EXT. RIVER IN THE WOODS - DAY
WE FOLLOW the river upstream towards a deep part just below a small
Standing at the top of the waterfalls, water streaming over his feet, is ALEX. He stands on
the tips of his feet, staring solemnly out at the water and then takes several
deep breaths, trying to relax himself. He closes his eyes. Everything goes black, all that is
heard is the rippling of the water and the wind blowing through the leaves. A slight sound of
grinding pebbles can be heard as Alex jumps from the bank. There is a brief moment of
complete silence before a loud splash, followed by the muffled gurgling from under water as
Alex swims up to the surface.
Alex floats on his back staring at the cloudless sky above him. Then
heducks his head under
the water and lets his hair stream back over his head as he comes out of the water and grabs
his towel. He buries his face in it and then drapes it over his shoulders and makes his way up
through a path in the woods.
EXT. ROADSIDE - DAY
Alex climbs into the car. He leans back in the seat and closes his eyes.
moments he opens them and starts up the engine, putting a tape in the stereo and
turning it up loud. He closes the door and rolls down the window as he drives away.
He has one arm dangling out the window as the wind blows through his hair.
INT. ALEX'S HOUSE - DAY
Alex comes in through the front doors and WE FOLLOW him through the
up the stairs to his bedroom. The sounds of a hair dryer can be heard in the
background. Alex closes his door and things go quiet. The room is mostly barren. An
open suitcase is sitting on the bed and some clothes are laid out beside it. Alex looks
at the dressy clothes on the bed and then reaches in the suitcase and pulls out an old
pair of jeans and a t-shirt. He shoves the dressy clothes in the suitcase.
EXT. ALEX'S HOUSE - DAY
Alex and his parents are loading the car up with luggage, boxes, and
They all get in the car and drive down the lane.
EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - DAY
The car pulls into the university parking lot. The family gets out and
looks up at the
full height of the residence high rise.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY
Alex waves goodbye as his parents leave his room After they have disappeared
corner he closes the door and sits down on one of the chests piled in his room, staring into the
After several moments, he gets up and undoes the latches on the chest
and opens it
up. He removes several layers of clothes, tossing them on the floor and then lifts out
another sweater and carefully places it on the bed. He then closes the chest and turns
on the light.
Alex sits down on the bed beside the sweater and removes a large picture
wrapped in plastic. He unwraps the frame, revealing a close-up picture of a younger
girl (SARAH). He looks at it for a moment, smiles slightly, then hangs it up on the
wall. He lies back on the bed.
Well, we're finally here, aren't we. One of the big
college students now, all ready to take on the
Or at least Calculus. So, what do you think,
should I tackle this mess tonight, huh? Nah, you're
right, just leave it 'til the morning.
Alex locks his room door, turns off the light and looks out the window.
moments, he shuts the drapes and everything goes dark.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY
The room is cleaned up, all the books are on the shelves, the television
is on the
desk, clothes are hung up neatly. Alex just finishes putting the last thing on his shelf,
a photo album, when he changes his mind and sits down on the bed to look at it.
Alex skims through several pages and then stops on a page with several
from a party. His eyes rest on a photo of Alex and Sarah with funny expressions on
INT. PARTY HOUSE - NIGHT
Sarah and Alex are just recovering from the bright flash from a camera.
Sarah covers her
face with her hands, Alex is smiling, blinking his eyes.
Did you have to take that picture right then? God,
my mouth was like way open out to here. I looked
like an ape or something.
Hey, make sure you get me a copy of those
pictures when you get 'em done, eh Jamie.
Yeah, so I can burn them up.
What? Burn up a perfectly fine picture of the two
Alex laughs, Sarah rolls her eyes backwards.
I don't know what's wrong with you Alex, you
haven't laid a finger on her all night. Man, if I
were you I would've been all over her long ago.
Yeah, well that's 'cause you're totally drunk.
Here, go over there and bug Jessie and Nancy for
Nah, they're too boring. They've been necking all
night, there's nothing new happening there. I'll
just sit down here and talk to you two.
(sits down on couch)
So, Alex, Sarah, how's your sex life?
Come on, I think we'd be better off if we got out
of here, go for a walk or something. Anything
would be better than this.
(grabs her hand and stands)
Oh, I see. Well I'll let you guys do that. A nice
romantic stroll under the moon, by the bushes, I
wouldn't want to interrupt anything.
(as they head for the door)
Well at least we can get rid of him.
Alex and Sarah leave the party and begin walking towards the dirt road.
at the gate of the fence surrounding the house and turns to Alex.
Why can't people accept that we're just good
friends? We hang around together, I think we
enjoy being around each other. Doesn't anyone
realize that a guy and a girl can just be friends.
Jamie thinks that if you're within five feet of a girl
you've got to be sleeping with her.
They don't actually mean it. Jamie, he's just
jealous. Anyway, he knows we don't do anything.
Are you serious? You'd actually tell him what we
have or haven't done? Are all guys like that,
bragging about their exploits?
Come on Sarah, you know I didn't mean it that
way. He knows me, knows me well. He could tell
just by looking at my face. When he's not drinking
he's pretty sensible. He knows how we are
How much do you tell him about us?
Well there's not that much to tell.
What I mean is that he wouldn't understand most
of this. Like you say, he looks at girls with only
one thought on his mind.
I don't know, I just enjoy being around you.
They begin walking again. Alex goes to take hold of her hand and then
mind and puts his hands in his pockets. Sarah takes a deep breath, looking around
her as they walk.
You know, they say the night time is the best time
for running. The air is cooler, more oxygen in the
air, less pollution. Some people think that if the
olympics were held during the night, most of the
records would be broken.
I don't know. Sounds good anyway.
(roots through pockets)
Hey, bet ya a quarter I can race you to the
end of the lane.
A whole quarter?
Well I don't have anything else on me worth
(pauses for a moment)
Okay, on the count of three. One, two, three, go!
The two of them begin racing and Sarah takes a big lead on Alex.
Holy crap, you can really run.
They reach the end of the lane and stop, both of them are breathing
(holding out her hand)
All right, pay up bud, you owe me a quarter.
'Fraid I'm broke. How about a victory piggy back
Come on, climb up.
Sarah climbs up and Alex gives her a slightly off balance ride along
the highway a
short distance and back. Then, he heads straight towards the yield sign at the end of
Oh no! We're gonna crash!
Just before reaching the sign, Alex's foot falls down in a small hole
and they both
tumble down to the ground.
Are you all right?
Alex crawls over beside her and grabs her leg, pretending to examine it.
Any broken bones?
(looking at the sky, ignoring
It really is a beautiful night.
Alex pulls himself up closer to her so that he's looking right in her face.
Yes, it is beautiful.
There are so many stars out, thousands of them.
You're not even looking at them, you can't see
Alex runs his fingers through her hair and looks in her eyes. Sarah
gets up and begins
walking back to the house.
We'd better get back to the party, everyone's going
to wonder where we are. Besides, I've got to get
little sis home before Mom and Dad ground me.
Alex is still sitting on the ground.
Aren't you coming?
Nah, I think I'll just lie here for a couple hours.
Okay then, go ahead.
Sarah gives a brief wave to Alex and runs off down the road. Alex lays
on his back
watching her leave. After she is out of view, he picks up a rock and throws it at the
After several moments, Alex gets a silly grin on his face and walks
over to the sign
and, while making noises like a monster (grunting and growling), he pulls the sign
out of the ground and turns it around so that the "no exit" side and the "yield" side
are reversed. Then he walks back towards the party grinning as if he just
accomplished some great feat.
He gets back to the party just in time to see Sarah and her sister driving
gives an exaggerated wave to them and then walks in to the house and goes in a
room by himself, closing the door behind him. Everything goes pitch black. There is
a knock at the door.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY
Alex closes the photo album and replaces it on the shelf.
Hey bud, you Alex?
Thought so, that's what it says on your door. I'm
This your first year?
Well, you've come at the right year, this is the
official party year.
Yeah, I mean last year we really partied, but this
So was last year a party year?
Oh well yeah, but this year it's official.
Oh, well that's good to know.
It is very good to know. We've got a big party on
tonight, first one of the year, you've gotta come to
Yeah, I might, but I've got to register first. They sort of misplaced my papers so I've got to
do the whole thing over again.
Hah, well good luck. Late
registration is quite an experience.
INT. REGISTRATION ROOM- DAY
A large crowd of students are all waiting around in line ups and talking
find Alex in the crowd just as he receives a handful of registration papers.
Alex walks out towards the doors and then looks down at one of the papers
confusedly. He then goes out the door and begins heading down a hallway. He
pauses, looks at the paper again and then returns to the room and turns to one of the
helpers at the doors.
Hey, do you know where I'm supposed to go?
Lets see what you've got here. Oh, Physics major,
huh? Well, you'll certainly be in for a fun year.
Okay, you need to get to the faculty of science.
Just go down the hall to your left, follow it until
you get to the stairs, turn right, go down the green
set of stairs, hang a right at the bottom, go across
the catwalk, turn left, down two flights of stairs,
then the science building is down the hall. From
there, it's up the stairs to the third floor. Easy as
I turn left after the catwalk?
I turn right?
No, I told you, you turn left, gee, for a Physics
major you have problems taking simple
Alex walks away down the hall again, looking at the paper and shaking his head.
INT. SCIENCE BUILDING - DAY
Alex comes out of the stairway door and goes to the end of a long line of students.
(to the boy ahead of him)
Is this the faculty of science?
Hope so, I've been waiting here for twenty
INT. FACULTY ROOM - DAY
Alex is sitting in the room as an instructor is trying to help the boy
ahead of him with
So you see, right now you have your schedule so
that you have three classes on Wednesdays at the
same time. So we really should change something.
Do you really think you need this Shakespeare
Intro. course? Why don't we switch that with
Analytical Chemistry, that would be an easy
INT. REGISTRATION ROOM - DAY
Alex is looking at his completed registration form. He holds the paper
looks at the line ups. There are at least thirty people in each line up.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - EVENING
Alex is lying on his bed with copies of his registration papers lying
all over the floor. He
looks very tired. Steve goes by the room humming "To All the Girls I've Loved Before",
carrying several cases of beer. He passes by the doorway and then several seconds
later he backs up and pokes his head in the room.
Are there any signs of life captain?
Alex waves at him without moving his face. Steve comes in the room and
thumbing through Alex's registration papers.
Well I've got just the cure for the post registration
dreariness. Big party, tonight, Omega Beta Theta
Frathouse, I'll drag you there if you don't come
Do I have any choice?
No sir. You'll thank me for it, this is the party of the year-
first and last ones are always the best. Come on,
get off your butt, do some major partying.
(drags Alex out of bed)
You deserve it.
How do I look?
Almost as good as I do.
Alex leaves the room and locks the door behind him.
