ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

For a long moment, Sam and Harrison just stand there, in each
other's arms. Then Harrison breaks away, embarrassed.

HARRISON
(muttering)
Sorry.

He turns away, but she puts out a hand to stop him.

SAM
Wait.

Harrison turns back, clearly surprised.

SAM (CONT'D)
(laughing nervously)
Hey, it's okay. Really.

HARRISON
Sam...you hate my guts? Remember?

Sam just shakes her head.

HARRISON
What do you mean—?

And he mimics her gesture to finish the question.

SAM
Harrison...what you did...you and
Brooke... Yes, I was unbelievably
pissed at you. But...we've been
through so much... You don't think
I could ever really hate you, do
you?

HARRISON
(nods)
Uh-huh. Sure you could. Easy.
Come on, Sam I saw it in your eyes.
Absolute burning hatred, one
hundred-percent pure.

Sam fidgets uncomfortably.

SAM
Okay, I DID hate you, yes. Along
with Brooke, and Mom, and Mike, and
Carmen, and even Lily. I'm just
tired of it.
(gently)
Looke now. Do you still see it?
Absolute, burning hatred?

HARRISON
(awkwardly)
No.

SAM
(eyes downcast)
Look, I know nothing can fix all
the things that have happened...
what we had, we can never get back.
I'm just tired of hating you.
Tired of fighting with you.

HARRISON
I don't want to fight with you
either, Sam.

Sam looks relieved—momentarily.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
But...I may not have a choice.

SAM
(confused)
What's that mean?

Harrison braces himself.

HARRISON
Sam...I know.

Sam's only reaction is a bewildered shake of the head.

SAM
You know?

Sam waits patiently, then holds out her hands and shrugs.

SAM (CONT'D)
Know what?

HARRISON
(growing impatient)
Sam—I KNOW.

SAM
Know WHAT?

HARRISON
SAM!

SAM
WHAT?

HARRISON
I know about the drugs!

Sam looks around hastily to see if anyone is within earshot,
but they seem to be alone.

SAM
Shhh!

HARRISON
No, Sam, I will not shh! Brooke,
Lily, Carmen... I'm tired of
people lying to me!

SAM
I'm not— Wait. What do you mean,
Brooke?

HARRISON
Uhhh...

SAM
Brooke lied to you?
(creeping sarcasm)
That seems so...unlike Brooke.

HARRISON
Sam, please.

SAM
Okay, okay. So you and Brooke had
a tiff? That's why you're running
through the halls, I guess—chasing
after her?

HARRISON
(defensively)
No, Brooke and I are fine, thank
you. I was chasing after Natalie.

SAM
(surprised)
Nat? You're fighting with Nat?

HARRISON
It wasn't really... I said some
things I shouldn't have.

SAM
(shaking her head)
What is it with you and girls,
Harrison?

HARRISON
I don't know! I swear, sometimes
I think I ought to just become a
monk!

Sam literally doubles over laughing.

SAM
Whatever you say, "Brother"
Harrison...

HARRISON
Anyway, I don't want ot talk about
me. I want to talk about you.

Sam sobers instantly.

SAM
I don't.

HARRISON
Sam, I... You're the smartest,
most sensible person I know.
Drugs? How COULD you?

SAM
Harrison, shut up!

HARRISON
No! I can help you, if you'll let
me!

SAM
(hissing)
I don't...have...a problem.

She turns and walks away; he follows stubbornly.

HARRISON
Yes you do!

Sam looks up and down the corridor to make sure they're alone,
then pulls him close so that he can hear:

SAM
(low)
Look, I don't know what you think,
or what Brooke told you, or didn't
tell you, but it's not like that,
okay? I'm not snorting powder up
my nose, or shooting up in some
crack house. They're just pick-me-
ups. They give a boost so I can
handle everything. That's all.

Harrison gives her a withering, skeptical look.

SAM (CONT'D)
Okay, sometimes I take something to
make me feel good. There's no harm
in that.

HARRISON
(incredulous)
No harm? No harm? You don't know
what this stuff is doing to you!
Not to mention the little fact that
it's ILLEGAL?

Sam shrugs indifferently, conveying what she thinks about both
issues. Harrison's expression turns to stone.

