Actor Point >> Movie Scripts >> Life As A House Film Script

Life As A House Movie Script

Writer(s) : Mark Andrus

Genres : Comedy, Drama

Search IMDb : Life As A House


		LIFE AS A HOUSE
		WRITTEN BY MARK ANDRUS

		FADE IN:

            A clock alarm SOUNDS over TITLES on BLACK.  We HEAR someone
            clearing congested lungs, coughing up phlegm; a slight crash
            STOPS both the cough and the alarm.

            EXT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK - MORNING

            The cottage is a tiny, peeling paint rat-trap set dead center
            on a small ocean front cul-de-sac, surrounded by four massive
            post-modern mansions.

            INT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK BEDROOM - MORNING

            GEORGE NELSON, 42, squints and shivers as the spotty morning
            light and ocean breeze enter through an open window.  Bold
            waves crash against the cliffs outside the room.  A five-foot
            wide stack of hand hewed beams are piled pyramid style,
            making movement in the room next to impossible.  George
            stands shirtless in underwear and coughs again.  He steps
            over a pile of tools and stands at the window, facing the
            sea.  A happy sounding tune by Guster, "WHAT YOU WISH FOR,"
            begins with the lyrics: 'Woke up today, to everything gray
            and all that I saw just keeps going on and on...'

            EXT. WEBBER'S HOUSE - MORNING

            The post-modern house is three-levels of concrete and glass.

            INT. SAM WEBBER'S BEDROOM - MORNING

            SAM is sixteen with spiky black hair, a nose ring, two
            earrings and painted black nails.  The song continues with:
            '...sweep all the pieces under the bed, close all the
            curtains and cover my head.'  Sam looks wasted as he climbs
            out of bed and rummages through his dresser, retrieving an
            empty bottle of prescription drugs; he tosses the bottle.  He
            walks to a desk where a half-built model of a house sits
            unfinished and squeezes glue into a plastic bag and sniffs
            it.  Sam enters the closet and digs into a pile of dirty
            clothes, pulling out the tie to a robe; he knots it around
            the closet pole and then twists it once to form a noose.  He
            slips his neck through the noose and lowers his body; though
            we don't see exactly what he's doing below his neck, it's
            evident through his jerking arm that he's masturbating.

            EXT. BECK'S OCEAN FRONT MANSION - MORNING

            COLLEEN BECK, George's next-door neighbor, is a well
            maintained blonde in her late thirties.  She walks out of the
            angular concrete mansion, grabs the paper and walks back in.

            INT. BECK'S KITCHEN - MORNING

            This is a minimalist kitchen, with pored concrete walls and
            stainless steel cabinets. 
            Colleen drops the paper on the table and walks to the sink to
            wash her hands.  The SONG CONTINUES: '...If this serenade is
            not what you want, it's just how it is...'  Colleen appears
            distracted for a moment.  She walks outside onto the terrace
            with wet hands, then bolts back in, breezing through the
            kitchen with purpose.

            INT. ALYSSA BECK'S BATHROOM - MORNING

            ALYSSA is sixteen and perfect with strawberry blonde hair and
            white teeth; her head is partially out the bathroom window. 
            Colleen bursts in, eases Alyssa aside and with effort, sticks
            her head out of the same high open window.

                                COLLEEN
                      This is ridiculous!

            We must not see exactly what they see, but out the window and
            almost beyond view, a stream of urine arks out from George
            Nelson's beach house bedroom, into the pacific ocean some
            twenty-feet below.  The piss stops.  Colleen bangs her head
            trying to get it back inside the house.

            INT. WEBBER'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MORNING

            ROBIN WEBBER is George's ex-wife, still beautiful at forty. 
            She herds two boys, RYAN (8) and ADAM (7), down the hall.

                                ROBIN
                      Run downstairs and give your dad a hug.

                                RYAN
                      Why?

                                ROBIN
                      He'll be gone for his birthday.

                                ADAM
                      Can we have a party for him while he's
                      gone?

            Robin stops and KNOCKS on a bedroom door.

                                ROBIN
                      I hope you're showered and ready for
                      school!

            A loud CRASH stops Ryan and Adam at the top of the stairs.

            INT. SAM'S ROOM - MORNING

            Robin rushes in and glances around the room for her son.

                                ROBIN
                      Sam?!

            INT. SAM'S WEBBER'S CLOSET - MORNING

            The closet pole and a long line of clothes have been felled
            by Sam's dangerous whack-off technique; he's on the floor
            with the robe tie still around his neck and a pile of shirts
            sprawled over him.  The song continues: '...come out come
            out, wherever you are, would you do it all over right from
            the start, and what you wish for won't come true, you aren't
            surprised to love, are you?' 

            Robin stops at the door, trying to figure out why her son is
            sitting in a pile of his own clothes.  Ryan and Adam join
            her, looking equally perplexed.

            EXT. GEORGE NELSON'S CUL-DE-SAC - MORNING

            George's dog, GUSTER, is doing his business on the lawn of a
            modern day robber baron, DAVID DOKOS, who exits his house
            with a briefcase.  He hops into his Mercedes and proceeds to
            chase Guster straight across his well-manicured grass. 
            Guster easily escapes death and runs off.  George walks out
            of his shack as David hops the curb, flips him off and drives
            away.  George waves goodbye.

                                GEORGE
                      Stick it up your ass!  Have a nice day.  
                          (glancing around)
                      Guster!

            Guster runs to his side as Colleen rushes out of her house.

                                COLLEEN
                      This has got to stop!

                                GEORGE
                      He escaped.  He's going back in.

                                COLLEEN
                      Does it give you some sort of perverse
                      pleasure to expose your...penis in plain
                      view of my sixteen year-old daughter?

                                GEORGE
                      There are no windows facing
                      my...exposure.

                                COLLEEN
                      George, this is the third time.

                                GEORGE
                      The plumber's due out on Friday.

                                COLLEEN
                      You'll have to explain that to the
                      police.

                                GEORGE
                      You were the only neighbor I could
                      tolerate.

                                COLLEEN
                      I did warn you.

                                GEORGE
                      My life is a warning.  I just can't
                      figure out for what.

            Colleen shies away from George's stare; he finally turns and
            walks toward the house but stops short as he turns back.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Colleen, how hard was it for you to get
                      your head outside that window far enough
                      to see my dick?

            This stops Colleen for a moment; it was difficult.  George
            walks back to the cottage and locks Guster in before stepping
            into an old Ford truck and driving off.  Colleen watches him
            drive off, then turns to her house and stares.

            INT. WEBBER'S DINING ROOM - MORNING

            PETER WEBBER, Robin's husband, is a distinguished,
            intimidating man with silver hair and an expensive suit. 
            LOIS, the maid, serves French toast to Ryan and Adam as Robin
            sips tea.

                                ADAM
                      Sam broke his closet.

            Peter glances at Robin, who shrugs.

                                ROBIN
                      I don't have a clue anymore.  I wish
                      you'd talk to him.  He needs a man.

                                PETER
                      His father is a man.

                                ROBIN
                      A man he respects.

            Sam walks into the room from the hall, outfitted in all black
            with kick ass boots.

                                SAM
                      Thanks for talking about me behind my
                      back...useful in court.

                                PETER
                      Are you wearing eye shadow?

            Adam, Ryan and Robin check out the eye shadow.

                                SAM
                      No.

                                PETER
                      Take it off.

            Sam flutters his eyelids in defiance of his stepfather.

                                PETER (CONT'D)
                      Do it now!

                                SAM
                      If I walk out the door, who's gonna be
                      here tonight for the follow through?

            Peter hesitates for just a second.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Have a nice flight.

            Sam's out the door with his eye shadow intact.

                                RYAN
                      Queer.

                                ROBIN
                      What did you say?

                                RYAN
                      Dad said it first.

            Robin focuses on Peter, who simply shrugs.  Adam stands up,
            walks over to his father and gives him a hug.

                                ADAM
                      I get chocolate cake for your birthday.

                                PETER
                      Are your hands clean?

            Adam is quick to back away from his father and lick the
            fingers of one hand.

            INT. COMMUTER TRAIN - MORNING

            George is resting his head against the glass window as he
            stares out at the blighted landscape leading to downtown Los
            Angeles.  A sudden pang tightens his face; he presses his
            hand against his stomach and closes his eyes.

            EXT. LAGUNA BEACH HIGH SCHOOL - MORNING

            Sam is alone at the back of the parking lot, sitting on the
            hood of an old Saab, smoking as two boys, JOSH and MAREK,
            both seventeen, park a Porsche and pull Alyssa Beck (George's
            peeping neighbor) and another girl out of the backseat.

                                MAREK
                      Dude, nice look.

            Sam simply nods as Marek and the other girl laugh at his all
            black garb, earrings and eye shadow.

                                ALYSSA
                      I saw your dad this morning.

            Sam drops his cigarette and stomps it out as he stands; his
            face lightens as Alyssa waves before walking away.

                                JOSH
                      Been thinking?

                                SAM
                      No.

                                MAREK
                      Forget him!

                                JOSH
                      Two hours a week for three-hundred cash. 
                      The whole summer.  Do the math.
                          (as a dig)
                      They consider that a hatchback or a
                      station wagon?  Oh, that isn't yours
                      anyway, is it?

            Josh raises his eyebrows and smiles before walking away.  Sam
            faces the Saab and kicks the bumper as hard as he can. 
            Suddenly, a boy (COREY) bolts up from the back seat.

                                COREY
                      I was in total REM, man!

            INT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES HIGHRISE - LATE MORNING

            The architectural firm of Benson and Feinsilber occupies the
            entire fortieth floor; George Nelson is their sole model
            maker.  Rather than offices, most of the space is open,
            segmented only by portable low walls.  Along the outer walls,
            below the long line of windows, is a shelf filled with
            amazingly intricate models.  George is alone in a cubicle of
            his own, cutting polystyrene with a hot wire.  STEVEN GARDNER
            rounds a corner with a velocity that makes George flinch.

                                STEVEN
                      Done...close to done?

                                GEORGE
                      I'm doing the grass.

                                STEVEN
                      Fuck the grass.  Who said grass?

            Steven exits as quickly as he entered, but as soon as George
            goes back to work, Steven pops his head back in.

                                STEVEN (CONT'D)
                      Burke bided out the Berlin Plaza.  Did he
                      tell you?

                                GEORGE
                      I was going to start Monday.

                                STEVEN
                      He likes the look of the computer models,
                      anyway.  You take too long.
                          (beat)
                      After you mow the grass, would you mind
                      bringing the house to my office?  I have
                      a presentation to make.

            George simply stares as Steven nods and leaves.

            EXT. HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA ATRIUM - LUNCHTIME

            Sam is by himself, his eyes closed, listening to music
            through headphones as Alyssa stops to stare; she visually
            scans him head to foot, appearing slightly perplexed as a
            friend passes.

                                FRIEND
                      I wouldn't make a habit of it.

                                ALYSSA
                      Okay.

            The friend walks on; after a beat, Alyssa does too.

            EXT. TOP OF THE WORLD PARK - EVENING

            In the distance, the sun colors the sky a blinding orange as
            it sets.  A Range Rover with blackened windows is parked
            behind a Porsche.  'TINTED WINDOWS,' an up-tempo tune with a
            hand clapping by the Pansy Division, begins: 'A bed would be
            a treat/But all we've got is this backseat/Tinted windows are
            a beautiful thing.'

            Through the front windshield, we can see Marek sitting in the
            passenger's seat with his eyes closed.

            ANOTHER VIEW

            Josh, Marek's friend, is sitting on a bench in the park
            behind the cars. 'A dark secluded spot/In a deserted parking
            lot/Tinted windows are a wonderful thing.'  

            Suddenly, the passenger door on the Rover opens and Marek
            climbs out, brushing his hair with his hands before casually
            checking his zipper.  He closes the door and the car speeds
            away.  Josh walks to Marek and wordlessly they climb into the
            Porsche and drive off.

            EXT. GEORGE NELSON'S BEACH SHACK - DAY

            George is shirtless in his front yard, hand hewing a twenty
            foot beam.  One strong, long pull and a thin shaving flutters
            to the ground; Guster nabs it and starts to chew.

                                GEORGE
                      You'll crap real logs if you keep eating
                      wood.

            Guster appears unconcerned as he awaits a new shaving.

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Hi, Mr. Nelson.

            George glances up, wipes the sweat from his forehead as
            Alyssa walks toward him in white shorts and a tee shirt.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Sorry I got you into trouble.

                                GEORGE
                      I'll survive.

            George goes back to works and Guster taste tests shavings as
            Alyssa searches for something else to say.

                                ALYSSA
                      Does Sam have any friends?

            George stops and looks up; he has no idea how to answer.

                                GEORGE
                      He must.

                                ALYSSA
                      He seems lonely.

                                GEORGE
                      Are you his friend?

                                ALYSSA
                      No.

                                GEORGE
                      Why?

                                ALYSSA
                      Marilyn Manson...and I guess he's into
                      guys.  I hate nose rings.  And the blue
                      eye shadow thing really isn't working.

            George is totally confused, unsure most of the answer, but
            before he can question her, a police car pulls to a stop;
            OFFICER KURT WALKER steps out.

                                KURT
                      Thought I'd run over the list.

            Officer Walker removes a pad from his pocket and flips
            through to find his place.

                                ALYSSA
                      This is such a street of whiners.

                                KURT
                      From Tuesday to yesterday, not including
                      Monday or today.  Okay...Mrs. Dokos is
                      repeatedly running over her lawn.  The
                      Corliss' have attributed the increase in
                      rat population in their environs to the
                      state of your...structure.

                                ALYSSA
                      IPO's caused the rat population on this
                      street.

            Officer Walker focuses on Alyssa.

                                KURT
                      And of course the Beck's, with the...

                                ALYSSA
                      It could have been a squirt gun.

                                KURT
                          (to George)
                      You've been good this week.

                                GEORGE
                      You forgot David Dokos and Tom and
                      Barbara.

            Kurt stuffs his pad back into his pocket.

                                KURT
                      Mr. Dokos calls animal control for Guster
                      and I was out here on the other.
                          (pointing to the plane)
                      Do you mind?

            George hands him the plane and Kurt begins to work the wood.

                                ALYSSA
                      Are you guys' friends?

                                KURT
                      We've known each other since grade
                      school.

                                ALYSSA
                      I mean, but did you both go camping on
                      weekends?  Listen to music?  Masturbate
                      together?  Talk on the phone?

            George doesn't answer and Kurt keeps working.

                                KURT
                      Hunted rabbit in the hills.

            Alyssa stares at George, disappointed.

                                GEORGE
                      I aimed high.

                                KURT
                      We just weren't very much alike, I guess. 
                      I don't know.
                          (casually; to George)
                      I liked your dad more than I liked you.

                                ALYSSA
                      I wouldn't want you as a friend.

                                KURT
                      George just never really...aimed that
                      high.  Even with not hitting a rabbit.  I 
                      knew you were doing that, by the way. 
                      That's why I stopped doing it with you. 
                      You were no fun.  It was always like you
                      were frightened.  Quiet and boring.

            Kurt is beginning to perspire as he shaves food off the beam
            for Guster.

                                ALYSSA
                      Funny how he's the architect and you're
                      just a loud mouth cop.

                                KURT
                      He builds models for architects.  His
                      dad, on the other hand, was the real
                      deal.  Designed and built the coolest
                      houses I've ever seen.

                                GEORGE
                      Was bankrupt and dead before I was
                      twenty.

                                KURT
                      Left you this place.

                                GEORGE
                      It was in my name so he wouldn't lose it. 
                      He stole it from everyone that deserved
                      it by putting me on title.

                                KURT
                      Do you know what I'd give to have this! 
                      Forget how I got it!  I can't afford dirt
                      in this town.  I live in Riverside,
                      Goddammitt  And you get to piss in the
                      ocean.

            Kurt stops working and steps back.

                                KURT (CONT'D)
                      Your kid was down around Diver's Cover
                      again, smoking pot.  I didn't write him
                      up...told him I wouldn't tell you...

                                GEORGE
                      Thanks for telling me.

                                KURT
                      At least your father tried, George.

            Kurt walks to his car and drives off.  There's a moment of
            awkwardness with Alyssa.  George walks into his house leaving
            Alyssa with Guster.

            INT. WEBBER'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON

            Robin is sitting at the kitchen counter, cutting carrots;
            through the French doors, she's able to watch Ryan and Adam,
            along with a few friends, play in the pool.

                                GEORGE (O.S.)
                      I could be anyone.

            Robin jerks with fright as half the carrots roll to the
            floor.

                                ROBIN
                      Then why do you stay you?

            George picks up the carrots and washes them in the sink.

                                GEORGE
                      You should lock your doors. 

                                ROBIN
                      Ring the bell before you try the door.

            George bites into a carrot as Robin starts chopping again.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      Did Sam call to tell you he wouldn't be
                      over this weekend?

                                GEORGE
                      You let him pierce his nose?

            Robin snatches the carrot from George's hand and chops it up.

                                ROBIN
                      Lock the door behind you.

                                GEORGE
                      Where is he?

                                ROBIN
                      Where he always is.

            George takes Robin's hand and removes the knife.

                                GEORGE
                      Not that I don't trust you.

            As George lets go, Robin holds on; he appears surprised by
            her grip of his wrist.  Robin's eyes well with tears.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I should have knocked.

            George is clearly not comfortable with his ex-wife's hold of
            him, with her tears.

                                ROBIN
                      What kind of a mother can't stand her
                      son?

            George jerks his arm away from her grip.

                                GEORGE
                      I don't know.

            INT. WEBBER'S UPSTAIRS HALL - AFTERNOON

            George is tense and he walks to Sam's door and KNOCKS.

                                GEORGE
                      Why aren't you coming in for the weekend?
                          (beat)
                      Sam?!

            Nothing.  George tries the door - it's locked.  Frustrated,
            he walks back down the hall and down the stairs.

            INT. WEBBER'S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON

            Outside, the boys are engaged in a raucous version of Marco
            Polo.  Robin is at the sink; she holds her hair back with one
            hand and splashes water on her face with the other.  George
            walks by outside, carrying a ladder.

            EXT. WEBBER'S BACKYARD - AFTERNOON

            Ryan is the first to notice  George.

                                ADAM
                      Marco!

                                RYAN
                      What are you doing?

                                ADAM
                      I'm not cheating!  I'm not looking!

            Robin wipes her face with a hand towel as she rushes out.

                                ROBIN
                      What are you doing?

                                GEORGE
                      He doesn't answer.

            The boys have stopped playing; Adam opens his eyes.

                                ROBIN
                      He never answers.

                                GEORGE
                      Why does he have a lock on his door?

                                ROBIN
                      Because he put the lock on!  Do you think
                      I told him he could have a nose ring?! 
                      Why do you ask me everything you should
                      ask him!?  I don't know anything,
                      anymore!

            The boys line up against the edge of the pool and watch
            George extend the ladder against the house and climb.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      You climb up there and tell him what he
                      can and can't do.  Take him for the
                      summer, okay?  Whip him into shape.  Cut
                      his hair.  Make him smile.  Let him hate
                      you for a while!
                          (sadly)
                      You're too late for heroics, George.

            George lops a leg over the railing and steps onto the bedroom
            balcony.  He peers into the room through the sliding glass
            door and tries to open it (locked) before removing the screen
            to the small open window beside it.  He climbs in.

            INT. SAM'S ROOM - AFTERNOON

            Sam is asleep on his bed in his underwear, wearing
            headphones.  On the floor is an aerosol can of whipping
            cream.  George picks up the can and tosses it in the trash. 
            He focuses back on his son with his nose ring, earrings, blue
            eyeshadow and thin, pale white body.  Sam is soundly asleep. 
            George gently removes the headphones from his son's head;
            drum heavy music surges from the small, padded speakers.

                                GEORGE
                      You need every brain cell you've got.