INT. FRAT HOUSE - NIGHT
A large crowd of students are drinking, yelling, partying, falling all
over the place. Alex is
off to one side of the room, sitting at a couch that is facing the door. He is cradling a beer in
his hands, looking very bored and depressed.
ALEX'S P.O.V. - PARTY
A couple comes through the door. Alex looks at them for a moment and
down at the can of pop in his hands.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL PARTY - NIGHT
Alex looks up at the door as Sarah and MARC walk in. He stares at them
as they talk to
several people at the door.
A friend of Alex's, LESTER, comes over beside Alex.
Hey Alex, what's up?
Who is that guy?
Don't know, some guy who moved here around
the first of the summer. I guess he's her new
Whaddya say we go introduce ourselves, say hi to the
guy, see what's going on.
Are you crazy? I'm not gonna just waltz up there
and say hi to the guy. God, look how she's just
clinging to him. Uhh! How long did you say he's
I don't know, a couple of months, maybe.
Damn, a perfect start to the school year.
Alex throws down his pop and goes to the door and walks out, excusing
he pushes past the two of them and leaves.
INT. FRATHOUSE - NIGHT
Alex is sitting at the couch staring across the room into space.
(shaking Alex's shoulder)
Hey bud, snap out of it, I know she's beautiful,
but don't go in a coma over it.
Alex blinks his eyes for a second and sees the girl across the room.
I think she's got the hots for you, she keeps
looking over here and smiling. She wants to jump
Yeah, I'm sure.
Come on, this is your lucky break, go up there, sit
down, offer her a beer.
Why don't you go for her?
And move in on your territory? No way, I do have
some morals. She was looking at you, so she's
yours, at least until you attempt to get her. I won't
touch the babe. Come on, be daring, ask her out,
it's the first of the year, if you wait too long, all
the good ones will be taken. She really wants you,
I know she does.
Alex gets up from the couch and walks towards her.
All right Alex, that's the spirit.
Before he reaches the girl, Alex turns and heads out the door.
Aw man, you blew a golden opportunity.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT
Alex is sitting on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He hears the
sounds of people
coming back from the party. Several of them start banging on the door.
Hey Alex, that girl, man she really loves you a
whole lot. I asked her and she said she wants to
come up here tomorrow and help you mess up
your bed. It's the truth, she said she'd die for you.
Alex turns face down on the bed and covers his head with his pillow.
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - MORNING
Alex is laying in bed with a smile on his face, sleeping peacefully.
The alarm goes
off from his clock and he leaps out of bed screaming. Then he settles down for a
moment, turns off the alarm and crawls out of bed, pulling on his bathrobe. He grabs
a towel and shaving kit and opens the door. Scrawled messily on his door is a
message: "Wake me up when your ready to go to class - Steve".
Hey Steve, you spelled you're wrong, it's you are,
Y-O-U-'-R-E. You're in university now, you
should know better.
Alex laughs, erases the message and then goes in to the shower. Several
pass. We hear water running and then Alex starts screaming from the cold water.
Alex emerges from the shower, looking wide awake, fully dressed, hair
combed back, and clean shaven. He puts his gear in his room and knocks on Steve's
door. There is a groan from inside.
You wanted me to get you up?
Oh... oh yeah, hang on.
(hear Steve fall on the floor)
Ow! Uh, just a sec.
We hear Steve zipping up his pants inside.
Ow! Ahhh, son of a bitch! Hold on, be right there.
Alex laughs outside Steve's door. The door opens and Steve comes out,
cap on his
head, scruffy face, shirt half buttoned up, holding a piece of paper in one hand and
rubbing his eyes with the other.
Well, what are ya waiting for? You don't want us
to be late for our first class of the year do ya?
You're going to class like that?
You see anything wrong with the way I'm
dressed? If you think I'm bad, you should see the
Calculus prof. He knows me well enough anyway,
no need to impress him, he is certain that I can't
do anything even related to Calculus.
You're not going to my Calculus class are you?
You are Section C, right?
Alex nods. They begin walking down the hallway towards the elevator.
inside and press the ground floor.
Read it off your registration card. It's an excellent
class, I liked it so much I decided to take it again.
Course not. I didn't fail, I flunked. If you failed, it
means you had at least a small chance of passing,
I flunked it. He said I had the lowest course
Of course, the guy gave me a little plaque and
everything. It was really quite embarrassing. But I
guess that's the price of fame and glory.
So is this guy as bad as everyone says he is? I hear
that he doesn't hardly even speak English and you
can't understand a word he says. When I signed
up for the course, one of the guys there told me I
might as well sign up for next year's course as
Well, I'm living proof that you can fail it.
Actually, statistics wise, on average about one-
third of the class passes. In some people's minds
that's actually pretty good.
Well I definitely can't take it over again next year.
Why not? There's nothing too wrong with it,
people do it all the time, it's expected of us. To go
through an entire year without flunking at least
one subject is dangerous to your brain. Of course I
like playing it safe, I flunked three last year.
My parents would kill me if I failed even one
Don't tell me, you've got some of those rich,
snooty parents who must have their son amount to
No, it's nothing like that. I mean they wouldn't
get angry or anything, they would just be really
disappointed. I don't want to disappoint them. The
thing is, I want to do my best, get good grades.
Uh-oh, I believe that what we have here is a
You know, the guy who does all his homework,
goes to all his classes on time, passes in
assignments early, that's a keener. Of course by
the end of the year, anyone who even shows up to
class or passes in any assignments is considered a
The elevator gets to the ground floor and they head toward their class.
They reach the
classroom and go inside, taking seats towards the back of the room.
Hey, can you believe it?
Her! The girl, the one at the party, the one that
wants to jump your bones.
You sure it's her?
I never forget a beautiful face, even if I'm drunk.
I can't tell, I'd have to see her face.
That can be arranged.
Steve grabs Alex's Calculus book and raises it high above him and lets
it drop on the
floor, making a loud noise. Everyone in the class turns around to see what the noise was.
See, I told you it was her.
Really cute move there.
Thank you, I thought it possessed a great deal of
I gotta admit, she is cute.
(shaking Alex's shoulder)
All right Alex.
The classroom door opens and a short foreign man walks in the door.
He is dressed
in an old, worn out brown suit, his hair looks greasy and slicked back and he speaks
with a heavy accent.
Good morning class. To begin our introduction to
Calcuwus, we must begin with the
funawentals of matwematics, the nummers.
Nummers go from zero to infity, you
unnerstand? So we welate all nummers to be
wery big or wery small.
(turning to Alex)
Need a translator?
INT. STEVE'S ROOM - DAY
Alex and Steve are sitting in the middle of a large pile of clothes,
boxes, and various
papers.The only thing really unpacked is a stereo which is placed on the desk and
playing heavy metal music at a low volume.
So, do you want me to find out the girl's name? I
can just ask her, tell her it's part of a survey,
Names Across America.
Tell me, why are you so interested in my love
I didn't see you with ten girls up here last night,
maybe you should help yourself out.
Me? Oh no, I've already proven to myself that I
can get any girl I set my sights on. Now it's my
duty to pass on this valuable information to the
needy people of the world.
Do I look that needy?
I could tell from the first moment I saw you, you
had that love-starved look in your eyes.
Well it's true, I've got a good eye for this sort of
thing. So, want me to check her out?
I think you can hold off on that for a little while.
Getting a girlfriend is the least of my worries. I've
gotta worry about getting some good marks first.
You're really serious about this aren't you. Bet
you're gonna go in right now and study all those
valuable Calculus notes we got today.
Yeah sure, what did we cover today? That
numbers are sometimes wery big and
sometimes wery small and that the only limit
we can put on infinity is that it is limitless.
I knew it, I've got a brain for a neighbor, don't I. I
bet all that stuff was pretty basic to you, wasn't it!