HARRISON
(flat)
You don't care.

SAM
(casually)
Should I?

Harrison takes a step back, shaking his head in resignation.

HARRISON
I'm sorry, Sam.

Puzzlement is clear on her face.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
I thought I could help, but...the
Sam I know...the Sam I fell in love
with...she'd never not care.

As puzzlement turns to consternation, Harrison turns and
simply walks away. Sam watches him go, her mouth hanging
open; it isn't until he's disappeared around a corner that
she starts to recover.

SAM
(distant)
Harrison? Harrison, wait—

She lets out a heavy sigh, shoulders slumped.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Mike and Jane are walking down the hall purposefully, with
Brooke flitting behind.

BROOKE
Would you guys just stop and let
Mr. Osbourne try to handle this?

MIKE
He didn't handle it very well
before. He even admitted that.

BROOKE
That was MY fault! If you're
going to blame somebody, blame ME!

JANE
We're not blaming anyone, honey.
And I can appreciate you not
wanting to get Sam into trouble.

MIKE
Mr. Osbourne shouldn't have let
himself be influenced like that.

BROOKE
(bitter)
Oh, he should've been more like
YOU, and decided in advance that I
couldn't POSSIBLY have anything
worthwhile to say.

JANE
That's not fair, Brooke.

BROOKE
It's totally fair!
(to Mike)
You think I'm some little girl
with nothing but empty space
between her ears!

Mike stops, genuinely hurt.

MIKE
That's not true, Brooke. It's
never been true.

BROOKE
It's always been true. You've
never taken me seriously. I've
just been the basket case you had
to take care of after Mom left.

Mike turns white. He opens his mouth to respond—but Jane
steps between them, outraged herself.

JANE
Brooke! That was an incredibly
vicious thing to say! And you know
it's not true! You apologize to
your father right now, or—

BROOKE
Or what, you'll ground me till I'm
eighteen?

Mike, by this time, has settled into an interesting shade of
red.

MIKE
You listen, young lady, as long as
you're living under OUR roof—

But Brooke isn't backing down one inch.

BROOKE
Sam found a way around that. Maybe
I should, too.

Possibly recognizing the thin ice upon which they've moved,
Jane holds up her hands to restore peace.

JANE
I think everyone needs to calm
down. We'll talk about this later,
at home, okay? Right now we have
to meet with Mr. Krupps.

With Jane taking the lead, they resume walking.
Unfortunately, defusing the more volitile confrontation does
nothing to solve the original one.

BROOKE
You DON'T have to meet with Mr.
Krupps.

JANE
We have an appointment, dear. We
can't just not show up.

BROOKE
You have—?
(shaking her head)
You never intended to listen to Mr.
Osbourne. You had your minds made
up from the start.

MIKE
Of course not, Brooke.

JANE
We hoped Mr. Osbourne could help us
figure out what to say to Mr.
Krupps.
(sighs)
But I'm afraid I still don't have
much of an idea.

They have reached the office; Mike opens the door and they
file in, effectively cutting off Brooke's response.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

The only person behind the counter is Krupps' secretary,
Shirley, who steps up upon seeing them.

MIKE
Hello, we're Mr. and Mrs. McQueen.
We have an appointment with
Principal Krupps.

SHIRLEY
Of course. Mr. Krupps is running a
little late. He'll be with you
shortly if you'll just wait here.

JANE
Thank you.

Mike and Jane sit together on the back-wall bench; Brooke
pointedly stands in the corner, arms folded, glowering.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Sam walks down the destered hall, a melancholy air about her.
She stops at a small, unmarked door, unlocks it with a key
from her ring, and steps through.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' BACK OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

A dim, crowded space that looks more like a janitor's
storeroom than anything else, though there are signs that Sam
has reclaimed some of the cluttered surface area, including an
old desk that takes up much of the available space. With a
little sigh, she sits on the edge of the desk and surveys the
cramped room. That's when she notices that the door to Krupps'
main office is cracked, just a bit. She gets up and goes over
to close it—but then she hears faint voices, and instead
presses her ear to the crack to listen.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Krupps and Mr. Osbourne are in the middle of an interesting
conversation. Both men are standing and on the move, almost
as if they are sparring.

