INT. CHURCH — Shot of a coffin at the altar, camera pans out to include the backs of the mourners heads, heads are bowed and all people are dressed in black. We hear the sniffling from a couple of people in the crowd. The church organ plays.
(voice fades in) … to celebrate the life of Trent Harper … (voice fades out again)
INT. KITCHEN — Same day. Camera shows the kitchen, piled with dishes. MADELINE (30) looking dishevelled draped over the kitchen table head resting between her outstretched arms. AMELIA (5) enters carrying a large teddy bear. She stops in the doorway at the sight of her mother and goes over to pat her on the shoulder.
(urgently) Mum, Mummy, are you okay?
MADELINE straightens herself in the chair and attempts to smile.
Sure, sweetie. Mummy’s just very tired. Who’ve you got there? (pointing to the bear)
Henry. He’s my favourite. (she holds the bear up for her mother to see)
MADELINE pats the bear on the head distractedly and stands.
That’s great honey. Can you play with him in your bedroom for a while? I need to talk to Daddy.
INT.LOUNGE ROOM — COREY (31) is sitting dejectedly in a reclining armchair, beer in his left hand and television remote in his right. He has undone his tie from the morning’s funeral and has kicked off his dress shoes. MADELINE enters cautiously.
Corey, honey, I think we should talk about this… we haven’t talked at all since Tr-
(slightly slurring) I don’t want to talk about it, Madeline.
(voice raising slightly) I said I don’t want to talk about it. Just leave me alone.
He shifts in his chair slightly to turn away from her.
|We need to talk about this||Are you deaf?!|
|You can’t hide||For God’s sake!|
|Your brother just died||I’m not!|
|(silenced by Corey’s yelling)||You think I don’t know that? Can’t a guy just get some peace and quiet?!|
MADELINE walks out worriedly whilst COREY drinks deeply from his beer. He finishes the can and crushes it firmly in his palm. He throws it at the television screen in anger.
INT. KITCHEN — MADELINE is sitting at the kitchen table again, flicking through photo albums. Cut to a shot of one of the photographs. COREY, MADELINE and AMELIA are smiling happily with TRENT (34). Dissolve into flashback.
EXT. BEACH — The beach is crowded with sunbathers, surfers and kids making sandcastles with their parents. TRENT (26) and COREY (23) are playing touch football in the sand. COREY throws the ball and TRENT runs backward to catch it. He collides with the back of MADELINE (22) who is standing, chatting animatedly to her friends. She falls face first into the sand. COREY runs over to where both TRENT and MADELINE are lying in the sand. COREY crouches beside MADELINE who sits up and spits sand out of her mouth. TRENT is laughing uncontrollably.
(worriedly) I am so sorry!
Don’t worry about it (she shakes the sand out of her hair).
Are you hurt?
Well, I’ll tell my brother (shooting a look at TRENT) to look where he’s going next time.
How about you don’t throw the ball at her next time?
You did. You’ve been staring at her the whole afternoon.
COREY’s face goes bright red with embarrassment.
Shut up! You have no idea what you’re talking about (he shoves at TRENT who laughs).
(to MADELINE) Anyway, I’m Corey.
Madeline … and he is? (Indicating to TRENT)
(MADELINE suppresses laughter) Charmed…
INT. KITCHEN — MADELINE at the kitchen table again, tears rolling down her face and dripping onto the album in front of her.
(in the lounge room, yelling)Milli, get the hell out of here! I can’t stand your crapping on! Get lost!
MADELINE jumps to her feet and rushes to her daughter’s aid.
INT. LOUNGE ROOM — Amelia is standing next to her father’s arm chair, crying. Her bottom lip is jutted and she is wailing loudly. COREY has his fingers in his ears and is doing his best to watch the television. MADELINE enters scooping up AMELIA into her arms.
MADELINE (to AMELIA):
Shh … baby, it’s okay. Daddy didn’t mean—
Yes, I bloody well did!
COREY (to MADELINE):
She wouldn’t shut the hell up. I tell ya, worst thing I ever did; knockin’ you up. Nothing but trouble! Get her out. Now.
AMELIA is inconsolable, saturating her mother’s shoulder with tears. MADELINE has a tortured look on her face and tears have welled in her eyes. COREY glances at his wife and daughter then goes back to his programme. MADELINE, stunned, slowly makes her way out of the room clutching AMELIA to her chest.
An instrumental track of “Emotionless” by Good Charlotte backs these shots.
Cut to MADELINE washing dishes, sighing every now and again.
Cut to AMELIA playing with her teddy bear; she sits in the corner of her room on the floor. She is silent and her face is passive.
Cut to COREY sitting in his arm chair; his hair is messy and he is slouching. He rubs his forehead. Then slowly rises from his chair. He walks into the shed in the garden. He sifts through tools, picking out a couple and putting them in his tool box.
Cut to MADELINE staring out the window, leaning against the kitchen counter.
Cut to COREY placing his full tool box in the bed of his Ute.
Cut to AMELIA setting up a tea party for her teddy bear.
Cut to COREY now writing something furiously on a piece of paper.
Cut to MADELINE starting to prepare dinner for the family.
Cut to COREY folding the piece of paper and slipping it under the back door of the house. He takes a step back to look at his house then re-enters the shed.
Cut to MADELINE chopping vegetables with a cook’s knife.
Cut to COREY hopping into the Ute and backing out of the shed.
Cut to MADELINE who stops chopping and looks up, listens to the car backing out of the driveway.
Madeline leaves the kitchen and enters the lounge. With no sign of COREY there, she checks AMELIA’s room.
What is it, Mummy?
Did Daddy tell you that he was going somewhere?
Cut to COREY pulling up in the car park over-looking the beach.
Cut to AMELIA shaking her head and goes back to her tea party.
Cut to MADELINE opening the back door to call for COREY but finds the note on the floor. She picks it up.
Cut to COREY tampering with the exhaust of his Ute.
Music fades out quickly.
Cut to MADELINE holding the piece of paper, unopened. It reads “MADDY”.
Cut to COREY starting the engine again. He sits looking out over the beach.
Cut to MADELINE opening the paper, her hands shaking slightly as they move.
Cut to COREY becoming drowsy, his eyes beginning to close.
Cut to MADELINE gasping as she reads the letter and falling to the floor screaming and crying.
My dear Maddy,
Please don’t cry for me. I must go, I must leave you. Lately, I have not been feeling myself. I remember when we first met, you were so beautiful — you still are. You were someone who made me feel like myself, someone who could pick me up when I was feeling blue. But lately that blue has crushed me. I can’t handle the fact that my brother is gone. I feel like I cannot breathe, it hurts to think about him, it hurts to talk, I don’t think I can get through this. Which is why, as you read this note; I will be leaving this world forever.
I know it will take a little while and you will cry a couple of tears.* But do not worry; I feel this is best for you and for our Amelia. Every step will feel like a mile and every day, a million years but I promise that the pain will ease. I will make it my sole objective to give you a happy life.
(voice wavers) I love you, look after sweet little Milli and tell her that her Daddy loved her but he was too unhappy to stay. (chokes through sobs) Bye, my love, bye.
*Song by We The Kings, titled ‘Over You’.
Sarah Grendon is a first year student of Deakin University, studying Arts/Science. She is music, movie, TV and book mad. In her free time, you will always find her doing something that relates to one or a combination of those things. She hopes to score a job that involves writing creatively.