            A KNOCK on the door stirs Sam more than his father's voice.

                                SAM
                          (half-asleep)
                      Leave me alone!

            Sam's eyes are still closed as he shifts onto his side. 
            George opens the door; Robin is weak and weepy.

                                ROBIN
                      I don't know what to do, anymore.  Take
                      him.  You take him.
                          (hostile)
                      You're such a good father.

            George walks out of the room, around Robin and down the
            stairs without a word.  Sam stirs at the sound and sits up to
            confront his mother.

                                SAM
                      What are you doing in my room?

                                ROBIN
                      I didn't go in your room.

                                SAM
                      I locked the door!  Get out!  I locked
                      the door!  Get out!

            EXT. WEBBER'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

            Robin grabs the door and closes it quickly, but doesn't move.

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      Stupid bitch!  Liar!  I locked the door! 
                      I don't sneak around your room!  Liar!

            INT. SAM'S ROOM - AFTERNOON

            Sam rushes over to the window and stares down at the screen
            and ladder.  Ryan, Adam and their friends are still in the
            pool, holding onto the coping, staring up at Sam.  Sam slams
            the window shut and searches for the can of whipping cream. 
            He gets down on his knees to search under the bed.  Standing
            and making one more pass of the room, he notices the can in
            the trash.  He instantly focuses all his rage at the closed
            door.

                                SAM
                      This is my room!  You have no right in
                      here!  This is mine!

            INT. WEBBER'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

            Robin is sitting on the floor at the top of the stairs,
            staring blankly down at the foyer of this modernist mansion.

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      Why can't you all just die and leave me
                      alone!

            EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - MORNING

            The traffic is thick and loud and the sky is a blanket of
            brown as George makes his way down a sidewalk mixed with
            professionals and panhandlers.  Suddenly sick, George rushes
            to the side of a building and vomits.

            INT. BENSON, KIDDLER, FEINSILBER AND ASSOICATES - MORNING

            George wipes a clump of wet paper towel against the vomit
            stain on his cuff as he walks through the pockets of cubicles
            to a large enclosed office.  A SECRETARY smiles as she stands
            up from her desk and opens the door.

                                SECRETARY
                      Good morning.

                                GEORGE
                      Is there a...

            He holds out the wad of wet paper towels, but before he can
            say trashcan, BRYAN BURKE stands up from behind his desk.

                                BRYAN
                      George, have a seat!  I've got juice.

            INT. BRYAN BURKE'S OFFICE - MORNING

            George steps in and the secretary closes the door to the
            office.  Bryan approaches with his arm outstretched, but
            George can only raise the paper towels.

                                GEORGE
                      A bird caught me.

            Bryan grabs a trashcan and holds it up; George tosses the
            ball into the trash and sits down.

                                BRYAN
                      Orange juice...croissant?

            Bryan motions with his hand as he sits.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm good, thanks.

                                BRYAN
                      What are you on?

                                GEORGE
                      Pardon me?

                                BRYAN
                      how much weight have you lost?

                                GEORGE
                      Oh...nothing.  Thirty pounds.  I just
                      haven't been very hungry.

                                BRYAN
                      How's your wife?

                                GEORGE
                      When we divorce a decade ago, she was
                      very, very angry.
                          (beat)
                      Now she's just hostile.

            Bryan nods and laughs as he takes a chunk of croissant and
            chews as he talks.

                                BRYAN
                      Right...she married...what was he?

                                GEORGE
                      He buys and sells the world.

                                BRYAN
                      Peter Webber!  Right.  Quite the
                      spotlight on that guy.

                                GEORGE
                      I did tell you, didn't I?  That I'd be
                      ready to start the Berlin model today?

                                BRYAN
                      Well, that's sort of...you're sure you're
                      not hungry?

            Bryan is anxious as he holds up the rest of the croissant. 
            George shakes his head "no".  Bryan tosses his croissant into
            the trash can and leans forward.

                                BRYAN (CONT'D)
                      This isn't me.
                          (beat)
                      We can show clients endless options,
                      change anything in a matter of hours on
                      the computer.  But you won't change.

                                GEORGE
                      Typing and clicking myself to renderings
                      isn't why I started building models.

                                BRYAN
                      All of us are typing and clicking,
                      George.  Whether we want to, or not.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm not.

                                BRYAN
                      Which is why we bid out a quarter of our
                      projects.  It doesn't make a lot of sense
                      anymore to want what we don't have and
                      don't want what we do.

            George glances around the office, angered by the thought he's
            being fired.

                                GEORGE
                      I've been here twenty years.

                                BRYAN
                      Maybe that's too long.

                                GEORGE
                          (hopeful)
                      Maybe...?

                                BRYAN
                      That's too long.

            George nods as he stares at Bryan.

                                BRYAN (CONT'D)
                      Listen, they decided on a week a year
                      severance, but I got them to twenty-six. 
                      That's six months salary, George. 
                      Medical and everything for six months. 
                      You can learn all you need to on the
                      computer long before that.  Maybe find a
                      job closer to home.

            Bryan is rattled by George's blank stare.  He takes his glass
            of orange juice and sits back in his chair, taking a sip, all
            the while keeping an eye on George.

                                GEORGE
                      My wife left me because I wasn't...very
                      emotional.  I kept trying to explain that
                      my father sucked all the emotion from me. 
                      Drunks do that, sometimes.  Make their
                      kids afraid.  Make them unwilling to
                      express themselves.

            Bryan knows he's supposed to say something, he just can't
            seem to figure out what.

                                BRYAN
                      Oh.

                                GEORGE
                      How old are you?

                                BRYAN
                      Forty.

                                GEORGE
                      We were probably in school together.  You
                      went to Berkley?

            Bryan lights up at the sound of his Alma matter.

                                BRYAN
                      Class of eighty-six!  I didn't know you
                      were there.

                                GEORGE
                      I was a sophomore when I got the call my
                      parents were dead.

            This is not the direction Bryan had hoped the conversation
            was headed.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      My dad had a blood alcohol level of .18. 
                      A little high.  Drove right into oncoming
                      traffic.  Killed my mother with him.  A
                      lady in another car.  Hurt her daughter. 
                      A five-year old girl.  I think about her
                      still.

            Bryan wants this to end.  He leans forward with a whisper.

                                BRYAN
                      Listen...maybe I can get you a year.

                                GEORGE
                      I hate this job.

                                BRYAN
                      What are you talking about?  You love
                      your job.

                                GEORGE
                      From the day I started...to today.  Can't
                      stand it.

            Bryan is perplexed as George stands.

                                BRYAN
                      Then it sounds like I'm doing you a
                      favor.

                                GEORGE
                      It may sound that way, but I react out of
                      fear.  My life has nothing to do with
                      what I like or don't like.  You haven't
                      been listening, have you?

                                BRYAN
                      I didn't know there would be a quiz,
                      George.

                                GEORGE
                      For everything.

                                BRYAN
                      Well, I feel better about this now.

                                GEORGE
                      Good.  I was hoping for that.

            Relieved and not understanding anything about irony, Bryan
            stands and extends his hand.  George shakes Bryan's hand
            without malice.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I've got one favor to ask.

                                BRYAN
                      What can I do for you, George?

                                GEORGE
                      I built my first model here when I was
                      twenty.  There are hundreds of them on
                      shelves around the office.  Twenty years
                      of my life.  I was wondering if I might
                      be able to pick a few to keep, to take
                      home?  Only the ones that really mean
                      something to me.

            Bryan recoils slightly from the request.

                                BRYAN
                      Oh, well...those are...I mean, we don't
                      get to keep our work.  I could maybe ask
                      them if you could choose one.  But, you
                      know, frankly George, you were the best. 
                      Computer models can't begin to match the
                      beauty you gave yours.  They're a part of
                      this firm.  They inspire me.  I go out
                      there and sometimes just stare at
                      something I've designed.  It amazes me. 
                      I would miss that too much.
                          (beat)
                      Look, I may be going out on a limb, but
                      you go out there and look them over,
                      every single one of them and pick the one
                      you like the best and take it with you. 
                      Just run it by me first, just in case,
                      you know...but I'm sure it'll be okay.

                                GEORGE
                      Thank you.

                                BRYAN
                      Well, it's the least I can do.

                                GEORGE
                      Yes, it is.

            George nods and leaves.  Bryan looks lost and guilty again.

            INT. BENSON, KIDDLER, FEINSILBER AND ASSOICATES - MORNING

            George walks around the maze of cubicles back to his own.  He
            finds an empty box and starts to pack.  Against a wall, a
            large rack is filled with spools of architectural plans. 
            George pulls one of the plans down, rolls it out and detaches
            the wooden spool.  Without warning and with a fury hard to
            fathom, he proceeds to bat and smash a shelf of beautifully
            rendered models.  Heads pop up in other cubicles as George
            walks out of his own and armed with a frightening rage,
            methodically attacks model after model resting on shelves
            just below massive plate glass windows that frame downtown
            Los Angeles.  Steven Gardner, who asked for his model without
            grass, rushes to within feet of George as he witness his
            creation deconstruct into shards of cardboard and plastic.

                                STEVEN
                      Mother of God!  Not my house!

            George stops for a second to focus on Steven, but Steven is
            smart enough to run.  George continues on with the business
            of disassembling his work.

                                VOICE
                      Oh, please, please, no!

            The plea is instantly followed by a pathetic low whine. 
            George works up a sweat as he whacks model after model;
            portions of plastic walls or window splatter the office as
            though bombed in war.  Bryan Burke's secretary inches as
            close as she dares.

                                SECRETARY
                      Uh...Mr. Burke would like a word with
                      you, George.

            George lowers his stick as he faces her.

                                GEORGE
                      Oh...okay.

                                SECRETARY
                      In his office.  When you're able.

                                GEORGE
                      Thank you.

            With that, George finishes what he began only minutes prior:
            the complete and utter destruction of every model displayed
            on every shelf in the office, save one.  Workers huddle
            together, collectively moaning and moving en mass from the
            mayhem.  George picks up the sole surviving model in his arms
            and cradles it carefully as he walks into Bryan Burke's
            office.

            INT. BRYAN BURKE'S OFFICE - MORNING

            Bryan cowers behind his desk as George enters with his model
            in one hand and the long wooden stick in the other.

                                GEORGE
                      I'll take this one, if that's okay?

            It takes Bryan a few aborted attempts to answer before he
            simply nods.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Thank you for going out on a limb and
                      allowing me one.

            Bryan nods again, then quivers as George steps forward, leans
            the stick against the desk and extends his hand.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      You're a great architect and a miserable
                      human being.

            Bryan winces as he extends his hand.  They shake hands and
            George grabs hold of the stick again.

                                BRYAN
                      Thank you.

            George walks around the desk and bashes in a model hidden on
            the floor, one that Bryan had obviously wanted to save.

                                BRYAN (CONT'D)
                      Oh, fuck!

            George drops the wooden spool and walks out of the office as
            Bryan garners the courage to stand.

                                BRYAN (CONT'D)
                      You're not even an architect and you're a
                      miserable human being.

            George turns around only long enough to answer.

                                GEORGE
                      You're right.  You win.

            George closes the door behind him.  Bryan stares down at the
            remains of the model; he gets down on his knees and carefully
            gathers up the pieces.

            EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - MORNING

            George is sweating as he walks with his box of personal items
            under one arm and the model under the other.  Dizzy, he stops
            for a moment and tires to orient himself, glancing one way,
            then the other before staggering back and pressing himself
            against the building for support.  Sweat beads and drops from
            his nose and chin as the song, 'ACROSS THE UNIVERSE' begins
            by The Beatles.  George sets the box down but clings tightly
            to the model as he closes his eyes.  

            'Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open
            mind, possessing them, caressing me...'

            George drops face first to the cement, crushing the model
            beneath him.

            MONTAGE AS THE SONG CONTINUES

            George is probed and poked by doctor after doctor.  An
            ultrasound test followed by a CT scan, followed by a MRI
            results in more tests.

            A flexible tube is slid down George's throat as dye is shot
            into his body.  'Sounds of laughter, shades of life are
            ringing through my open view, inciting them, inviting me...' 

            A long blunt needle is shoved into George's side for a biopsy
            of his pancreas.  X-rays are lit and highlighted as doctors
            ponder the specks, the disease.  

            Finally, George is opened up; nearly bloodless slice through
            skin, muscle and fat reveals death. 'Limitless undying love,
            which shines around me like a million suns, which calls me on
            and on across the universe...' 

            George is wheeled down a long hall to the critical care unit. 
            'Nothing's going to change my world, nothing's gonna change
            my world...'

            INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - EVENING

            George tries to sit up, but falls back as he closes his eyes,
            opens his eyes, closes his eyes.

                                FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
                      That took care of the pain?

            George opens his eyes again as an attractive NURSE enters
            with a tray of food.

                                GEORGE
                      I could kiss you.

            The nurse smiles as she lifts the cover off the dinner.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      No food.  I'm painless.

            She raises George's bed.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      What would you do if you had three or
                      four months to live?

            The nurse glances over at the other patient in the room,
            who's sleeping, before answering in a soft voice.

                                NURSE
                      I'd eat a lot of red meat.

                                GEORGE
                      Good for you.

            The nurse smiles as she sits down beside the bed.  She fills
            a spoon with corn and aims it for George's mouth; he accepts
            the good will, chews and swallows.

                                NURSE
                      What would you do?

                                GEORGE
                      I'd build a house.

            George takes another spoonful of food.

                                NURSE
                      What kind of house?

                                GEORGE
                      You know what mortise and tenon is?

            The nurse shakes her head "no".

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I've got every part of it ready.  It's
                      like a jig saw puzzle...all in pieces
                      now, just waiting to make sense.  I've
                      been through design and review...the
                      planning commission, city council.

            She feeds George another small spoonful of food.

                                NURSE
                      No one's really said four months is all
                      you have, have they?

                                GEORGE
                      Stage four pancreatic cancer.  They
                      haven't even pretended to offer
                      treatment.  You tell me, when would you
                      start eating red meat?

                                NURSE
                      Can you build a house in four months?

                                GEORGE
                      I can die trying.

            The nurse rests her hand for a moment on George's cheek.

                                NURSE
                      Good for you.

                                GEORGE
                      I haven't been touched in years.

            Suddenly alarmed by her emotion, the nurse removes her hand
            and stands back away from George.

                                NURSE
                      I'm sorry, I don't know what that was.

                                GEORGE
                      A handshake, or you know, someone pats
                      you on your back through clothes. 
                      Doctors, people who have to touch you. 
                      But not by people who want to.

                                NURSE
                      No.  A friend... your mother?  Everybody
                      gets touched by someone they love.

                                GEORGE
                      Isn't that weird?  I mean, I dated a
                      little bit after my divorce, for four or
                      five years.  Six years.  I know when my
                      son was younger...maybe when he was ten
                      or eleven even, he'd run up and wrap his
                      arms around me.

            George suddenly stops to catch his emotion.  The nurse checks
            the door before walking back to George; she brushes back his
            hair with both hands, then fingers the curves of his ears,
            finally resting her thumbs on his lips.

                                NURSE
                      Oh God, I'm married.

            Feeling guilty, she flees the room, waking the other PATIENT.

                                PATIENT
                      I'm hungry.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm touched.

            EXT. SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO TRAIN STATION - AFTERNOON

            George is resting, eyes closed, sitting on a bench with his
            box and the remnants of the model beside him.  A black Range
            Rover pulls to a stop with a HONK.  George stands to gather
            his things as Robin steps out of the car, yelling.

                                ROBIN
                      I called everyone, everywhere!  You just
                      vanished!  You could be dead!

                                GEORGE
                      Thanks for waking me up.  Picking me up. 
                      You're loud today.

                                ROBIN
                      You're inconsiderate and absolutely
                      devoid of emotion!

                                GEORGE
                      You're the most beautiful woman I have
                      ever known in my life.

            Robin is stumped for a second, confused by the words.

                                ROBIN
                      What?

                                GEORGE
                      I'm not talking just physically.  Even
                      your anger is perfect.

            Robin climbs back in the car and slams her door shut.

            INT. ROBIN'S RANGE ROVER - AFTERNOON

            George sets his box in back and climbs into the front seat as
            Robin takes off.  He closes his door as she runs a stoplight.

                                GEORGE
                      I didn't think you'd know I went missing.

                                ROBIN
                      You didn't think someone from your office
                      would call and tell me you wrecked the
                      entire building and threatened people
                      with a baseball bat?!

                                GEORGE
                      A blueprint spool.

                                ROBIN
                      Where have you been for a week?!

                                GEORGE
                      Four days.  I left to think.

                                ROBIN
                      What did you do with your dog?

                                GEORGE
                      Kurt's been feeding him.

                                ROBIN
                      But you can't call me while you think?

                                GEORGE
                      I wasn't thinking.  Look, I'm sorry I
                      didn't think to call you while I
                      thought...I think.

            George raises his eyebrows, wanting just the slightest give
            from Robin.  She glances at him, but won't yield.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I need to talk to you.

                                ROBIN
                      Why would they tow your truck?

                                GEORGE
                      I was parked in day parking.

                                ROBIN
                      Why call me?

                                GEORGE
                      I'm going to tear down the shack and
                      build my house.

                                ROBIN
                      You've been saying that for twenty years. 
                      While we were dating, you said it.

                                GEORGE
                      There's nothing anymore to stop me.

                                ROBIN
                      Money?

                                GEORGE
                      Severance pay.  And I'm going to cash in
                      my life insurance policy.

                                ROBIN
                      How many years did I live with your beams
                      and boards?  First in the garage, then in
                      the living room.  We're going to do it,
                      Robin.  Next year.  Next year.  Salvaged
                      floorboards from a house in Pasadena. 
                      Doors from a church in New Hampshire...

                                GEORGE
                      I love those doors.

                                ROBIN
                      Where will you live?

                                GEORGE
                      The garage.

                                ROBIN
                      Look, I wasn't serious about you taking
                      Sam, so you don't have to get into any
                      actual construction to get out of it.

                                GEORGE
                      When's school over?

                                ROBIN
                      Friday...God, I hate the thought of him
                      home all day.

                                GEORGE
                      I'll be by Saturday to pick him up.

                                ROBIN
                      He doesn't want to spend the weekends
                      with you anymore.

                                GEORGE
                      Not for the weekend.  For the summer.

            Robin scoffs.

                                ROBIN
                      You and Sam are going to live in a garage
                      without plumbing for the summer?

                                GEORGE
                      The garage is plumbed.  I'll put in a
                      toilet.  We'll survive.

                                ROBIN
                      Thank you for at least sounding sincere.

                                GEORGE
                      Sounding?  I need help.  He's cheap
                      labor.

                                ROBIN
                      One of you would end up dead.

                                GEORGE
                      At least we'll have a house to show for
                      it.

                                ROBIN
                      Forget it, really.  I'll survive.

                                GEORGE
                      I want him with me.

                                ROBIN
                      No, you don't.  Trust me.

            George rests a hand on the back of her neck.

                                GEORGE
                      I want Sam for the summer.

            Robin furrows her brow for a moment and glances at George. 
            It takes a while for her to answer.

                                ROBIN
                      Okay.

            George rests his hand on Robin's cheek for a moment, as the
            nurse had done with him.  Robin turns her head and bites his
            finger.

                                GEORGE
                      Hey, hey!

                                ROBIN
                      I'm married.

            George nods as he mock nurses his finger.

            INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALL - AFTERNOON

            Sam is walking with Corey, who's wiry and wan with a red
            nose.

                                COREY
                      The whole summer, man.  Party in Tahoe.

                                SAM
                      I don't know.

                                COREY
                      It'll just be my brother the dweeb on
                      weekends.  All we gotta do is sand and
                      paint the cabin, dude.
                          (boasting)
                      My dad's gonna let me use the boat and my
                      charm is gonna let me use my rod.  Income
                      village is the place to hook up with
                      hump.