KRUPPS
Erick, I do sincerely appreciate
your concerns. But, as I've said
before, I'm just not bothered by
the opinions of others.

OSBOURNE
Yes, but—

KRUPPS
My relationship with Sam is
completely legitimate, and that's
the bottom line.

OSBOURNE
Still, I feel I must question the
propriety of the more...personal
aspects of that relationship

KRUPPS
There has never been inappropriate
conduct between Sam and myself.
Beyond that, it's not your concern.

OSBOURNE
With all due respect, Sir, the
Board may feel that it's their
concern.

KRUPPS
(quietly)
Is that a threat, Erick?

Osbourne waves a hand dismissively.

OSBOURNE
Your conduct with Miss McPherson
has been quite public—
intentionally so, I might add. The
Board hardly needs to rely upon a
single instructor for information.

KRUPPS
You're right, of course. I
apologize.

OSBOURNE
Frankly, I have as little concern
for the Board as you do. My
concern lies solely with Miss
McPherson's well-being. I continue
to believe that this relationship
may ultimately prove detrimental to
her.

KRUPPS
(shocked)
How can you say that? I only want
the best for Sam!

OSBOURNE
Yes, Sir, I do know that. However,
I strongly advise you to closely
consider your motivations regarding
Miss McPherson.

KRUPPS
My motivation is simple: I want to
help Sam succeed. At school, in
life.

OSBOURNE
That's obvious. Sir. What wasn't
as obvious was the reason WHY you
so desperately wanted this.

KRUPPS
Why? Because I wanted to. Isn't
that enough?

OSBOURNE
Except that isn't the real reason,
Sir, is it?

KRUPPS
(warily)
I don't know what you're talking
about.

OSBOURNE
Sir, I feel extremely diffident
about prying into someone's private
life. But I felt it my duty as an
educator—and my obligation to Miss
McPherson.

KRUPPS
Prying? Into whose private life?

OSBOURNE
Yours, Sir. Unfortunately. The
records are obscure, but not
hidden. I know, Sir. About
Amanda.

At that, Krupps freezes, adn looks at Osbourne with a
dangerous glint in his eyes.

KRUPPS
Excuse me?

Osbourne reaches for Krupps' desk, picks up a photograph: a
protrait of a little girl, three or four years old.

OSBOURNE
(gently)
She would have been...fourteen this
month, yes? She was a lovely
child.

KRUPPS
You're treading on very dangerous
ground, Erick. If you're
suggesting—

OSBOURNE
My apologies, Sir. As I said, I am
extremely diffident about all of
this. However, to be perfectly
blunt, yes, I AM suggesting. You
saw Miss McPherson, whose father
had passed away. You knew that she
was estranged from her mother and
stepfather. And you saw an
opportunity—a second chance, as it
were. To take on, in a way, the
role of father which had been
denied you. And in turn, Miss
McPherson could act as the daughter
you had lost.
(pause)
She doesn't know, of course.

KRUPPS
About Amanda? Of course not. It
would just confuse her.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' BACK OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Where, still listening at the door, Sam indeed looks quite
confused and out-of-sorts. She steps away, shaking her head
bleakly.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

KRUPPS (CONT'D)
Listen, Erick, I can see how it
might look that way. I can even
concede that, subconciously, some
of what you're saying might be
subliminally true. But, dammit, I
do NOT think of Sam as a
replacement for my daughter!

OSBOURNE
Still, I believe that...taking Miss
McPherson under your wing in these
circumstances is highly dangerous
emotionally. For both of you.

The intercom on Krupps' desk buzzes, interrupting the
conversation. Krupps goes behind the desk and picks up the
phone.

KRUPPS
(into the phone)
Yes, Shirley?... Yes, please tell
them I'll be right out.

He hangs up, and looks at Osbourne across the desk.

KRUPPS (CONT'D)
My next appointment is waiting.
Sam's mother and stepfather.
(ironic)
I wonder what they'll have to say?

With that, he guides Osbourne to the door.

KRUPPS
Erick...about Amanda...

OSBOURNE
You have my word, Mr. Krupps, that
I'll not discuss your private life
with anyone.

KRUPPS
Including Sam.