Well, it blew my mind away. So, do you think
some of those Calculus brains could rub off on
INT. PHYSICS CLASSROOM - DAY Alex and two other students (GARY and ANDREW) are sitting together looking at a sheet of paper on the desk. The rest of the class is also separated in to groups of three. The professor is walking back and forth at the front of the class. PROFESSOR Okay, so each group has a list of fifteen different experiments. These are extremely simple experiments, you probably did ones similar to these in high school. The only difference here is that there are no procedures, no guidelines, all you are given is a certain value to determine or a property to prove and you must do it with whatever means you think reasonable. Any materials you need will be made available to you, stop watches, measuring sticks, weights, scales. All fifteen experiments must be finished by the end of the year, so you should do about one every two weeks. GARY Uh sir, uh are there any restrictions to how we do these experiments? PROFESSOR I'd rather that you didn't do anything illegal, I wouldn't advise you driving your car in to a brick wall for the inertia experiment. Just keep it simple, reasonable, but I do always enjoy a little originality and imagination in them. GARY (to group) Okay, first experiment, the determination of the value for gravitational acceleration. This should be fun! INT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT Gary and Andrew are at the window with screwdrivers trying to remove the screen. Alex is standing back from the window holding a bag of pennies. After a moment they remove the screen and Gary sticks his head out and begins howling. ALEX Hey, cut that out, I'll get in trouble if anyone sees us doing this. GARY Don't worry, no one will notice. ALEX Easy for you to say, if you howl out the window I can get kicked out. GARY You can get kicked out for howling out your window? ALEX Yeah, we had a notice under our doors yesterday saying so. GARY Boy, campus life is pretty bizarre. ANDREW Lucky for you, you just happen to live three blocks away with your parents GARY Not my fault that I'm blessed. ANDREW Okay, first we need to know how high up we are. ALEX Well, twenty floors, probably two, two and a half meters each, say forty-five meters? ANDREW Nah, we need something more accurate. Got any string? ALEX Nope. But Steve might have some, just a second. Alex goes out the door and goes next door to Steve's door. GARY (O.S.) Who's Steve? INT. STEVE'S ROOM - NIGHT Steve is sitting at his desk with his Calculus book open and papers scattered everywhere. He plugs several numbers in his calculator and when he sees the result he throws it down and curses to himself. There is a knock on the door. He shuts his book and puts it away before opening the door and peeking out. STEVE Yo! ALEX Got any string? STEVE Why? ALEX We need to find out how high up we are. STEVE By hanging it out the window? ALEX Yeah, how'd you know? STEVE We do it all the time. ALEX Well, have some anywhere? STEVE (going to the washroom) Don't have any string, but you can use this. Steve hands Alex a roll of toilet tissue. ALEX That's a unique idea. He takes it in the room and hands it to Gary. GARY All right, just what we need, okay how are we gonna measure it? STEVE Easy, just count the sheets, each one is exactly eleven point five centimeters long. Says so right on the bag. ALEX Okay, just tape my pen on to the bottom sheet, give it some weight so it doesn't buckle up. They slowly unravel the roll of toilet paper out the window as they count of the sheets. GARY'S P.O.V. - OUT THE WINDOW Gary watches the bottom sheet touch the ground as he finishes counting off the sheets. He stops on number 391. BACK TO SCENE ANDREW (punching his calculator) Okay, that works out to be... 44.97 meters, gee it almost was 45 meters. ALEX Okay, I'll make the first drop, Gary you ready with the timer? Okay here we go on the count of three I push the first test penny off the ledge. Ready? Okay, one two three... Alex slides the penny off the ledge. GARY'S P.O.V. - OUT THE WINDOW Gary watches as the penny falls and hits the ground. He stops the stopwatch and pulls his head back inside. BACK TO SCENE GARY Just under three point one seconds, 3.07 to be precise. Okay, lets go for penny number two. Alex is in the process of sliding the penny off when Gary sees someone walking down below. GARY Don't drop it, I think there's a prof walking by under there! The penny goes over the edge and everyone ducks inside the window. ANDREW Oh great, first year physics students commit murder when experiment turns mean. GARY (looking out) Oh God, there's blood everywhere! Everyone else looks out and Gary cracks up laughing. INT. STEVE'S ROOM - NIGHT Steve is trying several more Calculus problems unsuccessfully. He takes his book and WE FOLLOW him to Alex's room. STEVE How many pennies you dropped now? GARY That last one makes forty-nine. We want to be very thorough, one more for a lucky fifty. STEVE Have you tried various masses? ALEX Shoot, he's right, we should be using something different, maybe a couple quarters or something. ANDREW Hey, I'm not chucking any quarters out there, I'm broke enough as is. STEVE Screw quarters, go for something real heavy, how's this? He hands Gary his Calculus book and Gary puts it on the ledge to drop. STEVE I don't have any use for it myself, I might as well help out your great cause here. Bombs away! Gary drops the book and it falls making a loud bang when it hits the ground. ALEX Okay, data element number fifty, item dropped: Steve's Calculus book. ANDREW You're not actually writing that down are you? ALEX Of course. He did say we should be imaginative, I already have all the facts on the length of toilet tissue sheets. GARY I'd say we are going to have a lot of fun with these experiments. EXT. PATHWAY - NIGHT Steve walks along and finds his half-demolished Calculus book stuck in the grass. He wipes it off and tries to pull it back together. He notices one of the pennies, picks it up, smiles, and walks away. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - MORNING Alex is sitting on his bed, books on his lap, door closed, staring up at the picture of Sarah. ALEX You know, I always wonder what you're doing now, where you are, what's happened to you, I wish I could be with you, feel what you feel, understand everything. Here I am in this crazy little world pretending to be the perfect college student. I don't know what I'm doing here, or even if I should be here. If only you were here now, I could realize that things would turn out okay. You always gave me confidence that I could do anything I set my mind to. Ahhh, what a life, huh? I can't get any more screwed up than I already am. (looks at watch) Well, look at the time, I've gotta go wake up Steve, I'll see you later. He kisses his hand and rubs it on the picture. He goes out the door and locks it behind him before banging on Steve's door. STEVE (O.S.) Go on, I'll catch up to you in a couple minutes. Alex walks past his door again and down the hallway towards the elevators. INT. CLASSROOM - DAY The Calculus professor is ranting about some sort of Mathematical proof on the board. Steve squeezes in through the door wearing his bath robe, dark glasses and holding a mug of coffee in his hands. The professor pauses for a moment then continues on with the lesson. Steve sits down beside Alex and begins drinking his coffee. ALEX Hey Steve, he's popped a surprise test on us, he's gonna give it to us in five minutes. Steve spurts his coffee out of his mouth and all over the back of the student in front of him. He pulls out his crumpled sheet of paper from his bath robe pocket and tries wiping the guy's back off. PROFESSOR Okay, enough lessons, we will now have our "surpwise" test. Please "wemove" all books "fwom" your desks and I will hand out your test. He grabs a stack of papers and hands them out to everybody and they begin writing on the papers. Steve picks up his paper, stares at it for a moment, then begins laughing out loud. He stands up, takes his paper up to the front of the class, lays it on the teacher's desk and walks out of the room. Alex looks up for a moment, shakes his head and then goes back to writing the test. INT. STEVE'S ROOM - NIGHT Five Calculus students, including Alex and Steve are sprawled out on the floor drinking beer. STEVE I tell you guys, that was one nasty thing of old what's his name to spring that surprise test on us like that, totally unfair, the man has no common morals at all, he is a sadist, loves inflicting bad marks on people. Don't you think Alex? ALEX Oh yeah, sure. STEVE Hey guys, Alex here is a real smart guy, he probably knew every answer on that test. Come on, tell us, what is the derivative of 7x? Come on, you can tell us, we won't laugh if you get it wrong. ALEX Seven. STEVE My buddy over here said he pressed the random function on his calculator and it came up with a six so he wrote that down. Don't you think that's bad luck? ALEX Definitely. Alex finishes the last of his beer and stands up. ALEX That's one gone, I think I'll have one more before I hit the sack. He heads over to his room and everyone else gets up to follow Alex into his room. Alex reaches in to his fridge and pulls out another beer. Steve pulls out the whole case and starts handing them out, holding several for himself. ALEX Hey, those were gonna last me all year. STEVE Well we're doing you the excellent service of preventing you from drinking old, flat beer. You're really lucky you have us with you. They all sit down on the floor and continue drinking. Alex plays some music in his stereo. INT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT The door is closed and we can hear voices talking inside. STEVE (O.S.) Hey wait a minute, I never saw this before, what is that, a girl. Hey, this is a picture of a girl. ALEX (O.S.) Hey, be careful with it, I don't want anything to happen to it. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT Steve is standing up rather awkwardly, holding a beer in one hand, staring at the picture on the wall. Alex has just gotten up to make sure he doesn't break the picture. STEVE Don't worry Alex, ole buddy, I won't touch it, a thing of such beauty must not be damaged, I understand your concern. He sits back down on the floor, the other boys are passed out on the floor beside him. STEVE No wonder you aren't interested in what's her name down in Calculus class, if I had a beauty like this on my wall, I'd be spoiled for life. She your girlfriend? ALEX (shrugging his shoulders) Umm, I don't know, she was a very close friend. STEVE Are you serious? You knew a beaut like that and were just friends with her. That must have been pretty frustrating. ALEX Yeah, it was pretty tough. STEVE So tell me, who was she? Did you have a high school crush on her? Was she the class flirt, how about the class heartbreaker? She must have had some power over you if you were just friends and you've still got her picture on the wall. Alex sits down on the bed and guzzles his beer. He pauses for a minute and then lays down on the bed, staring up at the picture on the wall. ALEX She is the most important person in the world to me. The only one that really matters, everything could go wrong, everything, but as long as she was there, it all just seemed to be okay, survivable. I never knew anyone like her, she was perfect, you know, even her flaws made her wonderful. STEVE What'd she do, run off with another guy? ALEX She left, that's what I like to think of it as, she just hopped on a plane, left everything behind, didn't tell anybody she was going, just disappeared, vanished, never to be seen again. I like do think that's what happened, I really do, I wish it had happened. In the back of my mind I still think she just left. STEVE Well what happened to her? Alex pulls himself up and pulls the photo album from the shelf. Opening it up to one of the pages he passes it to Steve. STEVE'S P.O.V. - PHOTO ALBUM By itself in the center of the page is an obituary for Sarah, the same picture as is on his wall is above the writing. On the opposite page is a clipping of a newspaper article with the headline: Girl Killed, Boy Badly Injured in Car Accident. Steve begins reading the article. BACK TO SCENE Alex is lying back on the bed again and begins reciting the article word for word. ALEX Late last night on highway 117 just two miles outside of town, a car carrying two passengers, a male driver and a female, lost control on the icy roads and drove through the guard railing and over the embankment on the hairpin turn. The driver supposedly crawled free of the wreckage before the flames ignited the gas leaking from the fuel tank. The girl was killed on impact. Police have still not released the names of the two victims or confirmed whether there was a second car that may have been involved with the accident. STEVE Damn. ALEX Yeah. STEVE How long ago was that? ALEX Christmas dance, Friday night, December 19th, three years ago. STEVE Well you came out of it all right, says here you were nearly killed yourself. ALEX That wasn't me driving the car, it was her boyfriend, some jerk who only knew her for about six, seven months. I knew her for all my life. She