BOSTON PUBLIC

BOSTON PUBLIC

"Appendix (4x16)"

Written by Anthony J Fuchs

TEASER

INT. WINSLOW HIGH SCHOOL, TEACHERS LOUNGE (AFTERNOON)

TIGHT: "depths of the earth" printed in a newspaper.

TIGHT: a hand scribbles the letters S-H-E-O-L into boxes.

At a table, HARVEY LIPSCHULTZ attacks a crossword puzzle. As he scribbles in another word, the door swings open and DANNY HANSON enters, crossing to the vending-machine. He drops in change, hits his selection, waits for the soda to drop, and retrieves his drink as he watches Lipschultz.

DANNY

Are you doing a crossword puzzle?

HARVEY

They stave off Alzheimer's.

DANNY

Don't you have a class to teach?

HARVEY

Lauren's covering for me.

Danny shrugs, pops the top on the soda, tips it back. As he drinks, though, he is struck with a sudden realization.

DANNY

Wait; who, Lauren DAVIS?

HARVEY

Of course, Lauren Davis.

Danny stares at Harvey for a moment to see if he's joking.

DANNY

Harvey; Lauren's gone.

Harvey finally looks up with a concerned expression.

HARVEY

Did she get sick?

DANNY

Lauren Davis left Winslow a year-and-

a-half ago. She teaches Early American

History at Exeter Prep.

Harvey watches Danny a moment before cracking a sour grin, like he just realized he's being teased.

HARVEY

(back to crossword)

We got Chinese takeout for lunch.

Danny crosses the lounge, setting his soda on the table.

DANNY

Harvey; are you feeling alright?

HARVEY

Of course.

(looks up)

I feel fine.

DANNY

You look pale.

HARVEY

Wrinkled too.

DANNY

Any dizziness? Disorientation?

HARVEY

You're an English teacher, Danny; not

a doctor.

DANNY

I'm a concerned colleague.

HARVEY

I'm as fit as the Proverbial fiddle.

DANNY

(smirk)

There's no Proverb about a fiddle.

HARVEY

Here I thought you were an atheist.

DANNY

Even atheists read the Bible, Harvey.

HARVEY

Why?

DANNY

Same reason they read Harry Potter;

fiction is entertaining.

Danny picks up a section of the newspaper and opens it.

DANNY

The news? Reality? That's not fun.

"11 charged in bombing plot"; "Rove

and Cheney sued by outed operative";

"Police hunt cop-killer near campus."

It's just depressing.

(reads)

Oh, but here's an interesting piece.

Danny tosses down the paper in front of Harvey.

TIGHT: a handwritten message in elegant script reads:

MISTER LIPSCHULTZ,

WOULD YOU PLEASE

MEET ME BY THE

MAIN OFFICE. IT'S

VERY IMPORTANT.

Back to Harvey, who looks curiously at the note.

HARVEY

I know that handwriting.

DANNY

(laughs)

You don't remember that Lauren left

eighteen months ago, but you can

identify the author of a note just

by looking at the handwriting? I

don't mean to laugh at you, Harvey,

but that's just plainly ridiculous.

HARVEY

(confused)

It's my wife's.

Danny stops laughing and becomes totally serious.

DANNY

Do you really think so?

Harvey watches Danny a moment before cracking a sour grin.

HARVEY

I know when I'm being patronized,

Mr. Hanson.

DANNY

At least you can still see that.

Danny takes the paper, leans back in his seat, and reads. Harvey set back to work on his crossword puzzle.

TIGHT: "waking dream" printed in a newspaper.

TIGHT: Harvey scribbles the letters L-U-C-I-D into boxes.

As Danny reads the frontpage, Harvey glances up to find the cryptic invitation, upside down, in the corner of the page. He fights the urge for a moment, conflicted, but finally stands and heads out of the room. Danny watches him leave, his expression simultaneously amused and concerned.

INT. WINSLOW HIGH SCHOOL, HALLWAY

Harvey shuffles down the completely abandoned corridor.

He turns a corner, finding another long hallway lined with closed classroom doors. He stops at the junction, looking down the corridor, unsure; he turns around toward the hall he just came down, looking equally uncertain.

After a few moments, he turns down the new corridor and heads for the far end, where he reaches a wide window that looks out to the street in front of the building. Outside, he finds a steel-grey snow-sky that looks ready to erupt.

Harvey watches the weather with mounting apprehension until he turns away, looking down the hallway to his left. At the other end he can see the lobby and main office, and a WOMAN standing on the Winslow logo, her back to him, waiting.

Confused, relieved, eager, Harvey heads down this last hall toward the lobby, toward the Woman. He calls out to her.

HARVEY

Hello? Miss?

She doesn't answer, just mills aimlessly and looks around.

HARVEY

Are you the one who wrote the note?

She still doesn't answer, doesn't look to Harvey.

HARVEY

Are you waiting for me?

Still no answer, but as Harvey finally reaches the lobby and the office, the woman turns to face him. She is in her upper-70's, but Time has been kind to her; she might look twenty years younger. She smiles at Harvey as he gasps.

HARVEY

What are you doing here?

She looks at Harvey as the CLASS BELL RINGS.

Harvey turns at the sound, glancing down the hall. Students flood out of classrooms into the corridors, and when Harvey turns back to find the Woman, SHE'S GONE. The mass exodus of students swells around him, and he frantically scans the lobby for the woman he thinks is his wife -- HIS DEAD WIFE.

FADE TO BLACK

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