OSBOURNE
Including Miss McPherson. Though
I believe you owe it to her to do
so at some point.

KRUPPS
(non-committal)
I'll have to think about that. In
any case, thank you for your
discretion.

CUT TO:

INT. THE OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

The McQueens—all three of them—are quite surprised to see
Osbourne walk out of Krupps' office along with the principal.
Mike and Jane get up and step forward. Krupps' eyes take them
all in, finally resting on Brooke.

KRUPPS
Mr. McQueen, Mrs. McQueen. So
sorry to keep you waiting.
(to Brooke)
Are you joining us, Miss McQueen?

MIKE/JANE
(simultaneous)
No.

BROOKE
(a half-second later)
No.

JANE
It's Sam we need to talk to you
about.

Meanwhile, Brooke and Osbourne share a look, and a barely-
perceptible shake of the head by Osbourne. Brooke looks from
Osbourne to Krupps to Mike and Jane, apparently coming to a
decision. Then she takes three quick steps to Krupps' side
and goes up on the tips of her toes for a moment.

BROOKE
(in Krupps' ear)
Watch Sam's back.

The flashes Mike and Jane a furious, wrathful glance, then
turns to Osbourne. With her back to the others, she
mouths "call me" to him silently. He nods fractionally, and
she spins and walks out of the office.

OSBOURNE
Well. I'll leave you to your
business.

And Osbourne follows Brooke out. Krupps gestures for Mike
and Jane to follow him.

KRUPPS
Please, come in.

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY

Sam is sitting on the floor, huddled up against the door to
Krupps' back office, head half-buried in her arms. She's so
lost in her own little world that she doesn't notice when
someone walks up, stops in front of her, then squats down for
a closer look.

HARRISON
Sam?

He reaches out to touch her hair. That's when she loks up,
long enough to recognize him, before ducking her head again.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
Sam, are you okay?

No glance up this time; just a slight shake of the head.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
Aw, man...

He sits himself down on the floor next to her.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
It's this bad habit I have, making
girls cry. I don't mean to. It's
just a gift. A perverse gift.
Listen, about what I said before—

SAM
It's not you, Harrison.

HARRISON
(surprised)
It's not? Well, uh...in that case
I stand by everything I said
before.

That manages to drag a rueful chuckle out of Sam, before she
settles back into her gloom.

HARRISON
Sam, what is it? What's wrong?

No response.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
C'mon. You can tell me.

Silence.

HARRISON (CONT'D)
Besides, if you can't tell me, who
CAN you tell?

Nothing. Harrison gives up, leaning his head back against the
wall with a sigh.

SAM
(muffled)
What if...?

HARRISON
(riveted)
What? Sam?

She lifts her head clear of her arms.

SAM
What if...you thought someone liked
you for one reason, but it turned
out they liked youfor a totally
different reason?

HARRISON
I don't think I understand.

SAM
I mean...what if you found out
someone liked you because you...
reminded them of someone else?

HARRISON
I guess, uh... Are you sure this
person likes you, not this other
person?

SAM
I'm pretty sure. Yeah.

HARRISON
And they really like you?

SAM
Yeah. Definitely.

HARRISON
(uncertainly)
Well...then maybe...maybe it
started one way, and just changed
to something else. I mean, if
you're the one this person really
likes...it is really all that
important?

Sam hauls herself to her feet.

SAM
I don't know.

HARRISON
(standing)
Yeah, right. I mean, look at me,
giving advice? You should probably
run in the opposite direction as
fast as you can.

Suddenly Sam turns and hugs him tightly for a second. Before
he can react, she releases him and slips through the office
door, locking it behind her. Harrison is left to stand there,
shaking his head, completely bewildered.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' BACK OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Sam goes back to the desk and again perches on its edge. She
digs into her pants pocket and pulls out two blue pills. For
several long moments, she just holds them in her palm, staring
down at them indecisively. She casts a long, indecipherable
look at the outer door; finally she pops the pills into her
mouth and swallows them. Then she again steps to the door to
Krupps' office, perhaps to see if the principal and Osbourne
are still talking.

CUT TO:

INT. KRUPPS' OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Mike and Jane are sitting at Krupps' desk—again, the
appearance of a normal conference. But it's already starting
to get out of hand.

