Last Stop: Gerald & Allie

EXT/INT. LOCAL BUS – NIGHT
It’s late. The bus is half – empty when she boards. She makes no effort to swap glances with weary passengers. She isn’t in the business of making friends.
She spots a vacancy behind the rear doors. She sits. She loses herself in the noise booming through her ears.
GERALD (45) sees her from across the aisle. He speaks:
GERALD
You comin’ from work?
ALLIE (24) doesn’t hear him at first, completely lost in her own world, but his demanding gaze creates a beckoning. She unplugs one of her earphones.
GERALD (CONT’D)
You comin’ from work?
 ALLIE
No.
 GERALD
You comin’ from school?
 ALLIE
No.
 He’s persistent. She’s indifferent, though her resistance is slowly waning.
GERALD
How old are you?
 She doesn’t answer.
GERALD (CONT’D)
You look younger than me. I’m forty-two.
 Allie peers out the window.
He doesn’t get the hint. He hops across the aisle. He’s now sitting beside her.
Allie shoots him a glare, “What do you want?”
Gerald reclines into his seat.
GERALD
Human interaction – I hear it’s priceless.
 ALLIE
Talking’s overrated.
 GERALD
I don’t believe that.
 ALLIE
Then you’re in denial.
 She clutches her backpack tighter.
ALLIE (CONT’D)
No offense, but I don’t really feel like spewing my guts to some rando.
 She leans further into the glass window. She yearns for home.
GERALD
I went to the University of Baltimore. Football — soccer scholarship.
 Allie looks at him, like really looks at him as if it’s the first time she’s seeing him.
ALLIE
What the hell is your problem?
 GERALD
(Nervous laugh)
I don’t think this route’s long enough for us to find out.
 ALLIE
So you’re a washed up sports junkie who wants some pity, is that it?
 GERALD
No, no, I had a decent career but you know how it goes…the pros aren’t for everyone. I don’t think I was ever good enough anyway. Where did you go to school?
 A moment passes between them. She shrugs, “ignorance is no longer bliss”.
ALLIE
Cornwall.
 He raises an eyebrow.
GERALD
Cornwall…that’s impressive. I have a cousin who went there on a, um, basketball scholarship.
(Reminisces)
She was great. She won MVP in her freshman and sophomore years, stellar GPA. She was amazing and she was loved for it.
Allie’s eyes turn suddenly hollow.
ALLIE
Love is fickle. It comes in seasons. It blossoms then it changes, grows cold, before it leaves you.
 He exhales the weight of her words.
GERALD
I know what you mean. You don’t qualify means you don’t place, means you don’t medal. Then your jersey makes peace with top shelf lint, worn out with time because failure no longer fits.
 ALLIE
Failure can be temporary.
 GERALD
Not in the major leagues.
Beat.
GERALD (CONT’D)
I’m in insurance now. General, commercial, you name it. It gets hard sometimes but I do love it.
 ALLIE
I hear it’s a shitty business.
 GERALD
Nah, I’m a sales guy. You know…that’s what I do…that’s…what I’m good at.
 ALLIE
Is it? Or did you just give up on everything else?
 GERALD
I never gave up. They didn’t want me anymore.
The bus screeches to a halt.
Allie rises.
ALLIE
You don’t seem like the type of guy to take no for an answer.
She brushes past Gerald’s buckled knees. She slithers through the rear doors.
The bus driver glares at Gerald through her rear view mirror.
DRIVER
Last stop!
 Gerald exits through the rear doors.
EXT. STREET – LATE NIGHT
In the distance, he sees Allie standing underneath a bus shelter.
He brands a parting smile, nods a silent goodbye.
He begins to kick an empty soda can down a trodden path.
Allie closes her eyes. The crowd roars in her mind.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s