dies and he survives, if I had been driving I would have dragged her out or stayed in the car with her. STEVE God man, I'm really sorry about that. ALEX Yeah, well that's my life. Summarized in one article, everything my life meant, everything I was hoping for, all my dreams, everything that made me feel good inside died that night. STEVE And you still keep her picture up there? ALEX She keeps me from going insane. I can talk to her, I know what things she'd say to me, you know, I can feel her presence there, I can almost see her smiling in the picture, see her expressions change. STEVE Ah man, you're pretty hung up on this. ALEX I know it sounds crazy, but I'm not. I know she's gone, I keep all that stuff there as a reminder that she is. But it hurts, it hurts knowing that she is dead. I went for two years with only one thought going through my head, that she was dead, that I would never see her again. It drove me crazy, I couldn't study, I never went anywhere, I just sat in my room, reminiscing, crying, I just couldn't do anything. So now I can, it's sort of like a drug I can take to temporarily get myself over her, I see her, I talk to her, and I know somewhere, she can hear me and she understands it all, and it makes me feel that life is still worth living. As long as I forget that she's dead, things are okay, life goes on. STEVE Are you saying that picture's the only reason you keep on living? You've actually considered ending it all? ALEX It was like going past checkpoints, every so often I seemed to test myself, see if I should go on, I'd read all her old letters, play all the songs we listened to, get all torn up inside so that everything was churning around, then I'd go to the cliff where it happened. I'd stand there for hours sometimes, and if I went home that evening, then I passed the test. I guess you can only fail it once. STEVE You still that way now? ALEX I think I'm okay right now, I've come to grips with some things, put up walls to protect me from the rest of it. It sort of keeps me isolated from a lot of things. I'm kind of like a hermit in a lot of ways, lone guy off in the distance. Come on, have another beer, drink up, don't let me bugger up your mind with all this nonsense. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - MORNING The room is fairly dark since the drapes are partially closed, everyone is flaked out on the floor and Alex is asleep on the bed. Alex's hand moves and it shifts the drapes slightly and a ray of light shines in on Steve's face. He starts rubbing his eyes and then slowly pulls himself off the floor and looks around as if he can't remember where he is. He notices the photo album on the floor and places it back up on the shelf. He then looks at the picture on the wall for a moment and turns and looks at Alex sleeping peacefully on the bed. He pauses for a moment then grabs a few beer bottles, opens up the door and walks outside. INT. CALCULUS CLASSROOM - DAY Steve and Alex are sitting towards the back again talking as a few of the other students start coming in to the classroom. STEVE You've got to do me a favour okay Alex, just give this girl a try, ask her out, go to a movie or something. It will be good. ALEX Please, lay off of me on that, I have no time for taking a girl out to a movie. STEVE What if I beg? ALEX No. STEVE Are you a gambling man? ALEX I'm scared to ask why. STEVE If you make over 95% on this test, will you admit that just maybe you can spare a little time for non intellectual activities? Alex shakes his head. STEVE Okay, here goes, if I make any mark above zero on this test, will you give it a try? ALEX Okay, but only if I make above 95% and you make above zero, which of course is pretty doubtful in either case. STEVE Great, well I'm gonna find out her name for you, it will be a good way to start things off. ALEX You're not going to just go up and ask her are you? STEVE Oh no, I'm more reformed now, I know the correct way of doing such things. When he gives her her test back, I'll sneak over and read her name off the paper! ALEX Brilliant! The professor walks in to the classroom and he places a pile of papers on his desk. PROFESSOR All the papers are in "alphwabetical" order, please come to the "fwont" of the class and find your paper. STEVE Hey, grab my paper while you're up there. Alex goes up to the front along with everyone else and begins rooting through the pile. Steve sees that the girl found her paper and he sneaks over to the other side of the room when she takes a seat. After a moment, Alex finds their papers and sits down again. Moments later, Steve returns to his seat and the professor begins talking about the test results. STEVE (whispering) Okay, her name is Rachel. Now, what did I make on my test? ALEX You got one percent, looks like your bet paid off. STEVE Of course it did, like I told you, I know this guy, he always scales the marks and for some reason he never gives zeroes on his tests, gives me one point for writing my name or something. Poor Rachel, she only got a thirty eight. Now, what did you make? Are we going to be courting for her affections tonight? Alex holds up his test to Steve, it has a mark of one hundred on it. STEVE Well, I guess I won that bet hands down, didn't I. So, what is your opening line going to be? ALEX Well I don't know about this. STEVE Hey, a bet's a bet. If you don't ask her out you will lose my trust forever. ALEX Surely it's not that dramatic. STEVE Come on, what's the worst that can happen to you? ALEX She'll look at me, tell me I'm an ugly slime, slap my face, and tell me to never look at her again. STEVE And what's wrong with that? Hey, seriously, if she does that then you should be glad to get rid of her right away. If the girl is worth considering at all, she will at least let you down easy. ALEX What makes you so smart? STEVE Hey, some people are smart about girls and dolts when it comes to Calculus, and some people are smart about Calculus and- ALEX Okay, okay. STEVE So, what is your plan? ALEX She made only thirty eight, huh? Well, I guess I could offer to help her out in Calculus. STEVE All right, now that really shows you that there is some use for Calculus brains after all. I wish you all the luck in the world, I hope you get laid within twenty-four hours. ALEX You have no common decency, do you? STEVE Not a single drop of the stuff. INT. OUTSIDE CLASSROOM - DAY Rachel walks out of the classroom and Alex comes out behind her and just happens to bump in to her. ALEX Oh, I'm sorry. RACHEL That's okay. ALEX You're Rachel, right? RACHEL Yeah. ALEX I remember you from the party the other week. RACHEL Oh yeah, that was a real unique one, my first party here, I guess it lived up to my expectations, wild and noisy. ALEX Great class there, wasn't it. How'd you find the test, anyway? RACHEL Not too good, it sort of caught me off guard, I hadn't studied any of the stuff. And derivatives don't really seem to be the easiest thing in the world. Steve slowly sneaks up behind the two of them and is following them, listening in on the conversation with a big smile on his face. ALEX You having problems with that stuff? RACHEL Well, a little bit. ALEX If you'd like, I could go over it a little with you, help you out a bit. RACHEL (turning her face to one side, smiling) Yeah? ALEX Well, in high school we had one of those teachers that wanted to show us everything we were going to get in university. Hated it then, but I think it was worth it. RACHEL Sure, that would be great. Want to get together this weekend, before he pops another surprise on us? ALEX Sure, you want to come up to my place? Sunday afternoon okay? RACHEL Ahh, yeah sure, Sunday's fine. ALEX (writing on piece of paper) Okay, here's my room number, just drop up any time on Sunday. RACHEL Okay, thanks a lot, I'll see you then. Rachel takes the piece of paper and goes down the hall as Alex heads towards the elevator. Steve moves up beside him. ALEX Whoo! I can't believe I just did that. Do you realize how fast my heart was racing just trying to get up the nerve to bump in to her? STEVE So, gonna bring her to your room for some extra curricular activities? You don't think that's sacrilegious, doing it on Sunday do you? ALEX Would you lay off it, please. She seems nice, someone I might like to know. I'm not going to rip her clothes off and drag her in to bed. I'm not interested in twenty minute relationships. STEVE Twenty minutes, huh? Aren't we being a little bit generous? ALEX I don't think there is anything that is too much for your morales to deal with. STEVE You know, when I hang around you, I really feel like an evil little bastard. ALEX Good. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex is putting the last touches in cleaning up his room. Then he looks at the picture of Sarah on the wall and takes it down. ALEX (to picture) Hope you don't mind, just gonna put you away for a little bit, wouldn't want to get Rachel too confused about all this. I'll see you later. He gives the picture a light kiss and then carefully places it under his bed. Moments later there is a knock at the door. Alex opens it and Rachel walks inside. RACHEL So, ready to teach me all about derivatives? ALEX Sure, come on in, you'll have to excuse the room, it's pretty barren, just a few bare necessities, TV, VCR, stereo, but not much else. RACHEL You should see my room, it's a disaster area, I have too much stuff. I figured I should bring all my stuff in here with me and I don't even have room for half of it. I feel like chucking most of my stuff out just to get some room. ALEX Yeah, sounds crazy. I think I'm just the opposite, I keep finding things missing that I thought I brought with me. So, you want to come in. SARAH Yeah, sure. ALEX Okay, so you brought your book did you? RACHEL Yeah, and here's my awful test. Don't look at the mark though, it's too embarrassing. They both sit down on the bed, Alex opens up the book and then starts skimming through her test. RACHEL They probably look like stupid mistakes, I hadn't hardly looked at any of my notes so I was just guessing. ALEX Okay, I'll quiz you on the test okay. They turn on some music and we see Alex going over the test with her. INT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Rachel is just going out the door with her Calculus book in hand. RACHEL Thanks a lot Alex, I think I've got the hang of this stuff now. I'm all ready in case he pulls another test on us this week. ALEX That's good. RACHEL Oh yeah, would you mind if I get some help from you next weekend if we get some more tough stuff? I really found this a great help. ALEX No, sure, that would be fine. RACHEL Thanks, you're a great help. Rachel nods to Alex, smiling and then walks away down the hallway. Alex turns around and goes to enter his room again. Steve's door slowly opens and he goes over to Alex. STEVE You hear that? She wants to come up to your place next weekend too. ALEX If she has anymore problems. STEVE Million bucks says she'll spend all this week trying to come up with some. ALEX Yeah well, I'd rather not get my hopes up. I just want to help her, spend some time with her perhaps, see how things go. I don't want to rush into anything. STEVE So what did you guys do? ALEX Why don't you tell me, I'm sure you had your ear to the wall listening to every detail. STEVE I resent that, I do consider some things private. So, what did you do? ALEX We studied Calculus. STEVE And that's it? Nothing else? Not even a little basic "how are you doing", "what's going on in your life" stuff? ALEX No, it was pretty formal, we just sat there on the bed and went over all the stuff she was having problems with. STEVE On the bed, huh? Well, it's a start, maybe there's some promise for you two. ALEX Well, maybe there is, maybe there isn't, but only time well tell. STEVE Well I hope it hurries up, I can't go on with my own love life 'til I'm sure you're all set up. ALEX That's really nice to hear, I'll try to hurry it up so you can rest in peace. Alex walks back in to his room, shaking his head. Once he gets inside, he closes the door and takes the picture back out and hangs it up on the wall. ALEX So what do you think? Is she okay? She seems nice you know, maybe that's what I need, they say the only replacement for love is to love again. Maybe she is special enough, I need someone I can just talk to, who'll understand stuff, no one around here really understands how I feel, except you. Oh well, I'll talk to her again next weekend, maybe I'll take her out to a movie or something. