen. A balled-up piece of paper falls to the ground near the pair of feet and the mad scribbling noise fills the air once more. A single slippered foot begins to tap rapidly and anxiously on the floor as the scratchy scribbling becomes even more frantic than it was before, until once more, everything stops.
There’s another rip and another rejected piece of paper falls to the floor. Through the scribbling, the word: THOMAS can be made out in bold letters from in between the cracks and crevices on this rebuffed piece of paper.
The room is filled with wedding supplies. Flowers, boxes of wedding invitations, pale pink and purple aisle banners, a giant, deteriorated JUST MARRIED banner covers every inch of the office space. Along with the immense amounts of wedding supplies, there are a bunch of lonely scraps of unwanted paper lying on the ground next to the desk.
Sitting at the lonely desk, hunched over a notebook is an unnamed WOMAN. Her face is hollow and dark, her dark hair is thrown up into a messy bun and she’s wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants and on her finger lies a diamond engagement ring. With a shaky un-manicured hand on her forehead and a pencil gripped tightly in the other, she begins writing something illegible onto a fresh piece of paper. The room is barely illuminated with the only source of light belonging to a small lamp on the woman’s desk. Sitting next to the lamp are several books stacked neatly on top and a single piece of paper on top of them. They are wedding vows of some sort and next to that is a single framed photograph of the woman and a handsome man, smiling next to one another.
The frantic scribbling still echoes, slowly becoming more and more agitated as time goes on. And moments later, the woman’s foot anxiously tapping against the hardwood floor begins to echo along with it. There’s another rip and another piece of paper is discarded to the floor.
It’s then that the scribbling and tapping stop. The room is silent and the woman looks up from her project and sits up straight. On the sheet of paper in front of her are the words: DEAR THOMAS. The script is almost as illegible as the one on the previous sheet of paper that was discarded on the floor.
She holds up the paper and examines it against the light, squinting her eyes to get a better look at the two words on the piece of paper.
She lowers it somberly and swiftly tears up her work, turning her head before she can see what she’s done. She swiftly tosses the paper on the floor and looks to the photograph on her desk and to the ring on her finger, stands up from the desk and walks out of the room, leaving the door wide open.
She walks quickly down a long, dim, corridor, with photographs covering the wall and then through a door to enter the bathroom. She turns on the faucet and throws her hands underneath the water. On the countertop is an open, empty bottle of anti-depressants. She splashes some water on her face and looks into the mirror, staring at her wet, defeated face. There’s a flashback to her and the man from the photograph holding boxes and walking into a building, smiling. Then it cuts to them sitting side-by-side, writing furiously at a kitchen table, trying to sneak peeks at each other’s pages. That piece of paper the man has is the same one on the woman’s desk. After drying her face off with a towel, she takes another look in the mirror and blinks as if to come back to reality and walks into the kitchen and turns the light on.
It’s a simple kitchen with a couple of appliances cabinets, and a table and some chairs. The sink is filled to the brim with dirty dishes and an empty cat bowl lies on the floor next to the sink. In the corner lies more and more flowers, boxes of home-made table decorations, and fancy place cards. There’s a calendar on the wall with a date circled in red with the words BIG DAY written on it.
She opens the fridge and looks into its bright white abyss, but the shelves are bare except for food platters holding nothing but toothpicks and crumbs, a jar of grape jelly and an orange. She closes the fridge and slumps over to the cabinets.
Each one contains nothing. However, when she looks to the top of the fridge there is a bottle of wine with a pink ribbon around it. She goes to grab it, but when she picks it up, she realizes it’s empty. She sighs and throws the bottle in the trash even though it’s filled to the brim with a bunch of white fabric. A torn wedding dress. Next to the microwave, she discovers an almost empty bag of bread, some more place cards, and an empty cake plate with a serving knife on top of it. She grabs the last two pieces of bread and the jelly from the fridge to make a sandwich. She opens a small drawer to look for a knife and there’s nothing inside. She sighs, disgusted, rolls up her sleeve and sticks a hand into the mound of dirty dishes and searches blindly for a knife. After pulling one out of the mess, she runs some water over it and dries it off on her sweatpants. She makes the sandwich and sits down at the table and begins to eat, chewing awkwardly. After eating, she strokes her ring finger and pulls a phone out of her pocket. The screen is cracked, and there are several unread messages reading things like: ARE YOU OKAY, IT’S BEEN TWO MONTH ALREADY HONEY and HAVE YOU BEEN SEEING DR. FRANKLIN and missed calls from MOM and ANGELA. The answer to those questions it obviously: No, but she scrolls away through a couple more notifications and then locks her phone and sets it face-down on the table, ignoring her mother and friend further.
She gets up and walks back into her office and sits back down at her desk; the swarm of paper still lying on the floor. She turns back to her notebook and hunches over it once more, preparing to draft some more. She begins writing words onto the piece of paper and as she writes away.