JANE
...Mr. Krupps, we're not trying to
accuse you of anything.

MIKE
(muttering)
...cavorting around with teenage
girls...

Jane squeezes Mike's hand to quiet him.

KRUPPS
I'm thankful for that—and any
accusations would be groundless
anyway.

Mike scoffs; Jane hushes him again.

JANE
You understand, we're just very
concerned about Sam.

KRUPPS
Of course you're concerned for
Sam's welfare. So am I. I've done
everything possible to ensure her
well-being.

JANE
We appreciate the things you've
done for Sam—

Mike scoffs again; this time Krupps turns his attention his
way.

KRUPPS
(carefully polite)
Is there something you'd like to
add, Mr. McQueen?

Mike looks at him like he's a serial killer.

MIKE
Look, I don't know what you're
doing, carrying on with Sam, or
what you expect to gain from plying
her with favors—

KRUPPS
"Plying"? "Favors"?

MIKE
(derisively)
You're going to sit there and tell
me Sam gets treated like everyone
else.

KRUPPS
Of course not. As Treasurer of
the Student Body Fund, as well as
someone whose input I value, Sam
has access and privileges that
other students don't. As for gain,
I gain great satisfaction in
watching Sam succeed.

At this point, Jane tries to reinsert herself into the
conversation.

JANE
But, Mr. Krupps, we're worried
about other things...like the trip
last weekend.

KRUPPS
An extra-curricular activity. Sam
and I engaged in casual conduct.
Casual does not mean improper.

JANE
I'm sorry, but— From what we
heard, it...appeared to be more
than just casual.

KRUPPS
Appearances can be deceiving.

Mike leaps from his chair.

MIKE
Aha! You admit that you've
involved Sam in some twisted game—

Krupps stands as well; the two men face off across the desk.

KRUPPS
In whatever we have done, Sam has
involved herself. I have never
coerced her to do anything against
her will.

MIKE
She's a child!

KRUPPS
She's an extemely capable young
woman. More than capable enough to
make her own decisions.

MIKE
You've manipulated her—!

KRUPPS
I don't think Sam is the type to be
easily manipulated.

MIKE
—managed to get her under your
thumb—!

KRUPPS
(icily)
Pardon my bluntess, but if you
really think I have Sam "under my
thumb", then you truly have no idea
of her strengths.

MIKE
I know your type. How long before
Sam gets invited back to your place
for the weekend?

But Krupps has no chance to respond to that. The door to the
back office flies open, slamming into the wall with a crash
that makes everyone jump. Sam comes storming in, nearly
apoplectic, fairly radiating waves of fury.

SAM
HOW DARE YOU?

She marches up to Mike, eyes blazing.

SAM (CONT'D)
You have NO right to stand there and
judge Mr. Krupps!

JANE
Sam, we're just worried—

SAM
Ha! You're worried I might have a
life away from your clutches! So
you come here to try to steal it,
or ruin it, llike you've tried to
do with everything else!

MIKE
That's enough! We're your—

He never gets the word "parents" out: Sam overrides him in a
voice so loud and so enraged that Jane actually winces at it.

SAM
(booming)
YOU—ARE—NOT!

Her arm comes straight out, shaking in rage like the rest of
her, finger pointing unhesitatingly at Krupps.

SAM (CONT'D)
HE is more of a father to me than
YOU could ever HOPE to be!

Sam's thundering declaration dies away into a moment of
silence; Krupps uses that moment to take hold of Sam's
outstretched wrist.

KRUPPS
Sam...

Turning to face him, she transforms instantly: the rage
melting away, her expression becoming apologetic.

SAM
Mr. Krupps, I'm sorry, I didn't
mean to eavesdropp... I
couldn't...just let him...

He moves his grip from her wrist to her hand, squeezing it
reassuringly.

KRUPPS
(soothing)
It's all right, Sam. I can handle
this.

SAM
(wavering)
You're sure?

KRUPPS
I'm sure. You're stressed. Go
home. Unwind.

Jane and even Mike hang back cautiously, unwilling to provoke
Sam again.

SAM
You won't...let them...?