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - EVENING Alex and Rachel are sitting on the bed with papers scattered everywhere. RACHEL So you're saying that if the derivative of sine is cosine and the derivative of cosine is negative sine, then the derivative of tan should be the sine squared plus cosine squared divided by cosine squared, which is secant squared. Shucks, it's that simple isn't it. ALEX If you can work it out that way then you've got it made. RACHEL It seems a whole lot easier to just memorize it all. ALEX Ah yes, that's what all the evil people believe, but if you just understand how to work it out, then as long as you know the very basics you can forget everything else. Work it out on the exam. RACHEL But the prof always says to memorize it so you'll have more time to spend on the exam questions. ALEX That's what I hate about some teachers. Actually, I guess we call them profs now, don't we. They don't care if you learn anything or understand it, just that you memorize it long enough to pass the exam. In the real world we could look all this stuff up, we'd have more than ten minutes to do each problem, and anything you rush to memorize right now will be gone two days after your exam. RACHEL It sounds like you don't have a high opinion of some of the people here. ALEX I don't want to sound too negative, I think some of them are just not interested in teaching. Some of my teachers back home were wonderful, they made me enjoy what they taught me. Some of these guys seem to work the opposite way. RACHEL I had a few good teachers, but the last one I remember was in grade nine. Our Biology teacher used to take us out on field trips every second week. It was great. Sometimes it was just searchinh through mud in the woods by the school but sometimes we'd go for these long treks and have contests to see who could find the most types of mushrooms. Alex looks at her for several moments and then she smiles and turns away. ALEX Listen, is there anything else you want to go over? RACHEL If I go over any more of this junk I'll go crazy. Do you really think we'll ever find any use for all this? ALEX No. I think the basics are extremely important and so is a little practice, but that's it. Maybe if they showed us some uses for it, it wouldn't be so bad. RACHEL Yeah. ALEX So what are you up to tonight? RACHEL Not much, I guess. I'm sure not studying any Calculus. ALEX Well, I don't know, I was sort of wondering if you'd like to go out and do something. RACHEL Sure, what were you thinking of? ALEX I don't know, I guess we could just take a walk or something. I haven't hardly been outside since I came here. RACHEL That sounds like a wonderful idea. ALEX Great. EXT. PATHWAY - NIGHT Alex and Rachel are walking along, kicking at the leaves on the ground. ALEX So, tell me a little bit about yourself. RACHEL Like what? ALEX I don't know, anything interesting I guess. What are you doing here, what do you want to do with your life, what are your likes and dislikes, what are your favorite pastimes. Who are you? RACHEL Ooh boy, a nice easy question. Well I guess the reason I'm here is because I didn't really know what else to do. I finished high school and I did fairly well there and everyone just naturally assumed I was going off to university so here I am. ALEX Do you live around here? RACHEL No, not at all. I used to, but five years ago my folks decided to move out west and of course we all had to go to. I left a lot of good friends back here so when I was applying at universities I sent one here. It was the only place I got a small scholarship at so I figured, why not? ALEX That's good that you got a scholarship. RACHEL Yeah, and I'm the poor kid asking you for help in Calculus. Some brain I turned out to be. ALEX I'd say you're catching on pretty well now. RACHEL Yeah maybe. Anyway, I was also figuring that I'd meet all my old friends here because a lot of them had written and they said they were going here. But I get here and I don't really know any of them anymore. Part of me is homesick and wonders if I went to the right place. ALEX You must've made a few friends here. RACHEL Well, one or two. So, how about you, what do you want to be? ALEX Something. That's about all I really know. I'll go here for so many years, and when I'm finished I'll go do something. Part of me's worried about it all. I find everything here rather interesting but I just don't know if this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I feel that I'm narrowing my options so much. It's sort of like, I go here and spend so many years and then I must become a great Physicist because I've invested so much time and money and I'm not certain about it all. RACHEL What else would you like to be? ALEX I like computers, I'd like to design computer games, I'd like to write short stories, be a movie critic, fly an airplane, be a singer. Just about anything. RACHEL Well at least you have some ideas. You shouldn't put yourself under too much pressure yet. So you take a year or two and realize you've gone in the wrong direction. It's not that deadly is it? It's expensive, but it's not the end of the world. ALEX Yeah, I guess you're right. Of course I'll still worry about it anyway. RACHEL It's sort of good to worry some, it keeps you on your toes. Alex looks over at Rachel for a few moments and then closes his eyes and smiles. When he opens them again she is giving him a funny look. RACHEL Something wrong? ALEX Oh no, I'm just acting crazy. Uh listen, we probably should be getting back, it's almost ten thirty and we've got Calculus first thing. RACHEL No, don't remind me. That's one class I wouldn't mind missing. ALEX I think the feeling is mutual. INT. PHYSICS CLASSROOM - DAY The physics professor is writing a problem on the board. Alex, Gary and Andrew are sitting at their desk. GARY'S P.O.V. - SHEET OF PAPER Gary looks down the sheet of paper, going past several experiments that have already been circled. He runs his finger down the page and stops at Galileo's Falling Ball Experiment. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Gary, Alex and Andrew are sitting on the bed skimming through various text books. Alex stops at one of the pages and reads it for a moment. ALEX Okay, here it is, Galileo had a cannon ball shot out of the leaning Tower of Pisa and had another cannon ball dropped at the same time. He found that both cannon balls landed at the same time. GARY Hey, I know that one, we did something stunned like that in High School. Our teacher set up this little blow dart thing and shot it across the classroom at one of the walls and this cardboard turkey was started falling to the ground at the same time and the dart always pinned it to the wall. ANDREW Oh yeah, our prof did that too. GARY He did? I thought my teacher came up with that idea. ALEX So should we set up something like that? GARY You got any eggs in your fridge? EXT. OUTSIDE UNIVERSITY HIGH RISE - DAY We see a pellet gun mounted on a tripod and aimed at a wall some distance away. We follow a string which is attached to the trigger and then goes over to a pulley stuck in the ground, over various twists and turns over to a little platform with a sliding gate under it and an egg on top of it. There is a happy face sticking it's tongue out drawn on the egg. BACK TO SCENE Andrew is holding a large movie camera labelled "Property of Science Department" and he is slowly panning the entire set-up. Alex is putting the last adjustments on the platform and Gary is holding the string at the other end which is attached to the platform and the trigger. ALEX Okay, it's all ready, I'd say we should get an A+ for this one. STEVE Yeah, if it works. ANDREW'S P.O.V. - THROUGH CAMERA AT ALEX Alex stands in front of the set-up holding a microphone. ALEX Welcome ladies and gentlemen to experiment number nine of group seven for Physics class B. As you can see, behind me is what we call our highly advanced egg neutron splitter. We have high hopes of pulling both the trigger and egg release at the same moment and having the egg totally vaporized by the high power pellet we have placed in our gun. Please listen to our technician here. CAMERA TURNS to see Gary. Gary is still holding the string but has now put on a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and has his hair messed up. GARY Well, through many years of strenuous experimentation, we have found by cranking the gun only once and firing it at the wall, it drops in height by approximately one foot. The gun and egg are directly in line, so we will release both at the same time and if the egg is shot by the pellet, we will have proven Galileo's ancient experiment. Are you all ready? Here goes... Gary pulls the string and the gun fires. The egg falls and is spattered on the wall. Cheers of victory come up from the three boys. ALEX (mimicking Howard Cosell) Unbelievable ladies and gentleman. In all my years I have never ever seen such a stupendous and monumental occasion. INT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Rachel walks up to the door, dressed from head to toe in snow gear and she knocks on the door. Alex peeks his head out through the door, half asleep. ALEX Wha? RACHEL Come on, first snow of the year, we've gotta have a snowball fight, get ready. ALEX A snowball fight? What time is it? (looks at watch) That late, huh? Just a minute, I'll be right out. Alex closes the door and after some bumping and banging inside he emerges dressed up in snow boots, a big jacket and ski pants. Down the hall Steve sticks his head out his doorway. STEVE Did someone say snowball fight? EXT. EDGE OF FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY A group of football players are practicing out on the field. Rachel and Alex are to the side of the field throwing snowballs at each other. After several moments, Steve and one of his friends arrive on the field and start throwing snowballs at the two of them. STEVE We have officially declared war! ALEX Hey, how about twenty minutes time out to build forts, then we can start a war. STEVE You're on! EXT. ALEX'S SNOW FORTRESS - DAY A fortress is built in to the snowdrift. Alex's eyes are peering out through a rectangular hole in the front of the fort. A garbage can lid covering a hole in the top lifts up and Rachel peeks up, holding several snowballs in her hand. INT. INSIDE ALEX'S SNOW FORTRESS - DAY Alex is gouging out more on the inside and making snowballs with the snow. Rachel closes the lid and goes to look out of the hole. ALEX You figure we've got enough snowballs yet? RACHEL Oh yeah, plenty. But we can keep digging and get a secret escape tunnel, give them a surprise attack. EXT. STEVE'S FORTRESS - DAY STEVE Okay, here's the plan, we chuck as many snowballs as we can at that little peep hole, if we can put a hole in there we can take 'er out. The two of them run towards the fort armed with snowballs. Before they can throw any, the lid opens and Rachel appears with a ball scoop in her hand and begins chucking snowballs at them with the scoop. One of them hits Steve in the face and he falls to the ground. He quickly scrambles back to the fort with his friend, peppered with snowballs. INT. ALEX'S SNOW FORTRESS - DAY Alex is halfway in to the hole he has been digging. Rachel is making more snowballs with all the snow he's been throwing out. RACHEL Okay, time to unveil secret weapon number two. She picks up a long straight stick that has been sharpened at one end. She grabs several snowballs and sticks one on the end of the stick. EXT. STEVE'S FORTRESS - DAY STEVE Okay, okay, she got a lucky shot on us, what do you say we go for it again? You just run behind me and cover me. Steve, who had his back to Alex's fort turns around just as Rachel throws a snowball using the stick. STEVE'S P.O.V. - SNOWBALL The snowball flies through the air and it heads straight at Steve's face. BACK TO SCENE The snowball hits Steve square in the face, knocking him off his feet once again. He quickly gets up, grabbing a handful of snowballs. STEVE That does it, let's take them out. He runs for the fortress chucking snowballs. Rachel ducks back down in to the fort. RACHEL (O.S.) Alex, we're in trouble! Alex? EXT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S SNOW FORTRESS - DAY Alex busts through the snow a little ways down the snow bank and runs over to Steve's fort without them noticing. As they begin banging on the fortress, he starts showering them with snowballs. Surprised, they turn around and start running back to the fort. Alex quickly leaves and returns through the hole he came out of. STEVE This is not good, these maniacs are killing us. We need to take them out, we need a good plan. Actually, they've got the brains, what we need is some strength behind us. (turning to the football players) Excuse me, could one of you guys help me for a sec? INT. ALEX'S SNOW FORTRESS - DAY RACHEL What are they doing? ALEX I don't know, I can't see them, they must be hiding in the fort. ALEX'S P.O.V. - THROUGH PEEP HOLE Alex is looking at Steve's fortress. Steve pokes his head up and then a huge football player, dressed in full gear, comes from the fort and barrels towards Alex. ALEX Oh God! RACHEL What? ALEX Oh God! Alex looks to see the football player almost right up to the fort, growling fiercely. ALEX Duck! BACK TO SCENE Alex turns around and grabs Rachel, pushing her to the ground. A loud crunch is heard outside and snow starts falling in all around. CLOSE SHOT - ALEX AND RACHEL Alex and Rachel are covered in snow, their chins are pressed together and they are looking at each other face to face. ALEX Are you alive? RACHEL As long as I don't suffocate. STEVE (O.S) Hang on, we're coming to rescue you. ALEX I think this is the type of position they talk about in those Clorets commercials. RACHEL (laughing) Can you move at all? ALEX I think I can move my head a little. Alex tries moving his head. Just then someone outside bangs on the fort and more snow gets pushed down. Alex's face gets pushed down on Rachel's, their lips get pressed together. ALEX (muffled) Ever wonder how we get in these positions? Rachel begins laughing uncontrollably. ALEX Oh please, don't do that, you're tickling my teeth. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex takes off his jacket and hangs it up on the door. Rachel takes off her sweater, she is wearing a T-shirt under it. Then she begins undoing her pants. Alex looks at her. RACHEL Don't worry, I've still got long johns under these, I'm not gonna strip on you, honest. She hangs up her clothes by the radiator and then lays down on the bed, looking up at Alex. Alex pulls off his sweater and puts it beside Rachel's. Then he grabs his bath robe and goes to the door. ALEX I'll be back in a minute. Alex goes out, closing the door behind him. STEVE (O.S.) Ahh, here he is now, the hero of the day. I tell you Gary this guy's the real tough guy. He snowballed us to death and then when we finally take him out, what's he doing? He's in there in the fort giving Rachel mouth to mouth, I tell you, some hero of the day. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - EVENING Alex and Rachel are holding their hands out, warming them. The reflection of a fire can be seen in their faces. ALEX'S P.O.V. - TELEVISION A VCR recording of a fireplace is on the television and Rachel and Alex are warming themselves over the heater plugged in on the floor. ALEX We saw those fireplace videos in the store, you could buy them for twenty bucks, but Mom and Dad just filmed this one at home with their camera. True, it doesn't have the fire crackling in pure stereo, but it does look good. RACHEL They made that up for you? ALEX Said it would keep me warm on those cold winter nights. RACHEL You've got sweet parents. Listen, I don't think my clothes are gonna dry until at least morning. ALEX Did you want to borrow some of mine? RACHEL Actually, it's getting late, and I don't really feel like going out in the cold out there to get back home. I'd probably fall asleep before I got there. ALEX If you want you could spend the night here. If you want. RACHEL You wouldn't mind? ALEX Of course not. Alex picks up the remote control in his hand and switches off the television and VCR. He lays back on the bed, folding his hands behind his head. Rachel reaches over and puts a tape in the tape player and some quiet music begins playing. She lays down with him. She pulls his bathrobe open a bit and rests her head on his chest. He begins running his fingers through her hair. She lifts her head and looks at him, then gives him a kiss. He pauses for a moment, uncertain what to do, then kisses her. She smiles slightly and then nuzzles her nose down in his chest. He reaches over and pulls the blankets over them. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Rachel is sitting on the edge of Alex's bed, still in her long johns, pulling her clothes on and Alex is sitting with his back to the wall thumbing through his tape collection, looking up at her as she stands up to pull her pants up. RACHEL You know it's really going to be a lousy Christmas in here, nearly everyone else is going home, you'll be spending Christmas all by yourself. That's really depressing. ALEX Yeah, well I've got a lot of studying to do. We've got midterms in February and I could use a little time to myself to catch up on everything I guess. I want to write up some of my labs too.I already told Mom and Dad I probably wouldn't be home. RACHEL Midterms in February? You've got to be joking. Why would you want to stay in here? It just sounds so horrible. Of everyone I know, you are the one person who should be able to relax over the break. God, if you need to work over Christmas, I'd have to take off my whole summer. ALEX Yeah, well I just want to keep busy. So, when are you leaving? RACHEL Right after my English class tomorrow afternoon, I'm taking the first bus outta here. I'm glad it snowed yesterday, I doubt if we'll get any snow back home, I really wanted a good snow fight. Oh yeah, I've got to get you a Christmas present. I know what I'm gonna get you, but I can't get it right yet. I'll mail it to you, it should get here just before Christmas, give you something to look forward to. ALEX That sounds great. So I guess I won't see you tomorrow before you go, huh? RACHEL Unless you skip Physics class. ALEX Well then, I guess I should wish you a merry Christmas now, before you take off. I think I'll save your present until you get back, give you something to look forward to. RACHEL (looking at watch) Well, I'd better get going, I told my mother I'd call her today, tell her what bus I'd be taking. I've gotta get all my junk packed up too. That'll be a whole lot of fun. Rachel picks up her jacket and goes to walk out of the door. She stops for a moment, looks back in and then goes over to the bed and gives him a kiss. Then she goes out the door and out of sight. Alex moves over and rests his back against the window. He has a slight smile on his face but it slowly fades away and he appears depressed. STEVE (O.S.) Hey hey hey, what did I say? Somebody didn't go back home last night! And you don't look like you got much sleep. Did you pick up where you left off in the snow? ALEX Ha ha ha. So, when are you taking off, so I can spend the holiday in peace? STEVE Oh ho, smart guy, trying to change the subject. Well, you're stuck with me for another two hours. I was gonna go yesterday, but the snowball fight was too fun. ALEX So you're skipping your last classes? STEVE It's only English, Chemistry, and Astronomy, nothing too major. ALEX Yeah, right. INT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex is dressed up in a winter jacket, covered with snow, carrying a bag in one hand and fumbling for his key in his pockets with the other hand. He finally finds the key and goes in to the room. Once inside, he removes his jacket and pulls out a package which he had been carrying under the jacket. He goes over to his bed, turns on the radio and then sits down to start unwrapping the present. He opens it up and pulls out a little picture frame with a picture of Rachel. Etched in the glass is "Merry Christmas 1992 Alex, Love Rachel". Alex looks at it for a moment, then finds a tack and hangs it up on the wall beside the picture of Sarah and looks at them for a moment. He goes to remove Sarah's picture when "The Little Drummer Boy" comes on the radio and Alex turns and looks towards the radio. He walks towards it, goes to turn it off, then his hand drops and he sits down on the bed and lets his head fall backwards, banging against the screen in the window. He closes his eyes. INT. HIGH SCHOOL DANCE - NIGHT "The Little Drummer Boy" is being played by the band at the high school dance. WE FIND Alex in the crowd sitting by himself at one of the tables. Hearing the song, he slowly gets up and starts walking through the crowd to the other side of the gymnasium. ALEX'S P.O.V. - CROWD Alex pushes through the crowd to the other side where he sees Sarah and her boyfriend sitting at a table. BACK TO SCENE ALEX Sarah, you want to dance? SARAH Oh, I'm sorry, I've been dancing all night, I think I'll just sit this one out. ALEX You sat out the last three, I just want one dance, that's not so much of a crime is it? SARAH Alex, you're driving yourself crazy doing this. You're a good friend of mine and I hope we're always good friends. ALEX Friends dance together, there's nothing wrong with that. SARAH Look Alex, I know what you're like, I know how you feel. Every time we talk on the phone I feel it. If we dance, it's not two friends dancing together, I know it means so much more to you. I just want to be your friend. That's all. ALEX I just want one dance, that's all, then I'll never bother you again. SARAH At times I wish that were true. Alex stands there staring at her, his eyes start watering up. Sarah stands up. SARAH Oh Alex, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that. You know I care about you, it's just different than how you feel. I can never be the person you want me to be. ALEX You want to know what really hurts me right now? It's the fact that I know you're right. All these years of hoping, trying, and I realize that you're right. Alex wipes the tears from his eyes and runs out of the gymnasium. Sarah chases after him calling his name. EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT Snow is falling on the ground as Alex runs down the steps, half sliding as he goes and gets in to his car. He fumbles with the keys and then starts up the car and drives off, tears streaming down his face. Sarah and her boyfriend come running outside just as he drives away. SARAH We've got to go after him, I'm scared he might do something. They both get in their car and drive out of the school lot after him. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT Alex leaps out of bed yelling. He is covered in sweat, breathing heavily. He holds his face in his hands and then pushes back his hair. He looks up at the pictures on the wall in the darkness. INT. CALCULUS CLASSROOM - MORNING Alex and Steve are sitting in the back of the classroom waiting for the class to begin. Rachel comes in the door and smiles when she sees Alex. She is hugging a white teddy bear. She runs over and sits down in the seat in front of him. RACHEL Hi! ALEX Welcome back. RACHEL I just love this guy, he is so adorable. ALEX I'm glad you like it. I think the picture you sent me is sweet. RACHEL So, how was your lonely Christmas? ALEX It was okay, I got a lot of stuff done, pretty well all ready for exams now. STEVE Can you believe this guy? He's hoping to end up with an A- for the course by the end of the year. All I want is someone, anyone to make a lower mark than me. ALEX Well why don't you start taking some notes and study them. Or better yet, start writing some of the tests. Steve points to himself and raises his eyebrows. STEVE What, me study? ALEX You better watch out, you're starting to sound like Tarzan, you may be slowly falling down in the evolution scale. RACHEL Well, I'd say with your help, I should be able to pull off a B, that would be great. STEVE Yeah, you guys are making quite a team, aren't you, together almost every second, studying together, holding down forts together and doing God knows what in to the wee wee hours of the night, gee it looks like pretty serious stuff. ALEX You'll have to forgive him, he has an uncontrollable urge to poke his nose in other people's business. RACHEL Well Steve, why don't you come in and watch some time, the experience might actually do some good. STEVE That's a laugh, I've already got it perfected. ALEX I think she's talking about Calculus. STEVE Of course. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex is sitting by the side of the bed looking at the two pictures on the wall. Then he gets up and goes out to the washroom, closing his room door as he goes. A moment later, Rachel comes up to the room and knocks on the door. ALEX (O.S) Just a minute, I'll be right out. RACHEL No problem. Rachel opens up the door and goes in to the room. She looks around for a moment, sees the two pictures on the wall, and then looks closely at the picture of Sarah. Seeing no writing on the front, she takes it off the wall and turns it around to see the back. Just then Alex comes out of the washroom. She goes to put the picture back on the wall. ALEX What are you doing? RACHEL Oh, I'm sorry, I was just looking, I was wondering who it was. ALEX An old friend, someone I knew in High School. He goes over to the picture and adjusts it, making sure it's secure on the wall. RACHEL An old girlfriend? ALEX Just someone special. RACHEL You've had that up there all along? ALEX I take her down when you come up, I didn't want you to get all screwed up by it, it was a long time ago. RACHEL And you still have her picture up? ALEX (carefully taking down the picture) Look, it doesn't matter, here, I'll put her away. RACHEL How long ago was it? ALEX Look, it's nothing, there she's gone, okay. RACHEL Do you want to talk about it? ALEX Just forget about it please, it's nothing. Rachel just looks at him for a moment in silence. RACHEL Look, I really should get going, I just dropped up to see if you had a good Christmas. ALEX Oh yeah, it was okay, got all sorts of stuff from home. RACHEL That's great, well I really should be getting back, I'll see you tomorrow in Calculus. ALEX Yeah, see ya. Rachel goes out the door, looks back for a moment and then leaves. Alex pulls out the picture of Sarah again for a moment, then puts it away and looks at the picture of Rachel on the wall. He turns around towards the window and pounds his fist on the glass. ALEX Damn! INT/EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - NIGHT Rachel and Alex are walking towards the residence tower. RACHEL I just wish I knew what was bugging you, you want to talk about her? ALEX She was just someone really close to me, first love, you know, only thing was the feelings weren't mutual. I know it's sorta silly, but I'm still hung up on her a little. RACHEL (holding out her arms) Come here, hold me. I won't just take off on you. I care about you, a whole lot, understand, just let her go, okay. Trust me, if you dwell on the past you