                                SAM
                      I'll ask.

                                COREY
                      Hey, it beats letting town folk go down
                      on you for the summer.

            Sam stops which stops Corey.  Sam glances around to make sure
            no one's listening.

                                SAM
                      I never said anything.  I haven't done
                      anything.

                                COREY
                      I know what the deal is.  Josh is a pimp. 
                      I'm not stupid.

                                SAM
                      You don't know what the deal is.  There
                      is no fucking deal.

            Sam walks away pissed that Corey knows what the deal is.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - MORNING

            George is shirtless, the stitches still fresh on his side; he
            carries/drags his mattress into the garage.  Alyssa walks
            from her house to the garage and peeks in.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            George is making his bed, which is not easy because Guster is
            curled up on it.  The one car garage is not dry-walled and
            the cement floor is clean but stained.

                                ALYSSA
                      Hi, Mr. Nelson.

            George steps away from the bed, slightly rattled by Alyssa.

                                GEORGE
                      Alyssa.

                                ALYSSA
                      Why have you put a toilet and a bed in
                      your garage?

                                GEORGE
                      I'm living here while I build another
                      house.

                                ALYSSA
                      Is that legal?

            Alyssa sits down on the bed beside Guster and starts to
            bounce up and down.  George takes another step back.

                                GEORGE
                      Don't you have school?

                                ALYSSA
                      Nope.

            Alyssa lies down on the bed, lifting the sheet to her nose.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Are these clean?

            George is alarmed.  Guster licks Alyssa's ear.

                                GEORGE
                      What's today?

                                ALYSSA
                      Monday.

            George bangs his head with his hand and starts to search the
            room.

                                GEORGE
                      My keys.

                                ALYSSA
                      What's that?

            Alyssa reaches out and slides a finger down his scar.

                                GEORGE
                      Nothing.  I cut myself.

            George pats down his pockets.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I had them in my pocket.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'm not shaving my legs or pits this
                      summer, I've decided.

            George opens the drawers of a small desk and a chest, not
            paying attention to Alyssa as she raises her leg and runs her
            hands down the stubby skin.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Paula Cole isn't a vertical kisser.

            George dabs his keys from the floor beside the chest.

                                GEORGE
                      Make the bed for me, would you?  I gotta
                      run.

            George turns around to Alyssa's leg up and a great view of
            her underwear.

                                COLLEEN (O.S.)
                      What are you, forty?

            George whirls around to face Colleen as Alyssa lowers her
            leg.

                                GEORGE
                      I forgot where I put my keys.

                                COLLEEN
                      And you thought they might be under her
                      dress?

                                ALYSSA
                      I was just showing him my hair.

            Alyssa miffed as she stands.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      I think you need to rethink what you
                      think of me.

            Alyssa walks around her mother and out of the garage. 
            Colleen stares at George.

                                GEORGE
                      Her leg hair.

            Colleen turns and walks out.

            INT. GEORGE'S TRUCK - LATE MORNING

            George drives the four miles North to Robin's house listening
            to Paula Cole.  He turns into Emerald Bay, a guard-gated
            community and a Guard waves him in.

            EXT. WEBBER'S HOME - LATE MORNING

            George rushes from his car and tries the front door, but it's
            locked.  He rings the bell and LOIS, the maid, answers.

                                LOIS
                      Mrs. Webber is in the backyard.

                                GEORGE
                      And Sam?

                                LOIS
                      In his room, packing.

                                GEORGE
                      Oh...Good.

            INT. SAM'S ROOM - LATE MORNING

            Sam has a CD by MARYLIN MANSON on loud as he packs a suitcase
            on his bed.  The KNOCK on the door is barely heard.  ANOTHER
            KNOCK draws his disapproval.

                                GEORGE (O.S.)
                      Sam!

            Sam's face turns sour as he yanks the door open.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Ready?

            Sam shrugs and returns to finish his packing.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I think you'll have fun this summer.

            It's nearly impossible to hear George over the music.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Don't forget your headphones.

            The music is quickly driving George crazy.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Would you mind turning it down?

            This doesn't register with Sam.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      It won't all be work, you know?

            George is once again, seemingly unheard.  He walks to within
            inches of Sam and grabs his head and yells into Sam's ear.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      It won't be all work, you know!

            Sam pulls away from the touch and turns the music off.

                                SAM
                      I heard you already!

            George walks to the sliding glass door and stares down at the
            boys and Robin in the pool.

                                GEORGE
                      Your mom and the boys can drop by
                      anytime.

                                SAM
                      To check up on me?

                                GEORGE
                      I'll be around to check up on you.

                                SAM
                      Why would you be there?

                                GEORGE
                      Because I live there.

                                SAM
                      You live in Cory's parents' cabin?

            EXT. WEBBER'S BACKYARD - LATE MORNING

            Ryan and Adam are on their backs on rafts as Robin swims laps
            between them.  Suddenly, like a UFO crashing to Earth, Sam's
            suitcase spirals downward straight into the pool, barely
            missing both Adam and Ryan.

                                SAM
                      No fucking way!!!

            The boys are knocked off their rafts as Robin takes off her
            goggles and focuses on Sam up on his balcony.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      You liar!  You stupid liar!  I hate you!

            George bursts out of the kitchen, onto the patio.

                                GEORGE
                      Did you tell him he's spending the summer
                      with me?

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      No I'm not!

            Sam storms off the balcony, back into his room.

                                ROBIN
                      What was I supposed to do?  When you
                      didn't show up Saturday, I tried to call. 
                      Your phone isn't working.

                                GEORGE
                      I don't have a phone.

                                ROBIN
                      I drove over and you were gone.

                                GEORGE
                      I can't leave the house?

                                ROBIN
                      Last time you were gone for a week!

                                GEORGE
                      Did you tell him he was spending the
                      summer with me?

                                ROBIN
                      No.  I was going to let you do that.

                                GEORGE
                      He's not spending the summer in Tahoe.

            Sam walks out of the kitchen to confront his father.

                                SAM
                      Who are you, anyway?  I don't even know
                      you.

                                GEORGE
                      You'll know me by the time we're through.  

                                SAM
                      I'm not going!

                                GEORGE
                      I'll get your bag.

            George walks to the edge of the pool and scoops up the
            suitcase, holding it out as it drains.

                                SAM
                      Mom, tell him I'm not going.  You already
                      promised me!

                                GEORGE
                      You have everything?

            Robin is in an uncomfortable position as she glances at Sam
            before focusing on George.

                                ROBIN
                      I did say he could go.

                                GEORGE
                      Let's go.

                                SAM
                      I'm not going!

                                GEORGE
                      You don't have a choice.

                                SAM
                      Mom...please.

            Sam's eyes well with tears as his voice cracks.  Robin is
            ready to concede.

                                ROBIN
                      George --

                                GEORGE
                          (adamant)
                      He's not spending the entire summer with
                      another kid in Tahoe.  If he leaves, I
                      will follow him up there and I will drag
                      him home by his nose ring.  He can hate
                      me.  You can hate me.  He can try to kill
                      me while I sleep.  You can call the
                      police.  You can call your husband or
                      your attorney, but Sam is spending the
                      summer with me.  He's my son.  He's
                      sixteen.  That's it.

            Sam is crying now -- snot's running down his nose.  Robin is
            shocked by George's forcefulness.

                                ADAM
                      Can we hate you?

                                GEORGE
                      You can do anything you want.

            George walks to Sam and touches his arm.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Go get in the truck, Sam.

            Sam jerks away from his dad as dramatically as he can manage.

                                SAM
                      Go fuck yourself!

            George drops the suitcase and grabs Sam by the arms.  As much
            as Sam tries to resist, he's clearly no match for his father.

                                GEORGE
                      Your nose ring comes out of your nose. 
                      If you've got them in your nipples, they
                      come out, too.  And there's no make-up at
                      my house.  No glue sniffing.  Huffing. 
                      No pills, no grass.

                                SAM
                      If you hit me, I'll call the police.

                                GEORGE
                      You've worn out your welcome at this
                      house, Sam.  I won't ever hit you. 
                          (beat)
                      This may well be the worst three months
                      of your life, but you've earned it.  So,
                      pick up your suitcase and go get in the
                      truck.  Now.

                                SAM
                      I'll hate you forever.

                                GEORGE
                      You can't even begins to know how much I
                      hate my father.
                          (upbeat)
                      Think of it as a family tradition.

            Sam glares at his mother before grabbing his soggy suitcase
            and stomping out of the backyard.  Robin is stunned silent by
            George's decisiveness.

            INT. GEORGE'S TRUCK - LATE MORNING

            Sam is pressed against the passenger side door.  George walks
            from the backyard and opens the truck door to climb in but is
            stopped by Sam's suitcase.  He lifts it out and sets it in
            the bed, then slides into the cab, sitting on the soaked
            seat.  George rises up and turns to Sam, who is sullen and
            silent.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - AFTERNOON

            Sam is shirtless on his back on the roof of the shack,
            sunning himself as George struggles to extricate a sofa from
            a doorjamb.  Guster is asleep on the grass, under a tree.

                                GEORGE
                      Sam?  I'm...for like three minutes?

            After another bout of trying, George drops the sofa and steps
            back to glance up at Sam.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      That's okay.  If I break my back, daddy's
                      gonna buy you a naval ring.

            No reaction from Sam.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      And if that naval ring don't fit, daddy's
                      gonna rub you down with the sun screen.

            Sam glances down at his father, puzzled by the verse.

                                GEORGE (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                      I want you wearing sun block.  And I want
                      you down here to help me.  Now.

            Sam dismisses his father without a word - he simply adjusts
            his face back to the sun.  George walks away.  A sudden spray
            of water drenches Sam, forcing him to his feet in a cold
            panic.  George stops the hose water pelting.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      It works on Guster.

            MOMENTS LATER

            George is still struggling with the sofa stuck in the door. 
            Frustrated, he steps away from the sofa.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      You're in there not helping at all,
                      aren't you?

            INT. BEACH SHACK ENTRY - CONTINUOUS

            Sam is leaning against a wall with his arms folded across his
            chest.

                                GEORGE (O.S.)
                      You know what else helped Guster? 
                      Neutering.

            The slightest alarm crosses Sam's face.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            George is shirtless in shorts, boiling pasta on a portable
            stove as he heats a sauce in the microwave.  A dresser topped
            with plyboard serves as a countertop; other than a sink being
            across the garage near the toilet, this is a fairly well
            equipped makeshift kitchen.

                                GEORGE
                      Do you want garlic bread?!

            George waits a bit to make sure no response is no response. 
            Then stuffs a hunk of garlic bread into the toaster oven.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            Sam is sitting on the edge of a cliff that drops twenty feet
            to the ocean; Guster is whining for attention behind Sam.

                                SAM
                      Well, get over here, then, stupid.

            Guster inches forward on his belly, which makes Sam smile.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Are you afraid of heights, Guster?

            Sam drops to his belly and stretches out to pet Guster.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      The fall probably wouldn't kill me,
                      anyway.

            Guster inches closer and licks Sam's face.  George walks out
            with a tray filled with spaghetti, garlic bread and a Coke.

                                GEORGE
                      Thinking of jumping?

            George sets the tray on the ground beside Sam.

                                SAM
                      Pushing.

            George walks to the edge of the cliff.

                                GEORGE
                      Only jump after you hear the wave crash
                      against the rock.  The water will take
                      you out.  Let it.  Swim a little North
                      and you'll see the sand.

            Sam sits up and faces his father with a trace of alarm.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      First time I did it, younger than you, I
                      thought I'd break my neck and just sort
                      of float to Catalina.
                          (beat)
                      You don't always get what you wish for,
                      Sam.

            George suddenly leaps forward and disappears into the sea as
            a wave crashes against the rocks below.

                                SAM
                      Oh, shit!

            Sam scurries to his feet and scans the ocean for his father;
            the only thing visible is darkness.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Hello?

            Guster is lapping up the dinner, bread and all as Sam calls
            out again.  In a bit of a panic, Sam runs from the cliff.

            EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - EVENING

            The traffic is heavy as Sam runs against it.  Without a
            sidewalk and with parked cars blocking a reasonable path,
            this is a dangerous trek North.

            EXT. ALISO CREEK BEACH - EVENING

            Sam runs to the edge of the water and anxiously waits for his
            father to emerge from the sea.  A jogger startles Sam - he
            steps into a wave that soaks his shoes.  George floats on a
            wave into view and stands in waist high water, only to be
            knocked way back down.  He rises and falls and rises before
            making his way to the sand and Sam.

                                SAM
                      Are you totally insane?!

                                GEORGE
                      I almost saw Catalina.

            George coughs and drops onto the sand exhausted.  Sam storms
            off, angry that he cared enough to get angry.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - EVENING

            Sam is winded as he walks off the street to the middle of the
            yard.  He glances around for Guster.

                                SAM
                      Guster!

            Guster bounces out of the garage with spaghetti sauce
            covering his muzzle.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      You're so busted, dude.

            Sam sits down on the grass and plays with Guster, who yaps
            with joy as he breaks away and closes the distance with the
            abandon of a puppy.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Where's my dinner, huh?

            Sam manages to pin Guster on his back.  He looms over the dog
            as he kisses him on the nose.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I'm hungry!  Where's my dinner?  Who ate
                      my dinner?  Huh?  Who's in trouble now?

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Hi.

            Sam rolls over Guster and stands, nearly stumbling in the
            process - way uncool.

                                SAM
                      Hey.

                                ALYSSA
                      What are you doing here?

            Guster bumps against Alyssa for her attention; she kneels
            down to pet him.

                                SAM
                      They're trying to make me spend the
                      summer here.  I'm leaving in the morning.

                                ALYSSA
                      Where to?

                                SAM
                      I'm supposed to be in Tahoe.

                                ALYSSA
                      Your dad's really gonna build his house?

                                SAM
                      I don't know.

                                ALYSSA
                      Well, if you don't go, I guess I'll see
                      you.

            Alyssa stands.  Sam is clearly shy around her.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      You should stay.

                                SAM
                      I don't know.

                                ALYSSA
                      Where's your dad?

                                SAM
                      He jumped into the ocean.

                                ALYSSA
                      Tell him I said "hi".

            Alyssa pets Guster again before walking away.  Sam is
            smitten.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

            Sam's curled up in a tattered lazy-boy near the toilet,
            watching television as George sits on the bed, brushing his
            teeth.  Suddenly, Sam turns to face his dad.

                                SAM
                      I'm not taking a dump with you in here.

            George nods as he continues brushing.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      My brothers say it's the worst smell
                      they've ever smelled.

            George nods again, which appears only to irritate Sam.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I think you have to have a door between
                      where you cook and where you crap.  Like
                      even in the bush, tribal people and like
                      that have a place for both.  It's like a
                      law.

            George walks around Sam to the sink and spits, rinses and
            wipes his mouth with a towel.  He faces Sam.

                                GEORGE
                      Which side of the bed do you want?

            Sam's jaw drops as he glances at the double-bed.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Just kidding.  The sofa's a pullout.

            George smiles and pats Sam on the shoulder before walking to
            the sofa and pulling it out to make a bed.

                                SAM
                      Probably in the bible.

                                GEORGE
                      Goodnight.

            George drops his pants and climbs into bed.  He pulls the
            sheet up and fluffs the pillow before resting his head.

                                SAM
                      I have to take a dump.

            George twists around in bed to face Sam.  After a beat, he
            tosses the sheet back, climbs out of bed, pulls back on his
            pants, slips on his shoes and walks out of the garage.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - MORNING

            George is up on the roof, hacking through the shingles and
            beams with a chain saw.  A huge dumpster set on the lawn
            receives only about half the throws George makes.  Sam is
            near the ocean in a chaise lounge, listening to music through
            his portable CD player.

                                GEORGE
                      Have you got sunscreen on?

            There's no chance he's been heard.  TOM and BARBARA, two
            older neighbors of George's nearing home from a walk, stop on
            the driveway - both look pleased.

                                BARBARA
                      It's about time this shack is torn down.

            Barbara appears surprised as George turns to face them - she
            obviously didn't realize he was the one up on the roof doing
            the demolition.

                                TOM
                      Oh, hello George.

                                GEORGE
                      Guess how many low-income apartments the
                      city approved for this lot?

            Tom and Barbara react by trying not to react.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Come on...ballpark figure.

            Tom and Barbara step back and walk away.  George heads to the
            ladder and climbs down.

            ANOTHER VIEW

            Sam is grooving to the music with his eyes closed as George's
            hand, filled with a gob of sunscreen, plops onto Sam's
            stomach.  Sam bolts up from the chaise lounge in a rage.

                                SAM
                      What are you doing?!

                                GEORGE
                      I warned you yesterday.

                                SAM
                      Don't touch me!  You can't touch me!

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Hey, you stayed.

            Alyssa walks across her lawn to the feuding family.  George
            holds out the bottle of sun lotion to Alyssa.

                                GEORGE
                      Rub him down, please.

            George walks back to the ladder and up onto the roof as
            Alyssa and Sam stare at one another.

                                SAM
                      He's a freak.

                                ALYSSA
                      You look better without make-up.

                                SAM
                      I can't even take a shower here.

                                ALYSSA
                      Come over to my house whenever you want. 
                      I'll tell my mom.

                                SAM
                      I might not stay, anyway.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'll get your back.

                                SAM
                      No.  That's okay.

            Sam reaches out for the lotion, but Alyssa hides the bottle.

                                ALYSSA
                      Have you ever had anyone but your mom or
                      dad put it on for you?

            Sam thinks about it for a second before shaking his head no.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      It's weird how different it is.  Lay
                      down.

            George is back with the chain saw, hacking away at the roof. 
            Sam is hesitant as he lies down on his stomach.  Alyssa
            kneels and squeezes lotion on his back.  She works it in,
            starting at his neck, working her way down to his pants.  She
            squirts Sam's arm and as she rubs close to his pit, he
            squirms.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Do you remember me from when you lived
                      here?

                                SAM
                      Yeah.

                                ALYSSA
                      Your dad dated my mom after her divorce.

                                SAM
                      Really?

                                ALYSSA
                      I wanted him to marry her.

                                SAM
                      Why?

                                ALYSSA
                      Turn over.

            Alyssa grabs under his armpits and tickles him.  Sam yelps
            and rises onto his elbows as Josh roars by the shack in his
            Porsche.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Josh and I are going to South Coast. 
                      Wanna ride?  Maybe see a movie?

                                SAM
                      No thanks.

            Sam is disappointed as Alyssa stands to leave.

                                ALYSSA
                      Don't forget your front.

            Alyssa walks to the shack and waves goodbye to George. 
            George waves her off.  Sam curls onto his side as he watches
            Alyssa run across the lawn to Josh.

                                GEORGE
                      She's pretty...for a girl.

            Sam appears irritated as he stands and walks into the garage.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            Sam glances out the window to check on his father, then
            quickly rummages through every drawer and cabinet looking for
            what he finds: a prescription bottle.  It's Vicodin.  He
            checks on his dad through the window again, then opens the
            bottle and takes out five pills.  He fills a glass with water
            and swallows two, saving three for later.  He sets the bottle
            back where he found it before he drops on the bed with a
            grin.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - AFTERNOON

            Guster is in a full out run for a rubber ball.  Sam is
            shirted, sitting at the patio table.  With the ball gladly
            returned, Sam tosses it again.  George walks out juggling two
            plates of sandwiches and two Cokes and sits down.

                                GEORGE
                      Do you ever get like the slightest
                      inkling that you might want to help me
                      instead of doing absolutely nothing?

                                SAM
                      No.

                                GEORGE
                      Get the inkling, Sam.  I'm getting tired
                      of your attitude.

            Sam picks up the sandwich, examines it and sets it back down
            on the plate.

                                SAM
                      I hate turkey.

                                GEORGE
                      No you don't.

            George takes a bite of his sandwich before responding.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I want you to take out your nose ring and
                      leave it out.