KRUPPS
I won't. I promise. Everything
will work out.

Sam hesitates, lingering.

KRUPPS (CONT'D)
(gently)
Go.

Finally Sam lets go of Krupps' hand, stepping quietly through
the back door and closing it behind her, without so much as a
glance back at Mike or Jane. Krupps watches her go, then
turns back to them.

KRUPPS (CONT'D)
Well.

Jane starts to try to get the conversation going.

JANE
Mr. Krupps—

He holds up a hand to forestall her.

KRUPPS
Let's cut to the chase, shall we?
You can file a complaint against me
with the Board if you wish. I can
tell you now that it'll go nowhere.
I personally think that if you do
anything of the sort, all you'll
get from it is an expedited
emancipation hearing, at which Sam
will legally sever all ties to you.

Jane looks as if she's just been told she has a terminal
illness.

JANE
You'd...help her do that?

KRUPPS
I'd do everything in my power to
keep her from doing it. Sam needs
her mother, whether she wants to
admit it to herself right now or
not.

Mike, meanwhile, is seething over being excluded from this
exchange. But Jane doesn't seem to notice.

CUT TO:

INT. OSBOURNE'S CAR - MOVING

While maneuvering through traffic, Osbourne puts on a headset
attachment to his cell phone, then reaches out and punches out
a number.

CUT TO:

INT. BROOKE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

The phone rings twice before Brroke breezes in, kicking the
door shut behind her, and picks it up.

BROOKE
(into the phone)
Hello?

INTERCUT BETWEEN OSBOURNE AND BROOKE

OSBOURNE
(into the mic)
Good afternoon, Miss McQueen.

BROOKE
Mr. Osbourne! Did somehting
happen? Dad and Jane aren't home
yet?

OSBOURNE
I expect they will be shortly. I
saw them leave just before I did.

BROOKE
(breathlessly)
So? What happened?

OSBOURNE
Apparently Miss McPherson
interrupted the meeting, in rather
spetacular fashion.

Brooke sits down on the edge of the bed.

BROOKE
Okay... What's that mean?

OSBOURNE
(dryly)
I heard her, and I was in the
hallway.

BROOKE
(eyes wide)
Ohhh... What'd she say?

OSBOURNE
I couldn't quite tell. But judging
from your father and stepmother's
bearing, I doubt she took their
side. I believe she...told them
off, as it were.

BROOKE
(sighs)
Great. They'll be in a lousy mood,
then. Maybe I oughta go to the
mall. I haven't been getting along
all that great with them myself,
you know.

OSBOURNE
So you've said. I would certainly
think it prudent to avoid the
subject of Miss McPherson.

Brooke stands up and goes to the door.

BROOKE
I think it's prudent to avoid them
completely. I'm locking my door as
we speak.

And, indeed, she does just that.

BROOKE (CONT'D)
So, is there any other news on the
Sam front?

Unseen by Brooke, Osbourne purses his lips in thought.

OSBOURNE
Hmmm.

Brooke flops back onto her bed.

BROOKE
What kind of answer is "hmmm"?
Come on, spill.

OSBOURNE
(arching an eyebrow)
"Spill", Miss McQueen?

BROOKE
Okay, now you're just teasing me.
I can tell.

OSBOURNE
I? Tease? Never.
(pause)
Very well, though it's not news,
exactly. Before I left campus, I
had an interesting conversation
with a friend of mine who works in
the District office.

He pauses dramatically.

BROOKE
And?

OSBOURNE
He told me that, lacking an
ironclad case, the Board would be
predisposed against taking any
action against Principal Krupps.
Or so people are quietly saying,
anyway.

BROOKE
(musing)
I've seen the Board, and they're
not very reasonable. But that just
sounds weird.

OSBOURNE
Indeed. However, it does tend to
support a hypothesis of mine.

BROOKE
(prompting)
Hypothesis?

OSBOURNE
That the charade our principal and
Miss McPherson have engaged in—

BROOKE
Trying to make everyone think
they're fooling around.

OSBOURNE
Creating a suggestion of intimacy,
yes. Its ultimate purpose may
simply be to prove a point.

BROOKE
(frowning)
What point? Just to show he can?
Or rub the Board's noses in the
fact that he's untouchable, for
whatever reason?