just go crazy. Alex goes to her side and she puts her arms around him. INT. CALCULUS CLASSROOM - DAY The professor places the latest pile of tests on the desk to be returned. Steve returns with three tests, he hands one to Alex, one to Rachel, and then stares at his own. STEVE I don't believe it, I failed! RACHEL Weren't you expecting to anyway? ALEX No, no what he means is he didn't flunk. What did you make? STEVE I got thirty two percent! RACHEL What's he been doing, taking brain steroids? ALEX Actually, I've been giving him a little help. RACHEL I knew there had to be something. STEVE This is fantastic, this just tripled my average for the year! I can't believe it. EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - NIGHT Rachel is sitting at the bottom of the steps to the entrance to one of the buildings. Alex runs to the top of the stairs and looks over the parking lot. ALEX Friends, Romans, Numerals, lend me your ears, for I am deaf and have none. RACHEL You are absolutely crazy. ALEX Thank you. RACHEL Get on down here before security catches you and fines you for disturbing the peace. ALEX Okay, you're right, time to saunter back to our humble abodes. You want me to walk you back? RACHEL I really don't think I'll get mugged or anything. Anyway, you'd probably fall asleep before you got there. I'd have to carry you back home. ALEX You're absolutely right. Okay then, I shall bid you farewell, adieu, and all that other nonsense. RACHEL See you tomorrow Alex. ALEX Yeah, see ya Sar- Alex pauses for a moment and the smile goes from his face. RACHEL What did you say? ALEX I just said see ya soon. RACHEL Oh. See ya then. She slowly turns around and begins walking away. Alex sits down on the steps, lets out a deep breath and pushes his hair back over his forehead. INT. RESIDENCE - NIGHT Alex is talking on the telephone. He is sitting in the washroom with the door half closed. ALEX Well, exams start in another three weeks, then that'll take about a week for them and I should be able to come home any time after that. My last one is Calculus, I think I write it on a Saturday. Rachel comes around the corner and knocks on his door. He peeks out of the bathroom and smiles at her. ALEX Just a sec Mom. Hi Rachel, I'll be off in just a few minutes, you can go in, put on a tape or something, I'll be in in a bit. Rachel smiles at him and goes in the room, closing it behind her. She can still hear Alex talking softly outside. She sits down on the bed for a moment, looking up at his video tapes on the shelf. She pulls one out and then notices the photo album and pulls it out instead. She begins skimming through it, laughing at several photos of Alex. Then she turns to the page with Sarah's obituary. She reaches under the bed and finds the picture of Sarah and compares the two. She begins reading through the article on her. Hearing Alex hang up the phone, she quickly turns to one of the first pages and pushes the picture back under the bed with her foot. ALEX Oh, you found that, did you? Here, let me see that. He sits on the bed beside her and begins thumbing through the pages. He turns to a page with a picture of him and Sarah. RACHEL What ever happened to her? ALEX Who Sarah? Rachel nods. ALEX She just disappeared. We had sort of broken up, you know, she just wanted to be a good pal and all, and then she just vanished, ran away, something. Don't really know why, she just couldn't handle it all I guess. I'm hoping she'll write sometime, just to let me know where she is, but I doubt if she will. Alex closes the album and places it back up on the shelf. ALEX Okay, what movie do you want to watch? RACHEL I don't really feel like watching a movie. I just wanted to be with you, thought we could spend some time together. ALEX Yeah, sure, I could put on some music. RACHEL Just forget that, come here. She lies down on the bed and pulls him down with her. She puts her hands on his face and starts kissing him. She begins undoing the buttons on his shirt. ALEX What are you doing? RACHEL Just relax, trust me. She slowly pulls off his shirt and then lays back down with her arms spread out. Alex hesitates as if scared to do anything. His hand is shaking as he goes to unbutton her blouse. He unbuttons the first button, then stops, he lets out a shallow breath and then gets off the bed and stands up, walking over towards the closet, pulling his shirt back on. ALEX I'm sorry, I just can't RACHEL What's the matter? ALEX I don't know, I just, I just can't do it, something doesn't seem right. RACHEL Is it me? ALEX No, it's not you, you're beautiful, and I really care about you, I do, I just don't know, everything seems so cloudy, I just don't know. RACHEL Why won't you talk to me? Tell me what's going on in your head. Is it Sarah, is that why you don't feel right? I want to help you if I can. ALEX I don't need any help, I can do fine on my own. RACHEL Do you want me to leave? ALEX I just don't feel comfortable with this right now, things are going too fast, I need to let my mind catch up. RACHEL Oh Alex, I'm so sorry, I was just hoping to get close to you, I wanted to show you how much I care about you. ALEX I just can't care for anyone right now, my whole body feels like it's falling apart. RACHEL It is Sarah. That's why you won't let me near you. ALEX Don't you understand, I love her. I have never had a single plan in my life that didn't involve her. I treasure every little photograph of her, every word she's ever written to me. Every time I think of her, every time I'd see her I would feel this wonderful sensation through my whole body. I don't want to be with anyone but her. RACHEL But she's dead Alex! Alex turns his back to Rachel and covers his face in the corner. ALEX I know she's dead! Do you think there's any doubt of that in my mind? You read an article in a scrapbook and you think you know things I don't know? I know she's dead. Her boyfriend was thrown free but I got to the car before it exploded. I saw her face, I saw her beautiful eyes, her hair. Do you know what an accident like that does to someone's face? I wanted to die in that car with her. When it blew up I wasn't trying to pull her out, I was trying to crawl in. I couldn't get the door open. I went around the car to crawl in the other side when it went. I was too far away from it. I was too damn far away. I had a piece of metal lodged in my arm for two days, two days after the accident. I walked away, I never told a soul. RACHEL Alex, I'm so sorry. ALEX Of course you're sorry. Everyone was sorry, everyone told me how much they understood my pain. Is that why you did this tonight? Were you sorry for me? Did you simply take pity on me, decide to do me a favour so I would forget about things? Rachel gets up and pulls on her sneakers. Alex puts his hands over his face. Rachel walks past him and opens up the door. Alex looks up again and grabs Rachel's arm as she goes to leave. ALEX God Rachel, I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. RACHEL Did you ever stop to think that the reason I wanted to make love to you tonight was because I am falling deeply in love with you? Rachel pulls her arm away from him and walks away. Alex buries his face in his hands and begins sobbing. After several moments Alex closes the door and softly starts banging his head on the door. Then he goes over to the bed and pulls out Sarah's picture. He shakes the picture in his hands and then drops it on the bed. He looks out the window and lets out a loud scream. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex is sitting in the middle of a large mess of papers on the floor. His Calculus book is open and he is figuring out some problems on scrap paper. There is a knock at the door. Steve comes in. ALEX Hey, need some Calculus help? STEVE Oh nah, I'm not even writing the thing. Even if I aced it I'd still only make thirty percent. Maybe next year I'll make it. ALEX So you taking off on Monday, eh? STEVE Yeah, that'll be my last exam, then I am out of here and glad of it. ALEX Yeah, that will be nice. STEVE So, how are things going? ALEX Surviving, I've got everything covered except this stuff here. Another day or two and I should have most of it down. STEVE How's Rachel? I haven't seen her around for a little while. ALEX She's taking a little vacation from me I guess. I was just really stupid, I don't know why. STEVE What did you do? ALEX More like what I didn't do. I chickened out, I don't know why, she was just lying there on the bed, she looked beautiful, and all I could see was Sarah there, all I heard was her voice. God damn it, I really blew it. (slams book shut) I don't think she'll be coming back, I think she's gone for good. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT The room is a complete mess. Calculus papers are everywhere, clothes thrown all over the floor. The bed is covered in various pictures of Sarah and letters. Some slow music is playing from the stereo and Alex is sitting on the floor, back against the bed, holding a picture of Sarah in one hand and drinking a beer in the other. Several empty bottles are lying overturned around him. His hair is all messed up and he has a great look of depression on his face. There is a knock at the door. After several knocks, the door slowly opens and Rachel comes in. RACHEL Oh God. ALEX Oh hi Rachel, I didn't think you'd be back, I thought you weren't coming back. RACHEL What are you doing? You're a mess. ALEX Oh, just reminiscing about the old gal here, she was beautiful wasn't she. RACHEL Are you okay? ALEX I've never been better, I feel fine. I'm all ready for my test. RACHEL Well you're gonna flunk it if you come in there tomorrow with a hangover. Come on, let me get you up here. (tries to pull him up) ALEX No that's okay, I'm just spending a romantic evening with my girl here. She really is beautiful, isn't she. You know, we we're gonna get married, I told everyone that someday we'd get married, have ten kids and live in a big house on a hill. She likes big houses, the ones with those large winding staircases and big patios in back. When we were twelve, we made a blood oath that we'd always stay together. You know, you prick your thumb with a little pin and- Alex fumbles in the bottom drawer of his desk and pulls out a tack and tries to prick his thumb with it. Rachel grabs his hand and takes it from him. RACHEL Give me that, before you hurt yourself with it. ALEX You'd never hurt yourself with a pin prick, you need something bigger, like a car or something, you just drive down the road and close your eyes, see where it takes you. RACHEL Why are you doing this to yourself? ALEX It's for my test, it's time to test myself again. Here, you want to read this letter? It's one of her best, read the little poem there, isn't it beautiful? "I held a maple leaf open in my hand and it blew away. It took it chances with the wind, it left me, hoping to find something more. I couldn't watch it as it went away from me forever." She's the leaf, I'm the hand, and I'm supposed to turn away as it blows. RACHEL You know I'm leaving tomorrow. ALEX Yeah, right after Calculus, everyone's leaving me. RACHEL I may not be coming back next year. ALEX But you said you would, said we'd make sure we had the same Calculus class again. RACHEL Things are just changing so fast, I think it would be better if I get away from here. ALEX Get away from me? RACHEL You don't want me, look at you, you're obsessed with that girl, you don't need me. ALEX But I love her. RACHEL She's dead, can't you just get that through your skull? ALEX Yes, you keep reminding me of that. It just makes me feel so wonderful over and over again. RACHEL Look, I've got to get back to studying, I just dropped up to wish you luck tomorrow. ALEX Yeah, get back to all those important things in life. RACHEL Please, don't do this to me, you're not being fair. I really do care about you. ALEX Then why are you leaving? RACHEL Because I can't stand to watch you killing yourself. Alex laughs to himself. Rachel walks back out the door and disappears. Alex sits there for a moment and then hurls his half empty beer bottle at the wall outside. Then he flakes out on the floor. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - MORNING Alex is still asleep on the floor, Sarah's picture clutched in his hand. The clock on the desk above him reads 9:20. Alex's foot moves, knocking over one of the beer bottles and it falls over, waking him up. He groans for a minute, then pulling himself up he looks at the clock. Realizing the time, he quickly pulls some sneakers on, grabs a pencil and goes hurrying out the door. We follow him as he runs towards the elevators. He pounds on the buttons several times, then he gets impatient and runs for the stairs going around and around the winding stairs. When he reaches the bottom he staggers out of the door and runs, half off balance, down the hallway. After rounding several corners he reaches the exam room and runs in through the door. Everyone looks up at him as he comes in, some of them giggle. ALEX'S P.O.V. - CLASSROOM Alex sees Rachel at the back of the classroom. She is staring at him. He looks away from her to the professor. PROFESSOR I'm sorry sir, but we do not allow anyone in to the exam room once the first thirty minutes are up. Alex looks at his watch which reads 9:37. BACK TO SCENE Alex drops the pencil from his hand and walks out of the room. He slowly walks back to the elevators and we follow him as he gets in and presses his floor. Once the elevator reaches his floor, he slowly walks down the hallway in almost a state of shock. He rounds the corner to his room and sees his door wide open. He walks in to see the place in worst shambles than before. His wallet is lying open on the bed, his VCR and television are gone, all his cassettes thrown over the floor. Alex quietly closes the door and walks over to the window. His breathing becomes shallow. ALEX No, no... He begins banging his head hard against the glass. ALEX God damn it no! EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - NIGHT ALEX'S P.O.V. - ROAD Alex starts up the car and drives out of the school parking lot. BACK TO SCENE Sarah and her boyfriend get in the other car and they drive off after him. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex, still banging his head on the window. ALEX Why did you leave me? He turns away from the window, grabs Sarah's picture from the floor and yells at it. ALEX Why did you leave me? He throws the picture to the floor and the glass shatters as it hits. EXT. ALEX'S CAR - NIGHT Alex is driving extremely fast down the snow covered road. Tears are rolling down his face. He comes to a hairpin turn in the road and steers violently to get around it. The car swerves and slides on the snow running in to the guard railing and scraping along it, coming to a stop a short distance down the road. He gets out of the car, breathing heavily. He hears another car coming in the distance and starts running up the road. He sees the car come around the turn and lose control on the icy road. The car spins around completely and then plows through the guard railing and goes over the edge. ALEX No! INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex goes up to the window and removes the screen, throwing it on the floor. He climbs out so that he is half inside, half outside. EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT Alex runs to the edge of the road and stumbles towards where the car went off. ALEX'S P.O.V. - LOOKING DOWN OVER EDGE Alex looks down to see the car some distance below, it is lying upside-down and flames are coming out of it. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY ALEX'S P.O.V. - OUTSIDE WINDOW Alex looks straight down on to the football field. ALEX Three point one seconds. BACK TO SCENE Alex gets his feet on the edge and pulls his arms outside so that only his grip on the sides are holding him in. He closes his eyes for a moment. He opens them again and looks down on the field. EXT. RIVER IN THE WOODS - DAY Alex is standing at the top of the waterfalls. He closes his eyes and leaps from the edge, falling towards the water below. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY Alex hears the phone ringing outside his door. He turns his head around for a moment, then hears someone answer it. He turns around again and focuses on the twenty yard line. There is a knock on the door. INT. OUTSIDE ALEX'S ROOM - DAY A student is knocking on Alex's door. STUDENT Hey Alex, you got a phone call. Several seconds go by. The student knocks on the door again, then the door opens and Alex peeks his head out. The student hands him the phone. STUDENT Are you okay bud? Alex just mumbles and takes the phone. ALEX Hello? MOTHER Hi son, I didn't expect to reach you. We're going over to your Aunt's place in a few minutes and I was just going to leave the number there so you could call us later. I hope I didn't interrupt you from your studying. Alex sinks to the floor. ALEX Oh no, we just finished our last one this morning. MOTHER Already? ALEX Yeah. MOTHER Well then I guess you'll be coming home this evening, right? ALEX Yeah sure. MOTHER I checked the schedule and it leaves every day this week at noon and two. ALEX Noon sounds fine. MOTHER Okay, we'll be waiting for you there when it comes in. It'll be good to get you back home for a bit. ALEX Oh yeah, it will. MOTHER Are you okay, is something wrong? ALEX Oh no, nothing's wrong. MOTHER You sure, have any bad exams? Don't worry too much about it okay, you know we'll still love you. ALEX Yeah, I know. So it's noon then? MOTHER The bus leaves at noon, you should be home before dark. We'll be glad to see you, we missed you at Christmas you know, I've got a big supper all ready for you tomorrow. ALEX Oh, that's great. MOTHER Well, I won't keep you too long, you can tell us everything when you get back home. See ya soon Alex. ALEX Yeah see you tonight. MOTHER I love you. ALEX Love you too. Good-bye. Alex hangs up the phone and lets out a deep sigh. One of his neighbors walks by him to his door. ALEX Hey, could you lend me twenty bucks? I just had my stuff stolen, I just need bus fare to get home. INT. BUS - AFTERNOON Alex is sitting in the back seat of the bus, his head resting against the window, watching the scenery go by. INT. ALEX'S HOUSE - NIGHT Alex and his father are sitting in front of the television, his father is looking at some of the tests Alex had written through the year. FATHER So everything else was fine though, except the Calculus? ALEX Oh yeah, I think I got A's in the rest, except Philosophy, I think I got a B there. FATHER Well that's pretty good, maybe we could talk to the professor, he might be able to give you a second chance instead of making you take Calculus next year. ALEX Yeah, maybe. FATHER Come on, don't worry about. He messes up Alex's hair with his hand. Alex smiles and nods his head. ALEX You mind if I just go for a little ride in the car? I'd just like to take a little look around, see a couple people. FATHER Oh sure, here's the keys, just filled up the tank this morning, you can do all the driving you want. ALEX Thanks a lot, I'll be back in a little while. EXT. DRIVING ALONG DIRT ROAD - NIGHT Alex pulls up to a house and slowly gets out. He walks up to the door and knocks at it. An older lady answers the door. SARAH'S MOM Oh hi Alex, you just get back? ALEX Yeah, just a couple hours ago. SARAH'S MOM That's great, how was university? ALEX Oh pretty good, surviving anyway. Listen, I hope you don't mind me asking, but could I see Sarah's room? SARAH'S MOM Yes sure, are you looking for something in particular? ALEX I don't know, I just wanted to look around. Sarah's mom lets him inside and we follow them up the stairs to the room. Sarah's mom opens the door and Alex walks in. ALEX You've never touched a thing in here, have you? SARAH'S MOM No, we just closed it up, I never had the heart to do anything with it. I wanted to clean it up a couple of times, you know how messy she could get. Alex begins thumbing through the various papers on her desk and looking at some snapshots. SARAH'S MOM You are looking for something, aren't you? ALEX Sort of, nothing in particular, just something, I don't know, I guess I just need something, I'd like to straighten some things up in my head. SARAH'S MOM You still hooked on her? I bet you've still got her picture in her wallet. ALEX Still got her picture on my wall. SARAH'S MOM You keep filling your home with ghosts and wonder why it seems haunted. ALEX I guess you're just as bad as me, huh? Alex motions around the room. SARAH'S MOM You're right, sometimes it is best to just cut all connections, go on with life. In a couple years I know I will. It just hurts so much to let go. ALEX And it hurts too much to hold on. SARAH'S MOM What is it you're looking for? ALEX Just anything she's written, thoughts she's had, stuff like that. SARAH'S MOM You're still wondering why she never loved you, aren't you. ALEX I guess so. SARAH'S MOM Sarah was always very private with her thoughts, never told people what she really felt. She did love you, don't ever think she didn't. She was probably torn up as much as you were when she broke things off with you. She loved you like a brother, she cared for you as much as anyone else, perhaps more. You had something special. She knew that, that's why it hurt her so much to hurt you. ALEX And Marc? SARAH'S MOM Marc was just someone who came at just the right (or wrong) time. She needed someone, not someone special, not someone she really cared about, just someone to be with, to have no worries with. You been bothered by this all year? ALEX Sort of, I guess it's been off and on for the last three years. I keep looking at myself and telling me how stupid I am, but it doesn't seem to help. I guess I'm like an alcoholic, they keep telling themselves they won't drink anymore, but in the heat of the moment, it would be the first thing they'd grab for protection. SARAH'S MOM Well I think it takes a long while for all of us to get over it all. ALEX Look, I'm sorry, I probably shouldn't have come here, I'm just getting you all depressed over again. SARAH'S MOM It's okay, you have to let it out every so often, otherwise you'll eventually explode. ALEX Yeah. Well, thanks a lot for your time, I think it helped me a little. SARAH'S MOM Do you want anything before you go? I've got some cookies and stuff downstairs. ALEX Oh no, that's okay, I'd better be going on anyway. Thanks a lot. Alex walks out of the room and down the stairs with Sarah's mom following behind him. Alex goes outside and drives away in the car. Sarah's mom watches him as he leaves. Alex drives uptown and drives around the village for a few minutes. Then he drives up to the high school and parks the car. He climbs up to the top of the front steps and looks around. He slowly begins singing "The Little Drummer Boy". After several moments, he goes back in to his car and drives off, still singing the song. We follow him along the road as he slowly leaves town. After several moments, he comes to the hairpin turn and comes to a stop beside the guard railing. He gets out of the car and goes over to the edge. He looks down and then looks around him. He pulls out a picture of Sarah from his wallet and reads it in the light of the headlights. ALEX Life comes and goes, people come in to our lives and leave just as soon, hearts are loved and hearts are broken, but life goes on. Life goes on at all costs. Alex looks at the picture for a moment and puts it back in his wallet. ALEX You knew then, didn't you. Somehow you knew, knew how I must have felt. This was a warning, wasn't it, trying to protect me from myself. Trying to help me realize just what was important. Alex looks out across the horizon. ALEX Why did this have to happen, huh? You know, I used to wonder what would've happened if this hadn't happened, if you hadn't gone out with Marc, if you had've loved me, by the end of it, I came up with so many ifs, not even my imagination could believe it was possible. And to think I always used to think we were meant to be. We did have some good times though, didn't we- He laughs for a moment, then the smile goes from his face. ALEX But it's over now, isn't it. No use hoping for the impossible, can't wish something to happen if it could never be anyway. I do love you, you know that. I always will, that could never change. He smiles slightly and takes her picture out once again. He lets it fall over the edge and watches as it disappears in the darkness. He takes one more look around and then yells at the top of his lungs. ALEX I love you! It echoes over the countryside as he slowly gets back in his car and drives away. INT. ALEX'S HOME - DAY ALEX'S P.O.V. - KITCHEN Alex's parents are sitting at the table with him, eating supper. ALEX I just need a little time on my own, to sort things out, get a few things straight in my mind. All I want is a little bit of money and I'll be fine. I don't know, maybe just a couple days or weeks, I'll keep in touch. EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - EVENING Alex walks towards the residence tower with a backpack in his hand. INT. ALEX'S ROOM - EVENING Alex unlocks the door and walks in. The room is still in the same mess he left it. He grabs a suitcase and starts putting all the pictures and Sarah's letters in it. He cleans up some of the mess and throws all his papers in the garbage. He looks out the window. Down to the left of the field he sees a large crowd of students gathered around a bonfire burning books. He picks up the screen and places it back in the window. Then he grabs his suitcase and backpack and tucks Sarah's picture under his arm. Noticing Rachel's picture he puts that in his backpack. Then he walks out of the room, locking it behind him. EXT. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS - NIGHT Alex walks up to the large bonfire. Many of the students are drinking and cheering as they heave tests, textbooks and notes on the fire. Alex walks up to it and throws the suitcase on the fire. Then he holds out Sarah's picture for a moment, looks at it one last time and throws it on the fire. He slings his backpack over his shoulder and walks away from it. INT. BUS - NIGHT Alex is sitting at the back of the bus in silence, watching the lights go by, holding the picture of Rachel in his lap. A single tear runs down the side of his face and he smiles. FADE OUT THE END
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