                                SAM
                      Why?

                                GEORGE
                      It bugs me.

                                SAM
                      You snore at night.  That bugs me.  Can I
                      take you out?

                                GEORGE
                      Your brothers are right.  It was the most
                      god-awful smell I've ever had my nose
                      around.

            George tightens his face and waves his hand in front of his
            nose.  Sam stares at his father.  A black Range Rover pulls
            to a stop and Robin steps out with a pizza box in her hands.

                                ROBIN
                      Thought you guys might be hungry.

            As Robin walks up the drive, Sam picks up the turkey sandwich
            and starts eating.  George glances at Sam as Robin sets the
            box on the table and sits down.

                                GEORGE
                      We're fine.  Turkey sandwiches.

                                ROBIN
                      Well, for later then.

            Robin focuses on the nearly roofless shack.  Guster walks to
            the table and sits down by Robin, ready to beg.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      It makes me sad.

                                GEORGE
                      What?

                                ROBIN
                      I used to live here.

                                GEORGE
                      But you hated four out of the five you
                      did.

                                ROBIN
                      I was here six years.  And I only hated
                      two.

                                GEORGE
                      Which?

                                ROBIN
                      The first and the last.

            George sets his sandwich down.

                                GEORGE
                      I don't even like turkey sandwiches. 
                      What kind of pizza?

                                ROBIN
                      Sam's favorite.

            George opens the box and pulls out a slice.  Sam appears
            disinterested as George starts in on the slice of pizza.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                          (to Sam)
                      Sure you don't want any?

            Sam shrugs off his mother, looking away.  Robin nods and
            grabs a piece for herself.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      You're too thin, George.  From what you
                      used to be, anyway.

            George responds with a pleasant face; he's not going to
            explain his weight loss right now.

                                GEORGE
                      Why the first and the last?

            Robin sets her slice of pizza down as she studies George.

                                ROBIN
                      The first because I wasn't sure you
                      really loved me...the last because I
                      wasn't sure I really loved you.

            George nods.  Though it may appear that Sam isn't interested
            in the conversation, his ears are perked.

                                GEORGE
                      I was up on the roof this morning,
                      tearing it down and it struck me as
                      strong as anything ever has.  That I'm
                      happy today.

                                ROBIN
                      What have you been before today?

                                GEORGE
                      It was just that, maybe the way the sun
                      struck the ocean, the sound of the waves. 
                      It was simple, whatever it was.  Then I
                      started thinking about the last time I
                      felt this good.
                          (beat)
                      It's been a long time.

                                ROBIN
                      Do you remember?

                                GEORGE
                      The only time I can think of for sure, I
                      was holding onto Sam in the ocean, saving
                      him from the waves.

            George turns to Sam, who's caught staring at his father.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      You head was pressed against my chest.  I
                      could feel your heart racing.  And I
                      remember I kissed your hair.

                                ROBIN
                      We have it on video!  Was that when?  My
                      parents were down for his sixth birthday! 
                      I remember that.

            Robin inexplicably starts to cry.  She instantly tries to
            take it back, pressing her hand to her mouth, wiping her
            eyes, but whatever emotion has her, has her good.  Both
            George and Sam are confused and concerned.

                                SAM
                      I have to go.

            She stands and backs away from the table.

                                GEORGE
                      What is it?  

                                ROBIN
                      I'm fine.  Nothing.
                          (beat)
                      I'll drop by your lunch tomorrow.

            Robin wipes her eyes again as she climbs into her car and
            drives off.  Sam and George face one another.

                                GEORGE
                      I don't know.

                                SAM
                      I'm gonna take a walk.  I need some
                      money.

                                GEORGE
                      You'll have money when you work.

                                SAM
                      You're so predictable.

            Sam sets his sandwich down and grabs a slice of pizza as he
            stands.  He walks for a few feet, stops and turns around.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      You haven't been happy in ten years?

            He doesn't wait for an answer; as he walks away, Guster
            follows.  George takes Robin's slice of pizza and drops it on
            the cement; that's all it takes to turn Guster around.

            INT. ROBIN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

            Robin is sitting alone at the table, doing nothing.  The TV
            is on loud in another room.  Adam walks into the room in his
            pajamas.  He sits down across from his mother at the table. 
            Robin smiles at him.  He smiles back as he scoots his chair
            closer to the table and extends his arms straight out across
            the top.  Robin extends her arms and they lock hands near the
            middle.  Without a word, they hold hands.  Adam lets go and
            climbs on top of the table, scoots across it with a kiss for
            his mother before he's gone, sliding off the table on his
            rear and running back to the TV.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            George is on the patio, bending a thin piece of copper
            tubing.  Sam storms out of the garage, fuming.

                                SAM
                      No one would blame me if I left!

                                GEORGE
                      I'd blame you.  I want you here.

                                SAM
                      I'm not doing it!

                                GEORGE
                      It'll be fine.

                                SAM
                      Why don't you just beg some money off my
                      dad and move into something decent with a
                      real kitchen and a real bathroom?

                                GEORGE
                      I'd rather sell my nuts to a castrati.

            Sam screws his face down - huh?

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I don't beg.

                                SAM
                      And I don't take a shower in the middle
                      of the yard.

                                GEORGE
                      I can promise you complete privacy.

                                SAM
                      You can't promise me anything!  You don't
                      have anything to promise!  You live in a
                      garage!  You don't have cable!  You're
                      not hooked up to the internet because you
                      don't even own a computer!  You don't
                      have a job!

            George finishes bending the copper into a circle.  He stands
            and holds the copper circle out for proof of privacy.

                                GEORGE
                      This will save you from prying eyes.

            Sam dismisses his father with a shake of his head.  He heads
            back into the garage.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            Sam quickly heads to where George's prescription bottle was
            hidden under a pile of underwear.  He steals two more pills
            and swallows them before grabbing a towel and walking out.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

                                SAM
                      If you had a stupid phone or I could use
                      your truck, mom would give me some money.

                                GEORGE
                      You'll have money when you work for it.

            Sam stomps down the driveway and across the grass to Alyssa's
            house.  George walks around to the back of his garage with
            the rounded copper tubing.

            EXT. ALYSSA'S HOUSE - EVENING

            Sam is standing on the porch with his towel and clean
            clothes.  Colleen answers the door.

                                SAM
                      Is Alyssa home?

                                COLLEEN
                      She's out with a friend.

                                SAM
                      Oh...do you know when she'll be home?

                                COLLEEN
                      She didn't really say.

                                SAM
                      Oh...okay.

            Sam nods and steps back as he prepares to leave.

                                COLLEEN
                      Sam?

                                SAM
                      Uh huh.

                                COLLEEN
                      I didn't recognize you!

                                SAM
                      I'm sorry.

                                COLLEEN
                      Alyssa said you don't even have plumbing
                      over there.

                                SAM
                      Not a shower.

            Colleen takes Sam by the arm and nudges him into the house.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ROOM - EVENING

            Sam is slowly making his way around the room, taking note of
            everything: some dried flowers; a yearbook; a cabinet full of
            CD's; dirty clothes stuffed in a hamper.  He walks into the
            bathroom before walking back out and making one more round.

            INT. ROBIN'S FAMILY ROOM - EVENING

            Robin is sitting between her sons on the sofa, watching a
            movie.  Peter enters the room, carrying his jacket.

                                PETER
                      The goddamn traffic.  Were we going out
                      to dinner?

            Robin focuses on her husband, but the boys are riveted to the
            television.

                                ROBIN
                      We've eaten.

                                PETER
                      Is Lois still here?  I'm starved.

                                ROBIN
                      I'll make you something.

            Robin stands as Adam and Ryan try to hold her down.

                                PETER
                      Did someone call to tell you I'd be late?

            Robin walks into the kitchen without responding.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BATHROOM - EVENING

            Sam's in the shower, obscured by the sandblasted glass.

                                JOSH (O.S.)
                      Bro, I need you tonight.

            Sam bumps an elbow against the glass as he opens the shower
            door enough to look out.  Josh is sitting up on the marble
            countertop.

                                SAM
                      I locked the door.

            Josh holds up a tiny screwdriver.

                                JOSH
                      It'll take you like twenty, thirty
                      minutes.

                                SAM
                      Does Alyssa know?

                                JOSH
                      Nothing.

                                SAM
                      You got any weed?

                                JOSH
                      You got the money?

            Sam waits a beat before closing the shower door.

                                JOSH (CONT'D)
                      Alyssa sent me up to see if you wanted to
                      hang around and watch a movie with her
                      and her mom.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            The round copper tube is braced and nailed to the side of the
            garage; on it hangs a shower curtain.  George is making
            noises inside the curtain as he showers.

                                GEORGE
                      Ah!  Oh....

                                KURT (O.S.)
                      I know there's an explanation.

            George pulls back the shower curtains just enough to see Kurt
            standing by in his police uniform.

                                GEORGE
                      No hot water.

            George is shivering as he closes the curtain back up.

                                KURT
                      Mr. Dokos called to complain that you and
                      a boy are squatting illegally in the
                      garage of your house.

                                GEORGE
                      Check the permits.  It was built as a
                      guesthouse.  It's a legally rentable unit
                      grandfathered when South Laguna was
                      incorporated.

            Without warning, the copper tubing holding the hanging
            curtain falls to the ground.  George turns the water off and
            grabs a towel.  Unfortunately, his ass is not what the towel
            covers.

                                KURT
                      Now that should be illegal.

            INT. ALYSSA'S FAMILY ROOM - EVENING

            Alyssa and Colleen are curled up on the sofa as Josh and Sam
            stick their heads in to say goodbye.

                                SAM
                      Thanks for the shower.

                                COLLEEN
                      I want you both to stay.

                                ALYSSA
                      And candy too.

            Alyssa holds up a huge bowl of popcorn and the DVD case.

                                JOSH
                      I'm gonna give him a ride in my car.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'll see you tomorrow.

                                COLLEEN
                      Come over anytime you need to, Sam.

                                SAM
                      Thanks, I'd like that.  Thank you.

            The only thing keeping Sam from staying is Josh, who jerks
            him out by the shirt.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            With Kurt in the only chair, George hands him a cup of coffee
            and sits down on the pullout sofa, which is pulled out.

                                KURT
                      I'm surprised he hasn't left.

                                GEORGE
                      I haven't forced him to work.  I only wet
                      him down once.  Why would he leave?

            Sam rushes in and grabs a sweater before starting out.

                                SAM
                      I'm leaving.

                                GEORGE
                      Hey...hey!

            Sam stops at the door and waits impatiently.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Where are you going?

                                SAM
                      I don't know.

                                GEORGE
                      When are you going to be back?

                                SAM
                      I don't know.

                                GEORGE
                      Well, until you know, you can't go.

                                SAM
                      Oh, okay.

            Sam is gone in a flash.  Kurt studies George for a second.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm not very good at it.  Parenting.

            Kurt nods; agreed, he's not.

            INT. ROBIN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

            Robin arranges an attractive plate of food, which she sticks
            in the microwave.  Peter walks in wearing different clothes
            but the same personality.

                                PETER
                      I hope your ex-husband is equipped for
                      the havoc of Sam, because it seems
                      absolutely blissful here tonight.

            He sits down at the table, opening up a newspaper as Robin
            stares at him.

                                ROBIN
                      Do you think it's odd your kids don't hug
                      you?

                                PETER
                      Should I?

                                ROBIN
                      It would worry me.

            Peter glances up from the paper, focusing on Robin.

                                PETER
                      If I let everything that should worry me,
                      worry me, I'd be dead from worry.

                                ROBIN
                      What would you be if you asked Adam and
                      Ryan to run in now and hug you?

                                PETER
                      I'd be you.

            The answer bothers Robin enough that Peter can't concentrate
            back on the paper.

                                PETER (CONT'D)
                      I'll do it if that's what you want.

            Robin walks out of the kitchen.  Peter folds the paper and
            shoves it across the granite counter.

            INT. JOSH'S PORSCHE - NIGHT

            Sam and Josh are parked on a street that overlooks the Valley
            East of Laguna Beach.  They share a joint as Josh explains
            the specifics of the job.

                                JOSH
                      You don't have to do a thing.  Just get
                      in and get out.  As quick as you can. 
                      Close your eyes and think of whatever.

            Sam hands the joint to Josh.

                                SAM
                      What's your deal with Alyssa?

                                JOSH
                      Don't even...I'm there.

                                SAM
                      I wasn't sure.

                                JOSH
                      She wouldn't even fucking go out with
                      until she was sixteen.  I mean, that's
                      not even a rule, just her own thing.  She
                      like figures things out on her own and
                      then that's it.

            A black Mercedes Benz pulls to a stop a ways down the street. 
            Josh hands Sam a cell phone.

                                JOSH (CONT'D)
                      If this rings, run.

            Sam is scared and it shows.

                                JOSH (CONT'D)
                      He already knows everything about what he
                      can't do.  You can tell him not to even
                      look at you, if you want.

                                SAM
                      I'm thinking it's too weird now.

            Josh pulls a baggie of grass and holds it out for Sam, who
            takes it and stuffs it in his pants pocket.

                                JOSH
                      It beats working.

            Josh hands Sam the joint.

                                JOSH (CONT'D)
                      Inhale and get out.

            Sam is quick to inhale, but slow to get out.  Josh takes the
            joint and Sam steps out.  He walks slowly to the Mercedes,
            opens the door and climbs in.  Josh turns the CD on to
            Guster's "ALL THE WAY UP TO HEAVEN."  Sam closes the door to
            the Mercedes.  'He said to only look up, he said to never
            look down, down is where we came from...' It's an odd song
            sung in a happy tempo; a whistling refrain overtakes the
            lyrics as Josh inhales.  'He said to hope for the best and
            take a load off my chest.  Soon, I could be happy, and go all
            the way up to heaven and go all the way back home.' 

            With the music loud, Josh misses the police car as it stops
            behind him without the lights.  Too late for a getaway, he
            fumbles for his cell phone and tosses the joint out the open
            window.  The OFFICER approaches the Porsche with his hand on
            his gun. 

                                OFFICER
                      What did you toss into the brush?

            Josh furtively presses send on his cell phone as he faces the
            officer with a guilty face.

                                JOSH
                      Nothing.

            'He said I might need his help, no one gets high on
            themselves.  I just seem so lonely; he's just trying to be
            nice and spread around his advice.  I could be happy...'

                                OFFICER
                      Turn off the music!

            As the music stops, the door to the Mercedes opens and Sam
            hops out with his pants around his ankles.  The officer
            notices and walks towards the Mercedes.  The parking lights
            flash red as the car starts and flees the scene.  Sam yanks
            up his pants and leaps down the hillside, falling and rolling
            in the brush as the officer yells for him to stop.  Josh
            starts his car, but the officer dissuades him from leaving by
            removing his gun.  Josh turns off the engine.

                                JOSH
                      Oh, it's working now.

                                OFFICER
                      What did you toss into the brush?

            Before Josh can feign innocence again, the brush starts to
            smolder.  Busted.

            EXT. HILLSIDE - NIGHT

            Sam is spotted with weeds and dirt as he continues his way
            down the steep hillside holding up his pants.  After he's
            sure he's safe, he sits down and rests his head in his hands. 
            He starts to shake, frightened by his actions.  He drops onto
            his back, buttons and zips his pants as he starts to cry. 
            Slowly, he stops crying, but keeps staring up at the sky,
            which is loaded with stars and a full moon.  Mesmerized by
            the brilliant night, Sam can't stop staring.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - MORNING

            George is removing the last of the windows, carefully prying
            it out of the casement as Robin pulls up in her Range Rover. 
            She steps out dressed in Levi's, boots and a t-shirt,
            carrying a large bag.

                                ROBIN
                      Lunch.

            She smiles and walks toward George, dropping the food sack on
            the patio table.

                                GEORGE
                      It's not breakfast yet.

                                ROBIN
                      I dreamed about your house last night.

                                GEORGE
                      Finished or unfinished?

                                ROBIN
                      It was perfect, George.  Amazing.  It was
                      so real.

                                GEORGE
                      Didn't you once dream you could lick
                      people well, though?

                                ROBIN
                      That wasn't a dream.  That was Sam.

                                GEORGE
                      Oh...with his ear infection!

                                ROBIN
                      My tongue around the edge of his ear is
                      what cured him.

            George isn't quite sure how to take her comment.  Finally, he
            points to the Garage.

                                GEORGE
                      Go in there and lick his attitude.

                                ROBIN
                      The antibiotics weren't working.
                          (beat)
                      It's what I believe, George.

            George stares at Robin for a second before he nods.

                                GEORGE
                      You were wrong about the first year, you
                      know?

            It takes Robin a second to understand he's saying he loved
            her when they married.

                                ROBIN
                      I've been wrong a lot in my life.

                                GEORGE
                      Hindsight.  It's like foresight without a
                      future.

            Robin almost smiles; George confessing love ten years dead.

                                ROBIN
                      I have three hours before I pick up Adam
                      and Ryan.
                          (beat)
                      Where will I be most useful?

            Robin glances around, assessing the best use of her time.

                                GEORGE
                      With your hands or your tongue?

                                ROBIN
                      You're not well.

            Robin picks up a pile of splintered board and tosses them in
            the garbage bin.  George nods...he's not.

            LATER

            Robin and George carry a twelve-foot beam from inside the
            shack and set it down on cinder blocks.  Both look exhausted
            as they head back in for another beam.  Sam saunters out of
            the garage in shorts, sits down on the patio chair and opens
            the sack his mother had packed for lunch.  He pulls out a
            peanut butter and jelly sandwich and starts eating as George
            and Robin emerge from the shack with another beam.

                                GEORGE
                      Good morning.

            Robin and George set the beam down and turn to Sam as they
            both wipe sweat off their faces.  Sam chews his sandwich,
            ignoring them both.

                                ROBIN
                      I'm late.

            Robin walks close to Sam, trying to capture his attention.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      Ryan has a game later.  He asked if you'd
                      come and watch.

            Sam glances up at his mother, just long enough to let her
            know he hates her, then drops the sandwich and walks back
            into the garage.  A city inspector's car pulls to a stop on
            the street and BOB LARSON steps out with a clipboard.  Robin
            passes him as she walks back to her Range Rover.

                                BOB
                      Mr. Stevens?

                                GEORGE
                      I've been dreading you.

            Bob and George shake hands as Robin drives off.

                                BOB
                      Bob Larson.  Do you happen to have an
                      unenclosed toilet in close proximity to a
                      kitchen?

                                GEORGE
                      A violation?

                                BOB
                      Oh, yes.

                                GEORGE
                      And if I enclosed it?

                                BOB
                      An exhaust system or a window is code.

                                GEORGE
                      A sink?

                                BOB
                      Allowed outside the enclosed area.

            Sam walks out of the garage in long pants and a shirt.

                                SAM
                      Where is it?

                                GEORGE
                      A friend of yours is here.

                                SAM
                      Did you got through my pants?

                                GEORGE
                      I might have a solution.

            George grabs his chain saw and walks to the garage with Sam
            and Bob in tow.

                                SAM
                      Where'd you put it?!

            INT. GARAGE - AFTERNOON

            George walks to an armoire and empties it.  He grabs a hammer
            and bangs, pries and pulls the back off, then dumps the
            cabinet onto the floor.

                                SAM
                      I know you took it.  I want it now!

            George yanks the chain saw to a roar and fashions an oval cut
            a few feet deep on the cabinet base.  He kills the saw, lifts
            the armoire and scoots it in front of the toilet.

                                GEORGE
                      Doors.

            Bob grimaces as George opens the armoire, revealing the
            toilet inside.

                                BOB
                      I hate to ask about a window.

                                GEORGE
                          (to Sam)
                      I flushed it down the toilet.

                                SAM
                      No!  Oh my God!