OSBOURNE
My thoughts as well. Your powers
of deduction are excellent as
always, Miss McQueen.

Brooke can't help but grin at that; a grin that disappears
when she hears a noise outside. She leaps off the bed and
peeks out the blinds of her window.

BROOKE
Uh-oh—the parental units are here.
My powers of deduction tell me if I
hide under the bed, they might not
find me.

OSBOURNE
Miss McQueen...

BROOKE
I'm kidding. I think. See you
tomorrow?

OSBOURNE
Of course. Until tomorrow, then,
Miss McQueen.

BROOKE
Bye, Mr. Osbourne.

Brooke hangs up the phone. She flips up her bedspread and
takes a peek underneath, apparently sizing up the space. Then
she lets the covers fall back, and settles for sitting on the
floor against the bed, bringing her knees up and folding
herself into as small a space as possible.

CUT TO:

INT. MIKE'S CAR

Having just pulled into the driveway, Mike turns the ending
off. But instead of getting out, he just sits there, zombie-
like. Jane has undone her seatbelt and unlatched her door
before she notices that he's not moving.

JANE
Mike? What is it? You haven't
said a word since we left school.
(pause)
She didn't mean it, Mike. She's
just mad as hell. And then there's
Principal Krupps—

For the first time, Mike responds.

MIKE
Principal—? Oh...Sam.

JANE
(realizing)
You were thinking about Brooke.

For the briefest of moments, there might be a hint of
resentment in Jane's face. But then—if it was ever there—
it's gone.

MIKE
I know Sam is just confused.
Brooke...

She lays a comforting hand on his shoulder.

JANE
She didn't mean what she said,
either. You have to believe that.

Silence follows.

JANE (CONT'D)
Mike, please talk to me.

MIKE
I'm just thinking about...losing
control.

JANE
(laughs ruefully)
Over our daughters? We've sure
managed that.

But Mike is shaking his head.

MIKE
You're supposed to lose control of
your teenage children. I read that
somewhere. I meant...losing
control of myself.

JANE
Yourself? What do you mean? You'd
never do anything to Brooke...

Mike starts to choke up.

MIKE
Oh, you don't know, Jane. When
Brooke...when she said...about
having to take care of her...I...I
almost...

He wipes his hands over his face, unable to go on.

JANE
I know you. No matter what you
think... You'd never lay a hand on
Brooke.

Mike shakes his head miserably.

MIKE
No... I almost...I almost told her
she was the reason Kelly left.

Jane's mouth drops open.

JANE
Oh, Mike...

Mike turns to her, tortured by the thought.

MIKE
Can you imagine that? Blaming
Brooke for our divorce? For my
mistakes? Oh, God, Jane... I—I
never would have been able to take
it back. I would've lost her.
Forever.

JANE
You didn't, Mike, you didn't.

MIKE
I almost did... If you hadn't have
jumped in... I came THAT close to
losing it. To doing...something I
would have regretted the rest of my
life. That scares me, Jane. It
scares the hell out of me.

Jane leans over and hugs him tightly.

JANE
I'm here... We'll get through
this. We'll fix things with
Brooke. And with Sam. We'll be a
family again, I swear...

CUT TO:

INT. OUTSIDE SAM'S APARTMENT - LATER

Sam comes down the hall towards her apartment door, but just
as she gets there, she notices that Jaycee's door, across the
hall, is slightly ajar, and she makes a sharp left turn.

SAM
(calling)
Hey, Jaycee! You left your door open!

No answer. Sam hesitates, then cautiously pushes the door
open.

CUT TO:

INT. JAYCEE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

Sam steps inside the apartment, looking around.

SAM
(calling)
Jaycee?
(pause)
Jaycee, are you here?

Silence.

SAM (CONT'D)
Reyanna? If you guys are here and,
uh, doing anything...just—moan, or
something...

She looks towards the closed door to the bathroom. But then
she hears a faint noise form beyond the far side of the bed,
where she can't see. Curious, she walks around the bed.

Jaycee is sprawled on the floor next to the bed, unconscious,
beaten to a bloody pulp.

Sam sees her, and screams.

BLACK OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR

THE END