A voiceover begins telling the audience what she is writing as we see her work. They are her wedding vows and they’re as sweet and as lovely as one would expect from a woman so in love. When she is finished she holds up her work and smiles at it. She places it on top of the sheet of paper holding Thomas’ vows.
She starts picking up the sheets of discarded paper on the floor and after picking up the rest of the mess, she starts towards the door. Taking one last look at her workstation, she closes the door and walks away. She walks past the pictures again and it’s then that we notice a framed obituary for Thomas hanging among the photographs.
There’s a small sound of pencil and paper colliding. It grows louder as time passes. After a beat, it stops.
The silence is broken by the sound of a piece of paper being torn in half.
INT. A DARK OFFICE SPACE
We’re CLOSE UP on a pair of feet in a pair of slippers underneath a desk. Ripped pieces of paper fall to the floor. There are multiple sheets of torn pieces of papers also on the ground, all filled with illegible script.
The rapid scribbling noise starts up again.
The pair of feet begin tapping along with the scribbling.
Another rip. More paper falls. One sheet reads: THOMAS in a barely legible script.
At the desk is an unnamed WOMAN. She’s wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. There’s also a giant engagement ring on her finger. She places a shaky hand on her forehead and begins drafting on another sheet of paper lying on her desk.
Around her are a lamp that lights the room, neatly stacked book, with a page of wedding vows sitting on top of them and a photograph depicting a handsome man and the beautiful woman grinning widely at each other.
Around the woman is a bunch of wedding supplies: boxes of placement cards, a giant JUST MARRIED sign, bunches and bunches of flowers and tons of pink and purple aisle banners.
Another rip. Papers fall to the ground.
The foot tapping begins again.
Another rip. More papers fall.
The woman looks up from her project and sits up straight. From OVER HER SHOULDER we see the sheet of paper in front of her. It reads: FOR THOMAS in an even messier script than before. She holds the sheet of paper against the light, squinting his eyes at it. She lowers the paper and turns away before ripping the piece of paper in half and tossing it to the floor.
She gets up and walks along a long corridor. There are framed photographs on the wall.
She runs to the sink and turns it on, splashing water on his face. Around her is an empty tube of toothpaste and an empty bottle of antidepressants.
She looks into the mirror at her wet, hollowed out face and touches her face, inhaling and exhaling sharply.
EXT. HOUSE – THREE MONTH EARLIER
The woman and man from the photograph are holding boxes and walking into an apartment together, smiling.
INT. OFFICE – THREE MONTHS EARLIER
The woman and man are sitting at a kitchen table, writing furiously, sneaking glances at each other’s papers. His paper is the same one that’s one her desk.
BACK TO PRESENT.
She dries her face off.
The woman clicks the light on. The kitchen is also barely lit. There are a couple of appliances, a table and some chairs. In the corner are more flowers, boxes filled with table decorations, place cards. The sink is filled with dirty dishes and an empty cat bowl lies on the ground.
She opens the fridge. We CLOSE UP on the fridge to see that it’s empty except for an orange, food platters filled with only toothpicks and crumbs and a jar of grape jelly. She closes the fridge and slumps over to the cabinets.
They’re empty. On top of the fridge is a bottle of wine with a pink ribbon tied to it. She grabs for it and realizes it’s empty. She throws in the trash. The trash is also filled with a bunch of white fabric from a torn wedding dress.
Above the trash can is a calendar with a date circled in red. The words: BIG DAY are written within the circle.
On the counter-top is an almost empty bag of bread and more place cards. She grabs the last two pieces and the jelly from the fridge and sets them on the table.
She opens a drawer. It’s empty. She sighs, rolls up her sleeve and dips a hand into the sink and feels around for a knife.
She pulls one out and it’s extremely dirty. She washes it off with a bit of water and dries it off on her pants. She makes a sandwich and begins to eat, chewing awkwardly.
After finishing the sandwich, she looks to her wedding ring and pulls a phone from her pocket. We then see a CLOSE UP of the messages on her phone.
Are you okay?
Honey, it’s been a month already.
Have you been taking your meds?
Have you seen your doctor?
She sets her phone on the table face-down.
She sits back down at her desk, the swarm of paper still at her feet, and turns back to her work. She hunches over a blank sheet of paper notebook and begins to write.
Thomas, the love of my life, the light of my world. My everything. I take you today as my husband. Not only my partner in crime, but my partner in life. I love you.There’s nothing more I can say, but I love you. I love you so much.
She sits upright once she’s done and looks to the photograph to her ring and then, she stands up. She sets the piece of paper on top of Thomas’ wedding vows.
She takes the ring off of her finder and sets it on top of the desk, near the photograph and starts picking up the sheets of discarded paper on the floor. After picking up the rest of the mess, she starts towards the door.
Taking one last look at her workstation, she closes the door and walks away. Then we see a CLOSE UP of a framed obituary for THOMAS on the wall as she passes by.