            George jerk starts the chain saw again and fashions a small
            opening above the toilet, ripping through the studs, wire
            mesh, tar paper and stucco - fine dust invades the space like
            a storm.  Bob coughs as he writes in his book.  George kills
            the chain saw and sets it down as he surveys his work.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      If I had a gun, I'd kill you.

            Bob seems fairly anxious to conclude his business.

                                BOB
                      I assume you'll fill the...uh, window,
                      with glass?

                                GEORGE
                      If that's what it takes.

                                SAM
                      What's in my pants is none of your
                      fucking business!

                                BOB
                          (a little rattled)
                      I would say you're in compliance.

                                GEORGE
                      I hope that makes the pain in the ass
                      that called you happy.

            George is staring at Sam.  Bob backs out of the garage.

                                BOB
                      You and me both.

            With Bob gone, George walks to Sam and gets in his face.

                                GEORGE
                      Everything about you is my business. 
                      What you smoke, what you swallow, what
                      you sniff, it's all my business.

            Sam slams his fists against his own chest, maddened.

                                SAM
                      I've been using since I was twelve! 
                      You're all so unbelievably stupid.  You
                      didn't give a shit about anything I did
                      until now!

                                GEORGE
                      I'll apologize for everything but
                      today...Today I give a shit.

                                SAM
                      You're too fucking late.

                                GEORGE
                      The gloves on the table are for you.

                                SAM
                      You can't make me do a thing.

                                GEORGE
                      Sit down for a second.

                                SAM
                      No.

            George gently guides Sam back onto the bed.  Sam hops up mad.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I'll call the cops if you touch me again!

            George sets Sam back onto the bed, not so gently this time. 
            Sam is less eager to hop up in defiance.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Oh, so you're in the big shit now!  Child
                      abuse.  People go to prison for what you
                      just did to me.

                                GEORGE
                      My dad used to play a game.  I never
                      really understood what it was until after
                      he was gone.

            Sam appears immensely disinterested.

                                SAM
                      I was holding for someone.  That wasn't
                      even mine.

                                GEORGE
                      The game was to make me smaller than he
                      was.  No matter what.  He could be almost
                      invisible as a human being, but I had to
                      be smaller.  So if I got good grades, I
                      was a pussy for not playing football.  If
                      I cut my hair for him, it wasn't short
                      enough.  If I shaved it, I looked like a
                      psycho.  I never won the game.  Not once. 
                      And if he couldn't make me smaller with
                      words...

            Tears well in George's eyes.  Sam is caught up enough in what
            his father has to say that he has to feign his lack of
            interest.

                                SAM
                      I'll have to pay him back.

                                GEORGE
                      I won't ever hit you.
                          (beat)
                      I don't want you smaller.  I want you to
                      be happy.  You're not.  Not here with me. 
                      Not home with your mother.  Not up in
                      Tahoe.  Not alone.  Not anywhere.
                          (beat)
                      You're what I was most of my life, Sam. 
                      I see it in your eyes.  In your sleep. 
                      In your answer to everything.  You're
                      barely alive.

                                SAM
                      I'm not even listening.

                                GEORGE
                      You know that great thing, though?  Is
                      that change can be so constant you don't
                      even feel the difference until there is
                      one.  It can be so slow that you don't
                      even notice that your life is better or
                      worse, until it is.
                          (beat)
                      Or it can just blow you away.  Make you
                      something different in an instant.  It
                      happened to me.

            George walks to the garage door as he wipes his eyes.  He
            stops and turns back around to face Sam.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Build this house with me.

            George walks out leaving Sam on the bed to think.

            EXT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK - AFTERNOON

            George gathers a pile of splintered boards and tosses them
            into the dumpster.  He works while Guster sleeps.

            LATER

            The sun is fierce, low on the horizon with a heat that
            distorts the distance.  George is sweating and shirtless as
            Sam walks out of the garage with the gloves on and stands
            staring at his father.  After a beat, George notices him.

                                SAM
                      I have to pay back what you flushed down
                      the toilet.
                          (beat)
                      I want ten dollars an hour...then I'm
                      done.

            George nods.  He points out the roofless shell of a shack.

                                GEORGE
                      It all has to come down before we can
                      start again.
                          (beat)
                      Knock it down.

            George picks up a sledghammer and hands it to Sam.  Sam
            hoists the hefty hammer and with some true effort, slams it
            on a sideboard.  He slams again and again as George picks up
            a slightly smaller sledgehammer.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      I hated this house from the second my
                      father cheated everyone and put it in my
                      name.

            George takes a good hard whack at the wall, knocking a huge
            hunk of it down.  Sam stops to watch.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Twenty years of hating what you live
                      in...what you are.  This is the end of
                      it, Sam.  I'm gonna build something of me
                      here that I can be proud to give to you.

                                SAM
                      Don't.  I don't want it.

            George YELLS as he lands the hammer into the wall again.  Sam
            is alarmed by his father's blatant rage.

                                GEORGE
                      Do whatever you want with it.  I don't
                      care.  All I want from you is for you to
                      remember we built this house together.

                                SAM
                      We haven't build shit.  You're just
                      tearing down your father.

                                GEORGE
                      Try it.  It feels good.

            George strikes another blow to the house joined with a MAD
            WAIL.  Sam starts low, a whisper of a scream, but quickly 
            builds, soon rivaling George in volume as he pounds away. 
            This soul letting, cleansing ritual is both impelling and
            frightening to watch.  Tom and Barbara, Colleen and her maid
            step out of their houses, drawn and perplexed by the guttural
            noise.

            INT. RYAN AND ADAM'S ROOM - MORNING

            Both boys are asleep as Robin enters and wakes them with the
            drop-and-bounce-back-to-your-feet-from-the-mattress method.

                                ROBIN
                      It's morning, sleepyheads!

            They both wake with a groan.  Robin leaps onto Adam and
            tickles him to life.

            INT. ROBIN'S KITCHEN - MORNING

            Robin is quickly finishing a breakfast of oatmeal and fresh
            fruit with Adam and Ryan, who are still dressed in pajamas.

                                RYAN
                      Why do we have to get up and eat with you
                      this early?

                                ROBIN
                      I just thought it would be nice.

                                ADAM
                      Are you going to see Sam again?

                                ROBIN
                      I thought I might stop by.

                                RYAN
                      All day again?

                                ROBIN
                      Not all day.  I'll be home after lunch.

            Robin stands and dumps her dishes in the sink.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      You can go back to bed...or Lois might
                      let you go swimming.

                                ADAM
                      I wanna be with you today.

                                ROBIN
                      Oh, honey.  There's not much to do there. 
                      I mean, it's all work.

                                ADAM
                      We can work.

            Robin focuses on her sons, both of whom seem willing to work.

                                ROBIN
                      Ryan, would you rather swim or work?

                                RYAN
                      Can we really help build a house?

            Peter walks in, surprised by everyone being up.

                                PETER
                      Why is everyone up so early?

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - MORNING

            George is knocking away the forms used to pour the
            foundation.  Sam walks out of the garage with a towel; he
            shields his eyes from the morning sun as he watches his
            father work.  Without make-up or a nose ring and with the
            black dye gone from his hair and the polish from his nails,
            Sam is a handsome kid. 
            George looks happy, laying bare the foundation that will hold
            his home.  Sam walks to Alyssa's house, unseen by his father.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ENTRY - MORNING

            Colleen is walking with Sam toward the stairs.

                                COLLEEN
                      If she's not up, you can use my shower.

                                SAM
                      Thank you.

                                COLLEEN
                      You're here early today.

                                SAM
                      We're getting out of the ground today.

            Sam looks fairly excited as he rushes up the stairs.

            INT. ALYSSA'S HALLWAY - MORNING

            Sam stops at the door and KNOCKS.

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Huh?

                                SAM
                      I can use your mom's.

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      I'm okay.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ROOM - MORNING

            Alyssa is curled up in bed, cuddling a stuffed bear as Sam
            walks in and closes the bedroom door behind him.

                                ALYSSA
                      Were you with Josh when the cops arrested
                      him?

            Alyssa sits up in bed, holding the sheet to her chest.

                                SAM
                          (nervously)
                      Not really.  No.  Kinda.  He got busted?

                                ALYSSA
                      His parents took his car.  They're making
                      him ride a bicycle the rest of the
                      summer.

            Sam can't help but like that.

                                SAM
                      Really?

                                ALYSSA
                      He asked me to tell you that you owe him
                      a hundred dollars.

                                SAM
                      He can peddle over anytime he wants to
                      for it.

            Sam breaks into a full-on smile.

                                ALYSSA
                      This is serious!  I don't have my
                      license.  He was my ride.

                                SAM
                      I'm sorry.  I'm just here to shower.

            Sam walks into the bathroom; before he closes the door, he
            faces Alyssa with another smile - she tosses her bear at him.

            EXT. GEORGE'S SHACK - MORNING

            George is prying off the last of the boards when he's hit
            with a pain that takes him to his knees.  He drops the
            crowbar and sits down in the dirt as Guster walks over to
            comfort him.  George takes deep breaths and closes his eyes
            as he tries to gain control over the pain.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BATHROOM - MORNING

            The doorknob jiggles, jiggles and turns; Alyssa opens the
            door and walks in dressed in a t-shirt and panties.  Once
            again Sam jumps and jams his elbow to the frosted glass as he
            partially opens the shower door.

                                SAM
                      Is this like a past time with people?  Go
                      away!

            Alyssa sets a tiny screwdriver on the vanity.

                                ALYSSA
                      I've seen lots of people.  It's not a big
                      thing for me.

                                SAM
                      Hand me a towel.  I'm getting out.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'm coming in.

                                SAM
                      I don't want you to!

                                ALYSSA
                      We're not gonna do anything.

                                SAM
                      Why are you so stupid?

                                ALYSSA
                      Why are you so uptight?

                                SAM
                      I don't even...what do you mean?  I don't
                      even know what that means.

                                ALYSSA
                      It means I'm gonna shampoo my hair and
                      stay out of your way.

                                SAM
                      Hand me a towel.  Hand me a towel.

            Sam is anxious.  Alyssa takes off her t-shirt and pulls down
            her panties before grabbing a towel; she hands it to Sam as
            she forces her way into the shower.  Barely visible through
            the frosted glass, Alyssa wets her hair as Sam stares in her
            direction.  The towel drops to the tiled floor.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            George is curled up in bed, the prescription bottle and a
            glass resting on a table.  He's holding onto his side, still
            in some pain.  A HONK gets Guster BARKING outside.

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            Ryan and Adam run to Guster with glee as Robin steps out of
            the Range Rover with a large covered basket and a boom box. 
            She sets the basket and radio on the patio table and searches
            for George, ending up at the entrance to the garage.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            George has hidden the prescription bottle and is sitting on
            the bed as Robin walks in.

                                ROBIN
                      I thought you'd be up with the sun.

                                GEORGE
                      My stupid back.

            Robin sits down on the bed next to George, concerned.

                                ROBIN
                      Do you need anything?  I'll go to the
                      pharmacy.  I have some Demerol at home.

                                GEORGE
                      No, I'm...thanks.  I took something.

            Robin runs her hand down George's spine.

                                ROBIN
                      Where's Sam? 

                                GEORGE
                      He won't use my shower.  I don't get it.

            Outside, Adam and Ryan are each calling Guster.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      You brought your kids?

                                ROBIN
                      I kind of said that maybe they could do
                      something.  Help.  I'm sorry.  They
                      really wanted to come.  I really wanted
                      to come and they wanted to be with me.  I
                      don't think they'll be too much trouble.

                                GEORGE
                      I'll find something that won't kill them.

                                ROBIN
                      Or wound.  Let them keep their eyes and
                      fingers.

                                GEORGE
                      You're a good mother.

            Robin smiles.  With some effort, George stands.

                                ROBIN
                      Do you need help?

                                GEORGE
                      I think so.

            Robin stands and wraps her arm around his waist and he drapes
            his arms over her shoulder as they walk out of the garage.

                                ROBIN
                      I woke up this morning at three and
                      couldn't fall back asleep.  Everyday I
                      think I see more of Sam than I've seen in
                      years.

                                ADAM (O.S.)
                      Sam!

            EXT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            Adam runs with abandon to Sam and Alyssa as Robin helps
            George to a patio chair.

                                SAM
                      Hey.

            Adam runs into Sam with a hug, then steps back.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      What's that for?

                                ADAM
                      Mom said I should.

                                SAM
                      Oh.

                                ADAM
                      I would have anyway.

            Sam appears awkward as he rests his hand for a second on
            Adam's shoulder.

                                ADAM (CONT'D)
                      Who are you?

                                ALYSSA
                      Who are you?

                                ADAM
                      I'm his brother.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'm his friend.

            Adam views her suspiciously as they walk across Alyssa's
            grass to the patio.

                                ADAM
                      Mom says we can build a house.

                                ALYSSA
                      Hi, Mr. Nelson.

                                GEORGE
                      Hi, Alyssa.

                                SAM
                      Hi, Mom.

                                ROBIN
                      Good morning.

            It's clear that Robin is falling in love with her son again.

                                ALYSSA
                      Hello.

            Alyssa extends her hand to Robin and they shake.

                                ROBIN
                      You're so nice to let Sam use your
                      shower.

                                ALYSSA
                      He's got a standing invitation.

            Sam instantly flushes red.

                                SAM
                      Hey, Ryan.

            Sam walks to Ryan, who's been standing back from the group.

                                RYAN
                      Hey.

            Sam drapes his arm over Ryan's shoulder and together they
            walk to the foundation.

                                SAM
                      So, you wanna build a house?

                                RYAN
                      If we do, will it stay up?

            MONTAGE

            A BLINK 182 SONG BLASTS from the boom box on the patio table. 
            Ryan and Adam slather paint remover on five old painted
            doors.  They work with gloves and brushes and appear
            meticulous in their application.  Alyssa and Sam nail and
            bolt the corner posts to the rim joist as Robin and George
            work on the stick framed door deck. 
            While George is moving a little slower than usual, it appears
            that the pain is nearly gone.  As the song ends, Robin rushes
            toward the radio.

                                ROBIN
                      I brought a few of my own.

                                RYAN
                      Someone stop her!

            Robin runs to her car and retrieves a few CD's.  She slips
            the CD in and we HEAR John Hiat's "DISTANCE."  It's a slow,
            soft song that brings a smile to George's face.

                                GEORGE
                      It's been a while.

                                ROBIN
                      This was my very first slow dance.

                                ADAM
                      Did you know him before you knew Dad?

                                ROBIN
                      Since seventh grade.

                                GEORGE
                      Tell him how you made me fall in love
                      with you.

                                ROBIN
                      I smiled at him.

                                GEORGE
                      Watch out for the smile, boys.

            Robin's body moves slightly to the music as she smiles. 
            George grins.  The boys aren't sure what to make of the
            advice.  'You are the beautiful love (my lover), I am the
            distant shore (so far away).  There is so much to uncover
            (love's hiding).  What is this distance for?  What is it for?

                                ROBIN
                      Who's up for a dance?

            Robin glances around for any takers, finally focusing on
            George.

                                ADAM (O.S.)
                      Just don't hug me too tight.

            Adam walks to his mother and they hold hands as they dance. 
            Sam sits down to watch.  George wears a smile that wipes the
            last of the pain from his face.

                                ADAM (CONT'D)
                      That's all you get.  I'm busy today.

            Adam backs away and grabs his paintbrush.  Robin stops
            dancing as she focuses on George.

                                ROBIN
                      Let's see if you've gotten any better.

                                GEORGE
                      Oh, I'm worse.  Much, much worse.

            Robin waits to see how worse.  George finally walks to her
            and takes her in his arms.  He must have been better than
            this.  The waltz smooths out as they dance closer, holding
            tighter.  "We fill the air with silent stares.  But still, no
            one there, we are strangers."  Alyssa decides it's time to
            go.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'll see you tomorrow.

            Sam watches Alyssa walk away, but he's quickly drawn back to
            his mother and father dancing.  Ryan appears anxious, unsure
            of the music and George.

                                RYAN
                      When did you fall in love with my dad?

            The dance stops.  George lets go of Robin as she focuses on
            Ryan.

                                ROBIN
                      When I found out I was pregnant with you.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

            Sam is on the pull out bed, listening to music through head
            phones.  We HEAR a flush, the armoire doors open and George
            walks out of the cabinet, washes his hands, turns off the
            light and drops into bed.  A nightlight stuck in a socket
            above the bed casts a dull blue light over the room.  Sam
            takes the headphones off.  After a long silence:

                                SAM
                      I took some of your Vicodin.

                                GEORGE
                      I know.
                          (beat)
                      Why?

                                SAM
                      I like how it feels not to feel.

            George turns onto his side to face his son.

                                GEORGE
                      I know the feeling.

                                SAM
                      How do you become something you're not?

                                GEORGE
                      What would you like to be?

                                SAM
                      What I'm not.

                                GEORGE
                      What are you now?

                                SAM
                      Nothing.

                                GEORGE
                      That's not true.

                                SAM
                      See, that's the thing...I am what I say I
                      am.

                                GEORGE
                      I know parts of who you are.

                                SAM
                      What do you know about me?

            George drops back onto his back.  He takes his time to
            answer.

                                GEORGE
                      When you started first grade and your mom
                      went to work, it was so she could save
                      for an apartment.  But then she met Peter
                      and skipped the idea of renting.

                                SAM
                      He's got nothing to do with me.

                                GEORGE
                      I couldn't imagine how I could compete
                      with him for any part of you.  So, I
                      didn't.  He wanted you to have his last
                      name...I let him even take that.

                                SAM
                      He was a prick when I was six, and he's a
                      prick today.

            George turns onto his side to face Sam again.

                                GEORGE
                      I wish you had told me then.

                                SAM
                      I'm telling you now.

                                GEORGE
                      I gave up on you.

                                SAM
                      I'd be in Tahoe having fun if you had
                      given up.

                                GEORGE
                      What would you be doing now?

                                SAM
                      Getting high, I guess.

                                GEORGE
                      If I asked you to stop, would you?

                                SAM
                      I haven't used anything for two days. 
                      I'm trying.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm proud of you, Sam.

                                SAM
                      Don't be.  And hide whatever that new
                      drug is you have.  I like it.

            Sam turns away from his father and puts his headphones on. 
            The music bleeds through the headphones in a muffled rumble.

                                GEORGE
                      I put a gun to my father's head once.

            George's voice is soft - there's no chance Sam can hear.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Have you ever thought like that?  I've
                      been thinking...watching you work.  How
                      much do you hate me?
                          (beat)
                      He was passed out. 
                      Just screaming at my mother before. 
                      About nothing.  Under-cooked meat.  I
                      went back to my room... put the barrel
                      close to his ear and chickened out again. 
                      Not my dad.  Hid in my room.  Not even
                      me.
                          (beat)
                      Of course it was a BB gun.  But it still
                      would have hurt like hell.

            Sam notices his father's mouth moving and takes off the
            headphones.

                                SAM
                      Are you talking?

                                GEORGE
                      I was just thinking about my mom.  She
                      wouldn't leave him.  I remember one time
                      she made us dinner wearing sunglasses.  I
                      mean it was dark outside and in.  But we
                      never talked about it.

                                SAM
                      Sun glasses?

                                GEORGE
                      To hide a black eye.

                                SAM
                      Why wouldn't she leave?

                                GEORGE
                      I think she was terrified of living with
                      him...but maybe even more terrified of
                      life without him.

                                SAM
                      I would have killed him.

                                GEORGE
                      Everything would have been better if you
                      had.  You'd have liked your grandmother. 
                      And there'd be a girl out there that'd
                      have her mother.  I remember reading
                      about her in the paper.  They couldn't
                      find her father and her mother was dead. 
                      I still feel guilty about that.

                                SAM
                      Do you ever wish you had done it?

            George thinks about that for a second.

                                GEORGE
                      I loved him too much.

                                SAM
                      After everything he did to you and your
                      mom?

                                GEORGE
                      After everything.

                                SAM
                      That's so weird...

            Sam slips his headphones back on.  George nods...it is.

            EXT. DAVID DOKOS' HOUSE - MORNING

            Guster is squatting on the lush lawn of the mansion taking a
            dump.  David bursts out from his house, rushes to his black
            Mercedes and tries once again to run over Guster.  No such
            luck.  Guster moves on to another lawn as Mr. Dokos drops
            over the curb and drives off down the street.

            EXT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK - AFTERNOON

            In the late June afternoon, with a clotted cloud sky, Robin,
            Adam, Ryan, Sam, Alyssa and George work at building a house. 
            Adam and Ryan are staining the interior doors they stripped
            days earlier.  George and Sam carry large wood beam to the
            foundation and slip it into the pocket mortise of the
            laminated beam that spans from pier post to pier post.  Robin
            grabs a drill and screws the cast-in tie down to the wood
            beam.  Alyssa is sawing a rafter in half as her mother walks
            across the grass with a huge basket of food.

                                COLLEEN
                      Is anyone hungry?

            LATER

            With MUSIC playing in the background, everyone is packed
            around the patio table eating pasta and drinking lemonade.

                                ADAM
                      I like the color I'm making the doors.

                                GEORGE
                      The absolute best color I've ever seen in
                      my life.

            Adam lights up, pleased to be praised.

                                RYAN
                      How many bedrooms will your house have?

                                GEORGE
                      Three.

                                ADAM
                      Will Sam live with you or us?

                                GEORGE
                      With you.

            It's a quick response that draws Robin's attention.  Sam
            lightly bops Adam on the head.

                                SAM
                      So put your plans of my room in the
                      trash.

                                ADAM
                      I don't think Dad wants you home.

                                ROBIN
                      Adam, that's not true!

                                RYAN
                      Yes, it is.

                                ROBIN
                      Would you stop being ridiculous?  Your
                      father wants Sam home as much as I do.

            Sam starts laughing.  George smiles.  Sam can't stop
            laughing.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      It wasn't meant to be...

            Sam and George stand at exactly the same time and walk back
            to the house.  Without a word, they work together as they
            continue to frame the house.  Suddenly George turns back to
            the pack of people at the table and loudly proclaims:

                                GEORGE
                      I love you!

            That's it.  He goes back to work as Sam glances at him,
            amused.  Adam and Ryan are surprised and it shows on their
            faces.  Robin smiles.

            INT. ROBIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

            Robin's in bed reading as Peter emerges from the bathroom in
            pajama bottoms.

                                PETER
                      You know what I've decided?

            Robin glances up from her book to Peter's hairy chest.

                                ROBIN
                      To shave your chest?

                                PETER
                      We should take a vacation.

            Peter grabs his pajama top and slips it on as he climbs into
            bed.  Robin sets her book down.

                                ROBIN
                      The biggest waste of time since
                      television.

                                PETER
                      Do you remember anything I've said that
                      wasn't negative?

            Robin takes long enough to think that Peter forges on.

                                PETER (CONT'D)
                      Just the two of us.

            It takes Robin a few seconds to answer.

                                ROBIN
                      I'd love to drive through New England in
                      the Fall.

                                PETER
                      Sooner than the Fall.

            He closes in on her, kisses her cheek.

                                ROBIN
                      After the kids are back in school.

                                PETER
                      Lois will stay with them.  Or we can pawn
                      them off on your parents.

            Out of reasonable excuses, Robin opts for the truth.

                                ROBIN
                      I'm helping George build his house.

                                PETER
                      What?  

                                ROBIN
                      I've been helping for the last few days. 
                      Weeks.  Sam's working.  I told you Sam
                      was working.  I mean, he really is.

                                PETER
                      Good.  That was the plan.  We couldn't
                      stand him and George needed help.

            As true as it is, this still irritates Robin.

                                ROBIN
                      I can't go right now.

                                PETER
                      You can't go because of Sam?

                                ROBIN
                      We haven't been away together for three
                      years.  What difference does a few months
                      make?

                                PETER
                      You can't go with me because of Sam?

                                ROBIN
                      Sam is working at something for the first
                      time in his life.  Once in a while he
                      even talks to me.  I want to be around
                      for that.

                                PETER
                      So am I, Robin.  I'm working at
                      something, too.  I'm even talking.  Do
                      you want to be around for it?

            Peter is intense, close up, not giving her breathing room.

                                ROBIN
                      I don't know.

            Robin whispers her answer.  Peter pulls away and settles down
            on his back.  Robin doesn't move for the longest time. 
            Finally, she eases onto her back and turns out the light.

                                PETER
                      I was talking about our marriage.

                                ROBIN
                      I know.

            Silence finishes the conversation.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            With an extended plate and overhung rafters, the frame takes
            its form; rooms are roughed in; windows are framed; two gable
            dormers distinguish the common-rafter roof in the front and a
            frame for a balcony juts out over the ocean in back.  Robin
            and Adam are locking in and hoisting the sheets of plywood on
            a pulley system up to Ryan and George, who are stripped down
            to shorts - George is thinner than ever.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BATHROOM - MORNING

            Sam is showering as Alyssa walks in from the bedroom and
            joins him; no protest is voiced this time around.

            INT. SHOWER - CONTINUOUS

            Alyssa smiles at Sam as she grabs a wash cloth and slathers
            it with liquid soap.

                                SAM
                      What's the point of this?

                                ALYSSA
                      Does everything have to have a point?

                                SAM
                      It's freakish.  I don't get it.  I'm not
                      really supposed to touch you, but I can
                      look.

            Alyssa faces Sam as she washes her body with the cloth.

                                ALYSSA
                      Are you sure you're totally into guys?

                                SAM
                      What are you talking about?

                                ALYSSA
                      Josh said...

                                SAM
                      I'm not gay.

            Sam glances down at himself; Alyssa looks too.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I mean, hello!

            They both look up.

                                ALYSSA
                      I was wondering.

                                SAM
                      You're driving me crazy!  Do you know
                      what it's like trying to jack-off in an
                      armoire?

                                ALYSSA
                      Not really.

                                SAM
                      You're off, you know?  You're way, way
                      off.

                                ALYSSA
                      I thought I was helping you.

                                SAM
                      It would help me if I could kiss you.

                                ALYSSA
                      No, I don't...NO.  I thought we were just
                      friends.

                                SAM
                      What you think, you know, doesn't have
                      much to do with reality.  I mean, I hope
                      I'm not the first to say that about you.

                                ALYSSA
                      Okay, but then we'll just be friends. 
                      Okay?

                                SAM
                      Okay.  I guess.

            Sam stands still, unsure of his next move.

                                ALYSSA
                      Have you ever even kissed a girl?

            Sam appears shocked she would even ask; he hasn't, but she's
            not supposed to know that.  Alyssa makes the move, closes the
            distance and kisses him.  Apart, it appears to be something
            they enjoyed.  Sam wraps his arms around her, presses himself
            against her and kisses her again. 
            After a few seconds of making out, Sam jerks once, then again
            as he backs away.  Alyssa grimaces as she glances down.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Oh, yuck!

            Alyssa steps into a corner of the shower as Sam turns around
            and rests his forehead on the tile.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      You're scrubbing the shower down.

            EXT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK - AFTERNOON

            George and Sam are on ladders, reinforcing a window opening
            on the second floor with a 2x4 spline.  Ryan and Adam are
            flat on their backs on the grass with Guster between them,
            dog-tired.  Robin is at the grill with hamburgers as Alyssa
            prepares the table for dinner.

                                ALYSSA
                      You must have a really great husband.

            Robin glances up at Alyssa.

                                ROBIN
                      Why is that?

                                ALYSSA
                      Just, I mean, well, you're here every
                      single day.

                                ROBIN
                      He's at work while I'm here.

                                ALYSSA
                      I guess I'd just be jealous if I were
                      him.

                                ROBIN
                      Well, he doesn't need to worry.

                                ALYSSA
                      If my kids and my wife were always at an
                      ex-husband's house, I'd worry.

                                ROBIN
                      He's not the type to worry.

            Robin is slightly pissed at Alyssa grilling her; she flips
            the hamburgers and calls out:

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      Let's eat!

            INT. WEBBER'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

            Music is playing softly in the background.  Peter is sitting
            alone in a chair with a drink in hand.  After a bit, Lois
            walks in holding a can of Pledge and a rag.

                                LOIS
                      I'd be glad to fix you something.

                                PETER
                      No, I'm fine.

            Lois nods and walks away.  For all the presence of the room,
            Peter looks small and frayed in it - lost in his own house.

            EXT. GEORGE'S BEACH SHACK - AFTERNOON

            Lunch is over.  Adam is wrestling with Guster on the lawn. 
            Robin is taking money from her purse as George hands Sam the
            keys to his truck.

                                ROBIN
                      Nothing R, okay?

                                RYAN
                      Enough for drinks, popcorn and candy!

                                ADAM
                      And video games after!

                                ROBIN
                      Home after.
                          (to Sam)
                      Will you come in and say "hi"?

            Sam shrugs, takes the money and keys as Ryan and Adam rush
            close to him.

                                ADAM
                      Do we have to take her?

            The three boys turn to watch as Alyssa, now dressed in a
            dress, walks across the lawn to join them.

                                SAM
                      Definitely.

            It's literally frightening how beautiful Alyssa can look;
            with her tan and white dress, Sam shutters.

            EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - LATE AFTERNOON

            Josh is peddling down the highway on his bike, sweating in
            the full afternoon sun.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            George is hewing a beam as Robin watches from a chair.

                                ROBIN
                      I should go.

            George stops and wipes the sweat from his forehead.

                                GEORGE
                      Maybe you shouldn't come everyday.

                                ROBIN
                      No.  Why?  I like to be with Sam.

                                GEORGE
                      It's just that there's less that Adam and
                      Ryan can do anymore.
                          (beat)
                      I'd hate to have them bored.

            Robin stands and walks to George.

                                ROBIN
                      I know they're not much help, but they
                      love coming here, George.

                                GEORGE
                      How much time do they get to spend with
                      their dad?

                                ROBIN
                      What is it with this?  They wouldn't
                      spend less time with Peter if they lived
                      here!  He has no time!

            Robin walks away, then back - she's frustrated.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      Do you know Alyssa thinks something is up
                      with us?  She's giving me crap about
                      being away from Peter and now you're
                      trying to do the same thing!  What no one
                      seems to realize is that Peter isn't
                      there!  He's not there!  And when he is,
                      he isn't!
                          (beat)
                      So, if you don't want me here, or you
                      don't want my kids here, just tell me,
                      George.  I'll stop coming.  But it won't
                      be because of Peter.  It'll be because
                      you asked me to stop.  Say what you need
                      to say, because I'm not leaving until I
                      hear it.

                                GEORGE
                      I'd rather you not be here.

            In the distance, on the street, Josh peddles past on his
            bike.

                                ROBIN
                      I thought we were helping.

                                GEORGE
                      I can hire workers to help me.

            Robin nods, gathers her things, walks to her car, climbs in
            and drives off.

            EXT. COLLEEN'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Colleen is standing in the entry, talking to Josh.

                                COLLEEN
                      You can come in and wait if you'd like.

                                JOSH
                      What friends did she go with?

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Robin pulls right back to where she was parked and parks
            again.  She steps out of the car talking.

                                ROBIN
                      Nothing is going on with us, is it?

                                GEORGE
                      Going on?

                                ROBIN
                      When I picked you up from the train
                      station...what you said.

                                GEORGE
                      What did I say?

                                ROBIN
                      That thing about I was the most, you
                      know, beautiful person you had ever
                      known.  What was that?

                                GEORGE
                      That was the truth.

                                ROBIN
                      You've never said that before.

                                GEORGE
                      I'll say a lot of things I've never said
                      before.  It's habit.

                                ROBIN
                      It sounded like a pick-up line.

                                GEORGE
                      I can't pick you up.

            Robin sits down, weighted by the reason.

                                ROBIN
                      I'm married.

                                GEORGE
                      You bit my finger.

                                ROBIN
                      If I weren't married?

            George wants to answer quickly, dismiss the impossible and
            move on, but emotion catches him off-guard.  He forces a
            smile.

                                GEORGE
                      Let's not do this, okay?

                                ROBIN
                      I need to know.

                                GEORGE
                      You need to know what?  Do I still love
                      you?

            Robin is surprised by the question.  She nods her head.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      Absolutely.  There's not a doubt in my
                      mind that through all my anger...my ego,
                      I was faithful in my love for you.  From
                      seventh grade on.

            Robin raises her eyebrows - what a revelation.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      That I made you doubt it, that I withheld
                      it...that's the greatest mistake of a
                      life full of mistakes.
                          (beat)
                      But the truth doesn't set us free, Robin. 
                      I can say it as many times as you can
                      stand to hear it.  And all that does, the
                      only thing, is remind us that love isn't
                      enough.  Not even close.

            Tears well in Robin's eyes as she stands.

                                ROBIN
                      I should go.

            George nods - she should.  Robin walks to her car, opens the
            door; she faces George before climbing in.  George walks into
            the garage.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - LATE AFTERNOON

            George rummages through his sock drawer.  Pulls out a folded
            sock and opens it - the prescription bottle drops to the
            floor.  He fills a glass and swallows three pills.

            INT. ROBIN'S ENTRY - LATE AFTERNOON

            Robin opens the door and heads straight for the kitchen.

                                PETER (O.S.)
                      All I am is what I have.

            Robin jumps and searches for the voice.  Peter's sitting
            alone in the living room.

                                PETER (CONT'D)
                      That sounds pathetic, doesn't it?

                                ROBIN
                      What are you doing home?

                                PETER
                      I always felt I could never marry you
                      without first showing you what a fabulous
                      life you cloud live despite me.

            Robin takes a few steps into the room.

                                ROBIN
                      You never really trusted me.

                                PETER
                      You live a fabulous life, Robin.

                                ROBIN
                      Despite you.

                                PETER
                      I never asked for more.

                                ROBIN
                      That's the problem.

                                PETER
                      Please don't leave me.

            Peter stands and walks to her.  Robin doesn't respond.

                                PETER (CONT'D)
                      Where are the kids?

                                ROBIN
                      Sam took them to a movie.

                                PETER
                      I'll be in the bedroom.

            Peter takes her hand and kisses her cheek before walking down
            the hall.  Robin stands still, trying to assess the exchange.

            INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

            In a bedroom we don't quite recognize, two people are in the
            throes of making love under a silk white sheet.

                                WOMAN (O.S.)
                      Oh God!

            It's hard to tell whose voice that is - Robin's?

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            George is in bed, awakened by a KNOCK.

                                GEORGE
                      I fell asleep!

            Alyssa walks in, closing the door behind her.

                                ALYSSA
                      Sam's dropping Adam and Ryan off.

            George is slightly out of it with oral morphine; he tires to
            sit up, but settles for propping up his head.

                                GEORGE
                      Can you keep Sam straight?

                                ALYSSA
                      He's not gay.  I found out purely by
                      accident, believe me.

                                GEORGE
                      I mean drugs.
                          (catching up)
                      I thought you said he was?

                                ALYSSA
                      He wouldn't use around me.  I don't like
                      any of it.

                                GEORGE
                      You're a good girl.

                                ALYSSA
                      I need to ask you something, Mr. Nelson.

            Alyssa walks over and lies on the bed beside George.

                                GEORGE
                      You have to ask like that?

                                ALYSSA
                      I want you to try something with me,
                      okay?

                                GEORGE
                      I've taken a lot of morphine.  Oral
                      morphine...for my back.  Can I wait till
                      I can say no and sound convincing?

            Alyssa leans forward and kisses him; it's a real kiss that
            lasts a lot longer than it should.  And when it's over:

                                ALYSSA
                      Did you feel anything?

                                GEORGE
                      Maybe your tongue...I don't know, my
                      mouth is numb.  Why did you do that?

            They both stare up at the ceiling.

                                ALYSSA
                      When you dated my mom, I saw you kiss her
                      once.  You looked like such a good
                      kisser.

            INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

            It's the couple making love again; this time we're close
            enough to make out Colleen's face underneath Josh, who is
            working with speed, if not exact precision.

                                ALYSSA (V.O.)
                      My mother would die.

                                GEORGE (V.O.)
                      Let's shut up and not kill her.

                                COLLEEN
                      Oh my God!

            INT. ROBIN'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Peter has changed and is on the bed; his head propped up by
            pillows; he stairs blankly at the door.

            INT. ROBIN'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING

            Robin is sitting alone in the living room, in the same spot
            Peter had been sitting earlier.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EVENING

            Alyssa and George are still beside each other in bed.

                                ALYSSA
                      It's not what I was expecting.

                                GEORGE
                      What did you think it would be?

                                ALYSSA
                      I don't know...
                          (realizing)
                      More like when I kissed Sam.

            Alyssa sits up in bed.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      More like that.

            She stands and grabs his big toe.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Thanks for your time.

            Alyssa waves goodbye and leaves.  George is confused by it
            all.

            INT. COLLEEN'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Josh looks as though he's been struck by a hammer as he lay
            on his back with his mouth slack.  Under the sheet, low down,
            Colleen is swallowing her pride and showing off her
            technique.  A sudden blaring noise, AN ALARM, pierces Josh's
            throaty groan.  Colleen jumps off the bed, the sheet still
            haunting her head.

                                COLLEEN
                      Oh my God!  Get dressed!  Get dressed!

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

            Alyssa closes the French door she entered through and rushes
            to the alarm panel as the siren blares.

            INT. COLLEEN'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Colleen and Josh are frantically pulling on clothes as the
            noise throws them off balance.

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

            With the ALARM OFF, Alyssa walks to the entry.

                                ALYSSA
                      Mom!?

            INT. COLLEEN'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Josh has pulled on his underwear backwards; only speed
            counts. 

            INT. COLLEEN'S ENTRY - EVENING

            Alyssa glances around before heading up the stairs.

                                ALYSSA
                      Hello?

            INT. COLLEEN'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Without a knock, Alyssa opens the door.  The room is empty,
            but the bed is messed.

                                ALYSSA
                      Mom?

                                COLLEEN (O.S.)
                      Here, honey!

            Alyssa walks to the master bath, following the voice.

            INT. COLLEEN'S BATHROOM - EVENING

            Colleen is standing above Josh, who is bent over on his
            knees, with a plunger in the bath.

                                ALYSSA
                      I completely forgot.  I'm so sorry, Josh.
                          (beat)
                      What are you doing?

            Josh's face is flushed red and beaded with sweat.

                                COLLEEN
                      I put him to work.

                                ALYSSA
                      What's wrong?

            It takes a second for Colleen to realize that Alyssa is
            talking about the plumbing.

                                COLLEEN
                      I couldn't get it to go down.

                                ALYSSA
                      And why was the alarm on?

                                COLLEEN
                      Oh...I set it to see if it would work.

                                ALYSSA
                      You'd better call and cancel.

                                COLLEEN
                      Oh God, we don't want the police!

            Colleen is anxious as she rushes out.  Josh stands and wipes
            the sweat from his forehead.

                                ALYSSA
                      What's going on?

            Josh fumbles and fidgets, finally finding a way out.

                                JOSH
                      What's the deal with you and Sam?

            INT. ROBIN'S KITCHEN - EVENING

            Robin is fixing dinner as we hear the front door open.  Adam
            is talking as he rushes into the kitchen.

                                ADAM
                      I got to play one video game for three
                      hours straight!

            Ryan enters right behind him.

                                RYAN
                      Wouldn't you move to another one if the
                      one you were playing made you look
                      stupid?

            Robin checks the entry to the kitchen - no Sam.

                                ADAM
                      That's how you get things right is to
                      always try and never give up.  Huh, Mom?

                                ROBIN
                      I guess it depends on what you give up
                      on.

            Robin's face lights up as Sam walks into the kitchen.

                                SAM
                      There were no PG's.  So I just gave them
                      money to play games.

                                ROBIN
                      Can you stay for dinner?

                                SAM
                      Depends on what I'd give up on.

            Robin opens the oven and shows Sam a platter of lasagna.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      It looks like a trap.

            Robin turns to Adam, excited at having Sam stay for dinner.

                                ROBIN
                      Go tell your father we're eating.

                                RYAN
                      Dad's home, already?

                                ROBIN
                      In the bedroom.

            Adam takes off in a run as Sam walks to the sink and washes
            his hands before grabbing a stack of plates for dinner.  He
            arranges the five on the table and then heads back for
            utensils as Adam runs back in.

                                ADAM
                      He's not there.

                                ROBIN
                      He's here.  Check the bathroom.

                                ADAM
                      I checked everywhere.  He's not there.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            Guster's at the door, whining.  George and Sam are asleep.

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - MORNING

            Colleen is sitting alone at the kitchen table, drinking
            coffee as Alyssa walks in.

                                ALYSSA
                      What are you doing up so early?

                                COLLEEN
                      I couldn't sleep last night.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'm supposed to be mad at you, but I'm
                      not.

            Colleen is trembling as Alyssa pours herself a big bowl of
            Lucky Charms.

                                COLLEEN
                      Why?  What do you mean?

                                ALYSSA
                      Uh...using Josh like that.

            Alyssa eats her cereal as Colleen bursts into a confession.

                                COLLEEN
                      I will never forgive myself.  Never,
                      Alyssa.  I know I took advantage.  It's
                      inexcusable.  Oh, God.  I should have my
                      head examined.

            Alyssa looks confused as she swallows her Lucky Charms.

                                ALYSSA
                      He said you asked him to tighten your
                      toilet seat, too.  That's so uncool.

            Colleen quickly nods.

                                COLLEEN
                      I won't do it again.  I swear.

            Alyssa keeps an eye on her mother as she continues on with
            her cereal.

            EXT. DOKOS HOUSE - MORNING

            Guster is taking a dump on the immaculate lawn.  David Dokos
            rushes from the house dressed in a suit and picks up the shit
            with a gloved hand and heaves it at Guster as the dog trots
            back to safety.  Tom and Barbara, the old early walkers of
            the street, stop and watch as David picks up more crap and
            tosses it onto George's driveway.  He notices Tom and
            Barbara.

                                DAVID
                      Mind your own fucking business!

            Tom and Barbara stay silent as David Dokos walks back into
            his house and slams the front door shut.

            EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - LATE MORNING

            Josh is in eleventh gear on his ten speed peddling like a
            demon for the Beck's house.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE MORNING

            Robin pulls to a stop and Ryan and Adam run from the Range
            Rover to Sam and Alyssa, who are helping an ELECTRICIAN
            (DALE) install the outside boxes and sockets.

                                ADAM
                      Dad's disappeared!

                                RYAN
                      He was there and then he wasn't!

            Sam faces his mother as she walks toward the house.

                                SAM
                      He hasn't called?

                                ADAM
                      Who are you?

            Robin shakes her head "no" to Sam.  Dale turns to face Adam.

                                DALE
                      I'm the electrician.

                                ADAM
                      I'm the builder!

            Sam turns back to finish what he was working on as Alyssa
            grabs Adam with a hug.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            George is swallowing two pills as Robin knocks on the half
            open door, opening it all the way in the process.

                                ROBIN
                      Is your back still killing you?

                                GEORGE
                      I didn't think you'd come today.

                                ROBIN
                      I kept thinking about it, what you
                      said... I hope you were trying to keep me
                      away fro the sake of me.

                                GEORGE
                      No.  Mostly me.

                                ROBIN
                      Peter left me yesterday.

                                GEORGE
                      Left you?

                                ROBIN
                      No goodbye.  No fuck you.  No 'Are you in
                      love with George?'

                                GEORGE
                      What did he say?

                                ROBIN
                      'I'll be in the bedroom.'

            Robin walks to George and holds on to his shirt.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      I couldn't walk in there.
                          (beat)
                      So he left.

            She rests the side of her head against his chest.  He kisses
            her hair.  Outside, a hammer beats a reminder that they're
            not alone.  The ocean drowns the sound long enough for Robin
            to kiss George's chin;
            and in that instant, the instant where everything but the
            touch washes away, George kisses Robin with such punch that
            it knocks them onto the bed.  They continue to forget
            everything as they roll with the punch.

                                SAM (O.S.)
                      Dad, Dale needs to know..

            Sam stops at the jamb of the open door as his mother and
            father scramble to their feet from the bed.

                                GEORGE
                      I had a kink in my...

            As George falters, Robin feels compelled to complete the lie.

                                ROBIN
                      Back.  Neck.  Back.

                                GEORGE
                      What?

                                SAM
                      The door was open.

                                ROBIN
                          (a quick confession)
                      I don't know what I'm doing.

                                SAM
                      I wouldn't let Adam or Ryan see you doing
                      it.

                                GEORGE
                      It won't happen again.

            George and Robin are flustered, embarrassed by being caught,
            something Sam clearly relishes.

                                SAM
                      Dale wants to know if we should run an
                      outside outlet for Christmas lights with
                      a switch inside?

                                GEORGE
                      Absolutely.
                          (beat)
                      Have him put it on a separate line.  At
                      Christmas, we'll pact it so full of
                      lights, we'll make God wear sunglasses.

            Sam laughs, grabs the door and closes it on his parents. 
            Robin slumps, truly embarrassed.

                                ROBIN
                      I could die.

                                GEORGE
                      So could I.

            George touches Robin's chin, draws her head up.  He stares at
            her, afraid to say what he needs to say.

                                ROBIN
                      Are you going to kiss me?

                                GEORGE
                      It's not my back that's killing me.

            Robin furrows her brow, not understanding.  George surrounds
            her head with his hands and kisses her forehead.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            Adam and Ryan are helping Dale run the electrical lines;
            Alyssa and Sam drill screws into the second story
            floorboards.  MUSIC is playing loud on the radio.

            ANOTHER VIEW

            Josh stops peddling quite a distance from George's house and
            gets off to search for Alyssa.  Only seeing Adam, Ryan and
            Dale, Josh pulls out his cell and dials.

            INT. COLLEEN'S BEDROOM - MORNING

            Frustrated and anxious, Colleen slips off the dress she's
            wearing and tries another one as the phone RINGS.

            EXT. GEORGE'S STREET - MORNING

            Josh is standing behind a tree, talking on his cell phone as
            he stares at George's house.

                                JOSH
                      I don't see her.
                          (beat)
                      Please just open the door when I knock.

            He slips the phone back in his pocket, hops back on the bike
            and makes a beeline toward Colleen's house.

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Josh?

            Busted, Josh has no choice but to join Alyssa.

                                JOSH
                      I was hoping...you could..you know.  Go
                      for a ride?

            Alyssa and Sam are leaning out the framed second story
            window.

                                SAM
                      On the handlebars or your shoulders?

                                ALYSSA
                      Are you afraid of heights?

            Sam walks away from the window and goes back to work.

                                JOSH
                      Not really.

                                ALYSSA
                      Can you help us out?

                                JOSH
                      My parents cut my allowance off.  Without
                      a car, I'm totally screwed.

                                ALYSSA
                      George is paying Sam ten dollars an hour.

            Sam sticks his head back out the window.

                                SAM
                      Hey, I can get you three hundred cash for
                      two hours.

                                ALYSSA
                      What?

            Josh is fuming as he stares at Sam.

                                SAM
                      It's just a joke.  A stupid joke.

                                JOSH
                      I could use the money.

            Sam turns away from Josh.  George walks out the garage as he
            wipes his eyes.

                                ALYSSA
                      Hey, George!  I recruited some help for
                      the roof!

            George walks to Josh and extends his hand.

                                GEORGE
                      George Nelson.

                                JOSH
                      Josh.

            Adam races to George with a hug - something unexpected.  Adam
            rushes back to work as George breaks into a smile.  Alyssa
            rushes down the stairs and straight into George's arms.

                                ALYSSA
                      Me too!

            George is still smiling as he tucks a strand of Alyssa's hair
            behind her ear.  Ryan sort of saunters over to George with
            his hands sunk deep in his pockets.  Without asking, George
            wraps his arms around Ryan with a hug.  Afterward:

                                RYAN
                      I just wanted to know where Mom was?

                                GEORGE
                      Oh.  Sorry.

                                RYAN
                      It's okay.

                                GEORGE
                      She needs to be alone, I think.

                                RYAN
                      Because Dad left?

                                GEORGE
                      She's a little sad, is all.

                                RYAN
                      I don't even care if he ever comes back.

            Ryan walks back to Adam, who's been standing still,
            listening.

                                GEORGE
                      Josh, you look like you could use a hug.

                                JOSH
                      No...I'm okay.  I'm okay.

            George is too quick with his hug.  Josh is stiff as a board. 
            Sam looks pissed as he walks away from the second story
            window and resumes screwing the floorboards.  George sets his
            eyes on Dale as he opens his arms wide.

                                DALE
                      Don't even think about it.

            George walks toward Dale with his arms still extended.

                                GEORGE
                      Well, they got me started.

                                DALE
                      I swear to God, I'll use these wires and
                      shock you so bad your tongue will turn
                      black.

            Adam and Ryan are excited as George closes the distance. 
            Finally, Dale drops the harmless wire and takes off in a run.

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - LATE MORNING

            Colleen is pacing the kitchen in a silky dress we haven't
            seen before.  Finally, she grabs the phone.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE MORNING

            George is propped up on the chaise lounge next to the patio
            table where everyone has dropped their crap.  Sam and Josh
            are sheeting the roof with tarpaper.  Robin is still in the
            garage.  One of two cell phones on the table begins to RING.

                                DALE
                      Would you get it for me?

            Dale is in the middle of wiring a box.

                                JOSH (O.S.)
                      Just let mine ring!

                                GEORGE
                      I guess... I don't know.

            George picks up the offender, unsure whose phone it is.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                          (into phone)
                      Hello?

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

                                COLLEEN
                          (into phone)
                      Where are you?  You're driving me crazy,
                      waiting like this.  I want you in me now!

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

            George nearly drops the phone; he sits up straight.

                                GEORGE
                          (into phone)
                      Colleen?!

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

            Colleen sits down, panicked.

                                COLLEEN
                          (into phone)
                      I..I..I.. George?!

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

            George holds the phone out and examines it for a second.

                                JOSH (O.S.)
                      Is it mine?!

                                GEORGE
                      God, I hope not.

                                DALE (O.S.)
                      That's not mine.

                                JOSH (O.S.)
                      Oh, shit!

            Josh trips, slips and slides off the roof to the ground below
            as Alyssa lets out a loud SCREAM.

            INT. COLLEEN'S KITCHEN - LATE MORNING

            Colleen tosses the receiver as though it were a ball on fire.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MINUTES LATER

            Everyone, including Robin, is circled around Josh, who is
            sprawled on the ground.

                                JOSH
                      I'm okay.  I'm fine.  Maybe I'll go home.

                                ADAM
                      Is that bone sticking out?

                                ROBIN
                      Don't move!

                                GEORGE
                      I'm an idiot to have you up there.

                                JOSH
                      No.  It's my fault.

            An ambulance is HEARD approaching.  Colleen runs from her
            house - she's now dressed more appropriately in Levi's and a
            blouse.

                                COLLEEN
                      I heard a scream!

                                JOSH
                      If I could just stand up.

                                ALYSSA
                      Josh fell.

            Colleen stops a few feet short and covers her mouth with a
            trembling hand.

                                GEORGE
                      I think he might have broken a leg.

            The ambulance silences the siren as it turns onto the cul-de
            sac and stops in front of George's house.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - EARLY AFTERNOON

            Robin, George and Sam are sitting at the patio table as Ryan
            and Adam play catch with Guster.

                                GEORGE
                      Two ribs, a finger, a leg, a bruised
                      kidney and a mild concussion aren't bad
                      considering he landed on brick.

            Neither Robin nor Sam attempts a response.  Finally:

                                ROBIN
                      I better get the kids home.

                                GEORGE
                      Not a perfect day.

            Robin stands.  George stands because Robin's standing. 
            Without warning, Robin begins to cry again.  Ryan and Adam
            stop playing ball.  Sam studies her before finally lowering
            his eyes.  With her kids looking on, George stands still,
            hesitant to comfort her.  There's a moment where all that
            there is, where the only thing seen or heard is Robin's pain. 
            After an awkward amount of time, she wipes her eyes, wipes
            her nose, crosses around the table to Sam and kisses the top
            of his head, then his cheek.  Without a word, she walks to
            her car and climbs in; Ryan and Adam quickly join her in the
            car.
			
            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

            George is brushing his teeth, dribbling and foaming over the
            only sink in the garage.  Sam is propped up in bed with
            Guster, dressed on top of the sheets, fingering through a
            stack of CD's.  He glances over at his father twice before
            speaking.

                                SAM
                      You look like shit, lately.

            George spits and rinses, facing Sam as he wipes his mouth.

                                GEORGE
                      You look better than ever.

                                SAM
                      I don't think Mom cares that much that
                      my...that Peter left.

                                GEORGE
                      She seemed upset.

                                SAM
                      What's wrong with your back?

            Sam tries to look slightly less interested than he is by
            continuing to flip through the CD's.  George sits down.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I mean, do you need to have surgery on it
                      or what?  Because those pills you're
                      taking are for a lot of pain.  And you're
                      going through them quick.

                                GEORGE
                      Are you taking them still?

                                SAM
                      No, but I count them.  In a sock isn't
                      new, you know?

            This is not easy for George; he fumbles a bit before
            answering.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm having a problem with cancer.

            Sam stops flipping though the CD's.

                                SAM
                      I don't know what that means.  What kind
                      of problem?

                                GEORGE
                      The kind where there isn't really an
                      answer.

                                SAM
                      I still don't know what that means.

                                GEORGE
                      I wanted you here so we could have a few
                      months together.  Maybe everything
                      happens for a reason.  Something bad to
                      force something good.

            Sam looks somewhat panicked.

                                SAM
                      What?  Are you dying?

            This is not easy for George; he fumbles a bit before
            answering.

                                GEORGE
                      I'm having a problem with cancer.

            Sam stops flipping through the CD's.

                                SAM
                      I don't know what that means.  What kind
                      of problem?

                                GEORGE
                      The kind where there isn't really an
                      answer.

                                SAM
                      I still don't know what that means.

                                GEORGE
                      I wanted you here so we could have a few
                      months together.  Maybe everything
                      happens for a reason.  Something bad to
                      force something good.

            Sam looks somewhat panicked.

                                SAM
                      What?  Are you dying?

            George nods his head.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      And you told Mom today?

                                GEORGE
                      Yes.

            Sam whacks the CD's off his stomach; they scatter across the
            floor.  Guster scoots off the bed in a panic.

                                SAM
                      Fuck you!  You knew you were dying from
                      the start!

            Sam bounds out of bed in a rage.

                                GEORGE
                      We're all dying from the start.
                          (beat)
                      I just got picked for Advanced Placement.

                                SAM
                      You lied to me!

                                GEORGE
                      I would have lied to me if I thought I'd
                      believe it.

                                SAM
                      This was all for your sake, wasn't it? 
                      Having me here?  Trying to get me to like
                      you.

                                GEORGE
                      I never tried to get you to like me.
                          (beat)
                      I tried to get you to love me.

                                SAM
                      Well, congratulations!  You fucking
                      pulled it off!

            Sam storms out of the garage.

            INT. COLLEEN'S ENTRY - NIGHT

            Colleen pulls a robe around her nightgown as the doorbell
            RINGS again and again.  She flips on a light and opens the
            door.  Sam backs away from the door as he talks.

                                SAM
                      Is Alyssa here?

                                COLLEEN
                      It's midnight.  What's the matter, Sam?

                                SAM
                      Nothing.  My dad's dying.  I really need
                      to talk to Alyssa.

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Sam?

            Alyssa is leaning over the upstairs railing.  Sam walks up
            the stairs as Colleen closes the door.

            EXT. BEACH - EARLY MORNING

            Sea lions romp on a rock offshore as gulls circle above.  The
            sun sheets the morning on the water that's blinding.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ROOM - EARLY MORNING

            Alyssa is under the covers holding onto Sam, who is still
            dressed.  Both are asleep.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - EARLY MORNING

            George is in bed in pain.  A prescription bottle is open
            beside him and pills are scattered on the sheet.  A KNOCK on
            the door forces George to gather the pills and hide the
            bottle.

                                GEORGE
                      It's open.

            Kurt the cop opens the door dressed in civilian clothes.

                                KURT
                      It's my day off.  I thought I'd help with
                      the plumbing.

                                GEORGE
                      I need you to do me a favor.

                                KURT
                          (concerned)
                      God, you look like crap, George.

                                GEORGE
                      I want you to find someone for me.

            EXT. COLLEEN'S HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

            Colleen walks out her front door straight to her neighbor's
            house.  After a bit of RINGING and a bit of waiting, Tom (of
            the walking Tom and Barbara) answers the door in a bathrobe.

                                COLLEEN
                      Does your son still own a company that
                      builds houses?

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE MORNING

            Dale is wiring with Adam and Ryan helping.  Kurt, Robin and
            Colleen are setting up and sealing the plastic plumbing
            pipes.  Two new men (GREG and MIGUEL) are on the roof,
            finishing up where Josh fell down.  MUSIC is playing on the
            radio.  George is asleep on the chaise lounge.  Alyssa walks
            across the grass and stops to stare at George.  Tears well in
            her eyes.  Alyssa continues on to the house and walks up the
            stairs.

                                COLLEEN
                      He's been asleep for hours.

                                ROBIN
                      Is Sam okay?

                                ALYSSA
                      He won't leave my room.

                                ROBIN
                      Will he talk to me?

                                ALYSSA
                      No.

            Robin accepts the answer.  Slowly, they all return to work.

            MONTAGE

            The day is productive as we see the black drainpipes and the
            copper water runs coming together like a maze.  The roof is
            shingled and the wiring is nearly complete.  Whether awake or
            asleep, George spends the day in the chaise lounge.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATER

            A city inspector's truck pulls to a stop and Bob Larsen steps
            out with a clipboard and a concerned look on his face. 
            George is dozing on drugs.

                                BOB
                      You're not a plumber, Kurt.

            Kurt finishes hooking in a plugged tee at a turn and stands.

                                KURT
                      I worked every summer with my dad.  Check
                      out what I've done.

                                BOB
                      It's not whether it's good or bad.  You
                      know that.  It's whether your licensed.

            Frustrated, Kurt glances around at all his good work before
            answering.

                                KURT
                      Are you still renting that illegal non
                      conforming studio under your house for a
                      thousand a month?

            Bob opens his clipboard and checks a number of items off.

                                BOB
                      Okay.  Looks good to me.

                                KURT
                      Oh, that's embarrassing.  That was too
                      easy.  At least look around.  I really
                      did do it right.

                                BOB
                      That isn't why I'm here, anyway.

            George wakes up and quickly hones in on Bob.

                                GEORGE
                      I've been dreading you.

            Bob walks toward George as he talks.

                                BOB
                      Mr. Stevens.  One of your neighbors is
                      adamant your home has exceeded its
                      approved height.  He's filed to have
                      construction stopped immediately.

                                GEORGE
                      It's thirty feet.

                                BOB
                      Well, if it is, we have a problem.

            George stands, he appears slightly shaky.

                                GEORGE
                      I have the permit.

                                BOB
                      After your last extension request and
                      with Design Review and the Board of
                      Adjustment and the appeals to the city
                      council, was there an amended permit?

                                GEORGE
                      To the patio and one north-facing
                      window...
                          (suddenly realizing)
                      And six inches to the height.

            George sits back down.  Everyone emerges from the house to
            join George and Bob.

                                GEORGE (CONT'D)
                      David Dokos?

            Bob nods.

                                KURT
                      Why do you let your dog crap on his lawn,
                      day after day?

                                GEORGE
                      I don't let him.  He just loves to.

                                COLLEEN
                      He'll make you tear the entire roof off
                      rather than give you any satisfaction.

                                BOB
                      I'm afraid you won't be able to continue
                      until this is settled.  You can always go
                      back and file an appeal.

                                GEORGE
                      That would take weeks.

                                BOB
                      Months.

                                ROBIN
                      Just so you know, we'll be here working
                      tomorrow and every day after until this
                      house is finished.

                                BOB
                      He'll call us again and then he'll call
                      the police.  He has an attorney on
                      retainer.

                                ROBIN
                      Just so you know.

            Robin turns and walks back into the house.  Colleen, Alyssa,
            Adam and Ryan soon follow.

                                BOB
                      If he hears a hammer, he'll have you
                      arrested.

            Robin picks up the hammer and pounds a nail into a piece of
            wallboard.  Dale, Miguel, Greg and Kurt walk back to the
            house and go back to work.  Bob glances at George who shrugs.

            INT. COLLEEN'S FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT

            Colleen is watching the news as Alyssa walks in to say
            goodnight.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'm going to bed.

                                COLLEEN
                      Has he eaten anything at all?

            Alyssa shakes her head "no" as Colleen flips on the TV.

                                COLLEEN (CONT'D)
                      I'd be more comfortable if he slept in
                      the guestroom.

                                ALYSSA
                      I'd be more comfortable if you hadn't
                      slept with Josh.  And George would be
                      more comfortable if he weren't dying.

            Colleen is embarrassed Alyssa knows the truth.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Comfort doesn't mean that much when just
                      getting through the night is the goal,
                      Mom.

            Alyssa walks out.  Colleen curls up and hides clutching
            pillows on the couch.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - NIGHT

            George is shaking and sweating as he tries to crawl off the
            bed to his sock drawer.  Guster wakes up and hops off Sam's
            bed to lick George on the face.

                                GEORGE
                      Please...I can't.

            George is in real pain as he drops to the floor on his back. 
            He winces and cries out as he pushes himself forward with his
            legs toward the dresser.  George suddenly stops pushing; his
            legs slump flat on the concrete floor.  His eyes flutter shut
            as Guster continues to lick his face.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BATHROOM - MORNING

            Alyssa is dressed, combing through wet hair when the sound of
            construction distracts her.  She opens her window and sticks
            her head out.  Suddenly excited, she pulls her head back in.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BEDROOM - MORNING

            Sam is in bed as Alyssa speeds out of the bathroom.

                                ALYSSA
                      There are like twenty people working on
                      your dad's house!

            Alyssa bolts for the door, but stops short as she faces Sam.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      If it were my father, I'd wanna spend
                      every second with him I had left.

            Sam doesn't face her, doesn't even attempt to look up.

                                SAM
                      You hate your father.

                                ALYSSA
                      If he tricked me into loving him, is what
                      I meant.

                                SAM
                      You'd hate him for the trick.

                                ALYSSA
                      Not if what he left me was real.

            Alyssa leaves, closing the door behind her.  Sam stays put.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            Colleen is talking to Tom and Barbara as they stand to the
            side of the house where a throng of men assemble the house.

                                TOM
                      He pulled this crew off a tract in
                      Newport.  They're the best.

            Robin pulls to a stop on the street and Adam and Ryan run out
            to gawk at all the workers.

                                ROBIN
                      What's going on?

                                COLLEEN
                      I hired some help.

                                ROBIN
                      Why?

                                ALYSSA (O.S.)
                      Mom?!

            Colleen glances back as Alyssa runs to join the group.

                                COLLEEN
                      Atonement.

                                ALYSSA
                      Who are all these people?

                                ROBIN
                      Where's George?

                                COLLEEN
                      I think he's still sleeping.

            ANOTHER VIEW

            Robin walks to the garage door and KNOCKS.  Guster barks. 
            Robin KNOCKS again before opening the door.

            INT. GEORGE'S GARAGE - MORNING

            Guster is beside George on the floor.  Robin rushes in and
            kneels down.

                                ROBIN
                      George!?

            She presses her hand against George's cheek.

                                ROBIN (CONT'D)
                      Wake up...You're still warm.

            George's eyes flutter open.  Robin leans down and kisses him
            on the cheek.  George focuses on Robin; he tries to speak,
            stops, and tries again.  Finally, in a weak voice, we hear:

                                GEORGE
                      Stop licking me.

            INT. COLLEEN'S ENTRY - MORNING

            Alyssa bursts into the house and rushes up the stairs.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ROOM - MORNING

            Sam is sitting on the edge of the bed as Alyssa enters.

                                ALYSSA
                      Your dad's going to the hospital!

            Sam doesn't respond.

                                ALYSSA (CONT'D)
                      Come on!

            Alyssa holds out her hand as we HEAR the ambulance approach.

                                SAM
                      I don't wanna go.

                                ALYSSA
                      He asked where you were!  He wants you
                      with him.

                                SAM
                      I don't wanna go.

            Sam is nearly pleading, frightened to move.  Alyssa walks
            out.  The siren stops.  The front door closes.  Sam sits
            still.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - AFTERNOON

            The house is coming together incredibly fast with all the
            workers.  Tom and Barbara are supervising the crew.  David
            Dokos whips around the corner in his black Mercedes and parks
            in his driveway, rushing over as he yells.

                                DAVID
                      Nothing is built until the Board of
                      Adjustment hears the appeal!

            David is searching for George, finally settling for Tom.

                                DAVID (CONT'D)
                      Where is he?

                                TOM
                      I should have reported you for tossing
                      that piece of dog doo.

            Tom's face is flushed; Barbara calms him by grabbing his arm.

                                BARBARA
                      Tom, let's not overreact now.

            David Dokos stomps his feet and thrusts his fist into the
            air, as a child might if he were overreacting.

                                DAVID
                      I want this fucking piece of shit
                      construction stopped now and I want that
                      goddamn roof ripped off and lowered and I
                      don't care if I have to spend a shit load
                      of money to get it done!!  I will do
                      it!!!

            Tom and Barbara simply stare at him in disbelief.  David
            walks back to his house.  Tom turns to his wife.

                                TOM
                      I want this house finished before he can
                      stop it.

            Tom rolls up his sleeves and walks toward the house to help.

            INT. COLLEEN'S ENTRY - EVENING

            Colleen and Alyssa walk into the house listless - both look
            tired and sad.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BEDROOM - EVENING

            Alyssa enters the room, walks into the bathroom.  Sam is
            gone.

                                ALYSSA
                      Sam?

            INT. ROBIN'S FAMILY ROOM - EVENING

            Adam and Ryan are sitting next to each other on the floor
            subdued, tossing a ball to Guster.  The kitchen door opens
            and Peter walks into the family room.  Adam is the first to
            notice but the last to react.  Ryan stands as Guster barks.

                                RYAN
                      Guster, be quiet.

            Peter has a growth of beard and is dressed in Levi's and a
            knit shirt - he doesn't look like himself.

                                PETER
                      Hey.

                                RYAN
                      Hey.

                                PETER
                      You got a dog?

                                RYAN
                      It's not ours.  It's George's.

            Peter nods.

                                PETER
                      I've missed you guys.

                                RYAN
                      Why?

            Ryan is tough - not giving an inch.  Peter stares at his
            sons, ashamed that the question could be asked.  Adam stands
            and walks to this father, takes his hand.

                                RYAN (CONT'D)
                      I'll tell Mom you're here.

            INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - EVENING

            George is asleep, looking dead with tubes in his arms.  We
            HEAR a bit of the song by Warren Zevon, "MY SHIT'S FUCKED
            UP."  'Well, I went to the doctor/I said 'I'm feeling kind of
            rough'/He said, 'I'll break it to you, son, your shit's
            fucked up.'

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - EVENING

            Sam is alone on the roof in the fading light, stringing party
            lights over the shingles and under the eves.

            INT. ROBIN'S FAMILY ROOM - EVENING

            Robin couldn't look worse as she walks down the hall to the
            family room with Ryan.  Peter is standing alone.  Ryan joins
            Adam on the floor with Guster.  Robin stops and stands ten
            feet from Peter.

                                PETER
                      I thought maybe... I know it's late...but
                      if you're hungry...

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - EVENING

            The sun has set as Sam stands at the edge of the cliff trying
            to garner the courage to jump.  After the sound of a wave
            crashing against the cliff, Sam closes his eyes and leaps off
            the edge of the earth.

            INT. ALYSSA'S ROOM - EVENING

            Alyssa is sitting on the edge of her bed as Colleen stops
            beside the open door.

                                COLLEEN
                      Are you doing okay?

            Alyssa shakes her head "no".  Colleen walks into the room and
            sits down beside her daughter.  Alyssa rests her head on her
            mother's shoulder.

            INT. RESTAURANT - EVENING

            Robin, Peter, Ryan and Adam are in the middle of dinner as
            Adam excitedly tries to explain all that he and his brother
            have accomplished.

                                ADAM
                      And we got to take all the old paint off
                      all the doors and then George taught us
                      how to stain everything and he even let
                      me choose the color I liked best!  And he
                      said he loved me!

                                RYAN
                      We did a lot of the wiring too.

                                ADAM
                      With Dale.  Oh, and I got to drill a hole
                      into a board to put the wire through!

                                PETER
                      I've never heard you so excited about
                      anything.

                                ADAM
                      Maybe you can come help us too?!

                                PETER
                      I'd like that.

            Peter glances at Robin.

            INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

            Sam is still wet as he walks down the hall.  We HEAR more of
            the Warren Zevon song. 'I had a dream/Ah, shucks, oh,
            well/Now it's all fucked up/It's shot to hell.'

            INT. GEORGE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

            Sam enters the room as a NURSE scurries to catch up.

                                NUR
                      I'm afraid no one's allowed in here now.

                                SAM
                      He's my dad.

            Sam is staring at George, who is either asleep or
            unconscious.  The nurse finally relents and walks out.  Sam
            sits in a chair beside the bed and begins to cry.  Slowly,
            George's arm slides out beyond the railing of the bed, his
            hand open.  Sam does his best to stop crying.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      I brought you something.

            Sam pulls out a pair of sunglasses from his shirt pocket. 
            George shakes death and drugs away as he manages to open his
            eyes.

                                GEORGE
                          (weakly)
                      I don't wanna go, Sam.

                                SAM
                      Here.

            Sam gently slides the sunglasses over his father's eyes; he
            rushes to the window and pulls the curtains back.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Can you see?

            Sam walks back to the bed and pulls it toward the window,
            stretching the cords and tubes to their limit.  He grabs the
            remote and raises George's head.  Off in the distance,
            against the backdrop of an endless black ocean, George's
            house is seemingly on fire with lights.  Pain can't stop a
            smile.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      It's almost done.

            George takes hold of Sam's hand with his own.  They continue
            to stare at the lit house holding hands.

            INT. ROBIN'S ENTRY - NIGHT

            The door opens and Robin, Adam, Ryan and Peter are greeted by
            Guster, who bounces around like a wired rabbit.

                                ROBIN
                      Go brush your teeth and get right into
                      bed.  It's late.

            Adam runs to Robin for a kiss, then grabs Peter with a hug.

                                ADAM
                      Goodnight.

                                PETER
                      Goodnight.

            Adam runs up the stairs, Guster right on his heels.  Ryan is
            staring at his father.

                                RYAN
                      Do you know anything about building a
                      house?

                                PETER
                      No.

                                RYAN
                      I guess I could teach you some things.

                                PETER
                      Okay.

            Robin sneaks a quick kiss on Ryan's cheek as he heads for the
            stairs.  After he's gone, Robin turns back to Peter.

                                ROBIN
                      I hardly recognize you with a beard.

                                PETER
                      That was my plan...to be hardly
                      recognizable to you as me.

                                ROBIN
                      I feel in love with George again.

            Peter nods, something he already knows.

                                PETER
                      I'll see you tomorrow.

            Robin nods.  There's a moment where it's clear that Peter
            doesn't want to leave and Robin doesn't want him to leave,
            but after the moment passes, Peter walks out and Robin sits
            down at the base of the stairs.

            INT. ALYSSA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

            Colleen and Alyssa are asleep together on the bed.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

            Sam is up on a ladder, pounding copper nails into cedar
            shingles that face the house.  Alyssa runs across the grass.

                                ALYSSA
                      Where are you?!

                                SAM
                      Floating to Catalina.

                                ALYSSA
                      What?

            Sam steps off the ladder.  Alyssa wraps her arms around him. 
            Sam removes sleepy bugs from Alyssa's eyes before he kisses
            her.  A police car stops in front of the house and Kurt steps
            out.  Alyssa and Sam turn to face him.

                                KURT
                      He said he heard hammering.

                                SAM
                      Who?

            Before Kurt can answer, David Dokos storms out of his house
            and trudges toward them talking.

                                DAVID
                      My attorney is driving down from Newport
                      Beach.  If I hear one more nail being
                      hammered, I swear to God before this is
                      all over I'll end up owing this house!

            As Sam is staring at David Dokos, a hint of recognition
            crosses his face.

                                KURT
                      Mr. Dokos says that your father missed
                      his height envelope by six inches.

                                ALYSSA
                      He wants the entire roof taken off and
                      lowered.

                                SAM
                      Wait a minute.

            A wave of fear rushes through David Dokos that's instantly
            visible.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Do you drive a black Mercedes?

                                DAVID
                      No.

            Sam figures out why we knows David Dokos - from the aborted
            blowjob in the black Mercedes.

                                DAVID (CONT'D)
                      I'm going back to my house to wait for my
                      lawyer.

            David starts to leave, but Sam stops him with:

                                SAM
                      Are you sure we need lawyers?

            David's face is sheet white as he forces himself back around.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Because all we're really talking about is
                      six inches, right?

                                DAVID
                      Are you threatening me?

                                KURT
                      What are you talking about?

                                SAM
                      I'm sixteen years old.  I'm underage. 
                      How could I possibly threaten you?

            David Dokos stares at Sam for a long time before glancing at
            Kurt and his police uniform for just a second.

                                SAM (CONT'D)
                      Would you like to help us finish the
                      house, Mr. Dokos?

                                DAVID
                      Yes, I would.

                                KURT
                      What the fuck?

                                SAM
                      Everything happens for a reason.  That's
                      what my dad said.

                                KURT
                      Then you tell me, what just happened?

                                SAM
                      The payoff.

            Sam walks back to the ladder and hammer, leaving Kurt and
            Alyssa confounded.  David takes a step back.

                                DAVID
                      I'll just...change clothes.

            Sam pounds in another shingle as David walks quickly back to
            his house.

            INT. GEORGE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - MORNING

            George is unconscious as Robin enters and sits down beside
            him with a video camera.

                                ROBIN
                      I found the last time you were happy.

            Robin adjusts the viewfinder and presses play on the camera. 
            George doesn't wake up.  On the tiny screen, we see a younger
            George in the ocean, his arms wrapped around six-year old
            Sam; he shields Sam from the waves and kisses his son's hair. 
            Robin rests the camera on the bed as the video continues to
            play.  She takes hold of George's hand and begins to weep as
            she presses her head on his chest.  An envelope with Robin
            and Sam's name on it rests on the nightstand beside the bed.

            INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            Twenty men along with Tom and Barbara, Alyssa and Colleen,
            Sam and David Dokos are painting; installing windows, floors
            or cabinets as the house begins to take its final shape.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            Peter stops and steps out of his car as Adam and Ryan race
            for the house.

                                ADAM
                      It's almost done!

            Sam walks out the front door.

                                SAM
                      Do you guys feel like painting?

                                ADAM
                      What color?

                                SAM
                      Red.

                                ADAM
                      I love red!  That's my favorite color!

            Adam and Ryan walk into the house as Sam focuses on Peter,
            who keeps his distance.

                                PETER
                      You don't look like you.

                                SAM
                      Either do you.

            Peter glances down at his work clothes.

                                PETER
                      I thought I might be able to help, but it
                      looks like you have all you can handle.

                                SAM
                      Do you like red?

            Peter nods, hesitates for a moment before walking up the
            driveway to Sam.

            INT. GEORGE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - AFTERNOON

            George's bed is empty, stripped of everything.  Robin is
            still sitting in a chair beside the bed, a letter resting on
            her lap.  A NURSE stops at the door.

                                NURSE
                      Are you sure we can't call anyone?

            Robin shakes her head "no".  The nurse moves on.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            From the outside, the house is finished: windows in, doors
            on, roof shingled.  The sun drops behind the house, causing a
            halo of bright light to envelop it.

            INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Most of the workers have gone home, because most of the work
            is done.  All the floor are hand-scrapped cherry; huge beams
            and wood planks lend a strength to the ceiling.  The kitchen
            cabinets are in; the bathrooms are complete.  Sam, Ryan,
            Alyssa, Adam and Peter are the only ones left.  Outside, we
            hear a car pull to a stop.

                                ADAM
                      Mom!

            Adam and Ryan run down the stairs.  Peter stops cleaning a
            brush and walks to the window as Sam stands still.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Adam runs to Robin and meets her mid-yard with a hug.

                                ADAM
                      When does George get to come see his
                      house?

                                ROBIN
                      It's so beautiful.

            Adam and Robin are staring at the house.  Ryan can see the
            strain on his mother's face.

                                RYAN
                      Is George okay?

            All Robin can do is shake her head "no".

            INT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Sam backs away from the window.  Peter turns to face him. 
            Standing straight as he can, being as brave as he can, tears
            well in Sam's eyes as he softly shakes.  Peter walks to Sam
            and wraps his arms around him.

                                GEORGE (V.O.)
                      I always thought of myself as a house.  I
                      was always what I lived in.  It didn't
                      need to be big.  It didn't even need to
                      be beautiful.  I just needed to be mine. 
                      I became what I was meant to be.  I built
                      myself a life.  I built myself a house.

            Sam clings to Peter, completely lost in sorrow.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

            Adam and Ryan have their arms wrapped around their mother as
            we pull back and watch the sun set the sky off in dazzling
            hues of orange and red.

            INT. RANGE ROVER - ONE WEEK LATER

            Robin is driving with Sam beside her in a low-middle income
            neighborhood in Santa Ana.  Sam is holding the letter.

                                ROBIN
                      You're sure about this?

                                SAM
                      Yeah.

                                ROBIN
                      You could keep it and rent it out?

                                SAM
                      This is what he wants.

                                ROBIN
                      I read the letter.  You read the will. 
                      He wants you to keep it.  To live in it
                      some day.

                                SAM
                      Then maybe this isn't what he wants, but
                      this what he was hoping for.
                          (beat)
                      Maybe it's what I want.

            It's clear to see that Robin's proud of Sam's decision.  She
            checks an address on a piece of paper and pulls to a stop.  
            Sam steps out of the car, holding the letter.

            EXT. SANTA ANA APARTMENT BUILDING - MORNING

            Sam is shaking slightly as he walks up the cracked concrete
            walk to the door.  He RINGS the bell.

                                GEORGE (V.O.)
                      Twenty-one years ago, my father crossed a
                      double-line.  He changed my life and the
                      life of a little girl forever with that
                      mistake.  I just can't stop thinking
                      about her.

            A WOMAN in her mid-twenties opens the door in her wheelchair.

                                WOMAN
                      Hello.

            Sam is very nervous as he reaches in his pocket and pulls out
            a set of keys.

                                SAM
                      My father built you a house...

            The woman is confused as Sam holds out the keys.

            EXT. GEORGE'S HOUSE - MORNING

            The house is majestic in its setting among the trees and
            grass, on the jagged just of rock that accepts the constant
            crash of ocean against it with a solid permanence.  This is
            where, if you were a house, you would want to be built.
			                                                                THE END.